"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, August 30, 2009

fall festival

Well, the fall festival…was. Thank goodness we didn’t arrive on time-we were an hour late, but it still started an hour after we got there. Immediately upon parking we were caught by one of the officials and brought around to the shaded area for honored guests.
The Festival really wasn’t much. Maybe a little disconcerting if nothing else-we were definitely on display! It was not of the pageantry of say, a Native American Indian powwow. I don’t know that the “native” dress of the Solis is, but mostly there were just wearing t-shirts and chitenges.
Due to the British influence of the past, Zambia seems to be a very formal society, and this was no exception, even considering it was a tribal festival. There were introductions, greetings, invitations and much formality-and there were hours to go before the actual speeches began!
After an hour or so, Brian, Henry, Myron and I went to walk a bit. We got some chips, got Myron a cute hat and a drink (sweet beer). I got to try the mancoyyo. You are tempted to think it is going to be sweet in the first bit, but then you get the grit and corn meal taste. Myron seemed to like it though! By the time we headed back, the Chief and all the dignitaries were at the granary buildings blessing the crops that were brought in. That was taking awhile, and then there was to be an hour of speeches before the gift giving. So the whole clan went out and walked about with Paul and Lori. We got some fritters, more chips, and popcorn, and of course, more stares.
The kids did way better than we expected they would, greeting and shaking hands. Cybil did the little bent knee bow when she shook one woman’s hand. The woman was not happy! I didn’t understand all of it, as it was in Soli, but by her actions she was getting after Cybil for bowing to her. Since we were there, and white, we were considered honored guests. What little we know of the culture would lead me to believe that she shouldn’t have bowed to her, because despite her older age, she considered Cybil of a higher place in the society than she was.
Soon after we decided to leave. We met Henry at his car; he had a meal ticket for all of us to go eat at the Chief’s palace (nishma and cow & goat intestine, yes I said intestine. It’s rather tender ). But that was still going to be hours away. We left our gifts with Henry and told him to enjoy our cow offal for us (cow intestines). It is an honor to have them, but it was time to go. We got back around 2:30, Henry was close to 6 pm. That would have been just too long for the kids.

snake bites

Pano, the guy I wrote about earlier had been bitten by a puff adder. Due only to his large size and the amount of venom he got did he survive. We asked him how and what to do about snake bits.
He said the snake bit kits aren’t practical. By the time you start trying to get the venom out, it is half way up your arm (or whatever) on the way to the heart. You can’t possibly suck and spit it all out.
Tourniquets aren’t helpful either. The only way to stop the flow is to make it tight enough, then you’d lose the limb (which I suppose is better than death).
Anti-venom is not a good solution either unless you are 100% sure of the snake. Most locals will have other names for the snake, or not know the name but tell you something so it looks like they know. Then you get the wrong anti-venom and poison yourself. (Speaking of which, he said the green snakes we killed were probably just a common green house snake (still poisonous probably). But the black mamba-that one was real!)
He said the best thing to do was get a cattle prod/taser type thing and shock the snot out of yourself at the site of the bite. The shock will cause the venom to break up into smaller molecules. You will of course still get sick and swell up, but not die (but you will probably wish you did!). The key is having it nearby to be able to shock yourself soon enough, before the poison reaches the heart.

water divining 2

We learned that one local way to find water is with a coke bottle. Apparently you walk around and when the bottle shakes there is water.
Now I haven’t heard from anyone else on this issue yet, but I do know there ain’t nothing in a coke bottle that is attracted to underground water! So that means it is only one thing-a channeling of a spirit of divination.
What happens if you don’t believe me? Does that matter? Because I tell you hundreds and thousands of people do. And because they believe it, it gives that spirit power and a “right” to what it is doing and be where it is. We as Christians are not immune to the spiritual world around us either!
I realize that even most wells in the US may have been found with some sort of divination. So what now? Is it “Oh well, as long as I have water”? Should we at all be concerned for the spiritual activity that led to the water being found? Is it somehow better that this “diviner” from the well company came out as opposed to the witchdoctor down the road?
Once a well is found with divination, what if any, power does the spirit still have over that well or area? What should be done? Should forgiveness be sought and the well prayed over to break the power of the spirit? I suppose if that is all you have to do, some will say, just use the diviner and then pray…
I know, I may be going off on this a bit, especially from the perspective of those in the West as we just haven’t had the experience with the spiritual world as it is over here. I guess it really bothers me to know that this is something that seems to be accepted as no big deal. If you let the thief get a finger in, how long until the hand, then the arm…

positive, negative, it just is

Kel and I have been thinking a lot lately about this. You see, we have been accused of being too negative at times (on our personal blog). And we have apologized in advance for possibly being negative for some of our posts. Truth is, we have apologized when we really didn’t want to or think we needed to. It was the non-apology apology; the I am sorry, but not really. When we write (most, if not all the time) we don’t gauge whether it is positive or negative, it just “is”. It is what is going on, what we think or feel- that’s all. We don’t run it through the PC filter to see if it passes for publication. We don’t try to paint everything pretty as a picture because rarely is life ever that way.
Who/what decides what is positive or negative? Everyone has a different perception when it comes to that. It often depends on your upbringing, background, family, culture, etc. It is perception, and everyone’s is different.
Look at Scripture-is it all positive? Not hardly, many would fall into the category of “negative”. Talk about being a slave (whether to sin or to Christ), struggles with the old flesh/sinful nature, temptations, persecution, etc etc. But does it fall into either category? I don’t think so. I think it falls into the category of “it just is”. I am sure there were those way back when that said “Paul, do you need counseling?” “You should really try to be more positive in your letters.” Maybe someone went so far as to tell one of the writers how he should write! How to make it sound “nicer.”
Maybe you are one of those who have always looked at Scripture as always being positive, or even all negative. If so, look more closely! Often the Scripture itself, just is. It is what the writers were inspired by the Holy Spirit to write. If that is so, then it is our own reactions to the Scriptures (or in our case, the blog post) that determine if we think something is positive or negative. We’ve written things that we are thrilled about, only to be chastised later for saying it the way we did-it wasn’t positive. Oh well, you can’t make all the people happy all the time. And we aren’t even trying to make some of the people happy some of the time. We are just telling it like it is. It seems like over and over again we are having to explain ourselves and why we write like to do. Boring stuff for those who read consistently, I know. Sorry. Just take it for as a reminder and a preemptive warning from us for the new readers.

cross cultural training

We didn’t get a whole lot of this. But I am so thankful we got what we did. Brian ran his own business in the states, I helped lead a woman’s group, and we have had other leadership experiences in our life. But these experiences were all in the West.
Our time at MTI made us examine our own prejudices as to how we wanted and thought things should be done. We of course had to admit that our way wasn’t always the best and there was nothing wrong with doing it differently. We also read quite a few books on the African culture, how other missionaries fared in their countries, how to relate to other people who don’t think and work the same way we do.
We had to decide, or at least start thinkinh about, how much of the culture we were going to we would accept and engage in. Doing business here is very different. True, there are a few times Brian has had to resort to doing it the “Western” way, but during those times it was culturally acceptable. There are other things, called the “culturally acceptable lies” that we do not seek to participate in for obvious reasons. Saying that though, we do have to respect the way those things play out here and work around them because it is culturally acceptable.
We have had to adjust how we say things, do things, teach things. This is vital, and this is a prayer request for the teachers coming. American teachers are raising their own support to come over and teach a two week module for the students here. They are spending time preparing their lessons, raising their support, PLUS working their own full time job! I think cross cultural training often gets forgotten. Think of your Sunday sermons. In all likelihood your Pastor tells you stories and gives examples to better help you understand the points he is making. That needs to happen here too. If a teacher hasn’t had the time to study the culture of the area he is going to, he may inadvertently give an example that is at worst offensive, at best not understood. While all the students here speak and read and write English, language is still a barrier, and they are getting a lot of information thrown at them in a short amount of time (plus their work responsibilities). Things could be easily misunderstood. They could be little or big. In the US for the most part Christians don’t argue too much about having a glass of wine with your meal; some do, some don’t, not a big deal. We were told that here you CAN NOT be a Christian and drink alcohol. Being angry and yelling at someone is at a higher level than having an affair!
So please pray that all the teachers coming over, even all the members of teams that come for work projects, will be able to spend some time learning and understanding the Zambian/African culture. We know their ministry will be much more fruitful if they do.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

I still have another four posts to type. There are long on paper anyway, but maybe only a few paragraphs once I type and edit.
Soli Fall Festival is today. I guess I am looking forward to go since it is something to do, I've never been there, the kids are excited (for the same reasons).
Brian definitely not so much. He was there last year. At least it would be super hot like it was last year.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Okay Grandmas, I understand you are not to thrilled with Kelly’s new hairdo. She is not all that happy with either; she will be the first to admit (thought it would look more like one of her past perms). Maybe it is my own little wild, rebellious streak in me but I like it! Sorry, she said she would keep it for now because I like it. Now that is a pretty amazing wife if I do say so. And for the record I think she’s HOT!!!

"divining" water

Down by where we get building sand we saw a well driller and a whole boatload of people working. Months ago we saw some people from the Chongwe Council out walking around looking for water (we stopped and asked them what they were doing). The guy had some sort of “machine” attached to him. So this has gotten me thinking more about how people used to “divine water”. Now, in one of my bible dictionaries, it says Divination is: An attempt to contact supernatural powers to determine answers to questions hidden to humans and usually involving the future. —Holman Bible Dictionary.
We’ve probably all seen the old movies (even cartoons!) of the water diviners out with their “Y” stick, waiting for it to shake. So what is that?? Is there some property in water that is attracted to something in wood? Or here is another one-someone in the states told us about a woman that came out with a watch and stopped over some spot. She said dig here and you will hit water at 150 feet, but if you go to 300 feet it will be a much better vein. Guess what? She was right on! How did that watch tell her that?
For some reason, I seem to be okay with the guy and the machine-seems more “scientific” to me for some reason. Is there any other science to the stick or watch or any other method?
Water Diviners-how do they work? Is “diviner” the right word? Are they seeking info (consciously or not) from a spirit of divination?

(almost) full disclosure

Things are obviously slowing down so we have more time to think about things (that is both good and bad!) and write.
Some of you may be wondering why in the world we share as much as we do about ourselves and what we are thinking on this blog. I suppose there are a few reasons.
1) Prayer. If you know what we are doing and thinking and how our days usually look, you will know how to pray for us.

2) Relationship. Now that may seem a strange one. We obviously can’t be close “intimate” friends with everyone who reads our blog.
We have naturally, as you probably have, always desired deep, meaningful relationships with people-a natural desire of the heart. We don’t really have that here; most of our relationships are built on our work and ministry. That is okay, it is who we are. Even when we get together with friends outside the bible school, much of it is “shop talk”. It is what we do and who we are right now. It is hard to know what else to talk about when we are in the bush and don’t know what is going on anywhere else-in Zambia or the State!
But we desire relationships with other people. By our sharing with you, we somehow strangely feel we are developing a relationship with you and connecting on that deeper level. (That’s why we also love your emails and comments!!)

3) Sometimes we write to seek solutions, sometimes just to see our thoughts on “paper”, it is therapeutic for us. But mostly it is just because we are naturally questioners. I ran my own business-everything I did was all tied together for us. So everything we see and do here affects us and is all woven together. We question how things are done, why things are done, is this the best way to do it? Or are there better ways?
We try to only ask and bring up issues that affect us personally as some things just aren’t ours to share; but as I wrote about before, I am a watchman and sometimes I need to sound an alarm.
When we ask questions, we don’t normally expect an answer from you-though all thoughts (and even more questions) are appreciated! And in a way, we don’t need the solution-someone else does. We are just asking the question to get it out there and thought about. Don’t get me wrong, I like having the answers, especially as it affects me; but some times we just need to know a solution is even been sought!

So yes, we are giving you (almost) full disclosure into our lives and thought, struggles and joys. This is our life-some positive, some negative, some just “is”.


I am updating our Zambia handbook for Gospelink. Looking through some info from another missionary friend, here are two more tips for sending us mail:

-do not insure the package (I don’t think anyone has done this, but it could end up costing us more to get it)

-write “FOR MISSIONARY USE ONLY” on the outside of the package

oh well

We tried to go on a little break on Monday. After a long weekend, we were looking forward to just going somewhere. We booked a room at a different safari lodge and finally got going, expecting some rest. Well…it didn’t really turn out that way. Truth be told, I guess it was just too much like our own house! The chalet was very nice and all…but no tub, the hot water went out when the kids showered, there was no curb for the shower so the water ran to the carpet, there was only one very poor TV channel, it was too cool to stay in the water and the room itself was cool. We went on a game drive, but had to use our own vehicle because theirs was not working. We drove 20 minutes before we saw anything. I think they have just too many acres for the small amount of animals they have. Hailey wasn’t feeling the best, so we just left. It cost us a little for the use of the room for the day, but wasn’t too bad. As the day just kept going, it just kept feeling more and more depressing. We could have stayed, but we didn’t want our “break” to be left that way. So we packed up and drove back to Lusaka and found a small lodge to stay at there. We all had hot baths and the kids got to watch the Disney channel for awhile (I know, it’s very sad when we are that excited about watching TV for a few hours.)
We figured it was fitting-we had had a very tough weekend emotional and spiritually, the day after just wasn’t much better. One of the highlights was at breakfast at the lodge. We were visiting with an older couple; he turns out to be a safari hunter guide. You can just imagine how much Brian enjoyed visiting with him. He told us how to treat snake bites and was going to check on some other info for us. We traded our contact info and we hope to meet up with them again someday. If you want to check out his web site it is www.panohunting.com.
We ARE excited though for a missionary care seminar we are going to at the end of September. It is on the banks of Lake Kariba which is on the Zimbabwe border. There is a speaker sharing about stress on the field and burnout. Just what we need! Praying the time goes by quickly until then!!
Since we had driving time, I took the time to do some writing on a bunch of things. I should have just typed it, but I was writing and talking too fast to keep up anyway. Paul once told me, “most ladies have nice writing, but yours is horrible!” I quipped, “I know; it’s ‘cuz I am so gosh darn smart that my hands can’t keep up with my brain!” Lori liked that one too!

You know it is spring in Africa when the sky is gray, but there are no clouds.
You know you are in Africa when the shoulder of the road is better than the tar.
You know you are in Africa when you can’t bank from your vehicle or get drive through food, but you CAN get towels, hats, papers, talk time, fruit, toys, games, tummy tuckers…

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Okay, as promised, here is the new hairdo! This is also the new shirt/skirt I had made.

The boys on Caleb (the dog)'s favorite toy


Seem to be feeling a little isolated and lonely lately :-(

Seems reasonable I suppose. We had almost four months of constant activity and people here. That doesn't count the two months leading up to it of getting supplies and everything else done to get ready for them. Then of course there were the three or four months before that when we were just trying to finish the house, get the school ready for and pick the first 12 students, and get business done and...

And now we are up here on the hill alone. Originally the thought was that all the American staff would have homes up near we are; that's why Brian picked this spot. Obviously we are too big of a family to live in a two room staff house, so we would have had to build no matter what. But if we would have known other staff were going to live in the staff houses around the main campus, we would have built on the other side of Little Kazemba, just down from the shop and been a little closer.

Anyway, so in being up here, we don't see anyone else except John some days (or so it seems). Most people have to have a purpose for coming this far up. Yes, we do the same thing I guess, we have to have a purpose for going down to see people too. I just don't like that it seems the only thing anyone, including us, goes back and forth is for now is business.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

the counter

Molly would like me to explain about the chicks on the counter :-)

If we leave the baby chicks with the hens, they get killed. So, instead, I get bins of chicks on my counter for a few weeks until they are big enough to go in with the rabbits. Often the bin ends up on the stove at night so the pilot light on the stove creates a warm spot for the smaller chicks to keep warm.

Oh yes, the hair. Well...I am working on a picture. Still working on liking it! Color is okay and from the back it is good. It is still just quite 'fro looking in front because it hasn't laid down quite yet. Soon, I promise.


That just seems to be a question that I seem to be asking a lot lately. Why what? Why won’t these guys listen to what I am asking them to do or not to do? Am I the head of agriculture here or not? Why do they seemly follow traditions that they know hurt themselves and others? Why are they so afraid to challenge such traditions? Why are they unwilling to do the things necessary to prosper? Why won’t they change there agriculture practices and embrace proven ideas? They have embraced other change, why not in farming? I see them-they have a hoe in one hand and a cell phone in the other. I sometimes just get beside myself with frustration. All I want is to see them prosper, to see them be able to send their kids to school, see them have enough food on their table all year. One of their only sources of income is agriculture. Would it not make sense to want to make improvements, to make things as efficient as possible to be able to provide more revenue? I often feel if I am here to teach Ag and they are not going to listen, then why am I wasting my time? Now, if the we decide the Ag at this school is to be about revenue, not so much teaching, then I won’t have time to teach anyway. But if it is about revenue then I need more equipment and better equipment.
I have begun to ask the question, if Ag is what just got us here but there is another purpose, then what is it??? The Lord made it clear to me that for now we are to just “be still”. Do you have any idea how hard that is? I want to do something. I want direction. I want answers! I am not real good at patience that is rather obvious!
The other day I was particularly frustrated and the Lord brought 2 individuals to my door with “problems”. Nothing to major (at least to me). One older guy just needed someone to fix his bicycle. It only took a little bit of time, a wrench and a vise. But he was incredibly grateful, you’d have thought I bought him a new bike. The other was a guy was in need of some money. He is a little younger than me; his girlfriend had a baby a little over a month ago. He did not have any money to buy baby stuff (or so he said). I have a policy that I rarely, if ever, give out money. I told him to just wait. I knew Kel had a box of stuff for give away. So we went through it and we bagged up a couple of baby blankets and baby clothes, also some clothes for mom and dad. When I brought it out to him I was looking to see if there was any disappointment in his eyes for not getting cash. I was very surprised when he wrapped his arms around me and thanked me over and over. He was deeply moved, which moved me. He was a young father who had not provided what his girlfriend and baby needed and you could tell he was a little embarrassed/ashamed. He was reluctant to tell me why he needed the money but he also knew I was someone he could come to with a problem. Truth is, it probably would have been easier for him to have stolen something from me or the school than to come to me. That morning was the Lord’s reminder that he is using me and that there are people out there that I can help where they are at. It does not answer my questions of course. So I wait- or should I say “Be Still”. Your prayers for us during times like these are so incredibly appreciated, words don’t describe it.

Sunday, August 16, 2009


Our littlest buddy turned one on Friday!! Time goes so fast, especially this past year. We finally got the package from Brian’s mom with the frosting Brian loves, so I made German Chocolate Bday cake with coconut pecan frosting, which we enjoyed with strawberry ice cream. Paul and Lori came up as it is Paul’s favorite cake too. I tell you, a 9x 13 cake isn’t big enough anymore. Okay, it is, but I’ve always been a 2 piece cake girl, so when everyone doesn’t get two pieces…at least mom and dad do!!

Things are going pretty well with the transition to crib life for Henry. He cries every time I lay him down, but then falls asleep. I haven’t had to get up at night and lay with him all week. I was down to nursing him twice a day, and am now transitioning to once a day. He is doing okay with that. Misses it of course, so we snuggle more often.

Here are a few birthday pics. Our kids never were the messy cake eaters. I remember with one of the kids we just smeared some on their face to get the good birthday pic. Henry ate his cake so nice and neat, hardly any mess at all.

Friday Lucy and I went to Chongwe. I brought in some material to have two outfits made; I stopped at the hair salon to pick out a new hair style I’ll get next week; and we tried to see the Chieftess to talk to her about her granddaughter Vanessa. Well, we left the message with her guy (don’t know what we’d call him) so we’ll have to go back in next week to see what she says I guess.
When in Chongwe, we park in front of Gertrude’s shop so she can keep an eye on the vehicle. Lucy went in the store and I walked around the vehicle to check the doors were all locked. As I came around the back I say “shake-shake man”. Shake-Shake is a beer that comes in a cardboard box (like a milk carton), that you have to shake before you drink it. Actually, this guy drinks 7 day mancoyyo, the corn mash that the nationals make. When you drink it after 2 or 3 days, it is fine; but the longer it sits, the more alcoholic it gets, even poisonous. We hear it poisons the person, actually causes their skin to get even blacker.
So anyway, I come around the truck and see this guy. His chin is usually looking down, but I see his eyes look up and me and mumble something, then I see this huge hand coming at me… and smack me right in the face. I was obviously stunned, but just kept walking. I wasn’t sure what to do, but I wasn’t thinking about saying anything to him-no idea what he would do, keep walking or turn and hit me again. Did anyone see it? I am sure someone had to have; we were at the bus stop. I just doubt anyone would have done anything about it, even if I would have made a fuss. Too bad, poor muzungu. Brian said I should have called the cops. Lucy wasn’t there so she felt bad. She wanted to know if anyone saw, if they had he could have been beaten. But I didn’t make a big deal of it or say anything at all so nothing happened. Just a reminder to stay further away from that guy-go around the other way next time!
Then we went into the market on the other side of the road, and I saw a guy who looked very similar. I went to the other side of the road that time! Lucy was wondering if I was scared, but I hadn’t told her about shake- shake man yet.
It was nice to visit on the way in and out with her and Henry (we brought him in that the morning). I got to hear more about the wedding and kitchen party that we all will be going to at the end of September for Henry’s nephew. Lori and I are on the kitchen party committee. That party is Friday and the wedding Saturday, so we will have to plan to camp out at Henry’s house, then Brian and Paul will bring the kids to the wedding on Saturday and we can go home sometime Saturday afternoon. I am SOOO not looking forward to camping, never really liked it. Living in the bush in Africa is enough camping for me in my cement house.
Oh course on the way home Lucy asked me when there was going to be a Kazemba baby…

My brother suggested on Facebook that we should do a reality show and use the funds for our work. HA HA! That would be really scary. Then we look around and just watch the kids and the animals. We currently have 9 baby chicks in bins on our table, a kitten who has free roam and three dogs. Caleb likes to bark at Tiger (The cat) to get him to play, but that doesn’t happen. I have at least three Elmiras (“I will love him, and pet him, and never let him go”). Henry likes to grab the cat and throw him around too. Yes, we’d be an interesting show to watch! I still can’t believe Brian lets a cat in the house. The cats were for outside he always told me. I joked with him about it and he says that is what happens after how many nights of chasing rats around the house!

Also another thanks for prayer-things are going much better with Joe. He seems to be trying a lot harder to listen and help out and just get a long better with us and the whole family. Continue to pray for him and us. We still have some problems when we have a good, fun day doing something. The next day he tries to sabotage everything. It’s like he is punishing us/himself for having a good day the day before. This is tough on us; it feels like whenever we are making progress, there’s a big step backwards. It’s an unfortunate cycle that many adoptive families go through, and it is a side we are often the only ones who get to see. It causes me to put up a protective wall to go up that makes it hard for him to break through when he is behaving well.

Here is a link to the Rodgers prayer blog for 2009: www.eht.blogspot.com. It is a listing of their team members and the areas they are working in. There is a lot of info about the people groups in this area of Zambia. The Rodgers are only 40 km away, so the info about them would be closest to us. It is a good description of how to pray as they (and us!) work in Zambia. We’d encourage you to pray for them and their work in this area of Zambia as you pray for us.

Everyone asks us how Paul and Lori are doing and adjusting. I suddenly realized we haven’t really point blank talked or asked them about it! They seem to be doing okay. You can go to their website, www.zambiathenextstep.com and read Lori’s diary. It looks a lot like our daily life-some good days, then some really lonely days too.
I sometimes read her diary and get maybe just a little jealous that they will probably have a much easier transition than us. They are different personalities; they are in a different stage of life than us so there is that of course, but they still aren’t the only ones here (Americans). The nationals are great, but sometimes you just need to visit with someone who has a little commonality. They don’t have to learn the hard way on many of the things we did-were to do government things, buy a vehicle, get appliances, get this or that… There are a lot of things we would have done differently if we would have had someone else here to help us figure things out. I think we would have still had to send the container, but I am not sure. As such, we just didn’t have any choice. I can’t imagine showing up with the 7 kids with nothing but our suitcases. We would have had to go around and find beds, kitchen stuff, furniture, etc. all that stuff right away to work on the house. At least Brian had already had some stuff gone through when we all got here. Who knows, it could have worked, but it would have been super stressful (even more than it was-is that possible?!)
So, we can’t even begin to compare our experiences and adjustment with Paul and Lori’s-it will just be different. Hopefully though, it will be a lot less stressful for them than ours was for us.

I never knew how helpful my water softener was. I do dishes and not even two loads in you’re just basically washing in dirty water. So you put more soap on the rag and do two more loads if you are lucky, then more soap…

Friday, August 14, 2009

Google Earth

Shalon, a very dear friend sent an e-mail that she saw our house on google earth. We thought she was joking with us. I had tried before we moved here with no luck in finding it. But they just updated on july 12 of 2009. So if you want to take a look hear are the coordinates:
latitude: 15°22'18.57"S
longitude: 28°49'19.20"E.

My brother said you can see our roof and the container and the lay of the land. He said there is also a good aerial of the school campus.

Little Kazemba went up in flames today. The spark that lit it came from quite a ways away. We can’t hardly believe it started. Paul haD just got done saying “only this side is left to go up.” A few minutes later, we saw the smoke!

We are praising the Lord that our van in the States has sold!! As I said, after we pulled the trigger and bought the new land cruiser here, we got a few calls on the van there. They drove it away from Brian’s parents house yesterday. YEAH!! Thanks for praying!!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


A term/title/occupation that seems to be something that is a recurring question, challenge, and sometimes thorn. I believe Father has called me to be a Watchman. And I have been questioning myself in this role and whether I should ever write about it. It is not a role that I relish in. But in saying that, I also know my position in Christ and the other gifts my Father has given me.
What does the Watchman do? A Watchman stands at an elevated position so he can see. What is he looking for? He gives the “current condition” report. Maybe like the weather report-skies are clear no rain in sight, or a big storm is coming so prepare, or the enemy is advancing and to announce which direction they are coming from.
But in today’s context I not only see the Watchman looking out, but also inside the walls. If there has been no Watchman or he was sleeping, the enemy has more than likely already entered. God’s word warns in Ezekiel 33 that a Watchman’s duty is to warn the people. If he does not, either by disobedience or neglect, the blood is on his hands. He will be held accountable. The job of a Watchman is to report what he sees-that’s all, that’s his obligation. If people choose not to heed the warning, that is their choice. He did his job. Some will heed the warnings, many will not. They figure since they do not see it, it cannot be real; even though they are not on the tower looking they still figure they can see everything they need to and ignore the warning and go back to believing everything is fine and will be. God is in control; He wouldn’t let anything bad happen. When in fact, it was God that gave the warning. HE is the one that appointed the Watchman.
But human nature is such that when the news is something we don’t want to hear, we “shoot the messenger”. It seems easier than having to prepare for the coming storm or battle.
No, we use aphorism like, “God’s in control, it will all work out”. Work out for whom? “God will not let it fail, we have invested too much.” Who determines success of failure-you or God? Or one I think is very dangerous is “God is bigger than the problems I cause or the mistakes I make.” Yes, he is! But He is also a loving Father who allows us to suffer our consequences and He will also discipline His children when they refuse to listen.
Who are the Watchman in your church, community, organization? Do you listen to them? Or do you blow them off because they tell you what you don’t want to hear? Do you see them as being negative? Or when you hear them do you seek the Lord’s counsel on what to do? OR do you stick your head in the sand? Or do you have too much on your plate and you are hoping someone else will deal with it (only if it is true of course?)
Remember though, that a Watchman can only report what he is seeing, and he doesn’t always see the whole picture. He warns/reports potential dangers. And when things look good (the sky is clear), a Watchman doesn’t need to be asked what the “current conditions” are. His job is to just keep people updated. Kind of like the news at the top of the hour-if there is any news to report. He reports whether you want to know or not. And often, he isn’t real eager to give the report. But he must; because he is called to.
So let me ask you, are you a Watchman? If so, are you doing your job?
If you are a husband or a father, you are a Watchman called to protect your family from danger. That is one position you can not outsource.
If you are a minister or elder or board member of any kind, you are a Watchman along with others in your church/organization?
What do you see? Have you looked? Or have you been too busy “doing the Lord’s work” or “the daily business” to notice? Watchmen are desperately needed in today’s culture/church.
If you are not a watchman, do you know the watchman on your walls? Pray that God would continue to raise up BOLD Watchman who will sound the alarm (as needed). Pray that their warnings will be heeded by those in leadership and they will seek the Lord and act upon as the Lord leads.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

(sunday church)

We heard a really good sermon today from Pastor Mike Gibbons. The last 2 weeks we had “church” at home and listened to CDs of sermons from our home church. I went through the stack several times then decided on one. It never ceases to amaze me where my FATHER is at work. It was a sermon that really spoke directly to where we are at right now even though it was 6 months old. We listened to it as a family while we were getting ready for a leftover Sunday lunch. Kel and I talked about what we were hearing. Talking about where we think we had failed and where we were doing what we supposed to do. Pastor Mike talked about following Paul as Paul followed Christ. Man that sounds arrogant but it is not. We all follow other people’s examples around us. We began asking ourselves if we were being good examples. The answer we felt was a yes and a no. Yes we followed Christ across the ocean to a land we did not know. But (there seems to always be a “but”) we need to work on being an example worth following here. We have a tendency to be very brutally honest; I don’t think there is anything wrong with that. I think it is better than the alternative. But in many ways we feel we have failed. Failed to acknowledge our FATHER’S sovereignty and HIS love and provision for us; HIS never ending pursuit of growing us in faith and deepening our relationship with HIM. “This” is about HIM-not us, and too often the focus is us and for that we seek forgiveness. All we go through is just training for something else; but too often we get caught up in the moment and the most recent crisis and we forget to look for/at the bigger picture. There is always more to what we see, “for we see through the glass darkly”. Remember, no matter where you (we) are, we are not perfect but in the process of being perfected. The process is not pretty but necessary. As Oswald Chambers said, “The process is the end. For it is the process that is glorifying to God.”

"there is no oil without squeezing, no wine without pressing the grapes, no fragrance without crushing the flowers and no real joy without sorrow" (unknown)


Big fire Thursday on Big Kazemba. The kids came in saying they could hear the fire and see the smoke. Looking out-yup, Big K was on fire. I drove down to get Paul and Big Joe to help-Big Joe was on lunch, so Lori came instead. Brian had really been hoping to avoid a fire up there, but alas, not this year. It took the whole mountain on our side, then went up Little Kazemba and snaked around. It started coming back around again, but went out before it got too close to our place again. We have a great fire break around the house that John made last year, so we weren’t too worried about that, but there were some trees Brian really wanted to save (I think they all made it!).
So this is a picture of the KVFD-Kazemba Volunteer Fire Department. I am still not sure how well the beating it with a branch thing works. You beat it in one spot, but are fanning the flames next to it!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

And now it is time for Greta's favorite song....


Happy Birthday to the best daddy in the world!

Happy Birthday to the most loving man I don't deserve.

Thank you for all you do for our family-for your leadership, your loving heart, your sacrifices, your example of faith.


don't ask, please. I really don't know

oh henry!

Henry will be one next Friday!! I can hardly believe it. We’ve really let a lot of things go with him over the last year as we’ve just been trying to survive. So, he still nurses often and has been sleeping with us (thank God for king size beds!), which means he wakes us a lot to nurse and “pacify” himself throughout the night. This wouldn’t be so bad if he did it quietly, but he doesn’t-he screeches instead-often right in Brian’s ear! So I am working at weaning him and getting him to go to sleep without eating. We moved the crib into the guest room (so Brian can at least sleep). I sleep in our room until the cries get feverish. Then I lay with him and he cries himself to sleep. I just don’t like him crying in the dark room by himself! I don’t nurse him during the night; he has to fall asleep again on his own. This is going to be a process! Pray it goes quickly! You could also pray he starts liking and eating more grown up food. There isn’t much variety in what we have, so I get worried that he is getting what he needs. He likes the milk okay, but it’s not like Mommy’s milk! The poor guy is all read from his knees down to the tops of his feet too from crawling on cement all the time. He is walking holding the furniture and hands and has even taken a step by himself from one couch to another!
We’ve already talked some about how hard it is to relinquish control of most, if not all, of the business and construction decisions to Paul. Of course that is what should happen-it’s just not that easy at times! Its one thing to relinquish and walk away; quite another to relinquish and watch. Watch things done differently (not wrong, just different!), or see a consequence coming based on something you would have done differently, etc.
It’s absolutely what we have to do-just very hard. I am not even doing the receipting and bookkeeping anymore. I LOVE doing that busy work-but if I know the kwacha situation, I will want to act on it/have a say in what we can or can’t spend (or maybe just fret about it), and it takes time I don’t have to give right now. It’s hard not to ask about many of the things which we know still needs to be done because we were involved in the past. And my gift is administration, so it is difficult for me to watch some of the things get done in a different time than I would have (if it’s on the list, get it done!). But I know, for right now especially, we just need to “Be still”.

We are coming to realize our expectations on many things have been anything but realistic. And it’s like we know they are unrealistic to think one way, but I don’t know, you (we) still find ourselves thinking it anyway. And often we let them grow bigger in our mind and we end up hurting ourselves.
We have had the privilege of a handful of people in our lives that we’d call our “bestest-bestest friends”. They are the kind you have an immediate connection with, can pour your heart out to, distance and time don’t matter, etc. Of course, we miss them so much; we secretly wanted Paul and Lori to be that for us. Now don’t get me wrong, we get a long great, we can hang out, we can talk, but we are of course in different phases of life, different backgrounds, different ages, different family life, different stages of adjustment to life here. So there is connection, just different than what I secretly hoped for.
We also had an unrealistic expectation that once Paul was here all the stressors would cease. Yes, we really can fool ourselves pretty well, can’t we?? Now the stressors are just different-now we have no control over the stressors! See, even though we don’t have to make the decisions anymore, everything that goes on does affect us in some small way, either right now or in the future-we are all intertwined.
For many people, we are now (or have been) the “face” of the IBC. I don’t want that to sound proud or arrogant, it just is the truth. 40-70 people check our blog everyday, so as to see how we are doing-personally. BUT, there are also a lot of people who check the blog to see what is going on at the college. That of course IS NOT the point of this blog (it is a KALLEVIG blog, NOT a Gospelink blog), but we do include some of those types of updates too. So we are tied to all that goes on here in a way, even though it may not directly involve us. Okay, so where am I going with this? I don’t remember anymore. Oh yeah, even though we don’t have much of a say on business matters anymore, because we have invested so much into it the past nine months to it, we still feel the stress of what goes on.
More unrealistics-being a missionary should be all peaches and cream-you’re doing the Lord’s work! If He got you here the way he did, He must want you here, so what’s not too like? Of course it will be all good. NOT!
-Our family will bond more, we’ll be the picture perfect family with well-behaved children who know so much about the Bible. Even bigger HA HA! I think I have said shut up more to my kids in the last year than in the 12 years previous. Not something I am proud of at all.

This is Pastor Matt from Grand Island, NE. Not only does he look a lot like Brian, they think A LOT alike too (kinda scary!). We thoroughly enjoyed having him here and spending with him. It was like sitting around the table with our prayer group in the States. He taught World History when he was here. Lori sat in on his classes and I would have loved to have had Cybil and Mariah sit in; I just wasn’t sure they would stay quiet!
He was encouraging to us in what we are doing here. Something he put into perspective (again) for us was our job/roles. We are like Christian contractors here. We are doing a job, and just like any job there is lots of not-so-fun stuff. That is not to “de-spiritualize” anything we are doing, we are still of course missionaries. (Well, let’s face it, if you are a follower of Christ you are a missionary where you are at too!) But it is/was just a reminder to keep in mind that everything is not going to be pie-in-the-sky just because of why we are here. If it was going to be easy, everyone would do it! But this is WORK.
We also took Matt to town one day to the Munda Wanga zoo, which I wrote about before, then to town for shopping and ice cream. It was a fun day. Thanks Matt!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Spent over an hour in the truck typing today, so here is some misc stuff! More coming in soon!

We seem to be drinking a lot of pop lately. 300 ml is a little less than a can (330ml). Well, there is always cold pop in the fridge, so when we are thirsty, that is what we grab (me and Bri anyway). Some times we do 2-3 a day! I am sure I will have a mouthful of cavities soon if I don’t already! I need to start putting water in the fridge I know, and we have juice we can make; but you know-that would be an extra step!

I took my second set of braids out. They were still in god shape-I think I had only had them for about 8 weeks, and they probably could have done another 3-4. Unfortunately though, I developed a very dry, itchy, flaky scalp. So I will be taking some time off of extensions to let my scalp heal a bit. Henry had a bunch of cradle cap I just got off, Myron has some, and Mariah for sure has some dandruff. I would have to think it has to do with the change of climate for us, wouldn’t you think? None of us had dandruff before we got here.

We are basically finished with school for the older girls for the next month. They are going to keep doing math and they have a few personal workbooks that they just need to finish up, but not much; should be done by next week. We have to catch up on our Language Arts, but that should take less than a week too. I went through the curriculum for next year and it turns out there were a few more things I needed to get. So I ordered them and had them sent to my mom, who will send them here. HOPEFULLY that won’t take too long, but we are three packages short and they were all sent a month ago, so it is hard to say. I really hate choosing curriculum. I just don’t know if I (much less the kids) will like it. There are some things we have that I really don’t like that much, but I paid for it-so darn it we are going to use it! There are just so many choices, and it is hard to know without seeing. But even when you get a chance to look, you just don’t know until you are able to try it for awhile. I figured it was time to get going on a foreign language with the older girls. I was going to use Rosetta Stone, but found it was a lot more expensive than I thought. We had been doing American Sign Language as our foreign language, but I let that drop off this past year with all the changes and everything else. I don’t know if I will really get back to it. It is hard to teach a language you really don’t know. I know some sign language so that was going okay. I liked the idea of Rosetta because it is a computer based learn on your own program. But I think we will wait. So we are going to be learning Latin together I guess. Yes, Latin. I know, seems strange. But as Latin is the basis for most of our English, it should also help them with their Grammar and Language Arts too. It will also help when they decide what other language they will learn in high school as most of the Romance Languages (French, Spanish, etc) are closely related too. If Cybil (and us!) does decide to go to Rift valley, they have French and Spanish so that would be a good help for here. I don’t know what Mariah may want to do later. Who knows, once they have the foundation of Latin, I may decide to spend the cash and get Rosetta. Actually, when I was looking at it and all the choice of languages, they said they wanted to learn Arabic! Wow! That’d be a toughy-but they would probably have a guaranteed job when they got older as translators somewhere!
Greta will be sitting in more this year on the school work and Hailey will get more focused time on learning to read. I have a preschool workbook for Joe that is more like a coloring book. I think I may have Cybil work with him on that-it would be good for both of them!

Still no one to help around the house. I would really like someone, but obviously we’ve been burned twice now, so I am not in a big hurry. I made up a chore chart that we use every day now. Hopefully it will help us to get up, get it done, and get to school work!

Last week we went to the Lusaka Ag Show. Kind of like the Minnesota State Fair with the Kandiyohi County Fair. They had the competitions for animals, flowers, veggies, all that. We didn’t get to that part though-not too exciting when you don’t have someone’s stuff to look for. There was an “amusement park”-the big blowup jumping toys mainly. We didn’t take the kids with us; it was a long, hot day as it was. There were of course lots of booths and people to talk to. Unfortunately, most of the people weren’t very helpful as they didn’t know the answers to our questions, didn’t know prices, etc. But at least we saw what was there and got names of people to talk to. We did look at and price windmills. We could use them for watering livestock and possibly some irrigation, or just pumping water. We didn’t think we had enough wind to do windmills so we didn’t look at them very much before we came. We also looked at a small 3-point digger with crumblier on the back (they called it a cultivator). It would be a perfect addition to what we have and would get lots of use as we prepare the fields.
There were plenty of other activities as well-marking bank contests, dance contests. President Banda was also there when we were. The white couple with a baby stroller couldn’t walk down the road where the police cars were parked, but everyone else could coming the other way. I guess the Cadet wasn’t doing his job on the other side of the street!

“Where’s farm? Where’s your farm?” Wherever we go, we seem to hear it-the bank, the store, the gas station. Do I really look that much like a farmer??

Well, we did it. We pulled the trigger and bought a newer vehicle. It is a 1996 Land Cruiser. (Isn’t it sad when your newer vehicle is a 1996? It is still almost 15 years old! Two of our vehicles in the States were 1992s when we left in 2008! And they are both still in the family being used!) It has a snorkel on the top for exhaust, it is in immaculate condition inside-the last owner really kept it up. He used it to drive all over southern Africa doing his work-we found Kenyan coins, some from South Africa, Angola too. It has more miles, but they are road miles, not just in the city. As Tim Taylor would say, there is a lot more POWER! AAR-AAR! We are getting a basket luggage rack made for the top. When we go to town with all the kids, there is just no room inside for anything else. This is really the largest vehicle we are going to be able to have for the road we are on. We had to use money from our furlough fund to help pay for since we couldn’t get a good trade-in price on ours due to its condition. We struggled with doing it, but believe it is the right thing to do as we may be doing some more things in town in the future; it’s just safer than ours was. We’ve have also had 2 or 3 people ask about our van in the States since we pulled the trigger on this one! Continue to pray that we would be able to sell that van as well.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Here is the latest Kallevig Klan newsletter!!!


peace and quiet

Well, as quiet as it gets with 7 kids. The Americans, pastors, and students are all gone. It has been over 3 months of pretty much non-stop go-go-go. Henry and David are going to go to their farms to check on things. It turns out someone has been helping themselves (stealing) to Henry’s maize (he does not have a fence). One individual was caught by someone and beaten, yes I said beaten. That is often what happens when someone is caught stealing. It is what I call immediate justice. There are no 3 meals a day, cable TV or anything else while they wait for trial “to see if they are guilty”. Once in a while the police are called but not usually and that is not much better for the criminal.
For the month of August we plan on taking a “working vacation”. That is a nice term which means we don’t have enough money to actually go on a vacation anywhere right now. There have been a few to many unexpected expenses the last couple of months. So we will hang out here and get the things done that we could not get to when we got here because we where to busy doing stuff for GL. We are handing over pretty much all the responsibility to Paul. He is the one in charge now not me. Now when people come to me to ask, what about this or that I say “go see Paul”. Before we came I was having lunch with brother Fred. He told me that I would probably be in charge for a while and then I would have to give it to someone else. He was right. It is not an easy thing to do. I have invested everything I had to running this place (often to my own and my own families expense). Part of me feels the release of pressure that I/we were under. Part of me sees the fact that Paul has different priorities then I have, we see things very differently. And that is okay. It will just take some time to get used to. The best for me/us is if we do not even know what is going on with the other side, be kept out of the loop. Why, because I don’t need to know what decisions need to be made if I am not going to make them. I am more of a General than a private. It is no secret; I don’t tow the line real well. So if you don’t like what you hear, don’t ask. So for the next month we are going to take time for ourselves what ever that might be. Truth be told we are tired and burnt out and we need to go into GL detox. Take the time we need to get recharged physically, emotionally, and more importantly spiritually. Everything is running on E right now. I would ask you be in prayer for us this next month especially. That JEHOVAH ROPHE (THE LORD WHO HEALS) will do what HE needs to do.