Sunday, February 22, 2009

pictures, finally!

here is a typical snail here. they are huge and they are everywhere during rainy season!

um...i have no explanation for this picture!

this is MY taco...chock full of tomatoes! josh and mary elizabeth brought us corn tortillas and we shaped them into hard tacos...very yummy! these are filled with a rice and lentil mixture. and they are on our dedza plates.

bech and i at mamma mias on valentines day.

josh and emily ketchum came with us!


Bech spoke to the junior high and high school chapel the other day. He was SUPER nervous (Bech hates public speaking) but his talk was great. He talked about vocation, and it really got me thinking.

First of all, he said that the term vocation comes from the latin term "vocare," which means to call. It was applied to men in the middle ages who felt called by God to become monks. Vocation was used for a calling within the church. I like that because I feel that our jobs, whether they be with or outside of a church, should and are callings from God.

Bech and I have been talking about vocation a lot lately, because we are trying to figure out what we are supposed to do with our lives. I feel like often times in our world, the Christian community still only thinks of God calling you to a job if it is within the church or a ministry of some sort. But Paul says that whatever we do, we should do it for the glory of God. Therefore our lives are a calling to, to glorify God.

I also think our jobs are supposed to be enjoyable to us. The first question of the Westminster Shorter Catechism is, "What is man's primary purpose?" or "What is the chief end of man?" The answer is "to glorify God and enjoy Him forever." We are supposed to enjoy life here. I don't mean by that that life will always be fun or easy, or any of those things. I mean, that as Christians, we should enjoy work, family, community, and mostly God.

It is easy to get caught up in trying to do what you are good at. But the truth is, we are all good at several things. I envy the person who can claim to be good at only one thing...I am sure he found picking his career quite easy of a task! And I do think we should do what we are good at. In order to glorify God, we need to do things well! Look at our example! God has shown himself to be the perfect artist and scientist through creation. He is the perfect author through His words. Everything He does, He does perfectly, with absolute beauty.

I often get frustrated because Christian musicians will create music that isn't very good. They think they are glorifying God because they are making music for Him. But if anyone deserves amazing's Him! So I shouldn't be a songwriter...I can't strum a guitar or carry a tune very well. And I should definitely not be an actress...I want to die in front of other people.

I feel like in order to find what we are called to be, we need to find the middle ground between what we can do well to the glory of God and what we love to do. That is what is so hard to do! It doesn't help that everyone will pick up on what you can do well...and just because you can do something, doesn't mean you love it or should work in that field. Bech was describing how, because he is a great listener (which he is), people used to tell him he should be a therapist. But he loves to make pots, and bowls, and plates. I was good at science all throughout school, so people always told me I should be a doctor. But I don't love science at all (the fact that I told my med school interviewer that I "didn't really like science" can attest to that...needless to say, I was not accepted!). This is what I am struggling with...finding how I can both glorify God and enjoy Him forever!

Alright, sorry for such a serious post...I just wanted to share the thoughts going through my head. Also, I have an update on Nya. They are in South Africa, and she is doing MUCH better. Her platelet count is up, and they might have figured out the problem. And it is raining here!!! Yay! We need rain! Rain grows maize, and maize feeds the country. I actually videod the rain, because it is coming down so hard, so I will try to upload that.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

i haven't posted in forever! i am so sorry!

things are going alright here. a bunch of people are sick with a cold/flu-like virus. i am almost all the way over it, but bech is still not feeling great. also nya s. is really sick, but they don't know what is wrong with her. her family just flew with her to south africa...please be praying for her!

charles has his new glasses and is liking them! he told me yesterday that he can actually see when he is working at night.

i know i have mentioned before a student who is really not doing well in class. he actually got a 4.5% on a test...yes thats right, four and a half percent!!! well he actually did really well on a project i gave him. not like amazing, but really good for him! i am so happy!

i took some pictures the other day, so i will try to upload them this weekend so you can have visuals of our life here...we miss you all!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

i don't really have time for a long update, but i wanted to just say let anyone who reads my blog know my big news...

if you know me at all, you know i am a VERY picky eater. i don't eat onions, celery, nuts (except pine nuts and pistachios), tomatoes, peppers, etc. except now, you can take something off of the list...i now eat tomatoes! i decided at the beginning of 2009 that i am an adult and it is high time that i start eating like an adult. my fear and hatred of tomatoes is my first step. and i actually like them...a LOT! weird, huh?

on the food note, i did want to share some of what we have been eating lately. while josh and mary elizabeth were here, they told us you can cook lentils and rice in the same pot at the same time. so we cooked rice and lentils and put them on tortillas, added a little sour cream, and it was so good!

then we cooked rice and lentils, added a little cilantro, and ate it on tacos. josh and mary elizabeth brought us a bunch of corn tortillas, and we have been making our own hard tacos (since they only sell them at shoprite here and its about $15 for a pack of 10). all you have to do is heat up about an inch (or a little less) of oil in a skillet, drop the tortilla in for a second, then use forks to hold up one side of the tortilla till it gets its shape. then you flip the tortilla, finish cooking it, and you have a hard taco! we filled the tacos with our rice/lentil/cilantro mixture, added cheese, sour cream (they have it at foodworths right now!), tomatoes (because i now LOVE them!), and a dash of lime...sooo good!

alright, now that i have made myself really hungry, i will end this blog. i did take a picture of our tacos, so i will add it soon...then you can see for yourself the tomatoes i ate!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009


i know, i know...i am going crazy with the posts...i just wanted to add some pictures of charles' aprons, modeled by my cute husband!

more pictures

alright, even more pictures...i am trying to make up for how much of a blog slacker i have been lately!

these are the napkins charles made for us...they will match our brown vietri and green jars plates perfectly!  

bech with our favorite 8 month old (is that right, beth) baby ever, elijah!  

the lake at nkhotakota...isn't it gorgeous?

the waterfall at mua mission

pictures of charles' work

alright, so i am putting up pictures of charles work...if you have told me you wanted stuff, let me know if this stuff looks good.  i can send stuff back with katy, bech's parents, or just bring it home when we come.  charles is looking for more work, so anything would be good.

alright, these are some placemats, with matching napkins...

a purse by charles...about $6

more placemats with napkins!

close up of my stockings...they were about $6.50 each...i picked red and green chtinji fabrics, but you could do whatever color scheme you wanted

don't they look so great?
we have been so bad about posting! i will give a quick update today, then post more later today (or tomorrow).

part of the reason we haven't been posting is because we have visitors! josh and mary elizabeth (bech's brother and sister in law) are here visiting us for almost 2 weeks. we have to be the most spoiled missionaries ever! we are enjoying showing them our life here...i think they really love malawi.

i am really excited about the response i had about charles! Mrs. Passwater, i will go the market and pick out some fabric for placemats and napkins for you...what colors do you like? also, mallory, i'll put the pictures up of the aprons, and if you like them, i'll put in an order with charles. charles also just made me some BEAUTIFUL stockings! i am so happy with them! josh and mary elizabeth just love charles and have been giving him tons of business, which is good.

this past weekend we took josh and mary elizabeth to the lake and then to mua mission (more on all of that later).

okay, just wanted to let you guys know we are still here...i better go teach my history class, though...we miss you all!