Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Merry Christmas

December already and I have so much to blog. So go get some hot chocolate and sit back, here goes. November was a crazy month. David had surgery on his left foot. For those of you that don't know he has psoriatic arthritis in his feet so the doctor went in to straighten his toes out. This was our first experience with the South African hospital system. Overall it has been a great experience. Before the surgery David didn't have to do any tests. No blood work, no nothing. He arrived at the hospital on the day of surgery and was then told that he would be 2nd in line for surgery. By the way they call the OR the surgical theatre here. I guess David was the star of the show that day. He went through the surgery really well and had to stay over night. By the time I got to the hospital in the morning he was already wanting to go home. After some physical therapy and an x-ray he was released. He has been on crutches ever since. He will be getting the pins out of his toes December 17th. We thank you for all of your prayers for him. We are told that he can get the other foot done in February.
As all of that was going on the kids were finishing there first year of South African school for the year. I am so proud of all three children. They have all done really well transitioning and were all rewarded for their academic achievements. During the last 2 weeks of November we had a very busy schedule. Here the teachers go out with the moms for breakfast or dinner at the end of school. I went to 3. It gave me a chance to meet moms from each of their grades. I am hoping that it will open doors for me to share the gospel with these moms. Here they also do something called Prize Giving at the end of the year. Prize Giving is when the children are brought together and are recognized for their achievements throughout the year, like an awards ceremony. Micah did not have Prize Giving this year but the girls both were recognized for their outstanding academic achievements. I had no idea what to expect so to hear both of them called up was really a treat. The next night Micah performed what they call a concert here with the whole Grade R (like kindergarten). Micah was a giraffe and man was he cute. He said a poem, danced and sang. Micah even had a speaking part. His teacher wrote a part in for him because of his American accent. One of the moms didn't know we were American and thought Micah had really practiced that accent. He was adorable and won every one's heart.
We have been on holiday since November 28th. We are told that everyone usually goes to the coast for December. Remember it is summer here now. We have decided to stay put but to go to places that we haven't been to here. Like the zoo and caves etc. We didn't bring our Christmas tree or decorations with us so we have been making our own. The kids are having a great time with this. Friends let us borrow their tree while they are in the US so that was nice. We have also been watching Christmas movies and today Emily wants to bake cookies/biscuits. She is quite the baker.
Being that this is summer we have a storm practically every day. Last weekend the lightning was so bad that it took out the front gate and the internet for the whole compound. The lightning here is vertical rather than horizontal because of all of the minerals in the ground and we are pretty high up. Every time it rains we have to unplug everything. Crazy.
The kids and I have started to visit a baby orphanage here. This orphanage has about 14 babies. They range in age from 2 1/2 to newborn. They are so sweet and my children are having a great time holding them and feeding them. We have been going for about a month and some of the babies have already been adopted. I want to take them all home.
Yesterday I was reading a devotion written by Max Lucado. In it he used the verse I have learned to be satisfied with the things I have and with everything that happens. Phil. 4:11 I have to tell you this verse hit me square between the eyes. He went on to ask this question. What if God's only gift to you were his grace to save you? Would you be content? Because from heaven's perspective grace is enough. Max asks If God did nothing more that save us from hell, could anyone complain? Having been given heavenly riches, dare we moan about earthly poverty? This put things this Christmas season in perspective for me. Just because I am a missionary doesn't mean that I don't get things out of whack. God came to earth in the form of a baby, so that He could grow up to save me and you from hell. His grace is enough and I have learned to be satisfied. I pray that this Christmas season you don't get so caught up in the shopping and parties that you miss the real meaning of Christmas. Jesus. Merry Christmas from our family to yours.

Praise/Prayer Requests:

Praise - David's surgery went well and his foot is healing

Praise - the children did well in school

Praise - We have met a lot of new friends

Prayer- for the babies at the orphanage to find good Christian homes

Prayer - for the salvation of all of these new friends.
You all have been a blessing to us this year. We can't thank you enough for your prayers. We couldn't do this if we didn't have your prayer support. Thank you and Happy New Year!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Spring Is In The Air

Hi guys. Yes I did say Spring is in the air. Here it is Spring. The flowers are blooming the weather is warmer and we have finally gotten a little rain. Last week I celebrated my first birthday in Africa. I was so blessed by my family and friends in the States, by the missionaries here, by new South African friends and of course by my husband and children. It was a very special birthday. Some people were asking questions about how we celebrate birthdays in South Africa. The answer is basically the same way you celebrate in the States. Children's birthdays tend to be a little more elaborate. I celebrated by having a spa day. With a massage, pedicure and manicure. Very relaxing. These things are a lot cheaper here than in the States. It was great.

Now that it is November we are coming to the end of school. Remember that we start the school year in January. It is very different to end in November. We are used to ending in June and doing all of the end of year stuff then. It is going to be a very busy November. We are trying to get Christmas together in November also, more added pressure. The children are all doing well in school. Emily has made a friend and this weekend she went to their family farm. She has seen impala and other animals that live at the farm. We met the friends dad the other night and he asked us a lot of questions about what we do here and about Christianity. We had a good discussion with him and hope to continue talking to him in the future. Leah has been taking guitar lessons with one of the missionaries that lives next door. She really likes it. She makes the rounds around the IMB offices, talking to all of the adults. A regular chatter box. They seem to love it. Micah is still playing Cricket. He is really quite good. The 3rd week he went to practice he got the trophy for best player. Amazing how fast they can pick stuff up. About 2 weeks ago he kicked a soccer ball through one of the guest house windows and has had to work that off. They really are just normal kids but have done so well adapting here. They have finally stopped telling us everyday they want to go home but we still hear it. We all have our good and bad days.

November is the month for birthdays in our family. Happy Birthday to Abbey our niece, Dad, Grandma Grapes, Andrew and Roy. David will be having surgery on his left foot on November 13th. He has arthritis in his toes and the surgeon is going to straighten them out. He isn't excited about having surgery but he is excited that his foot will be fixed. He will get the other one done in January some time.

A lot of you have been praying for me to find a place where I can minister. Well I have been working in the home school room here and am enjoying it. I have also been given the opportunity to go to Micah's class, all of grade 4 and 2 at the girls school and talk about what Thanksgiving is. It will give me an open door to talk about thanking God for all that we are blessed with. I also have an opportunity to go to a preschool that has poor children with AIDS and minister to them.

Since November in the month for Thanksgiving I would just like to say thank you to all of you that read our blog and that have been praying for us. November 7th is our 1 year anniversary with the IMB. We have been blessed by your prayers and have really felt the presence of God throughout this year. Our God is an awesome God. I know that some of you are going through some trials right now. Know that there is hope. Look to Jesus. He is still there. If there is something specific that we can be praying for you about please write us and let us know.

Praise/Prayer Requests:
Praise - the children are making friends.
Praise - its warm finally and raining.
Prayer - David's surgery November 13th
Prayer - for "W" as we continue talking to him about Jesus.
Prayer - Tracy doing Thanksgiving talks at schools.
Prayer - end of the school year craziness.
Prayer - for our colleagues at home on their stateside assignment.
Prayer - for the IMB leadership as they are making a lot of changes.

Have a very blessed Thanksgiving Day. Watch the parade for us.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Observations and Other Things

Well hello again everyone. Let me first say a big Happy Birthday to my niece Megan who will be 9 on Sunday. I have been thinking about what I was going to write this time. I thought that I would share some observations that I have had about our new home in South Africa. Keep in mind these are from my prospective. Mostly, I have observed that they do things differently here. This is neither a bad thing or a good thing, just different. For instance we were driving down the road the other day and they are putting a round about in the road. In the States we would stop traffic one way and let the other lane go then switch. Here they make you detour through a field. This has happened to us a few times now. Interesting. Also, instead of mowing the grass on the side of the highway they burn it here. David and I refer to this as African mowing. The best part is there is no one around to make sure it doesn't burn out of control. Traffic is very interesting here. You do not stop for a stop sign here. You do a rolling stop in most cases, unless there is someone turning in front of you then you stop. Motorcyclists basically can drive anywhere and however they want too. They are scary. Most all service jobs (waiter, cashier, petrol station attendants ect. ) are black. If there is a white person working there it is usually the manager. Here are some observations I really like. When you go to get petrol (gas) it is still full service. They put the petrol in and wash your windows. That is cool. Also, I haven't seen any nurses in doctors offices. The doctor comes and gets you (on time) and takes you to his/her office where he/she talks to you first then does the exam then talks to you again. He/she will then give you his/her number to call if there are any problems. Very cool. Since our crate finally arrived I have been able to cook more of the things we like to eat. Sometimes there will be an ingredient or 2 that I can't find here. What I usually find out is that they have it they just call it something else. That is a good time to have South African friends. Most of the time they can help me find it. There are still things that we can't find here (Dr. Pepper, Raisin Bran, Pumpkin Pie scent Yankee Candles, Smarties, yellow rice, Kraft mac n cheese - the kind with the velveeta) o.k. I'm getting hungry now. The other day I found a box of Frosted Shredded Wheat in the grocery store. It would have cost me $10 for that box of cereal. No thanks, I think I'll pass. Some things you find at the grocery store that you have been searching for and you buy all of it because you don't know if you will ever find it again. Leah found refried beans for me the other day. I bought 7 cans. I have been searching for those practically since we got here. I'm still searching for plain Fritos. They have every flavor Frito imaginable but not plain. I have been told South Africans don't like plain. Go figure. So I continue my search. I hope this helps you understand a little bit of what goes on around here.

On the last blog I wrote that I was going to start working in the Home School room. Well I have been doing that. There is already a HS room set up in Kenya and now we are setting up one here. It is a resource room where all of our home school families can come to or order their books/supplies from. Right now we are in the process of inputting all of the books that are currently in the room. So right now I am a Librarian. I know there are a lot of home school friends out there. I would love to know more about the different curriculum's. Please e-mail me and let me know what you are using and what has worked and not worked. That would help me immensely since I have never home schooled. The children are in school. All seem to be doing well. Emily has a tutor for Africaans. This is the language the white South Africans speak. She is doing well and I am jealous. She picks it up so fast. She just came back from church camp last weekend. She had a great time and even climbed up a mountain a 5 am. Go Emi. Micah has started Cricket. He absolutely loves it. We bought him a cricket bat yesterday and he can hardly wait for practice on Monday. We are looking into speech/drama lessons for Leah. We think she would do very well at that. David is still plugging along with his schooling. Doing quite well. It is very hard to juggle work, school and a family but he is doing brilliantly. (I'm learning South African lingo). Yesterday was Heritage Day here. No one seems to know what they are supposed to be celebrating because apparently it is a new holiday. I did hear it called National Braii Day (a braii is a bar-b-que) We had a braii with our cell group. It was a lot of fun. They are a great group of people. I was just thinking that writing these blogs is a lot like writing a Christmas letter every month. It is hard to know what you want to hear from us. If there is something in particular you are wondering about please don't hesitate to ask.

Here are some things that you can help us pray about.
Praise: Everyone is healthy and happy.

Prayer: For the IMB leaders and trustees.

Prayer: for a lady named Patrizia. We literally ran into each other the other day and I feel it was a divine appointment.

Prayer: for our family still going through changes.

Thank you for your support. We couldn't be here without your prayers. You are all awesome. Cheers hey!

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Happy September!

I can't believe it is already September. Wow, how time flies. The big news is WE GOT OUR CRATE! Can you tell I am a little bit excited? The crate arrived last Thursday. I got it unpacked in about 4 hours. There were no breaks and only one thing was missing. (Micah's comforter). I think the sticker fell off of it and they just didn't put it in the crate. But all is good. I finally got all of my kitchen things so last night I mad homemade spaghetti sauce for the first time. It was pretty good. I even made enough to freeze. The kids are excited that they got their toys. It was like Christmas here. Friday we left for the coast for our clusters Spiritual Retreat. It was so much fun meeting new missionaries working in South Africa. The kids met new friends and a volunteer team came from California to help with the children. After the retreat our family spent some time by the Indian Ocean. It was fun and relaxing but the weather didn't want to cooperate. We did get some time on the beach but it was windy and cold for the kids. We did get to see so whales from our balcony so that was fun. They told us that the whales are migrating to Cape Town for the summer and that is why they are so close to the shore. It was an awesome sight to see God's creation. The Indian Ocean is a lot like I imagine the California coast is like. It has huge waves and rocks. Coming home we got to go back along the coast and then through mountains. It is a long drive but very pretty. It is hard to believe sometimes that we are driving through Africa when you are driving down the highway and then you see the squatter camps on the side of the road and you know that you aren't at home anymore. These houses are shacks made out of tin with dirt floors. They are smaller than the sheds people have in their backyards. There are hundreds of houses together in these camps and it just breaks your heart to think that people actually live in these places.

The children have been out of school for the month of August. We have had fun. I think they are ready to go back to school. They will still be in the same grade until January because that is when the school year starts. The girls are a bit upset that their friends back home got to move to the next grade already. They all had to get summer uniforms for this semester. Unfortunately we just had a cold front come in last night so the girls may freeze. It is 34 F here today. David finished his class (he got a A) and has already started his next class. He is doing so well and I am so proud of him. He is really enjoying his job as Treasurer here. He got to put some faces with names at the retreat so that was good.

I am going to start helping out with our home schooling room here. No, I do not home school but I was a teacher so I offered my services and they need the help. I am very excited about helping. I am trying to find ways share the gospel with the neighborhood that we live around. It is hard because all of the homes have walls and barbed wire around them. We will have to be very innovative.

We miss you all and thank you so much for your prayers. If you have questions or just want to chat with us you can e-mail us or or get on Facebook. We are both on there. I have just uploaded pictures there.

Praise/Prayer Requests:

Praise - we got our crate.

Praise - Congratulations to the Emory's and the Garner's for the birth of their children.

Prayer - that the children would not tell us every day that they want to go back to America.
Prayer- that we would be able to start a ministry in the neighborhood.

Prayer - for our colleaques that are out on the field in tough conditions.

Prayer - for David as he is starting a new class.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Back to Jo'Burg

Hello again everyone. It has been 2 weeks and I have a lot to talk about. We are settling in quite nicely here. It occurred to me that you might not have any clue about what Johannesburg, South Africa is like so let me try and describe it for you. It is a large city with a population of about 8 million people. We have not even ventured into the downtown area yet. The city is surrounded by hills/mountains depending on where you live right now. Us Floridians would call it a mountain. We have opposite seasons from the States. We are in winter right now. It is usually about 30 - 60 F. They say it has been a pretty mild winter. We have been in winter for 7 months now so we can't wait for it to be over. Back to Jo'burg. The traffic is not too bad except when it is the good luck your stuck. All of the houses have walls and barbed wire around them. Very hard to meet your neighbors. The crime can be bad here. It is a case of either you have money or you don't no real in between. There are more BMW's here then I have ever seen. Most people do not follow traffic rules. Stop signs mean slow down, look and go. Motorcyclists are crazy. We live in a flat at the Baptist Missionary Services Compound. The IMB built 4 flats for missionaries to live in here. If you are a Baptist this is what your Lottie Moon offering goes to. We are so grateful. We drive a Condor. It seats about 7. We are so blessed to have all of this.

The children are doing well in school. They will be on holiday for the whole month of August. A much needed break for all of us. We will be going to a prayer retreat in Durban on the coast at the end of August. We are planning on staying a few days after to have so family time by the Indian Ocean. We are all excited. Yesterday Micah participated in his schools field day. It was a lot of fun. They do things big here. Remember that he goes to an all boys school so there was a lot of competition. The girls have been going to birthday parties and having play dates with new friends. David and I have also made some South African friends so that is fun.

We joined a church here called Edenvale Baptist Church. On Wednesdays we have joined a cell group. It consists of about 10 couples. Most have children. Last week the group went to a government run hospital here. This was very different than any hospital I had ever seen. They also have private hospitals here but the people in this hospital could not afford it. There were many dying of AIDS there. Most did not have anyone to visit them. They welcomed us. We gave them Bibles and prayed with them. Please pray for these sweet people.

David is still doing his classes and is working hard at the office. His boss and family left on stateside last Friday. We are missing them already. They will be living in Tennessee for 5 months and coming back in January. We also are losing another of our BIMS missionaries to retirement next week. She has been serving for 20+ years. She is an amazing lady and we will miss her also.

Good news. I finally finished the bunk beds. They are together and Emily slept in hers last night. It took about a month to strip the old wood and put new finish on it. It gave the girls so much more room in the room.

We have been connecting with a lot of our old friends through Facebook. I have also been putting pictures there. Please join so we can talk to you too. This is not a commercial for Facebook it is just an easy way to keep in touch.

Thank you as always for your prayers, notes, e-mails, encouragement. We love them. Keep them coming.

Prayer/Praise Requests:

Prayer: That our crate will get here soon.

Prayer: for the patients at the hospital that we visited.

Prayer: for the leadership of the IMB and our Regional Team.

Prayer: For the Naude family on Stateside and Sarah as she retires.

Praise: The beds are done!

Praise: We have all made friends.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Any Road At Any Cost

Hello everyone. Sorry about not writing last week. We have been very busy with different things. The children are still in school and making friends. Leah and Micah have both been invited to birthday parties. Leah went to one at an ice skating rink yesterday. Emily and Micah went to skate too. They all had a great time.

David has been busy at work and has started his new class. They are only 8 week classes so they are really intense. He has been studying every night. I have become the furniture restainer. I have stained 2 bookshelves, 1 side table and 1 foyer table. I am now in the process of stripping the wood on the girls bunkbeds and re-staining them. It is a long process but they really look good. I will show you the before and after pictures when I get finished. While I have been doing this work I have had a lot of time to listen to c.d.'s. This week I was listening to all of my Point of Grace c.d.'s. If you are like me different songs have different memories. I was remembering singing at McGregor Baptist Church with my friends. It was good memories. One song really got me to thinking. The song is called Any Road at Any Cost. I was thinking about different e-mails that I have been getting. Some of you that read this blog don't have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. If you are reading this and you feel like you have no idea what that means but you feel that something is leading you to want to know more let me encourage you to either e-mail David or me or to visit a bible believing church tomorrow. Do it you won't regret it. I know right now it is summer time in the States. Time to reflect on your year a service in the church and time to pray about what to do next year. If there is something that you feel like God is calling you to do but you don't think you could possibly do it, like teaching Sunday School, auditioning for the Christmas Pageant, going on a mission trip or becoming a career missionary, do it anyway. Take that step out of the boat and walk on water. It's an amazing journey. For those of you that are like us friends on the field either around the world or doing ministry at home. Know that we are praying for you. I know I have said this but I can't imagine doing language school on top of everything else. You all are awesome and we miss you.

The last couple weekends we have been to some really fun outings. 2 weeks ago we went to The Lion Park. We got to feed giraffe, pet baby lions and go on a safari. We saw about 30 lions. They had just fed them so we got to watch them eat. It was a driving safari so they were standing right next to the car at some points. They are huge. One female stood as high as the window. Awesome creatures! We also saw zebra and wilderbeasts. We had a lot of fun. Last weekend we went out to Irene market which is an outdoor Africaans market that has antiques, crafts, food yum and camel rides. The girls can now say they have ridden on a camel. We had a fun time together. This week the children have had the week off and there a lot of families with children staying at the compound so the children have been busy. Yesterday we had a 4th of July picnic. We were afraid that it would be to cold to have outside but it turned out to be really nice and there weren't any flies so that was good. We are settling in nicely to our new home but we are still waiting for our crate to arrive. It will be like Christmas when it finally gets here. I can't even remember what exactly we put in there.

Micah had a great birthday. He got to open his presents from our family on Skype so they could see him open them. It was neat. We took him to dinner and he openned presents from us that day. He had fun. Thank you to everyone who sent e-cards and wishes to him.

Prayer Requests:
Praise: Micah had a great birthday.

Priase: that we are settling in.

Prayer: that our crate gets here quickly.

Prayer: that we will know what ministry God wants us to be a part of here.

Thank you to everyone. We are praying that you will go down any road at any cost.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Finding Joy

This picture is not our new flat. It is the tents we stayed in during 40/40.

Hello again everyone. Just over a week has gone by and already things are so different here. We have finally moved into our permanent flat. We have been very busy decorating and trying to make it our home. We got our beds on Friday so we were very excited. We live right next door to where David works so it has been really nice to spend time together. We never had that in the states. I started taking a Beth Moore Bible Study every Wednesday morning. It is on the book of Daniel. It has really been great for me to focus more on God and less on me. It gives you perspective. I have been trying to find joy in all things new. Like for instance last week I wrote about having to pick the children up at 3 different times every day. Well I figured out that when doing this I could spend quality time with each one personally talking about their day. It has really worked out quite nicely. The children are really doing well in school.

We have found a church and we are very excited about joining it. We visited several different churches but in the end we picked Edenvale Baptist Church as the church we will be members of. It is much smaller than our home church. The children seem to really like going. So we are very excited.

We are learning the lay of the land more and more each day. It seems that driving on the other side of the road isn't as difficult as we thought it might be. This weekend we got to see some friends that went to FPO and 40/40 with us. They are in town for 3 weeks to go to another training. It was so nice to see them and hang out. They are serving in Malawi.

David is liking his job. He has a lot to learn in a short period of time. We are praying that the power doesn't go out again so that the computers still run. Last week they were out for 2 days. This did give us time to do things that needed to get done before we moved. He will be starting classes again next week so please pray for him. It can get pretty stressful especially if the Internet goes down.

Last week I forgot to say Happy Father's Day to all the dads in my life. You know who you are. I hope you had a great one. We had a national holiday yesterday so the kids got the day off. We went to a movie and had a great time together.

Micah's birthday is next Wednesday. There is a team coming over this Thursday bringing presents from our family over. He doesn't think he is getting anything from his grandparents so he will be so surprised. Say a prayer for him on the 25th if you think about it.

Prayer/Praise Requests:

Praise - We have moved to our permanent residence.

Praise - We got our work permits today!

Praise - We found a church.

Prayer - for Micah on his birthday.

Prayer - that we would get our crate soon.

Prayer - for a little girl named Alexus. She is 4 and needs a new kidney. Her mom is a real estate agent that I met while showing the old flat to renters.

Prayer - that now that we are getting settled we could find where God wants us to minister.

Prayer - for David's job and school.

Thank you as always. You all are so awesome. I pray that you find joy in the Lord this week.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

This Is Going To Be A Long One

Home Sweet Home or maybe not quite home but I will get to that. We did finally make it back to Joburg. We have had an interesting week. When we arrived we found out that the flat that is being built for us is not quite finished so they moved us into another flat not to far from where we will live. We will only be here until the 22nd of this month so we will have to re-pack yet again to move. Hopefully for the last time. In this week we have mastered driving on the wrong side of the road and car with a stick shift in your left hand. The drivers here are pretty crazy. Worse than Florida if you can believe that. We have been hooted (honked) at several times.

The children started school last Monday. I know most of your children just ended the school year. Here we have year round school that starts in January and goes to November. The children will have May, August and December (our summer) off. So in the end it all equals out. The children are really liking their teachers and are making friends rapidly. It was truly a miracle that they had space for all three kids. At the girls school they only had 2 spots open in grades 2 and 4. They told us there are waiting lists for all other grades until 2013. Micah did not have a spot until the week before we came back from Zambia. Another boy had to drop out so his space opened. God is so amazing. We have spent all week trying to get uniforms. The kids had uniforms in the states but nothing like these. The girls have to wear a blazer, tie and trousers every day except for one which they wear a track suit and when they are outside they have to wear a school hat. They can only wear a certain color hair accessory and they have to have their hair pulled back at all times. That is just the winter uniform. During summer it's a whole new set. Micah's isn't quite so bad yet. He wears a track suit with shorts underneath and a hat when he is outside. They all had to get new shoes and special socks. School drop off/pick up times are interesting. every day each child has a different time to pick them up at. I actually had to write a weekly schedule out so that I could figure out what time to pick each child up. This is my first week so I will let you know how it goes. For all you moms out there there are no car lines. You basically have to drive up to the school, park and go get your child. Interesting when they have to be picked up at three different times. I am trying to get used to this. Just so you know they all go to Catholic Private School. This of course poses a myriad of questions about why they pray to Mary and why do they use a necklace to pray? The schools are our mission field. Please pray that all of us can be the salt and light there.

In the last week we have gone grocery shopping, gone to the mall, eaten at restaurants and bought furniture and appliances for our new flat. Here are some funny stories about our South African happenings. First, grocery shopping. Here they have different names for a lot of things. So if you go with a list you have to ask half a dozen people what they might call a certain item. Most of the time they have no clue what I'm talking about. For instance, Q-tips are called ear buds here and you can find them with the baby items. Kidney beans are called sugar beans and sour cream is sour cream but it is in the yogurt section. Shortening is called white butter and you can find that with the butter of course. There is about 3 different kinds a sugar. Good luck trying to find the one you want. Then there are the things I haven't been able to find yet. I was so excited the day I finally found dryer sheets. You have to cut them in half here but at least they have them. I told David I can't even imagine living in a country where I can't read or speak the language. It has been hard enough just doing this. Please join with us in praying for all of our friends around the world who are in language school. At the mall here it is one stop shopping. You can go to the grocery store, go see a movie, go to a restaurant or a drug store all at once. Most big stores have large appliances, food, t.v.'s, things for your car, ect. Last week we went to a restaurant for pizza. That day they were having a "special" on pizza's. Each pizza was 36 rand. However, the pizza I wanted only cost 26 rand regularly. But because the pizza was on special we had to pay 36 rand for it. In Zambia we learned the phrase AWA which means Africa Wins Again. We have used this phrase often. We have also been in the process of shopping for appliances and furniture for the new flat. This has been interesting. Believe it or not the appliances here are very different and everyone has their own opinion about what you should get. We were blessed to find a sale at a nice furniture store so last Saturday we bought furniture for our living room. Yesterday we bought all of the appliances and beds. We have never had to choose appliances so this was all new to us. Appliances & food are smaller here so we are trying to get used to that. I feel like I'm always going to the grocery store. Eventually I will figure it all out. Probably about the time that we go stateside.

On a serious note. I am not sure if you saw on the news the riots that were happening in Joburg. It was happening while we were in Zambia. We were not affected by it. They call in Xenophobia. What was happening was that some of the black Africans were upset that refugees and ex patriots were taking homes and jobs that they thought belonged to them. So they started to riot and things got out of control and about 30 people were killed. The South African army was called in. Families are still displaced and grieving. It is very sad. Thank you for thinking about us during this time.

Our new mailing address here is PO Box 1759, Edenvale, South Africa 1610.
Just so you know Micah's birthday is June 25th. He will be 6 years old. My does time fly. It takes about a month for things to get mailed to us. You can e-mail any birthday greetings to me at We are on-line now so please e-mail, comment on the blog or Facebook us. We want to hear form you.

Prayer/Praise Requests: Praise - the children's school. Please pray that they will do well and make friends easily.
Pray - that the building inspector will o.k. our flat so that we can move in.
Pray - that we find a church.
Pray - for all the people that we are coming in contact with at school, or when buying stuff. That we would have the opportunity to witness to them.
Pray - for the families that have been displace or lost loved ones during the riots.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Hello from Zambia Part 2

Well tomorrow we will be flying back to Joburg and we are very excited. Since I last blogged some many things have happened. 40/40 has been difficult. The group as a whole caught some kind of stomach bug. This started the same the day we drove to Petauke. Not fun driving while you are sick. The trip took about 6 hours due to road conditions and sickness stops. It was a beautiful drive, just long. Like I said in the last blog we all stayed in tents. Our family had two tents that faced each other. Unfortunately, they forgot to hook up the electricity in ours. ha ha The day after we arrived our nurse had to leave because of sickness. That night Emily was sick all night. I caught it in the morning and David caught it that afternoon. David ended up getting very dehydrated and had to get an IV put in. He felt better as soon as they put it in. We adjusted to camp life rather quickly after everyone started feeling better. Our field assignments were very much like the ones we had done in Lusaka but now David and I got to go together. We shared the gospel several times and one lady accepted Christ! It was so awesome! We went into their villages and met the head man and got to talk with him. This really was an awesome experience. These people live in little round clay huts with thatched roofs. This is how they have always lived. They are farmers and live with their whole family. On the last 3 days in Petuake we went on our home stay. We stayed in the Petauke town. We stayed with a family that actually had electricity. They even had a t.v. They had one 3 year old boy. The kids were excited because they got to play with the 6 puppies that were there. On Sunday we went to church with them and saw 2 other 40/40 families that were staying in the town. I got to learn to wash my clothes by hand and how to make encima. This is something that Zambians eat for just about every meal. By the end of the home stay my children were asking to eat encima and their son was asking to eat rice. The kids did so well. We have awesome kids. On Monday we drove to a "resort" called Ibis Gardens. We are staying in a house. It is very nice and very different from the tent we stayed in. Tonight we are having our banquet. I can't believe it is finally over. It has been a hard month but God has been so good and we are so thankful. Tomorrow we fly back to Joburg at 7:20 a.m. We are so excited to start our lives in our new home. I just found out today that all three of the children have spots in the school. God never ceases to amaze me. Thank you for praying us through this month. We have felt your prayers. We are back on line now so write to us. or I am on Facebook and we both have Scype numbers. I will let you know our physical address as soon as I know it.

Prayer Requests:
Travel mercies

That the children will meet new friends fast and that they will enjoy school.

That we stay healthy. All of us have been sick this month.

For our family back home. We miss them.

That we find a church in Joburg.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Hello From Zambia

Hello everyone. This will be a quick blog as everyone needs to use this one computer. We made it to Zambia. All of our things arrived with us and as soon as we arrived we started orientation. Most everyone is staying the first 12 days at the Baptist seminary here but if you are fortunate enough to have 3 or more children you stay at the Baptist guest house. The guest house is so nice. I thank god for blessing me with 3 children. We have separate bedrooms, our own bathroom a kitchen and a laundry room that we share with one other family as opposed to 25 other people. The children are in school while we are in orientation. Most days we have Zambian helpers that take us to their compounds and we have different assignments that we have to do. David and I are on different teams (teams consist of 2 people and a helper). It is neat to hear both perspectives when we return. The thing that we have found that is the biggest barrier to sharing the gospel in Lusaka is alcohol. Please pray for these people. The children got to go to a water park on Saturday and had a wonderful time. They will also get to go to a crocodile farm this week. They are having a great time with old friends from VA and new friends that they have met here. Sunday we all went to a craft market. We each bought something Zambian. Sunday night we ate at a Chinese restaurant (yes, even here). When we arrived the electricity was out. But we ate there anyway. There were 24 people eating and we did not get our meal for 2 1/2 hours. It was a true African experience. The electricity has been off 2 times since that. We love candles. On Monday we will leave here and drive to Petauke about 6 hours away. Lusaka is a city. Petauke is very rural. We will live in tents for 12 days. After that we will live with a national family for 3 days. Please be praying for us during this month. I am not sure when I will get to a computer again so let me wish my Mom a very Happy Birthday for Thursday. We love you mom! Thank you to all of you that are praying for us. We can feel your prayers.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

We made it to South Africa

Hello everyone. We are finally here. We had a really good trip. Thursday we left my parents house at about 5:00 p.m. It was really hard saying goodbye to our families but we know that we are in God's will being here. When we arrived at the airport we were a bit worried about the weight of some of our bags but we had prayed about it and we got the nicest lady at the counter. Would you believe she only weighed 2 bags? We were so blessed. Going through security we were pulled out of line to be frisked and have all of our stuff gone through. We couldn't believe that they would frisk a 5 year old. We were really glad we arrived so early. We had plenty of time before our flight took off. We thought it would be easy getting on the plane because we got to get on first with the children. But they had forgotten to scan our passports so we had to stand there while they typed each one into the computer and we ended up being the last ones to get on the plane. We were surprised when there was still plenty of space for all of our carry ons. The first plane ride was great. The kids did really well. They loved the personal movie screens that were right in front of them. They watched movies the whole way. They did sleep some. We got to Germany at about 5:00 a.m. our time. We stayed in that airport for 10 hours. We even found our journeyman Mary. It was a long wait but we all managed to sleep a little. That airport is very expensive. A small bottle of water was $5.00. We spent $33.00 at McDonald's. We were glad we weren't staying in Europe. We got on the second plane at about 10:30 p.m. our time. By the way we are 6 hours ahead of you. We didn't leave the airport until about 11;15 because of weather. This plane did not have the personal movie players and it was hard for the kids to see the movies. The children slept most of the way. This plane was bigger but seemed a lot more crowded with less space. It was pretty uncomfortable for 10 hours. We did meet a a guy that owned some hotels in Hazy View which is outside of Krueger National Park. He really helped us out at the airport. He also gave us his card so when we go on holiday he said he can set us up. Pray for him his name is Andre. The airport at Joburg went really smoothly. We actually got all 10 bags. We were met by about 10 people from BIMS (this is where we live). They helped us a lot and we had no problems at the airport. We are staying at the BIMS compound now. There is a McDonald's and a KFC right down the road. We got to see our new home. It is not quite done but it is very close. We are praying that it gets finished before we get back from 40/40 in Zambia so that we can move right in. The children have already picked out their bedrooms. They are excited. Emily and Leah still have to share a room but these rooms look bigger than their last one. Yesterday morning we went to breakfast with friends. He is the Cost Center Manager here. David and he will be working together. We really could see God's hand in all of this while talking with them. We are so blessed to be working with such wonderful people. Last night we had hamburgers and hotdogs with all of the people that will be living at the BIMS compound with us. Micah fell asleep in my arms at about 6:30. He was crashed out. He slept until about 10:00 a.m. today. Today we went to lunch at the Tadlock's house. It was yummy. We me Phyllis while we were in VA and she promised the children she would make a coca cola cake for Emily. It was so good. After lunch we drove around and got to see where the children might go to school. Tonight we ate at McDonald's. We have been to the grocery store twice. They seem to have basically everything we do just different brand names. Tomorrow David and I have orientation. We will be learning to drive on the other side of the road and car so it should be fun. Thank you for all of your prayers through this. On Wednesday we get back on a plane and fly to Zambia for a month for our African orientation. We will not be able to take our computer so I don't know if I will ever get a chance to blog. Please pray for us that month. We really covet your prayers.

Prayer and Praise requests:
Praise -we are here with all of our bags.

Praise - our flat is almost finished and ready for us to move in.

Praise - we love the people here.

Praise - the children are doing great here.

Prayer - that we learn how to drive here.

Prayer- that we are ready for 40/40 in every way.

Prayer - that we stay healthy

Prayer - that the children will get into the school that God wants them to be in.

You all are such a blessing to us.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Saying goodbye is hard to do...

We are still in Florida. We have done a lot in the week and a half we have been here. Today we are in Orlando celebrating Emily's 10th birthday. 10 years went by so quickly. Last week we went to Sarasota to visit with David's parents. Thursday night we were treated to The Chart House by David's parents (thank you). The entire time we were eating we watched 3 dolphins out in the water. We had a wonderful time. On Friday we got to go out on the water in a pontoon boat. It was so beautiful. There wasn't a cloud in the sky. The children had a great time swimming in the pool all week. We all had a great time with David's parents. We can't wait until they come over for a visit.

Friday night the kids got to spend the night with their cousins (which they loved) and David and I were treated to Ruth Chris Steakhouse by my brother-in-law and sister (thank you so much for the food and fellowship). Two steak dinners in as many nights I can get used to that. Saturday we went to Walt Disney World. We went to the Magic Kingdom. Each child got to pick what rides they wanted to go on. Micah was even tall enough to go on Space Mountain. He absolutely loved it! We had great weather and other than it being really crowded we had a great time. It was nice to go somewhere fun before we leave.

Today the children got to go to the circus with my parents and their cousins. They had a great time together. We are having a celebration tonight at my sisters house with family. It is good to spend time together.

This week we will be packing and saying goodbye. We covet your prayers. We have so much to get in our bags and saying goodbye is really hard to do.

Praise and Prayer Requests:
Praise that it is Emily's 10th birthday

Praise that we are having a wonderful time with our families.

Pray: For our families. It is hard for them to say goodbye .

Pray: that we will get everything packed.

PRAY: On Thursday, Friday and Saturday we will be flying and in airports. Pray for travel mercies.

Pray: For the people we will meet in airports and on airplanes that they will be open to hearing the gospel.

We will be in Johannesburg on Saturday morning. We are looking forward to meeting new friends and seeing where we will live.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Back in Florida

We made it back to Florida with no problems. We were commissioned as missionaries last Wednesday. It was hard to say goodbye to our friends. Some are already in their part of the world. We are praying for them as they start their new ministries. As I said the drive home was uneventful. We drove to Orlando on Thursday and stayed with my parents over the weekend. Now we are in Sarasota staying with David's parents until Friday.

It is very strange to say that we drove home just because home for the last 13 years has been Ft. Myers. We sold our home there so I guess technically we didn't really drive home. That is kind of sad. We miss our friends and church in Ft. Myers.

Emily will be turning double digits on Sunday. I still remember being pregnant with her and now she's almost 10. Time really does fly. I think of all the children she is having the hardest time with this move. Please pray that she finds a good friend in Jo'burg when we get there.

Saturday we are going to Walt Disney World. We got a Disney gift certificate before we left Ft. Myers. The kids are so excited. I think it will be a nice distraction during these last days before we leave. Something truly American to do.

Yesterday I spent most of the afternoon packing the children's bags. Man do we have a lot of stuff. We are fortunate that we can check two 50 lb. bags each and we can each take 2 carry-ons. That is 20 bags for our family! I am a bit anxious about the flight. 2 of my 3 children have never been on a plane before much less moving across the world. It should be an interesting experience to say the least.

Prayer and Praise Requests:

Praise we made it back to Florida with no problems.

Praise we sold our van! We are using a rental car now.

Praise & Prayer Emily's 10th B-day is Sunday. Pray for her in this transition time and that she finds a friend fast in South Africa.

Prayer - that we will have a wonderful and relaxing time in Florida.

Prayer - for our families that we are leaving.

Prayer- That we could get everything done before we leave.

Prayer- at the airport there will be no glitches. Pray that I won't be anxious and that we get there safe.

Prayer for all of our missionary friends scattered all over the world. That every nation, tribe and tongue would hear the gospel of Jesus Christ.

You all are so awesome. We couldn't have done this without your encouragement and prayers.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

The Count Down Begins

We only have 3 more days! On Thursday we will be heading down to Florida to visit with the grandparents. This week has been great. At the beginning of the week we got the results of our Myers/Briggs test that we took. David is an introvert (big surprise), sensor, thinker, judging and I am an extrovert, sensor, feeler, judging. That pretty much sums up both of us. It is good to know these things about yourself your co-workers and you spouse so you can figure out the way they think about different things. We also learned another tool called Pioneer Evangelism. It has been really interesting to learn all of these tools. The second part of the week we have been in contingency training. This is another tool that has been pretty intense to learn. In fact even today we are still going through it. I would tell you all about it but then I would have to kill you and I don't really want to do this. (ha ha)

Tomorrow we are starting the packing/cleaning process. I think we are pretty busy the rest of the week so we won't have much time. Wednesday will be our commissioning service. We are all pretty excited to get on with the moving process. It will be nice to have some down time in Florida. That reminds me. Thank you to those that sent the Easter care package. To the Cooke's I love the recipe game. To Kathi the pictures are beautiful. If you would like to continue to send us care packages please do not sent them to the VA address any longer. You can send them to 2155 Curry Lane, Orlando, FL 32812. We leave for South Africa April 17th. After that I will give you another address. Also, if you are on Facebook I have now joined so that is another way we can keep in touch.

You all have been so wonderful while we have been here at ILC. Thank you for your prayers.

Prayer/Praise Requests: Praise we are almost done!
Praise our nephew Samuel made a profession of faith!
We need to sell our van when we get home.
Easy transition for the children and us and the grandparents.
Saying goodbye to friends going all over the world will be difficult.
Travel mercies on Thursday.
David's mom is in Europe right now pray for her safe return.
Pray for our ministry when we get to the field.
Pray for our neighbors and people in the airports and on planes that they will have open hearts to the gospel.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Happy Easter!

This is a picture of our quad. We live on the left side.

1 1/2 to go! This week was great. Last Saturday we went to D.C. again. We had a great time. We even got to go up in the Washington Monument. We went to the National Zoo and saw the pandas and to the Air and Space museum. It was great.

We spent most of the week here with our Regional leadership. We learned a lot of things about the culture we will be going into and ministering too. We had fun being with our CESA team. Yesterday was our last day of shots. Leah and Micah did fantastic Emily not so much. But it's over and we won't have to get shots for a long time. Thank you for all of your prayers.

This week was an interesting warfare week. You all know from my last blog that the house sold last Thursday. What you don't know is that for some unknown reason the money from the house sell sat in limbo until Wednesday. When it was finally transferred into our account. At the same time the air conditioning on the van decided to break. We prayed a lot and the van was fixed for $130 and the money from the house finally made it. It is amazing how the enemy knows exactly what things will throw you off. But we praise the Lord for bringing us through it.

I know that I said this last week but I just want to thank all of you who sent cards, gifts, e-mails or called David and Leah on their birthdays. You really blessed them. They both had great birthdays.

Prayer Requests: please pray for us especially Thurs. - Sat. David and I will be going through some training that will be tough.

Pray that we can stay focused. It is hard to do when you only have a 1 1/2 left.

Pray for the sell of our van.

Pray for our niece Katy and my sister Kym who both have birthdays this week.

We pray that you have a wonderful Easter. Thank you for all of your prayers. Please let us know if there is anything that we can be praying for you about.

Friday, March 14, 2008

THE HOUSE IS SOLD!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I never thought that it would feel this good to be homeless. The house sold yesterday at 1:00 p.m. What a blessing. Thank you so much for those who have prayed with us during this time.

We only have about 2 1/2 weeks to go. They will be intense weeks so keep praying. This week we learned about doctrines and spiritual warfare. Pretty interesting stuff. Jerry Rankin the President of the IMB is the spiritual warfare speaker. There are so many things that we have learned but one that really sticks out is that we need to die to self every day. If you drop the "h" in flesh and spell it backwards it spells self. We cannot live in the flesh.

Last night our regional leaders came to the ILC and the CESA team helped make an African meal. It was really good. At the end we had angel food cake with fruit (papaya, banana, mango, strawberries and pineapple). We celebrated all of the March birthdays. I think there were 5 of them. The food was so good. Emily ate most of it. Leah and Micah tried very small pieces but they weren't too excited by the menu.

This is a birthday weekend at the Delac's. David's birthday is today. We made cinnamon rolls for him this morning and the journeymen (girls) on our team decorated the quad. Tonight we have a babysitter and we are going to P.F. Changs for dinner. Yum! After that we are headed back to have an ice cream party at the quad. Thank you to all of you who sent cards. He really appreciated them. If you would like to send him a birthday e-mail his address is Tomorrow we are headed back to D.C. just to see some of the sights we missed when we went a couple of weeks ago. Sunday we will celebrate Leah's birthday. She doesn't know about the cards and gifts people have sent. I have hidden those from her until Sunday. I am sure she will be very surprised. Thank you for the love you have shown our family.

Last month I wrote that we were kind of feeling forgotten. I want you to know that you all responded to that and have sent e-mails and notes of encouragement. We have really appreciated that. I also want you to know that you can e-mail us and ask questions and we will be happy to answer you. Sometimes we don't know what you want to know. Thanks again for blessing our family.

Prayer requests for the week: David and Leah's birthdays

Tracy is very congested pray that it would go away.

Safe travels to D.C. tomorrow

That we would die to self everyday.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Another Week Finished

Hello. This was a crazy week. Monday we learned a technique they use called T4T. (Training for Trainers) It is a tool that we can use on the field. Tuesday we all went to Washington D.C. The weather was great. It was overcast but didn't rain until we were leaving. We didn't really get to spend to much time there so we are planning to go back on a Saturday in the next couple of weeks. Our bus stopped in Union Station and before we even got out of there we witnessed to a lady from Zimbabwe. She was very nice. She had grown up a Catholic and before we left she had invited us to visit her family in Zimbabwe. We then met David's cousin Blair. They had not seen each other for over 20 years. Blair and her family live and work in the D.C. area. Blair if your reading this. Hello. She got us a behind the scenes tour of the Capitol. We had 2 interns take us in the underground tunnels that go from the Congressional offices to the Capitol. Pretty cool. We then took the Metro. The kids had never been on a subway. They had fun. We had 2 Journeyman with us. It helped a lot to have 2 girls that didn't mind giving piggy back rides. My back would have never made it. We visited the White House (just the outside) and then we had to get back. We didn't want the bus to leave without us. It was a very exhausting day.

Wednesday was a hard day because we had so much to do and every time we tried to call someone the phone died. The Internet wouldn't work. Nobody seemed to be picking up their phones. We had classes all day and we were just frustrated. It was just one of those days. Thursday the Lord answered our prayers. After class in the morning our schedule was changed and we were allowed to have Personal Application Time. So all the stuff we couldn't get done Wed. we got done Thurs. What a blessing. God is good all the time. Friday our speaker was Tom Elliff. He has been to McGregor in the past year I think. He was great he talked about forgiveness and breaking the curse of words, listening and keeping the faith. He was great. Those are really great tools to have.

Prayer Requests: We signed the papers yesterday for the house. We should close on Friday.

David's Birthday is Friday, March 14th and Leah's birthday is Sunday March 16th

That David would finish his paper. It is due tomorrow.

For Valerie the lady from Zimbabwe we met in Union Station.

That we would not grow weary. This has been a tough week.

Thank you for all of your prayers.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

We are 1/2 way through

Hello again. I can't believe we are already 1/2 way through our orientation. The weeks have just flown by. Next month we will be getting on a plane and leaving for Africa. This week has been a tough one. We had classes about the persecuted church the first part of the week. We learned that the thing that other countries learn the most from missionaries from the US is fear. Isn't that sad. That is what we teach them. I was shocked. It was an awesome class to go through. The last half of the week we learned about Bible Storying. Since most of the world is illiterate we learned how to witness by telling Bible stories. It seems pretty easy until you are the one trying to tell the story. Really you need to remember a lot. Because you can't just tell one story and think that they will get saved. I am still working on that.

The children are doing well this week. The girls got to go to another quad and have a sleep over last night. They stayed with other girls and the chaperone's were 3 of our journeymen (don't worry they are girls). They had a good time. On Tuesday we all will be going up to Washington D.C. to witness and to get familiar riding the Metro and eat in a culturally different place. This is all of the people here and their families. The children are very excited.

We all got our shots yesterday. The kids and David each had 4. I only had 3. Last week I was asked why the difference in number of shots. Well I had shot records for me and the kids but we could not find David's so he is getting a lot. Also I went to Nigeria in 06 and got a lot of the shots that the children are getting now. So that is what the difference is.

Prayer Requests: That we are safe going to D.C. and that we will be able to witness to someone.

Praise: Last week we found out that some medicine that David has to take was going to cost us about $300 for the next 2 months. Well we found out that there is an assistance program for this medicine so now we only have to pay $75 for the next 2 months. It is still expensive but it is a whole lot better. It is payed 100% once we get on the field.

Our house was supposed to close yesterday. However, our buyer needed 2 more weeks. We really need your prayers that it will close by March 14th.

As always please continue to pray that we are walking close with God. Pray that the enemy will stay away from us and pray for those that are being persecuted for believing in Jesus.

Thank you.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Week 2

Hello again. Well week 2 or 2 1/2 is over. We had a great week. We studied anthropology and talked about worldview. Then we got to talk to people that have been in our region and we talked about the AIDS epidemic in Africa. On Thursday we were in a session about tribal religions. This was all so interesting.

It is very cold here. We had snow flurries on Thursday but no real snow to speak of. We are still praying that it would snow just one day for the children to play in. Otherwise the weather is just plain chilly. We have to wear big coats, gloves, hats and scarfs. It is very different than being in Florida.

Yesterday was our first shot day. Everyone did great! David had to get the most shots (4) and Emily had the least (1). They let me take Emily in at 8 a.m. so that she would not fret over it all day. It made it very easy for me. The nurses give you shots 2 at a time here. Believe it or not it is a lot better than one at a time. We have to go back next Friday for another round. Everyone will get 4 shots each then. Ug!

Our group has been going well. Every morning we get together for worship. We have been reading Acts as a group. House church is a lot of fun. We have been able to get closer to God and each other by doing it this way.

Thank you so much for those who wrote comments and e-mails. It was such an encouragement. Please keep them coming. We haven't gotten any mail yet. (except for Valentine's Cards) We will keep looking.

Prayer Requests: That we walk closer and closer with God.
Transition for children. (right now Micah he is having a rough week)
Friday - shots again
David has a 20 page paper due in 2 weeks

Thank you as always.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Week 1

I am sorry that I can't blog more but the internet is hard to get out here. Speaking of out here I know a lot of you have questions about where we live. We live in quads. Each family has what looks like a small apartment and they are attached by a common area in the center. Our apartment has 3 bedrooms, a bathroom and a kitchenette. We also have a full size washer and dryer. We do not have any t.v.'s and it has been really nice. We don't really have time for it with everything that we are doing. The children don't seem to miss it. There are 2 couples and 1 other family in our quad. It is beautiful out here. There is a lake and lots of hills. It is in farm area. It snowed in the middle of the night the other day. I happened to look out the window and saw it snowing so I woke all of the children up so that they could see it. I pray that it snows one more tiem in the middle of the day so that they can play in it. Target and WalMart are about 6 miles away. We can eat at the cafeteria for all of our meals. Which means I don't have to cook. Very nice! We go to classes while the children are in school. Some are your normal insurance kind of things and some teach about church planting and that kind of thing. Last week David had the flu. He was really sick until about Tuesday. Micah then got it and had to miss going to the circus on Valentine's Day with his class. He was really diappointed. Leah went with her class and took pictures for Micah. (very sweet) Emily got to go rock climbing on Friday with her class. She climbed a 54ft. wall twice. Her classmates were very impressed.

This weekend we drove up to Fredricksburg and toured a Civil War battleground. We then went to where Stonewall Jackson died. We actually saw the room and bed where he died. It was pretty neat. It is amazing that all of us are here with the amount of men that died in that war. We had a good time. It was nice to get away.

Prayer concerns for this week are: That everyone would stay healthy.
We have our first shot clinic on Friday pray for the children especially.
That we would not get overwhelmed with all of the stuff that we have to get done.
That we would get closer to God here.
That David & I would be good group leaders.
That everything would go as planned with the sell of our house. ( Feb. 29th)

We miss you all. If you would like to send letters, cards etc. Our address here is 16492 MLC Ln. 4C Rockville, VA 23146. That will come to directly to us. Also you can still write e-mails to us at 0r We would love to hear from everyone. We are kind of feeling forgotten. Please e-mail and let us know what is going on in your lives. I just looked at our e-mail address' if for some reason you can not just click on them the space between both of our names is an underscore. Thank you to anyone who has left a comment on the blog. We love them, keep them coming. Thank you again for your prayers.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Hello from Orientation

Well we made it to orientation and I have not been able to get to a computer until now. We left San Antonio last Thursday and drove to the Ft. Worth area. We stayed at our friends house that caravaned with us. We helped them pack up and met their friends and family who were all great. We also got to go to dinner with other IMB friends and it was wonderful to see them. On Saturday we left Texas and met up with more friends in Little Rock, AK. We stayed the night in Jackson, TN. On Sunday we had the priveledge to do a missions moment for First Baptist Jackson, TN. We were travelling so we did not get to meet anyone there but I want you to know you are being prayed for from here. Thankyou for partnering with our family. The prayers go both ways. From there we went to Kingsport, TN and stayed the night. We had a bit of a scare there. We thought Micah had been kidnapped. Let me explain. When we got to the room there were a lot of problems from the bed not being made to half empty gatorade bottles in the refrigerator. We had 3 rooms right together and everyone going from room to room watching the game or playing or writing a paper for school (David). David comes in to the "game" room and I said where is Micah? Then we can't find him. So all the adults are searching the hotel. Well it ends up that Micah was asleep on the bed under all of the blankets. He is so little we couldn't find him. So we had a little scare and now we can laugh about it. We drove to Virginia on Monday and have been setting up house for 2 days. We have made so many Wal Mart runs its not even funny. Today we started classes and we found out that they have chosen us to be small group leaders. Please pray that we do a good job.

The children are doing great. In fact right now I have to go pick them up from school. Thank you so much for your prayers. If there is something we can be praying for you about please let us know.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

How Things Can Change

Well we have our great days and our bad days. On the last blog I wrote that our van was fixed and all was good. Then our check engine light came back on. Well we took it back to the mechanic because this was something new and it turns out that both of our o2 sensors were out. So another $300 later we finally got it fixed. Yeah, no more check engine light. I also found more lice in Emily's hair yesterday. Ug! Thankfully they were all dead but I still have had to pick them out of her hair. So far no one else has them. Please pray that they don't get them. Tomorrow we are driving to the Dallas area to join up with our missionary friends the Pennington's. We are all driving over to orientation together. Saturday we will meet up with the Helmbacher's then drive to Jackson, TN where we will visit with my friend Greg Williams and First Baptist Church of Jackson who are another prayer partner church. We are very excited about meeting them. Please pray for travel mercies. Thank you.

Monday, January 28, 2008


WE HAVE A CONTRACT ON THE HOUSE!!! Thank you so much for your prayers. It is a big load lifted off of our shoulders. Please keep praying that everything is fine with the closing (Feb. 29th) and goes through with no problems. Also, we had a small problem with our van and it had to go in the shop to get fixed. We have been praying all weekend that it wouldn't be anything and that it wouldn't cost too much if it was something. We heard this morning that it would cost about $200 and then we found out that the cost was being taken care of by CrossBridge Community Church here in San Antonio. This is the church David's brother attends. What a blessing. God has a way of meeting our needs even when it is unexpected. God is so good. Blessed be the Lord, because he has heard the voice of my supplications! The Lord is my strength and my shield; My heart trusted in Him and I am helped; Therefore my heart greatly rejoices, and with my song I will praise Him. Psalm 28:6-7

Friday, January 25, 2008

More of our Texas Adventure

Hello again from Texas. We are back in San Antonio now. We went to McAllen, TX on Tuesday. It took about 5 hours to drive there. This time of year there is not a lot of landscape that isn't brown so it was a long drive. The children did wonderful. I think that David told you that he grew up in McAllen so it was neat for us to see where he lived, went to school and where he went to church. McAllen is right on the border of Mexico so let me tell you we had some great Mexican food. Thank you to Alene Hart for the hospitality. We love you. We got a chance to share our testimonies with First Baptist of McAllen on Wednesday night. This is going to be one of the churches that are prayer partners for us. It was nice to visit and meet the people who will be praying for us. If you are one of those people welcome to the site. We came back to San Antonio on Thursday and we will be staying with David's brothers until next week sometime. The children love spending time with their cousins and we are having a great time spending time with family.

I wanted to tell all of you back in Ft. Myers who came to our going away party thank you so much for coming and seeing us off. We appreciate your prayers and support. You guys are awesome. Thank you especially to Chip and Shannon Dardaman for opening your house.

We have had a lot of requests from people wanting to know where they could send a letter or card or care package. For right now you can send it to 7214 Firethorne Dr. Sarasota, FL 34240. This is David's parents address and they will get these things to us.

I told David when we left that we are now gypsies. It is hard for 5 of us to live out of suitcases. Please pray that we don't become too frustrated with the whole gypsy situation. Also David has a mid term this weekend and it has been hard for him to study while travelling. Pray that he does well. We can feel your prayers as we are travelling. The children have done so great. There has been a lot of sickness running through our extended family. Pray that we don't pick up anything. You all are wonderful!

Friday, January 18, 2008

Hello from Texas

We finally made it to Texas and wanted everyone to know what is going on. We finally left Fort Myers on Wednesday with only the stuff on our back and everything else in the van. And I mean everything. The van was absolutely packed to the gills. Any of you who know me know that I can't stand not being organized. Our family word has been flexible. Again, those of you who know me know that David does not do flexible well. Not only does God have a great sense of humor He is in the miracle business. He has definitely performed one on me. Just ask Tracy.

We left my parents house on Thursday morning at 4 a.m. and drove all day until we arrived in Lake Charles, La. I found a Holiday Inn Express and the first question wasn't how much are the rooms, it was do you have any rooms available? Again, those of you who know me know that usually it's all about the money. Not last night. The children and Tracy and I were hungry and tired. The children did so well. Tracy and I were very proud of them. Of course, we went to Outback to overcome the hunger and let's just say we were not impressed. Outback is normally very good, but not so much in Lake Charles. We slept well and this morning I felt like I could conquer the world. Instead we drove to San Antonio. Another five and a half hours in the car. The kids did well again and they were very excited to see their cousins and aunts and uncles. I had a surprise of my own. My Dad surprised me by flying to San Antonio to see us before we left for Virginia. He flew into San Antonio last night and we arrived in San Antonio today. Now that is cool. He apparently told the children before we left yesterday that he had a surprise for them. Of course, no one said anything about it to me and I was shocked. I don't know if I can still believe it. I am not usually able to be surprised so I was very impressed. My Dad's birthday is on Monday and I was wondering how I could it make it special from San Antonio. Well I guess I can figure it out before he leaves on Monday. I hope those of you in Florida are enjoying the weather. The weather in San Antonio is in the upper thirties at night and upper forties to fifties during the day. Needless to say it is COLD. We have the clothing for it but I did not expect to have to use it until we arrived in Richmond, Virginia. Speaking of Richmond there may be snow tomorrow. I hope for the children there is snow there in February (well maybe for me also).

We are planning to go to McAllen on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday next week. For those of you who do not know, I was raised in McAllen, Texas. If you do not know where McAllen is, please take a moment and find it on a map. All you have to do is find San Antonio and move south, way south. I lived there from four to eighteen. This is the best opportunity for me to show the children where Daddy lived, went to school and the church that I grew up in. I probably will not be able to do this again for a very long time, if ever. South Africa is a long way from McAllen, Texas.

Please continue to pray for travelling mercies and the sale of our home. Also, I am taking a World Missions course through Liberty University and would appreciate prayer for time management. We don't know what is in store for us at Orientation and I need to finish the course by March 16th. I have two papers, several tests and a lot of reading.

The Lord has blessed us immensely and we are waiting for His timing on the sale of our home. He has not been late before and don't expect Him to be late in this situation. We appreciate each and every one of you and feel honored that you would include us in your prayer time. If any of you would like to e-mail please do so at Don't forget that "Anything is possible with God."

We love you and appreciate ya'll!


Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Hello everyone. This week we are in the middle of packing and saying goodbye to friends. We will be crating on Friday. We were doing really good getting things together until about 1:00 today I was called by the school nurse telling me that 2 of my 3 children have lice! I have spent 1/2 the day picking bugs out of the children's hair. David washed all the blankets/sheets etc. Please pray that all the bugs are gone now and that Leah, David and I don't get them. Tomorrow we will spend all day packing what we are crating.

We still need our house to sell. Please keep praying for that. David's truck sold. What a praise! We didn't even have to advertise. God is good all the time. We are confident that God will sell our house just in His timing not ours. Also, please pray for travel mercies as we travel to San Antonio, TX next week. We will be visiting David's brothers before going to orientation in Richmond, VA. As always thank you so much for your prayers we can feel them working.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Happy New Year!

Hello everyone. If this is your first time to read our blog welcome. Feel free to read over the archives to find out more about our family adventure. We had a wonderful Christmas. We went to Orlando to spend time with my (Tracy) family. We took the children to Sea World the Sunday before Christmas and then we were treated to The Dixie Stampede Christmas Show on Sunday night. We all had a wonderful time. Christmas Eve we went to church and we spent Christmas Day at my brother-in-law and sisters new house. Our nieces got a Wii for Christmas. We had so much fun playing with it all day. My grandmother even bowled with us. It was so much fun.

As wonderful as Christmas was our biggest present came a couple of days after Christmas. Micah accepted Jesus into his heart! December 28th Micah was asking us questions and we asked him if he would like to say the prayer. He said "no" and so we dropped it. Then later that day David and he were in the car talking about Jesus and Micah said that he would like to ask Jesus to live in his heart. So David led him in the prayer. Sunday he walked down the isle and told our church what his decision was and then he was baptized. It was a glorious day! Today I asked him "Micah how long does Jesus live in your heart?" (I was making sure he really understood, he is only 5 1/2) He told me "forever mom, didn't you hear? " Isn't that great? He gets it. Please pray that Micah would be able to walk with Jesus his whole life. That he would never stray from his faith.

We are still working on the selling of things. All of the furniture is sold. We are working on selling David's truck and the house. Today a couple came through twice (on New Year's Day) please pray that we get a contract. David's last day is tomorrow. Pray that it is a great day for him. We are in the process of packing and saying goodbye. Please keep praying for us during this transition. We appreciate you all so much. Thank you for your prayers and friendship.

David & Tracy