Saturday, September 26, 2015

13 hours in Istanbul

 On our way to Greece we had a 13 hour layover in Istanbul.  We were exhausted, had money stolen from us (but Kevin chased him down and got it back), and I was sick.  Overall, we had a good time seeing as much as we could.
We arrived at 5:30 am so the first stop was breakfast at a little cafe.  I'm drinking a Turkish apple tea.

 an ancient obelisk

 Entrance to the Blue Mosque

 I had to cover up to go in the mosque

 Kevin coming out of the Blue Mosque

 The ancient Hagia Sophia, one of the oldest churches in the world, built around 350 A.D.

 ancient mosaics inside the Hagia Sophia

 Basilica Cistern
Medusa head statue

Inside the Grand Bazaar

Friday, September 25, 2015

A beautiful day

I walked along a dirt path through the compound, winding in and out between the different homes.  It was a hot day and flies were everywhere.  Everything looked brown and ugly except for the splashes of color in the women's chitenge wraps.  Children stopped what they were doing to watch us as we came closer to them.

Not too long ago we visited Maxwell and he prayed to receive Christ.  He was always lying in bed because he couldn't walk due to being so weak.  He also had a stroke and is paralyzed in his left arm.  On this day it was so good to see him feeling some better.  He is even able to get out of bed from time to time to go out to use the toilet.  This is so much better than just lying in the bed all the time. 

Nelson is HIV positive and has TB.  He had been taking ARV's and medicine for the TB but had stopped because he was feeling better.  He had returned to a lifestyle of drinking and being with women again.  Now he is sick once again.  He doesn't want to eat.  It seems he had given up.  We showed up to visit with him and his family.  I was able to share the gospel with him and he prayed to receive Christ.  He also said he was going to start taking his medicine again and try to eat.  Please pray that Nelson will not give up and that he would trust Christ to take care of him.  Pray he will have the strength to stay away from these areas of bondage in his life.

We also visited another couple named Mr. and Mrs. Phiri.  He is HIV positive but his wife is not.  We talked to him about things he needed to make sure he did so that his wife would not get this disease as well.  They have 5 children and it sure would be devastating to these kids to lose their parents.  Mr. Phiri is not able to take the ARV's yet because his CD4 count isn't high enough. Pray he will eat well and that his count will increase so he can begin taking ARV's.  This couple also prayed to receive Christ after hearing the gospel.  
Even though our circumstances at first seemed discouraging God turned it into a beautiful day!

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Whom will you serve?

10 years ago I was going out weekly to Kakoma Baptist Church to teach the Bible to a group of ladies.  I was storying through the Bible each week as we met.  There was one particular lady who had been trying to get pregnant for a few years.  She went to the witch doctor seeking some drugs or amulets to bring fertility to her womb.  After hearing about Jesus and particularly the story of Sarah and Abraham this woman decided to stop taking the medicine from the witch doctor and to trust in God.  We spent a lot of time praying for this woman to have a child.  Praise God that not long after she made that decision to trust God for a baby she became pregnant.  This woman is standing up in the back row in the middle.  Today we went out to Chongwe and went to Kakoma Baptist Church.  Some of the women have moved away but the two closest to me are from the original group.  Now, Amai Ngoma has 3 children.  She is still involved in church and singing in the choir.  It was such a blessing to see these women today.  As we were leaving one of them said to me, "we still remember all that you taught us."  Praise God!

"Choose for yourselves today whom you will serve...but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord."  Joshua 24:15.  Whom will you serve today?

Friday, September 11, 2015


27 years ago, on September 10th, we sealed our marriage with a kiss!
I praise God for a godly husband who loves me unconditionally!

Tuesday, September 8, 2015


Zambia is in the middle of a crippling electricity crisis at this time. You can see the article below for more details. The shortage of electricity has been building for some time but has become more pronounced with reduced water levels at Kariba North Bank Power Station, Kafue Gorge Power Station and Victoria Falls Power Station. This has led to “load shedding” across the country and on a typical day our power can be off for 6-14 hours at a time. This can be quite frustrating as it is sporadic and difficult to tell whether we will have power or not, and when we have no electricity it also means no water and difficulty cooking. Please pray for the government of Zambia to figure out how to fix this crisis, and pray for us to have patience and endurance during this time. It is not likely to be resolved before January when the rains have returned and the resovoir has filled again. This article says we could have a total blackout in November, and while we are managing now, we aren’t sure what we will do if that happens.We did get a generator that will run our house except for our stove, geyser, and dryer.  We think we may be able to run one burner on our stove if we turn everything off but have not tried it yet since we just got it hooked up late yesterday afternoon.  While we have it bad the people who live in the compounds have it so much worse. They hardly get any power at all each day.  So please keep Zambia in your prayers.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

A brand new chapter...

This past weekend we took our daughter, Hannah, to RVA for her to begin her freshman year of high school. She has been home schooled up until this point in life and did well with it.  However, it wasn't something she enjoyed.  She would do school until 4-5 in the afternoon and had very few friends to hang out with on a regular basis.  A lot of her free time was writing emails to friends or trying to skype with them if our internet would hold out and last the whole month.
Many people may criticize us for allowing her to go to boarding school and that is ok.  Everyone has their own opinions.  Of course, there is nothing natural about young children living away from home.  Even though our boys also went to this boarding school I really thought that Hannah would not want to go since we lived in the city now and there was more opportunity for her to be a part of a youth group which met occasionally.  However, about one year ago she expressed the desire to go.  We told her to pray about it and see if that was something that God was leading her to do.  When she came back to us telling us that she felt it was what God wanted we then also prayed about it and agreed that she could go.  This was not an easy decision for any of us.  It was a decision made as a part of our sacrifice to come and serve in Zambia as missionaries in 1997.  People often times will talk about how much we sacrifice to live overseas.  Personally, I feel we don't really sacrifice that much in comparison to all that Christ sacrificed for us.  Our greatest sacrifice by far is being away from our families and them not being able to be a part of our lives and vice versa.  Seeing each other every 3-4 years is not optimal.  However, we knew that when we moved our family to Zambia many years ago there would be a lot of sacrifice in this area.  It was one thing to leave our families but now to have our two sons living in America and our daughter in Kenya can be quite overwhelming at times.  When each of our children were born we praised God for how he allowed us to be the parents of these 3 wonderful kids.  We gave them each to the Lord knowing they were a gift for us to enjoy and raise but they were still His.  Now we have an empty nest.  Yes, Hannah will still come home on her breaks every 3 months and be here for a month and we look forward to those times.  The reality though is that now it is just me and Kevin.  I remember when we first came to the mission field feeling like all I ever did was take care of my family and occasionally did some ministry.  Longing for the day when I could do more outside the home.  Comparing myself to others and feeling like I fell short even though these other missionaries were at a different stage in life than I was.  A wise woman missionary once told me that I needed to enjoy whatever stage of life I was in and do all that God would allow me to do but to always keep my family first(not above God of course).  These children I had were my little disciples and so I was doing a wonderful work for God by raising my children in the fear and admonition of the Lord and homeschooling them.  Now, I have more time to do the things I used to beg the Lord for time to do and I'm feeling lost without Hannah being here.  What is my purpose now?  What am going to do with all the time I have now?-are questions I have been asking myself and praying about.  I know God will show me in His time.  I must admit that I'm an emotional person.  I have shed many a tear over the years for all 3 of our kids.  Anytime they accomplished something they didn't think they could do or overcame a fear I would shed a tear or two.  First days of school along with last days of school and even some days between a tear would fall.  When friends didn't treat them well, when they were hurt or struggling with something more tears would fall. When they gave their life to Christ and followed after Him in baptism I rejoiced with tears.  When they went to boarding school and then college, their graduations, and leaving them in the US while we came back to Zambia are all times that I have not just shed a tear but wept before the Lord asking Him are you sure we are doing the right thing.  All I can say is that it is a good thing that God's grace is new every morning!  When we look back at our lives we tend to not remember the tear stained stories.  It's the relationships that we have made, the pillow fights and staying up late and talking to friends, the cool adventures we get to go on, and the exciting opportunities we have because we live in another country that we will remember.  I pray that is what Hannah will remember as well and as she does think about hard times she will be able to see how the Lord walked with her during those times and know that she can depend on Him.  You probably wouldn't believe the range of emotions I have felt over the last month or so.  So while I'm very sad that Hannah is not here with us in Zambia I am excited about what is to come in her life and ours.  God has so much in store for her and I hope she grabs on to all of it.  So even though a chapter has ended  another one has begun!

 Hannah with her roommate on the right, Delaney.  Her dorm mom, Emily, is in the middle.

 Hannah, Emma, and Delaney
We are so thankful that Hannah already had so many friends going to this school before she even got there.  She has made so many new friends in just the few short days she has been there too.

 Hannah and Emily hanging out in the hammock.

 Another blessing to us is having Anna Grace working at RVA as dorm mom and teacher.  She lived some of her life here in Zambia, went to boarding school at RVA, was a journeyman in Kenya, and now is working at RVA. 
We also have other great friends Ricky and Niki who have recently started working at RVA.  Knowing these friends are there certainly makes it a bit easier for us.

 Hannah getting set up in the Computer lab.

 It is such beautiful scenery all around the school.

 Hannah's dorm

 Hannah and Delaney in their room.
These girls already knew each other from MK camp.  So thankful they are able to go through all this newness together.

 Please pray for our family as we make this transition.  Pray for Hannah to do well in school and get used to how they do things there.  Pray for her to make great, long-lasting friendships.  Pray that she would know that God is right there with her and that she would grow closer to Him every day.

So just as we gave God our kids many years ago we now give our empty nest to Him as well.  May God be glorified in our marriage and may He be pleased with us and our service to Him.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Our trip to Malindi

 Last week we went to stay at Turtle Bay in Malindi for a couple of days of vacation and then also had a meeting there with the Chadan Cluster.  Kevin has been helping them out since their Cluster Leader is in the states.
 There were two other families who also went a few days early.  We enjoyed going snorkeling with them.

 There were so many fish!

 I just love this view!

We walked down the beach one day to a wishing rock. I loved this pic of Hannah and Kevin.

This is the volunteer team which came from SC to help with the meeting. They did a tremendous job working with the kids and youth doing VBS.  A couple of them also helped with our worship times.  They were such a blessing to everyone!

 One of the afternoons after an all day meeting we were able to go out on this dhow on a creek.  We were giving lots of snacks and drinks and then they anchored so we could jump in the water if we wanted to.  I chose not to because I didn't want to go back soaking wet in the dark and be cold.

 Hannah jumping

 The youth group had so much fun together.

 Charles, one of the volunteers took family pics.  He did an awesome job!

 This is the Lane family who serve in S. Sudan.

 The Lewis family serve among the Toposa in S. Sudan.

The Jeremiadoss family serve among the Dinka people in S. Sudan.

The Taliaferro family serve in Uganda.

 Hannah met Abbie last year at 40/40 and they became good friends.  Hannah was so excited to be able to spend time with Abbie again at this meeting.

 This is Tim and Lee Shaw and their son, Daniel.  They serve in the finance department in SA.  It was good to see them again.  They used to live in Zambia in the very house we are now living in.

 Tim and Charlotte are the leaders for the Sub-Saharan Affinity.  They are precious friends!

 Yes, we did have a meeting.  We had a time of worship twice a day.  We heard from support staff, prayed for the cluster, teams, and people groups, and strategized for the cluster.

 The youth

There are such beautiful sunsets in Africa!