Friday, November 25, 2011

Thanksgiving in Mumena

We had a great first thanksgiving meal in Mumena yesterday. So much to be thankful for! Here are a few pictures!
Turkeys at the grocery store here cost over $50 so we had home grown turkeys to eat!
The turkey roasting team

The Davis Families

Chief Mumena stopped by to take part in the yummy food

Lydia Love
The Chief's yellow bug!
Caleb and Emily Love. I think Caleb was wondering where all the turkey went.
It was a new experience being away from family on Thanksgiving but we are so blessed to have a Mumena family to share holidays with!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Insta-Mumena Part II

Although I have put intagramming on the back burner a bit the past couple of weeks I do have a couple of photos and one horrific story to tell:

Welcome to our front yard:
Lake front living; it's quite luxurious!
Care packages:
My sister and brother-in-law are some of the world's greatest care package givers. They always manage to fit more in one box than I thought possible and send wonderful goodies. Maeci does have an advantage above many when it comes to care packages because she sent them to Daniel during his two 1 year deployments in Iraq. So she has had practice...I was extra excited about the packages received today because Maeci sent lots of zip lock bags. We re-use them here because you cannot get the durable clasp kind so we try to hold on to the "American" ones for as long as sanitarily tolerable. There were also many other GREAT goods inclosed but I took a picture with the baggies to show my sister just how happy I am! It's the simple things in life...

With these new rains comes a certain new type of spider (the rain/huntsman spider) that has been taunting me this week in the evenings. Twice I have reading on the couch and out of the corner of my eye I see something large moving very quickly. This "something large" has turned out the be the largest spider I have ever come in human contact with running around the living room specifically the coffee table in circles so fast that my eyes can hardly keep up. I immediately jump from the couch to the ottoman trying to stay out of the creepy crawler's or should I say sprinter's way while brainstorming how to get to the fly swatter. Well to make a long story short both nights this happened by the time I got to the swatter the obese yet highly athletic spider is no where to be found. But also on both nights, when it has been time for bed I have seen this same type of spider RUNNING HORIZONTALLY across the bedroom wall. At which point I close myself in the mosquito net and make Jason chase it down and kill it. Anyways, I have reason to believe there is a family of spiders living for the purpose of tormenting me. Below I drew a diagram of how large this type of spider is compared to my hand (this is to scale, not exaggerated, but they can get bigger, so I have now read). Also, thanks to pinterst I found a quote that perfectly describes this week's nights for me.

Hope you enjoyed this Insta-Mumena update. Have a happy day!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The Heart of a Preacher, First Blooms, and Birthday Wishes!

It has been a great week so far. Sunday Jason and I visited the Rd. 68 congregation at the Maheba Refugee Settlement so we could transport a few young men back to Mumena for a preaching seminar Jason, Jeremy, and Brian have been teaching the past three days. I have sat in on a couple of Jason's classes and really enjoyed watching him strive to inspire these men while teaching about the "heart of a preacher." Jason has taught on the topics of love, humility, and lastly this morning, service. 

Yesterday Whitney and I had a great time with Catherine, Rwidness, and Mariam. Catherine amazingly retold last week's story of Jacob and Esau almost word for word. We then studied Jacob's dream and had the girls draw a picture to help them remember the story. It brings so much delight to watch them laugh as they draw. When my Mom is here in December she is going to have an art class with them. They are very excited about it and I certainly can't wait to see how much fun they have learning to draw from a true artist. 

Here is a picture of the bunch here for the seminar and a snap of one of the scriptures Jason used today in his lesson. "...serve one another humbly in love." (Galatians 5:13)
The consistent rains are here so we have had  a couple blooms this week including our first rose in months! The goats now have new grass and leaves to snack on so our plants can actually grow leaves and petals.

That is all for this quick update. Except... Happy Birthday to my sweet, loving, caring, encouraging, compassionate, giving, and joyful Mother! You are amazing, love you so much and can't wait to give you a huge hug next month!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Give Thanks Unceasingly

"...for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength." -Philippians 4:11-13

Content, peaceful, thankful. These three words could be described as emotions, adjectives, and gifts. You can't have one without the other. Can you be content and not thankful for ALL the blessings the Lord has given you? Can you be at peace but not be content with the spiritual, emotional, and physical aspects of your life?

One of the great blessings and struggles of living in another culture very far from home is you are removed from the false senses of peacefulness, contentment, and thankfulness. You are forced to seek and find these gifts through pursuing a deeper relationship with Christ who is the key to contentment.

I have learned that even if you have plenty as most of us do or if you have little as is the situation of most of those we live around, learning to be content is a tough journey. I have been on this journey a while now. But in the last month the Lord has really been working on my heart and exposed where I need growth in learning to be content and truly thankful. Philippains 4:13 is quoted often and used when teaching several topics. But I am most encouraged today to think of this verse in the context of contentment.

We can learn to be thankful and at peace with blessings we have been given. Because of the strength our Lord gives us we can choose to be content in EVERY situation. What would our day be like if we were constantly seeking a more grateful heart, looking for situations, events, people, and material blessings,  past and present to thank God for? A day like this would leave us feeling content, at peace, and most of all thankful.

Thanksgiving is coming up and I always enjoy the opportunity to dwell specifically on thankfulness for a day (and of course I enjoy the pumpkin pie too). But this year God has put it on my heart that it is time to start a lifetime of seeking to dwell daily on thankfulness. I hope and pray many will be encouraged and inspired to think about daily thankfulness as this wonderful holiday approaches.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Shiny and Smooth Mud Floor

Yesterday morning I ventured off a few miles toward the roadside on my little blue bicycle to spend some time with the sweet ladies from the congregation Jason and I work the closest with, Kampande. The Kampande church is such a wonderful and faithful group of believers. They recently put a new roof on their church building with iron sheets. Their old one was made of grass which was not completely leak proof during the rainy season. They are so excited about their new roof and have much reason to be considering they saved up their money to buy the sheets themselves. Iron sheets are very expensive around $13 a sheet and it took over 30 to cover the roof. Now that their roof is almost complete (just lacking the roof capping sheets) the women have started on re-doing the dirt floor. It is quite a long and tedious process but they have it down to a science. First they use a hoe to level the floor, then they wet it down with water and beat it with wooden planks to make the dirt stay hard and in place. Lastly they make a mix out of a clay like soil and cover the dirt floor in it which makes it nice and smooth. When they are completely finished I will post a picture of what it looks like. When Euttice told me at church on Sunday that they would be starting the floor on Wednesday I offered to help. Which brings us back to me riding my bicycle by myself up hill both ways to the church building. When I arrive only Euttice and Rwiness were there working. I arrived at 9:45am to see they had already been working for a while because the back half of the church building floor had already been worked on. I asked Euttice what time they started and she said "oh around 10." That is the trouble with telling time by the's hard to get it exact. My part in helping was when it came to hauling water from the pump near by. The ladies handed me the smallest container (holds about 2 1/2 gallons) and they took the HUGE bucket and trough. Both of them filled their containers up and carried them on their heads. Wishing I could do the same, but can't, I carried mine by my side. It must have been a pretty funny sight considering how small the container was that I was carrying compared to theirs. To help you better understand I drew a stick figure diagram below. On the second trip to get water Euttice informed me I was too tired to carry my container so she would carry two. I laughed and told her I wanted to have strong muscles. Luckily, I brought my phone along to take a snap of the ladies hard at work to share.
Rwiness is on the left and Euttice is on the right
I am not sure exactly of their ages, these are just my estimates.

I had so much fun just spreading water onto a dirt floor with Euttice and Rwiness yesterday and was  humbled by their hard work and servant hearts. How blessed Jason and I are to have the opportunity to experience such neat things!