Our friends Csaba and Lisa Leidenfrost have been Wycliffe missionaries to the Ivory Coast for a couple of decades or more. They raised their children among the Bakwe people, and spent most of their married life At the Edge of the Village in the home they built of handmade cement blocks. What began as monthly letters home to the congregations that supported them, became a book a few years ago. Lisa’s descriptions of life in Africa are so delightful, instructive, and postive in outlook that they were collected, organized, and published.
I’ve been rereading At the Edge of the Village this summer and enjoying entering into Lisa’s life in the jungle (though grateful it is at a safe distance). She is one tough cookie. She tells her stories with a light-heart and good humor: the time the tarantula’s hairy leg poked through the ceiling, her standard caution to the kids as they ran out to play (“Keep a lookout for cobras!”) or the time they thought they found a crocodile in their pond.
I have been reading some of these short sketches to my grand-kids, and if success is measured by the interest and laughter they evoke, then this book wins five stars. But not all the sketches are funny (though most are). Lisa describes some of the trials involved in living in Africa,Â the hardest being when she contracted typhoid, but I can tell she is holding back. She finds the bright side and the funny side (like her boys exploring her hospital room to figure out how everything worked) in the midst of difficulty and hardship, keeping her faith afloat when everything is else is sinking.