Saturday, November 27, 2010

Travel from Katima Malilo to Walvis Bay

Psalm 138: 1-3 I will praise you, O Lord, with all my heart: before the “gods” I will sing your praise. I will bow down toward your holy temple and will praise your name for your love and your faithfulness, for you have exalted above all things your name and your word. When I called, you answered me: you made me bold and stouthearted.

We had quite a journey this week.

Our mission was for 2 reasons:

1. Go to Windhoek to get pages added to our passports. Since we will need to transport teams and volunteers to the airport, it requires crossing boarders so we just want to make sure that we are having enough pages to get people (including ourselves) in and out of the country.

2. Second was to go to Walvis Bay to pick up our stuff that we had shipped. We received notification and a telex release that our stuff was here and we could pick it up.

Our travel was long. We rented (here they say hired) a car since ours have not been reliable and drove 3100 KG (which translates into 1,926.26 miles). So we left just after 6am on Sunday and drove about 12 hours to get to Okahahdja.
We saw many animals along the way including elephants, baboons, work hogs, antelope, ostrich and of course, many cows and goats (mostly in the road instead of alongside of the road.)


We had a training here where we met a wonderful lady named Sylvia. She has already been such a blessing to us. She connected us with a wonderful couple and their 6 children that are missionaries from the USA. They have been in Namibia for about 3 years. They are working with finding foster families for children that are vulnerable but do not run an orphanage as we do. So, there is a similar ministry connection. They invited us to come for dinner and stay the night. What a blessing this was! They have a beautiful home with a flat out back where we had the place to ourselves. It was the well needed safe rest and food that we needed. Prior to this town, there was nothing along the way. We barely found gas in time to refuel! And where we did refuel, it was just a tank in the middle of nowhere. God provides for our every need! We also had nothing to eat except the snacks that we brought with us. We had a great evening of conversation and visiting with our new friends and then a great nights rest prior to heading back on the road first thing in the morning.

From Okahahdja we drove on to Windhoek (the capital of Namibia). We had trouble finding the US Embassy but there was a nice gentleman that led us to where we needed to go. We went in and filled out the forms. Then the lady told us the cost (luckily Travis put in $200 of US money because they did not take credit and they did not take Namibian dollars) and then said they would be ready in about 3 days! We must have looked like a deer in the headlights. We obviously couldn’t wait 3 days so we told her we would take the applications and come back another time. We had the paper work still in our hands and on the way out there was a gentleman coming in. He saw the paperwork and said “so, applying for new passports?” We told him the story. He said, well I am the one that needs to approve that and I can do the approval for you now if you can wait about 2 hours to get the pages in! Now, that was a God appointment!!! So we had to go to the bank to pay for our stay for the night (you have to pay at the bank instead of paying when you arrive because they do not handle money), had lunch and needed to pick up the passports and head to the coast. We would have loved to spend more time there but we needed to get on the road so that we were not traveling too late at night. There are no street lights here so when it gets dark, it is VERY DARK! So the danger is that animals are crossing the roads and sometimes you cannot see them. Elephants for example, have nothing reflective about them including their eyes so you literally cannot see them at night.

 From Windhoek, on to Swakopmund on the coast. Another blessing from God through Sylvia. She knew of a nice place where missionaries stay here. It is a Finnish School. We stayed in another lovely flat that was one block from the coast. Since we got somewhat of a late start, we drove right into the beautiful sunset! I think I will do a whole series on just the sunset pictures because they are so beautiful. Look in the photo gallery of our website to see more pictures. Again, we did not arrive until after dark and left by 7 the next morning. Apparently right up the coast there are penguins! We did not take time to see these so, again, we will need to come back on a more relaxing trip.        Now to head on to Walvis Bay.
We are praying that they will release the stuff and it will fit in the trailer and truck and we will get back safely.
There is SAND EVERYWHERE!!  It feels like we are on a different planet!  AMAZING!
 The wonders of God!  AMAZING!                                                   

Once we got to the bay it took a little while to figure out where we needed to go. Once inside of the building, they did confirm that our stuff had arrive (on the 20th and we were told it arrived on the 17th) so at this point, all is good. Then the lady starts talking about all of the paperwork that needs to be completed and approved and the agent that we need to hire and that it will all take about 3 days (something to figure out about this 3 day thing). Again, deer in headlights look!! She saw that and started talking slower. She gave us the name of a person that “is the best”. Also, his office was across the street so we walked there instead of calling. Bottom line, there is a whole process that we were not told about. All of this needs to be done prior to them releasing the stuff. Good news: He said they will bring it to us!!! We do not have to go back to pick it up!! So, we decided to relax and walk around a couple of hours before starting the drive back.

The return trip:

Walvis Bay to Okahandja where Steve and Kerrie invited us back again for dinner and a good nights rest.

Okahandja to Katima Mulilo (home) on Wednesday.
Empty trailer but SAFE!!!

Oh well! This is Africa! We are still learning. We are so thankful that our trip was safe and we met some wonderful people and we had great, safe places to stay each night we stopped.

Thank you for your prayers!!!

Thursday: Travis’s Birthday and Thanksgiving. There is no turkey here but we did go out for Travis’s birthday. I had chicken and pretended it was turkey and he had a steak. The children made him nice cards. Since we just got back from being gone for 4 days, I can’t say we had a relaxing day because much awaited us but we did have a good and blessed day.

We were praying for all of you and just in awe of how thankful we are to God and how he provides for our physical needs and our emotional needs and gives us great family and friends that we love so much.

1 Chronicles 16:34 Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; for His steadfast love endures forever.


Friday, November 19, 2010

Still learning and experiencing NEW things!

There is not a week that goes by without excitement and new experiences!

This week our cow was slaughtered. Now, I can say that we watched and Travis helped “move” the meat but we did NOT shoot the cow. It was interesting to watch the carving of the meat. I will not post the really gutsy pictures and video but here is a glimpse. If someone would have told me that I would be having this experience a year and a half ago, I would have said they were crazy.


Another new experience was going way back into the bush to help the people at the feeding center chop and gather fire wood. Lorna helped to serve the children boiled fish and traditional pap while Travis and Leonard along with a few helpers at the center made the first run. I went on the second run.

 I felt it was a successful day as 2 of the ladies said “I love you” and they are the first Africans to say this since we have been here. I took the stretchy cross bracelets with me that day and handed them out to the workers (thank you Pam!)

There have been more children coming to the house to do beading.       
It has been fun but I am reminded not to have too many young ones
at one time because it gets a little out of control.


The end of the school year is near (next Friday). There will be a big celebration and we passed out invitations yesterday to some important people in the community. The children are practicing for their part of the entertainment. Awards for the top students, the vocational grads, top sports and top behavior will be given. We will have an all morning program and then we will have the guests stay for a special lunch. The date is Dec 3 if you would like to come you are certainly invited.

We love you, we miss you!  You are our partners and we are praying for you! 
Thank you for your emails of encouragement and prayers!!  We could not be here without YOU!! 
We give God all of the praise for YOU and for how He Blesses us with His LOVE and YOU!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Community Connection

On Tuesday we had lots of visitors. We had about 10 pastors, that we met at a pastors meeting, come to visit the village. They received a tour and were welcomed. Some had worked on building the buildings here and some remembered when there were herds of elephants here. They were welcomed back any time and also we encouraged them to come on a Sunday to preach to the children (and us!)

About the time they were leaving 2 people came from a non-profit organization that are looking at making an investment in orphanages in the Kaprivi Region. She was serving as a representation for a friend that lives in Germany. Someone was with her from the ministry of forestry. He offered a few suggestions to us as far as poultry and farming. They seemed impressed with the village and loved the setting of the property.

On Monday and Tuesday the children practiced hard for a concert for the Chief Indunas that visited on Thursday. The children were wonderful and did a great job to welcome the special guests. They said they have never had the opportunity to meet or perform for these people.


 The managers were also excited to be included in our meeting after the tour and concert. We were able to serve them a homemade apple cake and their favorite drinks – either Coke or Orange Fanta. They were all very happy with the reception they received and what they saw here. This is a huge blessing to be accepted by the local tribe!! See our website photo gallery for more photos and video (

FRIDAY WAS OUR 6th ANNIVERSARY!!!! We started the day by taking 14 of the children to town where presidents from Namibia, Zambia, Botswana, and Zimbabwe visiting. It was a once in a lifetime experience. (See our website photo gallery for more pictures)

 They have created a NamPower Plant in the Kaprivi that is to join these countries such that when there is a power outage it will connect to another country for power. Now, we are thrilled about this since just this week 3/5 evenings/nights the power was out for several hours. Since we stayed over lunch, the 2 of us walked to the store to buy the children (and us) water and bread.

We got back to the village about 3:30 and needed to turn around and take 2 children to the hospital. We planned to have a quite date evening together and go for dinner. Well, since the presidents were here the “big 3” restaurants were not serving to the locals.

 So, we came back home and popped frozen pizza in the oven. It was rather funny. Our first anniversary in Africa.

We took 3 children horseback riding on Saturday morning at 6:45.  It was something these children used to do a lot but have not done for a long time.  There used to be horses here so some really love the horses and they were so happy and grateful to be able to ride again.  Even though it was an early morning call, it was well worth it to see the joy in their eyes!


 Daily rain has started. Please pray that the river does not flood it’s banks and our village and roads this year! This creates a lot of danger with snakes, crocks, and hippos not to mention disease and the potential for evacuation of 58 children!!!



Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Did you know??

Did you know that when you have employees (such as us) you have to go into town to the “cash window”, stand in line and pay in EXACT CASH the Social Security taxes for your employees (that is of course after doing the calculation and filling out the form and getting the exact cash). Just wondered if you knew that we successfully completed our first transaction.

Did you know that we had 9 children graduate from Vocational School.  They worked on sewing, joinery (woodworking), or brick laying. 

Did you know that we need to take 5ft canisters to get them filled with propane for the children’s home kitchen? Travis and Leonard did that yesterday.

Did you know that we were so blessed by several choirs on Saturday?! We transported 23 young people from the local SDA church (the one that we visited when we rode part way in the macolo – canoe) in the van to a local competition. They sang the entire way there and back! Beautiful!!!!!! We went early to pick them up so we could hear some of the other choirs. They placed us right in the front of the church. It was so HOT but what a blessing these choirs were. More photos will be posted in the photo gallery on our web site soon.


 Did you know I started beading with some of the children? For the older girls I taught them how to make paper beads and 2 have already finished bracelets that are beautiful!!! I give the younger ones the plastic beads to make their bracelets.


Did you know that 2 car loads of Pastors stopped me along the road. There were probably 12.  We all got out and met and shook hands and they said they were just at our house to visit.  We were all just in the middle of the road!!  Can you imagine?
Did you know that there is now an outdoor office? Fine furniture!

Did you know – We saw our first snake today!!!! It was 2+ meters!! Good news, it was on the road and it was already dead. Praise!!!

Did you know that we have a white "guard frog" living on our window ledge??

Did you know that we have 58 children that we love a LOT!??

 Did you know this is what our Sunday morning church service looks like?

Did you know we have spectacular sunsets over the river in our back yard in Africa??


Did you know that we love you and you are in our hearts and prayers? You ARE!!!