Monday, December 29, 2008

White Christmas in Malawi?

We had a Northern Hemisphere Christmas celebration with our homeschooling friends here in Lilongwe and had a ball. We had to dress up in winter woollies and take a treat that we usually enjoy over Christmas. I made shortbread. I grew up in South Africa and so our Christmases were always in the middle of our summer holidays. I am used to it being sunny, with braais (barbeques) and swimming being much of what happens on the day. It was fun though to 'experience' what many of the other missionary families and Brian are so accustomed to.
Ami cut out a snowflake too.

All the snowflakes hanging from an unfinished ceiling. Perfect for getting them to stay up there:)

Bradley decorating a Snowman sugar cookie.

One of the mom's organised some pretend snow which the kids, in shorts and t-shirts, thoroughly enjoyed.

Playing House

Ami and Bradley called me the other day to show me the house they had made and were playing in. It was so fun to see the kids use their imagination and find old things to build their play house with. We still have quite a bit of trash from the building of our own house lying around and so there was a 'great' selection for them to choose from.

Escargot Anyone?

Brian called me on my phone the other day to tell me to send the kids over to his office - he wanted to show them something. He is still using the office which is behind our old house, until the office which is attached to our new house is done. I gladly sent them running over, because that meant I could have a few extra minutes, maybe even half an hour, to get some packing done for our holiday.
The pictures are unbelievable, but I assure you they have not been edited in anyway. You could eat these guys for a main course, for those of you who ever order escargot! They are called African Giant Snails and we have seen a few since the rainy season started.

Saying Goodbye

We've had to say farewell to many friends during this month and it hasn't been fun. Ami, Bradley and Benjamin were especially sad to see their neighbour and good friend Caroline leave. She is a Malawian girl who has been adopted by a lady who taught for four years at the Christian Academy here.

Sunday, December 14, 2008


Just 6 sleeps and then we'll be on our way to visit my folks down in South Africa. We shall be there for almost a month and look so forward to the time of rest. Ami and Bradley want to go to the zoo with aunty Judy (a dear friend who attends our church down there) and they also want to go to a dairy farm. Ami wants to see how bumper cars work and go on a ferris wheel. We are so thankful to be able to just have a break from life and work here in Malawi. There is not much to do here for the kids and so to be able to go to the zoo and to a mall and have ice cream will be a real treat! Over Christmas time many folks go away, we have already seen a drop in church attendance. It'll pick up again when the holiday makers return around mid January.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

The rains are here

Today we had a huge storm at our house. There are some leaky spots, a couple in the roof and one or two windows that still need to be sealed properly.
About two weeks ago we had an even bigger storm and Richard's (our builder) roof was ripped right off his new house that he is building in a nearby village.
The roof sheeting lying on the ground. The storm pulled it right through the nails.

Brian, Carl Hargrove and the kids went to the village to help collect all the roofing and bring it back to our house so that it wouldn't be stolen overnight.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Patient Endurance

In order to stay in Malawi, we need to have a Temporary Employment Permit (TEP). It is typical to apply for this soon after arrival and it usually arrives about four months later (approved or not approved). We arrived here in August of 2007 and we are still waiting to find out if we are approved or not. Brian has been down to several immigration offices to try and sort this out, and so far the only answer we have gotten is that our application has been lost - twice. Above, you will see a photo of a senior immigration officer looking for our application. Below is a photo of his personal filing system. This week we applied for a third time. Please pray that this gets resolved quickly. It matters a great deal whenever we try to leave the country and return and it also affects our long term status in this country.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Kids' Carols at Church

Ami (5th from bottom left) sang in the carols at church this morning. It was great to see so many of the children participate-eventhough some were obviously a little tired! Yawn :)

Tough Week

For those of you who have been to Malawi you know how terrible the roads are here. There are pedestrians everywhere and there is very little in the form of medical response in the case of an accident. This week, one of the families who attend our church, lost their dad and husband in a head on collision on the Blantyre road. This gentleman was such a dedicated and godly man. He worked with pastors in the rural villages helping to train them in the truth. He was even supposed to preach for Brian this coming January while we are in South Africa. He leaves behind a wife and three young girls ages 8, 6 and 3. Our hearts were heavy this week. We have continued to bear them up in prayer and praise God that they know Him and know where their dad is.
It was a huge reminder to us to live each day to the fullest, gloryfying Christ and being thankful for every breath.
Also, we have had to say goodbye to many families who are returning to their homes in the countries they come from. Our church is an International Church and so we have people from all over the globe attending. In just these next two weeks we are saying goodbye to 6 families. It's hard for us to see them go, some under difficult circumstances, but thankful that we have been able to share God's comforting words with them, knowing that He is in complete control!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

8 years!

Brian and I were married on November 26th, 2000! We are so thankful to the Lord for bringing us together. We delight in serving Him and are so grateful for the precious family He has blessed us with. God is good all the time. During the speeches on our wedding day I said, "I'm not moving to a mud hut in Malawi, just yet." Brian said, once we had moved to Malawi "The Lord took the mud hut out of the equation and well here we are!"
We have experienced so many wonderful times together as well as times of trial and difficulty, but God has guided us through it all. He is so faithful. All glory to Him.
Bied, I love you more than you'll ever know!

Monday, November 24, 2008

New Swings

Ami is five. Bradley is three and Benjamin is one and a half. Maybe no. 4 will have green eyes so that I don't feel totally out-numbered.

These are the new swings the kids received. They have had such fun swinging on them. Brian had the frame made a while ago and so we put it in a shady spot infront of our house. The dry area behind the swings is where the latest grass planting has been started.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Moving on...

into the 12th week and a record seven days without nausea and vomiting. Praise the Lord. Our guest from California, Professor Carl Hargrove arrived on Friday and I haven't felt 'blah' once. He came laden with some special treats from our very special friends :) The kids love the swings. Brian put them up as soon as they came out of Carl's bag!


So do I or don't I...yes I do post about my husband's fungus, because he said I should :)
He has had it for nine years and just this past week the doctor on campus removed both big toenails. He is hopeful that this will get rid of the fungus and that Brian's toenails will once again be the normal flesh colour instead of greyish black.

Removed toenails. Yucky, aren't they? Not the final product :) More to come...

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Crowns for Kings and Queens

Every Thursday we have an activity and craft time at someone's house. This week was our turn. The kids read about a king called Arthur who made some kind of barley pudding. He put lots of fat inside it too and his wife fried the left overs the next morning. Ugh!
We sang songs from Scripture and then we made king and queen crowns. We had ten kids altogether. For snack time we act delicious watermelon and a crunchy oats bar. We encroached a little on our neighbour's lawn, because their grass is greener!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


During our story reading tonight we read about a young boy in Greece who could play the harp magnificently and could sing even better too. He was going to the island of Sicily to find fortune and fame.

"But Mom, we shouldn't want to be rich and just think about money."
"You're right, Ames, when we die we cannot take anything that we have here on earth with us. It's all just stuff and it stays behind."
"Oh, but Mommy please can I take my barbies with me?"
"Sorry girl, they have to stay, everything does."
I'm sure if I ask God, He'll have lots of toys for me to play with."

Monday, November 17, 2008

Q and A

We have three Bible Studies that meet in our home during the week. One on Tuesday mornings for ladies, one on Wednesday evenings for the youth group and then one on Saturday afternoons for working ladies. It has been a joy to study the Word together. I have been helping with the women's study, but because I don't know all the answers to the questions the ladies have been asking, it's great to have Brian to help out! This past Saturday I had to take a picture because it reminded me of the studies he used to have in South Africa with just the 'gals'. That was before we were married :)

Saturday, November 15, 2008


For days now the kids have looked like they really need to be scrubbed. We do scrub them lots! It's so dirty and dusty here at the moment and until all the grass is planted and the rains come, well scrubbing is what we'll do.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Still got the sickies...

Which is to be expected when you're about 10 weeks pregnant! The kids haven't done much school this week. One morning, I put them all down for a nap at about 9am which lasted until noon. I think the heat here is a huge factor too, it is quite draining, even on the kiddos. Anyway, it was great to put my feet up and rest. It's been quite tough running around after these three while feeling blah!
In two weeks, we have a guest arriving from California and so I am really praying that I'll be up to hosting in a non-blah way.
I'm still trying not to complain :)

Saturday, November 8, 2008

November 7th, 1969

On this day, my best friend was born to Mark and Rosemary Biedebach.
Praise be to God for allowing him these years. Brian has had an exciting life with many travels all over this world. The most important thing to him is to know Christ and to preach God's Word so that others may know the joy and hope that he knows.

Brian does lots of this!

Brian grew up eating Rice Roni at every Sunday lunch meal that his grandma Biedebach prepared. He still loves it and we even have a stash of it here in Lilongwe, Malawi - graciously supplied by members of mission teams from the US.

This is a picture of Brian on November 7th, 1969.
Brian, I LOVE YOU and am so thankful to be a part of your life.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Kids' Zone

These three bundles have been couch bound these past couple of days, maybe even weeks, because I haven't been up to do anything else, but lying around like a potato myself. I don't remember feeling this morning-day-night nausea in my other pregnancies. Ami told me the other day, "Mom, we're not to complain!" Well I know that, I just didn't feel like hearing it...

We don't have any TV stations, so they have watched movies over and over again and are reciting some now- that's just so bad. What's a mother to do...

We can squeeze in one more on Opa's couch.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Watering Cans...

Are for watering grass and trees and plants...

And for making mud right outside our front door!

Brian found these at a store in town and got each of the kiddos one. It's a good thing there was not just one colour, otherwise we might have had a family feud. You can see how the grass is coming along, sort of.

Bradley was singing a Willy Wonka song about chocolate.

Ami, watering the only flowering shrub in our yard. The tree next to it, is the infamous avocado tree, that we transplanted from the yard where we used to live. It has survived and will continue to do so, with the aid of 'these avid gardeners'.

This is a picture for you to see how dry it is at the moment. This is just over our wall. We're living on the greener side of the fence.

These are our paw paw(papaya) trees that we planted as the foundation of our house was being laid. These pictures are for you, Dad.

These are the banana trees. We look forward to the fruit!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Test Results

The blood test result to check my immunity against rubella came back today. It was negative. The doctor said that seemed strange because my last MMR vaccination was in June 2006. He also said that we need to remember that we are in REAL Africa and they could have made a mistake. Also, the test for one of the children who was diagnosed with rubella came back and no virus was found in her blood. So perhaps a mistake again? Who knows? GOD does and I have to trust Him and be wise at the same time. We have been a little reclusive the last couple of days and shall continue to do so, to be on the safe side. We do still really value your prayers on behalf of this precious Biedebach baby.

On a lighter note: I try and carry my camera wherever I go and just had to take a picture of the lab sign. Only in Africa :) Africa, we love you!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


Please pray for me. There is a possibility that I have been in contact with people who have the Rubella(German Measles) virus here in Malawi. That is not a good thing for any pregnant woman in her first trimester. Today, I went to have an IGG test done which will check my immunity. Please pray that the test comes back positive. Pray that I would consider this trial, pure joy and that I would trust wholly in the God Who is sovereign and in complete control of every detail of our lives and most certainly in the miraculous development of this tiny baby of mine. Your prayers are appreciated. I shall keep you posted.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Growing Grass...

This is our backyard. Some will remember previous pictures from earlier posts with what looked like a desert for a yard. Now it's desert with a touch of green. Stay tuned...God is so amazing-it's been exciting for us just to watch the grass grow.

Grass planting is quite a process in Malawi. First the ground has to be watered for weeks beforehand. The ground is very hard, because it's so hot and so the watering helps to moisten and soften the soil. Then little furrows have to be dug by hand and then the arduous task of planting grass runners begins. Brian hired some of his Homiletics' students for a couple of Saturdays to plant the grass. Once the rains start, usually November through March, then the grass will grow really fast!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

At the Playground

The wooden thatched treehouse at the playground.

Benjamin climbing the wooden treehouse. Take note of the green fruit pod things on the ground near him. More to follow...

This is the playground at the African Bible College Christian Academy. They have some great playground equipment, probably the best in Malawi. Ami is on the new bike track which was poured before the school year started in September.

Dad pushing all three kids!

This is Ami in action trying to get her dad back with those green fruit pods things. At first, when these 'things' were hitting Ami and Bradley, they didn't know where they were coming from. "Must be raining green fruit pod things". Once they found out who the culprit was, the war was on.

Biedebach Boys

Benjamin likes to walk along this raised bench, but of course, Dad is nearby just in case.