Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Picture Post: Worth 1,000 Words

Brent driving through the big city market at "Hope"

Market Colors and Crowds

Claire found a nest!

Not thrilled with how our tiled bathroom turned out, but the mason was skilled at masonry not tiling, AND at least it's not a latrine!!

Claire's friend who lives near her Auntie Shelly & Auntie Brittany's house

Ethan and his soccer buddies near his aunties' house

Kids make incredible toys from tin cans

More friends

Water-totin' mama near the mango tree

At the pump - this is as close as we get to running water at our house

Smile like it's easy.  ;)

Hard work

Just love this pic

Trying to set up electric at the aunties' house

Our lil gull is a growin' - Happy 5th Claire

Such a card!

Almost got them all

Living room furniture thanks to some colleagues!

First successful from scratch cake & icing for our birthday girl

got the screens up in the windows, now we need a ceiling to close up the house.

Propane stove (European size) and some useful furniture we had made for our kitchen storage

Our front porch. Soon we hope to have a screen door to keep people from wandering into the house

Draw water from the pump, put into the 55 gal barrel, filter through the Katadyn filter to make it drinkable

African Sunset

Soccer field down the hill from our house

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Laundry & Ponderings on "How"

Standing on the porch looking out at the clothes line.

Doing my part of the laundry while Claire "helps."
Ponderings on How...
I'm watching the clothes billow in the sun and breeze while they hang on the line. It's very peaceful. I'm thankful for calming visuals like this just when I need them. I've been thinking about our interactions with neighbors in this pre-language stage. It's made me contemplate how on earth we can reach these people who need to know Him. Then looking at laundry, I consider again – I can control nothing. Not the wind. Not the sun. Not the hearts of people who need to hear of His love. Not even the length of my own life. 

How do we keep from becoming discouraged while doing what we know God has called us to do? How can we possibly do what we have hoped to set out to do? Just like doing laundry, I need to do my part of washing and hanging the clothes & let God do the part of controlling the wind and sun to dry them. I do my part in ministering and He always does His... the sun and wind are there on days I don't do laundry too. He ministers to hearts in powerful words I do not have & will continue to minister even when I am not here.

Hmm. Plant the seed, it will get watered, it's God's job to grow it.

Lord, help me keep you in focus here – to know that You love us each one & You are doing a work in me as much as in those I hope to minister to. Help me with my faults and sins. Thank You for the daily reminders like laundry to lift my heart!

Good ole hymn:
Higher Ground

I m pressing on the upward way
New heights I'm gaining every day
Still praying as I onward bound
"Lord, plant my feet on higher ground."

Lord, lift me up and let me stand
By faith on heaven's table land
A higher plane than I have found
Lord, plant my feet on higher ground.

My heart has no desire to stay
Where doubts arise and fears dismay
Tho' some may dwell where these
My prayer, my aim is higher ground.


I want to live above the world
Tho' satan's darts at me are hurled
For faith has caught the joyful sound
The song of saints on higher ground.


I want to scale the utmost height
And catch a gleam of glory bright
But still I'll pray till heaven I've found
"Lord, lead me on to higher ground."

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Picture Post - Glimpses of Africa

Tarantula-sized guardian of the bathtub (one we did not use) at our friend's house.
Kids flock to my family.

Me & my love of my life/ awesome companion on this wild adventure!

Awesomeness in a tree.
A regular road in these parts

Our cuties in a cabana - just kidding! It's a mud hut.

A friend's village - notice the natural fence of cactus
Vehicle at the compound in the capital

Yes, that's chickens tied to the top of a taxi.

Beautiful African Sunset
Ethan's first day in Africa, he played in charcoal - pic reminds me to pray for our neighbors here

Flaming Bread to kill flies eggs/germs

Local 2 mo.old orphan baby, who is now cared for by a colleague

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Rough Roads

Road Trips to the Middle of No Where

We've been in Africa for 3 weeks or so now. We've driven a lot on really bad roads. There are some that are literally pock-marked by gigantic pot holes. We knew the roads would be bad, but not this bad & we have some worse ones to travel yet! So far, not much of a problem with motion-sickness thanks to Dramamine. Though on our last trip, Laura's Dramamine did not kick in right away & she ended up with vertigo & a 5 hour trip took much longer due to the needing to stop for her to toss her cookies 8 or so times. At one point we stopped to try to allow her meds to kick in and she laid down on the road, to try to stop the spinning, strategically resting in front of our vehicle to keep from getting hit by trucks bounding down the dirt road. Villagers came out of the bushes to stare and ask if we were ok. Some people took pictures! They were really curious & concerned for this sick foreigner. I bet it was quite a sight to see a white woman laying on the road with her husband kneeling, fanning her with a hand fan! 
Later down the road, we had to stop due to traffic backed up by two trucks stuck in the mud. One had overturned and the other determined it could not pass without tipping once it made it to the middle of the bog. Africans are so resourceful. They took a tire off the overturned truck to allow the other one space to pass and the traffic cleared up in 45 minutes! Thankfully, a dose of Dramamine started to take effect during that stop, and the swerving and constant bumping did not bother Laura anymore. We got in well after dark – not a great idea to drive at night here. It's dark with no street lights, so pot-holes jump out at you, and you never know what will be crossing the road (even at 10pm): people, cows, sheep, ducks... Needless to say, we rested up for a few days after that rough trip. All throughout we kept thanking the Lord that our car had A/C & was able to keep trekking after getting some bad gas that caused us to stall 15 times while we were driving. Reaching out to the unreached doesn't come without some challenges. Thankfully, we've had some decent road trips since this one.

In the Village

First village orientation.
So our village orientation has begun. We’ve spent a week living in a hut & pumping water from a well & learning some greetings. We’ve watched women carry huge buckets on their heads, seen men come back from the fields with a harvest of maize, peanuts, and manioc. It’s hot and dusty in the village. It’s been interesting. There are some big bugs in the latrine at night, & nightly trips to the latrine are disliked by every member of our family, but oh well, nature calls. Hut life isn’t so bad, but not my favorite either. It’s definitely doable and I can see the value of being in a village.

The village community is different from city life & as new-comers, we had a bit of adjusting to do. Each day, we would have 20-30 kids come to the yard to see our “too-ba-boo” children (foreigners or white people). Lots of kids wanted to touch our daughter’s red hair. She felt overwhelmed by all the little reaching hands. Some kids were nice and wanted to befriend us. Others were just amazed to see people so different. Young kids would stare and laugh sometimes. Some teens brought a new friend each day to come and take pictures of us on their cell phones. We felt odd in this new celebrity role. As our son played soccer with the other children, I felt like our kids were taking part in a daily routine of monkey-in-the-middle, where our kids were the in the middle. Watching foreigners is like watching TV for villagers. The adults on the other hand, were quite friendly and helpful – always greeting us and shooing away impolite gawkers. Our last night in this village, we had a dance party. (Those of you who don’t agree with dancing, don’t faint.) It was a way to make a memory, one African woman told me as we danced and laughed. They seemed impressed with my dance skills (that would never happen in the States!). I felt sad leaving the village, knowing that I may never see them again & knowing how badly they needed to know of the love of God. I will continue to pray for the two followers I met, that their light will be bright and not go out. I am praying that the whole village will be lead to the right path by the light of these two.
back to top