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.