Sunday, October 24, 2010
Thursday, October 21, 2010
Wednesday and Thursday morning we had a training to review the law and the standards for the children’s home. It was very informative and Sylvia, the trainer, really blessed our lives and we are looking forward to more meaningful interaction with her. God does not set up these meetings for nothing. We know that she is a part of this ministry and will be helpful for us and the children and staff.
She lives near the capital which is several hours away but she is certainly interested in these children and this area (the Caprivi Strip in Katima). She invited us to come to a local pastors meeting this afternoon where she introduced us and we had the opportunity to talk a little bit about why we are here and how we got here and what our goals are. It is so exciting that in the 9 days that we have been here, we have already been to the royal establishment and attended a local pastors meeting.
Remember, this has NOTHING to do with us! It is ALL GOD!!! He has prepared the way for us and continues to pave the path.
Exodus 23: 20 See, I am sending an angel ahead of you to guard you along the way and to bring you to the place I have prepared.”
Yesterday afternoon, I took my second child to the hospital. It is always an experience at the hospital and I hate to see our children sick or in pain. Please continue to pray for Isaac (who was on last weeks hospital run and is feeling better but still not well) and Berina.
OK, that makes 3 trips driving to town “independently” for me!
Next week we have lots of visitors so please pray for their travel and time here. Ray is coming from Maryland. He and his wife Deb, served 6 months here as the interim director prior to Dave (who is here with us now). Darrell and Richard are coming Tues from The Mission Society (our sending agency). They are currently in South Africa attending a conference so they are close enough to come and visit to both see the site and check up on us We are excited to see all 3!
Saturday we plan to attend a local village church with some of the children who have been going there some. The service is from 9am until about 2pm. We will still have our traditional service here on Sunday morning.
Monday, October 18, 2010
I have been walking to the garden to get fresh vegetables many of the days. Right now we have carrots and spring onions but it looks like we will soon have a lot of tomatoes and some corn, squash, pumpkins and mangos. The banana plants are not doing so well after last year’s flood. We also lost most (or maybe all) of the lemon trees. We are blessed with what is there and plan to plant some more soon.
We took 13 children to play a soccer match on Saturday afternoon but the other team never showed. We waited about an hour and then left. We were excited to see them play but there will be other opportunities.
Saturday afternoon and evening we spent time at the children’s home interacting with them and trying to get to know some of them a little better.
BIG PRAISE: Thank you TRISH!!! The car is sold! The only thing left is the closing on our house on Oct 27th!!!
Isaiah 55:12 For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.
Tomorrow morning we have devotions with the staff at 8. Then we head to Mufuta – a place where we take food that provides a meal for the children that come across the road from the school. We have a very busy week with a lot of meetings.
Fresh elephant dung – still steaming essential
Hottest fresh chillis available
Old potato or onion sack, or netting
Giant size pestle and mortar
Method: Mix the dung and chilli in the pestle and mortar, pounding well, then pat into a hand size ball. Scoop out a small cavity in the top of the ball, and place the ball in the sack of netting suspended in a convenient place to dry thoroughly. Enjoy!!!
Our favorite phrase: TIA (This is Africa)
Most missed: family, friends and for Lorna only – pretzels
Challenge: Not being able to run the toothbrush under the facet water or drink out of the tap.
Thursday, October 14, 2010
Greetings and love from Katima Mulilo, Africa!!
We have had a busy few days here and it has been very hot (90-100 degrees with a cool 80 in the house at night) and dusty/sandy. At the end of the day, I have a scalp of sand because of the way it blows everywhere. Sometimes I think I have a tan where by sandal straps come but, no, it is dirt!
Let me also tell you that the spiders here are really BIG! One was under my towel this morning. Guess he was keeping warm since it went down to 80 degrees.
We have been many places in town and continue to learn the processes and meet people/make connections and build relationships. We have paid the taxes (both income taxes and SS taxes). We must do this each month and you must pay in cash and with the exact change. Only one person at the window can take the money so if he is not there, you must come back or wait.
We have been to the hospital to pick up the children's meds. People are lined everywhere. In Africa you move from line to line (and sometimes back again) and it is called a que.
We have been to the grocery store. Yep, there are a couple of things that we miss but are not craving (yet). We also went to the market. We went to the phone store to buy time and we went to the telecom store to try to get a new modem but we have not yet been able to connect to the right person. We will try again tomorrow. Once we get the modem we will hopefully have better communication back to the states and will maybe even be able to send some pictures. Right now that is not an option as the connection is really slow and it costs us per minute to be on line. We do have some great pictures so I can't wait to ask Stacey to post them on the photo gallery so you can enjoy them as well. Lots of cute children!!!
We have been to the vocational school where some of the children are attending and learning a particular vocation.
We spent a couple of days taking the village elders to a rather faraway place to attend a meeting. The first time we left about 8am and were back about 1pm. Today we left at 6am and got back at 1:50pm. We were at the Mafwe Royal Establishment where they have like a court trial. Today we waited all morning while they had a meeting to be invited in. Once you are invited in you must be in the proper dress: Men in long pants and shirt, women in the traditional shatangi (skirt) and blouse and head cover. Prior to entry to the building you kneel and clap. Then they clap back and you enter. The clapping show respect and you do this when you meet someone. There is a particular hand shake then you clap twice. We then entered and sat on a bench. We did not understand the language so I cannot tell you everything that was going on. The first man that was on trial was there because he wanted a cattle catch on his property. That took about 30 min total. When it is your turn the representative goes to the middle of the floor and sits with his legs straight out in front. He first kneels and claps. There is lots of talking and clapping. We spent all of this time there to find out that the person/persons involved were not there because the letter for the meeting date just went out yesterday so they did not know to show. Well that does mean that they will have to go back, and we are the transportation (which is really the only reason we were there). On the way out we all had to kneel and clap then it was repeated outside.
While there and waiting I was trying to figure out how to use my time. You know in the states we would be feeling like we were wasting so much time. So, at first we Americans were sitting in the van and the rest were sitting outside on the ground. The men were in one place and the ladies in another. So, I went to sit with the ladies. I quickly found out they did not speak English and I did not speak Lozi. So, I just sat there. Then I saw all these small twigs around on the ground in the sand. So, I started making crosses. At first I could not find the right kind of stick to rap around the cross to hold it together because it kept breaking. I almost gave up but then I thought, what else are you going to do? Just stick with it. So, then I determined how to make it work. After I finished 2 I gave them to the ladies next to me. We ended up sticking 4 in the sand before we left. Might be a unique way to witness but it was all I could do at the time. Hopefully in some way it started the building of a relationship that will grow in love and partnership.
We have not spent as much time as we would like with the children but we have to take advantage of Dave while he is here to show us around and introduce us to important contacts. We will hopefully have more time with the children this weekend. I do know that we are taking the girls to a soccer match Saturday afternoon and we have the church service on Sunday morning.
Love and prayers to you back in the states!!! We are so blessed with your love, support, prayers and encouragement. Our prayers are with you!
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
Sunday, October 10, 2010
Well, we thougth we were on a journey, and we were. But, honestly, I think that our journey really begins tomorrow. A journey filled with joy and blessings, challenges and sorrow, questions and answers, mistakes, and, well, more mistakes, fulfilment and loneliness, praises and praises...
I wonder how long it will take to hug 59 children?? Stay tuned, we are about to find out and we will let you know!
Goodbye Johannesburg, Hello Namibia!!!
As for God, his way is perfect; the word of the Lord is flawless. He is a shield for all who take refuge in him.
You broaden the path beneath me, so that my ankles do not turn.
The Lord Lives! Praise be to my Rock! Exalted be God my Savior!
Therefore I will praise you amoung the nations, O Lord; I will sing praises to your name!
Saturday, October 9, 2010
Today, Saturday we went to a loin park. We saw many other animals besides lions but playing with the lion cubs was most likely the highlight.