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!

Friday, May 4, 2012

Finishing up the Muzha

Today is the last day of the month long Muzha wa Yesu (slave of Jesus) seminar. Church leaders from the churches in the Mumena chieftaincy have sacrificed their time and money to spend 4 weeks sharpening each other and studying the Bible together. In the next week or so we will be sending out a new newsletter with a detailed summary of the Muzha this year for everyone to read about. Until then we wanted to give you a photo preview (above) of the men diligently studying. This was taken at chapel this morning while our teammate Sam Rodriguez gave a wonderful lesson. Thank you to those who have prayed for the seminar this year and to our visiting teachers from the States!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

One Blessing after Another

It has been a great April so far! The Muzha Wa Yesu (Slave of Jesus) Seminar is almost half way through. The church leaders have been working very hard sitting through classes from 8am-5pm everyday for the past two weeks as they seek to grow in their knowledge of the Word so that they can go back and teach their congregations. We have had three visiting teachers this session from the US. Two of those visiting teachers are from our sending congregation in Chattanooga, TN, Dave and Susan Mellor, and Ron and Gail Rogers. Dave is teaching the Hebrews class while Ron has been teaching on "The heart of an elder." While the seminar has been going on during the day Susan and Gail have been spoiling Whitney and I with many cooking lessons, sewing lessons, and lots of love and attention. It has been such a blessing to see familiar and comforting faces. Today we ladies ventured out to visit the wife of a church leader who is attending the seminar because she has a new addition to her family! Susan brought a handy little picture printer to Zambia so we wanted to take some snap shots of the new baby to gift his Mama with. He is so precious and tiny, and slept through the majority of our visit.
 More updates on the Muzha seminar to come!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Nsobe Game Camp Team Retreat

Last week our team of 3 apprentice families and 2 full time missionary families, along with Sonny and Eunice Guild from the Halbert Institute of Missions at ACU traveled to the Nsobe Game Camp in Ndola for a team retreat. The retreat focused on team dynamics and missionary care. The Halbert Institute works with many mission teams all around the world and we were so blessed by our time with Sonny and Eunice. Jeremy, Whitney, Jason, and I trained with Halbert before we moved to Zambia so to be reunited with our Abilene mentors was so encouraging. While at Nsobe we had a little free time to explore the wildlife around. We ran into several little vervet monkeys, a few antelope species, and a pied kingfisher bird. Above are just a few pics I snapped along the way!

Monday, March 19, 2012

A little here and there

I got to sit behind this precious little one during worship yesterday. Often children from the Kampande church meet us at the door ready for their handshakes. Mrs. Kasono brings the great majority of them with her each week. Some are her own children but many of them are orphans she has taken in. I remember one week seeing her hand each of them (around 10 children) kwacha to tithe, such a sweet scene. Jason and I both love seeing their happy smiling faces each week. They like to sit extremely close to me during the service which sometimes makes me feel squished but I always get a kick out of their natural rythum during chorus songs being so much better than mine!

In the past I have been given a jokingly hard time by teammates about adding random pictures of flowers from our garden to my blog posts. It kind of made me think about if they were necessary but then I concluded...I like flowers/gardening, taking pictures, and taking pictures of flowers/garden scenery, so I will continue on. : ) Our rainy season will be coming to end in in May so I won't have near as many blooms to admire in a couple months anyway. Below is an amethyst plant ( I have been patiently waiting for it to bloom for what seems like FOREVER) and one of the blooms on one of our rose plants.
 Our entire team leaves tomorrow morning for a team retreat at Nsobe Game Park in Ndola (about 4 hours away) for a few days. We will get to stay in little safari tents, go on fun game drives, canoe, and spend lots of good quality fun time together. I think we will all appreciate the relaxing time away and hopefully come back to Mumena refreshed and ready for the coming months!

Thursday, March 15, 2012


Today I write with a thankful heart for Jeremy and Whitney. They have had an abnormally rough week dealing with the results of a traumatic car accident. We are so thankful the Lord was watching over them and that they are okay. In order to give some reassurance to others that love them I awkwardly made them let me take a couple pictures of them today. : )
Jeremy and Whitney, we love you and are so blessed to be able to share our first years in Africa with you!

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Gemnogene Stalking

Since living in Africa Jason has become quite the bird identifier. Today we saw a huge bird circling around the pine forest, well actually we first heard the chickens in a huge uproar, then we spotted it. Jason ran to get his binoculars as I ran for the camera then we went off stalking it for a good look. As I type this story I realize just how limited our entertainment is here.  Turns out, it was a gymnogene bird. It took a lot of creeping to finally get a picture of it, and even then it was from really far away so the pictures are really blurry. But, without furthur ado, here it is...
 They have a great hair-do! We love getting to see animals we wouldn't get to see at home in States. It always feels so adventurous. : )
Happy Wednesday from us and Mr. Gemnognene!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Davis Newsletter

Here is our newest newsletter. It has a time line of events from our first year then our goals for our second year in Mumena. Just click on each page then use the magnifying glass to zoom in and read. Or, if you would like to be on our email list just comment and let us know. : )

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Village Music

Yesterday Jason and I went to Konkwa village and while we were there we visited this very talented blind gentleman. Jeremy and Whitney are good friends with his family so I had heard about how inspiring he is before but getting to see him in action...playing hymns on his hand crafted instrument while softly singing was such a sweet experience. I wish I could have videoed him and shared that but unfortunately it would have taken a really really long time with the speed of our internet 
to upload a video plus I am not too handy with video 
recording : ). Instead here are few pictures....
Thought this might be encouraging for some to see today!

"This is the work of the Eternal One, 
and it is marvelous in our eyes.
This is the day the Eternal God has made;
let us celebrate and be happy today."
Psalm 118:23-24

Happy Sunday!

Thursday, February 2, 2012


We have a huge avocado tree in our backyard the produces enough fruit to feed many families. At night Jason and I often wake up to loud thuds that come from the sometimes 1 lb avocados falling on the ground. One of my favorite parts about having the tree is little ones who often come to the door and politely ask if they can take some home. They load them up in their shirts and take off running with them, usually dropping a few along the way then running back to pick them up. It is about the cutest thing you could ever see. Today we had two groups of little ones coming to collect the green treats. Jason climbed up in the tree and knocked them down for them to catch and they were trilled! Just thought I would make a quick post to give a visual of the excitement something as simple as an avocado can cause!

Monday, January 30, 2012

Sunday Encouragement and Monday Kiddos

Sunday Encouragment:
Yesterday we witnessed a wonderful testimony by one of the church leaders from the Kampande church. Aaron was preaching about the blessings that come with being in the Light and focused on the blessing of not having to live in fear of witchcraft, as many here do. He told us that his wife was having health problems recently so his mother-in-law advised for their family to move because she believed there were too many witches in the area and that is why Aaron's wife was having health problems. With a joyful smile on his face he told us that he does not fear witchcraft and instead of moving to a new place he and his wife were turning to the Lord for care and comfort. What an encouragement it was to see the faithfulness of this church leader and his family. 

Monday Kiddos:
One of my good friends here, who is a teacher, has been working very hard decorating the walls of her classroom so I wanted to show my appreciation for her devotion to her classroom by stopping by this morning to visit her and her kiddos. The children in her class are so obedient and respectful of visitors. When I walked in they stood up and said in unison, "Good Morning Madam." As I sat for a short while I took a few pictures of some of the sweet faces that are influenced by this devoted teacher everyday. I am so thankful for Zambian teachers who truly want to make a change in the lives of the children they teach.


Happy Monday from Mumena!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

1st First Year Reflection

A year ago Jason, Jeremy, Whitney, Sam, Ellie, and I all stepped off a plane into a foreign country with a new culture and language much different than our own to begin our two year apprentiships with Jason's uncle Brian and his wife Sondra. Our first year as apprentices has given us the freedom to learn about the culture, build relationships, and explore how our gifts can best be used to serve the Lord through our work with the Kanode people. Although this year has been filled with new and at times difficult experiences, God has blessed us throughout with his steadfast love and mercy. This month we hope to make a few blog posts with refelctions of our first year. Here is our 1st first year reflection:

Some of the ladies from the Kampande congregation
This morning Jason and I rode our bikes to worship with the Kampande congregation, whom we have spent many Sunday's with other the past year. I remember sitting with our team around this time last year talking about the congregations we were the most interested in getting to know. Jason and I were eager to worship with and encourage our brothers and sisters at Kampande because Jason knew he would be working in Ag projects on-site and they are the second closest congregation to the outreach center. Kampande is a small group made up of some of the most loving and humble people Jason and I have had the privilege of working with. They have faithful leaders and a wonderful group of devoted women. In the coming year they really want to work at reaching out to the lost in their community and want to grow in their knowledge of how to best reach them. This morning the church discussed having a once a month campfire devotional where they could invite their friends and family. We are very excited about this program being carried out. Hopefully over the next year we will have updates about seeds being planted by the Kampande church members!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Fun in Livingstone!

Jason and I have spent the last few days with my parents in Livingstone. It was such a great trip filled with lots of fun and good family time. We went on a day safari at Chobe Naitonal Park, visited Victoria Falls (always seems as amazing as the first time I saw it), and went rafting on the Zambezi River. Mom and Dad left this morning to head back to Texas and Jason and I will head back to Mumena tomorrow morning. What a blessing it was to see my parents for a couple weeks. They were such troopers, it was their first trip overseas and coming to Zambia isn't the easiest first overseas travel experience. I miss them both already but am so thankful for the time we had together this month! Here a few pictures from the safari and rafting.

 Rafting on the Zambezi River:
It is high water season right now so we had to get out and walk around one of the rapids (it was a class 6). The rest of the 18 rapids ranged from class 3-5. Lots of fun!
We love this picture because Dad claims when we flipped on this rapid Jason pushed him abuse. From the looks of this picture (Jason and Dad are in the front) that may have just happened! Mom is in the back next the guide and I am behind Jason...falling to what felt like a near death experience.

The arm you see sticking up in the middle is mine. This photo was taken just before the raft landed on my head and I was trapped underneath the boat until the guide pulled me out. That was a first! : ) But we all survived and have some great memories!