Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Momentous February and March!

Home sweet home
We are back home in Mulungwishi! And sorry we are late getting this off but it has been crazy getting back to our life here!

A very special day!

The first big news is that this March saw a very special day! On David’s birthday our daughter Michelle and husband Jeff presented us with our first grandchild! Elliott Saegar was born by C-section in Denver. We have set up Skype and have been enjoying seeing the precious little boy. We can’t believe this new technology where we can talk and see our children on the internet. The Congolese call this "American witchcraft". Jeff’s parents, Mike and Vickie, are with them helping out. It is also the first grandchild for them. What a blessing to have family present. Our Congolese Family have been dancing and singing to welcome the new baby!

Trip back to Congo

We want to thank you for your prayers for our return. We felt your support and encouragement the whole trip. First of all at the British Air check in, we were helped by one of the counter staff who is Zambian. We have had contact with here before and since we had already checked in on line the night before it went very smoothly for our 18 pieces of luggage. The flight went very well. From London to Lusaka, there were many empty seats we even got to stretch out!
Jeff and Ellen Hoover, missionary colleagues in Congo, met us with our pickup at the airport. We put half the baggage in their pick up and half in ours. They crossed the border into Congo the next day without trouble with the baggage. We ended up spending almost two weeks in Zambia trying to get the car fixed and buy supplies for us and a medical VIM Team coming out in April for Kapanga (a bush medical center about 500 miles from us). Our 4-wheeler double cab has worn well these past 8 years, (plus two years, as it was used), but it takes a beating on these Congo roads!

Border crossing backup

Our border crossing, went well, no problems with baggage, praise the Lord! We crossed into Congo on a Sunday, without incident, and went on to Lubumbashi. At the border, it was a little like Moses crossing the Red Sea ... except it was the parting of ”big semi trucks”! There were trucks backed up for 4.75 miles on the Zambian side (some double on each side of the road) and 2.5 miles on the Congolese. In between the two borders,’ No Man’s Land’ there was about 200 plus semis !!! which some had to be moved so we could go through to the other side! The next week, in Lubumbashi, we continued the purchasing for the team and more car repairs! then up to Mulungwishi!! Nothing like a long way home! Good to sleep in our own bed, finally, after many, many miles! Baba Ngoi, Isaiah, the parrot, and Zorro, our 15 year old cat, were glad to see us!

Getting settled again, evicting roaches

We have been swamped getting the house put together again, teaching classes and picking up all the loose ends, after being away. The roaches have set up a hotel here and we are in the midst of a war with them. We are slowly winning. We got two good weeks of classes in and then returned to Lubumbashi for the final purchases for the VIM Team and loading the truck with supplies, medicine, food, fuel, water and nutritional supplements. We ended up with about two tons of stuff! The truck should arrive about a week and half before the team. Be praying for the transport and the equipment and the medical team and their Congolese colleagues as they minister to the sick in a very remote area.

The joy of Easter is upon us

More and more we celebrate the hope of the resurrection that is Easter. Churches in our district, in fact all over the conference, are having special revival meetings this week. In the midst of the difficulties of Congo, the knowledge and assurance that Jesus is Lord. He has risen and we are a part of his resurrection family, give hope in the mission HE has called all of us to, in participating with Him to bring His Kingdom on earth as it is in heaven. Happy Easter! Celebrate his resurrection!

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Congo: water, mosquitos, and Malaria

Rev. Larry Hollon recently posted a blog article about Community-Based Development in [D.R.] Congo in his Church, Culture, and Media blog.

The post mentions the contaminated water and mosquitos in Lumbumbashi plus the need for bed nets. As we head to World Malaria Day in April, we need to realize that the many insecticide-treated bed nets already distributed don't solve the problem.  Many more are still needed.

The United Methodist Church is a founding partner of Nothing But Nets, an organization dedicated to wiping out Malaria by providing the insecticide-treated bed nets. These nets don't just keep mosquitos away -- they kill the ones that land on them. Many United Methodist Churches have formed Nothing But Nets fund-raising teams. If you church has not formed such a team, the upcoming "Change the World" program April 24th and 25th is a great time to start.

And in case you were not aware of it, David and Lori continue to periodically have Malaria "flare-ups" after infections from prior years. Lori says she has learned the symptoms and heads to the clinic when they appear.

Monday, March 01, 2010

March prayer focus: High School

Institute KitabataThe 2010 Mulungwishi Ministry calendar asks us to pray for Principle Mazembe, the faculty, and the students.

The High School (Institute Kitabataba) educates 600 students from around the region. The High School offers programs specialties in Education, Math, Physics, and Agriculture.