January 11, 2009

Hartley happenings in the New Year

Hello everyone – hope the New Year is treating you well!

I am sitting in front of my computer on Sunday morning with a steaming cup of American coffee (thanks Hartleys for the Christmas box!!) and I am trying to think of what to write about. The last couple weeks have been a bit of a blur!

Here is a short summary:

We had a lot of fun helping Jasmine acclimate back to life in Africa, we threw her a big party and then we drove her to Bulembu, Swaziland where she started her teacher training. (it was only supposed to be a 5 hr drive, but Dan and I realized we forgot our passports an hour into the trip and that added 2 more hours…sigh!) From Bulembu, we headed back to Motjane, Swaziland and stayed with our dear friends the Chombas for a couple days. Dan did more work on the building for the orphan boys and then we gave Maggie Chomba’s sister Edna a ride back to Johannesburg so that she could catch the bus from here to go back to Zambia. Dan and Edna woke up at 4:30 am and they drove to the bus station to try to book a ticket for a bus leaving that day. It certainly was an adventure trying to sort out what bus, what time, waiting on standby, and then finally her making it aboard 4 hours later. Whew! The next possible bus was three days later, so she got really lucky. That same afternoon, we also did an airport run to welcome back our team leader’s wife Jenny Teichert and their daughter Ann from furlough. (Karl and their sons are returning in another week) We’ve had several big rain storms and a neighbor’s tree fell onto the Teichert’s electric fence, so Dan also sorted that out for them before they came home.

So…airport runs, shopping for teaching supplies, throwing parties, repairing electric fences, giving rides, fixing the floor on the building for the orphan boys, fixing laptops, helping a teammate build a coffee table, writing articles for ministry, fixing a water heater, bus station runs, chauffeuring Jasmine to Swaziland, international border crossings, beginning to pack up our house (we are not keeping this rental house while we are in the states), having ministry partners over for meals and more are all in a week’s work for these missionaries. There certainly isn’t much of a routine these days which works fine for us. Dan thinks that working normal office hours is boring!

(Dan is fixing the water heater in the Chomba’s roof!)

In the upcoming weeks, Dan may go up to Zimbabwe to help deliver water purification supplies (the cholera epidemic there is steadily worsening – you can find more info online on news websites) and we are likely to return to Swaziland for a few days so Dan can lay tile and carpet in the orphan boy’s living room and kitchen area. Once that is finished, they can officially move in and start using the completely renovated space. Dan made a table for them and some missionary friends who moved back to Canada gave us some chairs that we will take up to them to use.

We hope to find a tremendous deal on international tickets this week. We are home for furlough from approx late April to late Oct in 09. Yeah!!

And lastly, Miesha and I are “bunking” from church this morning. (“bunking” is what they call playing hookie here) As I was dressing her for church I noticed that both of her legs are covered in red bumps. It is possible that a tribe of mosquitoes snacked on her legs all night, but it is likely to be something more interesting for us to deal with. We will take her into the Dr tomorrow morning to get it checked out.

Prayer points:

- wisdom for Dan as he sorts out the dates for the international trips

- LOW LOW price on USA tickets for us

- that Miesha’s spots will be accurately diagnosed, she won’t be too uncomfortable and that whatever it is will go away quickly!!

Thank you for your love and prayers for us! My coffee is finished now and I am off to cuddle with a spotty little girl.

Janell for us 3

Here are Miesha and Joshua Chomba – they were born on the same day, 15 minutes apart from each other.

Nokwanda is holding Miesha. She is one of the orphans that the Chombas have adopted. She is such a sweetie and has the best "morning hair" ever!!

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