Sunday, November 25, 2012

Thanksgiving 2009



Reflections on Thanksgiving 2009:  We had been having major issues with the electricity and did not expect to have power all day.  This was our last Thanksgiving in Zambia and our largest as well.  


It was what some might call a minor miracle--the electricity stayed on all day while we did our cooking and baking! I held my breath every time I put a dish into the oven, hoping that the power would stay on long enough to cook it. I breathed a sigh of relief when everything was hot and ready.


Our Thanksgiving guests began arriving at 6:00 just as the sun was going down. We were about to gather at the table when the seemingly inevitable happened-- the power went off. We ate our feast by candlelight. Just as we finished dessert, the power came back on at 8:50 p.m. David called it another TIA (This Is Africa) experience.


We ended up with 21 for dinner with an interesting mix of ages, stages, and cultures. We had five Peace Corps volunteers from our area, plus American missionaries, Zambians, a Peruvian, and a South African family.  Our youngest guest was baby Lennie who came from the Haven orphanage with Meagan Hawley.  


Once again we give thanks for the blessing of friends and fellowship in a foreign land. God is good all the time, and God is good everywhere.

Shown in the photo: Peace Corps Volunteers Krista, Brittany, and Tim; Missionaries Sheri Sears and Rod Calder.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Thanksgiving 2008


Part four of a series of re-posts of Thanksgivings in Zambia

Guests in 2008:  Richard Krogsgaard, Kimberly Burns, Deb Rakowski, Meagan Hawley, Kapree Harrell, Robby Banda, Karen Johnson, Sheri Sears, Angela Glenn, Brittany Freitas, Sue Krogsgaard

Our Thanksgiving table was surrounded by a wonderful mix of people. Six Peace Corps volunteers from all over the United States joined us, plus Canadian and American missionaries and a Zambian co-worker. After last year's Christmas turkey adventure, we settled for mesquite marinaded grilled chicken. We managed to have lots of Thanksgiving traditional side dishes, including cranberry sauce, green bean casserole (with homemade onion rings!), fruit salad, and lots of pies.

The electric company cooperated and we even had power all day--a rare blessing that we greatly appreciate. Thursday evening David pulled out the multimedia projector and screen and we watched a movie on DVD.

As always, we love visits from the Peace Corps Volunteers. The stories of their adventures living in the bush leave us laughing and full of admiration for the work they do. And I could not ask for a more appreciative group to cook for!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thanksgiving 2007


2007 was the first year we had Peace Corps Volunteers with us for Thanksgiving.  These incredible women made the holiday extra special:  Deb Rakowski, Jalle Gibesa, Angela Glenn, Jennifer Dyson, Heidi Joseph, and Karen Johnson.  

We had a fun and interesting Thanksgiving gathering at our house this year. Five Peace Corps volunteers arrived at Namwianga on Wednesday to spend the holiday with us. They stayed at the large guesthouse but ate most of their meals with us. They came prepared to cook and bake dishes for our feast, and on Thursday morning we had three kitchens in use—the guesthouse where the PC women were staying, the Hamby guesthouse kitchen, and mine. We had a short power outage around 10 a.m. that gave us a bit of panic, but the power came on again after about 30 minutes and the baking continued without any major disasters. 

Don Oldenburg had contacted the manager of the Spar grocery store in Choma weeks ago and asked him if he could get us two turkeys for Thanksgiving. We had high hopes that this manager could pull it off, but alas, it was not to be. When Don and Laura went to pick up the turkeys on Wednesday, the manager informed them that the turkeys had come in, but they were of such poor quality that he wouldn’t sell them to us. David grilled chicken instead.

We had two more Peace Corps workers who came in on Thursday—one made it in time for dinner and another arrived in the evening. Our other guests were Don and Laura Oldenburg, Sheri Sears, and Richard and Sue Krogsgaard. Richard and Sue are Canadians who arrived at Namwianga in August. They missed the Canadian Thanksgiving Day in October, so we thought it was appropriate that they share in our feast.

And feast we did! We managed to have many traditional American Thanksgiving dishes: stuffing, pumpkin pie, apple pie, rolls, mashed potatoes, green beans, and even jellied cranberry sauce that some recent visitors brought with them in their luggage. There were no Macy’s parades or football games to watch, but we did have lots of laughter, sharing, and fellowship.

Sara and John were in Searcy with David’s sister and family. We were able to talk to them via Skype and even saw them through the web cam. Later we talked with David’s parents and watched the last minute dinner preparations going on in the background. When they announced that dinner was ready, David’s dad had all of the family hold hands in a circle and then asked David to lead the prayer for the meal. From 10,000 miles away we shared in the Thanksgiving gathering with our family. God is good, and we are thankful.
David's father died in September of the following year, making our memories of the Thanksgiving Skype session especially sweet.  

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Remembering Thanksgiving 2006

This is my second post from the Thanksgiving archives.  It is from 2006, our smallest Thanksgiving of the five we celebrated in Zambia.  I can still hear the echoes of the laughter from around this table.  Meagan Hawley is back in Zambia this year and may have a very different kind of Thanksgiving Day.  Keep her in your prayers!

From left:  Linda, Meagan, David, Louisa, Lauren


We had a wonderful Thanksgiving feast on Thursday night. Shown in the top photo with us are Meagan Hawley, Louisa Duke, and Lauren Hickmon. These three young women have become near and dear to our hearts as we have shared the Zambian experience with them. This was the first time Meagan and Lauren had ever been away from home on Thanksgiving, but for all of us it was a memorable time.

We invited Robby Banda (lower photo--in front of our buffet) to enjoy his first American-style Thanksgiving with us. Robby is a widower who eats many meals at our table. His quick wit and ready laugh always add a special touch to our times together.

Roger and Mary Beth McCown (had been with us for a visit) returned to the US on Monday, but they left behind the decorations, along with the ingredients for sweet potato casserole and green bean casserole. Meagan and Louisa made pecan, apple, and pumpkin pies for the occasion. There was no turkey to be found in Livingstone or Lusaka stores, so we substituted Lauren's favorite, cornflake chicken. The chicken was extremely fresh, since our neighbor Mrs. Moono selected it and dressed it for us on Thursday afternoon. We also had dressing, mashed potatoes, salad, and rolls.

We had a bounty of food, something that we no longer take for granted in a land where many go hungry. Our dinner conversation was sprinkled with joyous laughter as we enjoyed each other's company. I told our gathering that we are friends who have become like family in many ways, so we can call ourselves "frimily." This produced a spontaneous chorus of the tune "We are frimily" and even more laughter.

Over dessert we each shared some of the things we are thankful for. Our blessings are many, and we can say with the Zambians: "Leza mubotu ciindi coonse. Ciindi coonse Leza Mubotu." God is good all the time. All the time, God is good.

Giving Thanks

This time of year I am flooded with memories of the five Thanksgiving feasts we celebrated 10,000 miles away in Zambia.  Each one was unique, each one was spent with a different group of friends, and each is a treasured memory.  To remind me again of the blessings God showered on us in a foreign land, I will re-post them this week.

As our first Thanksgiving in Zambia approached, I posted this on November 23, 2005:

 A few things I am thankful for:

In a land where people go hungry, we have plenty to eat.

In a land where many people are sick and dying, we are in good health (David is still having headaches from his bout with malaria, but we hope those will end soon)

I miss my children more than I can say, but I am thankful that others are ministering to them and caring for their needs.

In a land where many do not know about Jesus, I give thanks for the heritage of faith passed on to me through my parents.

In a land where education is available only to some, I am thankful for the opportunities I have had to go to school.

In a land far from my home, I give thanks for the many ways that the Brentwood Oaks Church of Christ family and our friends minister to us.

In a land where many have only the clothes on their backs, I give thanks for what I have to wear.

In a land where many are needy, I am thankful to be able to share what I have.

Happy Thanksgiving!

And a few days later I described our Thanksgiving spent with other missionaries in Lusaka:


I’ll be honest. As Thanksgiving approached, I dreaded the thought of our first holiday away from our children, our friends, and our former house in Austin. We had so many great memories of Thanksgivings in the past.

This year, however, God provided us with opportunities to make wonderful new memories in our new land. We scheduled a retreat for all the Americans associated with Namwianga Mission and met in Lusaka, the capital city. Brian and Sondra Davis drove down from Solwezi where they are beginning a new work. The rest of us (Sheri and Lois Sears, the Bruingtons, Roy and Kathi Merritt) drove up from Kalomo on Thursday. We stayed in three cottages at a missionary guest house run by the Evangelical Church of Zambia, so we had our own cooking facilities and even television! On Thursday we shopped for groceries and on Friday we cooked our almost authentic American Thanksgiving dinner. We ended up with two small turkeys (both delicious), dressing, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole (with homemade onion rings), jello salad, green salad, corn casserole, rolls, pecan pie, and lots of other yummy desserts. No nshima for Thanksgiving, thank you!

Besides feasting together we also had times for sharing views on missions and for devotionals, prayer sessions, and lots of singing. On Saturday we all went into the main shopping center in Lusaka and did more shopping, especially for Christmas. We had five little ones under nine in the group, so the Bruingtons took all the kids for go-cart rides and a movie. David and I also managed to see the new Zorro movie that afternoon. Ah, civilization again, if only for a few days!

We ended our retreat with a special Sunday morning service together and then headed back to Namwianga rested, refreshed, and ready to take on the challenges that are waiting for us.

I did miss our children terribly. Sara went to Arkansas to be with David’s parents for the weekend. Our wonderful Brentwood Oaks church family made sure John was taken care of. God provided for our needs, and we made new memories. We are blessed.



GBCC Graduate Ministers in Northern Zambia


One of the first sponsored students I worked with at George Benson Christian College was Steward Chiradza.  He was quiet and reserved in class, but his grades were always high and his work was always excellent.  

            Steward finished his classes in 2008 and volunteered for Northreach, a program that places GBCC graduates in areas of Zambia where the church is weak. He was sent alone to Nakonde, a border town with all of the challenges and turmoil associated with border towns.  He did a very effective work with the congregation there before being posted to Luwingu in northern Zambia. 

            Recently Steward contacted me by e-mail.   He teaches high school English and religious education at Luwingu High School.  He is married and has twin daughters.  Steward works with a local congregation in preaching, teaching, and evangelism.  Under his leadership, the congregation now has 40 members and is in the process of building a brick building to replace the thatch enclosure they meet in now.

            Steward says that GBCC prepared him for his roles of teacher and evangelist by giving him courage, Bible knowledge, and leadership training. He is another success story who demonstrates the effectiveness of preparing self-supporting church planters.    

            Steward would not be teaching and serving today without the US Sponsorship program.  Both of his parents had died, and without sponsorship Steward could not have attended George Benson Christian College.   Many other orphans and needy students are waiting right now to hear whether or not they will have a place at Namwianga when the new school year begins in January.  If you would like to make a difference in someone's life, consider sponsoring a student or making a one-time donation to the sponsorship program.  

Sponsorship payments may be made by check, automatic debit, debit/credit card, or PayPal.  Checks should be made payable to Zambia Mission Fund and mailed to Zambia Mission Fund, Box 3393, Abilene, TX  79604.  PayPal or credit/debit card payments may be made on the Zambia Mission website:  www.zambiamission.org .  Click on Donate and be sure to specify that your donation is for student sponsorship.  If you have questions, please contact me at dlgregersen@mac.com.

Saturday, October 06, 2012

Student Teachers Accomplish Great Things


They faced crowded classrooms, worked long hours, and lived in basic accommodations with few conveniences.  They were asked to coach teams, sponsor clubs, and take on extra duties.  And they also jumped into the local congregations and became leaders.  These were the challenges faced by student teachers who fanned out from George Benson Christian College in May to do their Student Teaching Practice, or STP as it is called.   For three months, over 150 student teachers made a difference for students, schools, and churches all over Zambia. 

One student teacher walked 12 kilometers in order to attend the nearest congregation. She studied with two college students who were also student teaching, and they were baptized.

Another found that the local congregation had all but disbanded.  He and others who were doing their student teaching helped to reconcile the broken relationships and started the congregation meeting again.  They also formed two new singing groups. 

A student teacher was selected to lead a Scripture Club.  The club led two outreaches that resulted in five baptisms. 

One student teacher writes:  “I want to tell you that my experience as a student teacher was very wonderful!  I enjoyed every bit of it because it made me feel good . . . to know that I can shape another person’s future as a role model—because that is what being a teacher is about.”

On student taught at Kalomo High School where there is congregation composed entirely of high school students.  He writes:  “I congregated with the pupils from this school who did not have an (older) person to guide them in certain things.  It was an inspiration to the pupils having someone from a Christian college.  We started a singing group . . .    We also evangelized to the people within our vicinity. “

Another student teacher was appointed to coordinate the Christian Movement Choir in his school and led them on three outreaches.  He also coached the soccer team and helped them win first place in two tournaments. 

These teachers in training are already fulfilling the purpose of  George Benson Christian College:  to prepare self-supporting evangelists who will spread the gospel in the communities where they teach.  

Many students cannot attend college without sponsorship.  The new school year starts in January.  Won’t you consider investing in the future of Zambia by sponsoring a college student?  Just $150 per month provides tuition, boarding, and fees to send a student to college.  When that student graduates, he or she will be ready to serve a community, a congregation, and the country of Zambia.  For more information, see the Zambia Mission website or contact Linda Gregersen at dlgregersen@mac.com.  

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Zambia Medical Mission Report for 2012

Ellie Hamby sent out this report about the 2012 Zambia Medical Mission.  Once again, God did amazing things through the volunteers who served.

Our 18th Zambia Medical Mission has come to a close and with six days of clinics we saw a record breaking 20,220 people. They came in droves by walking, crawling, being carried on someone’s back, bicycles, oxcarts, donkey carts and some in the back of large trucks. The needs are tremendous as the people we have ministered to have little access to medical care. For many it was the first time to be treated by a doctor. The pharmacy was extremely busy with the over 6000 prescriptions filled each day. On the first day at the Kasukwe Clinic we saw 3925 patients which was a record in the number of patients we have ever seen in one day. The team was exhausted by the time the day was over. We did have a few people out with stomach problems, but all have recovered and doing fine. Each day we either set records or were very close. It has been a challenge to the team, but we have an excellent group of workers, both Zambian and American, and they worked diligently to serve the vulnerable people of Southern Zambia. Everywhere we went the medical team was presented with gifts; which included 3 cows, 1 goat, and 10 chickens. Two of our truck drivers sold a cow and presented us with the funds to purchase food for the medical team. It is great to see every single person on the team whether they were a truck driver, kitchen worker, or a medical person working together to accomplish the one goal of sharing the love of Jesus with those in such need. 

We were also able to send trucks back to Namwianga Zonal Health Center carrying patients for Cataract Surgery. Dr. Moonze, a Zambian Ophthalmologist, performed 83 surgeries in four days. In order to do this he had to operate some nights until 2:00 am. It is hard to put into words the joy that these people express in having their sight restored.

Praise God we had 70 baptisms and we know many other souls were touched and the church will grow and be strengthened. A big thanks to all who helped make Zambia Medical Mission 2012 a huge success.

In His Service,

Ellie Hamby
Zambia Medical Mission

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Zambia Medical Mission

Lots of photos of the first day of clinics at Njabalombe.  Check it out at https://www.facebook.com/ZambiaMission

Monday, July 09, 2012

Zambia Medical Mission

Zambia Medical Mission has begun at Namwianga Mission.  The team of Americans arrived on Saturday.  K. B. Massingill posted this report:

O


ur team enjoyed worship this morning, and came back to the Hamby Guest House for lunch.  We had a lengthy meeting following lunch to walk through a thousand details that we all need to be aware of.

Our greatest hitch at the moment, is that due to a change at the Nursing Counsel all of our nurses must report to Lusaka (six hours away) for an interview before they can practice.  This means that a few of our nurses will get up VERY early tomorrow travel to Lusaka, be a part of an interview, and then make the eight hour trip back to our clinic site and arrive after dark.  It is difficult, but our only choice.  In the years past, nurses who had previously sat for the interview did not have to do it again every year, but a complete turn-over of personnel at the Nursing Counsel means changes in protocol.

You can see photos on facebook.com/zambiamission of our group practicing putting up King Canopies.  It is essential that we be able to do it quickly and effectively in order to ensure that we are able to move quickly when the time comes to start our clinics.

The weather last night was cold, but characteristically hot today in the sun.

We will be getting up early tomorrow to travel to our clinic site.

Keep us in your prayers.


You can read more and listen to more updates at www.zambiamedicalmission.com.  Pictures are posted at www.Facebook.com/zambiamission

Friday, July 06, 2012

Two Worlds - Another Reminder


The top photo shows my two youngest grandsons Knox and Thaine.  Michele and Mark Broadway are in the lower photo.  They are now at Namwianga and are shown here holding Lizzy and Dillon, two orphan babies at The Haven.

These photos remind me of the two different worlds I have lived in, and the joys of both.  Here is a re-post of a two-world experience from 2010.

Thursday, July 05, 2012

Family Photo - 2012

Left to right:  Leah, Jacob, John, and Thaine Gregersen, Nana and PawPaw, Sara, Knox, and David Anderson
We gathered in College Station, Texas, this weekend to welcome baby Knox into the family.  Here is the latest news on our family.

Leah and John have two sons:  Jacob, age 2 years, and Thaine, age 4 months.  They have been living in Austin but will be moving to Brady, Texas, in late summer.  John works for Border States Electric and Leah will be teaching Family and Consumer Science at Brady High School. Sara and David live in College Station where Sara is a technology specialist for the Bryan ISD and David works for Suddenlink.

Friday, June 29, 2012

New Addition to Our Family

 Knox David Anderson was born at 2:03 this afternoon (June 28).  He weighed 7 pounds 13 ounces and is 21 1/2 inches long.  Our daughter Sara and her husband David are ecstatic, and all of us are in awe of this little miracle.

Knox was blessed to be born in College Station, Texas, in a modern hospital with the equipment and personnel to ensure a healthy beginning.  It was a far cry from one of our early experiences in Zambia.  Read about David's close call with a birthing mother here.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Gifts

I really wanted to be in Zambia this June!  We had made plans to make the trip with two couples from our congregation and were looking forward to being at Namwianga and also doing some touristy things with them.  Then one couple found out their daughter was expecting a baby in late June. . . and we found out our daughter was expecting a baby in late June, and that ended our plans for a trip this year.  Of course we are thrilled about having more grandchildren and look forward to spending the rest of the summer loving on them.  

So now I am planning Namwianga events via e-mail and phone calls.  One of those events is the sponsorship reception.  There will be over 100 Americans at Namwianga in July for the annual Zambia Medical Mission.  Many of them sponsor students at the high school and college, so there is an afternoon reception planned for the sponsors to meet and interact with their sponsored students.  

Most sponsors want to give a gift at this reception, so Rajiv and I came up with a list of suggested gifts that sponsors can present to their students.  I thought you might be interested in what Zambian students like to receive.

Here's the list.

  1. NIV Bible (Whenever I have offered gifts to students, this is the first thing to be selected!)  
  2. T-shirt - Any color or logo is fine (You can often get freebies left over from an event) 
  3. ball cap  for guys - gimme caps are great
  4. Tote bag (for carrying books)
  5. Socks, especially for high school students.  The boys have to wear gray dress socks with their uniforms, and they can also use other kinds of socks.  Girls wear white knee socks with their  uniforms, but they also like other kinds of socks (consider colorful, fun patterns or solid color knee socks).  College guys can use dress or athletic socks.  
  6. For high schoolers, scientific calculators are a BIG help.  They need to have sine, cosine, and tangent functions, but do not need to be graphing calculators.  
  7. Zipper pencil pouch and ink pens
  8. Composition notebooks  
  9. Sheet set for twin bed
  10. Bath towel and washcloth
  11. Sunglasses  
We are also offering to purchase pre-paid phone cards ($5.00) or blankets ($20.00) in Zambia for sponsors to give so that they do not have to make extra room in their luggage.  

Students love to get school supplies.  

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Decision Overload

Deciding on paint colors was a daunting challenge for me


A missionary family from Zambia recently moved back to the US.  I got an e-mail from the wife saying that they had bought a house and were having new paint, carpet, and flooring installed.  I groaned inwardly, knowing that the process of selecting those items had likely been a nightmare.  Sure enough, when I talked to her later, she confided that it had been very difficult. 

            I knew because I have been through it.  In fact, I still struggle with what I call “Decision Overload.”   Here’s why.  When we built our house in Zambia, the man in charge of construction told me to go into Kalomo and pick out the color of paint I wanted on the walls.  So I trekked into ChiChi Hardware and asked for paint samples.  I was given a faded, worn-out card featuring a grand total of five colors:  kelly green, royal blue, white, black, and “honeysuckle” which looked like a khaki tan.  I chose the honeysuckle—and it turned out to be a light golden yellow that I loved. 

            Choosing something like toothpaste was equally simple.  You could buy Colgate in a small tube or a large tube.  That’s it.  Soda?  Coke, Fanta Orange, Fanta Grape, or Sprite.   Deciding was easy.  And for many other items, the choice was to buy the one brand featured at the store or do without because there was no other choice. 

            Now imagine what happened when we returned to the US and I went to Lowe’s to pick out the paint for the house we were moving into.  Not five choices but FIVE HUNDRED choices gleamed at me in the Valspar display.  The Eddie Bauer display nearby offered another hundred or so choices.  I didn’t even venture down the aisle to the Olympic rack. 

I am embarrassed to admit that I drove the 16 miles one way to the nearest Lowe’s THREE DAYS in a row to get those little sample cans to try out various colors.  Finally David insisted that we make a decision and get the paint.  Halfway there I panicked and told him to turn the car around and go back.  “I can’t do it!  I can’t choose from all those colors!”  I told him. 

            He patiently insisted that we could and we must choose the colors and get the painting done.  And I did choose a color  (I tried to match my honeysuckle walls in Zambia) and panicked as it went on the walls and wished I had chosen white.   (Of course white is not an easy choice either, since there are at least 20 different shades of white to choose from.)

            So when you deal with a returning missionary, be patient.  Dinner at the Golden Corral buffet is not the best idea during the first few weeks.  Even a trip to Walmart can overwhelm a newbie who needs a tube of toothpaste.   Decision Overload takes time to overcome. 

            We’ve been back in the US for two years now.  The top photo shows the collection of sample cans from my latest kitchen-painting project.  The good news is that I ended up with a great color that I love—and no meltdowns this time. 
My new kitchen colors
              

Saturday, June 09, 2012

Homesick

It has been a year since my last trip to Africa, and I am homesick.  I long to hear the incomparable harmony of African singing, to be bathed in the glow of an African sunset, to laugh heartily with dear Zambian friends, and to walk once again on the dusty paths of Namwianga.

I am not alone in my homesickness.  All of us who have an Africa-shaped hole in our hearts know this deep longing.  Vic Guhrs wrote a delightful book called The Trouble with Africa:  Stories from a Safari Camp.  German by birth, Vic married the daughter of Norman Carr, a well-known safari guide.  Vic and his wife spent many years running a safari camp in northern Zambia.  Eventually Vic migrated to the US to continue his profession as a wildlife artist.  His book chronicles the hair-raising and hilarious adventures he had in Africa.  In the epilogue, Vic writes about his return to Zambia:

And so I cam back.  Because the simple fact is that I'm in Africa's spell.  Africa, of course, doesn't care.  Like a beautiful but dangerous woman who turns a cold shoulder to my attentions, her indifference is an added incentive, goading me.  Her aloofness only adds to my eagerness to follow her to the edge of the whirlpool. 


I know that any day I may be stomped by a marauding elephant, wiped out by an unlicensed car in Lusaka's chaotic traffic, or hit by a bullet from a robber's gun.  I may incur the displeasure of a zealous bureaucrat who can change the course of my future with the stroke of his pen.  


I have had malaria more times than I can remember.  I have seen friends die from it.  I've seen others die from recklessness, from getting too close to an elephant, or from that senseless random violence that seems part of the African landscape.  


I have also experienced more joy here than the human heart has any right to expect.  The joy of being awake and alive and out on a vast open plain when the sun's first light floods over the horizon.  The joy of hearing the cry of the soaring fish eagle, its voice like liquid honey.  The beauty of the blood-red sunsets that seem to hint at some great truth just beyond our grasp.  Of watching a herd of elephants crossing the Luangwa River at dust and shuffling slowly up the bank to mingle with the dark trees, speechless at how something so big can be so ghostlike, so ethereal and so delicate.  


I have been awestruck by the raw fury of an African thunderstorm.


And by the African people who, with their stoical acceptance of life's hardships, can teach us all some basic truths about life.  


The trouble with Africa is that once it is in your blood, like malaria, it is almost impossible to get rid of, and I know that I can never leave.  I feel like a prisoner.  A prisoner of freedom.  p. 235
.
Guhrs, Vic.  The Trouble with Africa:  Stories from a Safari Camp.  Johannesburg, South Africa:  Penguin Books, 2004.     Order it here.

Thursday, June 07, 2012

It's Been SOOOO Long - A Personal Update

Two different people last week told me that they still look at my blog occasionally to see if I've written anything.  That motivated me to at least see how long it's been since I posted, and I'm embarrassed to see that my last post was April 19.

I don't have much Zambia news to write about, but here is a personal update.  David and I bought a house three miles outside of Mount Vernon on a 2-acre lot with hills and trees.  We moved in on Memorial Day weekend--just five days after I finished the school year.  We did a lot of painting and are slowly unpacking and getting settled.  We love being out in the country and have enjoyed having our morning coffee on the back deck as we listen to the birds and watch the deer in the woods behind the house.

As I mentioned, I finished my school year.  I taught second grade in Carthage, about 30 miles away.  It was a wonderful year for me professionally.  Most of my students came from non-English speaking families, so there were many challenges, but they made tremendous progress.  The families were extremely supportive, my co-workers were fantastic, and my principal supportive and inspiring.  I'm already looking forward to next year.

Our second grandson Thaine Gregersen was born to John and Leah in February.  He is named after my father.  He is a sweet little guy, and I was thrilled to spend a week at the end of May in Austin taking care of him and big brother Jacob while Leah returned to her job.

Daughter Sara is expecting grandson number three any day now!  I have my bags packed ready to head for College Station, Texas, as soon as we hear that Baby Knox has arrived.

The birth of a new grandbaby is keeping us at home this summer, but we are already looking forward to June, 2013, when we plan to make a trip back to Zambia.  In the meantime, I am keeping busy with the sponsorship program and occasionally talking to our Zambian friends online or by phone.

Summer is always a busy time at Namwianga as the medical team comes for Zambia Medical Mission.  I'll keep you updated as I get news.


Thursday, April 19, 2012

Missionary Teacher


Dimuna Habeenzu was in the very first class I taught at George Benson Christian College in September, 2005. He recently visited Roy Merritt, and Roy sent out this report:

Dimuna Habeenzu has worked as a self-supporting missionary in North Western province for almost four and a half years.
He teaches school at Kabulamema—which means “There is no water” in the local Luvale language.
No water? The place sprawls a hill overlooking lush vegetation along the wide Kabompo River.
Dimuna and his college friend Joseph Moono have started two new congregations in North Western province, Kawanda and Manyinga. They revived a congregation in Kabompo.
“What is it like, Tongas preaching among Luvales?” I asked. “Are you welcome? Respected? Do you have problems communicating?”

“Luvales always welcome us Tongas,” Dimuna chuckled. “After all, we are cousins.”