Friday, June 25, 2010

My Internet Finally Works!

Look again at the blog I posted this afternoon to see the pictures. They wouldn't load until now. Gotta love Africa Internet!

My husband's coming home tomorrow! (He's been gone all week on a trip to South Africa to see Germany/Ghana play in the World Cup...maybe he'll give us recap?)

Tired Mama

I live here:

Surely one of the most beautiful views in the world.

I have an unbelievable husband:

Not to mention, two beautiful children, a fulfilling ministry, and loads of amazing friends.

And yesterday…I wanted to leave it all and go sit poolside somewhere, with a magazine and a Big Mac (don’t judge).

I didn’t want to teach Sunda to count. I didn’t want to pick up smashed cookies from the carpet. And I didn’t want to bounce Kya until she fell asleep. I wanted to say, “Beam Me Up, Scotty!” and be gone. For a few hours, at least.

Sleep deprivation will make you think crazy things.

And to top it all off, when I got the kids to bed and looked forward to a long, hot shower, there was no hot water. I had waited too long. The fire had gone out and the water was cold. Blah.

This morning, I determined that I would disappear for a few minutes. I changed, dressed, and fed Kya and then strapped her into her chair with a toy. I helped Sunda dress, got her some juice, and put a cartoon on. And then I closed the bathroom door and took a scalding shower and ignored the fact that Kya was fussing and Sunda was yelling for me.

Sometimes you just have to do that.

That shower made me feel like I can put in another 5 months without complaint. It’s the little stuff.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Beautiful Baby

If you haven't done it yet, you should check out Overland's website. I just posted a staff blog today about our trip to the village last week.

Think her eyes will stay blue?

Monday, June 7, 2010


(While in the shower together)

Sunda: Mommy, what's that lumpty-dumpty part?"
Me: Excuse me?
Sunda: This part (grabbing my upper thigh)...why is it bumpy?
Me: I wish I knew, Sunda. Ask your baby sister.


(While doing school in the house)

Sunda: Mommy, Auntie Fridah and me are the same color, but we don't look the same.
Me: That's true, Sunda.
Sunda: Me and Auntie are black and you are white.
(I put on a sad face)
Sunda: Mommy, don't worry. It's because when I came out of my mommy's belly, I went outside right away. You came out of your mommy's belly and stayed inside too much.


Sunda is obsessed with all things marriage and weddings. I think maybe she watches too many princess movies. She insists that she's "married" to her friend Keiro, but she informed me that they decided not to kiss at their wedding because that's only for Mommys and Daddys. (We had a long talk about this.) However, she must be frustrated with this decision because the other day they were watching a cartoon together, and the cartoon cats kissed.

Sunda (pointing at Keiro): See! The kitty cats kissed, but YOU won't kiss ME.


Every morning, we have a time of worship from 8:30-9am. Often we take time to pray for each other in the morning. Sunda loves to pray for people.

Her prayer for me this morning:
"Jesus, Help Mommy to have energy and to feel good, and help Kya's teeth to come in well." (SO perceptive.)

and then,
"Mommy, will you pray for me, that I won't be afraid of any giants or snakes?"

She then proceeded to pray for our friend Jamie, who's pregnant. Jamie told me that she prayed this:

"Lord, Please bless this baby and help her to come out soon. Sort her out and make her come out nice and clean."


There are a million more hilarious things that she says every day, mainly based on the fact that she doesn't miss a trick. She catches everything anyone says and often turns it around so that we are REALLY careful about what we say in front of her!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

And God said...

"Let there be LIGHT!"

Since the Overland Mission's base began back in 2004, we have functioned on generator power. The generator was turned on from 9-12 in the morning and from 6-10:30 at night. We couldn't use things like hair dryers, washing machines, or clothes dryers because they drew too much power. We had to do computer work in the evening because the internet only worked when the generator was on. We always went to bed at 10:30 because that's when everything shut down. The generator was good, but electricity would be better.

We have been in the process of contracting "Zesco", the electric company in Zambia, for 3 years. For over a two years now roads have been cleared, holes have been dug, and deposits have been paid. YESTERDAY it bore fruit. It was a momentous occasion when at lunchtime the generator shuddered to a stop and the lights flickered back on with magnificent silence! We have electricity! Bring on the lights in the middle of the night, the TV, the hair straightener, and the washing machine! Bring on comfort! Bring on a Western lifestyle!


As much as we are thrilled to have electricity, there's a part of me that mourns the technology. It was so nice to read a book at night with a headlamp, instead of watch TV. It seemed so simple to be forced to do something outside the office in the afternoon. I'm used to planning my life around the generator times. And I'm used to walking around with wrung out, handwashed clothes and messy hair. I kinda like it.

But I really like being able to turn on the light in the middle of the night to change Kya's diaper. I REALLY like that. I suppose I can get used to everything else.

Overland director, Sharon Smethurst, sent out the following update last night, and I thought it was beautifully put. It's true that for now and forevermore, when I go looking for a lightswitch, it will be there. (Until the power goes off due to loadshedding, which happens up to 3X a week... Maybe I won't put my headlamp away after all.)


Every people group has amazingly rich qualities and traditions that capture our imaginations when read in books or seen in history and national geographic channels. If I could single out one of those captivating qualities in the African nations it would be the simplicity of their many languages. Not in terms of grammar or eloquence but their ability to express logic derived from the simplest things found all around us. E.g. In trying to resolve a conflict you might hear "When two elephants fight it's only the grass that suffers", or, when an NGO worker concluded her report of the need for electricity in the many villages she'd been operating in she said "so at night, when the woman went to look for the light switch, it wasn't there" (this picture made more beautiful when you understand that she was talking of villages with huts made of mud and grass roofs). I can never get tired of listening to the African speech. So it is in that spirit that I want to make a very, very momentous announcement for the R14 Base. After 5 years of operating under the lights of costly and limiting generators we are pleased to say "that tonight, when we go to look for a light switch, it WILL BE PRESENT". We are now connected to power lines and have 24 hour electricity. The God of our forefathers is indeed AWESOME! Thank you for your support, love and faith through all the many different phases of Overland!

Sharon Smethurst


This short article is something I wrote and posted on our ministry website: If you haven't checked it out, you should! There's tons of blogs and articles posted weekly by Overland missionaries on the field, and the website gives great information about the ministry in general. Let me know what you think!


As missionaries, we talk a lot about sustainability. In fact, we talk about it so much that it occasionally seems an elusive concept. What does it mean? How do we get it? To what extent do we expect it to function?

The definition of sustainability is simply this: Having the capacity to endure.

As Christians, we talk a lot about endurance. Running the good race. Enduring to the end. Fighting the good fight of faith. Enduring to see the finish. We know that we have to position ourselves before the Lord and before the Body of Christ in a way that ensures that twenty years from now we will still be declaring our faith with unabashed abandon.

At Overland, we know that we must position our ministry in the same way. The projects launched today should be positioned so that they can endure, thereby truly making a difference for the people they serve.

Sustainability could also be defined as development. Development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs (

The LIFE Project wants to meet needs in the village. But we want to do it in a way that empowers the future generations to continue the work instead of binding them to a system. Sustainability is why we use recycled objects as toys and supplies for our schools. It’s why we ask for donations for consumable supplies. It’s why we require a small tuition from every child attending the preschools. Sustainability is why we are praying for an individual/church sponsor for every village. A small contribution toward each school on a monthly basis would allow the village schools to continue towards sustainability, and towards education, for years to come.

On a totally unrelated note, this is the "lunar rainbow" at Victoria Falls. It happens once a month during a full moon, at which time you can see a rainbow in the dark at Victoria Falls. Beautiful!