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Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Merry Christmas!


Before I sign out for the holidays to spend time with family, I want to announce the winner of my Christmas giveaway. Congratulations to Margo from my newsletter list! I'll be contacting you this week.

Thanks so much to all of you who took the time to stop by my blog and share what you were looking forward to this Christmas. I really enjoyed reading through your comments and hearing what you had to share.

On another note, be sure and come back after the New Year as I will be hosting several giveaways in the coming weeks that will include copies of both Blood Covenant, book two in my Mission Hope series, as well as my upcoming historical An Ocean Away which is set in both Northern Rhodesia (Africa) and New York in the early 1920s.

For another chance to win a copy of Blood Ransom be sure and stop by Carman's Continuous Delights blogspot on Wednesday. She's currently running an end of the year celebration and is chatting with a number of authors with some great giveaways. Don't miss it!





If you're looking for some great fiction bargains, check out my website later this month. I'm almost done updating the site, and it will include a way to purchase signed copies of some of my older books at great prices.


Lastly, as a reminder of what truly matters this season, I'd like to share a couple poems written by my daughter.

Merry Christmas all!

Lisa


THE ONE

On this day
The Christ is born
The Son of God
The Son, the Lamb
Mary gave birth to Thee,
One we've waited for eternity.
Mary, Mary, had Thy Son
Of our God
The mighty one
Thank you, God.
Thank you, God.
For this wonderful sacrifice of love.



THE REASON WHY

One by one the wise men came
Down to the city of Bethlehem.
They brought gold, frankincense, and myrrh
For Mary and Joseph,
For their new baby Jesus.

We don't celebrate Christmas
Simply for presents.
We celebrate Christmas
Because Jesus was born like you.
And the difference was,
He was without sin.
He was God,
Outside and in.

Mariah, December 2010

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Christmas Giveaway!


With the Christmas season upon us, I'm so looking forward to spending this holiday with family for the first time in many years. It's a huge blessing for our family to hang out with cousins, aunts and uncles, and grandparents so we can nurture those relationships.

Every Christmas, I love giving away something from the Heart of Africa as a small thank you to my readers. This giveaway will
include four signed copies of my books plus tea and chocolate from Africa. Everyone signed up for my Yahoo newsletter will be automatically entered into the December 21st drawing so if you haven't already done so, be sure and sign up. Plus, if you leave a comment on this blog post, I'll enter you into the hat as well. Leave a way for me to contact you and let me know what you're looking forward to for Christmas this year.

The bottom line is that you can double your chances of winning by leaving a comment here and signing up for my newsletter. (The winner’s mailing address is limited to the U.S.)

Wishing all of you a very Merry Christmas!

Lisa Harris


This contest is limited to US residents and void where prohibited; the odds of winning depend on the number of entrants. Entering the giveaway is considered a confirmation of eligibility on behalf of the enterer in accord with these rules and any pertaining local/federal/international laws.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Mozambique Update

Untitled from Lisa Harris on Vimeo.



While our time in the States has been a blessing, we miss deeply our teammates and the Christians back home. Even without our presence, though, God continues to move among the people, and we praise Him for continuing to transform lives.

We recently received an update from Luis and Fernanda about baptisms in three different villages. Please pray for these new Christians!

Be blessed,

Lisa

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Four Christmases-Four Countries


Christmas in Brazil (2007)

Time is flying by and our furlough schedule is busier than ever. This weekend we enjoyed a reunion with a wonderful group of friends, all who have been to Mozambique as a part of a different mission teams to help with our work. It was such an encouragement to share updates on people they had connected with, hear their dreams for serving God, and to just enjoy being together.

On Sunday, we participated in Sugar Creek's Mission Day. They've recently posted a powerful video that asks the questions, "What's Your Mission." We were so encouraged to see what Sugar Creek is doing not just in Mozambique, but in other parts of the world and right here in Houston. We are so thankful to be a part of their vision.

This will be the first Christmas we've spent in the States in seven years, and it's such a blessing to be with family and friends over the holidays. We recently put up a Christmas tree, and I was struck by the fact that we've celebrated the past four Christmases (including this year) in four different countries. I took a quick peek in my photo album and pulled out a few photos from our international Christmases in Brazil, Mozambique, South Africa, and this year, the US.

This year, I'm looking forward to time with family, drives through decorated neighborhoods, and the reminder of a God who "so loved the world that He gave His one and only son."

What about you? What are you looking forward to this year?

Be blessed,

Lisa


Christmas in Mozambique (2008)



Christmas in South Africa (2009)



Christmas in the US (2010)

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Amazing Online Event!




75 Christian Authors * One Amazing Online Event

The Christian Review of Books in conjunction with CrossPurposes Bookstore
is excited to announce the first annual Christmas Book Signing Bash.

Beginning on the day after Thanksgiving and lasting ten days (26 November
- 7 December), this book signing will be an unprecedented online event. 75
of today’s favorite Christian Authors have come together to answer
questions, chat with their readers, and offer signed copies of their
books—all without leaving the comforts of home and hearth!

Readers can search by author, title, or genre at the Christian Review of
Books
and then follow the purchase links to CrossPurposes Bookstore and buy autographed copies of each book featured. The authors will sign the books and ship them
to the customers.

For a full list of participating authors, visit the CRoB or check out my page here!

Heart of Africa winner


Congratulations to Michelle who won my Thanksgiving giveaway. Thanks so much to all of you who stopped by and shared! I'll have another fun giveaway next month, so be sure and stop by.

Be blessed,

Lisa

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving! (And a giveaway!)


(Posing with fellow writers Jane Thorton and Lynne Gentry)


One of the great things about being home on furlough is the chance to catch up with friends and family we haven't seen for a long time, as well as the chance to spend time with family over the holidays, something we haven't done for seven years. We've been extra busy--and without internet the past week--but were blessed to be back with the church in Dallas that we attended before moving to Africa.

Then on Monday night, I was able to visit the crit group that meets at author Lena Nelson Dooley's home. I began attending this group before I was a published author, so it was so much fun to catch up with some of my author friends, some that I've known for years, and others that I've been blessed to get to know more recently.

Even though it's a couple days early, I want to wish all of you a wonderful Thanksgiving. As I spend this year's holiday season back in the States, I'm reminded of the great blessings of both freedom and opportunity, something I never want to take for granted.

And I'd love to hear from you! What are you thankful for this year? As an expression as to how thankful I am to you, my readers, I'll choose a winner from the comments who will receive a necklace from Africa and a signed copy of Blood Ransom! Please leave a way for me to contact you. I will draw a winner on the 29th.

May we be thankful for friends and family, and especially the gift of life through Christ Jesus.

Be blessed today!


(More writer friends-- Kellie Gilbert, me, Lena Nelson Dooley, and Ronie Kendig)


Void where prohibited; the odds of winning depend on the number of entrants. Entering the giveaway is considered a confirmation of eligibility on behalf of the enterer in accord with these rules and any pertaining local/federal/international laws.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Never stop dreaming!


(Signing copies of Blood Ransom for Zondervan to use as giveaways.)

It's been such an encouragement for us this past month, to meet with different churches and individuals who are engaged in our ministry and this past weekend was no exception. We spent all day Sunday with a church outside of Chicago who supports our orphan program. Scott spoke during two services, as well as to the youth that evening, while Janelle and I spoke to the children. That night, Scott was also able to share about our ministry in Mozambique to a large group over dinner.

We also had the chance to spend some time with Janelle and her children and grandchildren which was also a huge blessing, as I was able to meet five of my nieces and nephews for the first time! Another thing I really really enjoyed is a taste of fall, something we don't see in Mozambique.

We left Chicago Monday afternoon and headed for Michigan so I could meet with my editor & marketing director at Zondervan. I've been really excited about this chance to meet face-to-face some of the people who work behind the scenes on my books.

Visiting Zondevan reminded me of another meeting four years ago, when I first met Sue Brower (she's my editor at Zondervan) at a writer's conference. I hadn't planned to go to go to the conference until the last minute, and when it came time to sign up for author/editor meetings--where authors have 15 minutes to talk to an editor about their book ideas--there were only two publishers left, one being Zondervan.

In my mind, Zondervan was completely out of my league as a writer, so I almost cancelled at the last minute. I finally decided to go to the appointment, thinking it would be a good learning experience. I never imagined once that one day, I'd actually visit as one of their authors. This experience has reminded me of a lot of things that I've been learning the past few years.

Dream big. (Don't stop dreaming, no matter who you are, or how old or young you are!)

Never give up. (Coming from a writer this means even with rejection after rejection.)

Work hard. (Yes, following a dream can be extremely exhausting work!)

Step out of your comfort zone. (This is another hard one for me!)

Pray daily for God's direction.

This last one has been key for me. Through the process, I've watched God bring things together that are definitly more than I ever imagined or thought possible--often with Him pushing me in directions I wasn't sure I wanted to go.

I'd love to hear from you! What are you dreaming about today? How has God lead you on your journey whether you've "arrived" where you want to be or not? I've found that it's along the journey (during good times and bad) where I learn the most.

Be blessed!

Lisa



Friday, November 12, 2010

Thank you, Creek Kids!


Yesterday, I mentioned our launch of the ECHO Project, a ministry that will reach out to those we are working with in Africa who are in need physically. Today, I want to share how God is already using people to make a difference.

Creek Kids on Mission, the elementary classes from Sugar Creek Baptist Church, have been saving money in banks for the past few weeks. Part of the money they have been collecting is going to help a young boy who is in one of our house churches. He needs an operation, but he will have to go to South Africa. Without the operation, he will continue losing his motor skills and eye sight. The other part of the money will go to help pay for nutritional supplements for children in need.

Last Sunday, we visited a half a dozen of the elementary classes and had a great time interacting with the children. It was such an encouragement to us to hear that not only did they know who we were and who we are working with, but that they had been praying for us. And the money they collected--over $2400--will make a big difference in these children's lives!

Thank you Creek Kids on Mission!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Launch of The ECHO Project!

The ECHO Project from Lisa Harris on Vimeo.


For the last few months, I've been busy working behind the scenes on something that I'm so excited to finally be able to share about! In our day to day ministry, we're constantly faced with the physical needs of the people we work with. Earlier this year, I started feeling that God was going to lead me in a new direction. Then Scott and I were talking one night and he told me that he wanted me to start a non-profit that would help increase our resources that would in turn meet some of these physical needs.

I hesitated. A non-profit? I'm not exactly the run-an-organization type.

But I couldn't let the idea go. There are so many needs everywhere I look. So many people hurting not only spiritually, but physically as well. And I have access to resources that could make difference.

I also needed help. A close friend of mine, Lynne Gentry, and I have been working on writing a series together that deals with some social issues in Africa, and I knew she too has a passion for those who need a voice. Together, we started talking, praying, and dreaming about how God might use us to make a difference, and the ECHO project was born to help individuals through Education, Compassion, Health and Opportunity.

Even though today is our official launch, several who we've mentioned the project to have already stepped forward to make a difference. A sorority raised $1400 through a silent auction that will go to put a young woman in Zimbabwe through trade school. A group of Sunday school classes in Houston raised over $2500 by collecting change last month that will allow a young boy to get the life-saving operation he needs. A youth group bought bracelets made by Alex to help support him and his family.

Ordinary people, like you and I, making a difference in the lives of individuals.

There is one verse in particular that has motivated Lynne and I as we've worked to get this project going. "...speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves…the poor and helpless, and see that they get justice. (Proverbs 31:8)

Will you help us be that voice?

Dare to become involved and let the ECHO be heard around the world.

Visit The ECHO Project website for more information or email us for more information on how you can get involved.

Be blessed today,

Lisa

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Life on the other side


(High school foot ball game with friends on Saturday).

It was quite a weekend as we met with a number of different people, both old friends and new ones, visiting and sharing about what God is doing in Africa. While the pace remains hectic, not only are the kids keeping up with school, but we are enjoying the fellowship and, of course, the food--which also means that we are thankful to access to a gym where we live! So far we've enjoyed a couple African meals (I fixed these), Brazilian, and good ol' southern BBQ.

Last night, I met with a local book club (photo below) and had a great time sharing an African meal and chatting about Blood Ransom and ministry. It was a real encouragement to meet with these wonderful ladies and hear some of their stories.

There was one other exciting thing that happened over the weekend, but I'll be sharing more about that in a new post tomorrow along with some exciting news about some doors God is opening in our ministry.

Stay tuned!

Lisa

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Disciples making Disciples

November Update from Lisa Harris on Vimeo.



When we were getting ready to leave Mozambique for our furlough, several of the disciples came to Scott, concerned that while we were gone, everything was going to fall apart. Our teammates, Luiz and Fernanda had to go back to Brazil for a couple weeks at the same time we left, so this only added to their concern.

But we saw things differently as we continually encourage them to make their faith and this ministry their own. We saw it as a chance for them to rise up and grow spiritually. And they were not alone, but have the Holy Spirit working in them.

We have already seen tremendous signs of their grown over the past few months. On Monday, we had five more baptisms. Three were students who attended our English camp, and two are disciples of disciples. After the baptisms, one of our young disciples decided that as a group they needed to do something to help these new young believers. Spiritual attacks are always heavy and family situations can be difficult as well.

On their own, the disciples decided that they would spend the rest of the week fasting and praying that God would strengthen the new believers. Praise God for the growth of the Christians. Pray that God will answer their prayers and strengthen the new believers as they begin this new journey of faith.

Be blessed,

Lisa

Monday, November 01, 2010

A day in Katy


Yesterday we had a wonderful day, spent with a church in Katy, Texas who has adopted the Tonga of Mozambique and who will be working with us to reach out to them. They have already sent several small teams to during the past year and we are looking forward to hosting more teams in the following years and working with them.

I did a book signing and we also sold 2011 fundraising calendars with photos from Africa and handmade bracelets by one our our Mozambique disciples. All proceeds went to the ECHO Project, a ministry we will be launching later this week that will help with the physical needs of those we are working with. Details coming soon! As you can see, Mariah loved helping with the money.



Also, in connection with our traveling and visiting churches, we had some updated photos of our family taken this last week, so I thought I'd share one. It's hard for even me to believe how big the kids are getting.

Be blessed today,

Lisa

Photos by Tracy
www.tracyscottphotos.com

Friday, October 29, 2010

What to say...


I've always wondered if I would have anything to blog about if I lived full time in the US. I mean, life would busy and eventful, but who really wants to hear about a trip to Target or how much time it took to drive the kids to soccer practice during rush hour. At least in Africa, life always seems like an adventure, and I can blog about elephant stampedes, power outages, and exotic illnesses.

But now I'm here in the US where I've been pondering lately what to blog about. We're busy, like everyone else, and life seems to run a lot faster here. I'm convinced this is because there is simply more things available to do. With everyone having their own personal transportation and a good road system, it's easy to go where you want to go and fit more (and more) things into your day.

One of the things I'm thankful for here is both the opportunities and choices available, but while we are busy with running and connecting with people on furlough, I see everyone else running around me as well, many of them tired and stressed.

For the past couple years, I've followed Chip MacGregor's blog. He is a well-known literary agent in the Christian market that I was blessed to be able to hear speak at a conference a few years back. Yesterday, I was struck about some things he wrote on his blog. He and his wife have spent the past year trying to downsize their lives and live simpler. Opportunities are everywhere, yes, but he's chosen to focus on doing a few things well. He's even decided to quick blogging.

Toward the end of his post, he writes "I just want to put my head down, and love Jesus, and work on books. Maybe do some effective ministry in the lives of people...I was reading my bible the other day, and was struck by Saint Paul's words to his protege, Timothy, he continues. "Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life."

A quiet life.

So what does that really mean? Simple? Boring? To me it actually sounds peaceful, calming, inviting. Can we really find simplicity, quiet, and rest?

I think so.

I also believe that this statement translates to our lives wherever we live. For me, the verse is a reminder to think about what is really important to me and focus on those things. Do them well. Live in peace. Take time to enjoy life. Live a quiet life.

But how? Slow down? I know. It seems impossible when you look at your schedule, your calendar, and the demands on your life. And life is more than just going from one meeting to the next. Emotionally, life is full of ups and downs, unexpected engagements, loss, love, death, sickness, and triumphs. But in the midst of all of this, how often do we stop be still? How often to I really connect with my children, with my husband and friends without multitasking or worrying about where I have to go next?

So here's my list of how I want to live a more simple, quiet life so I can make the most of each moment.

Live everyday for Him. Simply. Honestly. Passionately. 100 percent.

Support my husband unselfishly.

Be there for my children, without distractions.

See those around me and move out of my comfort zone to connect, minister to, and listen to.

Don't buy what I don't need. Don't covet what I don't need. Be content with what I have.

Never take for granted the freedoms and opportunities I have.

Impact someone's life for the better today.

Take time to stop and notice something in God's creation today.

What about you? I'd love to hear what you have to say about living a quiet life.

Be blessed,

Lisa

Monday, October 25, 2010

Mutiny on the high seas...


We're feeling pretty settled into our new home now and are so blessed with a furnished four bedroom/four bathroom house while we are here. The kids have already had friends over and we are looking forward to hosting a number of dinners in the coming weeks to connect with people.

There has been one hang up to the housing situation, though. Typically, in our family, everyone has specific jobs they have to do from keeping rooms clean to taking out the trash to taking care of their animals. There is one thing, though, that up until now, they have never had to do.

Clean the toilet.

I decided though, since each child has their own bathroom, each child will clean their own bathroom. So on Friday, I gave instructions to each child on how to clean the "dreaded" toilet.

I was greeted with, well, shall I say, shocked reactions.

"You can't be serious, mom?"

"You want me to touch what?"

"But boys have peed in this toilet!"

"Are you making my brother and sister clean theirs, too?"

"I've decided I don't really need my own bathroom. I'll just go outside."

Hmm...we'll see if week two goes better, but at least everyone now has a clean bathroom!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

The grass is always greener...


You've heard the expression that the grass is always greener on the other side. It's something I've had to talk to my children about, because it's so easy to slip into that mindset.

Here's the proof from my kids when looking at the US.

"Mom, they have donuts, parks, bottomless fountain drinks, youth groups, mexican food, Dr. Pepper (do you notice the food trend here?) Starburst, Golden Corral..."

Okay, it does all sound great, but then I'm reminded of what Paul said in Phi 4:12.

"I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want."

Wow. Now this is how I really want to live. In contentedness and peace no matter what the circumstance.

Now don't get me wrong, there are some great things about being back. Especially when it comes to efficiency. For example, we walked into a store last weekend and twenty minutes or so later walked out with cell phones and internet service. This would never happen where we live. Everything we try to do takes time--a long time. But in all honesty, that's not always bad.

I actually like the slower pace, no traffic living, simpler living where I don't have to spend my days rushing from place to place.

So even when it takes us a half dozen times to get anything done, or when the power and internet is off, I want to remember to be content. Or on the other side when I'm stuck in Houston traffic, trying to decide what shampoo to buy (does there really need to be so many choices?) and running my kids around, I will be content.

What about you?

Be blessed today!

Lisa

Monday, October 18, 2010

Settling in


It seems like forever since I've posted. Thanks to the airlines, who allowed us several long layovers for no extra cost, we took the slow way back to the States, spending time together as a family to visit long-time friends in Europe, and then again in Orlando with all the grandparents. It's been a great time, filled with lots of fun and plenty of memories.

Now that the traveling is over, we have just moved into the place where we will be based while in the States. We are so grateful to Sugar Creek and Rio Bend for allowing us to stay in one of their houses while we are here. It's furnished, with plenty of room, and we've already been loaned bikes and scooters for the kids so they can enjoy the quiet neighborhood.

For the next few months, we'll be hosting a Night in Africa Dinners, meeting with churches, supporters, and friends, and sharing what God is doing in Mozambique and our dreams for the future. I'll also be making sure that the kids stay up with their school work, and in fact, we just started the first day of a brand new year today.

On another topic, several have asked me lately about my writing. After a few months off that gave me time to focus on some ministry responsibilities as well as finishing up our school year, I'm very excited to be getting ready to begin writing book three in my Mission Hope series. I'll also be spending some of my time in the States promoting my upcoming releases Blood Covenant and An Ocean Away, both which will be released early 2011 and are set in Africa. This will include a few fun contests that will be coming soon, so be sure and watch for these!

Other news: Blood Ransom, made the shortlist for the INSPY awards! You can read more about this here.

Lastly, several have also asked me recently where they can get copies of Blood Ransom. If you haven't got your copy yet, any bookstore should be able to order if for you if it isn't already in stock. It's also available on line at places like Amazon and Christianbook.com If you have read the book, please consider leaving a review on places like Amazon.com and Christianbook.com as many people rely on the reviews as to what they buy.

I was going to post several photos, but the internet here seems to be slower than ours in Mozambique, so I'll just stick to one for now. This is a photo of us dressed up with provided costumes at Hampton Court outside London.

Be blessed!

Lisa

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Paris...oh la la!


I'll plan to post more photos from France later, but (as requested) here are a few from the Eiffel Tower yesterday. I had a poster of the tower hanging on my wall as a teenager and always dreamed of traveling and visiting Paris in particular. And while my kids probably won't really appreciate this trip until they are older, I'm loving sharing the city with them. I think their favorite part was taking the stairs (down) the tower.

We were planning to return to where we are staying by dinnertime as the kids were tired, but decided at the last minute to take the boat through the city. I'm so glad we did, because I'd wanted to see the city, and especially the Eiffel Tower lit up. It was so beautiful and worth staying out late. On the hour, thousands of little white lights come on and twinkle as well. Fantastic!






Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Holland from Mariah's point of view


From Mariah's travel journal.

Today after breakfast, we went to dress up as people back in the 17th century. It was so fun. We got the pictures after we looked around the rest of the market.

After the market we went in the car and ate our lunch. Oh, and by the way, Uncle René, Aunty Rardy, Sonder, and Joran came with us. As I was saying, after lunch, we left from the market and went to see windmills, a cheese factory, and where they make wooden shoes.

At the windmill place we went into the windmill. It was so very high. And the stairs are steep for security. When I got down, I bought Aunty Faith a present.

We went to taste cheese after the windmills. They had awesome cheese at the factory and I don't even like cheese that much, but I liked that cheese.

A few minutes later we visited the shoe factory. there were more than 900 hundred shoes. Maybe a thousand pairs!

Mariah

Holland from Lisa Harris on Vimeo.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

A taste of Kenya




Two days ago we were walking through the African bush, looking for zebra and giraffe. Today, we're a continent away, spending time outside Amsterdam with some long-time family friends. Our time in Kenya went very well. We ended up spending up most of our time at the school and we were so impressed with everything we saw. (The photos are on a different camera, so I'll post some later.) Gabe was able to take a placement test, we had dinner with a sister of a friend of mine, ate in the cafeteria, toured the school, and overall had a fantastic time.

Time on the internet is short, but here are a few photos from our one day we were able to spend north of the school at one of the country's game parks.

For the weekend, we will be spending our time here near Amsterdam, then leave Monday for France where we will see some other close friends later in the week.

More soon!

Lisa



Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The Wild Side

We've spent a lot of time saying good-bye the past few days and even shed some tears. What excites me, though, is how our disciples are beginning to own the call and see the need to rise up as leaders and engage in their communities. So while being away for a few months is always a challenge, we believe that we will see real growth take place while we are gone.

As we head off on our latest adventure in the morning, I thought I'd go ahead and share a short video of some of my favorite animal photos we've taken over the past couple years. And while we're back in the States, I'm planning a few fun contests with some fun prizes I think you'll enjoy so check back soon!

Be blessed today!

African Wildlife from Lisa Harris on Vimeo.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Furlough time


I feel as if I have gotten further and further behind on my blog postings! The main reason for this, for those of you who don't know, is that our family is leaving to go on furlough in the next few days. And while some equate furloughs with a long vacation, well... that isn't exactly true.

I've spent the past two months working feverishly to put together videos of our ministry to share, updating our website, putting together a proposal for a non-profit project that will help us minister to people's physical needs, and on top of that finish up the kid's school year before we leave. (One final exam left on Monday and we'll be done!!) All of that and we haven't even left yet.

Plus, since this is our first family furlough in five years where we've been able to connect with all our churches and many of our supporters, we have many people to see. During our time back, we will be hosting "Night in Africa" dinners several nights a week where we will sit down in small groups to share about the work, renew old friendships, and get to know new people interested in becoming involved in our ministry. We'll also be visiting churches, speaking, I'll be doing some book signings, and working hard to make sure the kids keep up with their schoolwork.

One highlight, I'll mention now, is that on our way back to the States, we will be visiting a missionary boarding school in Kenya that we are looking at as an option for high school for the kids. We are also excited for the chance to visit some friends in Europe. (The airline will let you have a layover for the same price, so this is a great chance for us to see a bit of this part of the world) The kids are excited for the opportunity to see things they've been studying in school and will be keeping a journal on their experiences.

I would like to ask for your prayers as we begin our travels. I will try to post from time to time, but it will depend on our internet connection at least until we arrive in the States. Please pray as well for our heath as we are all still battling to get well and need to be better before we leave on Wednesday. And lastly, please pray for our teammates, Luiz and Fernanda who will be carrying on the work along side the disciples while we are gone. The photo above is our new Mozambique team photo! If you click on it, you can see it better.

Be blessed today!

Lisa

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Incredible Sunday!

Create your own video slideshow at animoto.com.



I'll be putting together a longer video of this past weekend, but thought I'd share a few photos until then. On Sunday, all of our churches met together for worship and encouragement. Each church brought songs, dramas, and words of edification. Some gave money while others gave manioc and coconuts for their offering. It was exciting to see how God is moving!

Blessings,

Lisa

Saturday, September 04, 2010

God is powerful, loving, and faithful


We're getting ready to pick up a wonderful couple from the airport that is arriving from one of our partner churches for a mini-marriage retreat (Yes, they're watching the kids!) and to visit our different house churches. Tomorrow we'll be a part of a combined worship service with all our churches! In addition to this, we have about ten days left until we leave for the States, which means we're on a count down to finish school and check everything off my long "to do" list.

If you're as tired as I am today, read this reminder from the devotional my mom wrote for today and be blessed with the reminder of God's faithfulness!

Matthew 6: 25a, 33-34 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear…. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

Fear of the unknown.

Concern for the fate of the children.

Hunger.

Exhaustion.

Do any of these sound familiar? If not, ask most any single parent about them. Does God care? These problems are common in today’s world wherever one lives. Does He care? Let’s look at the first chapters of the book of Exodus.

God’s people were unsure of what would happen to them next. They were exhausted from the work of slavery. Hungry? Oh, yes. Concern for their children? The Pharaoh had ordered their newborn boys killed. Skip a few chapters and see the rescue of their God. It was God who brought them out of Egypt and a life of slavery. It was God who drove back the waters of the Red Sea. It was God who fed them in the wilderness even after their unfaithfulness. It was God who protected them from their enemies. They could look back and see the faithfulness of a loving God.

Does He care?

Yes, He absolutely does. And it isn’t just the people way back then. He cares now too. How can I be so sure? Because I was afraid of the unknown. I was concerned for the fate of my children. I was exhausted. And I worried about if we would go hungry. I was a single parent struggling to keep life together. And the powerful, faithful, loving God of heaven and earth ALWAYS provided. Looking back I can see how everything we needed was given to us from His Hand at just the time we needed it. I never needed to have worried, because He was in charge.

Prayer: “Our loving Father, our all powerful God, We bow humbly before You to thank You for Your Faithfulness in caring for us. Help us to not doubt or worry about our lives here on earth, but keep our eyes on You and heaven.”

Ermalee

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Sunday Devotional: God of all of Creation


“The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.” Psalm 19:1

“Lift your eyes and look to the heavens. Who created all these? He who brings out the starry host one by one, and calls them each by name. ,… Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth.” Isaiah 40:26 &28

“…what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world, God’s invisible qualities – his eternal power and divine nature – have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, …” Romans 1:19-20

Do you want to know God more? It might be a simple reminder, but look up, at the starry sky or the blazing sun. Look down at the shining ocean, the fields of green and yellow, or into the beautiful eyes of a child. Look at the natural world all around us and you will see the workmanship of the One who created you.

Even if one has never read the Bible or heard the word, he can still discover God through the world He created.

“Yet he has not left himself without testimony: He has shown kindness by giving you rain from heaven and crops in their seasons; he provides you with plenty of food and fills your hearts with joy.” Acts 14:17

If you are feeling overwhelmed today, or as if God is far from you, take a moment to stop and look around you at the incredible world God created. Through it, He has powerfully and totally revealed Himself.

Prayer: “Precious heavenly Father, creator of the universe, thank you for revealing Yourself through glorious world you fashioned.”

Be blessed today,

Lisa and Ermalee

Saturday, August 28, 2010

What's up, Doc?



As some of you know, Scott spent last week in both Zambia and Zimbabwe. One of the things he did was visit our orphan program in Bulawayo. But while the trip went very well, he came home very sick. At first we thought he was having a relapse of Tick Bite Fever as the symptoms were much the same.

By Tuesday he was getting worse, so we consulted with our doctor in South Africa. He agreed that it could be a relapse of Tick Bite Fever, but since Scott had an overnight trip already scheduled to go into South Africa on Thursday, we decided I would drive him across the border and we would have him tested where there is a good doctor and lab. Jayden had also needed to see the doctor, so we left Gabe and Mariah with friends (they were happy they didn't have to make the trip) and headed off for the border.

Unlike our last trip to the border with the Sugarcreek team where it took us 18 1/2 hours, this trip went by quickly with no breakdowns! The Chinese are doing a great job in fixing the main road to the capital which is also helping make the trip shorter, so we made it to the doctor by three in the afternoon.

Scott, it turns out, doesn't have Tick Bite Fever, but instead has a serious case of bronchitis that was borderline pneumonia. With a powerful shot and some strong meds, Scott is already feeling better. Jayden is being treated for a parasite, (It's not as serious as it sounds) and is also doing much better.

Part of the reason for the original trip, was to help one of our disciples start up a shoe business. After spending the night in SA (and a quick hour in Kruger since we were right there) we met Isaiah in the capital, bought a carload of shoes, and headed home.

On another note, Isaiah is a part of our new micro-loan program we'll be sharing more about soon. As we focus on the spiritual and discipleship, we also believe it is very important to help people meet their physical needs as well. In the coming weeks, we'll be unveiling a project that we are really excited about as we strive to impact and transform the community we are working with.

These are a few photos from our trip, both the crowded streets of Maputo and the calm beauty of Kruger.

Blessings,

Lisa



Sunday, August 22, 2010

English Camp 2010 video

Happy Sunday!

Is it just me, or does time seem to be going faster and faster? It's been a good, but busy week around our house. Scott has been traveling in both Zimbabwe and Zambia to meet with some of the leaders and to visit our orphan program. In the meantime, we've been finishing up school, and now have just over two weeks left to complete our school year. The kids have worked hard to finish before our furlough starts and I'm so proud of them.

One of the things I've been working on is putting together a number of short videos to share while we're back this fall. Here's one from this year's English Camp.

English Camp 2010 from Lisa Harris on Vimeo.



Be blessed today!

Lisa

Monday, August 16, 2010

And the winner is...


Congratulations to Jo who won a copy of Beth Goddard's Exposing Amber! Thanks to all of you who stopped by and left a comment.

A couple brief ministry updates:

Last Friday when the disciples met at the hospital to go and pray for the children, we had our biggest number yet - 15 of us! And even more exciting, was the fact that the majority (8 plus one visitor) were new disciples from this years English Camp. Pray that God will continue to grow and empower these new believers with His Holy Spirit. That the seeds of faith that have sprouted in their lives will continue to grow and will produce MUCH fruit. I'll be posting a video from the camp next week.

Scott left this afternoon for Lusaka, Zambia to meet with a couple of the leaders in Zambia then on to Bulawayo, Zimbabwe to meet with the staff that runs the AOM Orphan program in that country. He will also be visiting with as many kids and caregivers as he can. Please pray for his safe travel!

Be blessed today!

Lisa

Monday, August 09, 2010

Chat with author Elizabeth Goddard with Book Giveaway!


Congratulations to Warnken Wanderings who won a copy of Debbie's Seeds of Summer! And because you can never get enough great books, I'd like to introduce you to another close friend of mine and her latest release, Exposing Amber.

Elizabeth Goddard is a 7th generation Texan who lives in East Texas with her husband and four children. She and her family recently spent five years in Oregon, which serves as the setting for several of her novels, but in 2010 they returned to Texas to live near family again. Elizabeth is the author of seven novels and novellas, including Praying for Rayne and The Camera Never Lies, releasing December 2010.

First, the blurb for Exposing Amber.


This historian loves the past…unless it’s his own. Brandon Selman is struggling to reestablish his position and reputation as a competent museum director. Hampered by scandal from his last post, he is determined to stay on the straight and narrow. He especially will not allow himself to be taken in by any innocent-looking college student interns.

Amber McKinsey is excited to learn she’s been accepted as a summer intern for the Harrington museum. Working under Dr. Selman is just the opportunity she needs to determine the direction her future studies should take. But the reality is not the dream, and her own secrets threaten to undo her.

Then, a valuable artifact disappears and Amber is the likely suspect. How can Amber leave the shadows of the past behind when they follow her so closely? And could Brandon have misjudged a woman so badly again? Will either of them learn to trust or forgive before it’s too late?

LISA: I'm so glad to have you on my blog, Beth! Tell us some of the background behind the idea for Exposing Amber.

BETH: One of the great things about being a writer is that all those things we’d love to do or have an interest in, we can explore and throw ourselves into that world—at least fictionally speaking. I love science, especially creation science and the kids love dinosaurs. I came across a museum that is connected with a fossil dig—something I’ve always wanted to do. The setting seemed perfect for a story.

LISA: Since this is book two in your latest Heartsong series, can you give us a brief peek into the rest of the series?

BETH: Book one, Disarming Andi, is set on a decommissioned missile launch control facility, and book three, Praying for Rayne is set at a fountain design company. Think of the fountains you’ve seen at Epcot. It’s amazing the science and engineering that goes into creating these amazing creations!

LISA: I find in my own writing that I often grow alongside my characters. Is there a character who you relate to from the book and who made an impact on your life?

BETH: For some reason, I find myself relating more to the hero in the story, rather than the heroine. In all my stories the characters have to learn to trust God’s plan for their life—that’s something that is a continual struggle.

LISA: Tell us a bit about the research you had to do for this story?

BETH: I already mentioned that I love science but I don’t claim to be an expert. I was able to talk with a paleontologist who conducts fossil digs. Walter Stein at Paleoadventures was generous with information, giving me wonderful details. Sometimes a contact won’t be the type of person who can give you what you need as a writer. But Walter is a writer, too, so I’m sure that helped. Also, I went behind the scenes of a museum. The staff showed me around and answered all my questions, even giving me new ideas for my story. In fact, one such idea I added mid-way through the writing. But it was too good to pass up.

LISA: What is the number one thing you’ve learned from your writing journey?

BETH: I blogged about this over at Seriously Write a couple of weeks ago—to take time to live your life, focus on your family and others. Don’t be consumed by the writing—it’s very easy to do.

LISA: You have a cozy mystery getting ready to release with Barbour as well. Can you tell us a bit about that story too?


BETH: Oh thank you for asking! The Camera Never Lies is about a photographer who learns that her ability to read emotions through the lens of her camera can also be used to discover a killer. It’s a bit quirky and I immensely enjoyed writing this story because I was able to insert my own strange sense of humor. The risk is that not everyone will get the humor. But I’m a risk taker—what can I say?

LISA: Because I know there are many aspiring writers out there, can you share any tidbits of wisdom on getting published?

BETH: One of the most important things is attending a conference and networking, getting to know people. It will all the difference in the world.

LISA: Anything else you’d like to share?

BETH: Yes. I want to thank the Lord for His great favor.

Thanks so much for stopping by, Beth! You can learn more about Beth's books here. AND Beth has agreed to give away a copy of Exposing Amber to a Stateside address. Please leave a comment on this post with a way for me to contact you!

Void where prohibited; the odds of winning depend on the number of entrants. Entering the giveaway is considered a confirmation of eligibility on behalf of the enterer in accord with these rules and any pertaining local/federal/international laws.