Monday, October 22, 2007

First Impressions

We've spent a couple days in Tanzania now. Initially, we see a lot of need but also a beautiful people. It's intimidating, being here. Sometimes we're overwhelmed, what can people do?!? What can two of us do? Not much... but we serve a big God, and there's plenty of hope! See 2 Chron 7:14.

The prospect of driving is scary. We'll do our best to avoid the millions walking in the road, the even more millions on bikes (especially the guys carrying hundreds of eggs on their bicycles!), and the passing goats, cattle, and chickens. We're definitely immersed in Swahili and have a lot to learn. The food's pretty good, we had some warthog and enjoyed it. Have only crossed paths with a couple monkeys and one snake so far. The mountains are beautiful!!!! So beautiful. Can't wait to spend some time camping up there.

We're off to Zambia for a month, we'll be outta touch till then. Leave lots of good notes for us!

Joe Joe's quote of the day (to Michael). "Living internationally with you is truly a traveling circus!"

Saturday, October 20, 2007

escaping the airports (subtitle: signs!)

We slept in a bed last night! We laid down flat and we slept!! After two nights of airplane seats, this was a welcome relief. We are in Africa. It is a beautiful place with beautiful people. More to come on that. Until then, here's a bit of our journey to get here.

We had a layover in Chicago, what a blessing to get to see our dear friend Nic and enjoy some deep-dish pizza from Gino's East before leaving the country for two years! You look great Nic, thanks for the pizza and conversation, it's always a pleasure to visit Chicago (especially when we're not in O'Hare). Here we are standing outside the restaurant before heading back to the airport where we would sit to await our flight and start working on our British accents for the next leg.

Then on to London: In London, we got out of the airport thanks to our long layover and tried to experience the city. The underground train was fun, “mind the gap”. Fish and chips were pretty good (but expensive). Michael was wowed by all of the European cars around, then the realization that we were in Europe came to him... duh. But perhaps the best part of London was walking the streets and looking up away from the parked cars to the street signs directly in our path. All we can say is... what?

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Last two nights as Americans

Monday night we met with our church body and friends with no real plan but worship, and that we did. God blessed that time richly as we experienced a beautiful and fun expression of the body of Christ. Community and music touch our hearts like few other things can, we had a blast just worshipping our Savior with His children.

Tuesday night we took a short break for the two of us. We did this date night up! (Special thanks to our dear friends Kevin and Gayle for making it all happen). The night was complete with the finest of the fine, a limo ride and the best dining we could find. We laughed at dinner as we selected the proper forks and ordered things we couldn't pronounce that in less than three days we'll be sticking our hands into bowls to eat things with names we can't pronounce!

Wednesday we fly! See you soon from a new locale...

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Historic Win

Is there a better Saturday to have as our last in Lexington? What a day, what a game!
We'll be leaving on Wednesday... glad to be in town for one last game tonight.


And LSU, shame on you... I respected the impressive showing of fans, you traveled well, but the stadium-wide chanting during "My Old Kentucky Home" following "God Bless America" and "The Star Spangled Banner" in pregame: despicable, pitiful, and very disrespectful. Welcome to Kentucky, now go home.

Friday, October 5, 2007


After 21 shots
59 incredible days of prayer
5 authentic cultural meals
352 new friends around the world
2 freshly deceased chickens
and lots of great memories stateside
we are done with our time in VA and have a few days to pack before boarding to head overseas.

We truly cannot say enough thanks to the staff that put on our orientation, the past two months have been a wonderfully challenging time. We have learned so much about the world in which we live, our many misconceptions about life in other cultures, and how we can really make a difference. We are at a point of readiness to go anywhere and do anything, and with a humility to know that we are indebted to the people we want to serve to learn from and live with them. We will be able to do nothing by ourselves, but great things through the help of nationals wherever we go and through the unending power of Christ. God is at work in our world, He cares about our world, and we cherish the chance to join Him in that work. More than learning about the world, we learned about the character of God. We learned about discipline. We learned to know God above all else. We have the Spirit of God within us to direct us... how cool is that? We learned to listen to what we already have. We hope and pray that we are forever changed.

Pray for endurance for us, pray for brokenness for Tanzania. Pray that God prepares some University students that will be ready to receive us and will partner with us in making a difference on their campus and in their communities. Pray also that we will find favor with our airlines in travel, with customs officials overseas, and with local businesses and government officials where we go.

Swahili word for the day is the verb -enda which means to go.

Monday, October 1, 2007

goodbye VA

We have one day left in VA, our last commissioning service. It's hard to believe that our time here is finished, next step is some final packing and then all aboard: destination Tanzania. We are enjoying a visit from Mom and Dad H and friends Jenny and Becky, it's great to see them (I, Michael, can easily say I wouldn't be here now without the 4 of them in my life).

Last week, we had the chance to cook an authentic south/east African meal. The food was simple and surprisingly good, and for the 3rd time running Michael successfully ate sans utensils and napkins. Here we are cooking chapatis, kind of a cross between a tortilla and a pita, but fried. It's good, and the closest we'll get to tortillas for a couple years.

Swahili word for the day is chapati, which means chapati (lit. “flat round bread”)

Last lunchtime brainteaser for awhile:
What is the Southernmost State, Northernmost State, Westernmost State, and Easternmost State?