Posted on April 2nd, 2015

Not in Kasane/Kazungula!

With Easter just a few days away, I went to our new super grocery store, part of a national chain of grocery stores, to look for Easter goodies, like chocolate eggs or bunnies.  As I entered the store, I spotted the specials flier and was so excited to see a picture of chocolate eggs and bunnies. 

After walking the whole store, which is quite large, I could not find the eggs and bunnies.  I approached one of the assistant managers and inquired about them.  She shook her head and said they had no chocolate eggs or bunnies.  I guess they have them in the stores in Francistown, Maun, and Gaborone, but not in our store!

I did notice a complaint box by the manager’s desk as I left.  I am sorely tempted to cut the picture out of the flier and write “false advertising” on it and drop it in.  But I probably won’t! 

I hope everyone has a blessed Easter with or without chocolate eggs and bunnies!

Posted on February 16th, 2015

December was an exciting month of visiting with family and friends and our sponsoring church, Kaufman.  So precious is our time with our first grandbaby Ruth!  Elise and
Rob joined us for two weeks while we spent time with both the Honey and Gibson folks.  Sweet, sweet fellowship!

January found us driving over 3,000 miles from Texas to Colorado to Nebraska to Arkansas and back to Texas!  We enjoyed being with old friends and making new ones.  As always, we were blessed immensely by the love and hospitality of all our hosts: the Vesels, the Rutherfords, the Wrights, the Landviks, the Irelands, and the Harrises. 

February we celebrated Ruth's one year birthday!  It is a major accomplishment for her as she has conquered two open heart surgeries, a cranial surgery and a cardio catherter!  Yet, she smiles through it all!  She really is an angel and a much loved one! 

We are now setting out for a two week sojourn in South Texas to visit more of our supporters.  Thankfully, we will not be trying to out run winter storms as we did in our northern trek.

All too soon it will be time to board the plane and head back to Kasane.  Leaving our baby Ruth will be tough, but God has blessed us with another grandchild coming in May in Africa!  Elise and Rob will welcome baby Sutcliffe into the world in May in Gaborone.  We are all excited about this latest addition to the family!

Posted on September 3rd, 2014

This year has been a challenge with the internet.  The whole community, Kasane and Kazungula, are having a proper sewer system installed.  However, the company doing the work is not always careful in their digging and have cut through the internet cables a time or two.  Of course they face a challenge because under ground lines are not always marked. 

Hopefully, the sewer project will be finished soon and we will not have unexpected disruption.  In the best of times our internet is slow!

So please bear with us as we try to post!  I recently sent Rob a picture of their puppy playing with our puppy.  Just a simple snapshot!  It took almost an hour to upload to email! 

Yet, we are thankful that we have internet and so count our blessings inspite of the slow speed and interruptions in service!

Thankfully, our email has been working and we will try to keep everyone updated that way if the internet slows down.

Again, we are looking forward to seeing many of you in December, January and Februaty.

Until next time, God be with you and remember to praise Him in every situation, even times of no or slow internet speed!

Posted on September 3rd, 2014

In April, after almost a year of waiting, of doing mountains of paperwork, and of making several visits to government offices, we received our permits to stay for another 3 years!  We are thankful for every day we have here in Botswana, and appreciate your prayers  for our permits.

Then the good news came that we got permission to place our Trucker's Chapel in a permanent spot!  We are rejoiceding!   It has taken 2 1/2 years but it will finally be a reality!   In our Wednesday night Bible study, we have been reading and discussing Luke.  We had just finished with the Parable of the Persistent Widow a couple of weeks before, and when Keith shared the good news with the group, Tumai said, "Ah you are like the persistent woman and God has answered!"  Yes, He has!

We are well and were so thankful to see some of you in February and April when we flew home to be with our son, Keith,  and daughter in law, Lisa, after the birth of our first grandchild.  Baby Ruth has been such a blessing and testimony to many.  Born with heart defects, she has survived two open heart surgeries and is thriving and growing!  What a joy to hold and love our first grandchild!  She really is grand!

The past two months have been full of unusual opportunities to minister.  One of Elise's students lost his  mom, Leiann.  She died suddenly at home from a heart attack.  This stunning event, she was only 44, has left her two sons,  Angus and Josh, and her husband Duncan struggling to come to terms with life without mom.  In fact, many in Kasane have been examining their lives in light of this unexpected passing.  I am working with the boys 3 days a week to tutor and counsel.  Please pray for me to have wisdom and insight as I interact with them.

Jock, a sweet elderly lady suffering from cancer died the next day after Leiann.  So we had two memorials in one week.  Then a few weeks later one of the young mothers here delivered a still born baby.  All this death in our community has given us opportunities to share about the hope we have in Jesus.  Pray for us as we do so.

A few weeks later Keith was called to the hospital on Wednesday night to help with 6 young missionaries who had been in a horrific car accident.  Sadly, one of them had died.  However, he is now with Jesus and is running!  In life, he was wheel-chair bounded with withered legs.  He was a new Christian who had just dedicated his life and future to the Lord!  We will be eager to meet him in Heaven! 

Keith spent 2 days at the hospital helping, counseling and praying with these young people until some of the parents arrived and they were all medi-vaced to South Africa.  We have since heard that they are all doing well and expected to make full recoveries.

It is school holidays and Elise has flown to the Delta to spend some time with Rob.  He is with his employers, Elephants Without Borders (check out their website) counting elephants in the Okavango Delta.  As a part of his job, he gets to fly in a helicopter and record the various animals they spot.  Hopefully, the count will be finished by mid-September and he will be home again.  He has been gone almost two months and Elise has really missed him as have we!

Our winter is on its way out and summer is coming!  We have enjoyed a fairly pleasant winter with few terribly cold days, much to Keith' s disappointment! 

We look forward to seeing many of you when we come home in December and will be able to share more in depth about what all we have been doing the past two years!


Posted on July 3rd, 2014

Tragedy struck unexpectedly on Tuesday night,  June 17, as we were hosting Mark Spicer, a long time friend , his brother-in-law Mike, and nephew Nate.  We received a shocking phone call that one of our friends and the mom of one of Elise's students had died suddenly.  Later, we were to learn it was a heart attack. 

Leanne Britton was such a vibrant person.  She won countless awards for her ability to train and manage at one of the best hotels in Kasane.  She was an amazing mother to Josh and Angus and loving wife to Duncan, manager of the Safari Lodge. 

Keith and I had the opportunity to get to know Leanne well.   As a member of the Chobe River School Board, Keith worked with Leanne when she was head of the Parent-Teachers Organization.  I tutored Josh in their home and worked with him at Chobe River School as well.

Now, Duncan and the boys must adjust to life without mom.  We hope and pray they will feel free to come for counsel and comfort to us and others of the Christian faith here.    

The same week,  a dear sweet lady who had lived in Kasane since the 1950's died of cancer. Jock and her husband opened the first professional hunting business in the Chobe region when it was truly wild and Kasane consisted of a few mud huts.

Jock was truly of another era.  She carried herself like a queen and when she passed some local ladies lamented, "Ah, the queen mum is gone."  Her bright smile, keen wit, and lively conversation will be truly missed.  Jock could tell a story like a true raconteur.

The past two weeks have been filled with tears for the passing of our friends, laughter as we remember some of the great times we had with them, and reflection as we think of the meaning of their lives and ours. 

Leanne and Jock's deaths have impacted our community,  causing many to examine their lifestyles and contemplate the brevity of life.  Keith, along with Heather Carr-Hartley, performed Leanne's memorial service and assisted at Jock's, both wonderful  opportunities to share the Truth, the Life and the Way with those who don't know Him.   

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