But back to my day today. Church this morning was interesting - we had an American guest speaker from an unknown denomination (guest of the pastor) who could not have been more culturally inappropriate and scripturally wrong about SO many things. Anyway, after church we ate lunch, then I played dominoes with Charlie and Chris (I lost both rounds), and then I took a nap on the couch. Very lovely.
I guess I should introduce our newest member of the family - Chris. Chris Walker arrived last Monday to live with us for 6 months and teach at our kid's school this semester. We are so thankful because one, we love Chris (this is his 4th extended visit with us in Africa) and two, our school desperately needs qualified teachers. He will be teaching one of the high school Math classes and maybe Bible. He'll find out for sure this week.
We picked Chris up at the airport in Johannesburg last Monday evening. We returned to Joburg on Dec. 27 so Coleson and Will could attend MK camp and we could participate in our annual Spiritual Retreat with missionary colleagues from Mozambique and the Indian Ocean Islands. Camp for C and W was awesome this year and our retreat was equally good. The Lord spoke to my heart, specifically reminding me that He is always with me, that He NEVER leaves my side. AND that He is God, He has a plan and He knows exactly where I am in the midst of it all. He knows what I need before I even know I need it. I needed to be reminded of all of that. Again.
This retreat is such a great time to pray and visit with missionary colleagues we only see once or twice a year. On New Year's Eve I sat in the floor with about 8 other missionary women friends and laughed and told such funny stories about our kids and about the really unusual things people in America have sent to us. I love these women so much. They encourage and inspire me, laugh and cry with me and offer to me a very special type of kinship. I just wish I got to see them more often.
After the retreat and camp we hung around Joburg waiting for Chris' arrival day. Charlie and the kids enjoyed a day at the local amusement park we visited last year (I opted to stay at the guest house and rest and relax and stay out of the sun!). The other days were spent doing a little shopping (new uniform shirts for Luke, a universal remote to replace the TV remote that was lost, and a few grocery items), getting prescriptions refilled and a dr's appointment.
The time finally arrived to pick up Chris who made it in safe and sound and with all his luggage. We have made many memories with Chris over the years (I have actually known him the longest - I first babysat him and his younger brother Craig in 1982 when Chris was 3 years old!) and having him back with us is like being with a member of the family.
Wednesday we loaded up the truck and we moved to Beverly.....Hills that is, swimming pools and movie stars. Wait, actually we loaded up our truck and drove back to Maputo, celebrating Coleson's 16th birthday on the way. Because of the timing of our yearly retreat and camp we always seem to be driving home on his birthday. We stopped for his birthday lunch at one of our favorite restaurants - Mugg and Bean- then headed for the border. That crossing was uneventful and short and soon we were motoring into our city then into our carport!
Friday found us back at an airport - this time the Maputo airport - to greet our newest missionary colleagues, Todd and Tia Brain and their baby daughter Rya. We are so happy they have finally arrived. Yesterday we had a cookout celebrating their arrival.
And now you are all caught up on the last few weeks. Oh, except for the part about the duct tape not working very well on the broken washing machine. Boo. Not even duct tape can fix the problem now. But the new part has been ordered from Joburg and we hope it comes in this week. Yay. And in the mean time I have a lady who is coming tomorrow who will wash clothes by hand for us. She was in desperate need of a job (her husband has a serious, chronic lung problem and she is the breadwinner. Her most recent job ended last Friday) and we are in desperate need of clean clothes.
Hopefully I can post some pictures soon of our latest travels. Soon it will be back to real life. The kids start back to school on the 19th. We will enjoy a week of getting to sleep past 5:45 a.m..