Saturday, December 26, 2009

Day After Christmas Fun!

The kids got a SMALL swimming pool for Christmas.  It was just enough to get them wet and let them have some fun on a hot day.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

First Christmas Pictures!!

Christmas Eve in Zambia.  We didn't have a tree so we made one to put on the wall.  The kids loved it!  They got to decorate their own ornaments and put them where they wanted.
Christmas morning -  Zoe is playing with her new jewelry and princess, pony and carriage.
Levi - He still hasn't opened all his presents.  He was fascinated with each one and I stopped trying to get him to open anymore....
Hadassah is now playing with a new DS game.
Thank you for all that you sent to us.  We are so blessed and overwhelmed by your love.  We ask that you continue to pray for us and let us know how everything is going through your emails and updates.  MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Christmas Cookies

I have commented to many people how hard it is to experience all that Christmas cheer when it is 100 degrees outside and and utter lack of holiday festivities all around.  So we decided after a short day of homeschool (thank the Lord!), we would make some Candy Cane Cookies.  All three children and I began well, making our candy canes and christmas wreaths.  Soon, the multitude got tired because they were a little more difficult to make that I expected.  So as they departed, I began to improvise on the christmas cheer.  As you can see the progression below.  we started off well but ended up with just plain red cookies and white cookies.  I just happened to have some peppermint extract so they do taste really good!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Look what we found in Lukulu

Bed bugs!  Yes, those are all bed bug bites.  Levi also has a lot of bites, Zoe just a few, Hadassah less and for some reason, Jeff has none.  But even more important, we were able to find a house that we really like.  It is unfinished and the verbal agreement is that the guy has to put in floors, ceilings, windows and paint the outside by February.  If he does this, then our LC will come in and finish the rest (which is ALOT).  If this works out, we will be very happy.  We really like the house.  It has a unique floor plan, not the usual ranch style and a very large yard.  Please continue to pray for our housing in Lukulu.  Please pray that the owner/builder will be a man of integrity and trustworthy.  We'll keep you updated!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Baptist Mission of Zambia

The complete Baptist Mission of Zambia as of a couple of days ago.  We love our new mission family!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


Daniel Smith, Melissa Frady, Sky Scott, ME, Gerri Helton, JEFF AND LEVI, Melynda Wint, Mike Smith, Mark Wint with Madylanne and Amy Smith

Protea Prayer Retreat 2009

We just got finished with our mission wide prayer retreat today.  We had some really awesome times of specific prayer.  It was wonderful to finally meet the whole mission family.  We had a little bit of time to go on a game drive.  We saw these ladies.   They were huge and intimidating, even behind the fence. One of the workers said that if they were free to roam on the game park, there would be no other animals. :)
This is three families from our team.  Mike and Tyler Smith are in front with the Lowe family in the second seat and the Wints in back.
Below are many but not all of our Zambian MKs with Kevin Rodgers on the far left.  Starting from left to right: Kevin, Heather Shwarz, Evie Smith, Taylor Langston, Hannah Rodgers, Hadassah, Lily Helgren, Easton Helgren (standing), Lane Schwarz, Seth Schwarz, Anna Bowman, Abigail, Bowman, Zoe, Levi, Tobias Schwarz, Micah Langston and Tyler Smith!!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Home in Mongu

I am looking forward to getting back to our normal so as I was looking through my pictures, I decided to put some pictures of our house on the blog.  Below is Levi's room.  I am standing in the far corner.  The door is to the left of the night stand.  He has a twin bed, night stand, (almost empty) toy box and a fan in his room.  We are kind of bare bones as we will not be able to unpack our crates until we get to Lukulu.
This is looking at our room from the doorway.  To the left of the bed is the closet and at the foot of the bed is the door to the bathroom.
Below is our living room, looking at it from the hallway.  The dining room is kind of behind the tv.  The front door is to the right of the window.  Again, you can see that we are pretty bare.  The furniture has been placed there by the mission so that we can use it during our language study.  Just a little glimpse into our 'regular' lives. :)

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

More pictures from our homestay

Last pictures before we left.  The Mwenda family has 7 children.  As you can see, a few of them were missing in this picture.  The 2 oldest boys had already gone to the field at about 5am and the baby girl would not get in the picture.

Hezekiah was going to ride this bike with 3 children on it as we went to church but we subtly got our children off of it.  Zoe actually stayed on it for just a little bit but quickly got off as she thought that he was going too fast.  The walk to church ended up being about 40 minutes each way.

Jeff was able to help thatch the roof to the bathing house.

Our family had a mango tree in their yard and they ate several each day.  Here is Elias, Levi and Zoe as each were in different stages of eating mangos.  The hut in back was the one that we stayed 3 nights in.

The mango tree.  Can you find Zoe?

Our Kawere Homestay

Levi and Zoe are helping to wash clothes.

I am washing dishes and scrubbing pots with dirt.  Dirt is a great abrasive and works great to get pots cleaned.  Behind me is the chicken coop.  In the left of the picture is the bathing room.  Jeff helped to put a thatch roof on it.

Hadassah did really great.  She jumped right in to help with dishes, sweeping the dirt and here she is helping to ground peanuts into a powder with a large mortar and pestle.


HERE is our 40/40 experience chronicled in pictures on Suzie Rodgers' blog.  There are many pictures of the kids and everything that we have been doing for the last month. Hope you enjoy!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

What happened on your Sunday?

One of our greatest fears of living in Zambia has happened.  As we were on our way to Lusaka yesterday, we hit a man on a bicycle.  Many Zambians ride their bikes on the road and do not always get off the road as you pass by.  This man, Kennedy, was riding his bike on the left side of the road (we drive British style on the left side of the road).  We honked at him to let him know that we were there and began to move over into the right lane to pass him.  Instead of getting off the left side of the road or staying put, he veered into the right lane.  We slammed on our breaks and skidded about 20 feet but were not able to dodge him and we hit him as we were going off the road.  He was thrown up on our hood and fell off as we stopped.  Jeff immediately got out of the vehicle to check on him.  I immediately grabbed our cell phone but we had no service.  Some people began to gather around us and told us to go back about 10 minutes to the police station in Nkeyema.  I was able to borrow a youth's phone to call our Logistics Coordinator but as soon as I said, "Dwayne, we have hit a guy on the side of the road" and he said, "Oh no."  The phone ran out of minutes.  After about 10 more minutes, we loaded the man in our truck with a very kind lady, Charity.  She showed us where to go to the police station.  There were no police at the station so we had to wait almost 2 hours for the police to arrive.  In the meantime, I was asking everyone that went past us if they had a phone.  Nobody did.  I gave some money to a man to buy some talk time (minutes to be placed on a cell phone) but nobody had a phone.  Finally, we found a man with a phone but we had to walk a little ways to the main road to find a place where there was service.  I had the girls with me and Jeff had Levi.  We finally found service and I was able to get in contact with our LC, after many desperate prayers.  It was a very bad connection and he could not fully understand me or what had happened.  They thought that we might have been in an accident where we were injured, the vehicle overturned or something else.  I think all he understood was that we were okay and the vehicle was okay but he misunderstood that we had gotten everything taken care of and we were on our way to Lusaka.  That was not the case.  The accident happened at 9:30 am in Kaoma District and it was already maybe 2 hours later.  We took the man to a Rural Health Center and a letter was written for him to be taken to the hospital in Kaoma, which was about 30 minutes back the way we came.  By this time, the police and the man's family had arrived.  An uncle got in the car with us, the injured man, Charity and a police officer.  As we got the hospital in Kaoma, our team members, the Smith's,  that live there had already arrived.  Thank you, Jesus!  Amy's language helper was able to help us with the language. Very long story short, Jeff was cleared by the police to leave and the man is still in the hospital.  The accident happened at 9:30am and Jeff got back to the Smith's house at about 6:30pm.  We were able to spend the night at Amy and Mike's and get up to make a new start on Monday morning.
My conversation with our LC put everybody into a panic.  They didn't know if we had tumbled the truck or what kind of accident that we had been in.  The accident happened about 2.5 hours from Mongu which is still 3.5 hours from Lusaka.  Our mission family started driving from Mongu and Lusaka looking for us.  One of the worst aspects of this ordeal is that we had no cell phone coverage and therefore, were not able to communicate with anyone.  There were a hundred different things that could have gone wrong - the man could have been killed (it happens more than you think), the people gathered around our truck could have been angry, I could have not gotten in touch with anyone, the police could have been corrupt and many other ways but through all of this the Lord truly protected us.
We are okay but please pray for Kennedy that he will heal well and be restored to full health.  Pray for his family during this very difficult time for them.  We have gotten an update that he has a couple of broken bones in his hand.  We pray that we will be able to help him recover and also show him the love of Jesus through all of this.  We love you and continue to ask that you would pray for traveling mercies.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Right in front of us!

These majestic animals passed right in front of us on our way to Lusaka yesterday.

All About Zoe

We had Zoe's birthday supper early on Friday, Oct. 16.  We always allow the kids to pick their birthday supper.  Zoe chose chicken nuggets and french fries.  Below is the picture of her birthday presents - a basket, scarf and sitenge.

Then she got a few more presents from grandparents and her mission aunts.
Blowing her candles out.  Levi was helping.
Her cake - she chose chocolate cake with pink icing and her name in green.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Ne Lu Mateha Maabani!

Yesterday, we got the privilege to go to a local Baptist pastor's village to help mud his house.  It was great fun and hard work.  The girls got jumped right into the mud and worked hard for almost 2 hours!

Here, the house is almost done.  Jeff is taking a short break while the ladies continued to work.  I can't say anything bad about that because I was also taking a break while shooting some pictures. :)
Levi had to stay on the mat all day and by the Lord's grace, he didn't seem to mind too much.  Here we are, waiting to eat lunch and all the kids gathered around us.  If you can't tell, Levi is saying "CHEEEEESE".
This sweet girl, great with child, was cooking our buhobe which is the staple of the Lozi people.  It is almost like grits.  The Lozi have this for every meal and then have some relish or fish or something else to go along with it.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Lights Out!!

As you know, from our escapade with Levi's leg, the lights have been going off quite a bit lately.  These pictures were taken in almost complete darkness.  All the kids wanted to use the head lamp which is a VERY useful tool.
First up is Zoe.
Hadassah's turn with Levi in his "cheeeessse" pose.
Levi's turn as he says "cheeeeeese".

Monday, September 28, 2009

Our Trip to Lukulu

We did finally make it to Lukulu about 2 weeks ago.  It was a good trip.  We just wanted to see the town.  It was what we expected.  It sits just on the east bank of the Zambezi River.  It's a generator town which means the electricity that is supplied there is from a generator.  We hope to go back in a few months to begin looking for a house.  Above is the sign that greets you as you come into town.  Below is a great view of the Mighty Zambezi River with 2 dugout canoes.

First Look at Our Crates!

Here are a few of the toys that we got out of the crate.  This popper was sent to us in Guatemala by my mom and we still have it!  A worthy investment.  You can also see Levi's new cast.  He always wants to close his eyes and say 'cheese'.  I can barely get him to open his eyes in a picture now.

Zoe wanted to show you Levi's wooden train set that he got for Christmas last year.  He'll finally get to open it! 

Update on the Lowes

Went to the orthopedic specialist today.  All is well.  She re-casted Levi's left tibia with a fiberglass wrap.  We didn't get to choose a color but I was very glad that they had fiberglass wrap.  He is fine.  It is a spiral, non-displaced fracture, not a green stick.  
Prognosis is still the same - 6 weeks in a cast.  
Our crates have arrived!!  We were able to open them and pick out just a few things.  Most things were really well packed and we were not going to unload the whole crate just to find something that may not be able to be found.  I was able to get some spices out, some drink mixes, Christmas plates, a few games for the kids, my cast iron dutch oven (!), some silverware, a few tools, Levi's wooden train set and just a few more things.  So glad for what we got. 
We still have quite a few errands to run tomorrow then we will be back home to 
Mongu on Wednesday.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

It continues...


On Friday night, Levi still seemed to be having problems with his leg so we made the decision to get up Saturday morning to drive 6 hours to Lusaka to get him seen by a doctor here.  The x-rays that were taken did not even show a fracture but the doctor said he thought that Levi was fine.  We really were not comforted by that because their xrays didn't even show the original fracture.  Right now, here has a plaster of paris cast which seems to be quickly deteriorating. Since we made the trip to Lusaka, we may see if we can see orthopedic specialist.  Please pray that we will make the right decision and that we can get an appointment, if needed.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

What been happening?

Levi has broken his shin bone.  Actually, it is a green stick fracture which happens when the bone is abruptly twisted.  He ran into me last night when the lights went out (he couldn't see) and knocked himself down flat.  Evidently he twisted his leg and it fractured.  It wasn't swollen so I gave him advil and put him to bed.  It was still hurting him this morning.  He would not stand or try to walk but cried when put down.  So, we took him to the hospital here in Mongu to get an X-ray.  He now has his cast and is doing fine.  He will have to keep it on for 6 weeks.  Please do pray for us as Levi will not be able to be up and about these next few days.  That should make for some interesting days!
  Below, he is exhausted from the hospital ordeal.

Here he is upset because he cannot get down and didn't want his picture taken.
In other news, we got stuck in the sand on Sunday as we were going to church.  We were very grateful to have Melissa and Gerri with us.  Melissa pulled us out in reverse and we went on to church!  Just another day in our lives.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Back from the market

This is the group of kids that we picked up on our visit to the Imwiko Market.  This is in front of our gate.

A Few Glimpses into Our Lives

These are some of the children that come to play in our yard.  They wanted to take Hadassah and Zoe to the Imwiko market.  Imwiko is the community or 'neighborhood' that we live in.  So off we all went to see the Imwiko market.  We were quite a site and picked up more children along the way.  By the time that we got there, we probably had 30 children tagging along with us.  Can you pick out Hadassah and Zoe?
The ladies here wear chitenges that are wrapped around their skirts.  They come in a myriad different colors and patterns.  All the kids like to get mine and play with them.  Hadassah even got one as a birthday gift.  Here are Levi and Zoe as they were playing one day.  These same chitenges are used by the Zambian women to carry their babies so my chitenges can usually be found wrapped around the kids or carrying their baby dolls on their backs.