"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

Saturday, September 27, 2008

a last check in and update


David went around and fixed most of the patches where the plaster flaked off a bit.
The ladies swept and mopped the floor, so they were able to roll a 2nd sheet of linoleum (there are 3 sections in the main room), the ladies wanted to see it.
Tomorrow before they go they need to get everything shut up in the container and secure the doors and windows on the house. They couldn't get the front door in quite right as the door is a little bowed and the door jam isn't straight either.
They were able to get some of the bottom kitchen cupboards in, along with the fridge and the stove. The ladies can't wait for me to tell them about cooking on a gas stove (after they teach me how to cook on charcoal!!).
Wendell is feeling good again/still. Praise God he was healthy the entire trip! Pray for continued health as he transitions back into full-time work, plus it will be time to harvest the soybeans soon.
That's the jest-I guess they had a little "party" tonight at the house. Everyone is super excited for us to get there. Only 4 1/2 weeks-hard to believe!

Oh- and here's something to pray about...we will need to buy a vehicle for our family to use. The minibus is too big (even for us!) and the truck too small. I just received an email today on our missionary chain about someone with a 10 seat Toyota Land Cruiser for sale! Unfortunately Brian won't get to see it before he goes, so I don't know what will happen. But it is definitely in our price range, so please pray about that! And I am waiting to hear back on the last showing of our house, so keep that in prayer too!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Good Reading

Props go to Christine for being so on top of her game despite working close to full-time, homeschooling, church, and studying for a move to Tanzania to do missions work there, she is still reading! I have to check her blog to find the next good book to read about Africa!

Pig in a Taxi and Other African Adventures by Suzanne Crocker is the latest. It is from a gal who served in Togo, Africa with her husband doing medical work. There are short little stories, then a personal application, then a missionary prayer focus.

I got mine on Amazon for $.70 plus $3.99 shipping. I see today there is one on new and use for 14 cents! I wish we had enough money to buy one for all our prayer supporters! Since we can't, I'd like to encourage you all to check it out-maybe buy a copy to read and pray through, then pass it on (or read and pray through again!).

Thursday, September 25, 2008

why do we doubt?

Talked to Brian again today (I know, we border on pathetic sometimes!)-he sounded 100% better. He said his chest was already feeling lighter, and he just sounded much more okay about the work that is done/won't be done. He slept really well last night too.
They got all the ceiling done in the main room!! Yeah! Brian also started cutting some glass for the windows.
Please continue to pray for Henry M., he still has the yuck Brian had.
Pray for Wendell, who got a little hot yesterday, and he's really sick of the same food over and over again. And then when you don't feel so good...I am sure he'd love a cheeseburger right now!
So never doubt God is hearing your prayers! THANK YOU!!!


Brian made it into town on Tuesday, unfortunately it caused a little relapse in his virus. He spent part of yesterday sleeping again, which I know he hates because then he feels useless. What he wouldn't give for a pack of saltines about now! He says nothing tastes good (at least that is what I can print!), but Lucy is making him eat his porridge-she sat by him and wouldn't leave until he ate some.
Zambia has three seasons- the wet/hot, the dry/cold, and the dry/hot. Right now is the dry/hot. It has been around 100 degrees or more for the past few days. I think again to God's wisdom and timing. Had we left as a family when Plan B was in the works (end of September), we would have hit smack into this hot season and had to deal with hot, hot kids.
Brian applied for a post office in Chongwe, has to go in tomorrow to see if we were "approved."
He was unable to find any large propane tanks. He had our 100 lb. one sent away to get new valves and got on the list to rent some 19 kg (41.8 lb) tanks. I am thinking we may need to see about shipping our other 100 lb tank that didn't make it on the container with Gospelink's next container if we can. We need the propane mainly for our small refrigerator, but it will also be nice to have to do occasionally cooking in the gas stove we have and not have to do everything on charcoal. I think diesel fuel right now is Zambia comes out to close to $7 a gallon (I can't remember my litre conversations), so we need bigger propane tanks so we don't need to go in as often to fill them up. And we'd like the spare, so we can take one in when empty, and the other then covers it.
Brian was able to pick up our front doors, which he said the guy did a really nice job on, but it's going to take a bit to get them in as the door jams aren't perfectly plum.
Please keep praying for Brian and Wendell these last 2 days- they'd like to get the doors in and a sink and tub, and then cleaning everything up and locking it up before they leave. They fly out Sunday around 1:30 and we pick them up Monday afternoon at 1:30. Pray for peace that what has been accomplished is what should have been and that Brian especially won't feel like it won't be good enough for when we arrive.
God is good.

Monday, September 22, 2008

rough weekend

It was a pretty tough weekend in Zambia. Brian called Saturday afternoon-he’d about had it, as had his dad, thus the prayer request post. He was still working 12-13 hour days despite the fact that he was getting sicker, his was tired of people around all the time and the lack of progress… and well, it hit him. Brian doesn’t get sick too often, but when it does, it hits like a freight train. Henry had been sick (thought it was malaria, but really just a virus) and Brian was run down from working and not resting enough, so he caught it. He was on the couch all day yesterday sweating and fevering to beat the band. It finally brought in the evening. As you can imagine, everyone was concerned. They were all going to stay home from church and take him to the clinic. Wendell was talking to them in the other room and Brian (I can hear it in my head) got so mad he yelled out “NO! I am not going to the clinic!” After church his African dad Alfred and John Zimba walked the 45 minutes to our house and prayed over him on the couch. I am sure the whole church prayed for him as well that morning.
I called him at 1:30 while up feeding my Henry (8:30 his time) and he was up and doing a little work, but was weak, so was taking it easy. He didn’t make it to town today, so will go tomorrow. It probably sounds as if I am not overly concerned, but I was and am. But I also know my hubby enough to know how he and his body work and where this came from. He was so tired and down Saturday that I told him he had to rest on Sunday. We need 1 day in 7 to rest, and he was at day 14 without rest. If he wasn’t going to rest, God was going to make him! This will also sound harsh, but it was/is a good lesson for him. There will always be plenty to do, things he will want to be done better, done right away, done a certain way…and he just can’t do it all and it wouldn’t always be done the way he’d like. I love that he wanted so much for the house to be more “done” before we go there, for it to be nice for us and have an easier transition; but I know we will be fine. It wouldn’t be super wonderful right away, but we will be there, be together, and be okay. And as things get done while we are there, they will seem nicer and better all the time!
The roof is on, there is a little ridge cap and corner trim we are missing, so we will need to bring that over with us somehow in our luggage. The toilet works, there is running water, and they are hoping to have a tub and sink in before they go (one of the two sinks didn’t survive the trip). Wendell and Witness are working on stripping the ceiling to get the ceiling up in a room or two more before they go (one bedroom and one bathroom are done). Brian really doesn’t know what he would have done had Wendell not been able to go. He probably would have just gotten mad and thrown things up however to be done and be unhappy about it forever. So Wendell, THANK YOU can not even cover it!!
The people at the school keep talking about the party we have to have when the house is done and the goat we’ll eat…that will be awhile. Their definition of the house done and mine and Brian’s is probably going to be pretty different!!
Found out a real bummer too the other day when Brian was in town-Zambia just switched all the valves on their propane tanks. So the tank we had can’t be used yet-has to be sent away to get changed. Well, that is what one place said. He was going to try somewhere else tomorrow. I think Wendell was REALLY looking forward to the fridge working for some cold water and pop though . All they had at Game (think Wal-mart) were the 20 lb. tanks. It would work for a quick fix, but wouldn’t last us very long for the fridge and stove. We’ll have to look more when we go.
We so appreciate your continued prayers! Oh yeah-and we have a showing tomorrow afternoon on the house. Pray this is the one!

Saturday, September 20, 2008


Please continue to lift up Brian and his dad Wendell, they are feeling overly discouraged about the (lack of) progress at the house. They are getting a crash course in culture shock as well! Pray that they will have a purposely restful Sabbath and be renewed and refreshed for their last week there. Pray they will have peace that what gets accomplished will be what was suppose to be accomplished.
Brian has also picked a cough that is going around over there and his chest is hurting, arms and legs are tired, and his stomach is anxious. Just pray for rest, healing, peace and trust in our awesome God!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

September newsletter!

Here is our new newsletter!

Embarrassing stories from the home front

Couple of embarrassing guffaws from here this last week.
Last night Blackie, our steer, got out of his pen at the farm. He was feasting down in the garden, had been in Wendell & Carole’s garage, and around and about. Carole called and Cybil & I headed out to get him back in. We never lived on the farm ourselves, and with added kids, it became harder and harder to spend time with everyone at the farm helping out. Some of the kids would go out and help, but it’s been years since I really helped. I did some milking when Brian was suffering with a migraine and I was 6 months pregnant, but that’s probably the last time I really did much out there-quite a few years ago. So I am a pretty good pretender-I know what to do, but only pretend that I can do it. I really am a wimp about this stuff now. I didn’t know much about this steer, so I pretty much ended up spooking myself about him. He really is pretty tame, and Cybil has no fear of him, but I just couldn’t get a good read on if he was getting mad or not. Well, anyway we got him in. We walked the fence a couple times looking to see if we could see the problem. Both Carole and I had heard the fence cracking over the weekend, mistakenly thinking that was good-we could hear it working. I was trying to remember if it was okay for metal to touch metal, then the plastic, blah, blah-I was never good at science! Carol noticed the line from the fencer to the fence itself wasn’t touching. Well, after 2 calls to Tim wondering why we couldn’t hear the cracking we got it figured out, or so we thought. First off, the cracking was bad-that meant it was shorting out. Secondly, we had the fence hooked up right-but in the wrong spot. About 34 minutes after Cybil & I got home, Carole called-Blackie was out again. It was starting to get dark and we couldn’t figure out what we did wrong, so she called Brian’s cousin Galen who dairy farms and lives down the road. He and his wife Beckie came and helped get Blackie in again (it wouldn’t have taken so long if I wasn’t still spooking myself-aren’t we often our own worst enemy!). Galen checked the fence for us-seems I connected it on the WRONG side of the insulator, so it wasn’t working at all! Galen checked the fence with the ole wooden-handled screwdriver to the fence and you would not have believed the spark we saw! That cow touches that fence now, and she’ll be running the other way!
I won’t tell the whole story on this one, but one night Carole showed up at the door wondering if I had a key to her house-she was locked out!

How it's going

Most of the roof is on the house-couple more days and it should be done-trim work, end walls and all. Brian is really not happy with how things have turned out-as I said, he figured he’d have the roof up by now and working on the ceiling. But, what do you do? You just keep going!! At this point, the ceiling won’t get all done before they leave-they will probably just work to get a few of the bedrooms all done and we will finish when we get there. It is frustrating for him as well that now everyone is so fussy about how the house gets done. Before, they just threw the roof up to get done, then let them know he wasn’t happy about it. Now, when Brian says good enough, they say no-no, they can get it better. If they would have done it right the first time-that would have been better! They have been working long hours, and he is working them hard. It will be good to get the roof up-then I told him he better give them an afternoon to rest or something!
Anyway it goes, there will still be a lot of work when we get there. The house will be livable, but that’s about it. Only one of the bathrooms will get done before we go, and we’ll only have cold water until he figures out how to hook up the hot (we’ll have a tank outside that will be heated by the sun’s rays pretty much). The first month or two will be working on the house, and then getting ready for a team that is coming in January to work on the library they are building.

Saturday was the Fall Festival. Brian greeted the Chief and introduced his dad to him. The Chief seemed to remember him from this summer, and introducing your father is always a big deal too. Brian & Wendell got to eat cow intestines with the Chief. Yum! If it’s anything like eating goat intestines, they were being honored by getting some of that. They brought gifts to the Chief-sugar, salt, a sleeping bag. Apparently the Chief does not earn any money through the year. He lives off the gifts of his people, who are to take care of him. Brian said the day reminded him of a county fair-there were speeches, dancing, demonstrations, and lots of politics.
Brian also spent time talking to the Chongwe block man. He and Brian got along well all summer; he is proud of the fact that he supplied the block for our house. He gave both Wendell & Bri big hugs when he say them, and thanked Wendell for the sacrifice of his son.

I think Brian was going to buy three charcoal cookers today for us to use.

Wendell said he was getting sunburnt and Brian said he got it yesterday too-working on a steel when you are closer to the sun period-surprised it didn’t happen sooner! Yes, he has sunscreen, but that doesn’t necessarily mean he is using it! He says it is odd-it’s hot but there is always a cool breeze, so you don’t really sweat.

Brian also got to preach on Sunday-found out Saturday night. As our missions chair says, always have a sermon in your bible! He preached on Matthew 19:27-30

He is feeling better, but his feet and legs are achy from being on the roof so long, climbing up and down scaffolding, etc.

Please pray for Lexon’s wife and kids-they all have malaria. They went into the clinic, but they didn’t have any meds for them that day.

It sounds like they will go into town at the end of the week to get some more lumbar, glass for
the windows, and propane.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

yes, it's official

Yes, it is. The countdown clock is set. On Friday, October 31st at 7 am we will be heading to Zambia.

Now the grieving process "officially" begins. Sitting on the couch this morning, it suddenly hit me that the next time all my siblings will be together, it will be to say goodbye for a few years. I just started to cry, as I am now. It's been an emotional morning. A few people at church had seen the blog and asked me about it too. I held it together then, but I could feel the tears welling. I didn't do so good during worship though-cried through most of that.

I've told the siblings and the parents, that are here anyway. Brian was suppose to tell his dad over there, but his mom ended up telling him today on the phone (I guess Brian hadn't done his share yet!)

Saturday, September 13, 2008

depressing update :-(

Not a fun update to do today.

MAYBE they will have the steel up by the middle of next week; Brian was hoping to have it done already. He said they would have been better off if he would not have had the guys do anything after he left. They basically threw the rafters up there-they weren't straight, they weren't spaced right, they've had to fix pretty much everything. Plus, it has been windy, so not good weather for putting up steel.
Putting up the stringers and plywood on the ceiling isn't going to be much fun either-some pieces have to be cut, some have to have shims...not real good.
He also found out he put one of the drains in the bathroom on the wrong side for the tub, so he'll have to cut the floor out and fix that. He said it was a good thing he pushed the walls out in the bathroom-the shower/tub is just going to slide in with an inch or two to spare.
Some of the plaster on a few on the rooms is flecking off. The one batch of building sand they were given to use wasn't very good. The outside looks great, but there is some on the inside that will have to be patched in before we can paint.
Brian is really bummed that it took so long for the container to get to the school so we didn't have time to get more guys to go over with him. He would have especially loved to have had someone he could hand off all the plumbing too.
They are also going to need to wire in some lights as once the roof is up, it'll be pretty dark in the house! They have plywood over most of the windows now, as there are things in the rooms (to keep them safe).

Brian wasn't feeling too hot yesterday. As we talked we figured it was probably the cooked cabbage and the real baked beans (some of which were a little firm). I tried to make some "real" beans once and didn't get them quite done, which lead to a family of bloated, gassy, stomach-achy people, which is pretty much how Brian felt. Plus there is just getting used to eating like that again and he said he felt that way a little this summer at the beginning too.

Everyone has been working hard-most days working by 6 am and not quitting until after 7 pm. The ladies bring the food up to our house so they don't have to walk down.
Brian has been sleeping under the stars in our house to keep an eye on things after dark.

I just keep reminding Brian all we need is the roof on and running water. We can finish up the rest when we get there. Sure it would be nice if the flooring was all done and the painting and everything else, but we can do that when we get there. We are just at the point where we need to get there!

The bum of all this is that there were things he wanted to try to do in town (get his Zambian driver's license, pick up some things for the house, check on some things for Gospelink...) but he is probably not going to get to do any of that because he just can't leave the guys at the house to work alone; he's gotta be there to be sure things are done correctly.
I do think they are going to go fill up the propane tanks though-then they could hook up the fridge and have cold water up there to drink for Wendell. He's getting pretty tired of the warm bottled water!

Today they are at the Solii Fall Festival. It is the gift-giving time for the chief, Oonda OOnda (spelled phonetically-when written, it looks nothing like that!). Henry thought Brian may even end up sitting with the chief, or getting gifts from him...was to be very interesting anyway. We knew he needed to go, but a whole work day was lost-it's an hour drive there and hour back. When I called at 9 pm Zambia time, they were still gone. So Brian will do some work tomorrow, and Witness will probably come help.
Witness is 7Th Day Adventist, so he was having his Sabbath today and said he would be glad to work. He is there bright and early each morning, and has a couple mile walk to get there. He seems eager to learn more, and gets a long well with Wendell. He eats with the guys at the house-sort of. He'll get food after everyone else does, then sits off a bit. Again, it's that culture of respect/honor, and for lack of a better work, position. He knows he is the employee, so culture there would say he doesn't eat with the boss, even if asked. I know Brian has said Lucy's brother/cousin/whatever Joe would never eat with them either, no matter how many times Henry told him to.

So, not the best of news this time, but God is still faithful! All that He wants to get accomplished will. What's that proverb about man planning his own way, but God directs his path?

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

ADVANCE-Gospelink September Newsletter

Also wanted to share THIS with you. This is the Gospelink monthly newsletter. As you will see, this month is about the Bible School in Zambia!

What's going on in Africa

Well, Brian and Wendell got to Zambia Monday night at 9 pm or so,arrived at the Zebra Lodge and went to bed about midnight. Tuesday was spent in town buying supplies, groceries, and checking in with a few people. They got to the school about dark, ran up to the house and things looked okay. They head back down to the main area where the cabins were and got settled in.
Jump ahead to today-things were not all okay at the house. The roof trusses were up; but not very well and not right. So today was spent fixing them. Tomorrow will be finishing up the fixing. MAYBE they will be able to start getting some steel up by the end of the day, but Brian wasn't sure.

The outside of the house looks great-John has planted flowers all around.
The container was locked up and all appears safe. Some of the plastic totes cracked under the weight that was on them, a few things were scoffed up, but nothing (towards the front anyway!) looked too out of sorts. The patio door made it! Brian said it hardly looked like much had moved or shifted at all! PRAISE!!
There is also a big fire today. It went around the back side of the college, but that part is out now. Both Big and Little Kaziemba were ablaze. Quite the fire for my big fire lover to watch!

Okay, so that is the overview, here's the more detailed section:
Flights and food were all good. Had a couple of boys on the first half of the long flight that wouldn't go to sleep, but otherwise all was well. South Africa has 45 movies you can choose to watch, plus video games, plus t.v. shows, and this is an overnight flight-our kids shouldn't have too many problems!
They stayed at the Zebra Lodge Monday night. They have a room that sleeps 10, so we will in all likelihood get a room there when we go, as we will be on the same flight schedule, but a different day of the week.
So Tuesday they got up, ate breakfast and went shopping-groceries for three weeks, lumber for the ceiling, fuel for the truck and backhoe, etc. Brian thinks all he will have left to buy are the doors and windows, plus a few household things we'll need (mosquito nets, charcoal cooker, etc).
Unfortunantely, while they were shopping someone stole the cooking oil off the truck. Henrich tried to run them down, but lost 'em. I guess everyone had either been in Lusaka or Chongwe on Tuesday. Brian spent most of the day riding around in the back of the truck.
He didn't sleep well that first night at the school. About 1:30 am his time he called. They had gone to bed at 9:30 and he'd been up twice already, thinking about some things the guys had already talked to him about. Wendell was sleeping well at that time!
Davis Daka, another national pastor and member of the Gospelink Zambia board has told Brian he will be coming out to help him on our house. I think he said Davis had to make a trip up north to talk to some people first, but he'd be back.

Back here, I am trying to get some things out of the way. If we are going to leave at the end of October, that month is going to be BUSY, so I am trying to get done what I can now. It's just not as easy to stay up late working on stuff when I am up two or three times with Henry. Then, it's harder to take a nap in the afternoon, because there is more I want to do-but we have school to do before I can get to them.... I can hear the violins playing, can't you??? I am working on address changes, picking international health insurance, choosing a new prayer card/bookmark, teaching school, doing a bible study, and all those other things that need to be done around the house. Thank goodness for my older girls! Cybil and Mariah are awesome helpers, and Greta is learning now too!
We have gone from 90% sure of our leave date to about 98%. One item came up that Brian needs to think about a little. I either need to book the tickets tomorrow or have them try to get the same day on hold again (then I have to figure out who can have strollers, car seats, what amount of baggage, customs in South Africa...)

Well, that's the quick update for now. There will be more of course. I may also be putting up some back posts that Brian wrote before going to Zambia in May, and one he wrote after coming back. They are good ones, and we don't want to lose them!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Prayer for next Zambia trip

Some of you may know this by now, and sorry in the delay for those who don't (it's been a busy week!), but... OUR CONTAINER MADE IT TO THE SCHOOL LAST WEDNESDAY!! YEAH!!!!!!!
Thank you SOOOOO much for your prayers these past 6 months or so to get it packed and shipped and through customs (duty free even!!!!) and to the school! It's amazing and so thrilling to know it is there and just waiting for Brian!!!!! So PRAISE GOD!

Prayer requests-
Brian and his dad are leaving on Sunday, Sept 7th and will return Monday, Sept 29th. In that three weeks they hope to get the house livable-roof/ceiling, running water/plumbing, etc.

Please pray for:
safety in travel-they leave Sunday, Sept 7th at 7 am and get there at 9 pm on Monday night. They leave to come back on Sunday, Sept 28 at 1:30 and get back that Monday at 1:30 pm
all the supplies they will need to purchase will be available (a quick praise that the exchange rate has gone up some)
that they will accomplish all that needs to be done in a safe, timely, efficient way
they will have fun and fellowship with the bible school staff that is on campus, continuing to develop relationships
health (for Bri, Wendell, and all those at home)
Kelly Jo and kids as they start a new school year
Brian's mom, Carole
The kids will be good listeners, that the time will go by quickly for them as they are without dad again for 3 weeks
final support to come in while Brian is gone
Kelly Jo doing preparations here to leave at the end of October
FOR OUR HOUSE TO SELL (as someone said, time to switch from container prayers to major house sale prayers!)
Zambian people as they finish mourning the death of a beloved president, who was a believer. 90 days after his funeral (9-3) there will be an election for the new president. Please pray that the peaceful democracy they have had and been known for will continue. That they will celebrate the President's legacy by having peaceful elections

Brian & Kelly Jo


Brian's dad is going to Zambia with him!!! Thanks for praying about that!