Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Counting My Blessings

OK, so things are a bit crazy here at the orphanage. So crazy in fact, that I can't even write about it. The internet has proven to be a loving place for me to bare my soul, but it's not an entirely secure place. So, the experience I'm going through right now will be one for the book. You'll just have to buy (or at least borrow) a copy whenever it is written.

In the meantime, there is nothing to do but soldier on. 

Tom left on Monday afternoon and flies out of the country tomorrow morning. It is going to be a long 60+ days. 

But, let's call it an adventure why don't we? And in that spirit, let's think of as many benefits or enjoyable things this could mean for me. 

First of all, I love reading at light and having the bed all to myself means I get to leave the light on as long as I like--all night if I'm so disposed. (They're energy saving!)

In the evening, I might choose to watch 10 minutes of news to keep up with current events but I won't have to watch an hour of talking heads unless I really want to. I will of course bend this rule for Anderson Cooper and Piers Morgan. Yum! I mean very informative. MmmHmm.

After watching (or not) the news, I can have my pick of any girly shows I want and no one will roll their eyes. Well, I do still have teenage boys in the house, but I can deal with their scorn.

I'm planning a party for the Royal Wedding! I've invited all the Peace Corps and missionary girls in a 200 mile radius. It's gonna be fun. We're going to make chick food and petit fours. We'll watch all the wedding coverage and for extra fun we're also going to watch the full, 5 hour long, BBC version of Pride and Prejudice. Hello, Colin Firth!

So, what other benefits can there be for having no man around the house for 2 months? Tell me in the comments and I'll share the best and most creative comments in a future post.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Tuesday's This 'n' That on the Web

On Monday I was surfing the web, while trying to ignore the fact that my hubs had just left, and came across this post from my friend Tina who lives in Spain. It's called Home is Where? and speaks about her many travels and what effect that has on her perception of 'home'. 
I shared a story with her about how a couple years ago I took one of our orphans to our nearby city to take care of medical issues. We had to spend the night. That day, he really wasn't happy with all our running around and I told him that after one more errand we would go home. He cheered up for a while but when we did that one thing and then only went to a friend's house, he looked at me with hurt and betrayal in his eyes. This wasn't our home! I felt terrible. With all my moving around I have come to feel that wherever I lay my head, is home. Obviously he begged to differ. Poor baby.

Also this week,  I read on Scholastic Scribe about her spring cleaning and finding an old recipe by her mother's neighbor, written down years before. She went on to make the meatball recipe and her family enjoyed it. It made me wonder what our children will find left behind by us. With everything digitalized and computerized are we leaving anything of ourselves behind? My wonderfully organized binder of recipes is all printed--not much handwriting. 

We don't even write letters anymore. I'd love to have a box filled with handwritten love letters, but most of our romantic missives are stored in gmail or skype histories. What do you think? Have you found a way to preserve your personality and history for future generations?

Monday, March 28, 2011

Our Kids--Nathan

Nathan--5 months old
The first time I met Nathan, nearly two years ago, he was in a tiny, mud hut just off the main road leading into our village, Kazembe. I had been called to this home by his great-uncle, Kennedy. Nathan's mother was suffering from an enlarged heart from an infection. She had been in the hospital for a month and had been sent home by the hospital because "they had no medicine to help her". She was now on hospice care (alone) with no stronger medicine than Tylenol to relieve her symptoms.

Nathan was an adorable boy of five months old. Unlike some babies in the village who cry in terror of my white skin, he climbed right into my lap and began to play with my hair. I fell instantly in love. 

Eight months old
Looking over at Nathan's mother, who was lying on the floor on a thin mattress, my heart broke. Unable to bear the weight of clothing on her chest, her shirt lay open. Every few minutes a spasm would come over her and she would clutch her heart in pain. I felt completely helpless. Not for the first time I wished I had some type of medical training. Some way to relieve her suffering. She needed clean, soft bedding, strong pain relievers and comfort.

2 years old
 All she asked of me was that I take her baby. When he saw his mother, Nathan wanted to nurse and be held but that understandably caused her immense pain. Obviously it's not our normal practice to take in a baby that has a living mother but I could see she really couldn't care for him. After first promising that as soon as she got better we would bring Nathan back home to her, I took Nathan in my arms and carried him home. Two weeks later, his mother passed away. I firmly believe that her final hours were peaceful as she knew that her little baby boy was being cared for and loved. That much I could do.

2 1/2 and loving our new kitten
Want to know how you can become part of our team and help to bring life and peace to Zambia?
#1 Click on this link or the donate button at the top of the blog page. 
#2 Choose to give a one time gift or monthly support--let us know in the memo section or an email what you'd like to do.
#3 Know you've made a difference in a child's life.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Sundays in My City

Have you ever played Uno Attack? It is Uno on speed. Rather than just drawing a card when you can't play on your turn, you have to push a button on this little machine. Sometimes it just beeps and your turn is over, other times it spits out a card or two, but sometimes it shoots out several cards at once.

Peter discovered this game a few weeks ago and was fascinated by the beeping but quickly learned what often happened just after the beep. 

Each and every time he would jump in the air and then laugh hysterically. He soon had us all in stitches.

He hasn't played it for a while but when he came in our room today and saw it on the shelf he had this funny, hesitant smile on his face. He wanted to play but was a little scared of the consequences.

We took turns pushing the button but he would cautiously extend his little finger on his turn.

Then he would wait to see what the machine had decided to do. Look at that expression!

When the cards did shoot out he would jump in fright and then growl out the cutest laugh  before falling to the floor to clean the cards up saying, "uh oh, uh oh", the whole time.

I love that kid!
Unknown Mami

Saturday, March 26, 2011

I Like-a You!

Henry, one of our three year old children, got into a bad habit last year of telling any of the kids he was upset with that he didn't like them. He would shout out, "I don't like you"! This of course would make the other child dissolve into tears.

We taught him that it wasn't kind to tell other people that we didn't like them. It was one thing to not want to play together or to take a break (how many of you just thought of Friends?) but we still had to watch our words that they were kind and loving.

He learned his lesson pretty quickly and now his favorite phrase is, "I like-a you"! He runs up, throws his arms around us, nearly knocking the less steady of us over, and after a big squeeze, he looks up and says, "I like-a you"! It's very sweet.

You know what? I like-a you! 

I like that I have a place I can share my insecurities and still be loved. I like that I don't have to be a perfect missionary all the time. And, thank heaven's for that! 

I like hearing from you and being able to write back and have a relationship with you even though I'm stuck all alone in the bush. 
Yes, I'm still feeling a bit sorry for myself--I just heard  that a friend who lives nearby might be away for some time. This on the heels of the news that my brother has delayed his visit. Rather than spending April with me and helping to fill some of my husbandless hours, he will now be here closer to the middle or end of May  
But, I'm definitely looking on the brighter side today. And you are a big reason for that. Thank you!

*Both these pictures were taken by our friend, Gray. Gray and his partner, Esther run Raise a Smile charity and hostel in Berlin, Germany. If you're ever passing through Berlin you should stop by and say hi or stay the night in their African-themed hostel.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

God is Bigger than the Boogey Man

First of all, I would like to welcome all my new followers who joined Amy's Adventures this week. I'm so glad you've decided to join my on my never boring, always interesting and occasionally scary journey.

Secondly, I would like to say that I hope to have a lighthearted post up soon. One that looks at life in Zambia and laughs in the face of difficulty.
Today is not that day.

All day I've been struggling with anxiety. Our dogs ran away last night and were gone for nearly 24 hours. We've had animals killed since living here. That fear was weighing on me all day. Thankfully they came home this evening, muddy and mostly likely beaten, but alive and safe.

Tom is about to leave and we have to get everything ready for his departure. I don't want him to go, but I know he has to. How will I handle issues like dogs disappearing, without him by my side? My weakness is embarrassing.

There are also so many loose threads that have to come together before Tom leaves on Monday. I'm confident we'll get everything on our list done, but I worry about what we're forgetting to put on the list.

Then there is the whole reason he is leaving. It's time for our annual big fundraising push and we struggle with fear each year. What if we can't reach enough people. What if our information isn't compelling enough?

I know deep inside that this anxiety is not from God and is my soul reacting to the spiritual force--that boogey man called Satan--that wants to scare me away from being productive and used of God. He would love to have me curled up in a ball on my bed sucking my thumb, which  frankly looks pretty attractive to me at this point. My heart believes in God's ability to see me through any challenge, but my stomach hasn't gotten the message and instead is in knots (& craving chocolate if the truth be told) and all jittery.

Tears come often and seem to be just a breath away. Much of this could be hormonal (see above reference to chocolate cravings) but it doesn't make it any easier to rationalize and think it through. 

I should be better at this by now. The ebbs and flows of life in God's service. But maybe it is my weakness that has allowed God to come through so wonderfully all this time. No, not maybe. For sure. I am incapable of accomplishing anything without His help. If you haven't figured it out by now, I'm a mess! But my Boss is awesome.

While I slow down, breathe, and remember Who is big enough to handle my little problems (he managed to hang the universe after all), would you offer up a prayer for me? Thank you!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Where in the World?

Some of you may be asking where in the world I've been. I even missed out on my favorite Sunday blog hop. Things have been extra busy as we are trying to get Tom ready for a trip to the States for our annual fundraising. He'll be gone for two months! I know, feel sorry for me. Don't worry, I'll be sure to mention it again in order to receive your full sympathy.

It isn't as if I haven't had anything to write about. Not at all!

First off, there was this cute event:

Theresa--4 years old
A wonderful charity donated dance clothes for our little girls. I plan on writing about this very soon in greater detail and showing more pictures.

Two of our children celebrated birthdays.
Ernest turned 5 and Jennifer turned 3. 

We all worked together on cupcakes and a Thomas the Tank Engine cake made with fondant icing. I'd show you more about that, but sadly, the pictures didn't turn out.

I do have this picture from the party, though. You're welcome!

One of the big reasons we've been busy is that Tom has been filming and editing a promo video for the orphanage. It is a huge project. You can see the video from 2009 here at Vimeo. We will be uploading the videos for 2010 and 2011 next month and I'll be sure to share the links with you then. Until then, I highly recommend you watch the videos from 2007 & 2008 as well.

Today Tom posted a couple interesting pictures from his blog. Click here to check them out.

If you are visiting here for the first time, welcome. I hail from the U.S, but live in Kazembe, a village in northern Zambia, Africa.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Rut or Ritual?

Starting in 2002, right after we moved to Africa, Tom and I began taking turns traveling back to the States each year to visit with sponsors and family. Because of the cost of traveling with 8 people, it always had to be just one of us while the other stayed in Africa with our six kids.
The U.S trips were usually 6 weeks to 2 months long. 

Aside from one very short plane trip within Zambia in 2008, Tom and I hadn't traveled together, via plane, until this past January. When our entire family was invited by a church to attend a missions conference we were really excited that we could finally travel together again. 

What we didn't fully anticipate (although we discussed it a bit) was the fact that we are both very independent people who have established travel rituals that are important to our journey. While we didn't have any real problems, it was a bit like traveling with a brand new partner. We had to negotiate almost every part of the trip because we were both used to taking our own lead and doing what we wanted or needed to do without input from anyone else.

This past week I was reading Misadventures with Andi and she had two links relating to travel rituals and routines. The first article was written by Andi and titled Warm Up Rituals and the other by Consumer Traveler entitled Travel rituals.

Some of my rituals are that I have tomato juice on every flight (if possible). It doesn't feel like a real flight without that traditional drink. No ice, no lemon, just straight up tomato juice. Wonderful. I also pray the Lord's prayer and quote Psalm 23 each take off and landing. Usually during landing, because the landing takes longer I will pray for the pilot and the machinery too. 
I watch movies or read but rarely sleep no matter how long the flight. I can't sit still and just think so I have a book very handy so as soon as the in-flight entertainment is turned off, out comes my book.
Tom has a routine of taking a sponge bath including washing his hair and changing his shirt just before landing. He loves the fact that he gets off the plane feeling as fresh as, if not more so, when he got on the plane. Many people are curious how he pulls off this feat in a tiny airplane bathroom. All I know is he does. He makes sure to have his toiletries bag and clean shirt placed just so in his suitcase so he can reach up into the overhead compartment and pull both things out quickly and easily.
He also loves to take pictures of taking off and landing so prefers a window seat. But, he also wants to be one of the first off the plane and for that, prefers an aisle seat.

We were mostly able to do our little rituals although occasionally we had to switch seats so that one (*cough*Tom*cough*) was able to be in the optimal seat for their prescribed ritual time.

What about you? When you travel, whether by air or road, do you have certain rituals that make the trip perfect?

Friday, March 18, 2011

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

March Madness

Most of you know that I grew up overseas. I lived mostly in Mexico and India and eventually met my husband in Japan while I was attending school there for a year. Because of our moving around so much and also not owning a television, we didn't really watch many sports. We were also homeschooled and therefore didn't take part in group sports . Whenever we got together with neighborhood children or other missionaries, we would play things like kickball, hide & seek, and kick the can--games easily played when large amounts of children come together.

But, I always knew I would be married with children one day.  And, I further knew that men love sports. They love nothing more than sitting down in front of the TV on a weekend watching the Game. I prepared for this mentally and even developed an interest in American football. I was ready to Support My Man.
Then I got married to Tom who couldn't care less who is playing which game. He supports no team and is completely indifferent to one of the best days of the year: Super Bowl! Ah, the ironies of life.
And so, my sports education remained fairly lacking. Aside from some professional football, my annual Superbowl Party, and the World Cup every four years, I really don't watch much sports.

Yesterday I was invited by Lu at to come join her March Madness bracket challenge. just housewives bracket challenge 
I wrote back that I have too much on my plate right now, but that I can never hear about March Madness without remembering the following story:
When we lived in Lusaka  (the capital of Zambia), there was a monthly braii (barbeque) for all the missionaries. We would rotate between houses, bring our own meat to throw on the grill, and potluck the other dishes.

At one of the houses, I noticed that most of the men had gathered in the living room and were watching some type of sport. I only saw a grandstand of some sort filled with people. I tried to enter into the festivities by asking what sport they were watching. Nearly every head turned to stare at me, and one man spoke up, "It's Basketball!" The Duh! was inferred. It was March. I had no idea about the madness that sweeps our nation. 

"To be forewarned is to be forearmed". or Never enter a room full of men and try to enter into the conversation unless you have some idea what you're talking about.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

How to Remember the Milk

 I have to tell you about my newest organizational tool. It is called Remember the Milk.
Just Lu who is having a McGyver Housewife challenge on her blog, recommended this a while ago. She writes a regular feature called Wednesdays on the Web at Housewife Eclectic. She highlighted several to-do list programs that are available.

I love making lists. I've been a list maker since I was a tiny girl. My idea of playing house was writing up weekly menus, chore schedules, names for my dozen+ kids (I've always been an overachiever) including their birth dates, etc. The problem with making lists in my grown up life is I tend to lose them. I'll jot a to-do list down on a scrap of paper and then carry it with me as I accomplish said tasks, but then the paper disappears.

Not so with Remember the Milk. All my little notes are stored right there on the computer. It runs in my web browser but many of the functions work offline as well. I haven't even tapped the surface of what you can do with this program. I like that it's not just a simple list of things to do but each item can be tagged, given a due date, a time-to-complete notation, etc. You can also add URLs.

For instance, just now I read an article about making homemade laundry soap. I pulled up my RTM tab on my browser, wrote out "find ingredients for laundry soap"  as my task and then I pasted the URL in its little slot and now,  when I start calling around to find those ingredients, I'll have all the information at my fingertips.

You can set up certain tasks to repeat. I have a task called staff meeting on my orphanage list. This staff meeting task is set to repeat every Tuesday at 2 PM (when we have the meeting). During the week, if I think of something I need to discuss during the meeting, I pull up that task and add a note. It really saves me time and energy.
I have a task for each of my shopping locations (Mansa, Lusaka, U.S). When I think of something we need, I add it in a note to the location where we'll need to get it. When I make my shopping list each week it is easy as can be to pull up the Mansa task and look at the notes I've made throughout the week.

If you're like me, life tends to get in the way of knocking every last item off the to-do list. RTM has a postpone button. I will not confess how often I use it but let's just say I know exactly where it is. 

You can email reminders to yourself using the unique-to-you email address. I've given this address to Tom so that instead of nagging (not that he does that!) he can simply email a task to my inbox and I can send it to the correct list. Remember the Milk can also be added to your smart phone if you move beyond the free version and pay $25 a year. If I ever get a Blackberry or I-phone, I would gladly pay the extra money to have it on my phone.

One of my favorite features is that the program keeps track of all the things you've completed. At any given time you can look over and see the running total of tasks completed. If you click on that number you'll see exactly what day you did everything. Now if Tom asks, "So what did you do today"? I can simply pull up my RTM program and show him the list or even print it out. Oh, yeah!

And I have been known to do something and then run to the program to add it to a list and then mark it complete. I need the validation. Tell me I'm not alone in this.

I could go on and on but I know that many of you actually have lives. Plus, I really wanna get this published so I can cross it off my list. Write blog post. Done!

What organizational tool gets you all excited?

I was not compensated in any way, shape or form for this plug. I just freakin' love it!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Snakes in My City

 Below is a picture of my two chest fridge/freezers. The one on the left is set to freeze and the one on the right is set as a fridge. We keep our veggies and leftovers in there.

Just a side note. If you look at the far left of the photo you can see just a small portion of the 30 loaves of bread we go through each week.

Now, you might be wondering why I would be showing you my freezer.

Well, because this is the sign that was left on top of the freezer yesterday afternoon. What could be so dangerous about a box that keeps things cold? Let's take a peek inside.

Hmmm, suspicious looking gunny sacks. You might remember sacks like these from a previous Sunday in my city post....

 No way! I did not see this coming! There is a snake in my freezer! Correction. There are seven snakes in my freezer! All huge! All poisonous!

Tom decided to thin out his snake population this weekend. The most humane way to kill snakes is to pop them in the freezer. They basically just go to sleep forever. 

Many of you have questions about why Tom does what he does with snakes. I've written about it over here (it's in the second half).

This guy is 3-4 feet long. His head is about 4 inches across. When I asked Tom what the measurements were for the snake he said he didn't know but that I could go measure it!

What?? It's like he doesn't know me at all! He assured  me it was dead. Not in this lifetime will I voluntarily hold a snake--dead or alive!

Marriage is like putting your hand into a bag of snakes in the hope of pulling out an eel.
Leonardo da Vinci

I don't agree with Leonardo's take on marriage, but I do know that being married to a man who loves snakes is never ever boring!

I'm playing along this week with FreshMommyBlog and Unknown Mami.
Unknown Mami

Exactly One Year (& a day) Ago: My Hips Don't Lie

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Links of Love

....Or How I Got the Web to Write this Post for Me

Lindsey at  Suburban Turmoil often writes really fantastic and thought provoking posts. I especially appreciated the post she wrote this week about helping our girls to preserve their sense of worth: Searching For My Crown

I've enjoyed getting to know a fellow missionary who currently works in Spain. Tina writes fun posts about her family and their experiences. She also has written about her journey through infertility and she now helps other women who are in the same place. I encourage you to check this link.

That's all for me today. It's my day off, but I'm enjoying my new to-do list program so much that I'm gonna work anyway just to cross things off my list. I'll be telling you all about my new addiction on Tuesday.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Fab Friday Foto--XXIX

Had to throw in a little baby Peter for anyone who is addicted to him the way I am.

Exactly One Year Ago: A Whole New World

P.S Next week I will post my thirtieth Fab Friday Foto. Since I'm using roman numerals I'm afraid I'm going to attract the wrong crowd if I'm not careful. What should I do?

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Just Dance

I didn't find the time to post many pictures of our trip to the States. Somehow the days just flew by and then I was back in Zambia and life carried on at breakneck speed. 

Lest I forget all the fun we had, I will occasionally throw a few pictures up here--for the grandparents too, you understand.

While we attended the Missons Conference in Alabama we were invited to take part in one of the church's regular mission projects. Volunteers from the church help out at Eagle's Wings.--a charity 'dedicated to helping adults with special needs'.
We first helped paint pots that would be fired in a kiln, painted by the Eagle's Wings' clients and then auctioned to raise funds for their project.

After a pizza lunch we were all invited to take part in a dance off. I had never heard of Just Dance for the Wii.

Troy was the first one roped into the competition but as soon as we saw how much fun it was we jumped in with both feet.

For some of us it was with both left feet but everyone had a ton of fun.
I enjoyed it so much that I made sure that before we left the States I bought a copy for our Wii.

I plan on having the kids and nannies take turns playing this game as well. It's really good exercise!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Delicious Doings

Our garden is doing really well. After a lot of trial and error we found out that our garden loves to grow squashes. We have 2 foot long zucchinis--trying to teach the gardener to pick earlier, buckets and buckets of eggplant, gem squash, and butternuts. They grow so well. 

Since the zucchini was picked a bit late it doesn't taste as good. When I got back from the States I found out that the kids were being served zucchini or eggplant every day. The cook was  simply cutting it into cubes and boiling it. Not the most appetizing way to serve it. I suggested that she grate the zucchini and mix it in with their meat sauce. Thursday the kids sat down at the table and exclaimed, "Look! No zucchini!" and then proceeded to eat everything on their plates and ask for seconds. Little did they know the zucchini was hiding in their meat dish. Aren't we devious?

On Saturday afternoon I got bit by the bug. I suddenly had to cook! Not that I don't cook often (we  all take turns) but I wanted to do more than standard dinner fare.

I decided to roast 10 eggplants for babaganoush.* Then while they were in the oven I grated 6 cups of zucchini for bread and muffins. As I was making that batter, Jasmine came in and asked if we could make roasted vegetable muffins. For sure! We began roasting the vegetables for those and then discovered we needed pesto. Darn. No pesto! Wait! We have basil in the garden. Hooray. 
Jasmine dashed off to the computer to find a recipe, and then went the extra mile to find one that used peanuts rather than pine nuts.

While gathering basil leaves from our two little plants, I looked over and saw our lovely bushes of cilantro. A lightbulb went off and I decided to make cilantro pesto as well. 

basil pesto--left, cilantro pesto--right
I'm seriously in love with pesto now. So easy to make, and delicious in everything! I've put it on crackers, spread it on a grilled cheese sandwich, stirred it into lentils one night and chicken soup the next.

Pesto done, we worked on the vegetable muffins. We had to do a lot of tweaking. No mozzarella cheese--so we used cheddar. Decided to use cilantro pesto rather than basil. No feta cheese--more cheddar. 

For vegetables we used carrots, onions, bell peppers, mushrooms and zucchini. Tremendous!

These were seriously some of the best muffins I've ever eaten. They had a pizza-y taste to them. There was a hint of sweet cornbread to them as well.

Roasted Vegetable Muffins
 from Celebrating Cupcakes and Muffins**
Makes 12 muffins

Roasted vegetables:
1 cup assorted vegetables
2 Tbsp. olive oil
Salt, to taste
Black pepper, to taste
Dried rosemary, thyme, or oregano, to taste

Toss vegetables with oil and seasonings and then roast (on a lined cookie sheet) for 20 minutes in a 400 degree oven until cooked and/or golden.

3 oz. butter
1 large egg
1 cup whole milk
1 cup mozzarella (or whichever) cheese
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese (or grated cheddar if you live in Africa)
1/4 cup pesto sauce

  • In a medium bowl, lightly whisk together butter, egg, and milk. Gently fold in cheese until just combined.
  • In a separate bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, sugar and salt.
  • Fold flour mixture into egg mixture just until blended.
  • Spoon two-thirds of the batter into greased muffin cups (or use silicone ones like I did) filling each cup about one-third full.
  • Top with half the roasted vegetables and all the (feta) cheese and pesto.
  • Add remaining batter and vegetables. 
  • Bake for about 20 minutes at 350, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out dry.
  • Transfer pan to a wire rack and let the muffins cool for about 15 minutes. 
  • Serve warm. I dare you to wait any longer! 

* I didn't really follow a specific recipe for the babaganoush so I've just linked the search page. Plus, we didn't really care for it much. Win some, lose some.
** I'm not an Amazon affiliate.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Everything Changes

This time last week I was writing to you about Joshua and how we would love to take him under our wings and care for him but we are waiting on enough funding to be able to care for him properly. 

We have received some good responses and are just waiting until we have raised enough monthly support so we can commit to hiring another caregiver. In the meantime, we saw Joshua today and he is doing well. We've given his family another tin of milk formula and will continue to do so until we get the go-ahead from God and our finances.

This past Thursday another little boy was brought to our door. We have to take each case as it comes so we agreed to see the family. We were introduced to Denny, a little 18 month old boy.
His mother passed away recently from some sort of illness--this is usually a vague thing since most people don't know much about what sicknesses they have.

I took one look at Denny and could see that while he was obviously loved (his clothes were clean, he was washed, and he was munching on a doughnut), he was also seriously malnourished. His cheeks were puffy but not with healthy toddler chub, he has Kwashiorkor--a form of malnourishment. His hair is orange and sparse. His legs were skinny and his feet swollen.  He is unable to walk--probably because of spending so much time being carried on a relative's back. He has been looked after these last few months by his mother's cousin who has nine children of her own.

We knew right away that we would have to take Denny in. He was in a very vulnerable state and could easily contract more illnesses since his body's immune system was not getting the nutrition it needed.

Thankfully, because of his age, he was able to slide right into the 'Toddler' group. Our  three 1 & 2 year old children are looked after by one nanny so she was able to take on the care of one more. Denny is just two weeks old than Peter.--It's almost like having twins.

Our task right now is to get Denny healthy. We've made him some special, extra nutritious milk and are giving him that before solid food. His appetite is not that great so we'll offer him the milk and then as his health improves so should his appetite.

Remember, if you would like to partner with us to help more children in Zambia it's as easy as 1, 2, 3.
#1 Click on this link or the donate button at the top of the blog page. 
#2 Choose to give a one time gift or monthly support--let us know in the memo section or an email what you'd like to do.
#3 Know you've made a difference in a child's life.


Sunday, March 6, 2011

Sundays in My City--Village Church

Tom's student is really happy--they just get serious around cameras.

 Last Sunday Tom was invited to preach at the church of one of his Bible students. He has gone there three times before but I had never accompanied him so this time the church members insisted that I come as well.

The church was tiny and yet they managed to fit 150 people in there. The ladies that are walking up the aisle are actually dancing in as they sing Praise songs. 

The church was so full that children were gathered around the pulpit as well. They stared at me the entire service. 

There was a whole lotta shakin' goin' on!
After the women sang, the youth group stood up to sing. They filled the tiny floor space to capacity. Song time is accompanied by lively dancing. My seat was right next to the floor area and was quite low sitting which meant that I had an interesting vantage point for all the hip-shaking and grooving. I was never so thankful for my camera which allowed me to 'escape' to higher ground. I stood in the corner to take pictures.

The drummer was really feeling the music

Since it was Sunday morning and church day, most people had bathed so there wasn't the regular pungent smell of unwashed bodies that you might find on a bus or in a crowded shop, but that many people in a small room made for pretty stale air.

Tom has been slowly taking this congregation through the basics of the Bible. This past Sunday he was explaining what sin was. The last time he preached he found out that there is no Bemba word for sin. The only word they have is the same word for mistake. The trouble with this is that if one thinks that sin is the same as a simple mistake it really takes away the seriousness of intentional wrong doing. We have encountered this and so have been working to teach the difference between say, accidentally knocking your friends plate of food of the table or stealing food from their house. Mistakes can be taken care of with an apology but sins carry consequences.

The faces on these children will always make me happy!

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