Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Some Final Pictures

So here are some pictures of our time in Zambia at the base, and also pictures of our trip to Victoria Falls (bungee jumping pics included!) and of our campout. But most of our pictures while at the base are on Zach's camera which we can't get to transfer to the computer now, so you will have to wait until we get home.
Here's the link:

Saturday, May 3, 2008

From Malaria to Bungee Jumping

As I write this, I'm sitting in a hostel in Livingston, Zambia ( home of Victoria Falls). Here we are doing a little sight seeing as we approach our final week in Africa. Apart from the malaria deal, our past few weeks have been wonderful. And to be honest, the week of malaria wasn't that bad. My body was definitely weakened in the time, but spiritually, the Lord really strengthened me and poured into me in my week of so much down time. Without a doubt, all your prayers played a huge part in that, so I thank you very much. I really loved continuing to learn from the head missionary couple at the Farm and also to see more of what God is doing in the surrounding villages. Although Satan still has many strongholds over a large population of the people, God is busy breaking them down. One of my favorite things at the Farm was to walk in the mornings or evening to the nearby school FCE started and pray over the kids and their families. It felt as if God was appointing me in that time to fight for Him in their lives. He gave me a real believing and confident Spirit when I would pray there.
Before our last week at the Farm, we got to go camping over the weekend with a group of 11 young missionaries. We stayed on a lake by a small national park and had a lot of fun. One evening, I literally had to throw sticks at these monkeys trying to steal our food. (Michael, I really wish you could have been there.) After a busy and good last week of working, we left on a bus last Thursday. We were partly excited to set out for our last stretch of travelling and especially to see the kids at Peace House in Tanzania, but also we were sad to leave. We both grew to love where we were and we really made some great friends there.
Yesterday, we got to see Victoria Falls! As with so many things we have seen in Africa, it was indescribable. I felt like a 8 yr. old at the biggest water park in the world. At one point, we took our shirts off and ran across the bride over the falls. We might as well been in a rainstorm with all the mist, and we came back absolutely drenched. It was fun to thing about the Falls being a tiny hint of the power and majesty of the Lord. I found a really cool verse as we sat by the edge of the rushing water in the evening. It is Psalm 29:3-4 and says "The voice of the Lord is upon the waters; the God of glory thunders, The Lord is over many waters. The voice of the Lord is powerful, the Voice of the Lord is majestic." This verse took on a lot of life sitting by Victoria Falls. Last thing: We got to go bungee jumping off the bridge at the Falls, and it was absolutely insane. We have some awesome pictures that I can't wait to try and upload once we get to Tanzania in a couple days.
Love you all and praying for lots of you often. I know all of you have stuff going on in your lives, and so it really means a lot to me that you take time to stay involved with what's going on with us over here. Just remember, finals shminals.
Still beardless Andrew( still hopeful) and Freakin Ape Boy Zach

Friday, April 18, 2008

Diahrrea and a South African barbeque

The past few weeks here have gone by so fast its crazy. We feel very settled in here and have really been enjoying it lately. And now we only have a few weeks left, which is a little sad, but we are making the most out of them. So let me quickly explain why the word diahrrea is in the title. Last week, I woke up in the night with an intense rumbling in my stomach and though "Oh, no!" I jumped up, and ran to the bathroom to find that my boxers had a little different color to them. It was gross! But of course I kept that part to myself, until the next morning, when I woke up to hear that Zach had his own story tell. He had a far worse night than my previous one, spending half the night on the toilet. He also changed changed the color of his boxers, and he didn't even make it to the toilet one time. Thank goodness it was in the middle of the night! Compared to others, we have been so healthy, but still, our stomachs remain a little funky here. Sorry for that gross story. I'll tell a less gross one now. Also last week, Zach and I shared a similar experience. They have these ants here called red ants that are extremely vicious and actually kill small animals. They sting kind of like fire ants. We were working in the bush, cutting down a bunch of tall grass for our hut, and were both attacked by these crazy ants. In about a minute, Zach ran off and my pants were down and my shirt off trying to get rid of these things. It was really funny, and I was definitely thankful to be in the middle of nowhere!
The way ministry is done in this organization has been such a neat thing to see, and I have really been learning a lot from it. Workers come in every day from the surrounding villages and we start the morning with a discipleship time and then everyone splits into different jobs. We work hard from about 8 to 4:30 doing random projects. We almost finished our hut, but now we will be doing some other stuff. Many of the worker's lives have been transformed through their discipliship/working at the base. We also have been able to visit some of the villages and that has been fun. Last week, we rode bicyles about an hour through really thick bush and it was so fun and a beautiful ride. I felt very adventurous! One of the biggest blessings here though had been the large amount of time we get just to be quiet and enjoy being with the Lord. The evenings are usually wide open, and I have really grown to love taking walks in that time to be alone with the Lord.
In the next couple of weeks, we are going to go camping for a weekend, and then we are going to get to go see Victoria Falls before we fly back to Tanzania. I am very excited about both of those things. Please continue to pray for us, for personal growth, time with villagers and workers, time with the missionaries we are with, and for safe travels in the next couple of weeks. Love you all and hope to see a lot of you in just a few weeks. For all those in school, I'm sorry and hope finals go well. I love not studying! I pray for all of you, that you are seeking and trusting the Lord, and that He is blessing each one of you.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Wer'e Still Alive!

So, it if kind of difficult to blog when you are living without eletricity, and using a computer means travelling 15 miles into town to an internet cafe. After a very long and sweet train ride, we made it into Zambia about 2 weeks ago. We stayed at one base in Kalungu for a week, and now we are at the other base in Zambia in Masaaiti. We really enjoyed the base at Kalungu, and felt like a part of the small family there consisting of South Africans and Zambians. It was really funny because all the little kids there called us Uncle Zach and Uncle Andrew. They were the cutest kids and always wanted us to play with them. Zach and I are actually living now at a place they call "The Farm." It is a building site about 5 miles from the actual base, and there are only 20 people there. We get to help in the building process of the new training centre. So far, we have built some shelves in a store room, and tomorrow we get to start building a grass hut where lunch will be cooked. The main guy has given us a lot of responsibility here in building things on our own ( I don't know what he is thinking.) I have a whole lot of things I really want to share, but I just am not able to. I'll just share a few important things. The transition to the base here in Zambia has been challenging for the two of us. I felt like I hit a wall and I lost focus and was kind of ready to go home. But at the same time, I thought this would happen and trusted God would work in me in the midst of being challenged. I trust He really wants me here now and has much work left to do in me and also through me. We have had great fellowship here, especially with some really fun South African guys our age. Thanks so much for your continued prayers, and I'm so sorry I can't communicate that much. But we will have plenty of adventures to share when we get back! God continues to reveal His deep love and grace to me, and I have had to rest in Him more lately as I have been challenged. Hope He is moving in each of your lives now as He is doing here. Love,

Friday, March 14, 2008

On to Zambia!

So, tonight is our last night in Arusha.  The next few days should be quite an adventure for us.  Tomorrow we are traveling 9 hours on a bus to Dar Es Salaam where we are basically on our own for 3 days.  You can be praying for our safety there if you want.  Then, next Tuesday, we are headed to Zambia on a train! The train ride is a whole day and we get to go through some national parks, so I'm real excited about it.  It was definitely sad saying bye to kids this evening, even though we will see them again in 2 months for a couple of days before we head back home.  Our time with them seemed to go by so fast, and I feel like there is so much more I wanted to say to some of them.  But its so fun to know that believers from around the world, and have hope that even though your chance is so tiny of seeing them again on Earth, you will be with them for eternity in Heaven.  It's a pretty sweet deal!  I hope that Spring break has been awesome.  I'd love to get some updates from some of you on what you did and how it was.  Love,

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Kili Pictures

Here are some pictures from our climb and also a few of kids.

The Day after Kilimanjaro

Wow!! I probably said that word or a similar word once every 10 minutes for the past week as we made our way to the peak of Mt. Kilimanjaro. It was absolutely incredible and I'm so thankful we got to do it. I'd love to wait and share details about it in person when I get back, so for now, I'll just share a couple of things. One of the coolest parts about climbing Kili was that all the scenery was so unique and beautiful and it was so diverse. We started out in the very thick, deep green and lush rain forest, then walked through the moorland, where every tree and bush was covered in this lime green moss. Then, we started to get into the alpine desert where it seemed real gloomy and at times we felt like we were in the Lord of the Rings. And if you don't know, Lord of the Rings is both of our favorite movies, so we were freaking out. I was so expecting some orks to pop out from behind the rocks, and I had my ski pole out ready to fight. Also, there were two guys on the trail from Bovaria with voices excactly like Mary and Pippen, making the scene seem even more real. We hiked for four solid days, and then we peaked on the fifth morning. We woke up at midnight to tea and biscuits, and then put on every clothing item we packed because it was absolutely freezing and the wind was screaming. With only our headlamps giving light, we made the pretty steep climb to the peak in a little over 5 hours. At some points the wind would make you stumble back, and it was so crazy not being able to see at all where you were going. You had to completely trust the guide and completely focus directly in front of your feet. It was pretty sad, because we saw a bunch of people give up and start heading back down. I think I quoted every verse I have ever memorized and sang a line from over fifty Christian songs to find strenth and stay encouraged. You only have a few minutes at the very top because the air is so thin, and we kind of tried to stall because the sun was just starting to come up and we really wanted to watch it. It ended up being, without a doubt, the most picturesque and beatiful sight I've ever seen. It was like we were standing on a blanket of clouds, a glacier on one side and steep cliff on the other, and the combination and brightness of the colors of the sunrise was unreal. It was real amazing on the way down because we could see everything, and we could see absolutely nothing on the way up. (Reflection time- Sometimes we have to blindly follow and trust the Lord wherever He leads us, knowing that He knows what's best for us and that future glory lies at the end of the road) We made it down the whole mountain on the same day we peaked. We were hauling down, and by the end, my legs and knees hurt the worst they have ever hurt in my life. So that's even more than I was planning on sharing about the climb, but its so hard to keep it real short. And I still need to share just a few low points of the hike. We both got bad diahrreah one night, which absolutely sucks without a toilet seat and when its really cold. Also, we forgot toilet paper, so we were pocketing our napkins from dinner to use. Also, nights were fairly miserable because we were freezing and did not have great sleeping bags. And because we had to drink so much water in the day, we had to get out of our tents at least twice a night in the freezing cold (0 to 30 degrees) to pee. That was no fun. I think that's it for Kili. It was an amazing adventure and we were defintely blown away by God's glory through His creation. Zach and I also got to have real good conversations, and really share how God is teaching us both so much about His grace. It's so awesome how the first things you hear about when you accept Christ, you continue to be taught and grow in the rest of your life. I'm in awe of the richness of the characteristics of God and so excited knowing I'm no where close to fully realizing the "incredible wealth of His grace and kindness".

I hope you all have a wonderful spring break. If you still don't have anything to do, you are welcome here. We are headed to Zambia on Saturday. Love you all and am praying for a great and relaxing week for you.