Tuesday, July 28, 2009


We spent last week Muapula at an SIM spiritual life conference. It was a good time. We were able to meet the whole Mozambique team for the first time, which was nice. We also had a great speaker from Nigeria. He challenged and encouraged us spiritually. The kids had a program as well and really enjoyed it. It was a week of sunday school, which is so nice, because that is one of things we miss the most here.

On sunday Tim preached at the Anglican church here in Lichinga. It was a 4 hour service, and we also had lunch afterwards, so it was a long day, but it all went well. Tim did a great job and he got to share his time with the Anglican Bishop, so the service was packed. The Bishop also just happens to be a relative of Tims. I am sure most of you have heard the story, but if not...Tim's dad and Mark's mom are cousins, and we discovered this detail after we had already decided to move to Lichinga. His family lives in Rockford, which is another crazy detail. Mark was voted on by the people as the bishop, which is remarkable as a white man. The people like him, because he is honest and money actually goes to the church and not to line the bishop's pockets.

Anyway, here are some pictures of trip to Muapula, it is beautiful country and in the middle of nowhere.

This is elephant dung. We saw many piles of it along the way, but unfortunately, no elephants.

We did see plenty of babboons like this one.

Here is Tim giving his message in Portuguese. The guy in the white robe is translating to Chiyao for him.

Here is Mark, the Bishop of the Anglican church in Mozambique.

Friday, July 17, 2009


After a difficult week the last time we were in Muembe, this past week and a half was great confirmation. After all the discouragement came all kinds of encouragement. We started our time there celebrating Traeger's 5th birthday. He had a great time at our little party and was able to share it with true friends. The next couple days Tim had the opportunity to teach at a conference for the Anglican church there in Muembe and he did a great job and had wonderful feedback from the pastor. We are confident this will lead to many other opportunities of teaching at the churches in Muembe and in Lichinga. He also was able to really develop more of friendship with Pastor Luis and hopefully they will be working together a lot more in the future. He will also be starting a Bible study with Mateus' oldest son, Jildo(who we also hired to guard our house while we are away, so hopefully there will be no more robberies). We are really starting to develop great relationships with Mateus and his family and that is so encouraging. It is amazing how fast relationships can form when you are with each other 24/7, well almost anyway. It really feels like family in a lot of ways. We were also able to visit some missionary friends of ours in a nearby city and their dog just had 9 puppies, so the kids were thrilled to be able to pick out another puppy to replace Jalea. We will have to wait another month to take it home, because it was just born a couple weeks ago. So, we praise God for the confirmation and encouragement after all the distress and discouragement of the previous week. Thanks also for all your prayers and encouragement.

Enjoy these pictures of the past week and half.

Mateus' family made this flower arrangement in honor of Traeger and here is Mateus presenting him with it. Of course he cried because everyone was looking at him.
Now a bit happier with his birthday dinner of shima(the white glob is shima) and beans, papaya, and banana bread(the only thing he ate that I actually made).
The birthday cake, made by mom(I am not very creative)!

The "feast".

Traeger and Armindo.

We also made a trip to the "mato" or forest to cut fire wood. Here is Tim cutting down a tree that he and Jildo cut into firewood size pieces and put into our truck.
Here is Kallen tied to Louisa's back. She gets carried around by one of the girls a lot of the day, it's great having so many babysitters!
Karis decided she wanted to carry around here baby, so the girls helped her tie her baby to her back.

The kids most of the day, look like this.

Stopping for a break and some bread.

Here is our kids favorite snack, suger cane, and this is how you eat it, you peel the skin off with your teeth(who needs a knife when you have teeth), and then you chew on the inside until all the suger is extracted and spit it out. It is soooo fun for kids, but a pain in the neck for mom's and dad's and they have to clean up the mess it creates.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

The Lord gives and the Lord takes away.....

Over 60% of the Psalms are songs of lament which means we live in a fallen world and often times need to express to God the emotions of loss and sadness. Sometimes we just want to ask, "Why?". However, when reading the lament psalms we come across a crossroad where we have to decide whether we will let your sadness turn to bitterness and anger at God or decide to turn to praise and let the sadness we feel grow into a subtle and ever-increasing cry of praise to our majestic creator God who is sovereign. We are then able to long for a fully redeemed earth without pain and sadness and where God reigns in all His glory.

Well, this was one of those weeks. We left for Muembe just after my birthday (this is Tim). (My birthday was nice. Michele and I had the opportunity to leave the kids for a couple hours and just have a nice simple dinner together. Our distant relative that lives in Lichinga took the kids.) When we arrived we found that our house had been broken into and had several items stolen. Thankfully they stole items that are common here (for instance they left the sleeping bags but stole the mattresses). And thankfully almost everything will be replaceable except for a memory quilt Michele's mom made for us. We estimate the value of everything at around $500, but the quilt is the thing we are most disappointed about.

In addition to this news we were saddened to see our puppy get worse (some of you may not know that our puppy became sick a month or so ago. We thought we had a proper medicine for the problem.) and worse despite the medicines we were giving her. Her suffering became more and more evident until she spent a couple of days barely moving from her bed, so this week we had to put her down.

It was a tough week in some regards but also an encouraging week with ministry. The Bible study Tim is attending is going well. The study is on prayer and there are 3 young Christians attending. Next week Tim will be leading the study so please pray.

Also, we are going to be planning a time to publicize and show the Jesus film in Muembe. It think it can be a very productive thing especially if we are able to do follow up there and meet with anyone who makes a decision or is interested in hearing more.

The church we attend in Lichinga is also holding a conference in Muembe on July 11 and 12. (It is a strange coincidence but the church in Lichinga actually oversees the church in Muembe). Please pray for this as we will be attending and helping in any way we can. The church is very very small and doesn't receive alot of attention from the pastor in Lichinga because he has no transportation to go there.

God has also given great friends for our kids in Muembe. We laugh everytime we find Traeger and Karis over at Mateus' house eating wugadi (nchima or the staple food in SE Africa) and beans. They even started to complain about our food and request wugadi and beans. Guess we will have to learn to cook something new. Lately we see our kids in the morning and then don't seem them 'til dark. As Mateus says, "somos familia" or "we are family."

So as we conclude this week it has been important for us to cry out to God about the things He has taken away, but also give praise and thanks for the things He has given and continues to give. God is good.

Enjoy these highlights from the week, sorry we have no pics of the robbers, wish we did :).