Friday, March 27, 2015

You Deserve a Break Today

This week's word prompt is break. 

Picture from 2010 when I visited my mom in California

Immediately I thought of a Facebook post a friend of mine here in Zambia just put up. She has begun a project of taking premature babies and teenage mothers into her home. She is building a place for them, but in the meantime they are staying with her in her tiny house. She has local caregivers working alongside her, but it means that she is constantly surrounded by her work and does not get the chance for a break. She was pleading with people to help give in to her building fund so that her work and home could have some separation.

This plea struck home for me because I too live at my work. There is always something to do, a child that needs attention, a staff member that needs instruction, always something. I have to fight for my time off.

But, there is a nagging feeling that as a missionary I shouldn't feel that way.

And I know I'm not the only mission worker to struggle with that. We are doing Good Work. Why should we want a break? A time away?

Then I talk sense into myself and give myself a little talking to. It goes something like this:
"Even Jesus took breaks. I'll be no good to anyone if I get exhausted and sick. It's healthy to have time away from work. Other people with 'normal' jobs get weekends or days off. Why shouldn't I?" and so on and so forth. 

It's silly almost to admit this, but the struggle is real.

As I said, I know I'm not the only one. I see it over and over in missionary updates. They feel the need to justify any days they take off. Any money (even personal funds) spent on recreation. We get it. We need to make good use of the donations and funds that people have entrusted to us, but we need to take care of ourselves as well.

So, if you know a missionary or even a mission worker not overseas, let them know they deserve a break today. Let them know that you don't expect them to work 24/7 just because they're doing God's work.

I could say more on this subject, but I have to play by the rules of Five Minute Friday..... :)

Almost Exactly Four Years Ago: I Like-a You!
Exactly Four Years Ago: Sundays in My City --Uno Attack
Exactly Two Years Ago: A Family Day to Remember

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

It's All in the Wording

This morning I wasn't feeling well. While I rested in bed Peter came to play and keep me company. 

Troy didn't think this was a good idea and suggested to Peter that he leave since "Mommy has a headache". 

Peter: "Mommy doesn't have a headache. She's just lazy."

Me: "..........."

Peter: "Yeah, Mommy told me she is lazy today."

Me: "Dizzy, Peter! I said I was dizzy."

Good thing we cleared that up before anyone else asked Peter why Mommy wasn't working today.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Keeping It Real

I missed posting on Friday because what a week! I really lost track of the days with all we had going on. 

This week's word is REAL

I started this blog in order to be real about what it’s like to be a missionary. Zambia’s tourism motto is: Zambia—the Real Africa. Perhaps by extension that makes us the Real Missionaries. Ha ha

My intention though is to help people to understand that missionaries are real people—not superhumans, not metahumans (little geek humor) and certainly not saints. We struggle with the same issues: fear, loneliness, anger, etc.

I get scared by the things around us. I’ve lost my temper when faced with culture clashes. I’ve wept long and hard for losses here and far away. I’m not always content. (Once I saw pictures of family members on a beautiful vacation and I cried to my husband that it wasn’t fair! He reminded me that our reward is in Heaven. “But,” I wailed, “they get to go to Heaven too!”) Real. Not necessarily right. But honest.

However as I strive to show an authentic face to you about life as a missionary, I am also striving to become more like the most real human being to ever walk this earth. My goal is to become more like Him!

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Disaster Strikes!

It was a normal Saturday afternoon. Power was out for routine maintenance so all was quiet. Around 3 PM a thunderstorm blew in. We unplugged electronics and listened to the wind and rain pick up. Next thing we knew the rain was coming down in torrents and the wind was blowing fiercely! 

 The kitchen lady ran up to tell us that the roof from part of the kitchen building was gone. We didn't know if she meant part of the thatched grass covering, or a few of the tin sheets. We ran out into the rain and saw that the bathroom building had collapsed. Going on into the dining/kitchen building we found that the entire roof from the back half of the building was ripped off completely! Rain was pouring into our pantry, storage room, and laundry area. 

Quick thinking on the part of the kitchen lady saved much of our food, but also caused her to become injured by a falling brick. Thanks to God's protection she was not badly hurt. We took her to the clinic, but being that it is Saturday no doctors or nurses would see her. We sent her home with ibuprofen. 

The next thing we noticed was that the entire roof for our brand new classroom was completely gone! Huge beams and everything! All tossed across the road.

As many as could scrambled to rescue the school books and materials from the still pouring rain. We have no idea how much can be saved. There is definitely hundreds of dollars of loss just in that alone.

Once the storm blew over, which was surprisingly quick, we began the big job of clean up.

 One huge miracle is that all the kids were gathered in the dining room for snack time. They had just been in the bathroom area washing hands. If the storm had hit just five minutes earlier.....we don't even want to think about it. Look above at that bathroom! God's protection indeed!

We are going to have to completely renovate the bathroom area--six toilets, three sinks and two showers.

Everyone (including some neighbors) pitched in to help collect all the roofing sheets and beams from around the area. We also had to mop up water and wipe everything down, and move the food from the pantry to the kitchen in case rain comes again before we have a chance to replace the roof.

We have no idea how much damage we've incurred or what it's going to cost to replace everything. If you, or anyone you know, can help us to recover from this disaster please donate at this linkDonate Here

Or, you can donate via Paypal (

Please pray for us as we recover from this disaster and figure how how to best move forward from here.

Friday, March 13, 2015

My First Five Minute Friday

I'm trying something new. Kate Motaung hosts Five Minute Friday where writers around the interwebs write for only five minutes on a single word which is assigned each week. No overthinking or editing is allowed. I look forward to the challenge and the growth this will bring.  

Today's word: Plan

The quote that comes to mind when I hear the word plan is "man proposes, but God disposes". I'm not sure where it came from originally, but I grew up with that quotation and have found it to be so very true.

I planned to have a productive week, but I wound up with malaria.

I planned to visit many government offices yesterday, but discovered after the two hour drive, that they were all closed due to a holiday

When my plans go awry, I have to step back and consider the plan that God actually had for that week or day. And, then I go with it. Yesterday I ended up sitting at the hotel and getting a ton of work done (they have an ottoman that works perfectly as a footstool under the desk which somehow makes me more productive) and the day was saved.
Today we visited every government office on our list and did all of yesterday's work and today's and even got done early. Amazing!

Jeremiah tells me that God's plans for me were formed before I was even born

I probably won't stop making lists and plans, but I'm glad to serve a God Who looks after me so well.

Friday, March 6, 2015

No Self Esteem Issues Here

In the mornings, before breakfast, Peter likes to come into our bedroom for a little quality time. Sometimes he'll climb up in our bed for a cuddle, or just chat, or play in the adjoining office.

The other morning, I woke up to some dishes clanking and soft mutterings coming from our office, and realized that Peter was trying to make Tom and I our morning tea.

I quickly got up before he broke something or got hurt. Under my supervision he carefully filled our glass kettle with water, put tea bags in each cup, put my 'sugar' tablet in, got the milk out of the fridge, and (with my help) filled both cups with hot water.

As the tea steeped on the desk, Peter looked at me and said, "Daddy is going to like that I made his tea all by myself. He is going to know that I'm a Good Kid!"

Exactly Two Years Ago: Looking for the Headless Horseman
Nearly Three Years Ago: In Everything Give Thanks
Exactly Four Years Ago: Village Church
Exactly Five Years Ago: Fab Friday Foto--(Hyphenation Rules)

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Mr and Mrs MacGyver

Tom and I are on the road again. Yes, AGAIN. I don't know when we've ever traveled this much.

We were invited to the U.S embassy in Lusaka because Tom serves as a Warden for our area. He helps to make sure Americans living or traveling near us have access to the information they need to stay safe. We'll be meeting with the U.S Ambassador to Zambia and networking with other Americans.

On the way down on the bus we sat directly under a speaker which was blaring Zambian pop music. It was LOUD. I joked with Tom about taking out my pocket knife and disabling the speaker. He told me I'd have to make sure to get the exact center or it'd do no good. 
Also, people were watching, so there was that.

Next I thought about finding a magnet of some sort and trying to short the speaker out, but Tom didn't think that would work either.

As a last resort I asked Tom if taping a piece of paper over the speaker would work. He grinned at me and said it would if I had tape. I didn't have tape, but I DID have band-aids!
I reached into my bag of tricks, dug out 4 band-aids and tore a piece of paper from my Bible study journal. And, VOILA!

It was amazing what a difference it made! We could hardly hear the music at all. Of course it was still blaring throughout the bus, but not overhead.

A bit later in the trip we came to a bathroom break and would have to both get out of the bus leaving a suitcase behind. It was locked closed, but that wouldn't stop someone from just picking the entire thing up and walking off with it.

Tom had a solution for that:

Handcuffs! Which he just happened to have in his bag. A quick clip to the handrail and through the suitcase handle and we were on our way.

Innovation is the name of the game!

I just wish the tape and paper solution would have worked on the drunk who sat behind us talking and babbling at full volume all night long.......

Exactly 2 years ago: What Do You Take On a Journey

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