Friday, August 21, 2015

Cambio, Variazione, Umschalten, Changez = CHANGE...

Nothing ever stays the same.

I think that I speak for many missionaries in saying that this is one of the most difficult parts of being a 'sent out one' - change.  It seems like we live with almost constant change.  One of the most heartbreaking aspects of missionary life for me is the ebb and flow of friends.  It takes a very special relationship for me to define as a friendship.  I have had some friendships to burn starlight bright while they were with me (or near by, in the same country) then fizzle when they left Zambia.  Other friends are friends for life but life has taken us in two separate directions so that our communication has dwindled to be distressingly infrequent.  Nothing ever stays the same.

It is also hard to watch friends and families struggle with changing relationships.  My daughter's best friend just left today to go to boarding high school and the mother of the daughter who has gone to boarding school will come home to an early empty nest.  This hurts my heart for both of them.  This pain of separation, this changing of life is hard.  Nothing ever stays the same.

Jesus says in John 16:33, "I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace.  In this world you will have trouble.  But take heart!  I have overcome the world."  

Nothing ever stays the same but in these lives full of trouble and change, there is peace.  Please pray peace over us all as we cope with changes in relationships, changes in families - that we will have peace and take heart because Jesus has really overcome the world.  Pray that our hearts will not be hardened but they will be open and willing to embrace others for the sake of the Gospel.  
Let it be so, Sweet Jesus.

More birthdays...

I had a great birthday on August 18th.  My wonderful hubby made me a Caramel Toffee Crunch Cheesecake, bought me some beautiful flowers and made me homemade french fries with cheese and bacon for supper.  It was a wonderful day with mother/daughter pedicures, lunch with friends and supper with family.
I am so grateful for my Lord, my life and my family!

 Playing with the camera - the girls and me...

Happy birthday to me - until next year.....

Lights Out!

Zambia is in the middle of an energy crisis, nation wide water rationing, increasingly frequent petrol (gasoline) shortages and an unavailability to find gas (propane).   Economists are saying that by November there could be a total blackout.  One can only guess to what could be intended by ‘blackout’. 

What this means for us is that we are having recurrent power outages for 7-10 hours a day, most days of the week; the city water is often turned off which means very low water pressure with an inability to take showers at times plus a struggle in attaining more gas for our gas stovetop.

We are usually able to cook food when the power is out but most of our other missionaries only have electric stoves and ovens.  We are tremendously grateful that we have a gas stovetop - although, alarmingly, we have not been able to find more gas for our stove top (believe me, we have searched Lusaka) and we will soon join the ranks of those with no cooking ability when the power is out (which is becoming more and more frequent).  Some missionaries even loose water completely when the power goes out, not just low water pressure like in our home.

So, we have had to become a bit more creative in cooking.  We bought a small two burner stove top to use for light cooking when the power is ON so we will save our gas for when the power is OFF.  Every Friday night (for over 6 years) is Family Night when I make homemade pizza and we watch a movie or play games together.  Sometimes, that is difficult when the power is out so Jeff has ingeniously figured out how to make pizza on the stove and we have to watch our movies on the computer or play games by candlelight.

Here are a few pictures from our last stove top pizza night...

I have explained all this, not for you to have any extra concern for our family but to allow you to see that Zambia is in a bit of turmoil right now.  I ask you to pray for the country leaders and government of Zambia.  Please pray that they will act with integrity and wisdom in all ways to steer the country through these challenging times.  Please pray that our family (and other missionary families) will choose joy in the midst of frequent power outages and all that comes along with Zambia's energy crisis.

A little late on the birthday post...

We celebrated Hadassah's 14th birthday on July 28, 2015.  
Here are a few shots from her early morning gift opening.

She had also been wanting to cut her hair and soon after her birthday she went from the above picture to the below.