Monday, August 31, 2009

Awesome Weekend


It was a busy, but wonderful weekend, kicked off by dinner and a movie with the English Club. After some time of worship, Scott shared a story from the Bible, followed by dinner. Now to say that they enjoyed the Sloppy Joes and potato salad would be a bit of an understatement. At first they were all to shy to dish up their plates, and then. . .well. . .I kid you not, within thirty seconds, I turned around and the salad was gone along with most of the sandwiches!

The movie we showed was Facing the Giants, and according to their response to Scott on the way home, they didn't like the movie, they LOVED it! I'd say the evening was a hit. What is even more wonderful, though, are the testimonies of lives being changed. Parents have told us that they are noticing that their kids are different and more respectful. There is thought going into their spiritual commitment, along with a lot of deep questions being asked.

A single mother who attends David's house church was also at our house and gave her testimony of how the movie changed her life by giving her courage to stand up for her faith in a difficult situation that came up the next day.


On Sunday, we left in the morning for Elizabeth's village (we call Elizabeth our Lydia from the book of Acts) where Scott has be teaching twice a week. We sat beneath a shady tree on reed mats singing praises and listening to the story of Cornelius. After teaching for several weeks on conversion and commitment, quite a number decided yesterday that they want to be baptized. Because there is no water anywhere near, and the group is large, we will return on Wednesday in two vehicles to drive them to the river for the baptisms.

Please pray for these beautiful people!

Friday, August 28, 2009

New Cover: Colorado Crimes!

I'm excited to share my newest cover from Barbour, Colorado Crimes! If you missed any of my Pricilla Crumb mysteries, here is the three-in-one collection with all of her adventures! Release date is January 2010, but you can pre-order early here. It will be available in bookstores, Walmart, and on-line.

Here's a blurb from the back cover: Colorado chef Pricilla Crumb cooks up trouble with a spoonful of romance! When her guests become suspects for murder, she abandons her kitchen---hot on the true culprit's trail. An unconventional busybody, Pricilla follows one lead after another, stirring laughter and suspense into this collection of three mysteries. But will she find the wrongdoers? 480 pages, softcover from Barbour.



Thursday, August 27, 2009

Prayer update, a free book, and scuba diving

I have several bits of news to share, so I've decided to post them all together.

PRAYER UPDATE: First I wanted to give an update on Scott's uncle and our co-worker as several of you have asked me to let you know. This is the latest from Jim, their son-in-law. We covet your ongoing prayers for them!

"Allen will be having an MRI done tomorrow (Thursday) at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. He will meet with the Neurosurgeon on Friday morning. Surgery we would anticipate would be next week. For those of you who didn't know, he was diagnosed with a brain tumor last week. Prognosis at this point is unclear and range of outcomes is very wide."

FREE BOOK: On a different note, I know you all love free books, so here's another chance for Love Finds You in Revenge, Ohio. My dear friend, Beth, has just posted an interview with me on her blog along with a chance to win a copy. Be sure and stop by here and leave a comment for your chance to win. This book has been getting great reviews online, and I appreciate so much those of you who have taken the time to post your reviews, or to let me know personally how much you enjoyed the book!

Other great news on Love Finds You in Revenge, Ohio is that Walmart will be promoting this title, along with four others in the Love Finds You series this fall, beginning in September, in pretty much every one of their stores! If you see my book in one of their stores, I'd love for you to drop me a line and let me know!

And for those of you who love free giveaways, starting next month, I'm going to start running a monthly prize contest with books, cool magnetic bookmarks, jewelry, and other fun stuff from the heart of Africa, including my yearly Taste of Africa gift basket, as I gear up for the international (Yes, international!) launch of my upcoming Mission Hope series! More details to come!

SCUBA DIVING: Lastly, Gabe starts scuba lessons today! He thinks this is a pretty cool PE class and so do I. We also decided that this would be a great father/son activity for them and Gabe, who is quite a fish in the water, is so excited. Last night he watched the introduction video with Scott and later today, they head for the beach to meet with the instructor. Scott will just be taken a refresher course as he received his certification in South Africa several years ago. He's excited because while he's been trained to scuba, he's never dived outside the murky lake where he was trained. Hopefully we can remedy that soon. Mozambique is a great, inexpensive place to scuba for anyone interested!

Enjoy the photos of flowers from our yard. I sure am! :-)


Friday, August 21, 2009

Game park miracle

For those of you who read my blog, you probably know how much I love going to the game park. For me, it's a time to unwind and enjoy the wonders of God's incredible creation. So last month, after the English camp, we headed toward South Africa with the Sugar Creek mission team so they could catch their flight back to the states. On the way, we'd arranged for them to spend one day at Kruger Game Park.

One of the teens, though, had been sick for most of the trip, and we felt that it was important for her to see a doctor who could to recognize any exotic parasite she might have picked up. And while I had really been looking forward to Kruger, I agreed take her while the rest of the group headed out to the park.

At the doctor, they were able to take a blood test and verify that she didn't have anything serious. And thankfully, by this time, Jenna was also feeling a lot better. On our way back from the doctor, she asked me if there was a possibilty that we could go to the park for the afternoon. I told her that I could take her, but that we would be going at the worst time for sightings. Typically, the best time is early morning, or in the evening, not in the heat of the afternoon.

While we headed to the park, I was hoping that we'd see something for her to photograph, but with only a couple hours of viewing time ahead of us, I wasn't very optimistic.

After an hour in the park, we'd seen a couple zebra, some birds, and a squirrel. Time was running out, and so I decided to start praying. By this time, I would have been happy with a couple giraffe and a warthog--anything. But instead we just kept driving. . .and seeing nothing. Finally, back on the main road, we came across a herd of elephant and sat to watch them off the side of the road. Jenna snapped photos, and I let out a sigh of relief--and kept praying.

A few minutes later, the road was teaming with impala, kudo, and giraffe, and there were buffalo across the river bed. Jenna was smiling and I was sending up prayers of thanks.

Then I saw something stirred in the bushes. Another impala, no doubt. But then my breath caught.

A leopard.

Now, I've never seen a leopard in the park, so with both of us trying not to scream with excitement, Jenna started snapping photos while I spun the car around to follow it. It slipped into the bush, then turned to cross the road in front of us. I spun the car around again, and with my heart pounding, we followed it back the other direction. We continued following it for a few more minutes until it finally disappeared into the bush.

Now, I probably shouldn't mention that we actually thought it was a cheetah at first--until we calmed down and looked at the photos--but by now, even though it was time to head home, we were both thrilled. We'd seen three of the big five. Elephant, buffalo, AND leopard!

It always amazes me at how God cares about the small things. With only a couple hours in the park, we headed toward the gate, thrilled with what we'd seen. But God had even more planned. Not only did we see a rhino on the way out, but a pride of lions devouring a kill.

Which meant that we'd seen the big five!

Be blessed today! God's able to do more than you can ever ask for or imagine!


Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Top ten things. . .

. . .I love about my new house.

1. A kitchen with proper drawers instead of cement holes
2. A yard with grass and a swing
3. A balcony with a view of the bay
4. An office for Scott
5. The boy's cool wall mural.
6. Wood floors and tile I love
7. No rooster crowing under my window.
8. High ceilings
9. Nicely tiled bathrooms (with no holes in the walls)
10. Rose bushes and birds in the yard

Scott's office which is connected to a single garage.

View of the back yard

Mariah's bedroom

Dining room (and school room)

Living room (connected to the dinning room)

Mural in the boy's room (they're sharing now)


Kid's bathroom

View of the bay from the roof

Monday, August 17, 2009

Serious Prayer Request

We talked to Allen this afternoon, Scott's uncle and our co-worker for the past six years here in Africa. Allen has been experiencing a small amount of dizziness and some short term memory loss the last few months. He thought it was the stress of ministry, but he went to the doctor. They have diagnosed him with a Glioma type tumor in the interior of his brain. Consequently, they have cancelled all of their upcoming plans to Zambia and Zimbabwe, secured a flight, and will be in Houston on Wednesday to get the best care available. He was in good spirits, but said it was such a shock.

This is not the Monday morning news that any of us wanted, but we do serve an awesome God. Please pray for this godly couple who have spent forty years serving God in Africa.



Thursday, August 13, 2009

Lost and found

I feel a bit as though I've been lost. Not having internet means not able to communicate with the rest of the world, something I tend to take for granted. Our internet provider was quick to disconnect at our old house, but didn't see reconnecting at our new house a priority. But I'm back on line again and will now start the process of catching up with everyone. I do love technology!

And one thing I love about our new place is that we actually have a yard with trees and flowers! We recently spotted several Lilac Breasted Rollers in our yard and I'm hoping that our yard becomes a favorite stopping place for many birds.

As soon as we organize a bit more, I'll post some photos of our house. While I'm not enjoying all the unpacking, in the end, we know we are really going to enjoy our new place.

In the meantime, be sure and stop by my friend Debbie's great blog, for a chance to win Love FInds You in Revenge, Ohio. Drawing will be on Saturday!



Thursday, August 06, 2009

On the move. . .

I thought I'd send a quick update on our move. While technically, we're only moving about a mile and a half away, there still is, of course, a lot to do. We're about halfway through, and are looking forward to sleeping in our new house tonight.

Along with the move, Scott has stayed busy with ministry and had a study with fifteen of the students from the English camp. They are all very excited and wanting to meet twice a week, so we are thrilled with how God is moving and changing lives.

Just like Scott, I've had other commitments beside the move like school and writing. I just emailed off a detailed synopsis to my editor at Zondervan for book two, and I'm excited to see what she thinks. This book is the second in my Mission Hope suspense series set in Africa that will come out the beginning of 2011.

I've heard from a lot of people who have seen both Cranberry Hearts and Love Finds You in Revenge, Ohio in Walmart, Sams, and bookstores. This is exciting for me, since there are no bookstores anywhere near us for me to check them out. If you see a copy, I'd love to hear from you and where you saw it!

This photo is one I took recently in Kruger of a female lion who walked right alongside our car for several minutes. Two of her cubs were shy and hung back in the bush.



Sunday, August 02, 2009

It's been a hectic, but good winter for us as we just said good-bye to the second mission team to bless us and the work here. I will share more about the English camp in another post, but God truly did some amazing things. And while I wasn't able to participate with all the activities in the last group, I was blessed and encouraged with times of prayer with the women, and new friendships that were started. What an amazing gift! Thanks to each one of the team members who came and shared their hearts and lives with us!

We are now back home, and planning to move into our new house this week.(Yeah!) We are so excited, but are thankful that we have a couple of weeks as there is plenty of other work that has to get done at the same time--school, writing, and discipleship followup to name a few. I'll post photos of our new home once we are settled in.

This photo is one Scott took on Monday with the group. The cheetah walked right by his car! God also provided a special miracle for me and one of the girls on the team that day, so stay tuned for more posts and photos in the next few days once my body is less tired and my brain less blurry!