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July 1, 2018

What a sweet, sweet time meeting new friends and growing stronger with long-time friends. Traveling and spending time together builds shared experiences, shared stories, and shared memories. The Americans will speak together differently when we arrive home simply because we have met and become friends with our brothers and sisters half way around the world! We will have inside jokes that no one else will understand-except our A2S family. And in Benin City the same will be true, remembering the good times with their crazy American friends. Team One, you should hear what they have to say about you!

Our devotion today focused on Philippians 4:4-9, beginning with beautiful words about rejoicing. It isn’t about rejoicing simply because my team won in the World Cup, or because I got a new job. It’s about also rejoicing when my team loses, or even when I lose my job. Today, we did a lot of rejoicing!

Today, after a stop at Krispy Kreme and the Mall, we headed to the airport and on to Benin City! I can say that I’ve never had an American pilot give me an entire explanation of why the flight had been delayed. We got an extensive list of reasons including that the Pilot had to come from another plane. When we landed in Benin City, the entire A2S team was on the ground waiting for us with signs and banners to welcome us to their home!!! It one of the was the most fabulous greetings I’ve ever received. It was a wonderful feeling of welcome and instant friendships. There were lots of smiles and hugs- exactly my kind of thing! The hardest part is trying to remember all of the names!

Since the hotel is right across the road from the airport, we were able to settle in and take a nap before going to Pastor Ben’s for dinner. (Nse just might have had to wake me up.) Pastor Ben latched onto Campbell, just as Quinn (Team 1) had predicted. Quinn and Campbell are both good sports and happy to take the joking. It was such a pleasure to begin to know all of the people I have heard about now for several years. Each one is so kind, friendly, they love the children and believe in the good work that is being done! It’s exciting to know that tomorrow we will meet the children and see their faces in real life!

My prayer for each of us is that we will each “love mercy, act justly, and walk humbly with our God.” We are here to support one another, but most importantly to show the love of God through our actions and our lives. We are each here for a specific purpose and I am thankful.

How will you rejoice today? And tomorrow? And the next day?

Rejoice, rejoice, again I say, REJOICE!

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