Monday, June 20, 2016

Wow. It's embarrassing to break this silence. It's been too long and it feels awkward. So, just pretend I haven't taken a blogging hiatus for almost a year and act like this is the most natural thing in the world...And while we are pretending, imagine we are meeting over a cup of coffee or spicy chai and taking some time to catch up on each other's lives.

One of the most exciting things that has happened recently is Savannah's baptism. In May, she shared her testimony with our international church family in Zambia and was fully immersed. It was a special day for her as she made a public profession of the inward change God had made in her heart a few years ago. When you see her next, please feel free to ask her to testify of His goodness in her life. She is preparing to start high school this fall. It's been a flurry of selecting curriculum as she begins to map out her higher education.
Savannah on her special day with another dear sister in Christ baptized on the same day

Jonas is fast becoming a young man. He loves spending time with Erik on the farm. When he recently did a career survey, he came out with a strong engineering bent. Not that any of us were surprised by that since he is always rigging some contraption up to aid us in our daily life. His ingenuity is always a pleasure to observe. He recently said goodbye to his best American friends as their family moves back to the States to pursue other ministry options. It's been difficult for him, but he (and myself!) trust God will help him find some new friends.
another day, another contraption

I think Claire would be the first to tell you that she has seen God answer prayers. Firsthand. She prayed for a baby brother or sister. When she heard Jayde was on her way, she was thrilled! Then, when it was time for baby's arrival she prayed fervently for me and the health of our baby while I was in labor and then through my emergency c-section. God is growing this girl in big ways. She has the courage of a lion and the heart to go with it.
reading at Lifesong school

Larissa is excited to have my niece Kaitlyn here for an extended visit. It is sweet to have an older person show the love of Jesus to our children. (Thanks Kaits!) Larissa said goodbye to her best American friend this past week as our teammates, the McBrides relocate to central Illinois. You will be missed Kaytie Grace. This gives our family the opportunity to encourage Riss as she has us. She is always loving each of us well with her little notes, spontaneous hugs, and relaxing hand massages. Also, being a big sister is an absolute dream come true for this girl! She can often be found cuddled up with Jayde, a warm blanket and maybe even a good book.
Turning 10 is awesome!

Birthday party with friends

Jayde Temwa took her first breath of Zambian air February 27. Nearly 2 weeks past her due date, her arrival was filled with drama. As mentioned earlier she was born via emergency c-section after about 20 hours of labor. Her umbilical cord was wrapped around her neck and there was a tight knot in it as well. Being born in Zambia is an exciting experience, to say the least. This little one is a charmer. Everywhere we go she flashes her little blue eyes and toothless smile and instantly has best friends. It's so amazing to see how this small child is being used by the Creator already. She has increased the faith of many by being an answer to prayer through her healthy arrival, she brings joy to even the grouchiest, and she is teaching each person in our family the blessings of sacrifice and service.

Erik would share with you how he is continually reminded that Biblical principles transcend culture. If a believer is truly living according to the Gospel, there is a true fellowship and kinship with all other believers. Challenges abound for Zambian believers that the average American may never experience. Whether it's marital difficulties, money issues, conflict with one's employer or fellow employees, all the solutions can be found within God's word. How amazing is that? It brings fresh appreciation to the aspect of the Living Word. He also continues to juggle all the aspects of running a business in Zambia. Recently he has been helping to plan for the future of the Lifesong Vocational School.

As for myself, I am receiving a refresher course in true Gospel living. I am thrilled to have a new baby again, but had forgotten the sacrifices that come with having a little person in the house. Sometimes I don't serve with joy. I sure would love to be a part of that pick up volleyball game with the boarding students or to teach class regularly with our farm ladies. After all isn't that "ministry"? Sometimes I can even allow myself to become bitter at what I don't get to participate in. But as I said, what is truer to the Gospel message than laying down one's life for another? I say this not to lift myself up, but to encourage each of you whatever stage of life your in. Maybe you feel as if your life is hidden in the daily grind of motherhood. Perhaps you feel as if you are impacting no one as you change yet another dirty diaper and soothe a crabby toddler. Or maybe you put up with angry attitudes from your preteen or teenager. Maybe you feel like your boss and co-workers don't appreciate anything you do. Be reminded that just as your life is hidden in acts of service, so your life is hidden in Christ. Let all that you do and say be His actions as you serve those around you. Remind yourself that He sees every act of self denial. Take time to appreciate the way HE gave up ALL for you, and let your heart be drawn to worship. That is true Gospel living.


Brett Pfister said...

So good to hear from you guys! And thank you for your encouragement about a hidden life in Christ. Love you all and praying for each of you!
-Brett and Aisha

Raising the Rigor said...

Great to read an update on your family and how God is using each of you in Zambia. Looking forward to the day I can breath Zambian air as well. Jackie Faughn

Sandy said...

What a blessing and encouragement this was to me!

Olivia Blunier said...

thanks again for sharing! Love you all!!

Burkina Team said...

Great words! Worth waiting a year for.

T and M said...

So I am just reading this today? And appreciating your words of encouragement. Thank you!!
I love the update on each of your dear kids, although by now there are nEw things to update
On I'm sure.
Keep up the good blogging please! We love hearing from you. Xoxo Mandy