"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

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Attempting a family photo on Sunday after the teams have left and everyone is crabby...doesn't turn out too well!

Yes, the kids are normally this dirty, and they love it!
Suppose to be mom and dad, but as usual, all attention is on Henry

Captain/King/Boss/Manager Myron and Hailey




Hailey, Cybil, Kelly Jo, Henry, Greta



Having rabbit stew. The other night Paul and I were coming up to the house after supper on the gator, and up towards the house was one of the many rabbits that has been eating my garden. I turned and shined him; of course I was locked and loaded. Always be prepared I say. Put him in my sites and asked Paul “do I dare with the teams here?” He said, “Absolutely”. So I took him at about 30+ feet. I shot twice and hit him twice. It had been a while since I had done any shooting so I surprised myself. Man, that was fun!

kid update-pictures coming soon

The kids are all doing well. No major illness, just occasional boredom. Cybil, Mariah and now Greta seem to always be reading something. To the point of not being able to hear or do what they are asked to do.
The ladies at the school want to teach Cybil how to cook, she is excited to learn.
Mariah (our African daughter) had African sausages the other night with the other kids down at the school. African sausages are mice. Yes, I said mice. They are about the size of a large field mouse. They roasted them over a charcoal cooker, than ate them whole. She said she liked them; the bones were kind of crunchy.
Myron (our African son) is now referred to as the Boss. He used to be the manager but Pastor Henry told him that he was no longer the manager- he was the boss. And now that is how he wants to be referred to. He also has a tendency to go up to the school by himself. I caught him going up to see the bush fire (bond fire as he calls them). This was a big bond fire moving fast. So I through him in the gator to take him up to the house. Well he decided to get up when I was driving to get a better look at the fire and fell out. He got scuffed up pretty good, of course I felt terrible. After about an hour of crying he was back out playing wanting to go see the bond fire. He was showing off his scratches telling people he was tough. He really is something else.
Not so little Henry just got 3 teeth in. It has been a long time coming, so hopefully the rest are close behind. He does not like to eat baby food very much and mom is thinking it is getting close to starting to wean. Maybe a little tough, but Kel enjoys being able to eat whatever she wants without gaining weight! He does like the nshima and often prefers that over everything else (just not much nutrition in there). He is very much a momma’s boy yet he will let Shalon take him without screaming.
Joe has been doing better as of late (thank you for your prayers). You will often hear him outside singing…. Loudly. Hailey, Myron and Greta often do the same. They will sing and dance to one of the many songs they have learned here. Greta will even do the African trill. She is quite good at it. Hailey and Joe have been playing a lot more together lately; Hailey is the one in charge of course.

Friday, June 26, 2009

the gardens

The view of one of the student gardens. This area is mainly gravel about a foot down, so it isn't doing all that well.
The plow still stands how Wendell left it in April, haven't been able to get back to it.
a view of some of the sunflowers-they really suffered in those 5 days without water. Alot of things did. The potatoes were doing great until then, then they also dried up. They taste great, but they are just baby sized. It was a good lesson though, in what will happen to our food supply if we don't have water for irrigation.

part of the chicken yard

more sunflowers

This was a few weeks ago-the river is REALLY down already. While there are always some areas that have water due to a spring, the river does not flow from maybe September onto the first rains (November/Decmember) usually. So we will not be able to use it for irrigation. We looked at some bucket/drip tape irrigation and have some coming on the next container, but we've been told we will probably have problems with rats chewing the line. We did talk to a guy about an irrigation system that is self-contained with it's own little motor and a borehole/well, but that is somewhere between $25-30,000!
more garden mounds

One of the views of the garden beds

Some of the monster carrots we grew

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


Most of you who regularly read our blog and get our newsletters know that we have to raise 100 % of our support. But for the new readers out there, this is an FYI for you. We have had numerous people on summer teams ask us if Gospelink paid us or built our house. The answer, if you missed it, is NO.

We have raised 100% of the funds we have received and used up to this point. We raised support to:

-build and furnish our home
-to purchase a container, fill it with supplies, and ship it over here
-buy a vehicle for our family, pay for all the repairs
- to live on each month.

Our support currently goes through GL, so technically they pay us, but it is only the support that is sent in on our behalf.

We are very thankful to our many, many PRAYER and financial supporters. I am sure it goes without saying we wouldn’t be here without you, but we are saying it anyway!! THANK YOU!!

And truth be known, we are in need of more regular financial supporters (monthly, quarterly, yearly). With the tough times of the US economy, our monthly support has dropped about 10%. God has continued to provide for us though, through unexpected gifts-always at just the right time. We are so thankful for Jehovah Jireh providing in our times of need.

If you would like to join our financial support team, just send us an email (calltoobedience@gmail.com) for more information, or click the link on the right in the support section. THANK YOU!!!!

Yup-add lots of fuel to the fire because we have a MORTGAGE to burn!!! You read that right-we just paid off our mortgage and it is time to burn the papers! Growing up I never thought much about mortgages, much less that anyone paid them off!! This is a huge relief as we had to use our monthly support to pay the mortgage before we got renters. Now we are able to have a little cushion of income from the house.

I am starting a new bible study called “Soul Shaping: A Practical Guide for Spiritual Transformation.” I am just into it, but it is taking a hard look at the potter and the clay and the process of being transformed into what God has for you. Please pray for time to focus on doing it, for the Lord to work in me in the process. Oswald Chambers said, “The process is the end. It is the process, not the end, that is glorifying to God.”
Once the summer/winter teams are done, Lori and I will look to do Beth Moore’s Esther or The Patriarchs Study. I started the Patriarchs right before we left and got about half way through, so I am looking forward to redoing and finishing that one.

We haven’t had time to hear the full story, but Paul was baptized in the Chongwe River on Saturday. I believe he was baptized as an infant, but wanted to do a “believer baptism” and figured his new home in Zambia would be a great place to do it. Five years or so ago, the first time he was here, it really changed him. Or that is the very short of it. We missed it. I am only slightly holding back my annoyance!! It was a futbol day…so they apparently had to do it in a hurry and didn’t have time to tell us they were heading down to the river. Yes, there is blame to go all around-they didn’t call, we didn’t come down right away…
I guess that is part of the way life is when you live in a futbol country. If it is game day, everything gets done right away!
Maybe we’ll get some pictures from someone else’s camera… Oh well.
That’s about all I would give us for this past group of American teams. We didn’t fail, but we were definitely below average. We just couldn’t seem to catch the upside this time around. We started out the week well on Tuesday, but it just didn’t seem to flow this time around. We’re really glad Paul and Lori were here; they took care of their team really well, and Lane did great with the other groups. We just weren’t very well connected with this group. The “false-burdening bearing” of course, is supposedly we don’t have to be. We are NOT the hosts for the summer teams; each group has its own host, plus Davis and Henry are here too. But it seems each group still looks to us for questions, for help on projects, for updates, for fellowship, and lots of misc. For the most part we don’t mind. But… we are just finishing 10 weeks of American and Zambian Pastor teams. It is really tough to get and stay motivated sometimes. We have one more group of American teams and then one more group of Zambian preachers before the winter (summer) is over (another month). Paul and Lori are here now, and that of course will help, but they don’t want to jump in too fast. They want to get settled at least a little bit, and they really don’t know what has been done or not done yet. They are the team leaders for their group this trip, so they really haven’t done anything business/ administration/leadership on the college project yet.
Anyways, we did make some time for these groups as we could before Kevin’s accident. But really, we did a below average job connecting with this group. Sorry guys! I know you still had a great time anyway, but we missed out on getting to know you!

Yes, I know the snake updates are going to get a little old, but…John killed another green mamba outside out house this week. Vanessa was walking out to do something and it went right in front of her!! We also had another guy kill a puff adder and have John bring it up to the house. That was a big fat one, not so long. It had some good meat on it so Brian, Shalon, and Greta enjoyed it. It is so weird to have all these snakes. The locals say so too. The students are wondering about it as well. Seems like a little bit of a spiritual scare tactic on the devil’s part. They have said also though, that they know God is protecting this place.

Last Thursday Shalon had a really bad day. She went in to have her visa renewed. We thought she had a 30 day visa. It turned out, she didn’t. Upon further inspection, she had a 15 day business visa that expired on the day she arrived! She didn’t cry, but I would have! They were talking about a one million kwacha fine (about $200) or leaving the country right away. She tried to explain the mistake, but all she was told was that she should have looked and taken care of it right away. Friday she went back into town with Davis and Henry to go to the other immigration office to see if they could just extend hers without a fine due to the mix up. Long story short, she got it extended, paid no fine and all is well!! Praise God!! Although, we figured if she had to leave right away, we could take a domestic flight to Livingstone, stay over on the Zimbabwe side at Victoria Falls and have a girls night out. Darn!

Kevin was discharged on Monday. He could have been discharged Sunday, but no one got there before the accounts department closed, so they couldn’t discharge him without payment. I asked Henry if he was bored out of his mind, but he said he was busy preaching on Sunday morning and holding bible studies. They had to move him to a different room, I am not sure why; I didn’t understand but it sounded like the room was too small for his bible study group! He decided to stay in the city with his group and do ministry at the schools and orphanages as planned, so he must be feeling okay.Thanks for praying for him! Please continue to pray for him as he adjusts to life without that finger and for relief from the pain. He still plans to stay in Zambia for the full five weeks he was scheduled to be here

Monday, June 22, 2009

This is how they had to get the pump out of the well hole. It took hours to pull up each pipe. They eventually put the ladder up top too! I had to quit watching.
This is our new house helper, Vanessa.
Here is a picture of the river a few weeks ago, she's already really getting down.

The students heat barrels of water each night for the pastors, staff and students to have warm bucket baths.

This is the current bridge across the river.
Vanessa has to walk it every day to come here to work

Welcoming each new team (or any visitor!!) with singing

The Rock, Scissors, Paper Championship
Joshua won!

This is our guy, John! We'd be lost without him, the gardens wouldn't exist, and we'd be getting no food for them if not for him! Brian just tells him what needs to be done and he gets it done! With all the running around we do, he's done more farming than Brian has.

This is one of the ladies getting water down at the river
another "beautiful" bug

summer staff

this is Shalon from Indiana (or Illinois???) can't remember now!!
She is here for the two months of summer teams. Pray for her as she discerns what God's plans are for her when she gets back.

This is Davis' wife, Mama Daka (Judith)

Luka's wife, Doreen

Pastor David Chiwala, lives at the college year round. Works with Paul on the construction and maintenance, and a counselor/mentor to the students.

Lackson's wife, Carol-they also live here year round and Lackson is the night security guard


Pastor Henry and Lucy-Henry is the director of development at the college and also Dean of Students, he is a board member for Gospelink is Zambia and....
This is Davis. He is the national director for Gospelink in Zambia. He is also a board member.

Pastor David's wife, Christine

Pastor Edwin's wife, Beatrice

Saturday, June 20, 2009

prayer request

Last night Brian came screaming up the road on the gator yelling to Mariah that I had to go to town NOW!!! I had the girls throw a diaper on Henry, threw the medical supplies in the back of the truck and down we went to the shop to pick up Kevin, from Nebraska.
We don't know exactly how it happened, but he cut his finger in the saw. Really cut it-all the way through the bone to the other side, just barely hanging on with a chunk of skin!! He had put it back up straight, taped it on (black electrical tape), and went to the office to tell the ladies, "If you don't like blood, or you'll faint, you better not look." Luckily they were in there doing some things. Lori (Paul's wife) helped wrapped it up tight and when we got there he was laying down with his hand in the air.
Off we went to Lusaka. Along the way we picked up Davis to go with us and Shalon who has some nursing training from a while back. Kevin was doing pretty good through the ride (which Brian made in a record hour all the way to the hospital!). Towards the end he was feeling sharp pains going up into it and very hot, but really doing okay considering.
Once there Shalon and Paul took care of his paperwork and I called the travel insurance company. They put in an IV to get his first antibotics in and some pain meds. They also gave him another tetnas shot to be safe.
The hospital staff looked about half African and the rest anything from Asian to Middle Eastern. The surgeron was an Indian (I think) woman.
Kevin decided he just wanted a coke light. That's all he cared about! :) He said to just take the finger off. It was the left index finger, just barely above the 2nd knuckle. After x-rays the surgeon said they could put it back on with pins and he would have a stiff finger, but he said no-cut it off.
We left after a few hours. He hadn't quite gotten into surgery yet, but he finally let them give him the pain meds and he was pretty out of it. Someone will have to go back tomorrow and pay for things and check on him. Also bring him lunch and supper (in the hospitals here, they only serve a light breakfast. Family is responsible to bring other meals or some places let you buy food from a local caterer who comes in). I think he will be there minium tonight also and possibly another day. I know he won't like that!!! He's an old farm boy-just duck-taper back on-get'er done!

our home

Some of the Iowa people took some good photos of our home. I don't remember if I put any up in the last few months, so here are some for you.

The living room part of the main
Facing the other way of the main room-kitchen table where Mariah is sitting

The girls room

The boys room

Out the side door-Jon has done a great job with our flowers and a little bit of grass

The kitchen

Coming up the road from the colleg side

Looking at the veranda side

One of the bathrooms...that still needs to be finished