Sunday, October 31, 2010


I sat down today to take out all of my frustrations on a keyboard. I poured out my frustrations to my best friend in an email...and deleted it. I poured out my frustrations in a blog post...and deleted it. I struggle with taking off the happy face mask and being real with people when things seem to be falling apart. Sure, nothing major is wrong...but between fires and disappointments and frustrations and broken vehicles and broken friendships and finances and....after awhile the list gets longer and seems pettier. And if I sit down and let the world read that, or even my best friend, I feel like the only thing I have done is show weakness as a "good Christian who always trusts God and smiles through every situation." So the dilemma...where does one turn when she just wants to scream she is so frustrated....

And the obvious God. Though he already knows the hardships we are facing, He's been waiting for me to come to Him. So while I spent half of this day wondering who I could share Savior has been waiting. And no keyboard, or person, or blog...can come close to the weight that is lifted off of my shoulders after a long talk with Him.

How Can I Keep from Singing? - Chris Tomlin

There is an endless song
Echoes in my soul
I hear the music ring

And though the storms may come
I am holding on
To the rock I cling

How can I keep from singing Your praise
How can I ever say enough
How amazing is Your love
How can I keep from shouting Your name
I know I am loved by the King
And it makes my heart want to sing

I will lift my eyes
In the darkest night
For I know my Savior lives

And I will walk with You
Knowing You'll see me through
And sing the songs You give

How can I keep from singing your praise? How can I ever say enough, how amazing is your love? How can I keep from shouting your name? I know I am loved by the king, and it makes my heart want to sing

I can sing in the troubled times
Sing when I win
I can sing when I lose my step
And fall down again
I can sing 'cause You pick me up
Sing 'cause You're there
I can sing 'cause You hear me, Lord
When I call to You in prayer
I can sing with my last breath
Sing for I know
That I'll sing with the angels
And the saints around the throne

how can i keep from singing your praise how can i ever say enough how amazing is your love how can i keep from shouting your name? I know I am loved by the king and it makes my heart, I am loved by the king and it makes my heart, I am loved by the king and it makes my heart want to sing

Friday, October 29, 2010

2010 Census

2010 is census year! On October 21st, at 7:30am, a Zambian man knocked on our gate, wearing a bright orange vest, and EXTREMELY serious. He worked for the census and was here to ask us questions. At 7:30am. Here are some highlights of the questioning:

1) How many wheelbarrows does your family own?

2) What type of walls does your house have? What type of roof?

3) How many children have been born and died in your house in the past 12 months?

4) Do you own a radio? (He was surprised when we said no...I don't think he understood that most people just play music on their computers or phones these days...)

5) Do we have a certificate or a diploma?

6) Blu tried to move closer to him to hear him better, but he quickly covered his paper and said Blu wasn't allowed to see the questions. Until he asked us our children's names..and quickly handed over his paper for Blu to spell them...

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Birthdays and Beds

Blu's parents are coming from Nov 8 - Nov 30 to help us with plumbing!!!! :) So it was time to move beds in, since we will be spending about 17 days in Mapanza!!

And..happy 28th birthday to Mulenga!! For the past 4 years, on Mulenga's birthday, we have wondered where he is, how he is, and if he had enough food to eat that day. It was amazing to get to take him presents, banana bread, and sing to him this year! Kalenga serenaded him with his recorder!

An mp-3 player from my parents, who love Mulenga

A swiss army knife from us

Saturday, October 23, 2010

30 Years

On Thursday, October 21, I turned 30 years old!! The last 30 years have been filled with blessings, starting with the family I was born into and ending with the family that God has given me of my own! And of course, special friends that have come into my life the past 30 years and helped me become the person I am today. And finally, the absolute PRIVILEGE it is to serve the God who has blessed me so much. It was an awesome day!

Blu treated me to an overnight trip to Livingstone, Zambia (the home of Victoria Falls). We started the trip with a one hour deep tissue massage (for $20!). We then enjoyed our time at the David Livingstone Safari Lodge, complete with a sunset dinner cruise!
Blu asked the guys if he could play the African xylophone with them. If you know Blu, you know he is extremely talented musically, so they were shocked that he could actually play!

The Lady Livingstone cruise boat

Me enjoying a Malawi Shanty drink on the cruise (lemonade, lime, and ginger ale if you were wondering.. :)

Elephants from the cruise boat

Hippos close to us in the water..ugh I detest hippos..

Ok, this may be weird, but it is so rare to get to stay at a NICE hotel in Zambia, so I had to post pics of the place we stayed! Even the bathroom!
The hotel balcony

King size bed!

Shower with glass door!


View from our balcony onto the Zambezi River

Gorgeous views on the sunset cruise

Us before dinner at Arabian Nights-in my gorgeous new dress from Wes & Laurie


Caedmon's gift to me--gel pens!

Cambree's gift to me--a toy gun!

My birthday morning

Blowing out candles

Party table..complete with 30 coke zeroes :)

A book series, fancy wisk, and cd from my parents

Chinese and Indian cookbooks from my sister!

It was a great day, and I can't wait to see what my life holds in the next 30 years :)

Recent Happenings

We made ruffs in homeschool, fancy collars that they used to wear in Tudor England.

I think he's pretty handsome :)


Friday, October 22, 2010


Our New Day website has a new look! Check it out at

Sunday, October 17, 2010


...things that happen in church in Africa...

1) Women get excited while singing a song and suddenly grab their purse, put it on top of their heads, and run up to the front while dancing...with their purse on their head. I wish I had some deep insight into why they do this..but nope...I'm as perplexed as you are on this one...

2) Women get excited when a choir is singing so they run up to the front with their chitengi (material they use to wrap around their dress) and start fanning the choir,using their chitengi as a cape. All while screaming a loud, shrill, cry at the top of their lungs. Personally, if I was singing in the front and someone ran up at me with their material and started fanning it at me and squealing, yep..I think I would pretty much die laughing and not be able to finish the song...

3) The preacher comes up to Blu 5 minutes before the sermon and asks Blu is he is preaching today. "Do you want me to preach?" "Yes of course!" "Ok..." So Blu hurriedly flips to Numbers (personally not the first book I would flip to if I was told I would be preaching a sermon in five minutes...), comes up with a sermon (thank you Holy Spirit!), and proceeds to preach for 25 minutes. Talk about being ready in season and out of season!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

9 months...

...since the grandparents have seen their grandkids! Thought I'd make them smile today with some close-ups!

Baby Name Game: 2-2

Another Baby Darbi has been born in Zambia, bringing the score to 2-2 for babies Blu and I have named after us. (Everything is a competition when you're a Tidwell!)

A few weeks ago, Oshinaty, a young girl from Mapanza Baptist Church, came to visit me. She was about 8 1/2 months pregnant and already had a 3 year old daughter. She told me that the father of her baby was in Lusaka. Apparently he came to Mapanza and began negotiations with her parents to marry her. At that point in Zambia, it is like you are married, so they were living together as husband and wife. After awhile, he returned to Lusaka with promises to return, only he never returned. Oshinaty called and called, especially when she found out she was pregnant, only to be told finally that he was already married and she was wasting her time. I wondered if this story was true, but the pastor at Mapanza Baptist confirmed all of this to Blu.

So Oshinaty was now 8 1/2 months pregnant and needed help. She went to the doctor and they told her that she needed to begin preparing to give birth and to bring all of the baby clothes, cloth diapers, etc. to her next appointment. She had nothing, so she prayed about what to do. She told me that she dreamed that she came and asked me for help, so the next day she did. Again, I was skeptical of her story, but I know that the baby certainly isn't at fault, so I was more than happy to help. Ok, so maybe I went a little overboard buying baby things.. :)

Last week, her sister came to visit us in Mapanza to bring me a note and say that Baby Darbi had been born. Oshinaty wrote me a letter saying that she named her baby Darbi hoping that her baby would have a kind heart like me. Awwww.... :) Made my week!

Oshinaty is having problems with her family. After the birth of her baby, her mother brought traditional medicine from the witch doctor that she wanted to give the baby. Oshinaty refused due to her belief in Jesus, and the family all kinda went crazy. The pastor, Maxwell, was brought in to try to alleviate the tension in the situation and explain Christian beliefs. He asked if the baby was sick that she would need this medicine and the mother explained, "No, but this is what we do. It is our tradition."

I am so proud of Oshinaty for standing up for her beliefs and I only pray that she will raise Baby Darbi to know Jesus and not the traditional beliefs of generations before her.

Monday, October 11, 2010



Adopt a Staffer:

Hildah: Sponsored
Elizabeth: Sponsored
Abby: Sponsored
Mulenga: Sponsored
Kalenga: Sponsored
Cecilia: Sponsored
Witton: Sponsored
Maxwell: Sponsored
Mutinta: Sponsored

WOW...Thank you so much to all of those who emailed us so quickly wanting to sponsor these staffers. That is $610 that will be coming in to New Day each month to support these staffers. They will be so excited to hear it, and we really needed the encouragement this month that God is going to take care of us and New Day!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Grand Opening!

Friday was the Grand Opening of our grinding mill and the New Day Market! On Friday, we ground buckets of maize for free until 12:00, then the cost is about 20 cents per bucket. We ground about 20 buckets on Saturday! The store made about $20 on Friday and $14 on Saturday! Not bad for our first weekend!

Our storekeeper, Cecilia, loves visiting with the people who come in!

Ladies leaving the grinding mill with their maize

Mutinta loves his job as the grinding mill operator

Ladies waiting in line for their turn to grind their maize

5 days in Mapanza

We spent the last 5 days in Mapanza, and we are all worn out! Some things went really well, and other things are not going so great. Plumbing is a complete disaster--IF ANYONE KNOWS OF A PLUMBER WHO WANTS TO VOLUNTEER HIS SERVICES FOR 2 WEEKS IN ZAMBIA, LET US KNOW!! None of the plumbing that the Zambian plumbers did works and we aren't really sure what our next step is where plumbing is concerned. Ugh!

Blu and Wes were busy making screens for the windows and getting curtain rods hung! This is Cambree's room, which I painted pink.

We also put our kitchen countertops in. It is a peel and stick vinyl countertop.

Laurie and I painted the whole house ourselves!! We painted a varnish on the bricks and trimmed it all in black. I love it! This is the back of the house.

Front of the house

The kids in their time-out chairs :)