Tuesday, January 29, 2008


What words are there to describe sweet Sophia? Her husband, Aaron, was the pastor at one of our largest Baptist churches in the Southern part of Zambia. They were such a nice family. When we went to visit, Pastor Aaron would have his girls serve us drinks on their knees as a sign of respect for us. Unlike other Zambian leaders, Aaron never criticized us for not coming around as much or for not giving him money. He knew that he was the leader of the church, and that it would do no good in the long run to be fully supported by Americans who would just end up leaving. He was an amazing pastor.

Sophia used to walk a 3 hour journey to a rural church in the bush, to support and teach the women of this church. Everyone loved Sophia. One day, she was late coming home. Her husband began to worry and left home on a bicycle to find her and bring her home. This expression of love is quite unusual to see between a Zambian husband and wife.

Pastor Aaron died of AIDS in 2004. We attended his funeral and the outpouring of love was just amazing. How does a pastor end up with AIDS, you may ask? There was a time in his life where he and his family fell away from the Lord, and he was unfaithful to his wife. He contracted the AIDS virus, and after he died, Sophia knew it was time to be tested. She tested positive.

We spent a lot of time with Sophia, but we really invested in her children. She has 4 girls, who are now ages 20, 18, 16, and 12. Annie, Mary, Elizabeth, and Memory. They were just a remarkable family. When our own families came to visit, we took them to Sophia's house to visit and share a meal. We loved this woman.

This was the last time we saw Sophia, along with her daughters Annie and Elizabeth.

We learned yesterday that Sophia passed away. We were shocked to hear this, though we shouldn't be. We knew when we hugged her goodbye that the next time we would see her would be in heaven. News travels slow from Zambia, and Sophia actually died last September.

These 4 girls are now AIDS orphans. Though they were raised in a Christian family, and their father was a pastor, Satan found a way into their family. The girls were most likely separated and sent to live with different family members. A family ripped apart.

I know this post is heavy, but my heart is heavy. It seems that no one is immune to the AIDS crisis in Africa.

Rest in peace sweet Sophia. I have no doubt that Aaron met you with his huge smile at the gates of heaven and walked with you to meet your Savior.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Spring Break!!!

Ok, ok, I realize that it's freezing outside, and Spring is probably the last thing on anyone else's mind.. BUT we are going on a kidless vacation in less than 2 months!!!!! We are using our airline miles so it's only costing us $10 to fly there. And we got a hotel on priceline for $65 a night! You really want to know where we're going don't you??!! It's definitely not in Texas, it will be COLD, and we've never been there before! More hints to come! :) (Jessica, you can't guess, but I still love you!)

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Caedmon Funnies

If you're a faithful blog reader of mine, or you know me in "real life", then you know that my 2 1/2 year old, Caedmon, says some FUNNY things. The other day, he had a little gas. Right about the same time, a piece of grass fell from his pants to the floor. He looked down at the grass in awe, bent over to pick it up, and with his eyes SO wide he said, "I tooted grass!!" He immediately stuck his hand in his pants to see if he could pull out any more grass! Now, everytime he toots, he looks down on the floor and says "I toot grass??" to see if he did it again :)


Thursday, January 17, 2008

Thursday Thankfulness!

So a few things happened today that caused me to be really thankful, so I wanted to share them with you, so you can be thankful with me! :)

1) God provided for us financially in an unexpected way the exact amount needed to pay for Blu's seminary classes this semester!

2) My little boy (age 2 and 7 months) is potty trained!! It kinda happened overnight, and I'm loving it!!

3) I got a really long email from my sister in Zambia!

4) The kids slept til 8am this morning!

5) Plans are in the works for a Spring Break childless vacation...place to be announced in the future--I'm leaving you in suspense until then!

6) I got Chicken Express for supper!

7) My Jessica - who knows all of my struggles and loves me anyway!

8) I got a one hour nap!

9) My little girl said "owie" and pointed to my bandaid!

10) Blu looked really good in his new jeans today.

Sometimes it's fun to stop and focus on the "little things" that can make a day pretty good :)

Saturday, January 12, 2008

The Story of Fred...

I want to tell you a story today..a story of a man named Fred. Funny that though he was only a part of our lives for about 4 weeks, I can still see his face. We were trying to start a church in our small village, and every week we had a few stragglers that we had never seen before, who usually came because they wanted something. Fred was one of those. After church one day, he introduced himself and told us he had been coughing up blood. He said that he went to the local clinic and they told him his "blood was bad." They gave him a few pills that didn't help. Blu offered to drive him about 45 miles away to an American clinic that is set up by John Hopkins out in the bush. We didn't ever do this for anybody else, but Blu just felt he needed to do it. They kept Fred for a few days and did lots of tests (we assumed it was TB) but they came back negative, and they basically told him there was nothing they could do. Fred returned home and we promised to pray for him.

We didn't hear anything for a couple of weeks, when Fred just showed up at our hut one day. He was so excited because he said he was doing better. His friends had told him that what ailed him was not a physical problem, but a spiritual problem, and he needed to visit the witch doctor to take care of it. The witch doctor told him that he had been "cursed" and that someone had placed hair and fingernails in his chest (causing the coughing and blood). He then unbuttoned his shirt, and Blu was shocked to see an actual hole in his chest. The witch doctor had cut a hole and "removed" these fingernails and hair. Fred was now feeling better. Blu tried to make him understand that only prayer and Jesus Christ could heal him, not a witch doctor. Fred seemed remorselful for going to the witch doctor, but you could tell he was happy to be feeling better.

We soon left for South Africa to have our baby. When we returned 1 month later, Fred had died. Fred left behind a wife, who is blind, and a sweet little boy.



Please pray for the people still living in darkness in Africa.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Chicken Killer

Gosh, some of you girls are so needy!! I go out of town for a couple of days and you freak out when there's no blog!! (lol just kidding Bran!)

Anyway, someone asked after my last post if I actually killed a chicken. BUT OF COURSE!! I actually have the whole thing on videotape, but I probably killed and cooked about 3.

WARNING: The following description is not for animal lovers or the weak-stomached!

What you do is first catch the chicken. That's the hardest part. Then you just lay him on the ground and hold his body with a foot and his head with one hand, and then cut his head off with your knife with the other hand! Then you plunge him (or her) into a big pot of boiling water for about 2 minutes. Then you take him out and pluck the feathers. This was my favorite part! When the feathers are gone you can tell a lot more if it's a good, plump chicken! Anyway, then you cut him up (kinda difficult) and we usually boiled/fried him. It took about 4 hours total to cook. When it's almost done, you add tomatoes and onions to the pot and they fry in the bottom too. So yummy! One time I made my own homemade barbecue sauce and that was good too!

My stomach is growling for a good ole' Zambian chicken right now!!

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Bibles for Chickens

Michele (see my previous post's blog comments) has inspired me to continue my stories from Zambia. For some reason, the first one that came to mind was our chickens!!

In Zambia, our mission agency had the policy that we do not give away Bibles. This is very controversial to some. The reasoning is that if you just give away free Bibles they become something not very precious, that someone will just sell and most likely use the money to get drunk. However, if you "charge" something for the Bible, it becomes something precious that they will treasure. So we would give out a list of Bible verses that they could memorize in exchange for their Bible, or they would most often bring a chicken for a Bible. Soon, our hut was surrounded by tons of chickens!! We got roosters that crowed at 2am, laying chickens, and all sorts of ugly things!! We cooked a couple of them, gave some to friends in neighboring villages, but I'm sure all the other people in our village called us the Chicken Bazungu! (chicken white people!)

Our hut with a few of our many Bible Chickens!

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Final Adoption Update

Following you will find an excerpt from a letter to our adoption agency. Please pray for our family as we prepare to embark on our journey to Zambia.

Our family entered the Acres of Hope Liberia adoption program in July of 2007. During the time since then, we accepted and lost a referral for sweet Samuel, and we are currently awaiting a new referral.
We are very aware of all of the “turmoil” that Acres of Hope has gone through recently. We feel that the staff at Acres is taking the necessary steps to evoke change that will make adoptions even smoother, and we appreciate this.

However, we know that change takes time. We also know that the Minister of Health wishes to slow adoptions in Liberia. If our family were going to remain in the USA for a few more years, we would sit back and eagerly anticipate our new referral from Acres of Hope, though it may be months away.

Our family, however, is in a situation where we do not have the luxury of this time to wait. God has called us and has amazingly provided funding for us to return to the country we love, Zambia, to open an orphanage and school to minister to HIV and AIDS orphans. We plan to move our family to Zambia in the coming year to begin this exiting endeavor.

Things are falling into place; however, after much prayer, we have seen that due to the changes being made at Acres of Hope and the Minister of Health’s new changes as well, God is closing the door on our adoption at this time. Some ask if we are sad, or if we feel that we “heard God wrong” about our adoption. Instead, we just feel that God is taking our dream of helping one African orphan and saying, “I have something bigger for your family.”