Sunday, April 29, 2007

Thank you!

Thank you so much to those who have sent me notes of encouragement. There have been no changes yet, in either the house or the upcoming clinic in Mozambique, but I'm feeling peace at knowing God is in control.

Scott returned from another week of language school on Thursday, just in time for a holiday weekend. Some good friends from Joburg are here, so yesterday we decided to go to Kruger for the day. They will be here until tomorrow, then Scott leaves for Mozambique on Tuesday to work with Bia and Gustavo.

Please continue to pray for our work and endurance!

Here is my encouragement for you today!

We have not stopped praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding. We pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light. For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. Col. 1:9-14



PS Had to add this photo as well. Jayden was listening to my walkman then slid on his daddy's sunglasses. "This is what some people do to look cool, mommy."

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

God works for the Good. . .

I've had to remind myself this week that God DOES work for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. (Romans 8:28)

Ever feel that way?

Our team has been praying heavily about the people of Mozambique. Only 1% of the Tonga people are evangelical Christian. The Tonga are known for their witchcraft and hold instead to their traditional beliefs and customs, rejecting Christianity and Islam in the process. What little the Tonga's know about Christianity comes mostly from the Catholics who have had a presence there for probably several hundred years. They have built a large church in the city and it severs as a base for the region. Many of the people have gone to Catholic schools, but have never embraced Christ.

The need is strong.

The work very hard.

We had planned a medical clinic the end of May to help the people in a tangible way as well as a chance to build a bridge into peoples lives. The doors, though, seemed to have slammed shut. We are struggling to get permission to run the clinic, and may not before the doctors plan to arrive. They might be able to work with one of the local hospitals, which would still be a help to the people, but not what we would prefer.

We ask for your prayers as we seek God's wisdom in this situation. That we will follow His plans for these people He longs to have follow Him.

The second door shut this week was on our house in Dallas. The buyers backed out at the last minute. Apparently, they were in the process of working with another agent on another house at the same time. Once again, we ask for prayers for wisdom as in this situation whether to continue to try and sell or to put in renters.

On a more positive note, Jayden celebrated his sixth birthday at a new restaurant in town with five of his friends and had a great time.

The kids also participated in their school’s Big Walk fundraiser. Gabriel walked about 20 miles in four and a half hours!

Lastly, here are a few photos we took from a hike in the mountains near us. Gabriel’s missing the photos as he’s always far ahead of everyone else!

Friday, April 20, 2007

Writing Life and Prayer Requests

Someone recently asked me how my writing was going, so I thought I’d give an update. The last two months have been full of edits for three of my books coming out this year. Each book goes through content edits and line edits with two different editors. Once the book is ready to go to print, it’s edited again for any last minute corrections. Editors are a huge part in the book publishing process, so I’m thankful for those working to make my stories even better.

I have four books coming out this year. Tara’s Gold, a full length historical set in Iowa, releases in July through Heartsong Presents. I’ve just had a peek of the mock-up cover and it’s just what I’d imagined. I’ll be sharing it soon. I’m also putting together a video trailer for this humorous mystery that I’ll post as soon as the release date gets closer. Be sure and watch for it!

September will bring two releases. Montana Mistletoe is a fun, contemporary Christmas collection you won’t want to miss. It features three other great authors, Kim Sawyer, Lena Nelson Dooley, and Debby Mayne.

Massachusetts Brides will be available in books stores and Wal-Mart in September. This brings together my first three Heartsong novels, stories very close to my heart, Michaela’s Choice, Rebecca’s Heart, and Adam’s Bride.

In November, A Matter of Trust will be released. This is my first full -length contemporary from Heartsong presents. It has a thread of suspense with a stirring romance you won’t want to miss!

I’ll be sharing more information on all of these books as they release, as well as Barbour’s new mystery line that I’m writing for that starts in January. I've also posted a link on my blogs top right hand side where you can read the first chapters of my books as they release.

Currently, I’m lost in the African bush as I write my first international suspense. As I come close to the mid-way point, I’m loving the journey with my hero and heroine and thankfully my critique partners seem to be enjoying the story as well. I have a couple editors interested in the story, so I’ll be waiting to see what develops with this series.

*One of our precious board members, Beverly, will be going in for surgery for a brain tumor. Surgery is tentatively set for the 26th of April. Please pray for a successful surgery and a full recovery.

*We are working through the final process and paperwork for our house in Dallas. Please pray that the sale will go through in the next couple weeks as planned! Selling this house will be a huge answer to several years of prayer!

*Tomorrow is the open house for our home here in South Africa. We are hoping to move to Tzaneen as soon as possible to make things easier on the kids. Please pray that God will quickly send us the right buyer for the right price.

Blessings to each of you!


Thursday, April 19, 2007

A Taste of Africa

I’m sure I’ve mentioned before that I love trying dishes from all over the world. Roclette from France, Fufu from Togo, Curry from India, Gali Sisi from Ghana, and oh, I know I’ve mentioned my favorite Mexican!

Here’s a recipe I first made about fifteen odd years ago, over an open fire at a missions camp in Texas, for about 50 plus kids. (That in itself is another story.)

Yassa au Poulet --or Marinated chicken in a lemon and onion sauce.


2 Cups chopped onions
2 T chopped garlic
1 ½ t chopped fresh chilies
½ t ground ginger
1 t pepper
1 T salt
1 C lemon juice
1 ½ C water
1 T oil

Pour ingredients into a zip lock bag along with a cut up 2 ½ to 3 pound chicken. Marinate for at least 4 hours or overnight.

Heat 4 T of oil in a heavy skillet. Remove the chicken from the marinade and pat the pieces dry. Brown the chicken in the hot oil, turning them frequently. As they brown, transfer the chicken pieces to a plate.

Pour off all but 2 T of the oil and remove the pan from the heat. Strain the marinade through a sieve and remove all excess liquid (save). Heat the oil in the skillet and add the solid contents from the sieve. Cook while stirring for about 5 minutes or until the onions are soft.

Return chicken, ½ cup of the liquid marinate, and ¼ cup of water to the pan. Bring to a boil over high heat then reduce heat to low. Partially cover the pan and let simmer for 25 minutes or until chicken is cooked.

Serve with hot rice.

Check back for more mouthwatering recipes!



Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Happy Birthday Jayden!

Wow! It's hard to believe that Jayden, who was two when we moved to South Africa, is six years old today! He wanted to spend his birthday with his daddy, but Scott had to drive to Mozambique today to sign some official documents for the government regarding our registration in the country. Since Scott only had to be gone one night, Jayden will be making the five hour trip to Maputo. He's quite an excited little. . .big boy!

Please pray for Bia and Gustavo. They are leaving today with Allen and Janelle who will be helping them for the next few days get set up in Mozambique. We have a small rented house where they will be staying and starting the work. Next month will be our medical campaign, and we are excited to have two doctors and a dentist leading the clinic. Dr. Prem will be returning after being our doctor last year in Zambia, as well as a South African doctor friend. We are all praying that there will be at least one house church started by the time the medical clinic begins.

Coming next. . .a taste of Africa



Saturday, April 14, 2007

Musings from a Tex-Mex girl

Okay, I admit it. Living in Texas for almost seven years before moving here completely converted me to the wonderful world of Tex-Mex cuisine. We used to visit these small hole-in-the-wall restaurants in Dallas that had some of the best Mexican food I’d ever tasted. Quesadillas, tacos, fajitas, guacamole. . .I love it all!

I honestly didn’t expect to find Mexican food here in South Africa. We learned fairly quickly that everything tastes a bit different here. Even if it’s an American brand. This often translates into my recipes during out to be quite different that I envisioned. (Remember the gingerbread?)

This isn’t a bad thing, mind you, just different. I’ve come to love South African braais, their Indian food and curries, (something I never enjoyed in the states), not to mention mealie-pop and sauce cooked over a fire. Even my kids love this. So both countries have their have their pluses.

But I still miss my Mexican food.

Last weekend we took the kids to a new restaurant in town. We rarely eat out, so this was a special treat for all of us. And even bigger treat for me was that this restaurant features Mexican food.

I choose the quesadilla, one of my favorites. Thick tortillas filled with chicken, salsa, and. . .cottage cheese?

Yep, you read that right. The lumpy sour cream was cottage cheese.

I studied my plate. I can take the salsa not tasting anything like Pace. I can take the lemony guacamole. But cottage cheese?

I had to laugh.

Tonight my Peace Corps friend is coming over and guess what we’re having for dinner. HOMEMADE fajitas, guacamole, and REAL sour cream. I can’t wait.



Thursday, April 12, 2007

Safari photos!

Because I owe several of you emails, I thought I'd mention that there's currently a problem with our server. We can receive emails and have internet access, but are not able to send for now.

For the meantime, I thought I'd post a few photos from our latest trek into the bush. I'm planning to put together a short video to share soon as I know we got some fantastic footage, but so far I haven't had a chance to even look at what we took. BTW, you might chuckle at the turtle, but the kids went nuts over them!



Wednesday, April 11, 2007

God leads the way. . .

God moved powerfully during the recent trip Allen made to Inhambane, Mozambique. During his prayer walk through Inhambane, God led Allen to pray for a retired government administrator who was sick. Allen enjoyed getting to know the family and then told them that God had directed them to pray for the man's illness, i.e., a very swollen leg and foot. Two days later, Allen and Monwabisi returned to check on the man and found him walking without his cane and praising God for healing his leg and foot. He is looking forward to our next visit in April with Janelle and the Fuentes.

Please pray for this man as well as three other new contacts, that God can use them as the beginning of our house churches in Mozambique.

Scott, Allen, Bia, and Gustavo left for Zimbabwe today to meet with some of the church leaders from Zimbabwe and Zambia. They will spend the next three days praying, training, and studying together. We recieved word to night that they arrived safely in Bulawayo, but that there was no power. Inflation, by some accounts, is now running over 3000% and basic food stuffs are becoming more and more scare and unaffordable. There now seems to be very little light at the end of the tunnel. Pray for our churches and for all the entire Church in Zimbabwe that they will steadfastly look to Jesus and ask for His power to stand up under these difficult times. (Updates from Allen)

Please keep them in your prayers this week as they work with the leaders!



Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Quick Update

It's been quite a hectic week and a half with company literally in our home every day. I’ve had a number of exciting things to share, but on top of all that’s been going on our internet has been off. We also had a power surge yesterday that totally blew out several power strips and the surge protectors for my computer. Thankfully, the computer still works fine and no serious damage happened.

April 2-6 We spent time with Bia, Gustavo, Allen, and Janelle every morning to pray and plan for the work in Mozambique. Bia and Gustavo move to Maxixe next week.

April 3rd We found out that we sold our house in Dallas! This is a huge praise for us. Please pray that final process goes through smoothly.

April 7th We hosted a Passover with a number of friends and had a very blessed time.

April 8th Enjoyed having another family over for dinner. We’re excited because this couple will be joining our medical campaign to Mozambique in May. He will be one of the doctors working in the clinic. Our kids especially enjoyed the evening because they each had a friend to play with.

Barring internet problems, I have a couple exciting stories to share about the work here later this week.



Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Home Again

We're back home after a few days visiting Kruger Game Park during the kids' first term holiday. We so enjoyed the fun of driving through the bush and seeing the animals. One of the highlights was a pride of lions with five cubs. We also saw two large elephant herds with their babies.

This week, it’s back to work. We are excited to welcome Gustavo and Bia to our team. They are Portuguese speakers with a heart for missions and will be joining us for the next seven months. During this time they will be in training and helping us as we begin the work in Mozambique. We're meeting together everyday this week for prayer, training, and fellowship.

We are so excited to see what God has in store for the work in this country. I’ll be sharing a couple amazing stories of how God is moving in that place in the next day or two.

Have a blessed day,