Thursday, June 30, 2011


One of the things I love about traveling is meeting new or new-ish people. There are always the native people in the country I'm visiting (obviously!) and then there are Americans to be met too. This trip to Botswana is no different. Of course I knew Rachel already, but there are three more people in this group that fall in the new-ish category. :)

Rebekah, Tobi, and Krista are from Alaska (now we have an excellent reason to visit!) . Their family came to my church a few years ago and it was a classic case of "everyone in the church knows who you are but you don't know who they are." :)

Nat and I have enjoyed getting to know them better (here's a link to their blog). Rebekah and I both have Bible Studies every week day in the market/taxi rank area (compared to everyone else who are a couple of streets over). It's been very encouraging to compare notes about our Bible Studies and see where are ladies are at (or not at!) spiritually.


We're taking a little break tomorrow with all of our Bible Studies in the afternoon since it is a holiday here in Botswana. We have plans to do a game drive in the morning, so I'm sure we'll be the typical tourists with our eyes glued to the window;).

Saturday, June 25, 2011


Wow, what a week!

I honestly did not expect the week to be as busy as it was, but at the end of the week I was very glad it was busy:). My last post was Sunday, so that should tell you a little bit about the lack of time to post. ;)

Our morning teaching time started at 8, which meant this gal was actually out of bed by 6:50 every morning (but one... Wednesday was 7 AM). That is quite a feat and that also meant an adjusted bedtime to 9:30 at night. There is so much I want to share and now I wished I had blogged every day, but we were pretty exhausted in the evenings. Here's an overview of what our days looked like:

  • 6:50 AM-8 AM: shower, devotions, breakfast, etc.
  • 8 AM - Noon: teaching time (group devotions, phonetics, missions strategy, etc.)
  • Noon: lunch
  • 1 PM - 4:30 PM: Bible Studies in town
  • 4:30 PM - 5:30 PM: get back from town and unwind
  • 5:30 PM: supper
  • 6:30 PM: debrief from the day
  • 7:00 PM: watch culture videos or a preaching video
  • 7:45 PM: done for the day:)
I tried to use my spare time wisely, since we are writing out the book of Acts while we're here. Acts is my favorite New Testament book and there are a lot of good gems in there!

Last Saturday at the market I met 13 ladies who agreed to study the Bible with me. Out of those 13 I've connected with 4 this week, had 1 tell me a definite no, and passed along 2 to another girl on our team to follow up on. The rest just didn't show up. I did get to start a Bible Study with another lady though, so five ladies are studying the Bible with me... what a blessing!

Nat and I have had a lot of experiences during our short time in Africa. We have learned much and were quite tired at the end of each day. But we are so grateful that our pastor encouraged us to come to Botswana to learn from the missionary and work here. So much of what we learn here will be very useful in our future ministry!

Sunday, June 19, 2011


Since the missionary said all of us girls are going to be taking turns teaching the junior church class during the Sunday morning service, I dutifully followed Rachel and the three African children outside to the classroom (the far end of the porch of the building we were meeting in).

The oldest boy - 14 years old - participated fully: songs, verse, Bible story, songs, verse, Bible story, etc:). The little girl made a valiant attempt at the hand motions for songs like, "Deep and Wide" and "Peter, James, & John."

But the little guy - not older than 8 - was the one who intrigued me. He sat there rather listlessly, and stared at the road as the traffic went by. He actually did perk up with one of the action songs, but that was short-lived:).

As Rachel started in on part 2 of the Bible story, the little guy got up from his seat to go get a drink of water. Out of the corner of my eye, I watched him saunter the 6 or so steps to a nearby tree with a bird cage hanging on a branch... such a convenient distraction! He glanced over at Rachel before he started swinging the cage: back and forth, back and forth.

Soon the sway of the cage brought him to boredom. Not to worry though! Three dogs were in the next yard over, providing the perfect opportunity to tease the dogs into barking. Little guy began to put on a show: stand on one foot, put both hands out, and stick out a very, very pink tongue at the neighbor dogs. Of course no self-respecting dog is going to let antics like those get by and so they kindly reciprocated by barking.

The little guy enjoyed provoking the dogs and continued on for 30 seconds or so until Rachel reminded him our small little group was this way:). Little guy slowly rejoined the group, much to his chagrin I'm sure!

Saturday, June 18, 2011


We went out this morning to do some tract distribution with the primary focus of setting up studies. I'll admit I was a little intimidated but that was mainly because I've never done it here before:). I was really surprised at the response! Even if all the contacts don't pan out, the response was a lot better than what I would usually get in the States:).

Lord willing, I will have a study with these two ladies on Thursday. Please pray they show up!

Nat was able to chat with several men and set studies up too!

What's a trip without ice cream??? Well, this is probably the last ice cream cone we'll have in Botswana - made with vegetable oil and milk solids. I saw Bro. Hammett mixing up some homemade ice cream earlier today, so I think we'll stick to that instead:).

We climbed up (and up... and up) a hill today to look out over the city.

All in all it was a very good day. One blessing we found today was an ionic straightener. The straightener is of good quality and best of all I can take it back to Thailand when we return! So I feel like we fixed a problem (can you imagine bad hair for the next 6 weeks?? DISTRACTING!:D) as well as made a future investment.

Oh, and the bank did return Nat's debit card! We were relieved they did because the lady said they normally shred the card when the ATM "eats" it. God is so good!!!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Blessings And The Baobab Tree.

I've unintentionally started a trend: yesterday's post was represented by the letter A and today's post is represented by the letter B! Let's see how long this little trend lasts:).


In all reality, at first glance some of these were not instant blessings, but the Lord changes perspective! We've had more interesting experiences happen on this trip than any other trip (well, except that one time a group of 25 people -myself included- had to run 30 minutes through the city of Prague on buses, trams, and subways to catch a train!)

Wow, what a rabbit trail...

So in three days' time we've had:
  • a hair straightener die
  • leftover salad dressing spill in my carry-on and drench my mp3 player, slippers, and glasses (but not an iPad 2 or my computer!)
  • a bank card eaten by an ATM (we have low hopes of getting that back tomorrow)
  • two nights of no sleep from 1:30-3:30 AM
  • a shaver that snapped in half -too much pressure in those suitcases, I suppose!
But for each discouragement, we've had a blessing:
  • the straightener is under warranty
  • the salad dressing was cleaned up
  • we called our bank in America and no transaction surfaced on our account, so at least we know the problem is on this end, not stateside
  • we took something to help us sleep tonight
  • duct tape easily fixed the shaver (even if it does look funny!)

Before we came to Africa, we were asking the Lord to stretch us and grow us. I know, I know, don't ever ask the Lord for something unless you're ready to receive it! I really feel like the Lord is using all these little things to see how we'll react.

We took a little trip today to see a unique tree: the baobab tree. The tree grows on both the inside and the outside, so even if the inside dies the outside keeps growing. These trees can be several hundred years old and look a little intimidating!

I was thinking about this tree and the thought hit me that I could keep growing on the outside even if I "die" on the inside. No one would necessarily know and yet I want to be growing on the inside, not just look tough and alive on the outside!

All these little issues that have come up on this trip are to test us, to try us. Nat and I are both excited to see what the Lord is going to teach us on this trip. We've had too many obstacles leading up to this trip and so we know God is up to something. We just need to stay open and available to Him. Spilled salad dressing and all!

Thursday, June 16, 2011


We arrived in Johannesburg, South Africa Wednesday afternoon and spent the night at a lodge. The lodge was actually very nice, but it is cold here in Africa! Tile floors and concrete walls manage to keep the cool air in quite nicely:).

After a nice warm shower, we slipped into bed and fell asleep for what we thought was the whole night... it was actually just 4 hours:). Waking up at 1:30 AM and falling back to sleep around 4 AM did actually produce a good night's rest because it's almost 10 PM and we're still awake:).

We went back to the airport this morning, met up with the man to give him the box of award ribbons, and cleared customs for our next flight to Botswana. I was a little surprised to see 15 terminals all lined up next to each other with buses outside the corresponding numbers. I thought that was kinda neat to see we were going to be bused out to our plane.

Our plane was one of those teeny, tiny ones with the small overhead compartment to fit the part. We were both surprised to be served a meal on this flight: chicken meatballs and some kind of rice dish resembling the taste of Suddenly Salad:). As we approached Francistown, I kept waiting for the "city" to pop out of the vast, brown land, but it wasn't until we were about two minutes from the airport that we finally saw houses.

Once we deplaned, we were staring at what had to be the world's smallest international airport, although I'm sure there might be some competition for that title from a place like Papua New Guinea or something like that:).

Just inside that door to the right is baggage claim and customs, all within the space of about ten feet. Not to be outdone, the exit to the other side is a mere 6 or 7 steps. :) Definitely an experience!

We were very glad to have all of our luggage come through without any problems or fees, although the guy behind the Air Botswana desk did gasp when we said we were both checking two bags:). No worries though since we were traveling international! And so the adventure continues... !

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

African Adventures - Here We Come!

Well, we're off. :)

We're dutifully sitting in Atlanta waiting for our next flight in 3.5 hours. Between now and then, I want to: (1) people watch. Airports are a great place to do this! (2) Eat Mexican food. With a name like "On The Border" it's got a chance at being half good. We'll see. (3) More people watching. Like I said, the airport is a great place to do this.

Our local airport in PA had to be doing some extra security training or something, because I have never seen the security dude spend so much time taking a detailed look at every single person's identification and boarding pass. Thankfully we passed the test, and stood in what felt like one of the longest security lines in the world. There were actually only 20 or so people ahead of us, but it was a s-l-o-w process:).

Also, just an alert for all you gals out there who travel in long skirts: get ready for the pat down. I'm not even kidding you with that statement. Twice now I've been patted down because (and I quote) "extra security measures need to be taken since you're wearing a skirt." At least this lady was nice about it. The last one in the Philly airport was rather abrupt and rude. So next time I travel, I think I'll go with a knee-length skirt or culottes. It's all a part of traveling, I suppose:).

I will say though that my water bottle got through security with more than 3 ounces in it! Too bad the poor lady in front of me didn't have that same bonus. Her eyeliner was confiscated and a bag check was required. Airports are amusing and that's half the fun of flying:).

This next flight is only 15 hours with no more layovers (yay!). We get to spend Wednesday evening at a bed and breakfast in Johannesburg before flying up to Botswana on Thursday afternoon.

We didn't need to take any extra bags with us, although we do know two of our bags are overweight for the Air Botswana flight. We're only allowed to have 44 lbs. for that flight (we can travel 50 lbs. for international flights). Thankfully we are getting rid of an 8 lb. box to a native pastor in Jo-burg (it's full of award ribbons... long story!) and then we plan on shuffling stuff around so that we do NOT have to pay! God has been faithful in answering our prayer of being able to take everything with us and not have to have an extra bag:). We did have to leave behind two bags of Bath & Body Works that was graciously given by a lady in our church, but I'm sure she'll understand it just wasn't going with us:).

Monday, June 6, 2011


Boy, I'm so grateful for friends who got a good shot of my husband graduating! The picture I got shows Nat's head sticking up above the cross:).

My sweetie completed all the required courses (and more!) to graduate Sunday night from Lehigh Valley Baptist Bible Institute! I am so happy for my husband and all the hard work he put into his classes. We (yes we!) feel like a big load has been lifted from our shoulders and we're greatly looking forward to the future and what the Lord has in store for us.

The next step will be taken next Tuesday ~ we're heading to Botswana and South Africa! The majority of our time will be spent with our former pastor and his family and the remaining couple of weeks will be spent with two other missionary families from our church.

Once we return home from our African adventures, we look forward to seeing when the Lord will work out the timing of being sent by our church as missionaries and hitting the deputation trail. We are both very excited that we are one step closer to where the Lord has called us to minister and are very grateful for the way our church family has let us know they are completely behind us! God has been so good...