Wednesday, November 13, 2013

70 cents...

3 p.m. Anna leaves quilting class with Elaina to get post office box key from the MAF hangar to pick up packages from friends in the U.S.  

3:20 p.m.  Arrive at the hangar and get key.

3:45 p.m.  Head to the Posong (Post Office).

4:00  Stand in lines to retrieve their packages. 

4:20 Get packages and pay VAT (taxes).

4:23 Put packages in car.

4:24 Parking Marshall demands 70 cents for the privilege of parking.

4:25  Digging through the purse turns up no money, it was all used to pay VAT.  Parking Marshall waits for 70 cents.

4:30  Try calling husband to bring 70 cents.  No connection.  Parking Marshall waits.

4:35  Phone a friend to bring 70 cents.

4:45 Friend pulls up in a van and hands you 70 cents a.k.a. he hands you "Freedom to leave the post office".

4:46  Pay Parking Marshall.

5:00 Arrive home and tear open packages from home.  

70 cents and the cultural experience were WELL worth the energy!

Thank you to our friends who send love from home!!!!!!!!!

Friday, November 1, 2013

Village Visit....

Sam, Sawyer, and visiting friend Joe, flew out to the mountain village of Mokhotlong to install solar panels, fix a fence, and help plant a garden for AIM missionary, Jayne Wilkins.  "Anna, THIS is what MAF is about!"  Sam said excitedly over the phone.  This is what we grew up seeing missionary pilots do and this is what we believe in.  Spending the night in an isolated village to help a church planter set up house and home, dropping in to check on a Bible translating family, dropping off mail to a medical missionary family, and in general using the plane to offer support and resources to aid the efforts of others who are making the gospel message known.  Sam and I desire to use the little plane to not only deliver medical care to the isolated Basotho but also expand the current and varied ministries happening through other mission organizations as we strive together toward eternal spiritual transformation in Lesotho.  Christ's hope IS being spread in these mountains and we are excited by what our mountain missionaries are doing to achieve that end.

We are grateful for the opportunity the boys had to express support to Jayne by meeting her immediate needs and we hope to see more creative frameworks like this in the future with MAF.  

Getting ready to head out at 6:30 a.m. Tuesday morning.

Prepping the plane with MAF pilot Rich Harrell.

Rich, Joe, and Sam

Leaving the capital city of Maseru.
We are transitioning from winter to spring and you can see evidence as
shades of green fight for life across the mountains.
Rich delivered a safe and speedy flight.
Unloading in Mokhotlong.  The boys were able to bring a plane full of tools,
power tools, and some materials to set up Jayne's solar panels.
As soon as Rich landed, he was called with a Code 1 medical emergency.  Joe hopped back in the plane with him and they made a quick trip to bring a suffering woman back to the clinic in Mokhotlong.
Jayne Wilkins is an AIM missionary who lives alone in a village near Mokhotlong.  She disciples and trains up a pocketful of Basotho who have given their lives to Christ.  She travels by foot, horse, and sometimes vehicle through the mountains.  
Sawyer worked all day Tuesday with two of Jayne's Basotho friends to plant her garden.
Joe, who comes from a cattle farming background, jumped at the opportunity to milk Jayne's cow :)
Sam preps the solar panels to be mounted.

Joe repaired Jayne's fence.

Sam installed two additional batteries to give Jayne more power in her house.

By Wednesday morning, the boys had mounted the panels, fixed the fence,
planted the garden, and fixed Jayne's internet.  Previously, she had not been able to send emails.

Jayne wrote us the next day, " I wanted to send an SMS (text) to say I was at 27.0 on my batteries last night and feeling pretty great to have all that power going into the night.  I thank you both again for a great visit and all the work you did."

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Taste from the Psalmist...

...My heart and flesh cry out for the living God...
Blessed are those whose strength is in you, who have set their hearts on pilgrimage...
Hear my prayer, O Lord God Almighty; 
Listen to me, O God of Jacob...
O Lord Almighty, 
blessed is the man who trusts in you.

...Love and faithfulness meet together;
righteousness and peace kiss each other...
The Lord will indeed give what is good,

...You are forgiving and good, O Lord,
abounding in love to all who call to you.

...I will sing of the Lord's great love forever;
with my mouth will I make your faithfulness known though all generations.
I will declare that your love stands firm forever...

Righteousness and justice are the
love and faithfulness go before you.

...It is good to praise the Lord
and make music to your name,
           O Most High,
to proclaim your love in the morning
and your faithfulness at night...

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

One Foot...

One foot in front of the other.  You've seen them...the clips of marathon runners and Olympians wobbling up to the finish line.  Left foot forward, shaky knee, gasp, collapse, pull with all their force to extract the right foot up from where it is cemented and place it forward.  Step by step, foot by foot, dignity lost, yet pressing on.

You've had those days.  One foot forward.  You've sat there barely able to breathe.  Other foot forward.  Your mind spinning from the chaos.  C'mon just one more step.  Knowing that what propels you is Divine, so. You. Step. On.

We have those days too, us on the field.  Pulling that foot up out of it's cemented spot, grunting and gasping, yearning for what is ahead, not thinking you can do it, but then you see those left toes sneaking out past your eyes and planting themselves in front of you.  Gasp.  Collapse.  Stand up.  One more step.

Straining to yank the foot out of the tar with a most minute measure of energy reserves, your mind collapses also.  Back to the Basics.  Back to "Why am I doing this?"

"Ama tell the world, tell the world that I'm brand new, I don't deserve you, but I'm a witness that you did this.  A slave to myself, but you let me go, cleaned up my soul, gave me new life.  Christ came and he rescued me."

My mind collapses on this, these words from Lecrae, these words from a sinner like me.  Step forward.  Ama tell the world.  Step forward.  I'm brand new.  Step forward.  I'm a witness that you did this.  Press on.  Step forward.  Christ's transforming power propels me.

Friday, October 18, 2013

DIY in the Body of Christ...

Check out some Do It Yourself aspects of our life in Lesotho.  Practical ways the body of believers pulls together to live in community and love: 

 MAF wife, Megan Harrell, started our home school Friday co-op.
We do science experiments and art projects together once a week.
 Jacobjan is from Holland and his family serves in the medical field here in Lesotho.   He is a God-send to some of our MAF families when we don't know who to call or what to do.  Today, he examined Elaina and gave her some medicine for ear pain she has been having.
  Leaky walls?  No worries.  Round up a handy husband and a handy MAF friend, Ron Grant, to get the job done.

We are grateful for the people God has placed in our lives here who
 pull together as the Body of Christ to serve one another in love.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Life at the Hangar...

Check out a typical day at the MAF hangar...
MAF's hangar can currently fit 3 of our 5 airplanes inside.  That's a bummer when it hails here.  We are currently drawing up plans for a new and larger hangar not far from our current location.
Sam has been working on the plane that you saw outside the hangar.

Meet Joe.  I think Sam's goal is to see how much he can pester him on any given day :)
Pestering includes, but is not limited to: serenading, airsoft gun wars, and endless teasing.
A quick stop in the finance office to say hello to Kim, who has become "auntie" to Sawyer and Elaina.
Joe fails to miss Sam's airsoft pellet yet again.
Meet the maintenance guys.  Walt, Roger, Roger #2, Joe, Sam, Thoahlane, and Retabile.
Roger, Sam, and Joe are the longterm maintenance specialists for our program.

Sam hears an MAF plane come in from a trip to the mountains.
MAF pilot, Danny, lands after bringing back a dentist who has been
working out in the mountains for the last several days.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Ministry Plan 2014...What is MAF doing in Lesotho?

Recently, we met with our MAF team to create our Ministry Plan for 2014.  It was an exciting time of collaboration with our team mates for Sam and I.  We got to hear more in detail the heart's desires of individuals on our team as well as current ministry thrusts we are each seeking both within the MAF aviation frame as well as on our own out in the community.

While our purpose in being here is to reach isolated people in the mountains through aviation, there are a variety of creative ministry thrusts happening here in the capital city of Maseru.  For example, one of our national staff is pursuing seminary classes on his own time and walks to a far away training facility once a month to do this.  He has completed 5 of 25 classes so far and his end goal is to be more equipped to reach his own people.  Another one of our national staff is working with his local church to build schools and meet the needs of OVC (orphaned and vulnerable children...whom are plentiful here).  One of our expat staff families is partnering with their local church to also reach OVC through an intensive soccer ministry outreach and discipleship.  Sam and Sawyer have joined this outreach and we are amazed at its effectiveness.  One of our expat mechanics uses his downtime in the hangar to do projects for the military guys who we share an airbase with.  Another one of our national staff visits the local dump and prays with the homeless living there.  Another expat family has a heart for new missionaries in town and goes out of their way to show them around, invite them over, give cultural tips, and generally ensure a smooth transition for future success and longevity.

While every program may have its weaknesses and difficulties, Sam and I continue to be grateful for this team and for the diligence we see in so many of our team mates to either SPEAK the Word of God or SHOW the love of Christ in this community according to the gifts and talents God has given them.  It takes faith, diligence, and collaboration to work together until the last one has heard that Jesus Christ came to reconcile humanity to God.

Ministry Plan Meeting 
Sam and Ntati Sefiri, MAF's hired pastor and evangelist, became fast friends and accountability partners.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Head in his hands...

Head in his hands, he slumps and his shoulders heave and shudder.  He's older than old and he loosely grips his cane as his shaky hands stuff a slip of paper back into his coat pocket.  He's at the post office to pick up his social security check from the Lesotho government.  He's been told that he can't get it without a passport.  He can't get a passport without this one piece of paper.  He can't get this one piece of paper without...

"How far has he come from?", I ask our friend, Ntati Sefiri, as hoards shuffle past trying to pick up their own social security.  Sefiri finds a chair for the man to sit in and squats next to him to draw out the story.

"He lives about a half hour out of town.  He has this slip of paper as proof of his birth certificate and was hoping to get his check today, but they say he needs a passport".  The man slumps further and shakes his head, one hand shielding his face.

We sit another half and hour with the man and I get increasingly frustrated with the broken system and with the man in a suit behind the desk who offers no help.  Sefiri walks the certificate from desk to desk and still no one can help.  Hands are tied without a passport.

"Ntati, can we at least give him a ride home?"
"Yes, that would be good."

We walk out to our car and the man shuffles slowly behind, shaking his head and mumbling the whole way.  We hop in and open the door for him.  He tells Ntati Sefiri something and shuffles on past our car.

"Where is he going?  Doesn't he want a ride?  He lives so far away!  Why is he getting into a taxi?"

"He is afraid.  He doesn't know us.  He doesn't know what we might do to him if he gets in our car."

Sam and I exchange glances.  What has happened in the life of this man that would drive him to pay for a taxi when he has no money because he is too afraid to ask for help?  How do you even respond when you are moved by compassion and get turned down?  It's hard to process that response.  Not because we got turn down, but because I want to understand the painful history behind his response.

"You can't force someone to accept your love" said MAF pilot Bryan as he watched the man step into a taxi and drive off.   Not always a happy ending but you're called to keep loving anyway.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Little School in the Mountains...

Welcome to Little School in the Mountains!  Our aim is to make much of Christ in the Kingdom of Lesotho by fostering curious little minds about our Creator while developing academic excellence and social responsibility.

Yesterday we held our first field trip to Tempelhof farm in South Africa.  Join us!

Tempelhof Residence