Friday, March 31, 2006

Martin's Baptism

We had a baptism at the MPMC (Multipurpose Ministry Center)! Sorry it's taken so long to post about it, as it happened a few weeks ago. Things have been quite busy around here.
Things you should know about the baptism:

Martin was one of the workers helping to build the MPMC

He was saved through the grace of God and God instrumentally using Gert and Mike in his life
His family attended the baptism

The blow-up pool we used gave way halfway through our prayer time beforehand and the wall of water that it let loose threatened to flood us out comepletely.

We hurried, held up the sides and pretty much decided, "lets dunk him quick!"

Martin played in the pool like a child; half-doggie paddling around the shallow pool before Gert baptised him

There were 3 different countried represented

Here are the pics:

Gert preparing to baptise Martin

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Praying over Martin after baptism

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Martin's Prayer

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Today in pictures

Child at Oshetu Kids Club

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Queen (Keano's sister) and I

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Oshetu Kids Club - Thursdays at 3pm

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Kids "cleaning" (aka licking the pot clean) the pot after Kids club. Look closely and you'll see the huge pot!

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sink huises (tin houses) in Oshetu #2

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Things I love right now about Namibia

Dust tornados
Heat lightning
Rooibos tea and electric tea kettles
Choosing the steamy warm bag of bread at Pick N Pay
Never having to be on time
100% juice
Huge, fresh mangos from Fruit N’ Veg
Scrabble by candlelight

The road less travelled Part Two

Synopsis of Carasburg: Jennie’s mom wasn’t feeling well so as soon as Jennie walked in the door she was put to work – serving dinner, washing dishes, cleaning the house, sweeping the floor, washing laundry…it was maybe a little like Cinderella. I felt bad for her, and I know she felt bad for me, because I sat around doing nothing for three days. We didn’t get to use the truck as we were promised and so therefore our side trip to Fish River was non-existent. By Tuesday we were both ready to go, and we caught a ride with her dad to Keetmans, where we had hoped we might get a car and still be able to take in Fish River, but as we realized this too was not going to be possible, the disappointments were piling up enough that we both just wanted to go home. And Rather than wait around till Thursday to have a ride back with the Dutch guys, we actually decided to take the train back again. Yes! Does this give you a little insight into our state of mind and how very much we just wanted to get home to our own house in Nau-Aib? So just a few short hours after arriving, we were grabbing out still-packed bags and loading into Juliet’s car so she could drop us at the train station. We said our goodbyes and settled back in for the all-night ride to Windhoek. Praise the Lord that this time the speakers actually worked, the volume was of normal human listening level, and the movies were actually almost watch-able. (We’re not talking Academy-award winning acting or anything, but at least the films this time had a little more depth than what you’d find on a Bubble gum wrapper.)

We arrived in Windhoek at 6:30am, tired, cold and hungry and with no idea how we were going to get home the rest of the way. We made some calls in the hopes that someone we knew would be making their way into the city and could take up home with them. No dice. As the city started to awaken a little, we decided to think about our situation over breakfast. Thankfully the train station is only a few blocks from Vern Hill Mall, which for me, means Mugg & Bean. A little breakfast helped a little, but I could tell that Jennie had had it. We got a call from Gerrianna saying she’d be in Windhoek and could take us home around 3pm. It was 9am when we got the call. Jennie and I looked at each other and it was clear neither of us really wanted to sit around Windhoek for another 6 hours. We opted just to take a taxi back – (thankfully no rain this time).

We arrived back at our house and it was such a sight for sore eyes. We unloaded our stuff and headed for the door. Upon reaching the front stoop, we immediately realized that our “adventure” of a road-trip wasn’t over yet. Here in Okahandja, every house has burglar bars. Windows, are all barred and the doors have gated bars in front that must be unlocked and opened to get to the actual door which is also locked and needs to be open before you can get in. Well, it was very evident that while we were gone, someone had decided to defy our burglar bars in an attempt to make themselves at home in our place, or at least help themselves to our stuff. Whoever it was apparently tried to pry the gate open using a crowbar or screwdriver or something that they put in trying to use leverage to pry open the gate. Praise the Lord the attempt failed!! The way the gate locks is basically a deadbolt style lock that you open with a skeleton key. They pried hard enough to actually bend the 4-inch long, ¾ inch think block of metal which serves as the deadbolt. But is was still unable to be opened. Which means, if it wasun-openable to them, so it was also for us. Sigh. So much for just coming home crashing. I think asthis point we both just began to laugh and asked each other, “What next?!” Jenny walked around the corner to enlists Buddy’s help and I stood guard with our bags on the front stoop. I got out my Bible and started to read. “Consider it pure joy, brothers, when you face trials of any kind. For we know that the testing of our faith produces perseverance…”

About 2hours later, Gert and Buddy armed with screwdrivers, hammers and a welding machine broke the rest of the way into our house, replaced the old bent lock with a new one (the one Buddy bought for his own gate when his house was broken into, but hadn’t yet installed) and re-welded the gate. (pictures yet to come of our now ghetto-ified looking gate).

Ah…it’s so good to be home.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Visual Reveiw

Oshetu on Sunday night

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Erin's joy at seeing her parents arrive

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Todd and Keano

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OSS Bible Study kids Performing "Jump Jump Jump" at the Independance Day assembly

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Mavea and I (with Keano peeking through)

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The road less-travelled…and it’s a good thing

My wonderful friend and housemate, Jennie, invited me to go to Carasburg with her to visit her parents, spend some time with the family, and also for a little side trip to Fish River Canyon (the second largest Canyon in the world), and the nearby Ai Ais hot springs. We were both pretty excited to have a little road-trip together and do some visiting and exploring. Carasburg is a small town in the south of Namibia – about a 7 hour drive from Okahandja where we live. (It’s a bit south of Keetmanshoop, if you’r looking at a map, or if you have a surprising knowledge of Namibian geography.)

So as we planned to embark on our trip, we made plans to stay one night at Ai Ais hot spring after being told on the phone there no reservations were available at Fish River Canyon Lodge (our original accommodation plan). The idea was to take the train from Windhoek to Keetmans, then take the bus from Keetmans to Carasburg. We would stay Saturday night and Sunday with her family in their “sinkhuis” (tin house)

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have some visiting time, then head out on Monday towards Fish River Canyon. We would spend the day there, then drive to Ai Ais, have the evening there and spend the night and part the next day. We would leave from there, return the truck we were going to borrow from her dad, then head to Keetmans, spend one night at the Ark Children’s home, visit with Juliet and Berdian (our friends there), then catch a ride back with the Dutch volunteers who were returning from Keetmans to Okahandja on Wednesday. It was a great plan.

The reality turned out a lot more like this:
Friday we couldn’t find a ride to Windhoek to catch the train. We finally found a kind friend who offered to drive us, however their only form of transportation was an opn bakkie…did I mention it was absolutely POURING down rain Friday evening when we needed to leave? We kindly declined so as to not be drown rats sitting on the train all night to the south. We eventually found a ride to the taxi depot in town with Gert. He dropped us and we took a taxi to Windhoek - $35 Namibian Dollars. We arrived at the train station in time after the life-threatening experience of riding with a Namibian taxi driver whose windshield is fogged to the point of blindness and is riding the tail of the car in front of him so much I thought we were being towed by them or something.

We got tickets, grabbed dinner and got on the train around 7:45pm ready for the all-night trip to Keetmans. (By train it takes about 10+ hours, because the train tops out at about 30mph) There we sat, on the tracks for the next 3 and a half hours waiting for an engine. Oh yes, they were kind enough to play movies for our “enjoyment” while we were sitting there. “Daredevil” with Ben Affleck…did ANYONE see that movie? No. and there’s a good reason. Its ridiculous. As the suffering through that film ended I hoped for reprieve…and I got “Taxi” with Queen Latifah. That torture lasted until I finally succeeding in willing myself to fall asleep. Did I mention that the speakers were blown and they decided to turn the volume up louder in the hopes that sheer volume would make the words understandable through the garbled static?

So around 10am the next morning we arrived in Keetmans with Jennie vowing never to take the train again. Ever. As we sat on the steps of the train station trying to figure out how best to get to the bus station, Jennie asked someone about times for the bus departure, and we discovered that no busses were running that day. Which left us….taking the train. Round Two of the Namibian train experience yielded such classy film titles as “Pooty Tang” and yet again “Taxi”. (they love their Queen Latifah in the African transportation industry) About 4-5 hours later we arrived in Carasburg.

Pics from the train on our way to Carasburg

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Jennie and her Oma

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(I love her face! Isn't she beautiful?)

To Be Continued…

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

“For YOU do great things. Your Name shall be praised.”

My head is swimming in the goodness of God!! Today has been a long very busy day, full of emotions and thoughts. Quite frankly, it was a bit hectic and by the time 4:30 came around (the time for our Women’s Bible Study) both Erin and I were feeling the effects of a full day. I felt scattered and even a bit discouraged. I felt rushed and somewhat uncertain, especially since Nadine couldn’t make it tonight, and she usually helps us with translation, since the women who come regularly are Afrikaans speakers who aren’t too confident in their English. Erin and I took a minute in my room to pray for the study and ask the Lord to speak, and translate Himself as needed. We are going through the book of Colossians, and are walking through a question sheet we compiled that takes it verse by verse. Tonight as we talked with the women and as they took turns reading the Word and we discussed what the scripture was saying, I could totally sense God working. We had no translation, yet honestly, tonight the women were the most talkative and interactive that I have ever seen them yet. It was certainly the Lord. As we finished with the study for tonight, Erin asked if there were things we could be praying for; specific requests from the women. There were a few that were shared, and then this from Nelda: “You could please pray for me, because I want to repent.” This is HUGE. God has drawn her to Himself. Nelda’s husband, Christaan is a new believer, having placed his trust in Christ in June, and he has continued steadfastly praying for his wife, along with us, that she would also hear God, and that He would draw her through hope in Christ. In the last months, especially since the birth and death of her infant daughter, Nelda has been attending the Thursday gathering here and the Wednesday Women’s study. She often comes on Thursday on her own, even when Christaan is unable to. I have seen her beginning to open up to us, beginning to read and follow along in her Bible, beginning to be interested in and respond to the things of God. And tonight, He called to her. How exciting that we got to see it!!! Erin said, with a huge excited smile, “Have you talked to Christaan yet? Does he know?” and Nelda said, “No, it happened just now.” Wow. And to top that off, she immediately said, “and I want to be baptized.” I wish I could be a fly on the wall for when Christaan comes home tonight to witness the rejoicing that will happen when husband and wife pray together for the first time as a couple united in Christ - born again. Our Father is very very good. Ons Vader es baie baie lekker! (and please excuse my poor Afrikaans!) Please pray for Christaan and Nelda!

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Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Who's Your Daddy?

At the Bible study at OSS, we asked the question, "Are we all God's children?" And that one small question tipped off a heated debate for the next 15-20 minutes, wherein i don't think Buddy, Kendall or I got a word in edgewise. And that was perfectly fine with me. I was just overjoyed to see those students so engaged in the discussion. and they had great arguments too. At one point the discussion was so intense that debating in english just got too difficult to speak the words as vehemently and quickly as desired and it went completely Afrikaans on us. Elamarie was kind enough to translate for the those of us whose knowledge of Afrikaans still consists mainly of words from the picture book on long-term loan from Nikka. I was so happy to see them drawing on the Word of God and what they have learned so far in the study. absolutely awesome.

Ek es baie trots op hulle.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006


Today I ate a Mopani worm. Not too bad, but the legs get stuck in your teeth.

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