Thursday, January 27, 2011

For those who have been patiently waiting...an update!

We've heard that sometimes volunteer teams make you want to kill each other......


BUT....

This team was AMAZING. Steve and Dee are married, Steve's brother is Larry, and Larry's wife Sue all live in Nebraska. Larry and Sue's daughter, Amber, lives in New York City and joined them on the trip. Donny, from Iowa, joined them, and Laurie's cousin, Herb from Nebraska, came along as well. It was an awesome group that God put together, and we saw from the beginning how this trip could have been a disaster. From floods and washed out bridges, to major parts of the electrical transformer that were broken, to a table saw and air compressor not working, to a major water problem in our house, things just could have been terrible. But, thanks to your prayers, and thanks to the fact that this team got up and made it a priority every morning to set aside one hour for a team Bible study, it was an AMAZING 10 days in Mapanza!

A few things we did:

Electricity: Mulenga accidentally dropped a hammer on a major part of our transformer. When Donny got here and saw it, he said that IF Zesco had come and hooked up our electricity, the whole transformer would have blown. We didn't think we would get the part here, so Donny and Wes were ready to get on the 24 hour bus to South Africa to get the part. Long story short, they went to Lusaka, found the part at a Zesco warehouse, and the man from Zesco GAVE them the part...for free... God is GOOD. Donny got the secondary poles up and lines run to the orphan houses, workers houses, and kitchen/dining facility...MEANING that as soon as Zesco comes to turn on the electricity, all of New Day's building will have power :)

This is the part that was broken



Water: The water pressure in our house is really bad, which is something we just thought was not fixable. About halfway through the 10 days, our tank ran out of water and air got in the lines. We had no water and thought maybe the whole submersible pump was broken. Over a two day period, Donny and Blu figured out the water problem, and Donny hooked up a pump to pump the water faster into the pipes and now I can take a REAL shower!!

Kitchen/Dining: Larry, Herb, and Steve (along with Wes and Kalenga) built all of our upper kitchen cabinets for New Day. They also built under counter cabinets, including some with drawers. They got handles and trim on the cabinets, and spent their last day building a large island for the kitchen. It looks amazing in there!! I'm not a builder, so I don't know, but apparently to do all of this without a table saw is a pretty big deal ;)

Studying the plans...and seeing if they need to be adjusted...and adjusted...and adjusted... :)

Larry & Wes working together

Larry admiring his work!





My House: Steve and Herb spent their last day building me a set of 3 drawers for one of my under counter cabinets! They also got cabinet doors on one of mine! My house is looking awesome!
Herb sawed..and sawed...and sawed!

The drawers were a tight fit, but they went in!


Painting: Us girls spent SIX mornings painting ceilings and priming walls!! We got 7 rooms completely done! I'll finish out the other 4 rooms next week and we'll be ready to paint color on walls!!
Washing brushes in the borehole



Ladies Ministry: We spent seven afternoons helping Laurie to teach a Basic English class to about 12 ladies in the area. It was such a fun time to develop relationships with the women that I didn't know very well. Laurie is such a gifted ESL teacher and made it so fun for all of us. The highlight was probably when we sang the hokey pokey to teach the ladies Right and Left, and a Zambian woman, Catherine, yelled "I am coming to America!" after the song. I think she liked the song :) Stemming from this class, I am beginning a Women's Bible study starting next Thursday--I can't wait!
The ESL class




Since Amber was a nurse, she also got the opportunity to do some really gross nursing things and teach a health class!


Hospital/Village Visit: A group of the team got to visit a headman's house (with two wives) and Macha Hospital, which were great cultural experiences!
The female ward at Macha Hospital

Paul, a vice-Headman

Bridet, who is wife #1..or maybe #2?



Church: And of course, there's no better place on earth than Mapanza Baptist Church. :)
But first, you have to get there by crossing the river....

This was the truck as it went through the river...No, it's not an illusion..you really can't see the truck!

Maybe church choirs in America should try matching skirts, shirts, and even hairstyles! :)

Steve enjoying church

Us with Wes & Lala at church

Dee singing Tonga hymns

Larry & Steve (brothers) with Pastor Max

All of the men on the team with Mulenga


Rows and rows of tomato fields at New Day!

Amber, Sue, and Darbi taking a break in the schoolroom

Shupa

Praise music with Kalenga

Larry fixed my kitchen sink within 30 minutes of stepping into our house!

Happy Birthday to Sue! She celebrated her birthday with a Zambian meal of nshima....what a woman!

Yes, the dirt is really that orange here in Mapanza... And it turns to mud when it rains. But look, we're growing some grass!

A fun group pic of the ladies and kids
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Just some fellowship

Dee flipping pancakes

Have you ever seen an old man as cute as Herb?! Love him! And he did an amazing job leading devotionals every morning for the team!

Amber really bonded with Racheal

At the end of it all, the kids were worn out!


I can't say enough how much we appreciate the sacrifices people make to raise money, take off of work, buy us silly things like baby wipes and chocolate chips, and come and spend 2 weeks with us in Zambia. We made relationships that will last a lifetime, and we did ministry that will affect Zambians for the rest of their lives.


Come and see us at New Day! It will change your life! :)

Carrie



It's hard to even know how to begin this blog, but I want to introduce you to my new friend Carrie. Carrie works in Lusaka with the Flying Mission of Zambia. The Flying Mission has missionary pilots who minister by flying other missionaries (travel, emergency medical care, etc.) Carrie came to Zambia last October to spend 3 months running the guesthouse with her 2 children, 7 year old Micah and 3 year old Holly.

See, God called Carrie and her husband, Adam, to come as missionaries and work with Flying Mission. But when Adam was in his last 2 days of training in the USA, he was tragically killed in a plane crash. One year later, Carrie returned to Zambia alone with her children to fulfill God's call to Zambia on their lives.

She will return to the USA in March and see what God has in store for her future, but she knows for sure that God has called her to minister to widows in Africa.

I have met many widows, but never have I been so impacted by someone's story. Her life is a testimony to God's faithfulness and His love to His children. If I could ever be half the person she is, I would be doing pretty well.

It looks like I will have plenty of opportunities to get to know Carrie better in the future, but you'll have to stay tuned for those details.... ;)

Death in the Village

On Monday morning at 8am, Margaret's mother passed away. 5 days before, Margaret had fallen while helping to turn her mother and broken her ankle. So they put Margaret in a temporary cast so that she could go home for the funeral. A Zambian funeral typically lasts up to a week. Visitors come to the funeral house (the house of the deceased), enter on their knees, and greet everyone in the family while the people are wailing. They then sit and visit for awhile, or stay and sleep there for days at a time. The women sit on the floor inside and the men sit under shelters outside for the week. When the body is brought from the hospital, they will then have a burial which is similar to our graveside services.

The atmosphere at Margaret's mother's funeral was different. There wasn't the typical wailing and crying--perhaps because she was older and had been sick a long time, or perhaps because 7 Americans showed up at once to attend the funeral!

I found it ironic that one of our volunteer teams was here when this woman burned her witchcraft items, and another volunteer team was here for her funeral.

It will be interesting to see what God has for Margaret in the future...possibly a future at New Day.....

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Hospital Visits

I dread hospital visits in Zambia. Actually, I dread them in America! Hospitals, nursing homes, etc. are not my favorite ministry location--just being honest!

But do you remember the old woman from a few months back who decided to burn all of her witching items?

She is sweet Margaret's mother, and she had a stroke on New Year's. She is in a coma with brain damage, and the ladies of the church asked me to take them to visit her.

So we all piled into our truck and drove the 30 minutes to Macha Hospital. Macha is an area set up by Johns Hopkins University, and it is very developed. The hospital, however, is mainly Zambian run and is like stepping back into the 1950s. (I guess...I wasn't there :)

So we go in and Margaret's mother is laying there topless in a large room with about 50 other patients. Margaret is there taking care of her--in the hospitals here, you provide your own food.

As we get there and greet Margaret, I notice the lady right beside Margaret's bed is not moving, and a young lady is beside the bed crying. Margaret says "Oh, she died just before you got here." The family all starts filing in..wailing and crying in loud voices. They asked me to pray for Margaret's mother and as I prayed the wailing beside us got louder.I was a little bit shaken by this, and Margaret pointed out.."You see..the way we Africans do things, but all it does is make the rest of us in this room fearful that we will be next." So sad...

It was a very "cultural" experience, and definitely one of those times when I wonder "How did I get here again?!"

Please pray for strength for Margaret as she cares for her mother.

Monday, January 3, 2011

I win!

I have been trying to convince Blu for over 10 years to let me shave his head, because I just knew he would look SO good bald. Yep I win! He is such a stud :)

Sunday, January 2, 2011

2010 Book of the Year

It's time for my annual Book of the Year Recommendation! I only read 49 books in 2010! I'll try to do better this year ;) Ok, here are my recommendations!!

Non-Fiction:
Banker to the Poor, Muhammad Yunnus - I probably would never have read this book if I wasn't sick in bed for a week back in May! But I really liked it! It tells the true story of a man who changed a whole nation by giving small business loans to the poorest of the poor. This enabled people to start their own businesses, generate a profit, and then pay off their loan. Lives of future generations were changed because of this project. Interesting concept--wonder if it would work in Africa...?


Fiction:
This was a tough one. Francine Rivers' new 2 book saga is AMAZING--you have to read it!! But I'm giving this year's award to "The Face of God" by Bill Myers. I loved this book because it spoke to the issue of people in the ministry growing cold and losing their passion for Christ because they are so busy "ministering," which is something that all of us, but especially those of us in the ministry, have to be careful of. Another reason I loved this book is that I learned so much Old Testament history, specifically about the Urim and Thummim and the priest's breastplates. I also loved that it looked at both a Christian man and a Muslim man who were both searching for the same thing...You'll have to read it to see if they both found what they were looking for :)

Until 2011's end of the year recommendations....this is Darbi the Bookworm..signing off ;)