"This life therefore, is not godliness but the process of becoming godly, not health but getting well, not being but becoming, not rest but exercise. We are not now what we shall be, but we are on the way. The process is not yet finished, but it is actively going on. This is not the goal, but it is the right road. At present, everything does not gleam and sparkle, but everything is being cleansed." --Martin Luther

Friday, May 30, 2008

more updates

Of course Brian isn’t as far on the house as he would like to be. But then he remembers that everything that has been done has been done by hand, shovel, pick ax… They got the back hoe fixed so it runs, BUT the hoe part doesn’t work, only the loader. So now Brian also has the workers hand digging our septic. Lewis was supposed to pick up our door and window frames today and bring them back with him tonight. The first team left the school yesterday to fly back today. As of right now they have probably been in the air for close to 16 hours already. Brian has been helping Paul some with the library that is being built. There is a church (in Georgia I believe) that is raising money, purchasing, and collecting books to send over to fill the library. Since Kevin left, Brian is now the guy who can operate the backhoe, so he needed to do some work there. Sounds like tomorrow they will be loading river sand, floor sand, and something else. Brian will load the truck, and then the workers will unload it (by hand) where it needs to go. Apparently the dump truck driver called and said he couldn’t be there, so it will be a long day of shoveling! The footings are just about ready to pour and he is starting to put the water line in to the house. As I said they are digging the septic. It looks like everything may be all ready to happen at once, once it is ready. Blocks have been starting to arrive now, so we can get some unloaded at our house. The cement mixer needs a piece welded, so there is even a possibility that the cement will have to get mixed by hand too. Seems everything on this house will end up being done by hand! There is a possibility that about 2 weeks from now the teams will be such that Brian could have all the brick layers and national pastors helping him for a few days. That would be wonderful! We’ll pray that happens! It will take about 3 days to fill, level, pack, and pour the floors. Then he will mark the cement for the inside walls and they can start laying inside and out at the same time. Once they get going, it doesn’t take that long, but he must have all the door frames and everything else on hand ready to go in. We do have a patio/glass door in the container, so I am not sure how that will work. But it has it's own frame, so they can figure something out I suppose. Once they are done with the walls, Brian can begin building the roof tresses while the plasterers do their job. Everyone would like to show some progress on the house. Brian’s parents will be at the school on Tuesday, and numerous people at the school have remarked that they would like to show some progress to his folks. Everyone also seems to be coming to check often. Lucy has taken all the ladies up to look and some of the local villagers have made their way back there to check it out. He said it seems a little like the blind leading the blind sometimes building this house. The gentleman that was going to help a great deal with this had to go home. But God has been faithful and providing people who seem to be able to help with the next step at just the right time.

Brian says the days seem to go by quickly, but the nights are long. Pretty much the same here, but the days even get long for me sometimes when we don’t have anything in particular to do.

Brian has been told that Zambia (called the “Real Africa”) is the most hospitable country in the area. People know when they get to Zambia it doesn’t matter where they are from. Zambians though, are really not welcome in many of the area countries, with the exception of Malawi.

Our container is currently out on the Atlantic on its way to Valencia, Spain where it is due to arrive on June 5th. From there I am assuming it goes over to Egypt and down the Suez Canal to the Red Sea and down to Tanzania. I can’t figure out any other possible route it would take. Arrival time is scheduled for June 25th in Dar Es Saleem, Tanzania. Never thought of it before, but it would have been cool to put some type of GPS bug in it and really track it!

Please pray for Brian in this next day and a half especially for his preparation for preaching on Sunday. He hasn’t had time to really dig in as he would like to. He has some Scripture and direction. He says it almost seems God is keeping him busy so he doesn’t have a lot of time to do it and end up relying on himself and not God. Pray that it would all come together. Brian feels a call to preach, but over here in the States, he’s “not qualified”; doesn’t have the certificates/degrees/pedigree. (yes, i double checked that i should be writing this stuff!) So what does God do? Takes him somewhere where he is expected to preach, regardless. He is their missionary, and he is probably going to be preaching a lot. Once we get there as a family, we will be traveling to all the area churches to get to meet people…and preach. In the back of his mind, he figured God would send him on this route to bypass the route needed over here. Most of these national pastors see themselves as farmers; they pastor a church, but they farm, just for their own food. They very plainly and happily identify with the farmer coming over from the States.

Pray also for his parents flying for the next 2 days, and for their time in Zambia.

Another request would be wisdom, discernment, humility, and timing to talk to Lewis about some of the workers and some things that he is seeing.

Oh yes, and the Gospelink container is still sitting at the shipper’s place in Lusaka. Don’t know what the hold up is, but it is not getting out to the school. It seems this is the shipper’s problem, not customs, or Gospelink’s, so we will pray nothing like this happens to us.

Brian has been able to share his testimony and some words of encouragement with some of the US team members too and he is exciting and encouraged by being able to do that.

Brian asked if I want to know about the snakes…no, not really. Let’s see, they do have black and green mambas, pythons, and a green poisonous tree snake he didn’t know the name of. I told him to work on finding that out so we can see about getting anti-venom kits. The tree snake is a quick bugger that leaves you alone unless you provoke it. Let’s see, little boys…yup, better be sure we are prepared. They don’t like it if you keep the grasses mowed down, so we are definitely doing that. There was a gecko visiting him on the wall as we talked. They also said during the rainy season when the Chongwe River is up they do have crocodiles, and they killed a scorpion the other day while digging footings. He said the bugs aren’t too bad as the bats pretty much take care of them. And just how many of you are squirming at the thought of living with all this stuff? Part of me wants to, but what good would it do? What can you do about it? This is where we are going to be, so I guess we’ll just deal with it.

Zack, the guy from Iowa who spent nine months at the college last year stopped by. He will also stop again on his way home in a few weeks. He and another guy are moving to Seringue (?) to help an orphanage get started; they plan to be there from August to Christmas time. He was also able to meet another one of Gospelink’s board members.

Let’s see-garage sale is going well, even though it hasn’t started! My treadmill sold-thank goodness. Would have really been a picker to take it into town and then not have it sell! Girls have a piano recital in the morning, then in the evening they are going to their friends’ dance recital and staying at their house, then they leave for bible camp on Sunday. Just me and the four younger ones for a whole week.

Guess that’s about it for now.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

all my babies

Here are some pictures that a friend of ours took last week. She was wonderful-I called her Monday with this crazy idea, she came Wednesday and had photos for me the following Wednesday! She is also the one who did our prayer cards last fall. I would definitely recommend her for any photos you need done! Just email and I will send her contact information!

This is our oldest, Cybil, who is 11. Cybil just finished 5th grade. She plays piano, loves horses (even though we don't have any), and has been a big helper for dad on the farm. Oh, and she loves to read!

This is our tallest, Mariah, who is 9. Mariah also plays piano, just finished 4th grade (has a late September birthday, so in public school she would just be getting ready to go into 4th grade), and loves to read as well.

Next is Greta, our 6 year old. Greta is learning to read right now; we are over the first hump of hard stuff-she's now to the point where she WANTS to read. Oh, and just found out she has a couple of "shark teeth" on the bottom-the permanent teeth came in but the babies are still there-we go to the dentist in 2 weeks. If they aren't gone by then, we may have to pull the babies.

Hailey is 5 years old. Hailey loves to dance and sing-anything can be a song, even the picture she is coloring.

Joe is 4, and trying to grow into his arms and legs. I tell you, when he runs, watch out! You can't be quite too sure what direction he is going, they all go different ways at different speeds!

Myron is 2 years old. Right now everything has to be done by mama-getting dressed, diapers, getting milk, getting his seat belt on...and when someone else tries, he screeches like a banshee.

proper etiquette?

So just what is the proper etiquette when you break a window on your vehicle while out driving? What if it is at a very busy intersection? I mean, it's not like I carry a broom and dust pan in the van for such occasions!
Today I was bound and determined to get my treadmill to a friend's for a garage sale. And because I didn't want to do a bunch of extra driving, the girls and I squeezed it into the back of the van. Things are motoring along just fine...until about 4 blocks before the house I was going to. I had to stop at the light, then when I went to start again... I didn't hear a crash or anything, just happen to look in my rear view mirror as I pulled out and noticed the hole.
So really, what are you suppose to do? Had it been a quiet side street, I suppose I would have gone back and picked up some glass (there really wasn't that much that would have made it on to the street I don't think, judging from the size of the hole and my back seat). Are you suppose to call the city and tell them about it so they can have someone clean it up? I dunno. It was black glass so when I drove by later, I really couldn't even see any on the ground. What is the proper etiquette?
So anyway, I drove on, not knowing what else to do, unloaded the treadmill, we cleaned up the glass that was still stuck to the door, taped a garbage bag over the window, and on I drove to the insurance office. They called it in right away and tomorrow they are coming out to fix the window.
Oh yes, and just for the record-I didn't even cry!

I got some pictures that a gal from church did of the kids and I last week that we are sending with Brian's folks this weekend as an early Father's Day gift.

If you are in the Willmar, MN area and looking for a good garage sale, let me know! I got rid of kids clothes and some household stuff (including the tread mill, a swimming pool, lots of nice winter jackets), the one gal is closing her daycare so they have lots of kids toys, and the other 2 gals are just getting rid of lots of kids clothes and toys too. There are books and movies, small appliances, and even some baked goods. The sale is Saturday 7:30-2, with half price starting at noon. Just email me and I will give you the address.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Church in Africa

The guys at the school loaded the trucks to head down to Grace Baptist Church around 9:45 am on Sunday. Along the way they picked up a few people and the women sang the entire way. Most of the families at the bible school attend this church. He thought the plan was that once the school gets up and going, the church will move closer to Kaziemba. It is a 25 minute drive, or a 40 minute walk through the bush (they walked home after church). The day starts with Sunday School first, which is generally somewhere around 20 minutes long. The kids do their class outside. When they all gather together, one man and one woman must share something they learned that day during the question and answer time about the teaching. This is followed by some singing, even sometimes dancing. On Sunday one older woman got up from the back, danced up to the front, and back down the isle. There are no instruments; it’s just the tribe African trills and singing. The very interesting thing to Brian was that they did NOT call this worship. It was after this singing and dancing that the worship began. They sang one worship chorus, and then began praying out loud altogether in the most passionate, fervent way. They did this for about 10 minutes; Brian said he just shook inside. After this time, they sang the chorus again to close worship. It was NOT the singing that was the worship, it was the prayers!

Henry introduced Brian to the church as the missionary from the states that was coming to farm with them. Henry had warned Brian on Saturday that “tomorrow we greet you, next week you preach.” So Brian asked for some prayer for that! He has some idea of what he will share about. The kids on Sunday were learning about living a life as a living sacrifice and that your faith without works is dead-they threw the kids right into James! He may tie into that and preach about all that we do being UNTO the Lord, not just for or to, but UNTO, and that this includes stewardship of your land, time, money, and work too. He’s got no time constraints and didn’t even have to ask to share!

What’s also funny is during our last conversation when he was telling me about the morning devotions with the workers, I asked him if he as ready to share. Devos start at 7 am, so I said they’d probably ask you at 6:55! Sure enough, that next morning he was running a little late. He gets there and Daniel says they’ve been waiting for him. Why? Well, he was sharing the Word that morning! Brian said he didn’t know that! Oh, no one told you Daniel asked? Nope Brian said. So someone else shared-like our mission guy says, “always carry a sermon around in your Bible!”.

After church they walked back, had peanut butter sandwiches and tea and everyone went off to rest for the Sabbath. Brian was going to do a little work, but instead headed up Mt. Kaziemba and stayed up there until dark.

Now, least you think he really is roughing it too much, let me tell you about his room. He has electricity; a light, a plug-in and a ceiling fan. He even found a kettle to keep coals in at night to keep the cabin a little warm (he says it gets pretty chilling at night-somewhere around 40 degrees). And, Sunday nights are also movie nights. Paul and another guy went into Lusaka one day and got a suitcase full of snacks, and every Sunday they watch a movie on the little 8 inch DVD player they brought and eat snacks. This week they watched an old John Wayne movie.

Yes, Brian did eat goat, but they gave the intestine to some of the Zambian pastors as a treat. The guys at the school said that this is definitely the best time of the year for them. They get three squares a day, and often eat meat. When there aren’t teams there, they maybe get meat once a week. These pastors coming in from around Africa will eat the better for their one week at the school then all the rest of the year.

Brian said he is now sleeping a good 5-6 hours a night. He doesn’t go to bed until 11 pm and is usually up around 4 or 5 am. It’s a good straight sleep, just not very long. He still feels the spiritual realm all around; not that necessarily oppressing him, it is just there. He has even woken up to find himself weeping.

One thing he is really learning and beginning to understand is the culture, which is a praise. There are little things that he’s catching onto. Like when someone asks you for something (a shovel, tool, whatever), you DO NOT hand it to them. You set it somewhere. If you hand it to them, then will not give it back, it is seen as a sign that you are giving it to them. But, if you set it somewhere, they will return it to that same spot.

Last year they did a free medical clinic. There were some of the same people there everyday, because they were giving things free. Something else that we here in the West have a hard time dealing with is this giving things free. If something is given to them free, they just don’t value it. Brian sees so much waste in some of the materials that they have lying around. They didn’t pay for it, it was given to them, and so they don’t take care of it. I remember reading a gal’s blog who was a missionary with the Southern Baptists in Zambia. They didn’t give things to anyone for free, including Bibles. Now that is a bit controversial, but Brian can now see both sides of it. This gal would have the villagers memorizing some Scripture or something to “earn” the bible. Once they earned it, it has value, and they cherish it. Of course not everyone is like that, but overall the culture is like that. Just to keep going on the Bible part, other people have no problem giving out the bibles, even if it ends up being sold somewhere-at least someone is getting a bible somewhere.

Please continue praying for Paul and whether he is being called to the bible school as well. Brian says it almost seems as if he (or someone-satan) is trying to talk him out of it.

Kevin was able to get Brian a quote on all the door frames and window frames for the house-4,000,000 kwacha, about $1175 US?. Not sure-the exchange rate was 3400 kwacha to the dollar last week. That quote is without the 16% value added tax, which I think the guy waved since Brian will be doing more business with him. We sent over some of the funds you, our supporters, sent for us. Brian keeps track of all the workers that work for him and for how long. Also any materials he orders for himself, that he takes from the various piles, etc. Someone else is also keeping track, but Brian doing it adds in a little more accountability.

Monday night he did have the start of a headache, apparently they had hit it pretty hard that day. The backhoe was still not fixed, so he and about four other villagers started digging the footings by hand. (On Monday Zambia celebrated African Freedom Day, so everything was closed, that’s why the backhoe couldn’t get fixed.) He was hoping to have the footings dug by the end of today, and be able to get ready to pour tomorrow. He is hoping to have the walls up in three weeks; he is shooting for two, but it depends a lot on material availability. The first load of 1500 hundred blocks arrived Monday night at 9 pm-was suppose to be there Saturday, then first thing Monday… Brian also had about 6 national pastors helping clear the lot across from the house where he needed it so trucks could get in. Understandably this week is about training and socializing for the pastors too, so only so much work actually got done. He was trying to explain to me how this works-they dig for a one foot footing, then they put the block on top. They lay block to grade where floor is, then pour flour. Somewhere in there they do the sewer lines, but didn’t remember when; and really, it’s all greek to me anyway! The septic will be in the “park” wherever that ends up being-I don’t know!

Brian has also being using more of our training from MTI. There is one gentleman in particular that has a very different conflict style than Brian so he has learning more and more each day how to deal with him, but it’s uncomfortable. It’s neat that he recognizes the training and is using (remember he wasn’t too thrilled to go in the first place!).

During his “down time” he has been reading through E.M Bounds “Complete Works on Prayer”. He’s really taking his time and trying to soak it all in-some of it you need to read through three or four times!

Well, I think that is it. I am at my mom’s house typing this while the open house is going on. In my “dream” state I thought I’d get this typed and two other notes Brian left, and edit some old posts…not gonna happen. We’re going to drive out to the farm here in a little bit so I can pick some rhubarb for dessert tonight.


Thanks to Bill from Iowa I have a few pictures from last summer of some of the families that are at the bible campus with Brian. I believe all of these families are at the school full time living in the staff houses.

This is Daniel, his wife Gladys and baby Christopher. They are in the cabin right next to Brian's. On Saturday Brian got in trouble with Gladys. Brian was going to try to wash some clothes but Gladys sternly told him no numerous times; she was not going to let his wife find out that he had to wash his own clothes. In Zambia married men do not wash clothes, only the kids and single men help with or do that. You could also be praying for Christopher. Recently he tipped a cooking pot with boiling water on himself. Brian said his skin is just peeling off in sheets. If I remember correctly, Daniel is the one who will be working most directly with Brian on the agricultural side of things.

This is David and his wife (I don't know if Brian has told me her name yet and Bill couldn't remember either.)

This is Henry and his wife Lucy. I think Henry is the main guy in charge at the bible school. Lucy runs most of the cooking for the summer teams. They have quite a few children themselves, and were just tickled that Brian is going to have a Henry in his family too!

Saturday, May 24, 2008


Brian says he is feeling really good, only one headache, but that was because he hadn’t slept well. When I talked to him, he said he’d made it to sleeping until about 4:30 am so far. As I am putting the kids to bed around 9 pm (Brian’s 4 am), we usually try to pray that he will sleep well for another few hours. Please pray for his toe-he had an ingrown toenail fixed close to two months ago. It is red and sore still (I am sure it didn’t help that he didn’t take care of it like he was suppose to).

Friday Lewis had to go into the dentist. He went to an Indian woman, said she was the gentlest dentist he has ever had! I told Brian he better find out her name and address! There are quite a few Middle Eastern, Asian, and Indian business owners in the capital city.

At 7 am all the workers from the villages come and share in devotions/prayer for half an hour before they begin working.

Brian asked one of the locals what kind of animals they had around; he said impalas, hyenas, and zebras. They aren’t around too much right now with all the commotion/building. They have and like to eat Mopani worms, a type of caterpillar. Brian hasn’t had it yet, but I am sure sooner or later he’ll try. He was with them the other day when they butchered a goat. It was interesting-they started skinning it while it was still alive! I never asked if he ever did eat it, but they had said they were going to save the intestine for him-that’s what the real men eat. We’ll need to get us a big dog and train him to hunt rabbits. We were told the Zambians are afraid of dogs, but out in the bush they do have them for a specific purpose-to catch supper! I asked about the termites-I was hoping we were elevated enough for them not to be a real problem; no such luck. He says he sees them on all the trees.

On Friday one of the guys was suppose to go in and order doors and windows for Brian. He spent the last couple days of the week clearing our lot (and having a few fires…had to remind him it was DRY SEASON!). He said there are quite a few guys there who can fell a tree with an ax just as fast as any chainsaw could! He’d never cut trees with an ax before, so was he sore!! He needed to do a little clearing across the road from our lot so the trucks could get in. The Africans are always interested in how many rooms he will have. He tells them one for us, one for the girls, one for the boys, and one for people coming to visit (hint, hint!). The national pastors start joking, “oh you have room for me, and room for me, and room for me…”

There is a little work that needs to be done of the backhoe, and then Brian plans on digging the footings. He is realizing that he really needs to be there the whole time during the work. If he isn’t, they just don’t do as good of a job as they could. He is hoping to start putting walls up by the end of next week. It will take them two full weeks to plaster the inside and outside of our house. They can work on that while he is doing the rafters, etc, but even that he really feels he needs to be there to oversee. Please pray that all the materials will start arriving and he can get going on the building. It’s super tough to be gone from the family for two months, if he had to go back for another extended time because they didn’t finish, he won’t be happy (yes, he will probably have to go back for two weeks before we go as a family, but two weeks is a lot different from two months!) There are of course modifications already being made to the house-the windows and door sizes are a little different from what we were told/planned for.

Oh yeah-the walk-a-thon…so far we have raised $162 from our homeschool co-op’s walk-a-thon for seeds. There are a few ladies also planning to give, but I am not sure what yet. I think I am going to wait until the stores around here start clearancing their seeds, then I will pick them when they are cheap and get more bang for the buck!

There are nights Brian says he wakes up and just aches inside. Understandably some of this is homesickness, but it is also spiritual. The spiritual battle is very much on the surface in Africa. One of the gentlemen told him about his first time there two summers ago. He got up in the middle of the night and saw some guy dancing and flapping his arms around. He figured he was drunk, and asked a national pastor about it. The pastor said that was the local witch doctor putting a curse on them because he wasn’t happy with them being there. This is probably the same witchdoctor who lives a few kilometers from the school. The spiritual warfare is very real.

We found out it was good we were learning Chinyanja-it will be helpful in the city and it is a main language that the tribal languages go off of. But we will actually be with the Sulu tribe of people, which is it’s own language, and there ain’t no course for that! I’ll have to look up some more info on them, but they are a smaller tribe in this certain area. Henry (one of the head nationals at the school) is going to write down some phrases and their meanings for us to be learning.
The two teams from Iowa which were in the city doing evangelism will arrive at the bible college on Monday morning to begin construction projects there.

The men and women (this last week anyway) didn’t eat together. One night a bunch of the guys were sitting around a coal fire. One said it was a tradition to tell stories, so they asked Brian to tell his story. What do you do? What is the story of your life? He started talking and shared quite a bit. The Africans too wonder how it works that I am willing to come without seeing the place, so Brian told them about that and shared how he knew he was suppose to be at the bible college. When he was done David, one of the national staff whom he had shared his vision for the agricultural part of the school the day before, told the men there that “We must support Brian in his vision. We must come along side him and what he is going to do here.” Brian thought that was pretty neat. The other day after Brian had shared with David, David told Lewis that not only are we getting a pastor, we’re getting a preacher too!

There is gentleman named Paul from Nebraska that will be there through July too. He is sensing a call to being at the college as the construction/business manager, but he is not quite sure. He was asking Brian how he knew, and Brian shared how he went up on Mt. Kaziemba last year and spent the day with God. The nationals told Paul maybe he should do that too! Paul is 53 years old, celebrated his 33 year wedding anniversary today. His wife is ready to come in a heartbeat too. Please pray for God’s wisdom, for discernment, for Paul to know if this is truly where God has called him to be.

I am having Brian write out some descriptions of who some the nationals that he will be working with are. When his parents come back from their two weeks there, I will try to post some of that so we’ll all know who we’re talking about!
On the home front, I have been decluttering and cleaning. There is a realtor’s open house here on Tuesday, so I am trying to do all those things I didn’t before. Thankfully my neighbor moved the lawn for me today! A friend is having a garage sale, so I have been getting that stuff ready to go as well. I am so dreading cleaning up the flower beds. I took the rest of the crab grass out of the tulip bed, but there are 2 HUGE beds, and one small one that need to be gone through too for weeds and grass. Plus I have some windows and doors to wash outside. Can someone please tell me how birds can poop sideways on a window?!

One week done, seven to go!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008


Talked to Brian earlier today. I will highlight some of the things we talked about. Some of it may seem very trivial or whatever, but oh well. This is our journal and the only place I save stuff, so some of it just maybe more for me than you!

Let’s see-to start with, the flights. All went well. Many people were charged for extra baggage on the way to Ethiopia due to the differences in policies with their domestic carriers. Brian slept well on the flight from DC to AA (Addis Ababa), didn’t sleep so well in the hotel that night, on fell asleep from the Lusaka airport to the Barn (the lodge the teams stay at when in the City). On the flight from DC to AA he sat next to a guy from Sioux Falls, SD who was Ethiopian, and on his way to Ethiopia to pick up a daughter they just adopted. He really enjoyed his time visiting with this guy-his first question to Brian was, “are you a born again believer?” At AA he had to go through the screeners numerous times-everyone did, it was being super sensitive. One guy sent his laptop through, but he didn’t make it right away. When he finally got through, the laptop was gone. They had a sit down prayer meeting at the airport and headed to the plane, hoping to get on. You see, his boarding pass was in his computer! It eventually got worked out, and the computer was returned. Prayer works! At the Barn on Monday night he roomed with an elder from a church in Iowa. Right now they are working on policies dealing with being a sending church for missionaries-what they do and don’t do, etc. Another super cool thing as we have been trying to research some of these things and get a policy handbook together with/for Gospelink.

Brian, Lewis (US Gospelink director) and Stewart (Zambia Gospelink director) ran errands this morning. Brian was supposed to sign his work permit this morning, BUT…the papers were missing, must be in process the guy told him. “The man with the key is gone” we joked, as this is a common occurrence in Africa! Anyway, we were told it was approved last Thursday, he just needed to sign. Well…this is Africa! It’s somewhere!

Lewis was robbed the other day at the Barn. His passport, work permit, and quite a bit of cash to pay for supplies was stolen. Whoever stole it had a key, then while they were running around, Lewis’s coat was stolen. Please pray that these items are returned (including the cash!)

Bri bought a cell phone today for 200,000 kwacha, about $59 dollars. He then bought 40,000 kw in minutes ($12). We aren’t sure how much it costs for him to call me- 50 cents to a dollar a minute he thought. So basically he calls me, and then I call him. I found a place that only charges 6 cents, but it dropped me 5 times in about an hour. Not the end of the world I guess.

On the drive to the school, Brian figured it was about 45km from Lusaka to Chongwe (nearest “town”), from there it was maybe 22km to the turn off for the school, then 12km down the road to the site. When I figure the metric system out, I will know how many miles that is!

Everyone (the nationals) he has met so far seems to know who he is and is super excited that he is there. They say they are going to get that house of his built fast! Current problem is that the cement blocks are in such high demand, the supply isn’t meeting it. He obviously doesn’t need his blocks tomorrow, but will possibly by the end of the week. He plans to start tomorrow with getting it all laid out, start clearing and maybe even start the footings, depending on how far they get. One of the US gentlemen whom he thought would be there for another month to help is leaving tomorrow. I do believe the guy is in the 70s or so, but has a ministry which brings him to Africa, so it would have been very helpful to have him around a little longer. But he’s already been there for over a month doing labor, so it takes its toil. Pray Joel will rest well when he gets home.

Brian had planned on staying in a cabin that another guy has used for 9 months last year, but there are no lights, so he moved to another cabin where they had already wired in some solar power so he can have light at night. Also found his two bags from last year that he left were considerably lighter than he left them, and his sleeping bag was gone. But the other guy’s sleeping bag was still there, so he has something to sleep in. Other than needing a flashlight, he’s fine-nothing major taken, just some clothes.

The men who have been working there for the last month have gotten the medical clinic walls up, also some showers and rooms inside. It’s progressing nicely. The whole grounds of the school looks pretty good right now, they have really cleared a lot of the brush around the main building site.

Gospelink’s container is in Lusaka, but they are not releasing it for some reason. They were able to get in and get some things they needed out (bibles, tracts, solar equipment), so that was good. Please pray that they will be able to get that released. (FYI, our container leaves Friday from New York)

There is not a team at the college this week. This first trip is during the school year for many still, so the team wasn’t as big. They are basically all from Iowa. They decided to keep the group together, so they are all in the City doing evangelism this week, then will head out to the bible school on Tuesday to do some work.

I think that about does it. We so appreciate your prayers and support during this time. It’s been 3 days, only 53 to go!

Monday, May 19, 2008


First off, no I have not heard from Brian yet. I imagine I will be getting a "the team made it to Lusaka" email tomorrow. He was going to try to get a cell phone today, but that might not actually happen until this weekend when he is in town for a few days. Yes, I will try to keep things updated; we also have a handfull of posts we have started in the past, but just haven't posted. I'll see about editing up to post. I really don't like to post anything unless Brian has read it first, but I'll see what I can do

Anyway, a new recommended book: All That You Can't Leave Behind-a rookie missionary's life in Africa by Ryan J. Murphy. I heard about it from Christine who is planning to move to Tanzania with her family in the future to do mission work as well.

One of the things we just really can't prepare for until we get there is the culture shock. Sure, we can read about it, be aware that it is coming so we can recognize it right away, but...it's something we will have to go through. And unfortunately, not just once, or even twice. There are many things we will have to adjust in lifestyle, attitudes, thought through out our time there. Another book I read was "African Friends and Money Matters". This really explained the African way of thinking in regards to time, money, relationships, life. Even though Murphy is in another ministry role and country, the book rang true. It is refreshing to know that is it going to be normal to not like everything right away, all the time, or even at all. Murphy talks about the different levels of his emails-not that they are dishonest, but that he only shares things with certain people (as we all do here anyway). He was asked by a best friend who got to hear all the bads, why he bothered to stay. Murphy said it's because he is 100% committed, because he knows this is where God has him. That is exactly where we are at. We know that Zambia is where God has called us right now. It's not easy, it's often frustrating, and we aren't even there yet! But we are totally committed and trusting that this is where God has us, and He will take care us. People ask, "how do you know God is talking to you?" You just know-sorry there is no magic formula (just be sure there is nothing that goes against the Word of God. God will never tell you to do something that is against Scripture). I heard someone on the radio say today: "If God wants me to do something, He's going to give me the faith to do it. And I'll have the faith and God working, so it's not going to be a big deal, I'll just do it." Interestingly put, I can see it in my own life.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Thursday, May 15, 2008


Of course the update always comes the day you send the newsletter out...
Just wanted to let you know we have now paid the balance on the shipping for the container to leave port next Friday. You can check out the SUPPORT box at the right for an update on our outgoing costs.
Thank you for praying about your role in helping get this container off and for the many who have given items for the container and donated funds to pay for it.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008


The May newsletter is at the right. Postal readers should get theirs this weekend, church readers this Sunday, and email readers, anytime now!!!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Prayer Calendar

Well, I am getting more and more daring with this computer stuff, but I still really don't know what I am doing.

This is a link to our summer prayer calendar for the two months Brian will be gone. It is also linked under Newsletters to the right. I know that when you view it, it looks okay, but how it will print...I am not sure. My printer lost a few letters on each line of Saturday's requests, but I just wrote in what I was missing.

If you are one of our prayer supporters, you should have either gotten a copy through email, through the mail, or at church. If you haven't gotten one, feel free to print this one, or let me know and I will send you one. I have made four different calendars, all the same requests, just in different orders so we are covered four times with each request. If you are not a regular partner (that we know about anyway!), please print this version and use it.

Thank you for your committment to lift our family up in prayer!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008







Sunday, May 4, 2008


This is a devotional that my parents received the other day from Today’s Turning Point with David Jeremiah. They thought it was interesting at how closely it applied to what is going on in their lives right now. I can think of several other families it would also apply to right now. So far I’ve not gone with the camel hair clothes or the locusts and honey thing but knowing me I would at least try it. I know it is a lot easier to read than live out, but that does not change the application.

John [the Baptist's] clothes were made of camel's hair, and he had a leather belt around his waist. His food was locusts and wild honey. Matthew 3:4

Many a parent has been delighted to see his child make progress in spiritual matters, showing unusual sensitivity to discerning God's will. Until, that is, the young adult child decides to go to a Bible college instead of a prestigious university. Until, that is, the child announces her plans to go to a dangerous mission field to work among an unreached people who suffer from disease, strife, and poverty.
Zecharias and Elizabeth, the parents of John the Baptist, might have felt that way. The angel Gabriel seemed to indicate a respectable career path for their son, John: "To make ready a people prepared for the Lord." They never imagined that John would leave them as a young man and live in the desert, dressing oddly, eating locusts and wild honey, and preaching radically. He was likely a source of embarrassment for his parents. If you have a child, a parent, or a friend who is obeying God and pursuing a path you don't understand, pray Acts 21:14: "
The will of the Lord be done."

God is not obligated to receive the approval of the family and friends of those He calls into His service.

Freedom is not the right to do as you please; it is the liberty to do as you ought. Unknown

Friday, May 2, 2008


Yeah! Some details on shipping-finally!!!

Our container is scheduled for loading next Wednesday, May 7th.

It looks like it then goes to New York, where it ships overseas on May 23rd. It has an estimated time of arrival in Dar Es Salaam on June 25.

We were told inland from Dar Es Salaam to Lusaka is 10 days. That is if all goes well at the border, roads are good, trucking is readily available, and customs doesn't want to try to open it or have extra questions or anything else.

Then from Lusaka it could take a week to two weeks to get it to the school, depending on the scheduling of the trucking and crane service there.

So, yes, it would take a full-blown miracle of God (and YES!! He can do it!) for the container to be at the Bible School before Brian leaves on July 12th. If we had assurance it would be there by then, there would be a possibility Brian could stay for two more weeks to do some more work alone.

The other possibility then is that Brian will have to go back around the end of September to finish building and getting the house ready for us to go as a family after that.

-God would drive this ship across the sea and even allow it to get there early

-Shipping inland from Dar Es Salaam will be readily available when the time comes

-customs will clear quickly without hassle

-crane and trucking will be readily available in Lusaka when that time comes

-funds for shipping and taxes will come in as needed

-Gospelink has a container at the Tanzania border that they are trying to get into Zambia. This container has bibles, tracks, and other items needed for the summer teams that begin arriving in two weeks. Pray it will be cleared and get out to the school before the teams arrive.