"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

Wednesday, December 31, 2008


Time for another book recommendation!! We were given this book before we left from Ginny’s sister Kathy. Packed away it got and finally unpacked a few weeks ago. This is a book of “sand castles” as Steve puts it-stories and proofs of God at work in everyday life. If nothing else, he hopes that you read and then take the time to pass down your own sand castles from your own life to your family, the big and the small. That is some-what also the purpose of this blog. I know we need to do a better job! Just for ourselves as well-we need to look back each day and see God at work in the big and small, the daily stuff of life-like Henry sleeping through the night when I am sick (by the way, I figured out what makes me sick at night-guinea eggs-just can’t eat them or have them in any of my other food), the ladies coming down to take my laundry when I am overwhelmed…it doesn’t have to be great and miraculous each time. It’s great when they are and it encourages us and others too, but we don’t need them to have faith-we don’t always need the miracles. The miracles are often for others to draw them to God and see His work in our changed lives. But it is the constant knowledge that He is always with us that sustains us through the day. The knowledge that He cares for little ol’me and all my problems in the bush of Africa and that He would send His Son to die for me, worthless wretch that I was. But PRAISE BE TO GOD! His amazing grace and mercy have washed me clean and I am as white as snow. Hallelujah…AMEN!

the new normal

That’s what this is. Driving the bush road home, freaking out in traffic, and long waits for everything in town-it’s all normal now. Two months here nd this is home now and this is what we are doing. There have been a few times on the drive home where it just struck me that this isn’t weird anymore. Going on a game drive in Africa, even that didn’t feel so odd. It’s just like, hello-I am in Africa! We’ve talked about it, and for the most part we both feel we have been blessed with the ability to adapt to wherever we are. We may not always like it, but it is what it is and we are okay with it. We just go on, going on and doing what we are supposed to do.


It is all about aggressive driving, something I do not do well. I don’t picture myself driving in Lusaka any time soon. When the light turns red, it’s usually about five cars later before someone decides to stop. Or there is a load of cars stuck in the middle of the turn and it is the next green before you can go anyway. It is very surprising that we haven’t seen more accidents. We have seen some pretty close calls where they missed each other literally by inches. Your brakes HAVE to work well. You also have to be willing to pull out quickly if you want to get anywhere. We have a manual transmission and a diesel-not the smoothest of rides or easiest to drive. Nope, if I brave it to Chongwe during the dry season I will amaze myself. Probably won’t do it during the rainy season yet-the water splashes into the back seats if the windows are open and the roof is often wet too. We are doing some serious “off-roading” to get to our place! We are definitely in the bush. We just got some new tires and they have really helped. The white 5 ton truck has been stuck twice already. They went out and filled in many of the holes on the back side of this road, but there are still some sticky spots.


Chico’s dad is very rich-he has many, many cows; many cows that he would be willing to give for Hailey. Chico really liked Hailey at the Sunday market-he even gave her a free wooden cross that he made. We then felt obligated to buy something from his stand, so I am sure there were plenty of girls Chico liked!

two more!!

Two more packages arrived last week! My mom sent one on 11/24 , that took a little over a month to get here. Carol and women’s bible study sent one on 12/4 that was priority package that took about 3 weeks. The kids also got some letters that were dated 12/10. Talk about a little creativity too-Carol called some of the kid;s toys “diversionary items”. Thank you so much! While we look forward to emails too, there is just something about a paper letter that we love to get too. And letters are just as good as packages, really!

six hours

That is how long it took me to wash the bathrooms and main room floors the other day. I had to stop a few times to feed Henry, get stuff for the girls ready, etc, but yes, from beginning to end it was six hours. Did I mention it was all by hand? I bought a new mop, but before the sponge hit the floor it was broke. And Brian broke the handle on my other one that I brought over, so I am out of luck for now I guess.

Sunday, December 28, 2008


sorry it's been awhile again. I do have about 4 or 5 posts written out on paper. Now I just need to type them up. We are on the way to the Sunday market with Tim, and maybe up to a game drive if the weather holds. Will work on typing lots this week!
Happy Holidays!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Since I finally got online again…

…here are some quick notes. Packages seem to be taking a long time. Don’t know the reason, partly Christmas I suppose. Remember bigger isn’t always better. The priority mail envelopes or boxes work good-at least they get out of the US at priority. THANK YOU BONNIE!! We got your package today!!!
Cell coverage is horrible too. I can get connected, but nothing transmits. I am sure it will be like this now through the rest of the rainy season, so unfortunately, communication is going to be limited. Well, that and I need to keep my bundles up! Found out today I was out, and had lost some time from before, that’s why it was connecting well, but poorly transmitting.
Doing clothes pretty much sucks too. One load last week was on the line for four days before we got it dry. Doing the diapers is tough-we get down to nothing because they won’t dry. A little sun every few days would be nice, or enough breeze to dry wouldn’t hurt.
We’ll try to take many pictures when Tim is here that he can upload when he gets home for us.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

kitchen party

Okay, let’s see how much I can remember! The invitation said noon sharp, presents wrapped in tea towels (dish clothes). I got there at 2:45 or so and missed nothing-heck I was early. I think Henrich told them I was coming as everyone knew who this lone white woman was (yes, I was the only white person there all day). Lucy, Gladys and Christine were still not there.
As we arrived they trilled and whatnot to announce us. As soon as I got there, they took the gift, a gal grabbed Henry and they escorted me into the gym (it was at a boy’s high school gym). The music was so loud I could not hear the person next to me. I sat for a few minutes by myself, and then went out. They were worried I was lonely; I just said I couldn’t take the music. During this time various women were dancing here or there. They really have no inhibitions or reservations about dancing. It almost made me uncomfortable in my Western way-of-thinking mind. They were just having fun. They enjoyed when someone would really “get it on”, laughing and cheering and having a great time. One of these days Lucy said they were going to teach me to dance their way. See, to my Western mind though, I see the way they dance as having a very sexual connotation to it, probably because all the dancing is done below the hips. In the West, we would think they were “hussies” out on the floor. I will have to ask them about these sometime too.
Anyway, while we were all arriving, the bride-to-be was veiled waiting in the car for her entrance. Oh yes, everyone is supposed to have fun at the kitchen party, except the bride. She did not smile at all that I saw once we were all inside. Apparently she is supposed to look sad, because she is leaving her family. So she had to sit on the mattress on the floor without smiling or enjoying herself.
About 4 pm they begin serving the food. Quite a variety-it was okay-a little cool by the time we got through. But they had cold pop!! And kept coming around with it-I probably had 3 or 4 pops in two hours.
Finally about 4:40 pm the “committee” and her family went out to get her. They danced her in. She was under a blanket (think a Chinese dragon costume-could barely see her at all). She sat covered on the mattress on the floor between her two mentors that taught her how to care for her husband. Oh husband-back up. Henrich had to do a dowry-a suit for her dad, mom and a container for carrying min-coy-yo (sweet beer). They were planning to have a big wedding too a couple months ago, but someone in her family died, so they had to use all the money for the funeral. So they are finally doing a very simple “getting together” around the 21st.
So, the bride is in and there is dancing. Finally they say it’s time for the family to get the groom. Well, we are considered family, so out I went with the ladies to get Henrich. On the way in they sang a song asking God to be the leader in their marriage, and we danced him in. Yes, we. I did the white woman shuffle in with them. It’s going to take me a little more warming up to dance too much with them! Once up front we sang, than the MC brought out the basket to take offerings. Henrich had to pay to be able to lift her veil. The MC kept trying to drum up more money.
Finally Henrich puts in his money and they cheer. He then goes to her feet and rolls the veil very slowly up to her face where he is to look at her. They put hands on each other’s shoulders and finally he says “yes, this is my bride” to much cheers. (no smiles from her remember) They gave a big smooch and then that was done.
We go to sit down and now she wants to present him with a gift. She very slowly, sadly dances up to him and takes about 3 minutes to very slowly kneel in front of him and give him a gift. After this the couple dances out and Henrich leaves. The bride comes back in. Basically she is escorted everywhere and told what to do.
After this there is more eating, talking and dancing. About 5:30 we just have to leave. It is very hard to drive in the dark here. Everything is SOOO dark that when a vehicle comes to you, you are about blinded. Problem is, there are people often biking or walking on the side of the road. Very hard to see and very dangerous.
So, this is what we missed: The gifts are all laid out in front of the bride. They would have called my name and then I was supposed to go tell her what I got her. “This ladle is to dish out the relish for your husband’s meal” and so on. Everyone does that, because part of this is instructing a woman how to care for her husband. It looked like they had a very good party! The committee all puts so much money in for food, decorations, gift, etc. They got her a stove, Henrich’s family got her a fridge, I also saw a kitchen table and chairs, lots of dishes, cooking pots, etc. I thought I maybe brought too much, but I probably should have brought more looking at the things others brought. The kitchen party is a very big deal.
If I understood right, we also missed the part where the married women tell her how to “take care of her man”. There are no children there because of this, so I am only imaging what that may be!
Overall it was good. The music was just too loud for me, but otherwise it was fun. If I knew a few more people and what else was happening it would have been better. Don’t know when I will get to another party, but at least now I know what to expect!

lots of stuff

I do have a list of things to blog about. We will see how far we get. The truth is, by the time evening comes and the generator is on, I am too tired to think about what to write. I have no memory at this time. I don’t remember where I put anything. Now granted, part of this is because we have moved things so many times; I just can’t keep up with where they ended up. But sometimes I will put some thing down and two minutes later be looking for it. It is very frustrating and annoying, but I just can’t keep everything straight.
We started school again last week. This year we are studying Rome to the Reformation. We are reading a lot about Julius Caesar and Octavian right now. It’s nice to have a little structure during the day, but some days we get behind on the work, so I would prefer not to do school and just get caught up, but it can’t work that way all the time, or we would never get anything done!
A BIG PRAISE!! We have renters for the house! Four college girls moved in. Their rent covers the house payment and hopefully the heat, so we are doing okay with that for now. Thanks for praying.
PLEASE PRAY! We are trying to find Uncle Tim a ticket to come and visit us next week for Christmas. Please pray we are able to find a decent priced, not- too-extended layover ticket. It would be a real blessing to us to have him here.
So apparently EVERYONE in Africa loves babies!! People (Africans, Middle Eastern, Westerns, Aussie, etc) everywhere stop to look to at Henry, whether they have a baby of their own with them or not. And they love to show babies off-whether its theirs or not! At the “kitchen party” ladies would take him to hold, next thing I know they have their camera phones out taking pictures with the baby! Pastor Henry has baby Henry’s picture as his opening screen photo. It was a good thing I hogged Henry when he was first born. I don’t get too hold him much in church and at events now! I just walk by holding him and hands are extended. We had a lady stop us at the mall and count the kids, and just think it was incredibly great that we have 7 kids (she was British or Aussie, I can’t tell the accents apart yet).
Any one out there have some cellular knowledge? We are wondering if there is an antenna we can buy or build to help with reception at our place. We are having a horrible time. I can get online fairly well, and there are a few hot spots where we can get good coverage, but it’s not real great. We have people tell us they are trying to call but never get through.
Which the next thing is calling. If you call and get a long slow beep, it didn’t go through, it’s not busy. If the phone is off or we are out of the coverage area, a lady will tell you that. We may just be at home, but it’s not going through. The coverage is just very fickle. If you would like to call us (please do!), it may be best to try set up a time-email to tell us a day and time and we will go to one of the areas where we know the coverage is better. We can also get phone texts; I just don’t know what it costs you.
We have a Cliff Clavin postman too. He only goes to get the mail when he feels like it. I know of 4 packages on the way for almost a month now. I think one is here that we have to go pick up. Sometimes he says the truck didn’t come, other times he says he didn’t go get it yet. Now we have his phone number so we can call and ask him if anything is there at least, so we don’t waste gas.
Any one out there know anything about propane refrigerators? Ours isn’t working the greatest. It stays cold, the freezer won’t freeze (and I really liked my ice when it did work well!). According to the not very helpful little book, we may have a problem with “incomplete combustion.”
So I was told our last blogs have seemed like we are a little overwhelmed :-). That’s probably because I (Kelly) have been doing most of the writing. Especially when I am getting tired, I just write the facts and don’t do too much detail. Where’s the beauty? What does it look like? Sorry, that is Brian’s specialty! Right now it’s really only green. Not much for colors except the ones around our trees in the flower beds that we planted. The rainy season is just started, so things are green, but not blooming too much. It’s honestly not too much different than some areas of Sibley State Park in Minnesota, except the ground is red clay, not black dirt. We haven’t really been out at night yet to see the stars and sunsets-hopefully soon. I will have to have Brian write more later!
Another PRAYER! Myron fell and banged his mouth (I think I told you that already). Well, his mouth and lips are still pretty swollen, and now it looks like he has a thrush or fungus in his mouth from it being open so much. He, along with some of the other kids, are developing canker sores too, which could possibly be from the malarone (our malaria medicine). We will switch to another medicine for them and see if that is taken care of. Greta also had a loose tooth that she just refused to let us pull out despite the fact that was barely hanging there. It looks as though the gum area became infected before we finally got it out. So her mouth too is swollen, and her lips dried out (she is also one with canker sores). She just doesn’t look happy at all, she can barely talk it hurts so. Pray both of them would heal quickly.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

December newsletter

December newsletter is linked on the left. For those who get it in the mail or at church, should be coming in the next week or two!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

the boy update

Henry is the baby, so he gets the most pictures up!! The one thing I don't miss, hearing "oh he's so fat! Look at those legs!" all the time. Yes, I have very big, HEALTHY babies! We think he is getting teeth-he is chewing on everything! He is also at the stage where he doesn't want to be left alone all the time because he gets bored.

Joe lost his first tooth. He is having the hardest time with behavior problems. Please continue to pray for us and him.

Myron is like a steam engine that goes until he runs out of steam. He is most often found outside with John working (in his underwear). He enjoys peeing off the steps. Yesterday he hit his mouth on the rocking chair and pushed back one of his front teeth. It makes him look like he lost a tooth!

Kid Updates

Cybil is doing well-being a big helper, but a little too much of a mother at times!! She seems to like to help the ladies more than me. She is adjusting very well.

Mariah I think, grew again. She looks six feet tall when she wraps her chitangas around here. She also likes going down to the school to help the ladies. Her only problem is she is very S-L-O-W when you ask her to do ANYTHING. Besides Myron, she is the most "African" of the kids.

Greta is losing teeth. Got her first note and flower from one of the boys. She is very excited for her birthday next week.

Hailey loves to play and sing, just as before. She likes getting her hair braided. She started her first workbook for school this year and would do it all in one day if I let her. She has two loose teeth.

Friday, December 5, 2008

my first bath in Africa...

...was not as great as i wanted it to be. I have been craving a bath since we got here, but figured i wouldn't fit in the 22 gal totes. We did find one that is larger, so the other morning i had a warm bath. It was cramped, but i didn't have to have my knees to my chest the whole time.
Unfortunately I only needed to take that bath because I had been sick again. Tuesday night something hit me hard and i was on the toilet coming out both ends for about 4 hours. Finally things settled down and I moved to the couch where I only threw up a few more times before getting water to stay down and sleeping through the night. Not sure what it was-probably food poisoning. Some of the veggies Henry picked up for us didn't look that great. Thankfully I was the only one who got it though!! It wiped me out for most of the next day too; I suppose I was still a little run-down from the migraine the other day. I feel fine now, just getting a little more tired faster. The ladies did my laundry and made me rest (darn!).
I am suppose to go to a "kitchen party" (aka bridal shower) on Sunday. Don't know how long I will stay, but it should be very interesting from what I have heard already!

the date, African style

Since we're in Africa, better start using the African dates...
Finished the ceiling in the main room today and half the ceiling In the other bathroom. The plan is to finish the 2nd bathroom so we have a place to bath. From there move into one of the bedrooms. I’m also supposed to have some oxen and a plow come by to work up some ground for me since the tractor is not running and the plow is in pieces. I have also planted about 200 seeds in pots and bags so far. Most of my moringa trees are about 3 inches tall already. Even got a little grass started around the house to try and keep the mud down once the rains really start. Had Zimba wash my vehicle today, actually he suggested it. It must have looked bad. I don’t have my brother (Tim) here to do it for me. I don’t think Zimba is quite as thorugh as Tim but he did pretty good. Zimba works for a lot less than Tim does too.
Got the ceiling, floor, toilet, and tub in the master bath today. No water hooked to the tub yet, that is going to take a little African engineering on my part to get that done.
Had a rather long staff meeting yesterday. I laid out a few things for the guys.
1. If you are operating a peace of equipment and something breaks or is damaged, I WANT TO KNOW IMMEDIATELY! One of the other guys used the gator the other day and had driven over a thorn bush. Wreaked all 4 tires. Tried to use glue to plug some of the holes and acted to me like everything was fine. I was a little upset J you might say. I talked to them about what it is going to take for this college to succeed. I had told them that they will need to work 6 days a week. They disagreed; I told them GOD only took one day off and so are we. These guys do not understand what it is going to take for this collage to succeed. I think I do; being satisfied with just surviving is not good enough. I know that is all some of these guys know but there needs to be change, a paradigm shift. They are content and that is not a bad thing, but when your contentedness breeds idleness it becomes a curse and not a blessing. I shared with them what I have experienced, what it took and the sacrifices required. All they told me about was all the Zambian holidays that they don’t work on, they also don’t work on Saturday or Sunday. With the proper motivation, guidance, and supervision the work can and will get done but I know I will need to be there to stay on top of it. I learned that lesson several times so far the hard way.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008


Friday night I started getting a migraine, like the go to the ER type-not good. I took a Zomig, a few advil and fell asleep. I couple hours later Henry woke up to eat so after that I took another Zomig, more advil, then had Brian pray over me (we’ve been dealing with a few things lately). I also started feeling sick so I took a pill for nausea. I got out of bed around 8:30 am. By 10 or so I was in the chair sleeping. For the next 5-6 hours I woke only to tell kids to be quiet or get Henry latched on to eat. I just couldn’t stay awake; I felt too weak. The headache was gone though! But I wasn’t well enough to make cake for everyone. So I did that Sunday. It turned out pretty good with my gas stove. Some of the older girls from the college did my dishes-well, they washed with water and rinsed with the soapy water. Sad part is, they got the dishes cleaner that way than Cybil and Mariah usually do!!
In all fairness, we had gone to Lusaka by ourselves- just dad , mom & Henry. We got to eat at a nicer restaurant, so I had a little birthday. The kids stayed at Daniel and Gladys’s and David and Christine’s. The kids had a great time. Myron and Mariah had nshima and caterpillars for lunch. I think those 2 are more African then any of the others. Mya likes to go back and eat lunch with Zimba. He sits by him by the hot coals and watches John cook and partakes what ever he gets. You also can not keep any clothes on him. You’re lucky if he’s wearing underwear-it helps for potty training though. He is just plain trouble but none of the Africans would ever consider getting after him or telling him no. The Africans are always worried he is cold. They don’t realize the climate we come from. 75 degrees and cloudy is not cold. His butt and his hair are about the only things white anymore and if he runs around naked any longer, it will only be his hair!! Mariah seems to love to where the shtangi’s and strap a kid to her back. She is now practicing caring things on her head.


(BRI) A day to give thanks. I really had a hard time being thankful. It really didn’t feel like thanksgiving. I wasn’t at the farm watching my mom getting all worked up over getting all the food ready; watching my dad become annoyed with her; wondering when my brother and his family were going to show up. Sit around and eat too much, watch the football game, maybe take a nap, than wake up and eat some more.
Here it just felt like any other day. We tried to make it Thanksgiving. For me it felt more like a day of mourning than a day of Thanksgiving; emotionally it was draining. I knew it would be different, I just did not expect it to be that hard. For me it would have been easier if we wouldn’t have tried to make it a holiday and just gone about business as usual. But I’m not sure if that would have been the best for everyone else.

(KJ) The first thanksgiving was harder for Bri than he thought it would be. The first Thanksgiving ever from farm and family there. I baked some chickens, potatoes with turkey gravy and baked beans. The people here don’t really know Thanksgiving, so I briefly told them.
We asked the kids what they were thankful for. Hailey was thankful for making new friends, Cybil was thankful we got the books out (we just bought some more bookshelves and had been finally going through the books). Brian also asked how the kids were doing. For the most part they all said that it wasn’t that different-work, play, read-just like before. They get to watch movies at night sometimes just like the States too. We’ll look to start school this week, so that will even be more like home. There are extra kids at the school this month as the kids go to school three months, then one month off, etc.
My folks called, so did Brian’s. We are really not in a good area for cell coverage, so sometimes calling is a royal pain. I will write a post about how to call some time soon. We have to walk down to the main area of the college to get better reception-it depends on our weather, your weather, etc.
We may have possible renters for our house. Please pray for that.
We have not sold our van either. Continue to pray for that as well.
Looking ahead-what will Christmas be like? Just another day? At least the Africans celebrate Christmas. There has been stuff in the stores since we got here. At the local church everyone chips in 1500 kwacha (about 35 cents) and they have a big meal together.
There is mud everywhere-it is hard to keep things clean. I don’t even want to try anymore. I get really tired of the mess (well, with 7 kids there is always a mess). I am losing some gumption though. Since we are basically done with all the sorting for now, the adreline rush is gone and it is hard to want to keep at things. I had a really hard time doing laundry yesterday. Basically I did a poor job and the ladies redid it all while I was on the phone with my folks.

preaching again

Two Sundays ago I preached, which is a very common occurrence here. There are times when I find it difficult to decide what to preach on and times when it is easy. This time it was rather difficult. I spent most of Saturday praying and thinking about what to preach on. I had several different ideas but nothing would come together. I started to think about how to best to make Scripture personal. I came to the parable of the sower in Luke ch.8. It talks about the different ground that the seed falls on and what happens and why. Right now Zambians are preparing there fields for planting. I asked them to inspect the different fields of their heart. Some fields have been well cared for and continue to produce good fruit. Other fields have been neglected and need work to produce a plentiful harvest. And some ground has never been worked and it will take a lot of work to clear that ground but in the end it will be worth it because of what it will produce. The seeds planted is the WORD OF GOD. GOD provides the seed, rain, and the sun; but we must do the work of getting the ground ready, pulling weeds, loosening the soil, ect. Than after the seed is planted there is much work of maintaining the field, keeping it clean of weeds and protecting it from thieves who would seek to damage or steal the crop.