Thursday, November 27, 2008

Walking with Giants!

Yes... that is a 4,000 Kilogram Adult male African Elephant I am "taking for a walk"- there is nothing quite as intimidating as having "Casper" on your heels!
"Casper" getting up from his morning brushing.
We had the opportunity this week to spend a morning at the Hazyview Elephant Sanctuary. I am not sure I will ever cease to be amazed at God's ability to create. In fact, I hope I never do. Spending the morning learning about and interacting with these massive creatures was truly an incredible experience.
Kim, Myself and Rick just hanging out under four tonnes of sheer power. Good thing he liked us!
Kim and Kitsol
We booked in for the whole package, so we got to assist the trainers in the early morning by brushing the elephants, and then joined the rest of our group for the feeding and walking with elephants program. I learned so much about elephants, and it is amazing how God thinks of every small detail!
sitting atop Casper you feel really really small
I love elephants, so this was a dream come true for me, and something I would definetly like to do again. There is something very moving about standing beside a four ton animal and interacting with it- we even got kisses from one of them!
Rick.. getting a kiss from Kitsol.
Our time here in South Africa is almost done, and we are happy to say we have accomplished pretty much everything we came down to do! The Bakkie is fixed (as much as one can fix an old beat up bakkie), supplies have been purchased and we all feel rested enough to get back into the crazyness of life in Mozambique. Please pray for safe travel and for a productive week of training next week with our pastors training school.
allways on the lookout for a good shot!
hows this for a parting shot??
God Bless, Rick and Heather

Saturday, November 22, 2008

VBS 2008- Be an Example!

Little Isabel -her eyes just captivated me!
Well, we have been in South Africa for a week now, and I am happy to say that we have almost gotten the truck repaired completly. We are also blessed that Mercy Air's resident I.T. Specialist was able to rebiuld their internet system after a lightning strike took out the whole thing. We were out to supper when it happened, but those who were here said it was incredibly loud! So, now that we have internet again, I will do a post on our VBS.
Out two weeks of VBS was so much fun- but im glad it was only for two weeks! The kids had so much fun and we all had a blast playing the games, doing crafts, learning our Bible Verse- 1 Timothy 4:12, and hearing about heroes from the Bible. Rick and I were completly exhausted by the end of the two weeks, but it was well worth the effort to see all those smiling faces every day! It was good for us to see how our training and creativity can work here, and we look forward to being able to work with more childrens groups.
We were also really excited to see our schools teachers take ownership and leadership of the many different areas. They led games and singing times, directed the quizzes and helped out with servant hearts anytime we asked them to!
To really do justice to VBS you kinda have to be here- but for those of you who couldnt make the two day trip, Ill post some pictures!Heather teaching a lesson on Esther. At this point "Esther" is getting perfumed and lotioned by her maidens so she can be the prettiest lady in the whole country.(it was really nice smelling lotion and perfume too!!!) Tug of war! Teacher Tito (AKA Goliath) during his death scene. He went all out- it took him like 45 seconds of swaying and groaning and falling to finally die. The water balloon/wet sponge slingshot. This was pretty much the highlight game of VBS alongside the slip and slide. Kim took this job very seriously. She was really good at it too! and... the final results! Everyone gets WET!
Hey pastor Rick... arent you supposed to be setting an example???!! LOL
These kids had SOOO much energy!
Thanks to everyone who prayed for our VBS, and also for our journey down here to SA. God certianly heard and answered all of those prayers in big ways! Please continue to pray for us as we have one more week of errands and repairs to do, as well as taking a day or two to just relax before we begin the two day trip back up to our base! God Bless,
Rick & Heather

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Long Overdue Update

Sorry folks, I know I promised pictures and an update, but we have been having internet issues for quite a while now. The good news is that GOD IS AMAZING! We recieved our DIRE's in record time and are currently in South Africa! We made the jouney in good time, and only had to stop once to repair a fuse on the "bakkie" ! We know God was watching over us the whole time. We were able to stay with new missionary friends on the coast and woke up to see a beautiful ocean this morning before beginning day two of our trip down here to South Africa. Also, our two weeks of VBS were amazing, and as soon as we have settled in I will post a nice long blog about it with lots of pictures. God Bless, Rick and Heather

Monday, November 3, 2008

The days you just have to blog about.

"Oh NO!" and the nameless puppy puppet make their grand entrance...
This week started out wonderfully. We had a great time at VBS today... and although to outsiders Im sure it would have looked like barelycontained chaos, I thought we managed to keep things going quite well. The games went really well, and the kids had a blast with our juice drinking relay and the various wet sponge games. Anything involving water is a welcome activity in this heat! “ OH NO” the puppet, and his new friend Sariah, the dog (also a puppet) were a huge hit! kim and Sariah waiting for their part grape koolaid- they loved this game!! We left the school shortly after noon on our way to Chimoio to apply for our DIREs. Several young guys hitched a ride down the long school driveway with us in the back of the pickup. It was definitely a “God Thing” that we decided to offer them rides (we normally don’t). We had to stop about ten minutes later to drop them off, which is when we noticed the back passenger side wheel was SMOKING!!! We got it cooled down, did a quick inspection, and decided to see if we could make it to town.. whatever had caused the problem was gone though and we made it to town without further problems. We stopped several times to check... but no more wheel trouble. PHEW! Then we go to Immigration to apply for our DIRE’s. Where after waiting for over an hour we are escorted to the boss’s office upstairs and informed we should have applied for this immediately upon arriving, we don’t have the right form and we need copies of some other paper that has mysteriously disappeared from religious affairs. Fine. So we go downstairs after being quizzed by the immigration boss, to request the correct form because its only 3:10 and they don’t close until 3:30. There I am informed that I can’t have the form until tomorrow. Why I ask, are you not still open? Yes he says.. and then.. he says (and i quote, although i am going to translate this to English) “Yes we are open but for the 20 minutes before we close we don’t do anything.” Now.. I know things work differently here, but really- do i have to say how bizarre that is? This is Africa at its best. Then we hop in the car, and go stop for gas. I rolled down my window, and Rick did his too BC its terribly hot sitting in the car with the windows up. It’s another “God Thing” that we made that small move to roll down our windows. Because once we figured out the gas station was out of diesel and tried to start the car nothing happened. NOTHING. No click, no nada. Now here is where that really long trip back in feburary where our cavellier kept quitting comes in. We thought God was just teaching us to trust in Him, which he was! But apparently he was also teaching us how to recognise signs that your relay switch is dead and how to start a vehicle by touching the two posts of the starter together.. Which is of course what we had to do for the rest of our trip (in February and now!). The windows were stuck down because we had no power to them as well. We stopped at the mechanics, where they had no idea if they had a relay switch, and upon inspecting our front end, were not sure they knew what one was! (Again, a small “God Thing” here. The mechanics took pity on us and let me and Kim sit in the air conditioned office while we waited!!) So off we left for home, with the hot wind blowing in our faces- which is way better than the hot air blowing at us out of the vents when the windows are closed! Then on the way home, this clanking noise under the vehicle became very persistant. (I promise to you I am not making this stuff up!) We have a lot of clanking noises with this truck, but this was a new one. And it only happens when the clutch/ brakes are engaged. This cant be good. We got out, checked to see if anything was hanging or loose and decided to pray, and go! We praise God that we are home and in one piece.
awesome sunset we saw on the way home from town It is amazing to us how God can bring situations into our way (ie, boys wanting a ride, opening the windows for air at the gas station, a cavellier in febuary that wont start with the same symptoms as our truck here!) that teach us to rely on His faithfulness even more! Are we still frustrated? Yes. Are we still wondering how this truck is going to make the journey to South Africa? Yes. But we know God will make a way. Its days like this that remind us who is in control. And that we need to depend on Him. Also, days like this show us just how important it is to have people praying for us. Your prayers mean so much to us. We praise God for a great start to our VBS, and are looking forward to two weeks of fun and learning with the kids! God Bless, Heather and Rick

Sunday, November 2, 2008

What a week!

Although our week has been buy busy busy busy... I have very few pictures to show for it! Or maybe it is because we have been so busy that I have so few pictures! We made four trips to town in 3 days this past week. (one day we went twice!) As much as I love seeing civilization, four times is a bit much in one week... especially in our truck whose air conditioning went kaput on tuesday! Praise the Lord we did not have to journey to Zimbabwe for our visas! Our paperwork is in at the DHL office in town, and we will be able to apply for our DIRE's this Monday. PTL!!! It will be tight getting them in time for our trip to SA, so we will still need a lot of prayer in regards to that. We know God is more than able to provide for our needs. dust rising from the floor as small girls and the women dance/shuffle in a circle We spent today back at the little church in our community that inspired my African Church services blog a few weeks back. As I have few other pictures from the week, I thought I would post a few more pictures from todays service. It was again a time of worship that I definetly enjoyed. Rick preaching, and his translator (Matthew wasnt here today) trying to look up bible verses while balancing her daughter on her back! dancing up a storm! praying for the women and children at the end of the service Kim making friends with a baby.

Tomorow morning we kick off our VBS down at Mucombeze primary school. ( The mission's school) Please pray for good weather, a good time of fun and fellowship with the kids, and that everyone will learn what it means to be a hero for God!!!! We are focusing primarily on young people in the Bible and how God can use even young people to be heros for Him. Tomorow we are starting with Joseph, and then others we will look at include Daniel, David, Esther, Joshua, Moses etc. We are planning to have lots of water games to keep us cool, and are looking forward to some uniquely African crafts- for example.. Monkey Apple Painting!

monkey apple before..... and after!
We are doing well here, and are beginning ever so slowly to adjust to the heat. Renovations on our temporary home will hopefully be starting soon, and work on Dwight and Lynn's place keeps on coming along. We are so grateful for all the prayer warriors and financial supporters we have. Please continue to pray for health, safety on the road, our vehicle, and of course our VBS!
God Bless,
Rick and Heather
p.s. keep your eyes open for the next post with VBS pictures!!!!

this little guy danced for almost the entire service.. what a cutie!!