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Sunday, February 24, 2013

Snake Bites Can Be Good

...AKA Words you never thought you'd hear me say.

Earlier this month I asked you to pray for missionaries. One of my friends in Uganda had been bitten by a snake and needed prayer for complete healing. Later she wrote on her Facebook page that the bite was actually a blessing because she had been taking a lot of bus rides (her motorcycle was waiting for a new battery) and had developed DVT (deep vein thrombosis). Without the extra medical attention she was getting because of her toe, she may never have found out and it could have killed her. What a miracle!!

When I wrote my last post about taking things one at a time, I was actually in bed with yet another case of malaria. Being down at this time of year is tough. Browsing posts from this month in years past shows a clear pattern of me being behind in my work and/or being down with malaria.

I'm recovered now and back at work. I'm ready to press forward and get everything done.

What exactly must be done? Well, I leave for the U.S in two weeks so there's that....

  • We have to get all our promotional materials ready--video, brochures, posters, etc.

  • I need to leave the office in perfect order so Tom can find anything he needs while I'm away.

  • All of our paperwork has to be in order for taxes and filing and all the stuff that comes with running a charity. 

  • Jasmine has to pack up her life and get ready for a big move to start college in the fall.

It's a lot to do in 2 weeks, but by God's grace it will all get done!


Exactly One Year Ago: Kittens and Babies
Exactly Two Years Ago: It's the Little Things that Make Me Smile
Exactly Three Years Ago: Keeper, Sleeper, Weeper

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

One Thing at a Time

Last week I had to go to Lusaka to take care of some business and errands. I didn't want to be away from the orphanage longer than necessary so I felt a bit of pressure to get everything done quickly. 
One of the difficulties in running errands here in Zambia is that most offices open between 8 & 9:30 in the morning and if you don't get in the door right at the beginning of the day then lines and queues pile up and you may be standing in one of them all day long.

Sunday night I fell asleep with my long to-do list running through my head. I would line my errands out in a reasonable order, but then I'd wonder what would happen if one or another of them took longer than expected and I'd run through the list again. 

Having just gotten off the 16 hour bus ride I was quite exhausted and needed desperately to get a good night sleep. Instead I tossed and turned, waking up frequently after anxiety-induced nightmares--including one in which I lost a briefcase full of cash. 

Finally at dark-thirty in the morning I finally came to my senses and prayed for God to calm my mind. He spoke calmly and clearly, "Just do one thing at a time". Wasn't that amazing advice?? Blew my mind!

I fell asleep immediately with peace in my heart.

The next morning I left the house before 8, caught a mini-bus to town where I met up with my taxi for the day. 

The first task at hand was photocopying a bunch of papers to turn in to various offices later. Then I did the next thing on the list--getting a manager's check (AKA a cashier's check). The bank experience is deserving of its own post so hopefully I'll share that soon. 

After being told I could collect the check in two hours I moved on to the next possible item on my list. And so it went all morning. I simply did what I could and then moved on to the next item. Certifying papers, dropping off annual returns, standing in lines at every step, visiting government offices, submitting applications, and so on and so forth.

By 1 PM I had done every last errand on my list. It was nothing short of a miracle! Even though I had spent some time in lines, none of them was terribly long, and some places had no lines at all. There was a tiny monkey wrench thrown into one of the errands. A paper I was supposed to turn in to accompany an application was not in the file (because it wasn't on the list of required papers--go figure). I got hold of Tom, he scanned and emailed it and I walked across the street to a hotel's business center to print it out and was back in the government office within 30 minutes. Amazing!

I finished in plenty of time to meet up with Jasmine for a lovely and relaxed lunch at the mall before meeting up with a friend  for just a bit more business. 

It was very likely one of my easiest and least frustrating African days ever. And it was wholly due to God's grace. I listened to Him and just took each item one at a time (I couldn't have done more than that anyway, right?) and He gave me peace that if it didn't get done then it would be OK. 

Don't you love learning life lessons like that?
 

Exactly One Year Ago: Where Has The Time Gone?
Exactly Two Years Ago: Carnival Fun

Monday, February 11, 2013

Authors are Frequently Influenced

Above is a story written by a few of the kids during school time with 'Uncle' Brent. He had them all contribute ideas and this is what came from that collaborative effort.

Because it's hard to see I'm typing it below. Can you guess what has been happening in their lives to influence their story writing?

A long time ago lived a man named Mr. Tumness. He had a monkey that carried presents and bananas. The monkey also eats bugs. One night the monkey named George was chasing fireflies. George feel down right when he had touched the firefly. He fell into a river. George burnt his finger from the fires on the firefly Then a hippo began to chase him. George ran back to Mr. Tumness where he was safe. 

Translation: We're currently reading The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe in preparation for watching the movie.--Mr. Tumness is their favorite character. They also recently watched the new Curious George movie and the firefly scene made them laugh and laugh. Tom recently hunted a hippo. 



(Almost) Exactly One Year Ago: Kute Kids
Exactly One Year Ago: 30 Lessons for Living--book review

Exactly Three Years Ago: I Can't Believe We Did That        

 

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Keep Praying for Missionaries

Some of you may have heard that there was a serious accident that happened in Zambia on Thursday. A bus traveling from Ndola to Lusaka collided with a semi-truck and more than 50 people died outright with several more dying later from their injuries. We still don't know the full extent of the tragedy.

This is a bus line that we have used in the past--though not since moving up here--and we would have considered it to be one of the safe ones.

It is a very sobering reminder of the dangers of road travel--especially in a country where the amount of vehicles has grown and the roads have not kept up with that growth.

I leave today to catch the bus down to Lusaka. I would cherish your prayers for my safety.

********

On Thursday I also got some sobering news about a good friend of mine in Uganda. She is a missionary that I greatly admire. Still going strong in her 60s she puts me to shame at times with her sense of adventure--riding a motorcycle all over, trusting God despite setbacks, keeping a positive outlook at all times. I love her! This week she was bitten by a snake. Thankfully it was just a night viper which, though it causes tissue damage, is not deadly. She is expected to have to have a skin graft on her toe. Please pray with me for her full recovery.

********

Things are going really well with our new missionaries here at the orphanage. Please keep them in your prayers--for their adjustment time, for their safety from illness and accidents, and for God's guidance in showing them His Will.

While you are at it, please say a prayer for missionaries the world over. Thanks!

Exactly Three Years Ago: My Week in Review --another reminder why we need your prayers always.


Saturday, February 2, 2013

My Name is Amy......and I'm a Bookworm

I read nearly 90 books last year.* Before you get too impressed**, remember that I have long car rides every week or two down to Mansa, plus bus trips several times a year, plus I was on over 20 flights least year. I am so grateful that I don't get motion sickness. A couple years ago when my friend Debbie came to visit she told me she wouldn't be able to read on the dreadfully long bus ride because she gets car sick. When I remarked that that was a sad, sad story, she chuckled and said, "That's what you said last time I told you that." LOL

I also don't have a commute so my day has extra hours in it. We also don't have much of a social life outside of our home. Many evenings we'll have power cuts so we can't do much or get online. I also cannot fall asleep--no matter how exhausted--without reading for at least 15 minutes. 
All of this adds up to lots of reading opportunities (well, that and sewing--but that's a topic for another time).

Last year I discovered sites like Book Bub and eReaderLove on Facebook. I downloaded a ton of free books--in fact I still have about 40 saved up for a rainy day. I found some great gems. 

Many of the books I read were light reading. I enjoy books in all genres, but am drawn to lighter fare because life can be tough and when I get to reading I often want to just let my brain relax.


Below are some of my favorite books of the year:

The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh is the story of a child in the U.S foster system. I was incredibly caught up in the story and absolutely loved it!  



Kindness of Strangers by Mike McIntyre was one I got as a free Kindle book. I'm a huge fan of travel books (I wonder why? ha) and this was just right. Upon finishing it I immediately bought the story of Mike's journey around the world with his girlfriend. I didn't agree with every travel tip espoused in The Wander Year, but I enjoyed the journey vicariously.




I had no idea that Molly Ringwald was an author, and when I saw her book online at the library, I thought it was just a celebrity riding the wave. Not so! This collection of short stories was really well done.

A very quick and engaging read was James Patterson's The Quickie. From the first line I was drawn in and then there were twists along the way. A fun ride.

*I know all the books I've read because I keep track of them on Goodreads. Why not join up and become my friend? Amy M. (amyinafrica)



This year I've made one of my resolutions that I want to read at least 12 non-fiction books. So far on my list:

Dead Aid by Dambisa Moyo. A look at the dangers of too much aid work in Africa.

When Helping Hurts by Brian Fikkert How can we as Christians avoid actually adding to the poverty issues.

Parenting with Love and Logic by






Exactly Three Years Ago: Are We a Normal Family?
Exactly Two Years Ago: Give the Gift of Life

I'm not an amazon affiliate. Sure wish I were, though.....

**I was just kidding.....feel free to be impressed. I love affirmation.


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