Wednesday, May 31, 2017

There's No Place Like Home....


Where to begin...I have had a few people tell me that I need to make sure I update my blog, because people actually read it. I must say, I sometimes wonder if people really do read it and I am not the best writer and I unless I have something extremely interesting or exciting to write about I don't want to bore people...But I have been convinced that I really should do a better job at keeping this updated, so I will work on it. The past few months have been a whirlwind and I honestly haven't even had time to think about it. 

We left Mozambique the 30th of April after a busy couple of months of marriage seminars, a prayer conference, and Easter services. We felt like ministry was at an all time high for us, with so many opportunities and so much to do, but we also were so ready for a break. It has been a tough year for us between political unrest, friends moving away, frustrations with building the school, and added administration duties. We were ready to just get away for bit. On our way back to the States for home assignment, we stopped in Johannesburg South Africa for a week and we had numerous doctor's appointments and labs done. Then we headed to England for a couple of weeks to visit a friend and do some sight seeing before the craziness of being back in the States. We had such a great time. The kids and I have been studying British history the past year and it was so fun to see so much history in person. Traeger LOVES history and I think we climbed every tower in every castle we could possibly fit in, because he didn't want to miss anything! 

We arrived back in the States on the 23rd of May and we have already seen the dentist, Orthodontist, Ophthalmologist, and attended our niece and nephew's graduation, been to one open house, and 2 family events. We are loving being back and are looking forward to seeing everyone and sharing about the ministry in Mozambique. We have a few churches already scheduled to speak at and are waiting on dates for a few others. Here is our schedule so far: 

June 3-15--in Tennessee with family and debrief with SIM in North Carolina
June 19-21--Tim in Wheaton IL for a conference on honor/shame cultures
June 23-July 7--George family cottage
July 23-29--Tim and I are both ministering on the junior high bike trip at BHBC, Traeger will be attending. 
August 13--speaking at Faith Fellowship in Irons, MI
August 14-Sept 4--trip out west to visit supporters and our Mozambique colleague, Janice
October 13-15--speaking at the Chinese Bible Church in Detroit

Tim plans on doing quite a bit of fund raising for the school while we are home. We are still in need of $20,000 in order to open the school in June or July of 2018, which is our goal. We will be sending out a newsletter about ways to give if you are able to and want to partner with us in opening the first Bible School in this part of Mozambique. We are staying out in Sand Lake and I will continue to home school the kids while we are in the States because of our short time here. We plan to be here for about 6 months and will be heading back to Mozambique in early December. We look forward to seeing as many of you as possible. Please contact us on email or fb to put some dates on the calendar.

Here are a few pictures for you to enjoy of our last days in Moz and our trip to England.

 Saying goodbye to our good friends, Emicio and Esmerelda and my name sake, Chele. They named their baby girl(born in January) after me, which is one of the biggest honors they can bestow on a person in their culture..very humbling...Tim and everyone in Mozambique calls me Chele, so they didn't want to name her Michele, because people might not know it was me, she was named after, but everyone will recognize Chele. So now there is another Traeger and another Chele in Lichinga!



Our Easter service in Icuvi, shortly before we left.

 One of the marriage seminars we held in April in the new school building. We had 8 couples that chose to renew their marriage vows before God in the Church.
 A picture of us on top of Arthur's seat in Edinburgh Scotland.

On the Island of Anglesey in Northern Wales. 

On top of a tower in the Conwy castle. 


Walking the walls of the ancient city of Conwy... 

In Manchester with Margaret, our amazing host. We had such a great time with her and are so grateful for all her help and hospitality. She is part of Anchor Education, which runs our home school conferences every couple of years in Mozambique. Margaret has been a huge blessing in the area of home schooling for us missionaries in Mozambique as well as a great friend to our family.  

At Bamburg Castle on the Eastern coast of England


 At London Tower in London England.


At Trafalgar Square in London. 


Feeding the giraffes in Johannesburg with Arnold Schwarzenegger. 



The girls highlight of the whole trip...petting baby lions! After our week of doctors appointments and blood draws and meds, we surprised them with a trip to the lion safari park and we got an added bonus of running into Arnold while there for mom and dad, since the kids were completely clueless as to who he was.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

July Update...


Well once again, time has gotten away from me and I have not given an update in way too long. It has been a very full 3 months for us. Beginning in the middle of May...we had three short term missionaries arrive, 2 from Colombia for 2 months and 1 from Ecuador for 2 years. They all stayed in our guesthouse and we fed them, got them set up, and did all the paperwork for their visas. At the same time, one of our SIM families arrived back from their home assignment in Australia and stayed in our guesthouse for 2 weeks. We were full of visitors until the end of May. Then the first week of June we ran a conference on orality. Last minute we got put in charge and had to arrange the whole thing. We had a guy from the States come to teach our team and other missionaries how to use orality in their different ministries. It was a great conference, but a lot of work to put together the last minute. Also during this time, Tim's brother, Alex, came out to visit us for a week. We had a great time, but it was just too short. We are so grateful for all our family that has taken the time and money to come visit us. It is such a blessing. The middle of June, our good friends, the Edens, moved in with us for 2 weeks. We found out just in May that the Edens, our closest friends here in Mozambique, were moving back to South Africa for good. So the last 2 weeks they were here, they lived with us as they sold everything they owned and packed and prepared to leave after 19, 16, and 13 years in Mozambique. It has been a tough time for our whole family as we have had to say good bye to them. We have been blessed the past 7 plus years to have had them in our lives. They have been our family while we have been away from our families in the States and it is so hard to say goodbye again to people we love. That consumed the remainder of June for us. Then the first week of July we had our annual spiritual life conference with our SIM team. I was in charge again of logistics, so spent much time shopping, organizing, and gathering supplies for the conference. We had speakers from Switzerland that were missionaries for years in Portugal, so they actually did the whole conference in Portuguese. It was a nice week and we were able to relax and enjoy the beauty of Lake Niassa in Meponda. The day we came back from the conference, which was also Traeger's 12th birthday, Tim left to pick up his other brother, Matt and his wife, Patty, and kids, Bryant, and Casey from the airport in Malawi. They stayed with us for 2 weeks and headed back to the States the end of July. We also had a great visit with them and were able to really show them our lives here in Mozambique and what God is doing in the lives of the people here. The kids enjoyed some concentrated time with their cousins as well. After a few weeks of school, we headed to Lilongwe to get passports renewed for the girls. We also did a few doctor's appointments and shopping. And now....after all that busyness, things should calm down a bit for us. The first weekend of September, Tim will be going to a church conference to do some teaching. He will also be working with another missionary to do some discipleship with some new believers that have been persecuted for their faith. In October, Tim has a pastor's conference and will be teaching for 2 weeks in Mocimboa de Praia, on the coast, about a 12 hour drive from here. You can pray for these up coming events. Thank you.

Traeger with his cousins. They had so much fun together.

SLC meetings.

The Edens...Keith, Bronwyn, and Zoe


Zoe has been Karis' best friend since we moved here.

Keith and Tim


Don't know how I am going to make it here with out Bron. She has been such an answer to prayer for me these past 7 1/2 years. I am grateful to God for each moment we had and trust Him to fill the hole that she leaves in my life.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Making Progress on INTEL...

Here are some updated pictures of what has been happening the past two weeks. It is moving fast now. Next month we will be doing the floors. We are excited about the progress!

The first building going up.  



The steel structure all finished on the first building.


Now the roof going on the first building


More roofing





The water tank tower getting moved by the crane.


Here is it set up. The huge water tank on the ground will be moved to on top of the tower.

Now this is the way to get to the top of the tower to make sure everything is right!

The second building getting put up. This one was too big to do by hand, so we used the crane for help.


Almost done with the steel structures.


Here are the two buildings now. We will finish the roof of the second building this weekend and then next month we will finish the floors. 

Friday, April 8, 2016

INTEL update...

Just thought I would post some pictures of the Bible School going up here in Lichinga. It has been quite exciting to see the progress. All these pictures and more are on Facebook under INTEL, but for those of you who don't have Facebook, here are some of the pictures. We will be posting more later this month as the steel structures go up. 



We are building a small building on the side of the container for storage, to hold the generator, and for a guard house. It will all be roofed as well. 


Here is the beginning of the foundations for the classroom building. These are all dug by hand and everything is done by manual labor. We have 17 people working on the foundation alone.


The water tank and pump. The water tank will be moved onto a tall steel structure at a later time.




Closing in the pump.


Unloading the steel structures for the classrooms.


The beginning of the work on the generator room next to the container.

The steel structures waiting to go up later this month.....

Thursday, March 17, 2016

March Madness...

Well it is March and it is madness...more than just the NCAA tournament. This month construction has begun on the school building and Tim has been crazy busy with well drilling and getting a pump put in and having a tower built to hold the water tank. He also is speaking at a different church every Sunday this month and next. Jurnee broke her collarbone a couple weeks ago...as I said it is March Madness here in Lichinga.

We had a wonderful month with my parents and enjoyed a holiday in Tanzania with them. It included some unexpected adventures along the way. Including our safari vehicle rolling in the Serengeti, lions in our campsite, unbelievably crazy roads, driving through rivers, and having to tow a fallen tree out of the road in order to pass. And then another 3 more peaceful weeks here in Lichinga doing projects around the house and just hanging out. Traeger also got baptized while Grandpa and Grandma were here. He wanted Daddy and Grandpa to baptize him. It was very special as he made the decision totally on his own and wanted Grandpa to be a part of it as well. It was such a great time and many memories made.

Some prayer points for this next month are:

* Tim is working on getting electricity hooked up on the land at the school to run the pump, but there have been a lot of complications. It looks like it is going to be a lot more expensive than we anticipated as he may have to buy his own transformer. Please pray for a cheaper solution.
* For Tim's many speaking engagements in the next two months.
* For Jurnee's collarbone to heal well and that she would not re injure it.
* For Julio and Eugenia, a couple Tim and I have been doing marriage counselling with. They are making progress, but it is hard work. Pray for patience and perseverance in their relationship.

Here are a few photos of our time with my parents...

Traeger's baptism in a river in Muapula, which is a village about 4 hours from Lichinga, where friends of ours live.

It was a very special to have Grandma and Grandpa there to share this experience. 

The girls with Grandma and Grandpa

This is our vehicle after it tipped over. My mom and dad, Traeger and I were all in the vehicle. It was quite scary, but thankfully no one was seriously injured. My mom got a cut on her forehead and the rest of us had some pretty nasty bruises, but it could have been so much worse. The driver of the vehicle just lost control in the mud and went up on the bank and tipped the car. They got us a new vehicle and we didn't miss any of our safari time.

We saw this lion lounging in a tree. She was watching a herd of buffalo coming across a field. It was something we had not seen before. 

A beautiful bull elephant.
We had a pride of 15 lions come and surround our vehicle while in the Ngorogoro Crater. They were so close we could have touched them. 

This picture is NOT zoomed. I took this out the window as this young male was walking right next to our vehicle. It was really incredible.

Here are some of the 15 stopping to drink from the puddles in front of our vehicle.                  
The pride of 15 lions coming down from the mountain.
A gorgeous giraffe.

We also had the privilege of seeing 6 black rhino in the Ngorogoro crater. They are very endangered due to poaching for their horns and this is one of the only places you can still see them in the wild.

A beautiful African sunrise in the Serengeti.

We also happened to be there during the great migration. Almost 2 million wildebeest migrate through the Serengeti every year and as far as we could see in every direction this is what we saw as we drove for more than an hour. 


A pod of hippos...there were too many to count.

This was the largest group of giraffes we saw. There were about 32 in all.

We spent a couple of days at the base of Mount Kilimanjaro. It was beautiful.


Towing the tree out of the road on our way back to Lichinga.

You can't beat the wildlife in Africa! One of the privileges of living an working in Africa!