Thursday, May 21, 2009

Update - May 21, 2009

We have been on the road for the past two weeks. During our week in Searcy we helped David’s mother work in her yard, getting it ready for her daylily tour in June. Mrs. Gregersen is a master gardener, and it is a joy to watch her in action. She knows the name of every one of the over 100 varieties of daylilies in her gardens and can describe the color and size of each one long before the blooms come out.

From Arkansas we headed north to Missouri for a visit with my side of the family. My two sisters, my brother, and several of the nieces and nephews and their children were together on Saturday and Sunday. Those of you who know me well know that I love a good pun. Apparently this is a genetic trait, because we all enjoyed a wonderful (or terrible, depending on how you look at it) sibling pun-off on Sunday night.

Another family characteristic is our involvement in missions. My brother works in both El Salvador and Honduras, traveling to Central America two or three times a year to help with schools, medical missions, and evangelistic efforts. Nieces and nephews are also involved in trips to El Salvador and Nicaragua, and two nephews have spent time drilling water wells in Africa. Our conversations are quite interesting as we compare notes on our experiences.

We’re now in Oklahoma for a few days. Our daughter Sara is moving back to Austin next week, so we spent a day in Tulsa helping her pack and get ready. Now we’re off to visit friends in Weatherford and Shattuck before ending up back in Salado, Texas, on Sunday.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The People at My Door - Rodgers Namuswa

As much as we love being back in America with family and friends, we can’t help but miss our Zambian co-workers. Rodgers Namuswa is the one we work with the most. He is a member of the Church Development Team at Namwianga, and he is also the contact person for World Bible School in our area.

In 2005 Rodgers was given a motorcycle to help him expand his outreach efforts. What a worthy investment that turned out to be! Rodgers literally wore out that motorbike. He makes weekly visits to the Kalomo Hospital to counsel and teach the patients and their families. He goes out into the bush to arrange and publicize our leadership seminars. He is always going out to villages on weekends to teach and preach in the local congregations. He is a regular at the Namwianga clinic where he conducts chapel services, counsels and comforts the patients, and also coordinates a Wednesday evening Bible study. And his World Bible School work has multiplied exponentially in the last four years.

Rodgers has arranged places all over the Kalomo area that he calls “drop boxes.” In these places World Bible School students can pick up correspondence lessons. The students complete the lessons and then return them to the drop boxes. Rodgers collects these at regular intervals and mails them in bulk to the Brentwood Oaks church in Austin where instructors grade the lessons. The lessons are then mailed back to Zambia. Rodgers picks them up at the post office and distributes them to the drop boxes. The relatively quick turn around time for the lessons has encouraged more students to participate. These students have referred their families and friends, and the enrollment numbers just keep climbing.

When Rodgers wore out his first motorbike, the Brentwood Oaks Church of Christ supplied him with the new set of wheels shown above. I’m confident that Rodgers will log many miles continuing his good work in the kingdom.

Friday, May 08, 2009

Update - May 7, 2009

We are in Searcy, Arkansas, for the next few days spending time with David’s mother. Yesterday we were blessed to get together with the Harding In Zambia students—those from the past two years and some who will be coming in September. It was great to see and visit with them.

We shared an update on the elephant situation with the HIZ students. The Calders e-mailed us, saying that the elephants have stayed on the farm adjoining Namwianga for over two weeks now. Besides wreaking havoc in the maize fields and destroying the fences, the elephants have turned Maunga Lake into their swimming hole. The Maunga dam is right on the path that David and I walk and jog on every morning, so we’re going to have to find a new route if the elephants are still around when we get back.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Update - May 5, 2009

Today I had appointments with my medical oncologist and radiation oncologist. Both agreed that I am cancer-free. I told the radiation oncologist that I had not had any side effects from the radiation treatments--no skin reactions, no significant fatigue. He was amazed, saying, "That just doesn't happen." You may remember that last May I decided I would have "blest cancer," and I feel that's what I've had. I thank God for his goodness--all the time.

We have had a great time during our two weeks here in Austin. Last weekend we helped John and Leah move into their new house and enjoyed sharing that experience with them. We celebrated our 33rd anniversary on May 1 by spending time out in the country at our friends' log cabin. We have enjoyed many meals and good times with dear friends and our church family.

Wednesday we are taking off for three weeks of travel. We'll spend a week in Searcy with David's mother. A special treat will be meeting with the Harding In Zambia students, both those who have been to Namwianga and those who will be coming this fall. Then we will spend a week in Missouri with my family before going to Tulsa for a couple of days to help Sara get ready to move. She's landed a teaching job here in Austin for next year and will be moving at the end of May. We'll head from Tulsa to western Oklahoma for a visit with Richard and Angie Prather in Shattuck, and we'll wind up in Salado, Texas on May 24.

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Our Co-Workers

We were delighted to get this photo from the InterMission Retreat we attended in South Africa March 20 - April 3. We grew very close to these missionaries who share our passion for the work in Africa. Countries represented are Zambia, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, and Namibia.