Monday, February 6, 2017

Five Thousand Kilometers

Five thousand kilometers driven on our recent trip to South Africa. (3,100 miles for you non-metric speaking folks.)

Five thousand kilometers included...

A visit through some of South Africa's diamond mining history...

Including the largest hand dug hole on the planet...

The views of the iconic Table Mountain...

Visits with lions, cheetahs and penguins (oh my!)...

Not to mention swimming with the fishes...

Two oceans (and a faceful of sand) in one day...

Catching up with forever friends and seeing their new home...

Five thousand kilometers of wonderful memories, yummy food, and rest for our spirits...

Five thousand kilometers and still smiling in the end...

(Surely there is a smile behind the pacifier...)

Friday, December 23, 2016

As the Shepherds Chose

They had a choice to make.

The terrifying, blinding light had dimmed.  The songs of glory sung from before there was time had faded.

They sat in the silent, dark night listening to the sheep baaing and crickets chirping, knowing they had a choice to make.

What do we do with this astounding, life changing news?  Do we dare go?  Do we dare leave the comfort of the known for the bewilderment of the unknown?

The simple men, shepherds by trade, they had a choice to make.

But even as they pondered the choice, it burned deep within.  Their vision changed forever by angels' light; their hearing never quite the same since beholding the angels' songs.

For what they had witnessed, the glorious news they had heard, drove them as a power from within.

They rose and departed in hurry, seeking the child, seeking the promise, seeking the truth of what the angels had shared.  Leaving the comfort of their folds, they went forth not knowing what the night would hold.

Just as the Christmas of long ago held a choice, this Christmas holds a choice for us.

We who walked in darkness and now have seen a great light, we who proclaim the importance of this baby in life, in death and in resurrection,  we who join in to sing with the angels a song proclaiming eternal glory,..

What choice will we make with this astounding, life changing news?  Do we dare go?  Do we dare leave the comfort of the known for the bewilderment of the unknown?

We, simple men and women, we have a choice to make.

May the choice burn deep within, our vision and hearing altered by the angels' light and songs.  May what we know and witness, this glorious news, drive us as a power from within.

My we seek the child, seek the promise, seek the truth of what the angels share- willing to leave our comfort, going forth, not knowing what the night will hold.

May we make the same choice that was made by the shepherds so long ago.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Tanzanian Thanksgiving

American Thanksgiving in Tanzania is much like American Thanksgiving anywhere...

Yummy food

Shared with family and friends.

A few fun crafts,

Followed by a chance to welcome Christmas. (At least per our family tradition.)

So what makes a Tanzanian Thanksgiving different?  

No turkey for us. (Too expensive at around $100 per bird.)  We grilled chicken instead.

No creamed soups or quick fixes.  Everything we made was from scratch, from cornbread dressing to pecan pie.  While delicious, this can be quite time consuming.  

No dishwasher...except for our own hands.  Lots of cooking plus lots of eating equals lots of dishes.  LOTS of dishes.

No Black Friday. Just the normal crazy market shopping if you choose to partake. We did not.

No you. While we are thankful for friends here to share the holiday with, this is a time of year when we sorely miss family and friends who are not close by.  

This Tanzanian Thanksgiving we have much for which we are thankful.
We hope and pray your thanksgiving was full of joy and that the gratitude of the season continues throughout the year!

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Eight is Great is never two late to post pictures of a cute kid who just celebrated a birthday...right?

But there is some humor in the lateness of this post, since Nathan is Mr. Precise and Punctual.

He is our number guru who doesn't want to hear its 7:00, but wants to know its precisely 7:03.

Even with his precise nature, he is still our sweet, cheerful laid-back boy.  

Happiest of birthday (months) to you Nathan!  Here is to hoping eight is great!

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Never 2 late

This cute girl turned two a couple of weeks ago.

 I had great intentions of dressing her up and taking a few pictures to remember the occasion.

But I wanted to wait for the rain to come...well because green grass is a better background than brown, dusty dirt.

 Time passed and the rains still haven't arrived, so this weekend I grabbed the camera while David worked on a fence to keep the dogs (and said two year old) out of our small, but growing strawberry patch.

Of course, these two big boys couldn't be left out!

I guess it is never too late for cute pictures...

...and nothing better than ending a photo shoot by trying out the hole Da is digging!

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

It Was Cloudy Yesterday

It was cloudy yesterday.  Not an immense cloudiness, but enough of a cloud cover to dim the sun and turn the brilliant African sky a pearly gray.

Enough clouds to turn our eyes to the sky as our hearts whispered hopefully, “Could it be rain?”

Standing still for a moment, one could almost feel branches stretching upwards, as their leaves trembled in anticipation.  A sweet wind blew past, smelling of wetness and hope.

Six months have passed since rain last dampened the ground here.  The earth is parched, the grass bleached and shriveled.  Great clouds of dust stir up under our feet, settling onto our shoes, our skin, anything and everything really.

Dry seasons, both of the earth and the soul, come.  Seasons when God's presence seems far off and His voice a distant memory.  Seasons in which you look around, doubting, perplexed, wondering how did I even get to this place.  The psalmist cries out in anguish from this season of dryness, “I spread out my hands to you; I thirst for you like a parched land. Answer me quickly, Lord; my spirit fails….” (Psalm 143:6-7)

Dry seasons come to the land and to our souls.  Dry seasons come and we step forward through the swirling dust, pressing on into the promise of more.  Dry seasons come and we wipe away the grime once again, searching eagerly for the promise of a different tomorrow.  Dry seasons come, yet we open our hands, just as the psalmist, spreading them out far in the hope of catching that first drop of rain.

Dry seasons come, but so does hope.  Dry seasons come, but it was cloudy yesterday.

Monday, August 29, 2016

A Month of Anniversaries

Facebook is a handy tool...sometimes.  This month it reminded us there were several different anniversaries we could celebrate...

Five years ago this month, we announced our intentions of joining Wycliffe Bible translators as full time information technology missionaries.

Three years ago this month, we landed in Mozambique, Africa to serve the Bibleless there.

Two years ago this month, we left Mozambique to welcome Esther and seek a new assignment with Wycliffe.

And in a couple of days, it will remind us that it was fourteen years ago this month we started this crazy adventure.

We are thankful for the past fourteen Augusts and for the crazy, God-sized adventures they have seen us through...and we don't need facebook to remind us of that!
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