Sunday, January 31, 2010

Choma Baptist Church

We worshipped this morning at Choma Baptist Church. The picture above is of the kids all ready to go--they were so excited!! Blu and I were nervous. In America, you have Sunday School, and then extended session/children's church, so the kids are kept pretty busy. Here you have cement benches, or even huge logs, or the ground for the kids to sit on and keep quiet for approximately 3 hours of church!! On the way, Caedmon asked us if we thought they'd be able to play on the playground at church... :)

We got there and actually arrived late! Most people in Zambia time things by the sun, and you never know when anything really starts, so we shot for 10am but were a little bit late. As we drove up, we noticed the kids all outside under a big tree, sitting on benches, with a woman teaching them. The woman came up to our truck and took Cason, another girl took Cambree, and a boy took Caedmon. She then pointed us inside where they were having adult and youth Sunday School. (Sidenote: we parked in a bed of ants--ants were crawling up my skirt and I was trying to get them out all throughout Sunday School!) So we were inside, and all the kids were outside having their own Sunday School class!

Sunday School for the adults consists of reading a group of Scriptures and then discussing them together. Once it was over, I hear a noise and look behind me and Baby Cason is strapped to an older woman's back. :) He was enjoying the ride!!

Caedmon and Cambree came in and sat with us, but once they realized that the children were all sitting together on the other side of the church, they ran over there to sit with them. We were shocked at how social our kids were!

Church in Zambia always follows a strict "program" or order of service. A woman stood in the front and she is the one who leads the program and lets you know what is happening next. We began with Sunday School reports. All of the children (including the 2 blonde ones!) marched up to the front of the church singing, recited Scripture, and then marched back. Cambree and Caedmon waved to us from the front--the Zambians loved it :) Then, the youth got up and told what their lesson was about, and an adult did the same for our lesson. Then it was time for welcoming the visitors. We both stood and they sang a welcome song for us as they all came forward to shake our hands. Then it was time for "special songs and testimonies." Anyone who wants to share can get up and sing or give a testimony. The women's group got up, sang/marched/danced to the front and sang 3 songs. (the women in churches here wear uniforms. The Baptist uniform is a purple blouse with a big white collar and a white head scarf. I didn't get the memo--I was wearing neon green!) Anyway, then the youth did their special songs, about 3 of them. Then we all sang and marched up to the front to give our offering, put in 2 laundry baskets--one labeled "offerings" and one labeled "building." Then we sang a hymn and it was time for preaching.

Through all of this, our kids did fairly well. They ran over to us several times to give Cason hugs or get a drink of water, or for Cambree to announce "Mama I'm sweaty!!!" but they really did pretty well. The Zambian kids love "taking care" of them, and our kids love the attention!

Preaching was ok---I had moved to the back with Cason by now so I didn't hear much. They preached in English and translated in Nyanja, and we speak Tonga so we were surprised that they didn't translate into Tonga!

By now our kids were about done for-it was HOT and they were hungry. I didn't bring snacks because there would have been so many other kids there, but it turns out almost every kid had brought a bag of chips to eat! Oops!! Cason shared chips with a little girl but the other two were starving. (It was almost 12:30)

When preaching was over (only about a 15 min sermon-that Blu said wasn't theologically correct at all!) they called up to the front all of the church officers for the year 2010. There was a vice president, secretary, treasurer, Sunday School superintendent, youth officers, ushers, children's director, etc.

When it was over we went out singing a hymn and formed a circle outside where everyone shook hands as they went around the circle. By now, the white people were getting very sunburned, so we loaded up the back of our truck with Zambians and headed to the main road so we could go home!

It was a great first Sunday of worship! The women meet every Thursday for fellowship from 2-4, so I think I will try to attend that each week if we are in town. Our church attendance at this church will be sporadic, as we have 3 other churches we need to visit as well.

Now it's naptime :)

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Fun around the house

This is where we sit to do emails/computer stuff!

Cambree likes to put her little kitty in this red basket and then swing him around :)

They spend ALL day holding their cats

Baby Cason likes the cats too :)

I made tortilla chips yesterday!! First I had to make tortillas, then fry them into chips--it was exhausting but turned out great!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Shopping Trip

Today I made my first trip to the supermarket here in Choma called Spar. The Spar in Lusaka is huge and has tons of stuff, so I was curious to see how much this one would have! Blu dropped me off and picked me up an hour later and I had spent one million, one hundred fifty-thousand kwacha!! Below is a list to give you an idea of how much things cost in Zambia!

package of topside steak - $3
package of chicken breasts - $6
package of fresh okra - $.34
six oranges - $2.50
10 bananas - $1.80
5 bell peppers - $.70
6 gala apples - $4.20
6 tomatoes - $.50
pkg of baby marrow (zucchini squash) - $2.60
small bunch of red grapes - $5.11
3 large potatoes - $2.15
package of 10 green apples - $2.20
4 onions - $1.35
White Bread - $.84
Rolls (like hamburger buns) - $1.05
package of weiners - $5.50
package of 5 pieces of lunch meat - $2.90
12 slices of cheddar cheese - $3.12
Small chunk of block cheddar - $4.40
Large container of yogurt - $2.55
1/2 gallon of milk - $3.15
Small tub of butter - $4.30
Small package of chips - $1.79
package of brown sugar - $1.14
Spaghetti noodles - $1.60
box of oats - $3.48
package of basmati rice - $4.94
50 napkins - $.95
powdered sugar - $1.44
box of tea bags - $2.88
baking powder - $1.86
3 pkgs of yeast - $2.65
pkg of 12 cookies - $.77
sleeve of crackers - $1.84
small jar of jelly - $1.98
salt - $.35
Sweetened condensed milk - $5.50
honey - $3.07
syrup - $2.05
small vegetable oil - $2.05 (I couldn't find olive oil!! :(
mayonnaise - $5.00
canned tomatoes - $2
sugar - $2.55
nutmeg/cloves/cinnamon - $4 each
cream of mushroom soup (in a package) - $1
ketchup - $3.77
Light bulbs - $3.78
baking soda - $1.28
vanilla - $2.20
Peanut butter - $5.58
Large can of cocoa - $10.74
cornstarch - $2.67
flour - $3.72
Juice - $2.90
one small roll of paper towels - $4.05
Toilet bowl cleaner - $2.67
Large bag of laundry detergent - $13.50

There you have it! :)

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Choma, Zambia

Most of you know that we have rented a house to stay in for 18 months while we are building the orphanage homes, our house, and the kitchen/dining area. Choma is about an hour from Mapanza, where the orphanage will be. It is a fairly large town that even has a supermarket. We rented the house from some missionaries that left Zambia in December, and they did an amazing job of fixing it up!

Choma is about 3 1/2 hours from the capitol city, so we headed out this morning. We stopped halfway to visit my good friend, Hildah, who teaches preschool at a private school. Her daughter, Laurie, is Cambree's age and they became fast friends. Hildah will eventually be teaching at the orphanage, so Cambree and Laurie will probably grow up together!
Me, Hildah, and Baby Cason

Laurie was jumping up and down telling all of her friends "This is my friend Cambree! She came on an airplane and a car!!"

This is Caedmon and Cambree's room. We brought their special Mama Dee Quilts to make it feel more like home!

The best thing about their room are two closets that are filled with collapsible storage bins for toys, socks, etc.!!! Fabulous space saver!

The comfy living room

Baby Cason's room

Cason is actually sleeping in the bottom of this part of the desk!! It's a long story, but we didn't have room for our playpen so we thought surely we could get one here for a reasonable price--they were $140 to $250, so we thought the desk worked fine :)

This is definitely the nicest kitchen I have seen in Zambia--the cabinets and island are gorgeous!! Makes me want to cook!

If you ask our kids what the best part of our new house is, they would definitely say these cats!! We have never had animals before, and now we have 2 black labs and 2 kittens. This is the baby, who Cambree named Chandler. (not sure why!)

Caedmon is fascinated by the mama cat, who is named Narla, but they call her Nala since they love the Lion King.

After several weeks of living out of luggage, we finally feel settled!! We are ready to get to work and start preparing for our building teams that will start coming in April!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Just a swingin'

We are blessed to be able to stay at the Baptist Mission of Zambia, which is the housing complex in the capital city of Lusaka for IMB missionaries. We have been staying in Rhino, which has a kitchen, bathroom, a room with 3 twin beds, and a room with a bed for us. There is also a small (TINY) sitting area and just across the way is the washer and dryer. In America we become used to having certain things, and to having a LOT of things. Though I have been quick to complain about what the cabin doesn't have, I realized today as I watched my kids swing on the playground that our situation could be tons worse! We are truly blessed!

We had to fashion Cason a bed out of footlockers, and we draped mosquito netting over it! He loved it!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

From USA to Zambia...

The kids enjoyed the airplane ride, while Blu and I enjoyed the airplane ride being OVER!! :)
Cambree in jet lag

Blu in jet lag

Cason on the plane

The kids having a blast!

Enjoying their "airplane toys" in the airport

We made it and are doing great--trying to catch up on rest and get in the right time zone!! We are staying in Lusaka, the capitol city right now, and will head to our house in Choma, Zambia on Wednesday! Thanks for all of your prayers!!

Last Goodbyes

Our last week in the States was spent travling around saying our goodbyes! Here are some of my favorite pics, in random order!
Mrs. Dianna met us at the park to tell the kids bye!

Me and Jess--but I may be making a trip back to the USA to see her in August.... :)

Me, Mama, and Daddy

We had to go one last time to Whistle Stop Park!

My two sisters-in-law, Sammy and Caity

Sweet Cousins Andie and Cambree

All the Tidwell cousins! (until A.J. arrives in April!)

Brothers Blu, Cloud, and Shade

Paw and Cason

B-Maw and Cason

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Out to Sea...

This has been a CRAZY couple of weeks. After we got back from LA, my amazing friend Whitney and her daughter, Hannah, and her mom and dad, Robbo and Ben, made the 5 hour drive from West Texas and brought us tons of stuff (yay for Macaroni and Cheese!!) to take to Zambia. Goodbyes are no fun. :(
Me and Whit

My mom, and Whitney's mom Robbo - best friends!

Then, on Monday, our 40 foot container arrived!!

We had 3 days to pack it completely airtight so that nothing inside the container can shift! We added a flatbed trailer and tons of sinks and faucets at the end, but amazingly we were able to fill it all up!! Thankfully we had Mama Dee and my Jessica there to help!

And of course, we put Caedmon and Cambree to work too! :)

Uncle Shade came over to help so the kids enjoyed some quality time with their cousin Andie as well!

So now our container is gone, headed to the port of Houston, Texas. It will be loaded onto a boat where it will sail to Beira, Mozambique. It will then be put on a truck and travel through South Africa, Botswana, and then up to Lusaka, Zambia. Once it arrives there, it will be put on another truck to Mapanza, Zambia, where it should find us in May or June! Whew!