Ministry of presence

We learned about presence being a ministry in our formation training. I remember Paul, our Program Director, saying more than once that we’d need to learn to be okay with just being and not always doing. For most Americans this is not an easy task. We focus on productivity, accomplishments, or to simply put it – getting things done.

Looking back to mid-November, it started getting difficult for us to be content “just being present.” Our daily life was becoming a bit more routine; we spend quite a bit of time at the 2 preschools we work with and attended various meetings at church. In our spare time, we typically play with the neighborhood children or the children who come to the church property on the weekends for tilitonse (Sunday School, but on Saturday’s—all morning!) Life was beginning to feel “smooth.” [Read more…]

Little blessings

Our daily life is becoming more of a routine. We are adjusting to regular power outages ranging from 2 – 8 hours every few days. About two weeks ago the pump for the bore hole, where we get all of the water for our house, broke. It took just over a week to repair. Conveniences make life easier but they aren’t always necessary or available here in Malawi. For a short period of time we drew water from the neighbor’s outdoor spigot for essential water needs until the pump was fixed. [Read more…]

Busy in Malawi

The past few weeks have been very busy for us. The Lord continues to bless us with good health and happiness during our many activities. We thank Him daily for bringing us to Malawi and allowing us to share His love to those we meet. [Read more…]

Adjusting well

Josie at the playground with friends.

We have been in Malawi for just over 6 weeks. Our family has been adjusting quite well, granted we all wish we knew how to communicate better than we currently can in Chichewa. It sure is awesome hearing both Lily and Josie picking up words and phrases! [Read more…]

Our family grows by 1

We are so happy to share with you that last week we became the mommy and daddy of baby Emebet!  She is a 7 month old girl with intense eyes and a beautiful set of dimples from Northern Ethiopia. She is absolutely wonderful!

After finishing our adoption application some months ago, to our great joy we met little Emebet for the first time on April 30th (the feast day of Our Lady of Africa). The name Emebet, pronounced Emma-bet in Amharic language means “special lady” or “honoured woman”, a name they often use for Mary the Mother of Jesus.  We have decided to keep it for our special little lady.

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Mourning and healing

The traditions of mourning the death of a loved one are some of the most different to us coming from a western culture.  Funerals are significant occasions in Ethiopia that involve the entire community. A white tent pitched alongside a house or the street is a sure sign of a family in mourning. When a person dies, mourners gather at the deceased’s home to comfort the family. The mourning tent will remain up for more than a week and during that time the family is never alone. Friends and relatives (and distant relatives and acquaintances) will come by each day to speak and offer their condolences but mostly to sit in silence with the family.  A typical funeral may be attended by thousands of people.

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Filled with small graces

My first Christmas in Ethiopia has been filled with small graces. In truth, I had been feeling melancholy for most of the month of December. Christmas in Ethiopia is celebrated on January 7 not December 25. But more significant to me is that Christmas is considered a minor feast in Ethiopia. There are no special traditions, decorations or even special hymns for Christmas. So I had really been praying to just get through December.

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The littlest missionary

Many azungu (white people) return to their home countries to have babies and the fact that we didn’t has been a source of much surprise and joy to every Malawian we encounter. Malawians express great pride in our son Seth being born here. People in our village have claimed him as their own, calling him Mwana wa Malawi (Malawian baby) and Mwana wathu (our baby). We even have had more than one person joke with us that when we return to the States we will have to leave him with them.

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First year in Peru

I spent a big share of my time teaching English up to mid-December when schools stopped for summer break. I am teaching a beginning level class in English once a week at the parish, but now I have no other commitment for English, except an occasional tutoring session.

The biggest share of my time is spent with plants right now. I started a garden inside the walls of the property of Señor de los Milagros soon after I came. There was really nothing there and they had a good supply of water, so it seemed very logical. Well, that has initiated a whole sequence of events that I can´t say I don´t mind. The area dedicated for the play of the children in the parish preschool (next to the garden in Señor de los Milagros) was in very poor shape and in part to build up the school I volunteered to upgrade the whole area.

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