Saturday, December 31, 2011

New Year Possibilities!

I love this picture first of all because I love the beach and secondly because it makes me think about how 2011 is about to be finished and 2012 will start a new.  2011 was a good year for our family but it was also a difficult year.  We had to say bye to our son Zach as we left the states to return to Zambia and he remained to go to college.  Justin was homeschooled for most of 2011 which he did not enjoy therefore making it difficult.  Then he went back to boarding school this past August.  When we came back to Zambia we moved from a rural area to the city which was a big adjustment.  These are just a few of things that have been tough for our family this past year.  2011 is about to be over but there are many memories and good things that I will be able to cherish about this past year as well.  Then with 2012 being new there are so many possibilities for the future.  I'm just glad that I have a personal relationship with Jesus and that no matter what happens in 2012 He will be right there with me all the way! 
I found this online and took portions of it to share on here.
I believe that we can find an answer in God’s word for any question or situation of life if we would just look. So what is there in God’s Word about New Year’s Resolutions? Well they are not called New Year’s Resolutions but I don’t think you could do better.  In the book of Proverbs chapter 3 we find one of the wisest men that ever lived with some good advice for us.
Solomon starts off this 3rd chapter with a very matter of fact statement.
1 My son, do not forget my teaching, but keep my commands in your heart, 2 for they will prolong your life many years and bring you prosperity. Then He gives very specific details of 10 precepts or principles that we should live by in order to have long life, prosperity and peace. Some of these are rather simple, in fact all of them are simple to talk about, but when it comes to putting them into practice it becomes more difficult. I think if each of us would adopt these principles and conscientiously live them out in this coming year that it would change our lives. I’m not talking about giving lip service to them but conscientiously live them out. Every day make it a part of your life. I believe that it will change our lives.
Resolution 3. DO NOT BE WISE IN YOUR OWN EYES v 7-8
Resolution 7. HAVE NO FEAR v 25-26

I challenge you to look up these verses and see how they can impact your life in 2012!

 Good -bye 2011.... Hello 2012.  Thank you God that we don't have to wait for a new year to start over; Your mercies are new every day-Great is Your Faithfulness!

Friday, December 30, 2011

Christmas Memories!

 We had our big dinner Christmas Eve that way I did not have to cook at all on Christmas day.  Kevin baked the turkey and then I cooked all the other goodies.

 After dinner Kevin told us the Christmas story of the birth of Jesus.  I ready the book The Crippled Lamb by Max Lucado which makes me cry everytime!  Then we each opened one gift which is one of our Christmas traditions.


 I baked cinn. rolls for Christmas breakfast.  Sorry I didn't get a pic. of them after they were baked and iced.  I guess I was in too big of a hurry to eat one!

We went to church at Woodlands Baptist here in Lusaka.  There was a baby dedication, an anniversary celebration, we sang, Kevin preached, and had communion.  It was a beautiful Christmas service.  After church Justin took these pics. of me, Kevin, and Hannah.

 We opened presents and then enjoyed the afternoon.

 Unfortunately Zach was not able to be with us here in Zambia.  He spent Christmas with my family and then a couple of days later traveled to be with Kevin's family.  We are so thankful for him and we missed him being here with us so much!

 I thought I would include these two pics. too because while Kevin was in America for his graduation he and Zach were able to buy a new mailbox for my mom and dad and put it up for them.

 Justin got an ice cream maker which looks like a ball.  You put all the ingredients in and then shake, roll, toss, or kick it until it is done.

 Hannah was so excited to get this fancy diary with a lock.  

 Hannah in her new shirt, sunglasses, hat, and with a purse.

That afternoon Justin and Hannah tried out the ice cream maker.  Our dogs didn't know what to think about this red ball thing being kicked or tossed about.  The ice cream turned out good.
My sister had foot surgery a couple of days before Christmas so Zach drew this picture for her.  This is how he imagined her acting.  Not sure if you can tell or not but she has her foot up, her nails being polished, a diet coke within reach and she is ringing a bell in her other hand.  I feel sure it is pretty close to the truth!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

What did you get for Christmas?

I remember when I was a little girl as soon as our family opened up all of our presents I would rush to call my friend who lived right next door to see what she got for Christmas and then we would visit each other to see everything.  It seems those first few days after Christmas everywhere you go people are asking you what you got.  Why not, what did you give?  After all, it is not our birthday that we are celebrating.  I'm not saying there is anything wrong with getting or giving gifts we just need to make sure that our focus is on Jesus.  Anyway, as I reflect on the true meaning of Christmas I am reminded of what this world is like and how we can try to change the mindset of people along the way especially our children about what it means to give.  So instead of telling you all the wonderful things I received this Christmas let me tell you about the favorite gift that I gave.
My favorite gift that I gave was given to Justin and Hannah who in turn gave to someone in need. Last week I gave them each  a certain amount of money and told them they couldn't keep it but had to find someone to give it to or to buy something with it to help someone else in need. It couldn't be someone they knew. When Hannah and I went to teach last Monday in the compound we found out about a little boy named Emanuel who is 11(but looks like he is 8), a double orphan, and is HIV positive. The woman in charge of the school said he needed a back pack for school.  She did not want us to just give him the money because she said the aunt would just keep it for herself and it wouldn't go to the child.  So Hannah bought the back pack and Justin bought him some school supplies. I added some cookies and banana bread. He had the biggest smile on his little face when we gave him his gift and of course I had tears in my eyes.  
Merry Christmas Everyone!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Do you always pray before you teach?

When I go to teach the palliative care women in Ng'ombe compound the plan is that Hannah will go with me and teach some of the kids that go to school there.  So together we head off today to do ministry together!  On the way, I say, "Let's pray."  I then pray for our time out teaching and especially for Hannah because she is a little nervous.  She has taught just a couple of her friends before but not a big group.  Anyway, after I prayed she asked me, "Do you always pray before you go and teach?"  "YES!" I told her.  What a great opportunity to talk about the importance of prayer with my daughter!  We get to the compound and the women and children are busy handing out some mealie meal and beans for all the children to take home so we wait for a while.  As I was waiting I had a good talk with one of the women who is SDA.  She began telling me that she has 4 children and that she is a widow.  Her husband died from AIDS 11 years ago and she was also tested at that time and found out she was positive too.  She has been on ARV's for almost 11 years and she is still doing well.  I told her that was a real blessing for her to have these ARV's and how good that it is that it has extended her life.  She said, "No, it is not the ARV's that has extended my life it is because of the Grace of God."  Wow!!  I was touched and I stand corrected!!  Pray for Mary as she takes care of her children and others in her household.  Pray for God's continued grace in her life as well.
Today I storied Gen. 1 and 2.  Then I talked about how God wants us to know how to pray and study His Word so that we can grow closer to Him.  I used A.C.T.S. to talk about prayer-Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, and Supplication-as a guide for them to use when they pray so that we aren't always just going to God with our hands out asking for things.  After that I taught them how to have a QT by choosing a portion of scripture to read and then asking them to think about 1-what are these verses saying? and 2- what do I need to obey from these verses I just read?  We then chose a portion of scripture in Matthew and practiced.  It was neat to hear what they thought the bible said and also how they thought they needed to obey.  They did well applying it to their lives.
Hannah's group made name tags made out of suns.  Then she also taught on Gen. 1-2.  They colored a pic. from each of the days of creation.  They memorized Gen. 1:1, sang some songs, and played a game.  I am so proud of her for doing this.  She seemed to really enjoy it and is already talking about next time.  Pray for her as she plans for the next time.  Amai Esther said that next time there would be more kids!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Real Faces/Real People

 Everyday they pass me by,
I can see it in their eye.
Empty people filled with care,
Headed who knows where?
On they go through private pain,
Living fear to fear.

 Laughter hides their silent cries,
Only Jesus hears.

People need the Lord, people need the Lord.
At the end of broken dreams, He's the open door.

People need the Lord, people need the Lord.
When will we realize --people need the Lord?

 We are called to take His light
To a world where wrong seems right. 

What would be too great a cost
For sharing life with one who's lost?

 Through His love our hearts can feel
All the grief they bear.

They must hear the words of life
Only we can share.
 People need the Lord, people need the Lord
At the end of broken dreams, He's the open door.

People need the Lord, people need the Lord.
When will we realize that we must give our lives,
For people need the Lord.
People need the Lord.

This month I just want to keep before people all over the world the need to give sacrificially towards missions.  There are people all over the world that need to hear about the Love of God and how He sent His son Jesus to earth.  How Jesus grew up and later died on a cross for our sins because He loved us!  The problem is that we are separated from Jesus because of our sin.  If we will just repent and ask God to forgive us of our sin and ask Him to come into our hearts -He promises to do that.  How can people in the far reaches of the world hear this plan of salvation unless someone goes and tells them this Good News?  The International Mission Board has around 5000 missionaries that Southern Baptists have sent out all over the world to do just this.  We can't do it all by ourselves though.  We need your prayers on a daily basis.  We need you to come join us for a couple of weeks on a short term volunteer trip.  There may even be some whom God is calling to be full time missionaries.  He may want YOU to serve HIM in another country- away from the comforts of your own home.  As missionaries we also need you to give financially to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering which is taken up this time of year in Southern Baptist churches.  If you would like to give online, look in my sidebar and you'll see an icon you can click on to do that. Your gifts make it possible for us to live in a third world country, have a nice comfortable home, have a truck to drive in difficult places, for our kids to have a good education, to have our medical needs met, and so much more, all so that we can share the love of Christ with others!  We try to be His Hands and His Feet but we can not do it alone!  We need you to do your part!  Please prayerfully consider how you can do your part and join 5000 other missionaries all over the world and let's make a difference in the lives of mankind!       

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Hannah Turns Eleven!

I can hardly believe that Hannah turned 11 this past week on the 8th!  These pictures are taken over 3 different days because she had 3 different celebrations!  These first pics. were taken Thanksgiving day when she had some girls from our mission come for a sleepover.  These friends of hers live in other parts of Zambia and only come to Lusaka a few times a year.  It is so nice when they all come in at the same time.  We had choc. cupcakes.  My friend Marci decorated them for me since I was cooking the food.  Thanks Marci!

They painted nails, watched a couple of movies, played, and ate!

The girls singing "Happy Birthday" to Hannah.


 These next few pictures were taken on her actual birthday.  We had plans to go to a water park but when we got there the power was out so the slides would not work so we decided to go the next day.  For dinner Hannah requested for us to have chicken strips, french fries, and peaches!  Then after dinner we had a choc. cherry cake!
Hannah was so excited about her presents.  She loves to give hugs!  Justin gave her a lava lamp aquarium thing.
 She was so surprised to get a cell phone from us.

a necklace, candy, and a wii dance game

The day after her birthday we actually got to go to adventure city and the power was working!  We were the only family for about 1 hour and then only one more family came so we basically had the whole place to ourselves!  It was a fun day!

 A peacock wandered over to where we were!  They are so beautiful!

 Here are a couple of pics. of presents her Gram sent her.

Psalm 139:13-17 LB “You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb. Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous — and how well I know it. You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb. You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed. How precious are your thoughts about me, O God! They are innumerable!”
We are so thankful for Hannah!
Happy Birthday!