Monday, February 28, 2011

The Nature of the Beast

Wild animals refuse to be tamed...that's why they're called wild.

This elephant in Kruger Game Park didn't like having us around, and we found out why. She had a baby elephant in tow (hidden in the grass). Fortunately for us, her fake charges were just that - fake.

Missionary life is something that refuses to be tamed as well. Whether it's losing your laptop while going through airport security, or having to fix the plane you're flying in, it's the kind of life that just loves surprises.

In spite of that (or maybe because of it), Bob and I are enjoying this trip and wouldn't trade it for the world. After getting settled in, we took a tour of ASAM's primary school (Saturday, so school is out - no kids).

Sunday meant a visit to the local church with lots of singing, drumming, dancing, and great sermons. It was a real cross-cultural experience!

Now it's Monday, and our first day on the job. Bob has been busy pouring over building plans, trying to figure out how to build roof trusses out of lumber called ironwood milled to non-uniform dimensions, while gluing back together an $800 electric drill that somebody dropped and broke (no, it wasn't us!). Rick has already been repairing electrical wiring at the wood shop while helping the staff remove some stubborn tires from the big truck. All in a days work.

At the end of the day, everyone's feeling a little dog-tired...but it's a good tired, and it comes with the territory.

It's the nature of the beast.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Trouble in the Ethernet

My apologies for not updating this blog, but we have been unable to get on the Internet since leaving the hotel in Johannesburg. Firstly, the guesthouse in White River (where we spent a couple of days that included a great trip into Kruger Game Park) had decided to discontinue their service of providing Internet to guests.

Secondly, upon arriving in Mozambique we discovered that my laptop was left and/or stolen back in South Africa - still trying to check that one out. Prayers are appreciated..

The folks here at the ASAM farm graciously donated the use of a brand new laptop for me to blog on, but when we tried to connect to the Internet this evening, it not only wouldn't connect, but it effectively blocked all the other computers on site as well!

So while it sits in detention in the corner (shut down, of course), I'm typing this message on the office computer...which means I can't upload any of our fantastic photos. Bummer...

So... we'll try again tomorrow, and if I still can't do any photos, I'll try to at least give an update on our trip. Bottom line is that we're doing fine and looking forward to getting into the work on Monday morning.

Thanks for checking in, and we'll be back soon (I hope...)

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The Pidgeons have landed...

After two long 10-hour flights, we are safely in South Africa, enjoying the amazing breakfast room at the Garden Court hotel in Johannesburg.

Bob especially liked the U2 song playing in the background, It's A Beautiful Day.

Flying with KLM was definitely at treat. Both planes had vacant seats, so we had room to stretch out.

The next item on the agenda is to pick up our rental car and drive out to Nelspruit and the Mercy Air Guesthouse in nearby White River...tomorrow we tackle the Kruger Game park.

But Bob found some game right outside the lobby. Anybody know what kind of bird this is?

Thank you for your prayers; we're feeling remarkably well and excited about the coming weeks. We'll keep you posted!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

One Week To Go...

One week from today we'll be on the road, driving to Seattle for the first leg of our journey to Mozambique. So...what does one pack for a trip like this?

How about $5-a-pill malaria medicine? Don't want to get sick this time...

 And some of these. Really helps make the water taste better.

I also picked up one of these - a torque wrench to be used in the mechanical repair side of things. Don't want those lug nuts coming loose on the Mission vehicles. And it was on sale for half price - cool.

Looking ahead, it appears that the Training Centre in Mozambique is just about ready for its roof, and that's great news. One of Bob's first jobs will be building the roof trusses for this project, and he can't wait to get at it. The lumber is on-site awaiting our arrival.

So just a few more days to make sure we don't leave something important behind...but I'm sure we will.

But that's okay. Like they say, it's all good.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Turning Mustard Seeds into Trees

God is a specialist at taking small things and turning them into bigger things. There have been some small steps forward lately, and it leaves me wondering where one day they might lead.

Friend Bob found out just last week that he would be able to accompany me to Africa, so we booked our flights - leaving Seattle on February 21st...

The SAM Ministries Board voted to include our short term mission trip and the Mozambique Maintenance and Training Center in their 2011 budget, so now those who want to donate to this trip can obtain a tax receipt... (visit Mercy Tech Mission for more details)

Other friend Todd (aka The Grumpy Mechanic) is busy compiling training materials that we can use to teach Mozambican young men the basic skills of auto mechanics...That trip is planned for August 2011.

The local newspaper called for an interview and plans to run a story on Mercy Tech Mission...
(yeah, I was pretty shocked, too)

Just one step after another...

Time to dust up these old shoes.