Thursday, March 31, 2011

Quick HIghlights

Last week Jeremy, Whitney, Jason, and I rode the bus to Lusaka, Zambia’s capital city (about 9 hours away), to pick up our work permits and order a part for the truck we share. It was a quick but very successful trip. Whitney and I got to go shopping while the boys ran errands. We found Oreos, salsa, brownie mix, and a few other wonderful things at the grocery store there so we were very excited about that. We also had time to print off pictures at the mall. Is it odd that we have 5 pictures in frames on the wall of Rex (our dog, who stayed with my parents in Texas)? Probably not if know me very well…haha…but not to worry we have numerous pictures up of our family and friends as well. We love being able to see those we love all the time, even if just in pictures. 
            Jason picked up 8 piglets for the 4-H project with the school on Monday. Since I used to show pigs when I was younger I told him if he wants to keep them from smelling he needs bathe them regularly. Not sure if he will take my advice on that though. So far I think they are his favorite animals of the project.
In April the Servant Leader Seminar will start for the church leaders of all the churches our Mumena team works with. Our apprentice team is excited to see this large event happen. We are expecting to have around 50 men here for it. Some of them will stay in Mumena at the dorms and some live close enough that they can walk each day. A lot of preparation has gone into it so please be praying for the church leaders who will attend.

I was finally able to upload pictures of our house. Jason and I have spent many hours making it "home," which entailed curtain making, picture hanging, fence making, gardening, and turning practical items into decorations. Our favorite part about it is the location. We are on the outskirts of our village so we usually have a pretty peaceful and private environment. Well here it is....welcome to our home in Mumena!
View of the living room/office/dining room looking toward the front door

Our office area

Our room....It's just big enough for the bed
Our kitchen

Our back porch

The other side of the living room
Front of the house

Our view from the front porch
 Hope you enjoyed the quick picture tour...feel free to come by anytime!

Monday, March 7, 2011


It has been a while since our last blog post so I thought today would be a great day for an update!
It’s interesting how the first few weeks we were here there seemed to be quite a bit of free time, sometimes feeling like too much, but after almost two months our schedules are plum full!
On Monday afternoons Sondra and I have begun hosting ladies teacher teas. Many of you have probably heard us talk about the struggle to help teachers here understand the calling they have to responsibly teach the children that have been entrusted to them. Many teachers do not show they feel teaching is their “calling,” rather just an occupation that grantees a pay check. It IS true though, in Zambia teachers are considered wealthy. But just because the teachers are guaranteed a paycheck hasn’t meant the students have been guaranteed a teacher that shows up for work everyday or a teacher that takes a personal interest in their well being and education. Until there is a heart transformation we will not see a transformation in the classroom either. Out of this common issue came the idea for “teacher’s teas” (a voluntary Bible study that also includes tea or juice on Sondra and Brian: Jason’s aunt and uncle’s front porch). We have about four female teachers and two spouses of male teachers that have attended the two beginning sessions. Sondra has been teaching using a curriculum she taught to the ladies while she was in Cape Town, South Africa.  Eventually I will help out with the teaching of the study but for now I am enjoying learning from Sondra. A great part of being an apprentice is the pressure is taken off from feeling like we need to lead several studies from the start but instead have the chance to really learn from our mentors.
Jason and I have been attending and trying to encourage the Kampande church, which is about an hour walk from our house. It is a small church that has been through quite a bit but they are seemingly eager to learn and grow together. In an effort to reach out, I have offered a weekly ladies class for them on Wednesday afternoons. Currently we are studying the women in the genealogy of Jesus. My hope through this study is for the ladies to understand that women of different walks, with different struggles, and much different stories make up the lineage of Jesus. Therefore no matter our background, color, gender, or spiritual maturity we are all joyfully welcomed to be a part of Christ’s church. I am adapting the study guides from Francine Rivers’ Lineage of Grace series and through that I am able to learn and grow myself while preparing the lessons.
Whitney and I have also started meeting with a few young girls (pre teen-young teen) each week to have a study about God’s Love for Us. In a culture that children aren’t given as much importance as the Kindgom culture calls for we feel it’s important to do all we can to uplift and encourage a marginalized age group. Hopefully pretty soon I will have some pictures of this sweet class to share!
Jason has been very busy with the start of his 4-H project. I have been helping as well by naming all of the goats. : ) I told him as long as I name them they cannot be eaten! So far we have, Belle, Polly, Clover, Calico, Brownie, May (she looks like a dairy cow hince Mayfiend Milk), and Laverne and Shirley. There are still a few that need names but I don’t want to force the naming process so as their names come to me over time they will get one.
That’s all for the work updates so far. I already have my next blog post planned…”Homemaking in Mumena.” It hasn’t been easy for a neat freak but I am adapting a little at a time. It will also include pictures of the inside of our little house…yay!
Before I go, since we are starting our Kampande Ladies class each week with everyone sharing something they are thankful for, I want to end my post with a few quick thoughts that have been on my heart...I truly feel that I am abundantly blessed to have wonderful friends, family, and church family. When I have tough days here I just think about how lucky I am to have so many who love and encourage Jason and I unconditionally. It is hard to describe how even the quick emails and facebook posts make us feel surrounded by love. Isn’t it amazing how many avenues God uses to show the love he has for us? So, today, I am thankful for God working through the words and actions of my friends and family to show his love for me. 
Us with Chief Mumena and his wife at the palace a few weeks ago