Monday, October 10, 2011

Bless the rain ....

We received our first rain of the season. it came with grand applause. We were over in Malawi last week and we were near the border by Mozambique when it started. It just poured. The locals were all out in their fields making sure that none of the water was wasted. They have just planted the corn crops for the summer and just about every piece of ground is planted. The country depends on a good crop to be able to survive the winter. It really rained. It was fun to drive along and see everyone out in the fields celebrating the blessings of the first rain. Of course with the rain comes the mosquito's. They are everywhere. Arlene is their favorite meal. They just line up where ever she goes. I think the first day after the rain she was bitten 7 times. Yum .... We are taking our malaria medicine and we hope we will survive. Like they say here. If you stay here, you will get it. It's just a question of how many times .... The loss of life from this disease is pretty harsh. While we were in Malawi, we were able to arrange for a new meeting house in an area outside of Lilongwe. It is really nice and the church members will be able to access the building from all sides of the area. We will now have about 80 people attending each Sunday. As we focus on our "Centers of Strengths" we will be able to grow and support all of the local programs. We have been so busy these last few weeks. We were able to get the air conditioners installed at the mission home. What a difference it will make. It will be so great when the outside tempeture is around 105 - 125 and we will will be able to turn it on and enjoy the cool. Of course that's only if the power will stay on. It's the little things you know .... Arlene and Sister Taggart were able to get the rest of the drapes hung in the downstairs. I even got a set in my office. They are really nice. One of the locals here came to the house and sewed them on the spot and we hung them up and they are super. While we were in Malawi, some of the missionaries were having trouble with their bicycles. We were able to meet with them and see what the problems were. They are all made out of pot metal. You can strip them really easy. So there I was setting in the dirt trying to fix a head set and crank arms with no tools. The hubs and wheel sets were out of round. They had even put the front fork on backwards. ....don't ask... I took care of the forks and reset them and ajusted the brakes and was even able to "true" the hubs by banging them on the pavement. An old mountain bike trick I learned from the master bike fixer, Jim "If I can't fix it it can't be fixed" Biehahn. I was so happy to be able to work on their bikes and get them running a little better. Arlene even let me take a couple of them for a short spin. "Just don't leave the yard, where is your helmet .....yes, dear. The lessons I learned while out on the road with my bike have come in really handy. Jim, I wish you were here....It is great how many lessons we learn just from observing the work of others. It is the "unwritten order of things". Most of them are not written, but we listen and observe and learn. Next time i'll take my bike tools with me. It is amazing what you can fix with a pair of pliers and s screw driver and a good hammer. We have not had internet for several days. We just learned the other that all of the emails we have sent out and many of our reports were never sent. We hope you will understand if we don't get right back to you it's because we can't. We would trade a lot to have internet and a phone line. Christmas is coming ... Someday we will be up and running. Right after my hair grows back. We do miss you all. We were able to get one email from Sammy and the kids. Jr. broke his ankle in a football game. Sorry big boy. You can go and watch little Max run the ball while you heal. We will write again soon. if we can get on. Love to all.