Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Quotes from Third Culture Kids

As you can tell from my previous two posts I have been reading a lot about what it is like for our kids(and even us sometimes) to go and live in the states during our furlough or stateside assignment. Especially, since Zach will be graduating in a couple of weeks and will be starting college in Aug. He is going through a very difficult time right now as he is/has been having to say bye to a lot of friends, family, and even places. I'm so thankful for how he feels free to share with us all the emotions that he is going through. It is so difficult and probably no one can fully understand except for another TCK(defin. below). So, when my child hurts, I hurt.
Zach was able to go to a pre-departure seminar for a weekend last term. As I was packing I found his notebook and have been reading a lot of what they learned which was some really good stuff(with his permission of course). At the back of the book some former students at his school wrote some responses to questions to help the students understand what it might be like. Most of you who know me, know that I'm pretty emotional anyway. So, I'm sure you can imagine me just weeping as I read all these pages of what these TCK's had written. I read many pages but I'm just going to include a few of the comments so you can better understand what it is like for TCK's as they leave Africa and go to live in the states.

TCK (Third Culture Kid): An individual who, having spent a significant part of the developmental years in a culture other than the parents' culture, develops a sense of relationship to all of the cultures, while not having full ownership in any. Elements from each culture are incorporated into the life experience, but the sense of belonging is in relationship to others of similar experience.

The hardest thing about leaving Africa....

"Leaving a place that is the closest thing to home I’ve ever had, and likely ever will have."

"Leaving my dear home, the incomparable beauty of it, and the comfortable feeling of knowing I was loved and accepted there. I knew what to expect at every turn."

"I was mostly afraid…it felt like I was never going to come back.. I remember crying in the airplane cause I was scared."

"I really miss the dirt, the people, the food, the smells, the way of life."

"Losing the sense of belonging."

"Leaving a continent where I understood what was going on culturally."

"When you leave, you’re leaving your entire life, and transplanting it into a place where you know no one very closely, and nothing about current life there. It’s so easy to want to just curl up, go to sleep, and realize it’s all been a dream, and you’re still in Africa. In one blow, your life has been shattered, and you don’t know if humpty-dumpty can be put together again."

"Knowing that this time, I might never be back."

"Feeling like your heart is being barbarically ripped out and stomped on. I felt like I was being sold into slavery and everyone, everywhere, and everything I had ever loved was being taken away from me. At the airport it was all I could do not to hop the fence and run away from it all."

"The way your heart tears when the plane lifts off can't even be described. Leaving your home and your pets, and family behind feels different when you're going to a different continent! But! It is better to have loved once, than to have never loved at all. Even if you're leaving your heart in Africa, remember that God has a plan for you, and He will use your love for Africa in ways you never dreamed."

"leaving my friends behind."

My transition has gone well because.... "I know this is where God wants me right now. Also, I've figured out that there is no place on earth that could ever be my home. God has designed us to long for heaven, and we won't be satisfied until we're with Him. So I have given up trying to claim a plot of land as my home, and have found my identity as a child of Christ. I know that I'm going to get home when I die, so life is just one long journey. Knowing that has made me realize that leaving Kenya hasn't dragged me away from my home, I've just taken the fork in the road, which will eventually lead me to my heavenly home. No direction is wrong, it's just fun."

These sound like some pretty smart young people to me. So, as you think of us over the next few months please pray for us as we transition back into the states. For Zach, he will be starting his life in the states. For us, we will just be there for 8 months and then we'll all come back to Zambia.
You know when you first have children you think about how short of a time you have them to raise them but it seems like it is so far off before they go out on their own. You just do the best that you can to train your child in the way that he should go. You teach him along the way to be independent and to stand on his own two feet. They just grow up too fast!! It is all building up to the time that he goes off to college for the first time. Now, we are at that point in our life. Am I ready for it? NO! Is Zach ready? Yes, I believe he is. It doesn't make it any easier on me though. I know many moms and dads have dealt with this in the past and many will deal with it in the future but right now it is my turn and it is a hard place to be. Please pray for us as we go through this difficult stage of life.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Timbuktu Will Have to Do

Timbuktu Will Have to Do
"Where are you from?" you glibly ask
Where am I from? I slightly frown....
that depends....
on how much you want to know
how long your attention span
on whether you care
or just need something to say...
It depends
on how I feel today
-sure of myself or hesitant
-competent or lonely
-cynical or wanting to belong
Should I say-
your eyes give me no clue-
the last place I lived?
or where I lived the longest?
or where my parents live now?
or where I was born?
Should I tell you all the places I've lived?
in order? and how long? and why?
Or shall I pick a name out of the blue
and see how you respond?
I am from God's earth-just now
a sojourner and wanderer
and you cannot put what I know
or who I am
into a box
by thinking you know "where I am from."
The question poses an enormous problem for me
Yet it is understandable that you ask
It is not wrong of you to ask....
People ask it every day....
But you stand there awaiting my answer
Hesitancy forming in your eyes
And I should not be uncivil
After all, you asked...
I think, today, I will say
and see what you do.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

I Am Green

As we prepare to go back to the states for our stateside assignment(formerly furlough) there are so many emotions that we go through. We have had so many people ask us if we are excited about going to the states. Yes, we are excited to see our family and friends, eat out, and go shopping. But as I think about actually living in the states I begin to get a little apprehensive. After a month or so I'll be ok I'm sure but between now and then you can continue to pray for us. I found this poem meant for Third Culture Kids. It is especially hard on our kids.

I Am Green
I grew up in Blue Country
My parents grew up in Yellow Country
They tell me I am Yellow
And sometimes we go and visit Yellow Country
When I am in Yellow Country
I go to school with the Yellow kids.
I dress like the Yellow kids
And I talk like the Yellow kids.
but when I am in Blue Country
I go to school with the Blue kids.
I dress like the Blue kids
And I talk like the Blue kids.
Sometimes when I am in Yellow Country
I really miss the Blue ways.
I guess that the things I do and say,
Are really rather Bluish in color
In the same way, when I am in blue Country
There are things I miss about Yellow Country.
And I am sure the things I do and say
Appear rather Yellowish in color.
All this changing around is so confusing
Blue or Yellow? Who am I really?
I wonder if there is a place where I could just be me,
Where the Blue and the Yellow could both run free.
Sometimes when I am flying between the two places
I want to stay up there in the middle of all the races.
If only I could stop some place in between
If only I could just be GREEN!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Our visit to the Western Province of Zambia

This past week we traveled to the Western part of Zambia to visit some of our friends and fellow missionaries. Our first stop was to visit with the Wints. We were not there very long but we enjoyed their fellowship and hospitality. They took us for a tour of their small town called Sesheke. We also got to walk through their market and meet some of their friends. The Wints have just been in Zambia for about 8 months. They are still studying the Silozi language. Pray for them to have ears to hear, a mind to understand, and a mouth that can speak this very difficult language.

This is the view from their back yard of the Zambezi River.

Hannah enjoyed playing with their 3 year old daughter Madylanne.

The Wint Family- Melynda, Madylanne, and Mark.
Our next stop was about 3 hours away from Sesheke off of a pretty bad sandy road. In fact, on our way back home I got car sick! Now we were going to visit our friends the Scotts. The Scotts have been serving here in Zambia for about 7 years. Daniel is now the team leader for the Lozi team. When they arrived in Sioma 7 years ago there was no where for them to live so Daniel built them a house(tent) to live in. It took them about 14 months living in a small tent before their home was ready. It is beautiful! When we walked in both Hannah and I sucked in our breath and said, "Wow!"
They are expecting their first baby in October. Sky and her little bundle of joy!
One day we went to see some beautiful water falls. We first rode in their boat about 20 min. and then got out and walked for about 30 min. through knee high water and across rocks. It was quite an adventure and well worth the trek.

Sioma Falls. It was spectacular!


Hannah and Sky
Sky and Daniel

me, Hannah, and Sky walking on the rocks


riding on the boat

Daniel and Kevin

We even got to see 2 hippos

This is the view from the boat coming up to their little beach.

Hannah enjoyed playing with their two puppies.

It was hard to take pics. of their house because of all the trees but this is the front view of their house(tent).

Hannah coming up from the beach. Isn't this a beautiful time of day?

Hannah loved spending time down at the beach. Of course, she had to be watchful for crocs. though.
This is a side view of the Scotts house coming up from the beach.

Daniel and Kevin went out Tiger fishing for a few hours and Daniel caught this big one. They cooked it on the grill and then ate it right off the grill tool. Who needs plates?-Men!

Hannah and I enjoyed helping Sky in her kitchen. Here Hannah and her Aunt Sky are making a pie.

where we slept

view of their deck

me and Sky outside on their deck
We had such a good time visiting with both the Wints and the Scotts and seeing where they live and serve God among the Lozi people. This area has been a more difficult area to serve in for these families. Please pray that the Lozi people would be receptive to the gospel. Pray for strength, endurance, and patience among the missionaries in the western province. We are praying that in God's time He will provide the harvest.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Top 5 Graduation Gift Ideas

This is the time of year when we celebrate peoples graduation from High School or College. Since I have a son about to graduate from high school I found this to be very helpful. Hope this will help you as you decide what kind of gift you can give to a graduate.

Top 5 Graduation Gift Ideas:

Money – This is the most common and easiest gift to give. It’s an especially great gift if you know the graduate is saving up for something special.

College Bound Gifts – This is a pretty easy gift because most college freshman will be living in a dorm and need things for their dorm room. You could also give a gift with the school’s logo.

Technology – This is a more popular gift idea. Entertainment items like an MP3 player, an iTouch, or a mini netbook computer are very popular.

Experiential Gifts – Traditionally, this is thought of as the trip to Europe or backpacking through the countryside of a European country. It doesn’t necessarily have to be extravagant. For example, Greyhound has a Discover pass program where you buy a ticket that will take you anywhere in the USA for 7 – 30 days.

Memories – This gift helps capture some of the memories of the graduate’s life. It can be a compilation of photographs from throughout the years leading up to graduation or a professional photographic session that allows the graduate’s personality and interests to be reflected through portraits.

Bottom Line: The easiest gift is money. The gift that locks in memories and adds to the graduation experience will be treasured for a lifetime.

(taken from www.socoolgifts.com)

I also recently talked with someone younger than myself and they recalled enjoying the gift of money the most. Also, ranked at the top of their list was gift certificates to restaurants, Walmart, or Target.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Thank You Southern Baptists.....

Thank you Southern Baptists for your support of the 2009 Lottie Moon Christmas Offering. The final report is that the total reached $148,984,819.41, the third largest offering in the history of the LMCO. The total is short of the goal of $175 million, but it is $7.6 million above the 2008 Lottie Moon Christmas Offering. More than $4 million of the $7.6 million increase came from a special offering last summer which allowed the IMB to send the missionaries who were delayed for appointment because of financial shortfalls. All of the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering is used to send and support missionaries. We are grateful, especially for those who gave sacrificially in difficult economic times. Special thanks to the Women's Missionary Union for their faithful promotion of international missions and the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

10 Mistakes parents make with teens

10 Mistakes parents make with teens from www.byparents-forparents.com

1. Lecture rather than discuss

2. Ignore the obvious

3. Not following through on rules and consequences

4. Setting unreasonable goals

5. Pointing out only the negative, expecting only the positive

6. Leaving the educating up to "someone else"

7. Giving up on family time because it is too much of a hassle

8. Assume good grades mean no other problems

9. Not taking the time to know what's up with adolescents today

10. Giving up too soon: Forgetting the "three time" rule

For more information and elaboration on each point, see the entire article on the By Parents - For Parents website.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Rat and Bat Hunting

Sorry, I know this is a gross picture. We have a few bats that stay up in the roof of our rondoval outside during the night. Then in the mornings there is always a lot of bat poop all over the table and ground. So, yesterday as the sun was going down we walked out there and saw two bats hanging up above us so Kevin went and got Zach's compound bow and shot one of them. The other flew away. So, I guess one bat down and I'm not sure how many more to go.
We also have acrobatic rats in our attic which like to practice during the night. We are not exactly sure how they are getting in there but we are so thankful that they are not in our house. Perhaps they are coming from our neighbors house through the trees onto our house and slipping in through some hole. Who knows?? So we had to put out some rat poison. It's some tough stuff. If the rat eats it he won't go further than about one foot. That is some powerful stuff! (Don't worry it is not where any other animals or people can get to it.)

4th Grade Here She Comes

Yesterday, Hannah completed 3rd grade. We celebrated with a big Choc. chip cookie!
We are so proud of her. She has learned and grown so much this school year. Not only did she complete 170 school lessons, but she helps us with 40/40 twice a year, she taught her friends bible stories and she also teaches them some school work. It really bothers her that her best friend is in school and can't do all the things she can do. She works with her almost everyday to help her get caught up. Dorcas' sister, Deborah, has not yet started school and she is 7. Hannah has also started working with her some. This past week she had to do a short creative writing about what she wanted to be when she grew up. I'll type it for her below. I think that whatever she does when she grows up she will be great at it. Of course, I'm her mom though!!

When I Grow Up by Hannah Grace Rodgers
When I grow up I want to be a missionary and a mom. I want to be a missionary because I want to travel the world. But most of all because I want to tell people about Christ. And I want to be a mom because I want to have kids and a husband. The End

Friday, June 4, 2010

Always on my mind

At the beginning of the week I got this email from someone who has been so faithful to pray for us and other missionaries throughout the years. She also has always sent us birthday and Christmas cards. I have not been able to get her words off of my mind all week. Read it and then I'll write something below.

Dear Missionary Friends,

I’m so thrilled! I’m going to be with my Jesus very soon! I have metastasis cancer in brain, lung and liver and am in Hospice care. I don’t hurt, I just feel very tired. I’ll be seeing my son, husband, Mother, etc!

I love all of you very much and will continue to love and pray for you and yours and those you are serving as long as I am able.


I have not included her name but you can still pray for her as you think of it. I guess I can't get it out of my mind because it makes me think about my own life and how I would react if I knew I was about to die. This woman says she is thrilled! Would I be thrilled too?? How about you???

Psalm 23:1-2 LB “The Lord is my shepherd; I have everything that I need. He lets me rest in the green meadows: He leads me beside peaceful streams.”

Psalm 118:24 NKJV “This is the day the Lord has made; We will rejoice and be glad in it.”

II Samuel 22:2b-3 “The Lord is my rock, my fortress, and my savior; my God is my rock, in whom I find protection. He is my shield, the strength of thy salvation, and my stronghold, my high tower, my savior, the one who saves me from violence.”

Psalm 147:3 Message Bible “God heals the heartbroken and bandages their wounds.”

Psalm 23:6 NKJV “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”

II Timothy 4:7-8 NKJV “I have fought the fight. I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Finally there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing.”

Isaiah 57:1-2 LB “The righteous pass away: the godly often die before their time. And no one seems to care or wonder why. No one seems to understand that God is protecting them from the evil to come. For the godly who die will rest in peace.”

Psalm 20:5 LB “May we shout for joy when we hear of your victory, flying banners to honor our God. May the Lord answer all your prayers.”