Thursday, January 22, 2009

My team + 2 Bastars!

home, sweet Rehoboth







Last Friday we said our good-byes to the Rineer family. Brittany, Stephen, and I had such an amazing week with them. However, it was more like a vacation than real life. Our hearts were becoming anxious to see this little town called Rehoboth, of which we had heard so much.

Friday afternoon Mick Rineer dropped us off at Lenie Van Wyk's house. We stepped out of his car, placed our feet in the sand, and found ourselves in front of a bright purple house with bars on the windows. At this moment, it all became real. As Mick said "Bye!" and we found ourselves standing there holding our bags in this place we did not know with these people we knew nothing about. It was hard at first. I felt like Mick had become our Dad for the week and he was abandoning us. I hastily tried to remind myself I came here to be taken out of my comfort zone.

So we walked in...

It was decided that Brittany and Stephen would live with Lenie and I would live across the sandy way with Lenie's daughter, Latisha (25), and her 2 little girls. On the first night, Lenie revealed to us how elated she is about our arrival. She gets lonely since her husband died in the 90's --two months after she lost one of her sons. Our hearts broke for her and realized she must be a very strong woman to have gone through what she has.

Saturday, Lenie had a "Welcome Brie" for us. Brie means barbeque in Afrikaans. We ate all types of Baster food and boy, was it delicious! (By the way, Basters are the people of Rehoboth. They are a mix of German and African, which explains their much lighter skin. Rehoboth is a town full of basters---the term "baster" is not considered derogatory here in Rehoboth, but instead people feel a sense of pride to say "I am a Baster"). Anywho, after that we went to church and I was told I would be singing in front of everyone on the worship team!!! "WHAT??!!" They were not concerned about my incapability to carry a tune. So Sunday morning, there I was.... up in front of a large group of people singing my heart away (in a different language). But it was so fun and the people there were so, so nice. The Basters are such a loving community.

Sunday night, we got tucked into bed and.... well maybe that was a lie... we never get tucked into bed here due to the extreme heat...It is hot, but NOT humid-- which makes a Virginia girl who tends to sweat a lot very happy!
So Sunday night, we got into bed excited for a good day of work on Monday..

We woke up, walked a few miles into town and looked in awe at our project. We are to turn a very old, broken down building into a sanctuary for children and youth from the streets. The pictures below show what we saw when we first came in.

Each day has been filled with much hard work, dusk masks, gloves, hammers, etc. We have bonded with many people from the community who have come to work along side of us on this project. We come home exhausted and quite disgusting, but are greeted with a big dinner made my Lenie. Each dinner always consists of some kind of meat. The people of Namibia LOVE meat. This is good for me- due to my ability to put down meat faster than a boy!

After dinner Stephen, Brittany, and I usually play with the kids from the street out in the sandy yard until bed time. Kids here find enjoyment playing in the same yard (always barefoot) day after day. They have never heard of video games. This is quite refreshing.

I sit and wonder if this little place of dirty roads and cute little children will become home to me in a few months. Will this become normal? Will it be hard to be home in my fast-paced, technology-filled world?



Prayer Requests
-safety as we are working in some dangerous conditions in the building
-ministry with the children and women here
-contentment


A funny story from Brit's blog: The older children speak some English and so they are helping to teach us some Afrikaans words--my favorite phrase is “thank you very much”--which sounds like you are saying “buy a donkey.” Even better was when we were praying after worship team practice (yes, all three of us are a part of the choir at church--we began Sunday and tried as hard as we could to sing along in Afrikaans) and the guy next to me said, “Yes Jesus, you’re a donkey…” Or at least that is what my English-speaking ears heard (: It really means something along the lines of “Thank you, Child of Jehovah.” I have a lot to learn, but it is so fun to finally be able to put small phrases together and say something correctly and have someone actually respond!

Buya Donkey, Tot Seins!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

YaY Africa!

So I am finally here in Namibia.

It was quite a journey. Two days with about 3 hours of sleep in all- suffice it to say, we arrived in Windhoek quite delusional! However, our host family treated us with grace and did not hold our lethargic demeanor against us.

Windhoek is the capital of Namibia. It is significantly more westernized than the rest of Namibia. It is definitely not the U.S. but not the bush either. We will reside here for a week of orientation with two couples (one from the Netherlands & one from the UK). And then on 17th, we will journey to Rehoboth, Namibia to settle in.

I will be excited to finally get my hands dirty and start what we came here for in Rehoboth. But on the other side I have thoroughly enjoyed my time with my host family. They have 8 children of different races.... needless to say, it is never boring around here. They model a family I would like to have one day.

I have already learned so much here and been convicted of my selfish ways. Everything is so different here... but I like it.. I remind myself I did not come here to remain in my comfort zone.

One of my favorite parts so far has been going to Katatura. There, we saw the poorest of the poor living in tiny little shacks...right around the corner from the wealthy.. (Namibia has one of the greatest gaps between the poor and rich in the world). Amongst all of the lil shacks was a group of children practicing their Bible school songs. It brought joy to my heart. It made me anxous to start working with the children of Rehoboth. I am excited to go back on Tuesday for some more orientation.


Praises:
*Thank you for praying for me. I am overwelmingly suprised at how comfortable I feel so early.
* People ask Brittany (my roomie and teammate) and I if we knew eachother before due to our sisterly love we display ...aka we get along really well... so thank you for prayers
*We were able to bring 150 pounds of school supplies for the children over here through your financial support.

Prayer requests
-preparing us for Rehoboth


make a Funny--I have been warned on two separate occassions to not do certain things because "the guys with the guns will come" .... what that means, i do not know haha.. but my roomie and I always look at eachother and laugh thinking- is this really our life right now?

Pictures will come soon!

Until next time, tot seins! (Goodbye in Afrikaans)

love you guys!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

IT ALL CAME IN!!

I decided I wanted to go to Africa during my junior year of college. The one thing holding me back was raising support. I have always known God is infinitely bigger than money- but in the back of my mind I was quite hesitant.

Others had told me stories of money coming in from the craziest places during their support raising experience. However, I doubted when it came to me.

Praise God for his continued faithfulness during our faithless periods!

Every bit of it came in!

It has been such an amazing experience and a slap in the face at the same time.
God equips the called... we've all heard the saying before- but it's real and true!

___________________________________________________________________
I leave January 5th but don't arrive to Namibia until Jan 9th. I will keep you updated!

GOODBYE AMERICA!