Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Mini Update from ABILENE!

So much has happened in the last month and a half! Our joyous mission apprenticeship came to a close in Mumena, we moved back to the States in mid August, spent a couple of weeks in Chattanooga, a couple of weeks in Roanoke, and now we have been in Abilene for a almost a month! Jason is ACU's Ag and Environmental Science department's new Rhoden Farm manager and I will be starting grad school next fall at ACU to get my masters in Marriage and Family Therapy. Until then I have decided to turn my favorite hobby (photography) into a little mini business! There will be more updates on that adventure to come. : ) Obviously that is a rather short summary for all that has gone on and the roller coaster that comes with moving back to the States after living in the slow and peaceful atmosphere of an African country!

We are already missing so much about Zambia and those that we grew to love in Mumena. But, we have been so blessed to be reunited with family, friends, and pets! We will be heading back to Chattanooga in December for a Mumena Celebration at East Brainerd Church of Christ which we are so looking forward to. East Brainerd has been the most wonderful church to have been supported by and we are eager to show our gratefulness to them and to report (in person) on all that went on in Mumena the last almost two years.

Our family of three (Rex makes three) is now living at the ACU farm outside of Abilene in a little one bedroom farm house which we adore. I have been a busy bee cleaning, decorating, sewing, and figuring out how to grocery shop in America again. That in and of it's self has been more of a challenge than I could have imagined. My most memorable moment of panic happened in the mop isle at Walmart. Too many choices, taking too long to figure out which choice was the most cost effective, all led up to boycotting buying a mop all together!

I am hoping to upload photos of our new farm life in the next week! Until then here is a couple phone snaps of two memorable moments in the past month. 

Reunited with Rex!!

My sweet best friend Lauren took Jason and I to a "Welcome Home" Ranger's game. It was AMAZING!
That is all for now... There is just much to tell about life in the past months but it's hard to put it all into one blog post. ; ) God has been so faithful to provide for us and guide us through this transition. We are abundantly blessed! Thank to for all of your prayers and love over the past two years! More updates to come!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Bless the Lord, O my soul

Today was a Sunday filled with many smiles, tears of joy, and songs of praise. Four of the sweetest young women, whom Whitney and I have loved getting to spend time with and watch grow and mature over the past year and half were baptized into the Lord today. Meet Catherine, Rwidness, Christina, and Mutinta, our new sisters in Christ!

"Bless the Lord , O my soul,
And forget none of His benefits;
Who pardons all your iniquities,
Who heals all your diseases;
Who redeems your life from the pit,
Who crowns you with lovingkindness and compassion;
Who satisfies your years with good things,
So that your youth is renewed like the eagle. "
Psalm 103:2-5

Saturday, July 7, 2012


We have loads to update on in our next newsletter, which will be coming soon. Today is the last day of a very successful and blessed summer campaign which included work in spiritual, education, and health development.  For now I wanted to share some photos from the Mumena Rural Health Clinic which is where yesterday's health outreach took place. : )

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Sibling Adventures

In our last post I failed to mention a major recent event. My sister Maeci, and brother in law, Daniel, visited in May! They flew here on Emerates airlines flying to Dubai then on to Lusaka. They have been the luckiest travelers to visit us thus far because they got randomly bumped up to business class on their way here. Also, because they had an overnight stay in Dubai before getting to Zambia they had the least amount of jet lag I have seen yet. Needless to say, we were able to meet them in Lusaka (the capital city) and hit the ground running showing them around Zambia. We spent a full day in Lusaka then headed to Livingstone. We took them to see the amazing Victoria Falls and they went on a safari at Chobe National Park in Botswana. Jason and I used their safari day (which happened to be our 2 year anniversary) to rest and relax at Zig Zag Bed and Breakfast in Livingstone. The last days of their trip were spent at home sweet home Mumena. We spent lots of time visiting, cooking, eating, and playing games. It is always so encouraging and warming to see familiar faces and to be able to have family visit is a tremendous blessing and comfort. For some very odd reason I only have ONE picture of the four of us, and it's a phone picture, so a little fuzzy. My sister is a talented photographer and has lots of pictures of their trip that I'll have to steal from her to better remember our sibling adventures in Zambia. I really kind of like that the one picture I do have comes with my favorite memory of Maeci and Daniel's trip to Africa. 
This picture actually sums up our biking adventure pretty well.
While in Livingstone the four of us decided it would be fun to rent bicycles and cycle to the crocodile farm that is about 2 miles from Zig Zag (where we were staying). As you can see, Daniel is very tall. He was a trooper and didn't even let the fact that his bike was way too small for him phase him. In fact, he rode in the road instead of the sidewalk, most of the way because he felt so comfortable moving with the flow of traffic. As we were getting nearer to the turn off to the croc farm we could see MANY baboons all along the roadside. Naturally, Maeci and I were very fearful that the baboons were going to run up to us, knock us over, steal our belongings, and ride off on our cycles. Well luckily, they didn't pay any attention to us and carried on with their business as we rode by, phew. We had a few other hiccups on our bike ride, like, my tire flattening like a pancake and Daniel's pedal falling off multiple times but that just made our adventure all the better!

Maeci and Daniel, We loved getting to see you and had so much fun making memories with you! We appreciate your visit more than you know! We love you both!

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Update from Kaondeland

I realized recently we haven't written an update in quite a while! Life has been sweet in Kaonde land the past month. Jason and I have been really feeling the effects of only having 6 months left with the wonderful people in Mumena that we have grown to love. When we first moved here I thought two years sounded like such a long time. Well, it isn't! Time has flown by, almost too fast for us.

Jason has been working hard to develop pig feed that can be made locally in the village. For the pig farmers, making their own feed will mean saving lots of kwacha (money). They would no longer have to buy commercial feed from town and it would give them a more profitable use for the maize they grow every year. This would also help boost the local hammer mill business. It is all very exciting! 

The ladies at the Kampande congregation wanted to start meeting together again recently. I was very happy about this so I offered to teach the first few classes. I am teaching them "how to teach each other." Some of the women at Kampande are young in their faith but some of the women are more mature Christians. This is the perfect combination for them to work together and edify one other. I have one more week of teaching then I will pass the baton off as they will start to take turns teaching each week. Please be praying for the ladies and their desire to grow stronger in Lord through assembling together mid-week.

Underneath our kinsanza Jason has a few guinea pigs and couple rabbits. Both animals are perfect for Zambians to have a breeding pair for relish (which would give great protein) and for selling. Also, both can be fed with plants we can find in the bush. We hope raising them ourselves will encourage others to do so as well. I try not to dwell on the fact that they could be used for meals but more so just enjoy hearing the guinea pigs little squeaky noises as I walk by everyday. Our friend Edward brought several of the school boys over today to show them how to feed the little critters which gave Jason a chance to show them how to hold them and gently pet them. At first they were terrified to hold either but after I encouraged them with "if you hold one, I'll take a snap of you and show you the snap after," THEN they all wanted to participate! They ended up really liking them and laughing at the silliness of it all. Here are a few pictures of them...

That is all for today's update. Happy Thursday!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

J&E/J&W Newsletter

Here is our latest J&E/J&W apprentice newsletter. Just click on the page you want to read and use the magnifying glass tool or zoom in to read our updates. : )

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Saturday Fun

Today Jason and I took a stroll about 2 miles down the road to the Kimpalumba village. Two men in this village are working with Jason doing a pig production project. They were required to build their own pig pens then have been gifted with a bred pig in return. The men and their families will feed and care for the baby piglets, along with the sow, for 6 months then be able to keep their profits from selling the piglets to invest in the next years production. Our hope is for this project to help two qualified farmers have a better means of supporting their families through pig farming. Here are a few photos of the new piggies!

Our reason for visiting the Kimpalumba village today was to check on the new babies but as an added surprise we got to observe some of the fun these families have on an average Saturday. The kids invented their own slide to ride down one of the termite hills. We were very tempted to want to take a ride as well but it was pretty steep! Looks pretty fun huh?
The women were mostly sitting under their kinsanza's preparing their relish for this evening's meal (pumpkin leaves). But Edward's wife was "polishing their house." She mixed red dirt with water, making a paint, then she painted a stripe around the bottom of their house. Next to her on the right is a little one who made herself a pouch to carry around her roasted ground nuts to snack on while she waited for her turn to slide down the termite hill.
We loved getting to spend part of our Saturday with a village full of people we have grown to love over the last year. Although the weekend activities of the Kaonde people may look a bit different than we experienced growing up it is neat to see them have family time, fun time, and relax time in their own special way!