Not Interesting

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Been wishing that I had something interesting to share on the blog lately.  Alas, life has been pretty mundane as of late.  Been busy with work stuff but in general nothing fun or exciting to report.  We are going zip lining next Friday, though!  Looking forward to that and we’ll be sure to post pictures/video of the adventure.

We’re in the process of redoing a table that we got for free from one of Brian’s old coworkers.  It’s pretty sweet.  It’s a black Pottery Barn pedestal table with 6 black chairs with cushions.  The tabletop needed a little TLC and we’re in the homestretch of getting it finished up (fingers crossed it gets done this weekend!).

What I’ve liked so far about this table…it’s round–round tables seem to fit people around them better than rectangular (or oval) ones.  It will seat 6 even without the leaf (but the leaf makes it extra roomy).  It’s sturdy and well built.  The chairs are super comfortable.  It is black, so it ties in the black bookcase and media center already in our adjoining living room.  It doesn’t look country.

Oh, and I guess in other news…Brian got a new bike!  He has joined the Ellsworth club along with his wife :).  It’s a 29er and is super big.  But it doesn’t’ look disproportionate (like his old bike).  And the best part?  He really likes it!  We’ve taken it out on trails a couple times now and on the Tobacco Trail (greenway) and he’s thoroughly enjoyed every time.  Woohoo.  Who wants to go ride with us?

Ok, back to the mundane.  Sorry no pics to liven this post up.  If I think about it (aka-care about it) I will go back and post a pic or two of the bike and progress pics of the table project.  Y’all have a good week!

(I feel like I used a lot of parenthesis in this post….)

Old School

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Although the blog has been quiet for a few weeks, life sure hasn’t.  We’ve been back from Africa…and like with most things, even after amazing events, life happens and you get back to the routine pretty quickly.

Well, Brian and I got to do something last night that we haven’t done in a long time!

ROLLER SKATING!!  We got to go skating with Keirsten (my niece), her friend Lavinia, my sister Tracy and her hubby Rob.  It definitely took me a few laps to get comfortable in skates again because I think it has been at least 2 decades (whoa, that makes me feel old) since I’ve last roller skated!  Brian, an avid inline skater when he was young, picked it up quickly and was skating circles around me (literally).

It brought back memories of birthday parties and church outings growing up.  We were by far some of the oldest folks on the rink, but  I’m glad we got to spend some time with the family doing an activity we wouldn’t normally pick.

Here are some pics of the gang skating it up.  Picture quality is not great; it’s from the iPhone which doesn’t capture action shots very well.

Tracy & Rob

Keirsten & Lavinia

Me–taking a balance break

Brian–zoom

Africa Recap

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We’ve been back about a week now.  Time for a recap of our visit.  I am not going to share what country we were in or what cities we visited even though the country we visited is an “open” country.  Meaning you’re allowed to share your faith with adults, unlike a “closed” country where it is actually illegal to spread the gospel. We had a great trip and I believe I speak for both of us when I say, we can’t wait to go back!

This will mostly be photos with a bit of commentary.  I wrote a 3 page update that, if you’re interested in reading, I’d be happy to email to you.  Just shoot me a line at dslowther at gmail dot com.

The trip in numbers:

  • 7 days in country
  • 4 days in the capital city-due to some travel mishaps
  • 1.5 days in the villages we were planning to visit
  • 24 hours on planes
  • 20+ hours sitting at airports
  • 8 (or so) taxi rides
  • 50+ people heard the gospel
  • 4 people decided to follow Christ!

We got to know this airport intimately! But as you can see, there wasn’t much to it.

The large picture is the western most tip of Africa. The shots on the right are several from around the capital city.

Horse & Cart, still an acceptable mode of transportation. Actually, mostly used to…well…cart stuff.

Our team plus our translators.

Where we stayed. It was great!

A group of people we got to share the gospel with in one of the villages. This is where we saw 4 people choose to follow Christ!

Another village we visited. We did not get to share with as many people in this village, but we can see the Spirit working here. We are excited to continue visiting the people here. Please pray for these people that their hearts would open to the gospel.

Some of the children from the villages and more shots from the villages.

Several ladies that heard the gospel. The woman standing with me said she was my African mother because we shared the same [African] name. Brian, Jason & our translator in the back of the pick-up on the way to the village.

Brian and I got to sleep in our hammocks one night; it was great! And the pick-up that got us safely to each village.

Thanks for your support of our trip!  We are happy with what all God did while we were there.  We give Him all the praise, honor and glory for making His name great among these gracious, hospitable people.  We are pumped about this partnership!

Things Don’t Always Go As Planned…

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Hey everyone! Well, we made it to Africa!  But there has been a slight delay in our travels and we are learning to take things in stride.  Traveling abroad is definitely different than traveling state-side!

One major truth we have been reminding one another of is that God is sovereign. Over all things.  He is not surprised that we missed a flight. He is not surprised at the timing of things. He is in control. His plans cannot be thwarted!

Brian mentioned today that this has already been a period of faith stretching–here, we are utterly dependent on God.  We are, moment by moment, brought face to face with that reality.  Not knowing the language, our way around town, the workings of the way of things here leaves us completely dependent on our trust and faith in the Lord.

We are confident that the Lord has brought each of us here to be a part of a great work he has prepared in advance for us.  It may not be in the way we thought or imagined it to be, but one thing is for sure–God is not wasting this opportunity to teach us valuable lessons, stretch our faith, and deepen our dependence on Him alone!

Please continue to pray for our team. Pray we would be able to reach our final destination quickly and safely tomorrow, so we can dive into ministry!

You might be wondering how I am updating this blog…well, missing your flight affords you a night in a pretty nice, western-style hotel with free internet access :)

Team spirits are up. We just finished a nice meal at the hotel where Brian & Julie had steak and Jason & I had beef wok (like beef stir fry).  We are feeling well rested.  We got to watch some English movies with Arabic subtitles :) and we are enjoying the air conditioning while we can!

Thanks again, everyone for covering us in prayer!  You are loved!!

PS: please excuse any typing or grammar errors…typing on a French keyboard (I didn’t know they had such a thing!) :)

Ready or not…

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Here we go!!!!

Bags packed. Ready to go!

Africa awaits.  We are all packed and ready to go.  It is still sometimes surreal to think that one morning you can be in the USA and later that day you can be almost halfway around the world on a completely different continent in a strange and new culture.

While we have no idea what all is in store for us during our few short days in country, we are confident the Lord has and is going before us preparing the way for the good news of his Son to be shared with people who have never had the opportunity to hear it.  Romans 10 sums up this trip for us:

Our prayer:

“Brothers, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for them is that they may be saved.”  And, “If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved… For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved… For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

Our mission:

“How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching?  And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written,’How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!'”

Run with those beautiful feet!

Prayer requests for the week:

The Team:

  • That the team’s focus and purpose will be Christ-centered and exalting
  • That we will go hard after Christ everyday sensing the urgency and the limited time we get to share truth about God with these people
  • That our love and compassion for this people group would grow in our hearts beyond what we ever imagined it could be
  • That we would daily consider how to stir up one another to love and good works
  • That we would not be a distraction to the gospel but be vessels used mightily by God
  • That we would be free from illness which would hinder our ability to work hard for Christ

The People:

  • That the believers would be strengthened and established in their faith and that they we would be able to strongly encourage and teach them more about following Christ
  • That the Holy Spirit would be opening eyes to see, ears to hear and hearts to believe the One true God
  • That the Lord would lead us to the divine appointments he has already prepared
  • That the 27 women, that asked the first team to pray that the truth they had heard would grow in their hearts so they could believe, can be met with again and this time they will be ready to surrender to Christ
  • That the people would recognize Christ as the final sacrifice for their sins and be freed from the bondage of daily sacrifice to false gods
  • That God would build his church among this people group and would raise them up to reach surrounding people groups
  • That we would know our stories well and be able to speak them boldly to everyone we meet

I am sure I am forgetting things to pray for, so pray as the Spirit leads you!  We are so appreciative of the love and support of family and friends and our church family!  We can’t wait to see what God is going to do and we look forward to giving Him the praise when we share it with you all on our return.

You are loved!