Monday, June 8, 2009

We are home!

Yes, we made it back safely and are now back in our adopted home town of Morgan Hill, California. The Sunday before we left we had tearful farewells as we attended our last service at International Baptist church. The folk there have become so dear to us and that congregation will be one of the things that we miss most about Zambia. Our team also put on a farewell get-together on Sunday afternoon and many pastors that Graham had taught came along as well as other friends. It was a very special day and emotionally draining but absolutely fantastic.
We went home that evening to find we had no hot water and the next day there was no electricity for nearly 10 hour so we had back to back, the joys and trials of living in Zambia!
After a few more tears at the airport we had a nightmare check in. It took an hour and a half and we were one of the last ones on the plane because the check in clerk insisted that we had one more bag than we really did. She was as unhelpful as she possibly could be and needless to say the experience was somewhat stressful. After that thought the flight was great, we had a restful night at Heathrow and had no hassles with immigration at San Francisco which was a huge answer to prayer and a great relief!

We are staying with our friends the Swings who have kindly let us stay as long as we want and it is great to hang out with them again and with other friends here - our church family here have been just that, a family who are taking such wonderful care of us. The hard work of moving our stuff back into our house was hard work but also so much fun with a group of friends that just made it a great day! There was a pot luck at our church here, West Hills Community Church, yesterday at which Graham spoke and loads of people attended.
So we are getting used to driving on the right hand side of the road - it was SO weird being driven back from the airport on the 'wrong' side! We both have valid CA licenses again and are concentrating hard to make sure we stay on the 'right' side of the road now we in charge of a vehicle - so far, so good...! We hope to move back into our place tomorrow and get reacquainted with our neighbours. It is good to be home. We would still ask you to pray as we sort out jobs and schools and get some much needed rest, especially Graham. Once again, thank you for journeying with us, its been a wild ride!

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Hello from Lydia

The last update on Lydia we talked about her walking. She continues to improve in her walking but without sight it is a little limited on where she can go. In the township/ compound where she lives, there are no regular roads or side walks, just rough and rocky dirt roads. We visited for a last time before we leave Zambia, and the progress in her speach was amazing. Before she would only speak when spoken to with very limited vocabulary. When she was asked to talk, would say "I have nothing to say, you talk". Now she talks non stop! She has also become very "touchy feely" wanting and more emotionally. She has a message for all who have been supporting her which is in the video below.


She still cannot see, so please continue to pray for her sight. She is also still cofussed in her long term and short term memory. She get facts muddled and thinks she remembers things that haven't happened. She has put on a little bit of weight, but still needs building up. Her physiotherapy continues to help her a lot, so thank you for the continued support.
At our leaving get together, her father reiterated his thanks to you all.
For those in California, see you soon!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Our last week

Yes, we have just a week to go and in the last few days have seen the best and worst of Zambia. Last week I took some toys and activities to an orphanage here in town that looks after older kids. The man that is in charge is a wonderful guy - a great Christian, works hard, does a fantastic job and he told us that a few days previously thieves had stolen the water pump. Then just this last weekend we heard of another theft, this time from a family that looks after street boys, who lost half of their chickens that provide much needed income. Zambia is so wonderful and so frustrating!

On a lighter note we were driving to the airport a few weeks ago and saw this sight - yes, the police truck appears to have parked in a wall! The funnier thing is that just a few doors down is located 'The Careful Driving School', maybe the driver of the truck should sign up...

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Easter play

On Easter Sunday the children at our church put on a play depicting the Easter story. They had been practicing for some weeks but had never had the opportunity to rehearse in the church itself! It went really well and we enjoyed seeing our kids perform with their Zambian friends. Philip (yes his hair has got very long at the moment - he loves it!) was Jesus for the first half of the play when his fellow missionay kid friend, Daniel, took over. They wore the same toga made out of one of our bed sheets to make sure that no-one was confused! Rachel was the high priest and also sung a duet with Kamryn, one of the other children with Action Zambia. They were all fantastic! After the service we had a lovely lunch at the church, catered for by some of the church ladies to say goodbye to another missionary family - Daniel's. The Shaws have been great friends to us here as they have been serving with the Southern Baptist mission and in saying goodbye to them it reminded us that it will soon be us saying farewell...

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Lydia Starts to Walk

Lydia is walking!

Yesterday (April 8), we went to visit with Lydia and her family and were amazed at how much progress she has made.  She wasn’t in the living room when we arrived and it brought tears to our eyes to see her walk in the room albeit somewhat shakily and with mom very close by.  We cannot tell you how much better she is doing compared to when we last saw her a couple of weeks ago.  Her parents told us that she went to church with them for the first time on Sunday and Lydia told us that she liked going.  This time is also such a boost for Ernest and Laikah – they looked much less tired and a lot happier, obviously so encouraged by their daughter’s improvement.

This is not to say that there is a long way to go.  A physiotherapist is coming to the house three times a week which is possible only because of your generosity. He was there when we visited yesterday and we were very impressed.  It is a huge blessing that he comes to see her in her own environment and without the stress of travelling to a clinic.  While he was working with her we could hear her crying because her muscles have stiffened up so much the past few months.  It is one of those situations where you have to be cruel to be kind although it was hard to hear her upset.  We were also told that her drug regime has been reduced and this is undoubtedly helping her as she was a lot more responsive and stayed awake most of the time we were there.  She has got very thin but over the last few days she is eating more and she is starting to feed herself with some foods

There is no progress yet with her sight.  Please pray for this and that she will gain strength in her muscles and confidence as she learns to move around again.  Do also pray that she will gain more appetite and put on weight.  God is good!

From Sarah


Tuesday, March 31, 2009

The heavy rains here are supposed to finish in Feb, but this year we have continued to have some heavy downpours. Here are a few video clips taken on my phone when we got caught in a downpour. The way the rain turned the grass into a pool in a few minutes was amazing. The road outside has a large deep drainage ditch by that was over flowing in places in a little over 10 minutes of rain. Rain like this causes missery in the "compounds" which are where the very poor live often on less than a dollar a day. 
The photo (which won't upload right now!) is outside our church where the cars are parked on a Sunday, you need four wheel drive to get in and out some weeks!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Our Garden

We will miss our garden when we leave Zambia this June. The colours of so many of the trees and flowers are beautiful. This picture shows one of my favourites. This blossom looks so delicate and yet it really endures, it almost feels waxy - it hung on through all the rain we have had recently and we have had a lot! One thing that we will be happy to leave behind though are the odd snakes that turn up outside. This one was killed by Richard, but as you can see from the photo its skinny body had a big lump in the middle. Well in typical boy fashion, especially one who loves science, Philip wanted to see what was inside!
It was revolting (typical girl response from Rachel and me) as the snake writhed a lot even though it was dead, and once it was cut open a small rodent emerged - dead but whole.
It would have probably kept that snake going for a long while had he not met such an untimely end!