"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

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

they made it!

Grandma and Grandpa arrived just fine-very tired!
Fred and Wendell have been working on the disc and now trying to see what they can do with the backhoe. Grandma's been working in the house with the girls.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

TO DO LIST (with only a little whining)

--Kelly’s driver license-one day
--Registration cards-one half day (hopefully)
--Vehicle change-police department, revenue house, road traffic- 1 to 2 days
--Family time

--Curtains in all rooms
--Bath 1-take out leaking tub, put in new one, paint, put in sink, finish floor
--Bath 2-paint, find and put in shower, finish floor, finish around sink
--paint outside of house
--finish painting door trim

--ongoing accounting that Kelly does-going to the bank to even check a balance is often a two hour job.
-maintenance on all vehicles
-make sure there is insurance on all vehicles, that they have all been in for fitness inspections, get road tax paid on each-1 to 2 days
-finish fixing on red truck, get ready to sell, sell (this will be on the back burner for a while)
-get red bus fixed before 4-20-09 when the first group comes
--Full inventory of all equipment and shop items
-plant and maintain gardens, try to grow enough to feed students and summer teams
-over see students working in the gardens (and elsewhere on campus)
-maintenance on everything from leaking faucets to general making it look nice

--get as many supplies as possible before teams come-cement, rebar, wire, meal, steel-plus regular student supplies
--help to oversee finding of welder, placement and digging of footings/foundations
--get backhoe fixed

WOW!! What a list, eh? As you can see, right now there are not a lot of agriculture items on the list, which is of course what I came here to do, primarily. Unfortunately, to get to that point there is a lot of infrastructure at the school that we must help out with as we are the only ones here right now. In the near future, hopefully after summer teams are gone and our family takes a little break/regrouping time, I will be able to get to that at least three-fourths of the time! (What do you think you will be doing on the mission field…)
Who helps me? The students are able to do some, but must be overseen by David, Henry or I. They aren’t here as a free labor force, so there is really only so much we can expect them to do.
Henry-he is going to begin getting supplies, especially when the students are on break. But he has also needed to be teaching.
Kelly-she often goes in to help keep Henry on track for getting supplies. But then she loses a school day, actually two as we don’t have regular house help now. The day after coming back is often catching up on housework and laundry.
David-he does a lot of overseeing of the students and works with them
Everyone here looks to us for guidance, should we do this or that? So there is always something, always pressure. We need to keep things running smoothly, there are money matters, don’t waste supplies, try to keep people on task...
So why am I telling you all this? Because we need prayer! Prayer for patience, for restraint when things are crazy and frustrating, but most importantly FOR GOD’S LEADING. Just what is the priority for us? What order do things need to be done? How to possibly get it all done within a reasonable amount of time. Things that take an hour in the States, we plan for half a day at least. That really cuts into our time. We could take at least a week and be in town everyday and there would be a good chance we still wouldn’t get all the business for ourselves and Gospelink done.
Of course now we have visitors too! And we believe that is God’s direct intervention of behalf of all of your prayers! In the almost 5 months we have been here, we have only been away from the school for about 1 ½ days when Tim was here. Otherwise, we are really only going to town for supplies, or a half day for fellowship. WE NEED A BREAK! And of course maybe the timing isn’t the best with summer teams coming, but God knows this. Maybe it is the best as we will be going high speed for the next 3 or so months while teams are here. This is God FORCING us to take a break-for our good!


We have been buying a lot of mealie meal lately. Every time we go to town we pick up as many bags as we can (there is a limit due to shortages), if there is any-often the shelves are empty. We are buying meal for people out here so they don’t have to take transport or ride a bike 20 km into Chongwe to get it. No, it is not free, they pay us for it, or if they can’t, a few have been able to work for it. This is hungry season. Corn won’t be ready to harvest for a while yet.
We also get many people who come up and want to talk to us about a “problem.” Often they need money so they will try to sell us something or work for it. Sometimes we say no of course, we can’t do it all. Kelly has more of a problem saying no than me, she often refers them to me. We have 12 students here now who work as part of their scholarship to be here-we have to have enough work for them first, so some times there isn’t any thing for them to do. We want to be helpful, but not enable. This ties in with gift giving some too. Most of the people that come up DO NOT want handouts, and they don’t want to be seen as crooks either. They have a healthy respect for us, maybe because I am not afraid to say no, or pay for shoddy work. This past summer many of the locals got to know me. Again, I was their boss, but they have reciprocated respect, because I treated them with respect. They shared meals with me, joked with me, etc. And we do want them to feel they can come to us with problems, and know we will help as best we can. There is no right or wrong or set guideline for how we can help. Each case is different, each person is different, and you just need to trust that the Holy Spirit is going to lead you in what, if anything to do.


We are finally getting to some of our personal business. Within the first 30 days of being here we were suppose to get drivers license, registration cards, and switch ownership on our vehicle. It didn’t get done. We hit the ground running, didn’t have anyone to leave the kids with long enough to do it, and then the computers at road traffic were down, then we went in but they didn’t have papers…
Well, Brian got stopped and luckily talked his way out of a fine because his Minnesota Drivers License was no longer valid because he had been here more than 30 days. So we had to go in for those. We went in Monday morning and were cruising along, not believing our luck that the lines were short, the papers were getting signed, so going to the other building for a pass certificate…we’d be done by 10 am! Then...the picker. As of the first of the year, all foreigners have to take a ROAD TEST for a license, unless you are a diplomat. AAGHH!! We had no idea what this meant. Drive in Lusaka? On a course? How hard was it? Well, I had only driven the truck once since we got here and did not feel comfortable scheduling a test. But Brian did. So at 2 pm we had to drive out to the boonies to take the test. It was a closed road course, no problem. But there was this backing up thing that you had to do. I got way nervous and was glad I didn’t pay the fee to take the test. Finally Brian gets to his test, but they don’t make him do the backing up. AAGH! I should have done mine that day too! You just never know. So anyway, he passed and his license is on the way. Now I still have to go get mine-another day in town, but I have my provisional, so I think I have 90 days.
Good news though! I found out we could get our registration cards in Chongwe instead of having to go to Lusaka!! We need to be in by 9 am someday, so maybe that part will only take ½ day instead of the whole thing!
It will take a day to get police clearance on our vehicle change, go to the Revenue House to get tax certificate on the truck, and then probably another day to go back to Road Traffic and make it official. Unfortunately, we such a large population there are just lines everywhere. They say the middle of the month is better, but it’s hard to say. We are looking at finding a cheap place to stay over night to do some of this business stuff and not drive in and out, but then we have the kids to deal with. We just can’t take them to all these places and keep our sanity. Hopefully if we can get our truck fixed we can do a thing or two when the grandparents are here. They can stay here with them and we can get done what we can. But they say the end and beginning of months are the busy times; plus the first quarter is over, so it is hard to say how busy the lines will be. We just keep plugging away piece by piece.
But it really is a picker that we had to wait this long, and not be able to miss out on the driving test!


Often we throw things away, only to find someone looking in the garbage to see if there is anything they can use-butter containers, milk jugs, things we just take for granted. Usually they will ask if they can take it. We have also gone through our books and clothes since being here. We will usually give them away-to the basic schools around, to the ladies, to John, to the church. They are always appreciative. But sometimes we don’t give away, we sell. I had several nicer containers that I didn’t use or need. I could have given them to the ladies, but instead I charged 1000 kwacha each-right now about 20 cents. Fair price they told me. They don’t always want handouts-they have respect for themselves too, they are not just looking for freebies.
Usually if we do give a gift, sooner or later we will get something back-boiled peanuts, corn, whatever. John has brought us chili peppers from his garden too. It’s about friendship, respect. Sometimes we give, and don’t get anything back, and that’s okay too.
The other day Witness brought me a broom that he had made. It was very nice work. He said at market it would sell for about 4000 kwacha. That is also the cost of a pile of tomatoes, so it is a big deal to them. It was an exchange of gifts between friends. He works for Gospelink sometimes, yes, but he also is Brian’s friend who sometimes just comes to hang out. I had to get after him though. His wife is due to have a baby in the next month and he hadn’t even told us yet! Maybe they just don’t tell or get as excited as we do right away due to high mortality rates. Carol (Lackson, the night guard’s wife), Patrick’s wife (lives down the road) are also due any time. Babies Babies!


I asked God to take away my pride, and God said, “No”. He said it was not for Him to take away but for me to give up.
I asked God to make my handicapped child whole and God said, “No.” He said the body is only temporary.
I asked God to grant me patience and God said, “No.” He said patience is a by-product o tribulation. It isn’t granted, it’s earned.
I asked God to give me happiness and God said, “No.” He said He gives His blessings. Happiness is up to me.
I asked God to spare me from pain and God said, “No.” H said sufferings draw you apart from worldly cares and brings you closer to Him.
I asked God to make my spirit grow and God said, No.” He said I must grow on my own, but he will prune me to make me fruitful.
I asked God if He love me and God said, “Yes.” He gave His only Son who died for me and I will be in heaven someday because I believe.
I asked God to help me love others as much as He loves me and God said, “Ah, finally you have the idea!”
--Source Unknown


I didn’t get a chance to post these quotes before. But I thought they were good ones, so I wanted to get them up anyway. While going through the first few months of being here and transitioning, I happened to pick up Barbara Johnson’s, “Pack Up Your Gloomies in a Great Big Box, Then Sit on the Lid and Laugh!” I had never read any of her stuff before; I thought she was more of a comedic writer. It turns out it was a great time for me to read it. Most of it didn’t apply, but I caught some things here or there that made me think, or encouraged me. So I decide I would throw them out to you all. Maybe we’ll get some discussion.

“When the flood waters of the cesspool have come up to your very soul, you don’t need challenges; you need COMFORT. You need a friend to come alongside and say, “I am hurting with you...I am standing with you…I am weeping with you. I am undergirding you as best I can. Link your shield of faith with mine and somehow we will make it together.” Pg. 13

Thank you to all that did this with us during our tough times. You don’t know how far your words of support went. I am sure it got a little depressing to read, wondering why we were even here if nothing good was happening. Thank you for supporting us by your clicks on the website to know that you still cared and were praying. We know you got just a small taste of the realities of living on the mission field in the first term.

“Whatever comes to any of us is sent or allowed by God.” p.15

Ouch-that’s a tough one! Do you agree?

“Do you use God to solve your problems? Or do you use your problems to find God?” p.15

“When we believe that nothing comes to us except through our heavenly Father, then suffering begins to make a little sense to us-not much, I admit, but a little bit, and that’s all God needs to work in our lives, just a mustard seed of faith. Then we can see that God is using our pain to work something in us that is redemptive. Every trial or broken relationship goes into God’s oven and eventually we begin to “smell” like cake or fresh bread. Even our suffering counts for something!” p.17

“God calls us to be faithful; He did not promise we would be successful.” P.101

Another very tough one to reconcile. This could lead us to Roman 8:28, “but we know that in all things, God works for the good of those who love Him, who are called according to His purposes.” Just who decides what “the good” is? Are we willing to let God decide that? Or is He suppose to live and abide by our standards of success? And is God bigger than our mistakes? Our running ahead of Him? Sure, we know He is. But it says He works for our good. Does that also mean sometimes He lets us suffer the consequences of our mistakes or premature leading? In school the kids are talking choices and consequences, using the Peacemakers material. Whose choice is it? Is it a good choice or bad choice? If it is your choice, whose consequences is it? YOURS! Will they be good consequences or bad consequences (from an earthly perspective)? Are not the bad ones also a way that God uses to allow good things for us? God is sovereign and just and He loves us. As an earthly parent, I love my kids enough to discipline them. How much more does God the Perfect Father who loves us to let us suffer through the ramifications of our pride, lust, our sin so that He might be able to work out the good for us?

Friday, March 20, 2009

prayer request

please pray for our truck, it's having some major problems. brian can fix much, but he is not a diesel mechanic!

we have to pick up the folks on monday, and tomorrow is the monthly missionary fellowship the kids look forward to all month. we can't go without a miracle right now!

Fred is here and we are already loving it!! pray for our time together.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

trying to get a bunch of notes in...but going to run out of time

yes we have bats in the attic. Brian decided that they eat bugs, so leave them. He was up working in there-they just kept sleeping.

anyone have a good, BASIC avocado recipe?

One of the guineas died-John thinks it was from some type of ticks?? Not sure.

I think i mentioned we started raising some rabbits?

Did I mention that when we came home from the Rodgers we found two chicken legs on the lawn? That was ALL THAT WAS LEFT! Apparently Christine's rooster wanted to fight-and he lost!


on the way to the airport tomorrow morning to pick up Fred, from our home church.

AND SURPRISE!!! DON'T TELL THE KIDS!! We are picking up the Grandparents Kallevig on Monday for a 2 1/2 week visit!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Just a whole bunch of stuff!

A thankful welcome to the New London Covenant Church of New London, Minnesota who has joined our group of supporting churches. Their church’s website is www.nlcovchurch.org.

Our water pressure is only so-so. Someone told us about an inline systems that we should try, but we have no info on it. So any plumbers out there have any info they could pass on to us?? We looked at geysers here in Lusaka. Basically it’s just a tank that builds up. We do have a tank we could hook up outside the house and use. But I was told about this other thing and despite how vague my description is, does anyone have ideas??

The other day I finally went out and got a scale. I knew that I had been losing the baby weight, clothes were loose. But let’s face it, I am still an American woman who has to have the news from the scale to believe it! But now, I am Zambian too as I am willingly telling you my weight . Only not quite, because I am happy it is going down, not up! I am at 60 kg. When I came in November I was probably around 82 kg-I hadn’t tried too hard to lose the baby weight since we were going to Africa-I was enjoying food!
I told Lucy, Christine, and Carol about Henry being about 10 kg, so then I had to bring the scale out so they could all weigh themselves. Lucy and Christine were about 70 kg each and thrilled. Carol is due to have a baby any day and she is about the same as me, which is a lot for her. Lucy said when she had one of her babies she was only 49 kg!
So Henry is 10 kg.
Joe is 17
Hailey is 19. She has slimmed down a bit as she has gotten taller.
Greta is 24.
Myron is 16, he’s gotten a lot taller and more of a linebacker look.
Cybil is 43. She has really slimmed down a lot since being here.
Mariah is up to 48. She has gotten a little taller, but is now finally starting to put weight on. She was too skinny when we got here. The ladies have commented on both Cybil and Mariah. They also claim Mariah is our Zambian daughter too!
Brian is down to about 62 kg. His belts are all too big. And I think this is the first time in our whole married life when I have weighed less than him!!
(Okay I will tell you…1 kg = 2.2 pounds)

Someone came through the other day selling goat meat. We bought a front leg, hind leg, and part of the neck. The legs we cut in pieces and cooked on skewers. It was okay-quite salty as Brian dumped a bunch of meat tendereizer on it before cooking. He didn’t put it on soon enough though, as it was very tough! Today I am boiling the rest to get the meat off, then will try to make some type of stew. It actually turned out quite good!
We also had rabbit today. Yesterday we went to visit the Rodgers in Chongwe. Check out their blog, www.therodgerstribe.blogspot.com to read about it. Anyway, we visited with them, then the guys went to go pack up the rabbits and put them in the truck. Of course, we started visiting again (not us-not the ones who stayed at a friend’s house until 4 am talking!). a few hours later we finally leave, having around an hour to drive. We pull up, Brian puts the rabbits in the hutch and there is one dead one. The other three ended up okay. But one didn’t make it so we had it for lunch. Baked it like a chicken in my pampered chef crock with potatoes (from the garden!), a few carrots, peppers, and onions. It was really good and the kids liked it too.
Lackson also brought us another adder that he had shot with his slingshot (catapult they call it). As soon as John saw it, he yelled that we had “fish!”-that’s what Brian said the last one tasted like. Myron pointed at it and called out for another belt. We didn’t eat this one-it was longer and flatter so we thought it would be fatter, but there wasn’t much meat on it. There are so many bones in it that if there isn’t a lot of meat, it’s just a lot of work for not much.
And in response to Deron’s question, no-we really don’t hear much about kids getting snake bites. I don’t know why that is. I would assume there would be more too. But a lot of the snakes aren’t very aggressive. We’re told that some you can even step on and they won’t strike unless further provoked. Hard to say and know what to believe.

Our first foray into the world of termites…we moved one of the cupboards away from the wall to paint and found a line of termites. They had come up from the floor and onto the wall, then stretched to the cabinet. They ate away a bit on the back but not too much. What happens here is that they use the termite mounds for backfill as it is the cleansest stuff around. Of course that then means that you are purposely putting termites in the floor. It happened that there was a crack in the floor (surprise, surprise), so they were able to come up out of it. We knocked them off the wall and then sprayed the floor before putting the linoleum back down.
If you find a line, you pretty much just knock it down and life goes on. It’s been suggested you can pour some diesel on the crack too and that will help stop them. But considering our rafters are already soaked in kerosene (they mix it with the wood preservative to stretch it out and supposedly prevent termites-although the termites haven’t gotten that message, the wood pieces left on the floor that had the mix still had termites…), we didn’t want to add any more flammable materials to the house!

Yes, I just made up that word. So we really don’t like that our blog has been so info-ladden lately and not as much about our thoughts, responses, feelings, etc. We still just have not been able to slow down and really have time to process things. We have two things we would like to garner some discussion on, but just haven’t had time. I say stay tuned-but that may be months. The first group of teams comes in mid-April, besides some other visitors we are having, it may be awhile before we get.
Which brings about a prayer request: ROUTINE. We just have not gotten into any type of groove, any regularity on anything. I am going to blog about our to-do list and priorities coming up. But we go to bed exhausted, up early with kids, and battle with the daily to-do list which can’t seem to get done, because there are so many things that are on a time line that have to be done. A task that should take an hour at most in the States, will often be an all day long affair here-there are just lines for EVERYTHING. And usually they aren’t short. So anyway, please pray that we will be able to get into some type of groove soon.
Also, just found out Catherine will not be able to come back to work for us. We are on week three without her, and we now completely remember why we needed her! Please pray we will find someone else who can work full time for us quickly. Thankfully Mildred (David’s daughter) is around to work some, but we need to find someone more permanent. Thank you for your faithful prayers-God is hearing from Heaven!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

March Prayer Letter

So, hopefully I really will be able to stay on the ball with this now! It’s on my calendar that the first weekend of the even months the newsletter needs to get done, and the first weekend of the odd months is a special prayer requests letter to our prayer partners. So here is our first one!

-Paul and Lori sold their house in Nebraska!! Keep praying that is closes on April 1st as it is suppose to. Also, you can pray that they will have their full support raised before they come in June with their church’s summer team. If so, they can stay for good; if not, they will need to go back and finish raising support.
-Praise God for the modern medicines He has allowed us to create and that Brian is over his bout with malaria.
-We have started eating some items out of the gardens! Cucumbers, potatoes mainly. The pumpkin leaves should be ready soon.
-The rains are still coming. It was a little drier than “usual” (depending on who you ask!) in February. Thankfully the rains are still coming and there is a good chance most of the maize will do well.

-There is much to do to prepare for summer teams starting in just a little over a month. Pray for balance. It will be hard not to get caught up in going 24-7 because there are other people here; but this is our life and family now, so we need to keep some semblance of order and routine.
-We have still not sold our home in Minnesota. We had renters for awhile, but it is empty again. Please pray that we can either sell or rent it out soon.
-Ditto on the van-we would like to sell that.
-We don’t keep up on the news from the US much, but the economy is going in the tank there it seems! Please pray that this won’t have an effect on our financial support. We are currently at only about 95%, so please pray that our supporters would be able to keep up their commitments.
-The students are going with Pastor Henry to his home church in Maneka next week to do three days of evangelism with the youth of Henry’s church. They are excited about doing this; but yet nervous too as it will be the first time doing something like this for many of them. They will have teaching times, show the Jesus film, and share their faith with the area kids. Pray this will be a fruitful, stretching and growing time for all of them.
-Catherine (our helper) has had to go and care for her grandmother, so has been gone for two weeks now. Pray for her during this time as she is the only one who is able to care for her right now. Pray also for us, as we miss having her around-the stress level has been a little high lately!
-we are coming to the end of the “rains”. That means seasons are changing and Brian is getting some migraines when a new front comes in.
-it also means people are between crops, waiting fir the next maize to be ready-it’s hungry season here. We’ll be writing more about that on our blog soon.

more backlogs

So this is stretching way back now. On February 17th we celebrated 13 years of marriage. Well, celebrated is hardly the word. We were in town doing banking that day, so the highlight was eating fast “American-type” foods. Now, our family has never really been “party” people. We have always been home bodies-so birthdays, anniversaries, holidays are usually just another day with the mention of the special occasion. So this really wasn’t too different of an anniversary for us. Unfortunately, all the “holidays” we’ve encountered this year have been pretty bland. Hopefully we will be able to create some new, memorable things to do here for holidays-it is just really hard without family around as that is what most of our celebrating centered around.
Here is a great blog, www.deronarnold.blogspot.com. Brian first heard about Deron from our pastor at church. Soon afterward, they joined our support team, even though at that point we had never even met them! I don’t get to check too many blogs anymore, but I usually try to get to this one. I enjoy his posts about the current US situations, his health, but mostly his faith in the midst of cystic fibrosis and waiting for a lung transplant. I love that he is honest that this thing can and does really suck sometimes, but GOD is faithful, God is not surprised! I remember from MTI-God is not always “safe”, but HE IS FAITHFUL-HE IS IN CONTROL-HE IS GOOD.
Have I mentioned yet that we have been enjoying fresh baby potatoes from the garden?! We’ve had some roasted maize too. Not as good as sweet corn, but with a little butter it ain’t too bad. There is sweet corn planted here, we’ll see if we get any. Some of the stuff I planted didn’t grow, not sure, but I think the seed went bad. I planted in January so this seed would have been from at least the summer before, if not two summers before.
College Community Church has been okay for us. Nathan has done quite a bit of the preaching; I am sure once they realize I am fully over malaria, I will be in the rotation. It is tough to get down there though. Sure it is just tough getting 9 people out the door, but let’s face it; it’s just tough because I am not getting a whole lot out of it. They do some English hymns and chorus so that is good (and the preaching is in English, translated if needed), but there are a lot of Njanyi and Bembe choruses too where we just sit and listen. The music is incredible though! I love singing a song where the even the first note of each line is 4 or more parts! To hear that note is just like a chord on the organ… We were starting to enjoy the home church as a family on Sundays too though. Church should never been an obligation I know, but most often we feel we HAVE to go to church, more than want to. I know that too is just part of the reality of being here. Church is about worshipping God yes, but it is always nice when you get a little out of it too. With time I hope it changes, but we were also prepared that church would be more about giving than anything we get when we are here. Kelly and I don’t go to Sunday school usually, but send the kids down. Pastor David is teaching out of Philippians I believe.
Eve was in heat the last week or so, got to have some science lessons. I know it is silly, but we got such a kick out of Nathan seeing the dogs do their thing! He would just “aagh! Stop it!” and other hilarious remarks. 3rd grade humor anyone???
What kinds of things are we learning? The biggies-patience, perseverance and restraint. Okay, I am not so good at restraint still, but I guess that is why I am still learning it. Endurance and running the race for the prize-not the earthly one -is on the list too.
The rest of the backlog is “deep thoughts”, so I suppose I better take some time on those.

goings on

Things are starting (staying?) in high gear here. In just five weeks the first group of Americans will come over to start the work for summer teams. April 21 to about July 15 or so there will be anywhere from 10-30 Americans here to help work on construction and 25 Zambian national pastors (starting mid-May) for training and construction.
With the 12 students here we have been able to get quite a bit done. They have cleared land, planted more gardens, been in class of course, kept the grounds clean and more. But there is still SO MUCH to do to get ready. Every week Kelly or I have been in town once, if not twice for supplies and other administrative tasks (mainly banking). We come home with the truck loaded up, but we still are just barely putting a dent in the supply list needed. Cabins will need to be gotten ready, grounds cleaned up, work sites prepared…and of course keeping all the gardens maintained so that we will hopefully be able to produce most of the food needed for the teams instead of having to buy it.
And none of that takes into account any thing on our house-hoping to have a working tub/shower soon plus there are still a few more rooms to paint, and the outside to paint too.
Nathan is going to hopefully do a little rewiring on the solar system for the students, we need to work on the red bus to transport teams, the red truck needs to be worked on (hopefully to sell), the backhoe needs some work, the bathhouse on compound number 2 is close to ready too so we are going to try to get it done before the teams come. Always something to do! But things are looking pretty good. I have been running the brush hog on the JD 4020 and loving it!
Kelly has been going in with Henry and the truck more without me now. She can get things done-she keeps Henry on his toes! That leaves me able to keep working on stuff here. Catherine is still gone. She is the only one who can stay and care for her grandma right now, so she really has no other option. Mildred, Pastor David Chiwala’s daughter, has been helping around the house this week. She is definitely a help, but it is very different having her here than Catherine. Mildred is just a lot quieter, and I don’t think she has as much patience with the kids! Boy, does she have an amazing singing voice!
Yippee!! Another visitor is coming-this time from our home church! Fred has done extensive mission work before-had a place in Guatemala that he ran. Okay, that is a really poor description of what he did/does, but let’s just see he’s been around the world and back doing missions. He was in Africa before-Ghana maybe? Anyway, he will be here near the end of March for a week or so to, as he put it, “work, fellowship, and catch the vision.” It will be nice to have a taste of home and hear all the happenings at E Free Willmar.
Still haven’t decided what to do about our truck. The guy said we need an engine overhaul eventually, 20-25 million kwacha ($4-5,000 depending on the exchange rate). We have only needed to drive it once every 2-3 weeks, so we are okay for now. It is not starting now, so we are also going to try a new battery. (it worked!)
Still no word from Tim, the other guy who came over from Malawi. He went back to do some more work there and hasn’t made it back now. We know he is coming back sooner or later as Nathan has a bunch of his stuff.
We are “meeting” some of the teachers coming over this year to teach through email and they are reading our blog-and even more…they still want to come!!! :-)
Kelly is really trying to work on a schedule now to keep updated with you all. She is trying to do a smaller prayer letter on the off months of the newsletter, so this weekend is the first one-some GREAT news coming, so stay tuned!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

say hello to my little friend

We found this guy traveling the floor one night a couple of weeks ago.

The other night when Nathan was leaving to head back to his cabin he almost ran into this little guy.

Nathan had walked down the steps of the veranda and had taken only a couple of steps when he heard a hisss. He immediately turned around and came back in to inform me what he heard. I grabbed the flash light and the shot gun to see if we could find it. It wasn’t too hard, it was laying only a couple of steps in front of where he had stopped. I didn’t want to shoot 5 shot into a bunch of rocks so I grabbed a shovel instead and dispatched him. I think it is an adder but not sure. What ever the name, it is extremely poisonous.

I skinned it in the morning and got the skin stretched on a board. Myron says he wants a belt.


The meat I fried up with some onions and peppers for supper. The locals thought I was one crazy muzugo (white person). Either that or I am a witch doctor. The meat was good, tasted kind of like fish. The kids liked it. Meat is a rarity around here so we take what we can get.

Monday, March 2, 2009

quick update

Brian is doing much better-still a little stomach action going, but otherwise up and about and working.
Trying to catch up on all the things we didn't get done last week. Catherine is still visiting her sick grandma, so things at home have been pretty crazy!!