Thursday, 4 September 2014

Answered prayers- tons of them!!

It has been far too long since I have updated my blog, but I finally have a moment to rest so I thought I'd dedicate it to this! So much has gone on since I last wrote, and it would be pretty boring to go back and comment on everything, so I'll just highlight the major stuff as I get back into the blogging swing of things!

The most major piece of news is that we MOVED! It became very clear to us that the house we were waiting for was going to take at least another year to be completed- and to prevent a complete and total meltdown we decided to start looking for something new. It is VERY difficult to find accommodation here, as it's an area that is still developing- so if a house is vacant it stays that way only for a night or two!

In God's providence, Sydney was called to be the speaker at a youth camp in Samfya, which is about 4 hours or so from Mpika. We took the drive up there with our deacon and his wife, who were attending a separate couples conference in the same town. The camp went very well, it was a “pilot” camp and there were about 60 or so kids there from all different denominations, and the word was well received. (Not to mention it was at the beach :) ) As we were driving home and dropping of our deacon, we passed a very large house on his street and noticed there were no curtains in the windows- a signal that a home is vacant. Again providentially, our deacon is an old friend of the landlord to the house, so he said he'd call for us that very day.

The next morning, he called and she confirmed it was vacant but she had already told someone they could go look at it. We decided to go and peek in the windows to see the inside, and from what we could see we loved it. That evening, we met the agent there, but at the same time the other lady came to also view the inside. She, however, wanted them to lower the (already low) price, so favor was given to us!

The house needs a lot of work, as the previous tenants completely trashed/vandalized the place- but its nothing we can't handle with some patience. Every single tap on the sinks and tubs needs to be replaced (we actually have a brick keeping one of then=m off or else it just pours out water.) They are expensive, so we are pacing ourselves. The landlord gave us about 100 bucks to start doing repairs, but there’s about 1,000 dollars worth of work to be done, so it will be slow going, to say the least. Boxes are slowly being unpacked (after YEARS) and we are making purchases of door handles, taps, toilet seats etc one at a time. It's frustrating to want shelves in the pantry and a dining room table and paint on the walls and tile on the floors and want it NOW, but since we can only swing about one purchase a month- we are still being taught that lovely lesson of patience!!! But we have room, and space, and peace of mind, and security and a fence is being put up- privacy!!!

The other major thing we'd love to do is have a water tank put up. We get water every other day, and looking at the time it takes to collect and fill up buckets to last us through the “off” days, it seems like a very good investment- and worth the money to have water 24/7! We've got our hearts set on that so it's save time!

Another reason why we need to save... and why unpacking is a bit slow going, is because I can't do any heavy lifting! We are having a baby!!!!! We are very excited and truth be told I am terrified, but I think that's all part of the adventure. I am trying not to think about delivery- the how and the where of it, cause that's where the “terrified” comes in- but instead I am enjoying the excitement! (Any fully qualified midwives or doctors want to come live in Mpika in April?? :) ) We are due in April, but we are NOT finding out the sex (although I have all my fingers and toes crossed for a girl) and probably wont have as many ultra sounds as I would if I was in the states, but we did have one in Lusaka last week and all was well.

Last month, in the midst of finding out we were pregnant and moving houses, we had an intern from LBC staying with us as part of his internship. We were not at the top of our “hospitality game” in the midst of a move and my exhaustion (and discovering that the power level in this part of town during dinner time is too low to run the stove- and turn on half the lights in the house, another adventure all together!) but we enjoyed our time with him and we believe he was also blessed by his time with the saints here at church.

Last week, we attended the Annual Reformed Baptist Conference in Lusaka at LBC. It was very refreshing, and although it completely wiped me out- it was worth it! It was the 25th anniversary of the Conference and we were fed by Voddie Baucham and Ken Jones (from Florida). We were so busy getting to meet people, catch up with people, celebrate my birthday (I was spoiled all day- breakfast at our favorite blue moon cafe where we had our first date, lunch and shopping at Manda Hill Mall (although I almost had a complete pregnancy meltdown- I got so tired and overwhelmed walking through shop rite that I almost started crying from sheer exhaustion and came VERY close to needing to lie down on the floor right in the dog food aisle!), and also doing some shopping both for the house (curtain rails, but no curtains on this trip- I may have to send Sydney alone next time to pick out curtains.... not thrilled about that prospect....) and for church- the ladies ministry collected money all year to raise enough for curtains for church, and we were finally able to get them!

So much more has happened but it would be impossible to put it all here. Church programs have been going well- we are on “holiday” for literacy class and will start up in a few weeks. Two of the teachers are pregnant and will need significant “time off” eventually and we are in desperate need of more so please pray in that respect!!! We also had Holiday Bible Week for all the Sunday School Kids which went very well, I was only able to attend one of the days but I had a blast- wish I could have been there all week!

Bemba service is steadily growing, we have anywhere between 10-20 people each Sunday. We also have a large number of people attending the Baptismal class, and have baptisms and new members to add soon! We are amazed by God's faithfulness and are humbled that He has allowed us to be here at such a time to witness what he is doing in Mpika! Please continue also to pray about the mosque- the doors are open, and the people from Pakistan have arrived to run it. They have already started handing out jobs and food and we pray that people will not be blinded by their false message. (Apparently they held a rally in town a month or so back where they were explaining why their God and the Christian God is really the same thing, and you are not abandoning your faith to go to the mosque. I am glad I wasn’t there to witness it.

Please continue to pray for us, especially my health and the anxiety we are facing at the prospect of being parents, for patience as we slowly get settled in the new house, and especially for the church. God is doing wonderful things here and we never want to take that for granted or overlook the mercy and grace he is showing us as a little group of sheep. Thank you for all your love and prayers!