Monday, December 27, 2010

Happy Holidays!

We didn't do a Christmas newsletter this year. We are going to try to do one for January, but we wanted to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

We spent a week before Christmas in Malawi with some friends at a cottage on the lake. We had great weather and the kids spent A LOT of time in the water. Traeger learned to swim under water for the first time. Kallen loved the water and is a little dare devil. We had to be watching her every second. We arrived back in Lichinga on the 19th of December and we had a very nice Christmas at home. We had a big turkey dinner here, Christmas Eve, for some collegues of ours. It was very nice. We sang Christmas carols after dinner and read some scripture. The kids are old enough now, that they are understanding better the true meaning of Christmas. We spent a lot of time reading Bible passages and talking about God sending Jesus to be our Saviour. Traeger and Karis slept in the living room by the Christmas tree and then Christmas morning we opened presents. Later that afternoon, we went to our church in Namakula for a Christmas service and lunch. So our Christmas dinner was beans and rice! Overall we had a very nice Christmas, but we are looking forward to being home next year and enjoying Christmas with family. Here are some pictures of our festivities.

We had a "band" waiting for us when we arrived at the cottage in Malawi. The local kids were trying to earn money by singing and dancing and playing the drums.

This is the front view of the cottage we stayed at.

This is view looking out from the cottage towards the lake.

Here is the beach.

We had a couple big storms come up on the lake while we were there. It was really incredible to watch.

Karis washing her hair in the sprinkler.

This is a colorful chinchilid from Lake Malawi. It is famous for these colorful fresh water fish.

Karis and her "princess" sand castle.
Traeger learned to swim underwater and jump from rocks into the water. He has been so cautious about the water, it was fun to see the progress he made in the week.

Kallen learning to swim.

Singing Christmas carols on Christmas Eve.

The kids opening presents "in front" of grandma and grandpa on Christmas morning. It was about 5:30am our time and 10:30pm, Christmas Eve, their time. And no we didn't plan to get up that early, the kids were up and ready to open presents by 5:15am!

As you can see the kids were spoiled this year, we received about 7 packages of Christmas gifts from Grandma and Grandpa, aunts and uncles, and friends, so there was no shortage of gifts this year.

Kallen really enjoyed opening her gifts this year.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Our family Christmas 2010...

I had the great idea of taking a family photo for Christmas this morning. Here is how the morning went.
Mommy: alright kids, I already picked out your clothes for today, we are taking family pictures. Put these on.
Karis: I hate that skirt. It feels hard. Do I have to put it on?
Mommy: yes, I get to pick out your clothes today, you can take them off right after pictures are done.
Karis: alright.
Traeger: These sleeves bug me, why are they like this? I can't get my pants pulled up. These are too small.
Kallen: I no like it mommy. Want nother one.
Mommy: TOUGH! I get to pick out your clothes today.
Mommy: Karis, come on lets do your hair.
Karis: I don't want my hair done. Do I have to have barettes? I hate barettes. Can you please just comb it.
Mommy: No I can't just comb it. I am putting barettes in, otherwise your hair falls in your face and we won't be able to see you in the pictures.
Karis: I don't care. I don't want to get my picture taken. I am not going to smile.
Mommy: oh, yes you will.
Kallen: Ouch, no like it mommy, no like it.
Mommy: I don't care, your hair is a mess, it has to be combed.
Traeger: I have to get my hair combed too, I thought that was just for girls.
Mommy: Hurry everyone get in front of the Christmas tree, we are going to take a picture. Where is daddy?
Daddy: I am in the shower.
Mommy: What??? Everyone is ready, we need to take this picture NOW!
Daddy: I am hurrying.
Mommy: Karis, stop rolling on the floor you are messing up your hair. Kallen don't eat that peanut butter toast right now, I don't want you dirty. Come on, lets pick up this mess in front of the Christmas tree. Kallen, put the cushions back on the couch. Traeger stop pulling your sisters hair, you are messing it up. Come on, CLEAN UP!
Traeger: But we don't want to take pictures. This is not a good idea.
Mommy: Ok fine, if everyone smiles for the pictures and sits still, you can all have cookies for breakfast.
Kallen: I do mom, I do. I want cookie.

Finally, daddy arrives and this is how it turned out:

Another one of mommy's brilliant ideas for a family photo.

After about 200 pictures and enough yelling that I feel slightly horse, this one turned out...ok...not great, but it will have to do, I am not doing that again!
And here are those angelic children:)

Saturday, December 4, 2010


Well it has been awhile since we've updated our blog. We've been busy with holidays and school. Tim has been doing a sermon series at our new church on going through the Bible chronologically. It has been going really well. Michele has joined the ladies group at church, which meets on Thursday afternoons. She led the study for the first time last week. The great part about this group is that they sing and yes, dance, at church on sunday mornings and you all know how talented Michele is at singing and dancing!

Language studies for Tim and Michele have been continuing as normal...slowly we are getting the hang of this language. Michele has started 1st grade with Traeger now and it is going well, but takes up a lot more time than Kindergarten did. We are still waiting for the rains to begin. We have had a few short rains, but not much yet.

Here are a few pictures of the past month.

This was our Thanksgiving school project. The kids decorated the feathers and then we wrote what they were thankful for on the feathers.

Here is a picture of Thanksgiving dinner at our house. We had 17 adults and 21 kids. We had a full house and lots of really good food.

Then we decorated for Christmas. It looks pretty Christmasy inside, but outside, it is 85 degrees and very humid, not very Christmasy at all!

This is how we found Traeger and Karis when they were supposed to be hanging ornaments on the tree.

Traeger lost his first tooth. We can't believe he is old enough to be losing his teeth already.

Our baby is no longer a baby and is making up for her amazing first year. Year 2 has been so much work keeping track of her! She is all over the place and the busiest 2 year old ever!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Now and Then....

We are at the end of the dry season here in Mozambique. We are blowing dust off our computer as we type. We are having to wipe our dining room table off every hour or the kids write their names in the dust. We are grinding our teeth on dust and our snot is brown all the time. If the kids get water splashed on their face, it streaks brown as the water runs down their faces. We are so ready for the rain! Of course then we deal with mud, but I will take mud anyday over the dust. At least mud stays on the ground(well most of the time), but the dust is everywhere. There are benefits of the dry season however. One of them being that the people are around. Normally in the rainy season the Mozambiquians spend the majority of their time in their fields, preparing, planting, taking care of, and then harvesting their crops. The dry season people are enjoying the fruits of their labor and are home, so ministry is most effective during this time. The rainy season also makes travel almost impossible. Most of the roads to the villages are all dirt and with the rain, they are almost impossible to pass. The rivers also flood and cover the bridges. So we are thankful for the dry season and what we are able to do and relationships we are able build during this time, but we are also thankful for the rain and the relief it brings. Without the rain, the people here would not survive. Rain allows their crops to grow and produces the food. Rain brings cooler weather, as right now is the hottest part of our year. Rain makes everything green again and stomps that awful dust deep into the ground!

The following pictures are an example of the dry season vs the rainy season. These pictures are of the same hill in Chiconono.

This picture was taken in August of this year.

This one was taken in February of this year.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Happy 2nd Birthday Kallen!

Happy Birthday,

To You.

Happy Birthday,

To You.

Happy Birthday,

Dear Kallen.

Happy Birthday,


Marriage seminar update...

We just wanted to give a little update on the marriage seminar that we have doing during the month of August. It has gone very well. We actually extended an extra week and they still don't want it to end, so they have requested another week. We will be doing another week on the 18th of September. We have had between 30 and 40 people each week and we have had great discussion and response from the people attending. Tim has been teaching straight from Genesis and also using Ephesians. Many of the people didn't even know that the Bible talks about marriage or that it was created by God. They don't have any confidence in their marriages because they end so suddenly. Being a matrilineal society, the wifes family can take her back if they are unhappy with anything the man does. So the men don't take their marriages very seriously. We have talked a lot about leaving and cleaving and the importance of the marriage relationship in God's eyes. Tim teaches in Portuguese and then it is translated into chiyao. We have a couple strong believers who have really led the discussions for us and at times they are all talking and discussing in chiyao for up 1/2 hour at a time and we just sit there. They are really taking seriously the areas that the Bible and their culture conflict in the area of marriage and the roles of men and women within marriage. For example, last week they had a very heated discussion about the traditional role of women and doing the laundry. Here the women always do the laundry and they do it by hand. They have to either go down the river or stream or to a well and scrub by hand all the clothes. It is a very tough job and takes a long time. So the men are wondering if they wanted to be helpful to their wives and help them in this task, how can they do this without looking totally crazy by joining all the women in the area at the river or well and washing clothes. It is good that they are wanting to do something about it, but we also see the struggle in it as it would be awkward. This is not a minor issue for the most part, but you can see where traditions and culture can hinder their marriage relationship. They are wondering how they can follow God and the Bible, while still keeping the traditions in their heritage and culture. It is tough for them as we have talked about at times having to go completely against their culture to follow Christ.

Also, we have an exciting update about Caia, where Tim has been going to disciple the new believers every friday since we arrived here. We had a baptism last sunday and 4 of the new believers were baptised. There a few more women who would like to be baptised now, so we may do another one in the near future. It has been an exciting step forward as it has been a slow process to get them to this point. We had quite a crowd watching, so we are hoping the questions will draw more people into the small church there.

These are the four guys who were baptised sunday.

This is Peri-peri, who was baptised on sunday. He has been one of guards in Lichinga for the past year and has grown spiritually by leaps and bounds.

We had to take a walk down to the river for the baptism. We had to literally climb down to the river.

This Pastor Musa, who did the baptism.

Here is Tim with some of the men from the marriage seminar.

After each meeting we eat lunch together.

This is where we meet for the marriage seminar out in Mapudje.

Monday, August 2, 2010

What we've been up to....

A lot has been going on since we last updated our blog. Tim finished his teaching at YWAM's discipleship training seminar on missions. We celebrated Tim's birthday and Traeger's sixth birthday. We made an emergency trip to Malawi for Michele to get IV antibiotics for a cellulitis infection on her nose and face. We've made another trip to Malawi to pick up Michele's good friend Kendra, who is visiting with us for a month. We spent a week in Muapula for our annual SIM spiritual life conference. We have dug a matekanya egg the size of a pea out of Kallen's little toe and we survived another 3 weeks without internet because the fishing boats again cut the line. It has been a very busy July and we can't believe it is already August.

Please be praying for the marriage seminar we will be teaching starting this saturday in Mapudje. The teaching will continue the first three saturdays in August. Just pray that we could make our teaching relevant and that God would use us to somehow touch them where they are at in their marriages.

Here are a few pictures from the past month. Unfortunately, I don't have a picture of the Matekanya egg we pulled out of Kallen's toe. It was much worse than squeezing the fly larva out of her head some months back. All I kept thinking was, "am I a horrible mother or what?" The poor kid!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

The Lugenda...

I just got back from a three day canoe ride on the Lugenda river with a friend that I have met here. This river goes through the wildlife reserve in the Niassa province here in Mozambique. It is extremely wild and there is literally nothing along this river except for a few local fishing camps and a few hunting camps. We canoed about 80 kilometers from one hunting camp to another camp. It was such an amazing experience. I really felt like I was living a National Geographic episode. We canoed with crocodiles and tons of hippos. We did get a little too close for comfort a few times to some hippos. Unfortunately it was hard to take many pictures because I had to protect my camera from the water. We also saw 4 elephants and some Water Buck(which is a type of deer). Here are some pictures of the trip.
Here is our car all loaded with the gear. The road out to the bush to drop us off and pick us up was pretty rough. A 7 hour ride on these roads seems like an eternity.

This was our camp the first night. We were all in the water swimming and we heard this very loud sound of an animal running towards us, we look up and there is an elephant running straight at our camp. He stopped right at the little hill behind the fire in this picture and then put his head up and jumped a few times and then turned around and walked away. It was a little frightening to say the least.

The river was full of rapids and we did our share of falling out of the canoe. This was one of the rough spots.

We think this is the elephant that charged at us. We had seen him earlier right before we stopped to camp and he was ripping down trees to eat the leaves. Eventually he wandered back into the woods and we stopped to camp a little ways down stream. We were quit surprised to see him again running right at us!

Here is where we camped the first night, the same place where the elephant charged our camp. We slept in these mosquito pods, which are basically just a mosquito net with a ground sheet. We thought it would be fun to see the stars as we went to bed. However, after the elephant incident, I got a little scared and didn't sleep much that night, waking up to every sound I heard. Then to top that at 4am it began to rain and it NEVER rains this time of year. So we got soaked. I ended up getting up and stuffing my sleeping bag in a plastic bag to keep it as dry as possible and made myself a fire to keep warm. It was a long night!

Here is Veronica and I.

This was the sunrise from our camp the second night. It was a beautiful spot to spend the night and we slept much better with no rain!

This was one of the prettiest parts of the river. It tooks so many turns and bends with tons of beautiful trees draping over the river.

This was our lunch spot on friday.

When we arrived at the hunters camp on friday, Veronica and I went for a walk. We heard a lion calling and it was getting closer as we got closer to our camp. We asked some of the trackers to come with us and track this lion. We followed it up and down the hills all through the woods. We crossed three streams and finally lost it. Here is one of the foot prints. It is a little tough to see, especially in this small picture. But by the foot print they could tell it was a large male lion.

Here are some of my wounds from the trip. My whole body is so sore, but it was sooo worth it.