Leaving home to go home

We’ve had a good time America. It’s been real. For five months we’ve eaten fast food, visited with dear friends, spent time with family, enjoyed yummy coffee, had unlimited phone and internet access, spent a lot of time as a family, enjoyed the kids in school explored the outdoors, experienced many firsts like Chloe’s first fruit-by-the-foot,

and much more.

On January 1st, 2017 at 5 am we fly out of Pasco, WA and head back to Lesotho (Luh-sue-two), Southern Africa. We will have layovers in Denver and D.C. before boarding a direct flight to  Johannesburg, with a potential stop for fuel on the way. Then we stay the night in Joberg and drive the 6 hours the next day with our co-worker and cross the boarder, and we will be home.  It should take about 50 hours ish door to door. Please pray we make all our connecting flights, as we have short layovers.

We served in Lesotho for 3 years, and we were home for 5 months. Because our company Mission Aviation Fellowship has recently changed their furlough policy our next “term” with MAF will be about 21 months, then we get to come state side for a month and then back to Lesotho for 21 months, then state side again for 5 months. Although the one month and the five months is flexible depending on the program, so we’re hoping for 2 and 4 or 3 and 3 we think. Either way, point being, we won’t be gone for quite as long this time. I’m, Carolyn, excited about this news, Matthew on the other hand could stay in Lesotho forever. I’m excited to get back now so that he can get back to “work” and start to really feel fulfilled in his position of service again. We don’t sign a contract with MAF, so the future is unknown as far as how long we will serve with them, but Matthew says he wasn’t to grow old in Lesotho.

The kids are adjusting amazingly. I’m so proud of them. They are looking forward to getting back “home.” Caleb will transfer to the American International School of Lesotho when we get back. They miss “home.”

Pray for us as we transition. No matter what transition just stinks. It is bitter sweet. I keep having bad dreams of missing our flight and not being able to fit everything in our allotted bags. Unfortunately I don’t think I’ll have room for a suitcase of tortilla chips and con queso sauce. =( sacrifices.

Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for those of you who are supporters, both in prayer and financial partnership. We truly appreciate you. We’re at 99.9% of our support. Praise God. To learn more about our ministry go to our ministry page.

 

 

 

Another baby of ours in Heaven.

Many of you know, but for those of you who don’t on Feb 1 st, 2016 baby JB, short for JellyBean, went to be with Jesus. It was revealed to me that she was a girl. She would have been about 3 months old today.

 

 

We were not, not trying. But I was scared when I found out I was pregnant because my same friend who miscarried with me the first time, had just delivered a still born son a week previosly. I knew that death could be in my future.

All of January I lay in bed with morning sickness, moping around, so sick, in the blasted heat. January in Lesotho/ South Africa is like July here. Hot. I felt myself yelling at the kids I already had while praying for the one I didn’t. I wanted to know that this was all worth it, but just couldn’t allow my heart to HOPE. At 8 weeks Matthew and I went in for a scan. I knew right away that something was wrong. It didn’t look good. Baby was only measuring at 5.5 weeks instead of 8 and there was no heartbeat to be found. It’s like I expected the Dr. to say that because I was trying to be prepared for the worst case, but I couldn’t process what he was actually telling me. *tears* “It doesn’t look good,” he said.  “I think you should prepare for the worst.” All I could see was a motionless little jellybean shape inside me. There she was. I didn’t want to look, but I couldn’t look away.

Husbands don’t do good when they see their wives struggling, and in pain. This was a trying time for us. Often we just want to fix the problem. But there was nothing to do but sit in the pain, and wait on the sliver of hope.

A week later I started spotting. I started researching how to speed up a miscarriage at home. Let me tell you. If you ever have to do this, please be excepted to see some disturbing things. Basically it’s the same strategies for a self-inflicted abortion. To this day I still feel the wave of disgust, grief and pain when I see Vitimin C orange tablets, or Raspberry leaf tea. So gross. I poisoned my body.

I should say that even though I live in Africa- yes, I could have gone in for a DnC in South Africa, but it’s about $1,500-$2,000.  For that price I was determined to do it at home, again.

I had my second miscarriage the same day my parents arrived for their pre-planned visit to Lesotho. God’s perfect timing. My dear friends picked them up that morning from the airport. I was resting in bed, because every few min, blood was flooding out of me and I needed to stay close to the toilet. After my parents settled in entertaining Caleb and Chloe was down for her afternoon nap by body went into labor.

I passed on the pain pills because I wanted to experience it naturally like I did with my other three labors. Maybe I’m mental?  (2 healthy kids born in the States at the Bellingham Birth Center with midwives.) The pain was intense. Giving birth to death. I tried saving the baby. I searched for her in the mess. I eventually had to flush and commit her to God. I had a friend going through the exact thing at the exact same time on the other side of the world, again Gods grace. I felt like a failure because I couldn’t find my baby like she did. Could I not do this one thing for her. Was this all in my head?

My labor lasted about an hour. I clean up stains from the carpet and mourned the life that could have been.  A week later my whole process was over physically, but emotionally I was a wreck. A dark, dark valley. I wrestled with thinking maybe I had exposed myself to something like a curse in the mountains of Lesotho that witch doctors put on the live stock there to protect the animals. Women and children know not to go near them, and I had been exposed for both pregnancies. I fought the lie that Africa had done this to me. I had sacrificed so much for her already…

I struggled to understand what was true about the Spiritual world. I do NOT believe I stumbled on a curse now. I know that He is stronger than him that is in the world. And that this was in His sovereign plan…but I had to work though that too. I was angry at God. I felt empty. I was sick of being sick and tired. I had to fight for my faith in a god who would let this happen. I had to learn to trust Him in the storm. I joined a gym, got a personal trainer and started working through the grief.

Ok. Fast forward to 8 months later.  Matt and I saw a therapist when we returned to the States for furlough from Lesotho. We were on different pages in wanting more kids. Matt was satisfied with the two we had. He wants to do a great job being a dad and already feels stretched thin. So we’ve been praying.  As we’ve been preventing and praying, instead of his heart changing, mine did.  I would be ok with our two. I could be done. I can submit to Matthew in this.  I’ve had to inspect my heart and see what was motivating me to want to have more kids.

Do I want the gifts more than I want the Giver?

Was I going to be thankful for what I already have, or am I going to just want what I want?

Could I trust Him when His plan for me was so painful and different than what I wanted?

Do I feel like I have to work to earn favor in His eyes? Or do I accept His salvation and love as the free GIFT that it is?

Do I realize that there is no “right way” to have a family, and that it’s seriously out of my control, despite how we try to manipulate it? Not my choice. Not my body, but His.

Fruits I’ve seen from our losses:  I’ve seen the Bosotho people open up to Matthew and I, knowing we can understand their grief. I’ve seen our church in Lesotho start to pray for us. They don’t just see us as “rich white people with no problems,” but as people like them, living in a fallen world. We need each other.  I’m honored to share the burdens of the Bosotho people. I’ve grown more in love with my daughter Chloe, and been able to pour myself into her precious little life. I’ve been to the bottom of the valley, and I can say that our Father is still good. He will lead us, we just have to trust. I’ve become thankful for the teammates and friends that reached out in support of us. And learned how to give grace to those who didn’t.

” ‘Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by name, you are mine.
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you;
when you walk through fire you shall not be burned,
and the flame shall not consume you.
For I am the Lord your God,
the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.
Because you are precious in my eyes,
and honored, and I love you…” Isaiah 43:1b-4a

 

I write this not for myself, or for you to feel sorry for me, but for 3 reasons:

1) to shout that Jesus remains close to those deep in the valley. He is good and close my friends. He was the light for my path in troubled times and my Comforter in pain. Our Father knows what it feels like to loose a child.

2) For those of you who have or are suffering from a loss and feel like you’re alone- you’re not!

3) for those who have not suffered a loss, to have a little window into the heart of those who have.

I head a friend say recently that the most helpful thing a friend did during her loss was ask not IF, but “WHEN can I come by, and leave a meal on your door step?” The friend texted and said, look outside. And there was a dinner, dessert, a bottle of wine, some sleeping pills and a card. Ok, maybe it was a bottle of vodka. Point being- it was a Huge Blessing! Let’s love each other well today. Hugs.

 

 

 

When I don’t want to do what I know I should

“Certain peace may not come until after you take a certain step of faith.

And a step of faith often feels like a step through fear.”
Ann Voskamp

The day before had been a very busy day with a Youth Camp in our yard! I was feeling grumpy about saying Allowing the camp because I was very tired. My husband had been the only pilot flying sick patients for 6 days now at work. We were both in need of rest. But we knew we needed to say Yes. At the end of the day I was so humbled and proud of Abuti Tsepo and the other 4 boys who recreated the youth camp in our yard.  They had attended a 3 day camp up in northern Lesotho with dear friends of ours, and wanted to recreate and lead it here in our yard for the younger boys in their village. A beautiful day of bible teaching, where Matt and I really didn’t need to do anything, but say YES, and make lunch.

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That morning, I woke up feeling tired with a headache again already. Stressed because the kids were spilling things everywhere and wouldn’t stop whining.  As I lay in bed I asked, “Do I have to go to church today Lord?” He replied quickly, “Yes, you do. Now go.”

The things that God calls us to can be hard. They can drain us, test us, and challenge us.

We got ready for church and headed on our way after picking up 7 boys to join us.  I stood there at church, in the front row, trying to get rid of all the barriers between me and the Lord. Clapping and pretending to sing a song I couldn’t understand. “I’m drowning here Lord, help. This is hard and uncomfortable.”  He replied quickly,“I’m here, grab on. Just you and me. Focus.”

Many days, I have to walk through the hard place to have a faithful Yes. Or rather, do I have to give a faithful Yes, knowing it will mean walking through another hard place.  Whether it’s through fear, fatigue, pain and sadness, insecurity…but every day He shows up.

This particular day at church we heard the testimony of our church’s outreach into the mountains. The funding came from FB friends who responded to my ask with a faithful Yes of empowering the local church. YES! I love the Body of Christ. They drove for hours to get to the location through rough roads and many barriers. In the end they baptized 6 and 80 prayed to receive Christ! I was beaming with pride at my Basotho Church’s passion and thankfulness for my American church’s response to the call!

I had retreated to the back of the church to give the kids some attention after using the long drop toilet, and comforting a child who was “just DONE” after 3 hours of church, in a language he doesn’t know with people who wont stop touching him. And then I heard the Lord, “Look up. I want you to see what I am doing in your hard and messy.”

One of the young men was walking forward to give his life to The Lord!
One of the boys that came the day before to our house from Abuti Tsepo’s village. Tears flowing. Instant JOY as well as instant repentance. “Thank you Lord. For calling this one. Thank you Lord for asking him to be your Beloved. I’m so sorry Lord, for not wanting to put in the work today. I’m sorry for trying to make excuses for not wanting to be obedient. Thank you for forgiving me and for helping me to continue to say YES. Thank you for this boy’s heart and thank you for letting me see a piece of the fruit that we helped sew the seed for.” I’m so thankful that He calls us to Himself to give us the real rest we need. Rest for our souls.

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Praise God that when we are weak, He is strong, and that he uses broken vessels like me to shine His light through. He is so good. He doesn’t have to show us the fruit to encourage us with. But sometimes He does. He is gracious to give us a glimpse. I trust that there is much more fruit that I will never see, this side of Heaven, and so I walk in faith.

 

A few weeks later we saw more fruit. Another one of the Tsepo’s friends who rode with us to church and attend bible study at our house gave his life to The Lord!  Not only that, but our church partnered with MAF (and the American “church” funded it,)  for the first time in many years! Our church’s relationship with MAF has begun working towards restoration. Our church partnered with our company, Mission Aviation Fellowship to do a mountain outreach. Many were saved and many were baptized! Blessed be the name of the Lord.

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And a few weeks later, we watched another boy step out in faith…

 

You see in my own strength and my own will I would have been tempted to say “no” some of these days. But when I am tuned into what He is really asking of me through the Holy Spirit, then I’ll know when I can’t say no. It’s only when I rely on His strength, and walk in obedience, abiding in Him, that I have the chance to see Him working through me.

“…Let us lay aside every weight and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the JOY that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God…Do not grow weary or fainthearted…For the Lord disciplines the one that he loves…”

Hebrews 12:1b-2, 3b, 6a.

I hope that wherever you are, that you would continue to say YES to Jesus, if He is asking you to follow Him. He will carry you when you are weak. He will guide you when you are lost.  He can use us even when we’re stressed-out, dirty and tired. I pray you will show up, palms open, and say with me, “Here I am Lord. Use me for your Glory.”

Amen

A day in the life of “Code-Ones”

Even when the weeks get tough, and sleep doesn’t come for long enough, we continue on, on the path we are on, knowing this is where we should be. Even though the valley can be so very dark my friends, we step on foot in front of the other in HOPE.

This week at MAF was a busy one. Two of our pilots went up to Johannesburg to drop off a plane and pick up another one that got a new paint job. One of the pilots was on vacation. And so that left Matthew as the only pilot until Friday of this week. Our VP of Mission Aviation Fellowship was here visiting our program while also conducting personal and team meetings. It was SO great to have Dave Fyock here staying with our family and visiting our program. His encouragement and perspective was a breath of fresh air, filling us with HOPE as we look towards to future.  As I write this Matthew is out on a Code One on this Saturday because it is his turn to be the “on- call” pilot this weekend incase anyone needs help. He was able to take one of the boys who came to our house for bible study today on the boy’s first flight! It was a 2 day old baby who wouldn’t stop throwing  up, so Matthew brought the mother and baby here to Maseru to get transferred to the hospital for specialized care.

As we find ourselves in the midst of a challenging season, we continue to rely daily on the Lord for our strength. I, Carolyn am physically recovered but still emotionally healing from another miscarriage. Our second one in 11 months. Our precious baby’s heart stopped beating. My heart hurts and my soul aches and in the middle of this messy life of Faith I wrestle and press on, knowing the One who calls me Beloved has some plan to work this out for His glory and my good. A treasure hunt if you will.

Matthew assisted in 8 code-ones this week, and I think there were 10 total. A “code-one” is an emergency medical evacuation from a smaller clinic to a larger mountain hospital, and rarely to Maseru, the country’s capital where we live. They can be anything from car accident victims, to an asthmatic patient who can sit up and take pictures of his experience, to a scared mother gripping her baby as it struggles to find it’s next breath, to a woman with a stroke who is unconscious and on a stretcher accompanied by a husband and daughter to abuse victims. The pilots never know what they are going to find. 95% of the flights we do are medical flights here in Lesotho, Southern Africa. Many times people look to our pilots to be trained medically, which they are not. And most of our pilots have had patients die in their plane.

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Here is one of the stories of a code-one this week. It  was called the night before but Matthew waited until the next morning to go because dusk was coming quickly and they do not fly at night. Dave Fyock got to go along. Matekaneairrunway

They circled overhead to clear the run way, and went for a second go around after buzzing some horses on the run way as a warning.

When they landed they waited for about 1.5 hours for the patient. There is no cell service and the villages are very far from the clinic. Sometimes we have waited 2 days for a person to arrive to be ready to be transported. Matthew could see some people wayyyy out on the hill top. So they yelled to him, then those people yelled down the other side of the mountain to the approaching travelers on horse back. Watching them finally appear on the hill top and start to descend down the mountain, nothing to be done, but wait and watch the dots getting bigger as the villagers approached.

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They arrived at the airstrip. The woman had possibly had a stroke? She went to sleep and didn’t wake up. The Chief tied her to him and brought her on horse back. Matthew ran to get the stretcher from his plane.

 

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They discussed who could come with the patient and Matt in the plane. Two wanted to come but Matt thought they would only have room for one. The husband was insistent and after weighing everything, they were just under weight so the husband and the daughter were able to come. Matthew gives them instructions to help carry the woman and load her into the plane.

 

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I really like this guys blanket. It looks like he sewed a reflective vest onto his wool blanket. One of a kind. The men help Matthew prepare the woman for transport.

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She is loaded into the plane by her village.

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Her husband and her daughter accompany her with Dave Fyock and Matthew as they fly her a a short trip to another bigger town with a hospital. She is on a stretcher and strapped down to the bottom of the plane to be secured.

They wait for 45 min on the ground for the ambulance! This is a huge problem. We are always waiting for the ambulance, and often forced to flag down a passerby, give money for personal transport, put an unconscious patient into a small car, or stress about whether this patient or baby is going to die right in front of our husbands while they wait for someone to show up! Sometimes they show up drunk…

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After 45 minutes,  the “Health” departments truck came and they loaded her into the back of it. Off they went, and this is where our job is done. Because of the lack of funding, often times this is the last of the patients that we see. Where before we would fly them to Maseru and then fly them back home. Often these days we are left wondering what the end of the story is…but we do the part that is set out for us to do, that’s all we can do.

On the flight back home to Maseru, the capital of Lesotho, Matthew got a call for another code-one, so they turned back to collect this man having multiple asthmatic attacks. No one had been to the clinic to restock the medicine for weeks if not months and finally the nurse in charge of him had decided to call for MAF to help. Matt lent him his inhaler and it helped a great deal as they flew him to a bigger town to go to the hospital for the proper medicine. Our pilots never know what they are going to find.

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Matt finally got Dave back to the MAF Hangar so he could get to his afternoon meetings with different families on our team. Matthew then was able to start his scheduled flight who had been waiting for him all morning and past lunch. It was a nurse going back out to her post, and another lady and an old lady in a wheelchair. I’m not sure exactly what they were doing, but something for the Lesotho Flying Doctor Service (LFDS), the main people we fly for.

This was just one day on the five he flew this week. I made sure to give him lots of meat for dinner this week and tried to encourage and support him as best as I know how. We are thankful that when we are weak He is strong, and that God is our comfort and our support as we walk in obedience.

A Photo Update

151217_151938_DJI00614This is our hanger with the new extension. Four airplanes now fit inside and we have a lot more space for passengers. My dad came and helped renovate for 2 months. It has taken a lot of work, but it’s been worth it!

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This is my office. I found an app on my Ipad that works with an external GPS so I have a moving map even in remote locations.

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This is Bobete Clinic. Most of our flying is medically related. We support the staff and patients at remote locations like this one. These women have gathered to learn about caring for their newborns.

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This is Kuebunyane clinic. My heart is drawn to this location as it is one of the most isolated places we fly. There are three villages nearby and many more up to a 6 hour walk away.

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This is a typical Basotho home. Smaller Rondovals are used for cooking, while these will sleep the entire family. The floor is a  mixture of mud and dung. The walls are stone and mud, while the roof is a combination of reeds and grass.

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This young boy is in charge of the flock for his family. The animals are the main wealth of any family, so this is a HUGE responsibility. The boys may travel several days journey away from the village and live in isolation for extended periods of time, even in the winter.

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The boys are wearing a traditional blanket. Even in the summer it can get very cold at night. The gray blankets were given to many people in this community from a church in Maseru and transported by MAF.

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Even I can look the part! It brings people a lot of joy and sparks a fun conversation when they see a foreigner dressing like a Mosotho. I have a hat (mosetla), blanket (kobo), and stick (molamu). I love building relationships with the Basotho and my attire helps me fit in and its quite practical in the mountains.

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We found my Mosotho long lost brother!

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The Basotho sure can walk! Horses are still the preferred way to travel in the mountains, but walking is the norm. These women have been walking for many hours, but are almost home. I was able to share some laughs with them and share the Gospel.

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During one of our mountain visits, we talked with people and gave many the Gospel of John. This boy was very excited to have a picture taken with his dog and booklet. The books cost about 40 cents and when I see that the people have read the booklets I find a way to bring them the whole Bible.

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This is the chief of Kuebunyane. He has always be welcoming to hear and learn more about Jesus and the Bible. I brought a study that teaches how to grow  and strengthen our relationship with God. The Chief has asked us to help the community build a church.

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During these visits we like to show the Jesus FILM at night. During this past year we showed the film 11 times in remote locations. In 2016 Pastors will be staying in the villages for extended periods of time. I expect we should show the film 30+ times.

160109_110906_70D_8964Most Saturdays we host a Bible study for 14-17 year old boys. Tsepo, our great friend, is a young missionary to his friends and family. We are so proud of him and his joy in inviting his piers to study the Word. Carolyn plays a wonderful role of loving these boys.

160110_103701_70D_8983This is our church Salt and Light. We are in the final stages of completing this new building project. Today was sunny and without a roof everyone had their umbrellas. We now have the roof up and only have a few more things left. Every Sunday Tsepo invites his friends to church and typically we have 5 or more that come every Sunday.

IMG_6824.JPGIn December we took a flight to visit a missionary in the mountains for Christmas. Carolyn has been a huge support to our family, enabling us to live in Lesotho joyfully. She has built special relationships with several Basotho and of course our crazy kids. Caleb (5) Chloe (2).

 

 

By Matthew Monson Posted in Africa

Do I want to cheat on my husband?

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I was driving quickly to The Bible Society to buy some Sesotho copies of the book of John for Matthew to pass out after the Jesus Film was over for this Saturday’s bible study where over 40 boys were participating. The Lord has been doing some AMAZING things here lately and we are just humbled and in awe to be part of His work!

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So there I was, driving with my daughter in the back seat of the car. He signaled for me to pull over, and I could see the delight in his eyes. Maybe he won’t even ask for my license I think and I’ll be on my way. I greeted him in Sesotho, and his delight increased. We made small talk. Then he asked for my license. No, not Washington DC. Then he starts talking about how he wants to “treat me”, and something about his wife and my husband. I’m assuming he’s asking for a double date. I smile and friendly old me exclaims how that would be nice, blah blah blah. I’m so stupid. He wants to know how this can happen, so I think, how can I put him in contact with my husband, but not really because we don’t really want to hang out with this random guy. So I jokingly say, “Well, when I get home, I’ll tell my husband to come over here and you can pull him over and talk to him.” And with his next statement I realize what it is he is actually saying. “No ‘M’e” he says, “your husband must not know. We must cheat in private.” I’m thinking, wait what? ohhhh, CHEAT. Not treat. Oh dear. You are so stupid. Now what are you going to do? How can this be happening?

I reach for my license but he pulls it back. A buddy of his walks by and pats him on the back, as if congratulating him. And so I had a choice. To turn into an American Woman, demanding my rights and giving him the attitude he deserves. Or I could explain to him where I stood on him being a pig…I mean, on remaining faithful to my husband. So I chose the latter. I explained to him that no, I wasn’t ever going to, nor had I ever cheated on my husband. There was nothing he was going to say that was going to change my mind. I also was a bit cautious to not upset him because I don’t know the law here and didn’t want to give him a reason to take me downtown. I was just trying to get out of the situation with calm waters. So I kept smiling. But don’t smile too much, oh gosh. He could not accept my reasoning and pointed flippantly to his ring as well, explaining that it means nothing to him. In this terrible situation I explained that in fact my ring meant something and I would willingly remain faithful to my husband, who happened to be a pilot, until the day that I died. Pilots are so much cooler than cops anyways. =)

“Are you refusing my offer?” He asks, holding my license out of reach. “You know I am a police officer, right? Don’t you want a police man?” At this point I firmly stated that yes I was, and no I don’t. I took my license from his hand drive away.

Anger and tear flooded out of me. “Mommy, sad?” Chloe asked from the back seat. I felt so stupid. How could I have not known what he was really asking from me? How could I have been so nice? I felt so violated. It took me back to numerous times when I was younger when I felt invaluable and worthless, when I didn’t know how to say no, or when I lead people on with no intentions of following through and when I couldn’t walk away.

“You are not that girl anymore Precious Daughter. You are mine. I choose you. I value you and you are deeply loved, and I am protecting you,” I heard The Lord whisper.

I have been fighting anxiety these past few weeks. Body shaking, head pounding anxiety. It’s like I’m trying to do good, and the enemy is doing everything he can to steal my joy. I’m on the front lines of the battle field. I am worn down. My body is betraying me, but I am a fighter. I’m smart enough to know now, that these feelings are because the enemy is feeling threatened and he is trying to stop me. Praise God that He can use me for any good. I am so weak on my own. The stakes are much higher when the battle field is closer and more personal. I am aware that as my husband and I serve The Lord it comes with a coast. But I ask myself, would I rather have peace and comfort or would I rather follow where He leads me? And so I limp along. Heart breaking.

I heard a story of a wise woman this last week in our Pricilla Shire study of Gideon, and she said, “don’t cry for me, for my pain and loss, BECAUSE THE LORD MET ME THERE.” And so I hear Him say, “press on.”

“I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation.

But take heart; I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

I live in a culture where marriage is not valued or respected. Cheating here is expected. Expected. I have heard of stories of girls in high school who view contracting HIV/AIDS as inevitable, and see it as just part of life. My friend tell me that there is such apathy from the girls. That they think that the odds of finding a spouse who is negative is about fifty/fifty, and that they will most likely cheat on them at some point, most likely contracting the disease from their girlfriend, so then what is the point of going to great caution to avoid it themselves.

I’ve been told kids think that if you’ve been circumcised that you can’t catch the virus, or if you use two condoms it will protect you, which we all know is not true. Sigh.

I have heard that the official stats of 25% of the population being infected with HIV/AIDS is actually more like 50%. That 25% is only REPORTED cases. That’s people who have money to be tested and on medication from the government. Here it is actually illegal to put down HIV/AIDS as the cause of death, you instead have to put down the sickness which lead to death, like TB or something like that. Heart breaking.

I’ve heard the lies that exist in a culture where education and open conversations about medical stuff is quiet. I’ve heard that if you have sex when you are pregnant or nursing that the sperm will actually make your child mentally retarded. And in addition it is very normal for new moms to go live with their family for up to two years after a baby is born for help and to recover. Sooo, we’re looking at 9 months, plus up to 2 years where people thing they shouldn’t be having sex. I’ve been told it is assumed that during this time the man will “do what he needs to do.” Heart breaking.

Marriage is about so much more than just our needs and making ourselves happy. We can explain that because of God’s faithful love for us, we are a living representation of his love. I am reminded that just me living my life, the way I treat my husband and the way I conduct myself with other men, that I am living the Gospel. Long after the butterflies are gone, and the stretch marks and saggs have arrived, we remain faithful to each other because our marriage is an outward symbol of God’s unconditional love and forgiveness and faithfulness to His people. Don’t get me wrong, I think my husband is the sexiest man on the planet and I love him more today than when I met him 8 years ago…but, it’s not about us. These young boys are watching me, and wondering possibly what my motivation is for inviting them into my home. It is a joy to know that I am pointing them to Jesus through my faithful marriage.

So, will you join me in PRAYING for:

-For the truth to reign in the marriages in this culture. For people to remain true.

-For mMy heart to remain soft but wise

– For this man’s wife and the many others who are cheated on

– For the devastating effects these lies are having on the community, especially the children.

– For the marriages of the missionaries here in Lesotho, that they would be bound together.

– For the mothers who are raped who have to choose between an abortion, nursing their child and risking transferring the AIDS/HIV virus to their newborn because they are too poor to afford formula, or abandoning their newborns in garbage bags in the streets.

– Pray for the young boys who have very few if any positive role models

– Pray for the younger generations to choose abstinence and loyalty in their marriages.

– Pray against apathy

– Pray for the TRUTH and for Christ’s love and forgiveness to wash over this place.

My Miscarriage and How to Help Someone Through Their’s

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I’d been ready for another kiddo for over a year and so I was thrilled in March 2015 when we were 9 weeks pregnant. My belly was already showing. I had been nauseous and tired, and oh so happy. A friend and I  traveled to South Africa  for my appointment. I laid down on the exam table ecstatic. Finally the day was here!

I quickly sensed something was wrong but couldn’t quite read the foreign doctors face. His next question confirmed my suspicion, and altered my life forever, “Are you absolutely sure of your dates?” I saw the empty screen. I saw Amanda’s face and I knew something was terribly wrong.  “I’m sorry but all I can see is an empty sac. If there is a baby there it’s no more than 5 weeks old.” I heard other things like, chromosomal abnormality, spontaneous abortion, 5.5 weeks, blighted ovum, dead, common, surgery, slight chance of a baby, abortion pills…Shock and Tears. I paid for my visit, flooded with tears and left. It was a long 2 hour journey home. I was eternally grateful for my friend to drive.

Day 2: Death inside of me: The waiting stage. I found myself walking down a path I didn’t want to take.  I didn’t dare ask WHY. I Just walked in faith. What else can we do, especially with young kids. I had no option but to carry on with the mundane tasks of life. One shaky foot in front of the other.

Day 7: Is there any HOPE? I tried calling around to get a second opinion. But the Dr.’s were booked for months. No one was willing to give me a second opinion. Eight days, walking around knowing there was something dead in me. I began to hate my body. If I could have reached in and tore it out, I would have. My son: “Mommy I’m so sad your baby stopped working. Mom. Your baby died?” Apparently the baby stopped developing around 5 weeks, but the placenta and sac continued to grow, producing hormones to trick my body into thinking it was still pregnant.

“The LORD is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.” Psalm 34:18

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Day 8: Spotting begins. I started spotting. Cramping and pain marked my 10 weeks pregnant. I had lost hope in life and honestly was relieved in seeing the blood. I could start the grieving process. Depression overwhelmed me. I was angry with my kids. I was confused. I felt alone. I felt betrayed by my body, by life.  I was Scared. Mad. Sad. So alone. Had it really only been a week since I found out? Somehow grief stops time.

Through Gods mercy and grace I was put in contact with two friend from home who were going through the exact same thing, at the exact same time. We communicated daily. Asking each other about blood, and each others’ hearts, and Dr.’s apts etc. It was comforting and scary to know what was coming. I am so grateful for these soul Sisters walking this path with me from afar. Unfortunately this is a very common thing.

Day 9: Sunday more spotting.  Heavy cramping. Pain. My body felt like it was preparing for labor. My bowls were emptying, my back hurt. I was nauseous. Through this whole process I had been praying that it would just happen quickly and I could move ON! Why wont this thing just leave my body? I felt sick.

I had some support. Friends brought me food when I was brave enough to ask for help. Prayers. There were a few in particular that checked up on me daily who I knew were there for me, even when I didn’t know what I needed. They listened when I shared. With a short text, “How are you today?” One was brave enough to sit with me in the pain.  Eternally bonded and grateful. I knew friends from home were praying for me. I would get some messages and emails. It was comforting and I knew they cared. But honestly it fueled my homesickness and loneliness here in Africa. But still I fought against the feeling of abandonment by those who knew, who didn’t utter a single word. When there was silence I was left to fill in the blank, and it wasn’t nice. But again, God was teaching me to be thankful for what I did have, instead of be bitter about what I didn’t have.  It was hard. I was so desperate and scared.

As I shifted in the hard wood seats at church, I felt more blood leaving me. How many others were carrying an impossible burden. I heard a message just for me that morning that honestly I didn’t really want to hear:

“Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. “Philippians 4: 4-7

Was it possible to rejoice at a time like this? Was He asking me to be thankful for my miscarriage? I patiently listened. Today I realized instead of praying this pain away, I have something deep to learn in the midst of the pain. I learned that the key to rejoicing was not in my situation but because the God of the Heavens was walking with me in the pain. I felt more relaxed, as I heard God telling me, TRUST ME, I am here with you, I love you daughter.

Day 11: The Day I Gave Birth to Death.     The bleeding is increasing. Which I’m *thankful* for. I was hoping to do it naturally at home. Matt is home studying Sesotho.  I was in pain all morning as the bleeding steadily increased. My back and abdominal area was in so much pain. I spent the morning in bed while Matt took over with the kids. When Chloe went down for her nap around noon I started contracting. My body went into full on labor.

Labor. Contractions every few minutes. And heavy bleeding. So much blood. Dizzy. Every inch of me hurt. So much blood in such a short period. This is what I had prayed for, right? Oh God help me! The waves of labor hit me. I frantically texted two of my friends who said they were available to be “on call” to come and get my kids. I found myself vocalizing through the pain and contractions. I didn’t want to scare the kids and quite frankly I needed Matt’s undivided attention. I could feel the pain rising up in me, and the flood beginning to come out of me, so I’d jump up and run to the bathroom, barely able to make it to the toilet in time. I knew I just had to get through it. One friend came and took Caleb. And another got Chloe. As the second friend showed up, I will never forget this tragic feeling…

I felt the sac and the baby fall down out of my uterus and I ran to the bathroom holding myself and before I could sit down it all splashed into the toilet.

To this day, I still regret not looking. Not sure what I would have seen. But I replay this moment over and over again in my head. In a panic I flushed it. I was in shock. After this I just wanted it to be over with, little did I know this process was far from over. Laboring in pain for 4 hours with no hope. No snuggles. No kisses. No one who would come and visit afterwards. Slowly somehow my body started to slow down. I could finally rest between bathroom trips. The pain started to decrease.  

Day 12: How you can help…I guess many people don’t know what to say when someone is suffering, so we say and do nothing. And it stung. Deep. I felt so alone. I was feeling sorry for myself. Maybe we’re afraid to bring up the pain? But honestly, when someone is suffering, the worst thing you can do is ignore or not address their pain, because it’s probably all they are thinking about. Please reader, hear this: SAY SOMETHING!  But please, don’t tell them you know what they’re going through, unless you truly do. I’m certain there is someone in your life right now who is suffering. Someone who needs to know they are not alone. Reach out to them please. Let them know that you’re there if they want to talk.

If you’re the one suffering, ASK FOR HELP! Reach out to someone!

When you offer help, BE SPECIFIC. Don’t leave it at, “let me know if you need help.” Instead ask, “Can I come tomorrow morning and help you with your kids/ dishes/ pray with you?” Realize that person is living day to day, hour by hour. Stop and pray WITH that person instead of just telling them you will pray for them. Hold their hands and let them cry. Just be with them. Just sit. Sit in the ugly, uncomfortable place, and BE present. Check in each day. Find a way to help. Grocery shop for them, take their kids for a walk, anything. As brothers and sisters in Christ we are called to be part of eachother’s lives and to mourn with those who morn, or weep with those who weep (Romans 12:15.)

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Photo taken by my son.

Day 13: Spotting continues, Depression.    I am looking more forward now that he or she is out of me. I’m not so focused downward and inward. I named him. Committed his or her life to our Father. I hope one day I will be able to hold him/her in my arms. My dear neighbor gave me a candle to remember him by.  But I feel depressed and in a haze. At times the grief hits me like an overwhelming wave and cripples me as I am unable to do anything but sob, usually in the bathroom. There are times when I shoved my kids to the side in irritation, just wanting to sit and be left alone. Guilt.

“Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.” Isaiah 43: 18-19. 

I fought to be thankful. Thankfulness is an active choice and it breeds healing.

  • ~For doing it naturally and safely at home.
  • ~For my husband to be there. (He was stranded in the mountains just two days before.)
  • ~For friends who were there when I needed them.
  • ~For the two beautiful kids I already have.

God is teaching me to be thankful for what I do have. As my body continued to flush itself out I prayed that God’s word would flood in and cleanse my body, heart, mind and soul.

“Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. For I am the LORD your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior… Because you are precious in my eyes, and honored, and I love you, I give men in return for you, peoples in exchange for your life.” Isaiah 43: 1-4

Day 17: Spotting continues Ugh. I Thought it was done. It’s so light- but still very annoying.  My husband said he is not sure if he will want more kids. Gulp. What?! Could I be happy with just my two?

Day 20: Joy?   Depression continues. Bleeding is slowing. How do I move on?   In bible study, of all things we were studying Joy-a steady strength from Him. The beautiful women in this group allowed a safe space for me to share my grief and experience and covered me in prayers. God obviously wanted me to hear him. Joy is not happiness. Stuffing grief kills joy and that I had to go through this process to get to the other side. Joy is knowing that God is constantly there with you in the midst of my deep sorrow.  I had to ask if I really believed that the Lords answer of “not now,” in this pregnancy was for my good?

I’ve had to really resist from asking “Why?” No good can come from that now. God never promises to keep up from harm. Look at his Son, who suffered and died. Until He comes again, death and tears are part of life. But I do know He is coming back and in that day tears and death will be no more! And so there is joy in that.

He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”

And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I lam making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” And he said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end.” Revelation 21

Week 4: Still spotting and cramping. God is really working on my heart and asking me if He is enough for me?  It is so easy in times of pain to run to the comforts in the world and not to Him. I felt so alone. Emotionally exhausted. I spent many nights with a bag of chips and chocolate and a whole season of a show, with my bible no where to be found. But whenever I went looking for Him, He was there.

Easter: Done spotting.  So very thankful my body is finished with the process. I do feel my heart is starting to heal. We’ve had guests staying in our house from the mountains for a few days and it’s so good to be distracted.  It has been so painful to be away from family and friends in American during this. My whole support system is on the other side of the world and I just want home. I am so home sick. Tears.

Week 5: Bleeding back.  I had three days of rest and now it’s returned. Possibly my first period? My dreams, my hopes of the life that should have been, slowly leaving me. Deep pain. Scab ripped open.

Week 6: Still spotting.  We had an Women’s conference here in Lesotho with other missionary women called “IF.” Where we sat at the feet of our Lord and got our cups filled. I cried out in frustration that I was still spotting. I am so fed up. How do I heal? I am questioning why I want more kids? Is there a right way to have a family? Is there a wrong way? What is the point of all this?

Week 7: It seems to be done. Finally.   I feel back to my normal self. Whatever normal is. The Lord has heard my cries and the process has ended.  I feel a peace. A contentment and a joy that only Jesus can give.  Waiting on my husband’s leading for our future family is freeing.  Contentment is a choice.

4 months later:  I look at my youngest differently now. I have fallen more in love with her, knowing she could be my last. My heart has settled into submission to where my husband’s heart is.  I still won’t ask God WHY?  But rather, I continue to walk in faith, knowing he loves me and I can trust Him, even though I trully don’t understand why this happened. We have a God and Savior who can identify with our pain and our grief because of Christ’s sacrifice on the cross and the pain he bore for our sins. I do know that God is good, all the time. I know I can trust Him, and so I walk one foot in front of the other.

The World I See…

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So often here, I can’t make sense of the world I live in. I often find myself feeling sorry for my self and overwhelmed. I mean, yesterday I had to travel internationally to go to mine and Caleb’s dentist appointments, so he could fix the botched job the last dentist did. Because of new laws Matthew and I both had to travel to the police station get a special paper signed, track down a printer and copier, get copies of this and that all in preparation for me traveling with one of our kids without Matthew. Because of child trafficking the laws are strict now. Although, in the end, they didn’t even end up asking me for half the documents they now “require.” Oh the stress. But we made the most of it and spent four hours traveling and a few hours shopping.  Thank goodness the town we went to had McDonalds, or Uncle Donalds as Caleb calls it. We did shopping in South Africa that we can’t do here, like getting bibles in English, getting yummy crackers and tomato soup with out MSG, and buying playdough and a little Lego toy for Caleb, since he was so brave at the dentist and didn’t have any cavities! Oh, and coffee and chocolate filled croissants! I was so tempted to buy myself nice things to decorate my house with, or a new pair of pants or just something pretty. And don’t get me wrong, I do do that occasionally, but the way I see money and spend it has drastically changed since we moved here. No matter how hard things can be, or how uncomfortable I am, there are so so many that have it so much worse than me.

When we came here I was so shocked at the reality of how rich I am. I am constantly aware of how blessed I am. What I wouldn’t give foe a taste of home. My heart aches daily for family, friends, comfort and home. But God is daily working in my heart to heal, grow, mold and teach me that I need to be grateful and thankful for what I do have! And not sad about what I don’t. Contentment.  A house, warm clothes, lots of food, a phone, a car. I can afford to take my kids to the doctors and afford medication for them. When I see others, how can I ever complain again. Matt and I have no debt. We live on a budget and we are blessed to have a savings account. I cannot tell you all who help to support us, how eternally humbled and grateful we are to you! THANK YOU.

I was having a conversation with one of the dear Mosotho women in my life recently. She was so so sooo happy to tell me she had finally found a small piece of land to build a house on. The last plot of land she bought was actually sold to numerous different people so she in the end got screwed out of her life savings. This is a huge problem here. People pay with out receiving the proper paper work, because it takes money to get the paper work, and in the end they have nothing. She did end up getting some of the money back, and is now only $350 short for the new piece she found. She was asking me if we could help here. In total her small plot of land is about $1,500.

I asked her how she would afford to build a house on the land she buys. She explained that she can’t. But she will look for some of the metal sheeting used for roofs here to build a small shack, so then at least she can live there and not pay rent anymore. Then slowly she can start to build with bricks as she gets the money. Living here has totally revolutionized how I view and spend money.

You see. She, like so many other “lucky ones” with jobs here live on, around, $100 a month. She is a widow. She takes care of her daughter who graduated school but cannot find work, and also her granddaughter who is an orphan. She told me $50 is for rent a month. Then $20 for her granddaughters school a month. Then that leaves $30 for EVERYTHING else. Food, electricity, water, etc. My heart broke. “Mme, what do you eat?” She along with the rest of the country live off of Papa, which is maize meal. Corn porridge and spinach, or cabbage cooked and seasoned with MSG. And maquenia, like a fat cake, and more corn. Sigh. It is so cold here now, and paraffin, gas for the heaters is expensive. My heart was so broken. Can you imagine having $30 to eat with and heat your house in winter, and travel with for a whole month, every month, for 3 people? In America it was so easy to ignore poverty, and honestly often I wasn’t sure how to really make a difference. I didn’t really know any poor people. But now…

But we can’t just become paralyzed by the scope of the suffering. All we can do is make a small ripple. But with the Holy Spirits leading he will show where he wants us to make that impact. I am learning on a whole new level what it means to love my neighbor like myself. What good is it if a man clains to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him?  In scripture it says, “Suppose a brother and sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you sayd to them, “Go in peace and keep warm and be well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? (James 2:5-6, 8, 14-16).  We cannot give to every need because we feel guilty. But we cannot restrain from giving because we’re afraid we’re going to “do it wrong.” It’s all about being so in-tune with His Spirit that we know when to act and when to pray.

Please pray for us as we navigate the extreme poverty we see daily, and the intense wealth God has for some reason granted us with. Pray for wisdom and discernment and peace and Joy as we share His love and the Good News with the lost and hungry here. As we work to make this home. Let me know if you too want to make a ripple and support in some way with the many I know here either spiritually or financially. We are currently collecting socks and gloves and leggings for the Local Church outreach next month into one of our most isolated and poorest airstrip communities we serve in.

God Bless you. Love, Carolyn

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Driving home from visiting friends at the orphanage. Typical housing you see in 85% of Lesotho.

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The kids playing with local kiddos while we were setting up The Jesus Film

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Heading home from visiting Daddy at work, keeping warm for the 35 min drive.

Mountain Pastor’s Weekend

Since Matthew and I were preparing to come to Africa to serve with MAF we have had a heart to see the lost be set free from the chains that enslave, and we have felt passionately that a partnership with the local church is crucial to this happening. This past weekend was a testament to God’s faithfulness after a year and a half of praying.

We did our first trip of twelve this past weekend. Two generous donors have provided the funds to do one flight a month for a year. Our desire is to eventually raise the money to do two flights, so if you are interested in partnering with the local churches of Lesotho to reach the most isolated in the mountains let me know, please! We have pastors from different denominations and backgrounds coming together for one purpose.

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Matthew and the pastors talking with the Chief, in the blue shirt with the red stripe. The Chief even got Matthew to lead two songs…probably my favorite moment! Anything for Jesus! haha.

Saturday we left the kids early, before they rose with our Mosotho house helper, ‘M’e Mampho. Yes, it was hard. Especially since the day before I was updating our temporary guardianship paperwork, and packing an evacuation bag for the kids just in case something happened due to the political instability right now leading up to elections on Saturday February 28th. Thankfully nothing eventful happened while we were gone and the kids did great with Mme!

It was so exciting to meet these Pastors and their passion for their own people. They had planned the whole trip and were ready! It was so exciting to be able to fly to our location in the mountains in 28 minutes, where using a car would have taken probably close to 16 hours of travel. There was so much freedom knowing they had planned everything out.

We saw God work in so many ways! The first was clearing the early morning clouds that were threatening to cancel the trip. We saw food provided for us when we forgot ours at home. We found warmth in our sleeping bags when we didn’t pack coats. We found the Chief just in time before it started raining harder and Matt, myself and Abutie Karabo were able to go through a track that explained who Jesus is with him and how to have a relationship with him. We saw the clouds and rain clear up just in time to show the Jesus film Saturday night. We saw 50 people commit their lives to Christ and receive the Word! We saw villages come together in a field on Sunday to worship in a town that doesn’t have a church. We saw people who really had nothing, hungry for the only thing that can truly satisfy. We saw the Pastors passion for their own people! We saw the main Pastor and the Chief plan where the church would be built in the future. The chief gifted the pastors land and permission to build a church!

We are bursting with His Faithfulness! “Commit your way to the Lord, trust in Him and HE will act!” Psalm 37:5

Salt and Light Church

We’ve been at our church here in Lesotho for almost 9 months now.  We go to Salt and Light Christian Community Church. It’s about 20 minute drive from our house. We meet at a high school building which is nice because there is a huge fence around the school, so Caleb and the other kids can run free in and out of the building. There are usually kids from the community playing a game of ball at one side of the school, and a large group of high school kids washing clothes and cleaning in one of the buildings since it is also a boarding school. They know Caleb as Toka, his Sesotho name, meaning Justice. (That makes me Me MaToka ~ Mother of Justice.)

Our church has a huge heart for missions! It is refreshing to see them so outwardly focused. I think we have four church plants in the mountains of Lesotho, and one of our pastors goes once a month to one of the churches. At Easter there were four groups that went out, and there is a “Missions Sunday” once a month.

We started going here because one of our friends and co-workers is the worship leader here. God confirmed in Matt’s heart that this is where our family is to go, and so we are obedient.

 

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Matthew watching the youth put on a “drama” for youth Sunday. It’s funny- they had a “special Sunday service” and we were unclear about why it was going to be special. We knew it was something about families and marriage. I heard them saying that we were going to sit in different seats… So we got to church and discovered that it was a special day where all the husbands and wives were sitting with each other. Haha. It was a special service on marriage and was opened up for discussion at the end. It was so strange to see the men dispersed among the church with the ladies, and not just in the first few rows all together. there was lots of nervous giggles and i felt like i was in high school again. Haha. During introductions Matt stated that we were married 5 years, and the pastor then made everyone go back and say how long they had been married. Our pastor has 32 years, and many of the other leaders have in the 20’s as well! I was so impressed. In a culture where infidelity runs rampant, there was faithful commitment being modeled joyfully! Praise God.

 

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I spy with my little eye- Chloe. She is loved by all. Retabile is holding here here, a young girl who really enjoys her. This is after service when everyone is just meeting and greeting and I’m waiting by the car- eating something because it’s 2 in the afternoon and chugging my extra cup of coffee i brought. Waiting for Matthew to finnish talking and trying to be social.

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We’ve seen a dozen or so young people give their lives to Christ since we’ve been here! It’s a Holy moment. When i see this, it makes all the discomfort and awkwardness and isolation that i feel going to church worth it. God keeps telling me over and over and then over again- that “This is not about you Carolyn. I’m doing something really big here. I’m working, just stay faithful.”

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Matthew got to preach this week! He was asked to talk to honor and celebrate the older folks in the church. An honor indeed. He talked about the greatness of the universe and how small we are, but how God still loves and cares for each of us! Amazing Love. The youth sang and performed to honor them too. Culture shock was at it s height as we sat through a 4 hour service. We also had a chuckle as they didn’t have a word in Sesotho for galaxy. So proud of Matthew and it’s cool to see how the men include and respect Matt as well.

 

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This is a rare sight. Lasting about 2 min. Caleb’s ready to play and wondering why everyone has to stay so still, and what are they saying? I can’t blame him for not wanting to stay in here. Sigh. He doesn’t understand. All the kids 13 and younger are in one room, and worst of all the teachers have a big stick, and punish you with a pinch on the ear lobe if you don’t  mimic, memorize and perform like expected. I pray for these young ones, that the joy and truth would sink deep.

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Caleb is a bit a lone ranger at church. School is out for winter break so the girls aren’t out doing their wash. And I can’t get him to stay in the Sunday school room. So he either runs around with who ever he can find, or he sits in church with us.

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One of the best parts about church lately is that one of our soccer boys, Tsepo is now coming with us! Praise God. When ever i’m feelings exhausted and sorry for myself because i can’t understand anything and my kids are causing a scene, I can look over and see him with his hands lifted high, and I know it’s worth it.

 

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Selfies  on the iPad~ yes i let my kid play on an iPad during church. Another thing I do in church that I said I would never do is nurse, gasp, with out a cover. Haha. I did it first at a ladies meeting and many of them congratulated me afterwards that I’m starting to feel at home. They laugh and furrow their brow when I explain what a private thing nursing is in the States. Here if the baby cries, men and women will grab their breast to show you you should nurse. While driving, in church anywhere. And they’re not conservative. Although i still expose as little as humanly possible- I do enjoy that the woman behind me aren’t shy to bend over and tickle Chloes’ check and coo at her while she’s eating. I enjoy the community aspect of this culture a lot.

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Friendships beginning. Lebo helps watch Chloe in kids church.

 

and our drop pot =)

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