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Monday, July 31, 2006

FRENCH TOAST, HOT BUTTER, AND . . .KETCHUP?


I like to think that I'm doing a pretty good job adjusting to life in South Africa. For the most part, I know my way around. I've learned a ton of new words in English, like bonnet, braii, and drimac. I've learned to drive on the left hand side of the road, celebrate Christmas in the middle of a heat wave, and eat fruit chutney, biltong, mealie-meal, and bobotie.

Perhaps because of this, I noticed that I haven't had any culturally profound things to write about lately.

Until Sunday.

Gabriel had a friend spend Saturday night with us, so I decided to get up early and fix French toast, a special treat for our family. We all sat down to eat and after I'd passed out the food to everyone, our South African guest asked for a bottle of tomato sauce (Ketchup).

I cocked my head. Tomato sauce. . .on French toast. Obviously, he'd never had French toast. Especially French toast dipped in a batter with cinnamon and vanilla!

I started to explain that this was French toast and we put butter and hot maple syrup on it. He wasn't impressed and insisted he wanted the Ketchup. This of course was fine with me, as long as I didn’t have to eat it. I did finally convince him to try and my homemade syrup which he (thankfully) said he liked.

I talked to his parents after church because I thought the idea of ketchup and French toast was so humorous. They then explained that to a South African, French toast is a savory dish so adding ketchup, cheese and other such items is the norm.

I explained that most Americans that I knew would roll over and die before putting Ketchup on their French toast!

Coming next: Into Mozambique

Be blessed!

Lisa

Thursday, July 27, 2006

ZAMBIA PART FIVE: GAME DRIVE


Before I jump into sharing a few photos from our game drive and a river boat safari along the Chobe River, I have to pass one some really neat news.

Yesterday I mentioned David Livingstone in my post. Livingston was a famous Scottish explorer and missionary across Africa who lived back in the 1800’s. I was captivated by his life after doing a bit of research for a fictional book I’m writing set in Africa. After I finish my current deadline (August 1st!!) I was planning to read his biography. Today I heard from a cousin of mine who is doing an extensive genealogy that includes my family, and she told me that David Livingston was the great, great, grandfather of my mother’s first cousins. As a missionary to Africa who’s heart has been captured by the people of this continent, this was REALLY cool news! Thank you, Alene!

Okay, onto the photos. Seeing the animals up close is always such an awesome experience for me. I love going on the game drives and could spend hours just watching the animals. We saw a family of monkeys, hippos, crocs, birds, elephants, giraffe, wild dogs, hyenas, lots of buck, buffalo, and I’m sure I’ve missed a few. We were also able to go down the Chobe River in a boat where we saw these elephants crossing the river (these are for you, Ronie!) and the hippos. The picture of the wart hog wasn’t a kill, the animal is just sleeping. LOL

Enjoy,

Lisa




Wednesday, July 26, 2006

ZAMBIA TRIP: PART FOUR


For those of you following my posts on our time in Zambia, after ten days of travel and ministry, we wanted to treat our hardworking team from the States (and us as well) to a couple days of tourist stuff. So, after leaving Mongu, we headed for Chobe National Park in Botswana.

Instead of taking the grueling twelve hour route on an unpaved (very bumpy) road, across one border, and over one ferry like most of the group, I was blessed to be able to fly on one of Missionary Aviation Fellowship's (MAF) planes with the kids. While I’m not fond of flying, I have to say, I loved going up in the small plane. You could look out and see miles and miles of Africa. The highlight, without a doubt, was a once in a lifetime experience--a chance to circle Victoria Falls by air. I first saw the falls four years ago when we took a survey trip across southern Africa. I’d seen photos of the natural wonder, but NOTHING comes close to actually being there. It’s indescribable. Seeing it from the air, gave me an entirely different perspective. One I’ll never forget.

























We later drove about an hour from our hotel in Botswana, through another boarder and into Zimbabwe to view the falls up close. The Victoria Falls are said to be one of the world's most spectacular waterfalls. They are situated on the Zambezi River, between Zambia and Zimbabwe, and are about one mile wide and 420 feet high. David Livingstone discovered the falls in 1855. While at the time they were known as Mosi-oa-Tunya, meaning the "smoke that thunders" Livingston renamed them after Queen Victoria.






























After seeing the falls, we enjoyed high tea at the Victorian Falls hotel.













Tomorrow: The game park

Blessings!

Lisa

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

PRAISES AND PRAYER REQUEST!

Zambia Trip Update:

We just received some fantastic news! If you’ve been following my reports on our Zambia trip, you will remember the four month old baby that we sent to Lusaka. (Check out Zambia Trip: part three). The surgery was successful and the baby has returned home and is doing fine! I’m so excited to hear how one life was dramatically changed through God’s mercy and healing hand. The family went to church on Sunday to share what had happened and to thank the congregation for their help. Please pray that this family will come to know God fully.

Prayers:

We still have a house in Dallas that we were unable to sell before moving to Africa. Thankfully, we have had renters in the house since we left. The time has come, though, that we have to sell. The renters moved out in June and now the house is up on the market. Houses are moving very slowly in the area the house is located, so we ask for your prayer that God will work a miracle and the house will move quickly.

Coming soon:

Flight over Victoria Falls
Report on Mozambique trip

Blessings!

Lisa

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Map of Africa



Because I always refer to several countries, I thought I'd post a map to show exactly where we are working. Right now, our work extends from South Africa to Zimbabwe, Zambia, Malawi, and into Mozambique. I recently mentioned our flying over Victoria Falls. It is on the border of Zimbabwe and Zambia. And to answer another comment, the Sahara desert is across northern Africa, so we aren't actually near it.

Facts:

1. Mongu, Zambia is 70 kilometer’s from Angola.

2. We have orphan programs in both Mongu and Bulawayo, Zimbabwe

3. Our new church planting work is among the Tonga people in Mozambique.

4. We work with about 80 churches throughout Zimbabwe, Zambia, and Malawi

5. We are focusing on leadership training in South Africa

Blessings,

Lisa

Friday, July 21, 2006

Zambia photos

Scott returned home last night from his trip to Mozambique with a renewed excitement for our dreams for the Tonga people. Lots of incredible things have already started happening (faster than we ever imagined!) Absolute proof that God is moving through this and not just us. I will be sharing what’s happening in Mozambique this next week.

Alene, you were right about Victoria Falls! We were blessed to see this natural wonder from the air and even received permission to circle over it. Wow! A photo doesn't begin to do justice, but if you look at my new blogger header you will get a peak of what we saw. I'll share more pictures from Victoria Falls and our trip home through Botswana soon.

For now, I want to share a few more photos of our time with the church in Mongu.

Blessings,

Lisa






Here's our wonderful group!










One of the baptisms.










The church invited differant groups to come and share a song. Here are the Bridges and Marcus from Sugar Creek teaching the congregation a new song.








Me with two of our hard workers during the clinic.








Unpacking the medicines that finally arrived just in time!

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Zambia trip: part three

The baby needed 300,000 Kwacha to live.

The family had been told when the twins were born that this is what they had to do, but they didn’t even have enough money to transport the mother and child the six hours to where the surgery could be preformed.

300,000 Kwacha is less than one hundred dollars.

One hundred dollars to save a child’s life. There was no way we could say no. We quickly made arrangements to have the mother and child sent to Lusaka. The family was gathered together and prayed with and ministered to. They left with smiled on their faces and plans to leave Sunday morning. They promised to let us know how the surgery went when they return home later in the month.

This situation was one of the things that really struck me. I spoke with several of the Christians about how so many die because they can’t afford to go to the doctor. And if they can pay for the doctor’s visit, then they can’t afford the treatment. Even the hospital doesn’t have the necessary resources it needs to treat the people. While the clinic we held was only a small ripple in all that is needed, it was exciting to see the smile on people’s faces. To see them being prayed for and see a bit of hope in their future.

By Friday night we were still waiting anxiously for news on the medicines coming from Lusaka. Again, we had stepped out in faith and told everyone to return Saturday at two o’clock to receive their medicine. Joseph, one of our evangelists, was in the capital doing everything he could to get the medicine released, but every time we thought we were done with the process they would inform us about one more missing piece of paper.

We finally received the good news late that afternoon that the medicine had been released! Now it was just a matter to get it to Mongu in time. Six hours plus by bus.

On Saturday, we treated the Christians. The church was holding a conference, and people had come from all over Zambia, many walking for two days. Throughout the morning, I watched the clock, knowing that in a few short hours people were expecting the clinic to turn into a dispensary. At one o’clock, a shout of job erupted as Joseph arrived with the boxes of medicines from Holland!

Quickly, we worked with the doctor to unpack and sort through the medicines, knowing that people would start arriving by two. And that they did. I thought it was funny, because time is pretty irrelevant in the African culture, but at two o’clock I looked up and there were about fifty people literally swarming our pharmacy.

God’s timing is always perfect. I was amazed at the week progressed at how things rarely went the way I had planned, dozens of things went wrong, but through it all, God was faithful. On Sunday, we witnessed ten baptisms and enjoyed a five hour service full of praise and joy. Only He knows how many seeds were planted and how many lives were touched. To Him be the glory!

I want to extend a big thank you to Dr. Prem for all his hard work for the people of Zambia!

And to the others who came on the team from the States--THANK YOU!

Next. . .a bit of R and R on the way home, including a spectacular view from the air of one of the seven natural wonders of the world. Can you guess which one?

Lisa

Monday, July 17, 2006

ZAMBIA TRIP: PART TWO

NO ROOM IN THE INN

So there we were, nine o’clock at night and no place to stay. And let me mention, Lusaka isn’t exactly the place where you want to be stuck. There is no Holiday Inn around the corner, or Motel 6 down the road.

Scott talked to the manager of the hotel, trying to figure out what had happened, especially since he’d talked to someone to make sure they didn’t give our rooms away. Scott had stayed at the place we were at and had taken their number, planning to return. What he didn’t plan on, was that the number belonged to the manager. . .who now worked somewhere else. Turns out we did have reservations, but at a completely different place, and thankfully, they still had room.

THE CLINIC

The next day, we left for Mongu. Mongu is located in Western Zambia about 70 kilometers from Angola. Sand is everywhere, and four wheel drive is a must. We arrived at dinner time with plans to get the clinic ready the next day, but at this point, not only where the medicines still stuck in customs, we found out about another problem. The plane transporting the doctor was broken down and six of the teams bags were lost, including most of the alternative medicine that had been donated knowing what we’d bought was stuck in customs.

We made plans to go ahead with the clinic, in faith, believing that God would work out the details. They found four bags, but a second plane had mechanical problems. Finally, a smaller plane was sent in and the doctor, four bags of donated medicines were found by the airlines, and left South Africa and headed to Mongu so we could go ahead with the clinic.

We opened the doors Thursday morning with no doctor and no medicines. You can imagine how excited we were when we heard that about nine o’clock the doctor’s plane had finally landed. By the end of the day we’d ministered to over fifty people. Each person was not only treated physically by the doctor, but an evangelist met with each person, praying over their individual needs, sharing Christ, and often studying the word with them. Several accepted Christ and came back for discipling.




Our missionary pilot, Brian, prays with one of the patients.









Bia, a professional artist on our team, drew many of their faces, then gave the picture to them as a gift.











By early Friday, we were running out of medicine and there were no guarentees that the large shipment of medicine held up in customs was going to be released in time. Still, we kept treating patients. The local hospital gave us a prescription pad and promised to honor all prescriptions given. We in turn, would give all the medicine coming in to the hospital. This would fill all the presciptions and give them plenty of extra medicine for their own resources.





Our makeshift phamacy where we filled all the prescriptions












Scott teaching on Saturday







By Friday afternoon, I’d already given out the fifty spots and pushed through a couple more hating to turn anyone away. A young mother came with her family and her four month old twins. Immediately I could see that there was something seriously wrong with one of the twins. Her head was swollen and she was limp. Not able to turn them away, I let them in the end of the line.

Soon after examining the infant, the doctor spoke to me. The baby had hydrocephalus, a situation where the cavities inside the brain would have to be drained and a shunt put in. She would die if not treated in Lusaka.

The cost? 300,000 Kwacha.

Tomorrow I’ll tell you what happened to the little girl and her family.

Blessings,

Lisa

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Slide show experiment

After two weeks of travel and ministry, I'm trying to take the day off and rest. (something I'm not very good at). In the midst of unpacking, tons of laundry, and a looming book deadline I'm going to put off for another couple of days, it's the perfect time to fiddle around with something new on my computer. I've put in a slide show and would love to get some feedback on what you think.

Scott has just arrived in Inhambane, Mozambique, thus all the pictures are from Mozambique. Please pray for him and the team from America as they are going to be meeting with government officials to get permission to start a church planting movement in the next few months. We have targeted the Tonga tribe where LESS THAN TWO PERCENT of the population belong to an evangelical church of any kind.

Please pray as they spend the next few days traveling, meeting people, praying through the towns, and sharing Christ.

Blessings,

Lisa

Friday, July 14, 2006

Zambia Trip: part one


I want to share with you some of the highlights of our trip to Zambia. It will give you a bit of an insight into what we do on a trip, a glimpse into the culture and people, and especially how God works miracles!

We left on July first, Scott's birthday, with three days of travel ahead of us. So with the car packed with Jesus Film equipment, items for the medical campaign, clothes for the orphans, as well as our own luggage, we struck off across Africa. The medicines for the medical campaign were still stuck in customs, but we were going ahead in faith that God would work out the details.

BOARDER CROSSING

Unfortunately, I couldn't take a picture at the Zimbabwe boarder, but it's not a sight for the weak at heart. Imagine crowded busses, piles of luggage, long lines of people, cars, and policemen with machine guns. Typically it takes about an hour and a half to cross and that's on a good day. I noticed a couple interesting signs hanging on the wall inside.

1. PUBLIC NOTICE: NO LOITERING OR WAITING

Comical when you have to stand in line for an hour plus.

2. PLEASE DON'T OPEN THE WINDOWS AS IT INTERFERES WITH THE AIR CONDITIONING

Air conditioning? Even if there was air conditioning, there were no doors so why would it really matter if the windows were open?

LIVINGSTONE

Our first stop was Livingstone, Zambia where we spent the night and visited with a new church. It was exciting to see the passion in the eyes of the Christians as they sang praises to God in their language. Allen preached and used the time to encourage the men and women we met with as well as give them some good teaching. Afterward, we ate lunch with the leaders, a wonderful meal of their traditional cornmeal mush and sauce. Our kids had fun playing soccer outside with the neighborhood kids. With a six hour drive ahead of us, we managed to leave around two o'clock and headed for Lusaka.

Scott called the hotel we were booked into and told them we would be late. They assured us it was no problem. We arrived at the capital of Zambia around eight o'clock that night, ate dinner, then headed off for the hotel. When we arrived, though, we discovered that there had been a huge mix-up, we didn't have a reservation, and the hotel was full. So what do you do at nine o'clock at night with eight foreigners and no where to stay?

I'll let you know in my next post on Monday. . .

Blessings,

Lisa

Book Winners!

Congratulations to Patty and Anthony for winning a copies of my latest book, Rebecca's Heart.

Look for more contests in the coming weeks.

Enjoy!

Lisa

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Home Again!

Thank you all so much for your prayers for us the past couple of weeks! God did such amazing things on our trip in spite of three broken airplanes, lost medicines and many other difficulties. But God is good and we were able to run the clinic and ministered to over 150 people.

The medicines didn’t arrive until Saturday (the last day of the clinic) but the local hospital was gracious enough to give us a prescription pad. In faith we told people to come back on Saturday at two and gave our prescriptions for the medicines that will still locked in customs. God did a miracle (one of many) and the medicines got to the clinic at 1:00 Saturday afternoon! At two o'clock, about fifty people arrived (at once!) ready to for their medicines and we’d just finished sorting them.

God is good!

I'll be sharing some of the highlights from the trip as well as pictures throughout the next week, starting in the next day or two. I'll also anounce my June book give away winner!

Blessings,

Lisa