Wednesday, April 19, 2006

The Storm

Last evening we had a huge storm - heavy winds, thunder, lightning, horizontal rain and hail slamming against the windows and tin roof. It was so loud. So loud that Buddy and I, even thought standing only a few feet apart, had to yell just to hear each other over the noise. That’s when the power went out. Jenny, Buddy and I found our torches (aka flashlights) and lit candles. We made our way into the kitchen to find it quickly filling with water coming in under the back door. Buddy held the dim light while Jenny and I armed ourselves with towels to mop up what we could and barricade the bottom of the door to limit any continuing water flow. Outside, the wind howled whipped around and Buddy exclaimed, “It feels like maybe we should be bracing ourselves in a doorway or something! This is crazy!” About a half an hour went by and the height of the storm was past us. I couldn’t help but think about our friends in Oshetu, braving this storm in their tin houses of scrap metal and wooden crates. After the worst had passed, the three of us here headed over to Todd and Erin’s house for the rest of the evening to play Phase 10 by candlelight. Its 1pm now, the day after and we are still without power. No idea when it might come back. I’m hoping I can finish writing and post this and check emails before the battery power on my laptop runs down. We went to Oshetu this morning to see if there was anyone who needed help rebuilding and cleaning up. All over, people were out clearing the fallen tree limbs and leaves and talking about the storm.

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Oshetu actually fared ok actually. Its really amazing how much those small tin shacks can take. We did find some help needed at Keano’s grandma’s house, where part of the wall had given way and left a big hole. We listened to the stories of the children. They were scared, but as the rain poured in the wall, grandma pulled them all into the bathroom and they huddled there together. Buddy got to work helping repair the hole, while Todd, Erin and I played with the girls and boys outside. Praise the Lord for His Church and how we get to be the body to each other.

Here is a picture of Todd and Erin’s backyard this morning. The papaya tree didn’t do so well.

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Sunday, April 16, 2006

mavenga otjikuthinga

I’ve discovered that the lowest point in my kitchen is in front of the refrigerator…How do I know this? Simply put, that is where the water is the deepest.

MENTAL NOTE: If you are ever living at my house in Nau-Aib and you decide to take a shower shortly after finishing washing the dishes, it might be a good idea to first check to make sure that the hot water tap on the kitchen sink is closed. If you fail to do this, you may notice a big drop in water pressure and it won’t be a very warm shower. I doubt, however, that you will put two and two together until you decide to return a cup to the kitchen without turning on the light and you end up standing in about an inch of water (the deepest of which will happen to be in front of the refrigerator, by the way). At this point you may realize that while you were trying to have a shower, you have inadvertently given your kitchen a bath.

TIP: It is possible to use a broom to sweep water out the back door.

Thursday, April 13, 2006


So if you have noticed in my recent pictures, my hair has been getting a bit shaggy, but not being familiar with what kind of a cut I might experience here in Namibia (and since my roomate/hairstylist for the first month or so has returned to the States) I was a bit hesitant....apprehensive even, but I braved it today and had my first haircut here at one of the places in town. Praise the Lord for my friend, Joy, who warned me about what to expect. And thankful I am for that warning because, seriously I think she cuts hair faster than any human alive. She was completely just cutting random snips of hair all over the place in crazy haphazard angles, and hair was flying without any apparent rhyme or reason. Had I not been warned, this might have been disturbing, but I trusted Joy's word that, indeed as crazy as it seemed, the end result would be a good one. And, indeed, it was. Me = Very happy.

This is me smiling because I won't need to be wearing a headscarf for the next 4 weeks.


Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Enjoying the Grace of His Creation

As I mentioned, Howard and Rhonda took us to Okapuka Lodge for a day of respit and enjoying our God through what He has made. Such a joy it was! Here are the photos from our day of being spoiled missonaries:

Definitely my favorite shot of the day:

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can you believe I actually live somewhere where I can take shots like this and it's only a 30 minute drive from my house? (And we're NOT talking at the zoo....)

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Two White Rhinos enjoying their breakfast

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Me with my new friend, Starfire, getting ready for the horseback safari at Okapuka Lodge

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Riding through the bush on horseback. I think there's a wildebeast in the distance, but he blends in pretty well.

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OK, just felt the need to satisfy those visual learners back home. Enjoy!

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Ministry Recap

Ok, time for the much awaited Ministry Recap/Update I promised to write up once I gathered my thoughts. I decided to split it up into several entries because there’s a lot to recap. And remember, this is only a few highlighted things from the last two weeks! God is doing much more here than I could ever write enough to describe. And so much more than I know or even recognize.

We have attended a church here that may actually be teaching the Truth to people. There wasn’t any, “give-us-money-to-receive-your-blessing-from-God” teaching. In fact, the first Sunday we attended there was teaching on humility. It is a church that meets in a big tent not far from my house. The service was in Kavango but also translated into English. There was such a family atmosphere, to the point that they actually waited to begin the program until everyone had arrived – which in Africa takes quite a while. Until everyone got there we sang more songs, praising God through music. There were no instruments (which if you’ve been to many African churches usually means 1980’s synthesized keyboard) just voices with great harmonies, songs in different languages, and of course, dancing. And, as it turns out, the guy who did the preaching on Sunday (one of the men being discipled by the pastor of the church and training under him) was Tiago, a man from the Woodcarvers Bible study that Buddy and I have been leading. And he actually taught from Matthew Chapter 3, which is the chapter that we had most recently studied together. It’s just cool how God brings certain people into the path of numerous people that, if obedient, can be used greatly in shaping someone’s growth in the Lord. I say this because Bona, Kendall’s mom, formed a friendship with Tiago on a past trip here and he carries a book that she gave him about the Lord. Isn’t it amazing how God’s puzzle is put together?

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

OSS Bible Study

Its been very hit-or-miss lately since the students have been in exams for the past 2-3 weeks. They often have afternoon classes beginning at 2:30pm, which means only 1hr and a half in between getting out of school and beginning afternoon classes. Which for our Bible study means either not having the bible study or having a shortened lesson, so the kids can have 30 mins to run home and eat lunch. What is cool is that many of the students actually prefer the latter to not having the Bible study at all. A number of the students come no matter what and they sacrifice eating lunch, sacrifice their 1hr 30 min. break in the school day, to come join us in studying God’s Word. I am blown away. I appreciate the hearts of those kids so much! What a challenge to so many mature adults who ditch God’s Word when it comes to having to sacrifice something.

In General

We’ve seen how our individual ministries and lives are beginning to come together and how one thing is lending itself to the other:

* The mother of one of our students from the OSS Bible study, Sylvia, is part of the Woodcarver’s Bible study, and has expressed an interest in being a part of Erin’s ministry to the women of Oshetu.

* Mavea, a young woman who is Todd and Erin’s neighbor, whom they initially invited to house church a few months ago, has been devouring the Word of God and growing. She has become a good friend of mine and we often get together to watch movies and have coffee. Just last week she helped out with serving the food for Kids Club, which Jenny, Erin and Todd and I are a part of.

* Buddy and I attended the Sunday Night Bible study in Oshetu, and the women from Oshetu came to the Women’s Bible study here last week.

Its just really artistic of God to begin things in our lives individually only to bring many of those things together for a bigger impact – His greatest glory


Howard and Rhonda Sheets spent the last two weeks with us, encouraging us, living with us, spoiling us (aka taking us out to dinner and allowing us to play hard at things we wouldn’t have been able to afford to do without them) and being a part of God’s work here in Okahandja. On Tuesday we went to Okapuka Lodge (about 30 mins drive away) for the day. We went on a game drive, had lunch, went on a horse safari (going out amidst the game on horseback), then watched the lion feeding and had a lovely dinner. The day was amazing! They have been very generous and helpful and will be missed.

Women's Bible Study - Colssians

Tonight was great and although it was only me, Sylvia and Nelda, we had a very nice time. I decided that we would just spend some time talking and then pray together, so that we didn’t get too far ahead of the others who weren’t here tonight. In our talking we somehow ended up on the topic of relationships, marriage, humility and submission and the role of the husband and wife. It was pretty cool how even just our “chatting” came around to focusing on God and His Word. Then I asked if we could pray together, said I would begin and then leave time for either of them to pray if they wanted to, but that they didn’t have to if they preferred not to aloud. It was such a sweet time. I began to pray and then after me, Sylvia, and then Nedla. (It is so cool just to hear her pray, especially because she seems so timid so speak up most of the time.) She prays in Afrikaans and I can only understand half of what she is praying, but it is so encouraging to hear her. God is drawing her nearer to Himself. Pray that she continues to listen to Him calling her.


I think I finally feel settled here now. I feel like my friendships with people are natural and I no longer have to work so hard at it, like one has to when there are lots of new friendships being built in a new place.

The girls are starting to come over randomly just to visit me, which is just wonderful. Caroline (one of the girls from the Bible study – in grade 8) comes by quite a bit and has been helping me by quizzing me in my Afrikaans. She even made up a school notebook for me. The front of it reads:

Amanda Zeiders
Grade 1
“Caroline Primary School”

The weather is getting cooler. Most mornings I have to wear long sleeves now until the middle of the day, then its too warm. But once the sun sets (at 6pm now since the time change) the long sleeves come back out. Hot tea on cool breezy mornings = happiness.

I’ve seen a lot of beauty in God’s creation around this country in the last few weeks and I continue to be in awe of His creativity and splendor.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Swakopmund Getaway Day

There's been so much ministry and so much to write about, that I've been overwhelmed with how to write about it all. so for now, all you get is some more pics from my recent day trip, and i will be working on good overveiw of the what God has been doing here. get ready, because there's a bunch of things! it is so good. God is so good!

After such a nasty "roadtrip gone bad" Jennie and I were both pleasantly surprised by a call from friends inviting us to spend the day in Swakopmund with them. It was a great day, and I am so thankful to the Lord for such a gift.

What I like to call "The Vortex Dune"
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Jennie and I trying to be brave enough to go near the Vortex
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People climbing the dunes in Swakopmund
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Ripples in the sand near the coast
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Sand and scrub near the coastline
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The remains of what looks like it a fromer bridge and the dunes in the background
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Swakop from the end of the pier
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Waves pounding the rocks
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Sunset as seen from "The Tug" restaraunt (an old tug boat- turned fine dining establishment)
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(the duneboarding pictures are yet to come! i've got to get them from someone else's camera)