Tag Archives: Africa

Really? You wrote about this…?

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I really have the urge to write a new post.  But there isn’t really anything all that interesting going on at the moment.  I started a recipe post…but thought it might be weird to post about a recipe I made last night that was really really good, but not AHHHHMAZING, or anything.  I thought about writing about how busy work has gotten.  I even thought about lamenting the fact that something caused our overhead light and fan to stop working in the master bedroom.  But then realized, these are such mundane topics why would anyone care to read about them?

But that’s life at the moment.  So share away I will.  If only to satisfy my desire to write.

First, the recipe.  It’s called Spaghetti Rice and I found it on Plain Chicken‘s website.  I stumbled across her website on Pinterest yesterday while looking through a friend’s boards.  I liked several of her meal ideas and pinned a few to my Um, Yum board.  Looking forward to making two others this week.  I think what I like most about her recipes is that they’re fairly simple to prepare with everyday ingredients and typically have short prep and cooking times.  Perfect for a mid-week meal.  This is a direct correlation to the busyness of life/work.  Or is it indirect?–the busier I am the less time/effort I want my meal to take to make…I digress.  I made the recipe and it turned out great.  It was hearty, tasty, and fairly healthy (I used brown rice).  Brian even got three helpings of it so I know he enjoyed it.  It is definitely a re-do in the Lowther casa and will be added to this sweet write-in-your-own-recipes book my twin gave me when I got married.

Second, busyness.  Wow, life is about to jump into light-speed and not slow down for ohhhh about 2 months.  It happens to be annual meeting season in the HOA industry.  That means on top of my regularly scheduled Board meetings I get to add on neighborhood-wide meetings!  Joy!  Out of the 23 working days in October I get exactly 7 days without some kind of meeting, be it morning, noon or evening.  In November, out of the 20 work days (Thankful for Thanksgiving!) so far I have 7 scheduled meetings (6 of them annual meetings).  This is where I tell Brian, good luck making dinner for yourself.  Ha!  No, seriously, he’s actually pretty creative and has no lack of ingenuity in the kitchen.  I’m already looking forward to December when things will hopefully settle down for a month before picking back up again in January.  Breathe, just breathe!

Finally, the house renovation.  It’s coming along.  I’ll be sure to post a couple of pictures of the two-tone color scheme we’ve got going on at the moment before we move on to paint.  It’s really eye-opening how much damage we had that needed replacement when you see half the side of the house covered in yellow hardi-plank where blue siding used to reside!  I’m just thankful we’re getting it taken care of.  Unfortunately, when we got home from work yesterday our master bedroom light and fan wouldn’t work.  We’re not sure why it’s not working but can only assume it has something to do with the siding that was replaced on the front of the house right where our bedroom is.  We notified the contractor and he assured us we’d get it figured out.  I think Brian’s dad is going to help us troubleshoot the cause of the malfunction and hopefully it ends up being an easy fix.  I guess like with all things, they rarely go as smoothly as planned.

Speaking of smooth plans…Africa Team 3 is preparing to head out in about 2 weeks!  Wow!  It sure has come up quickly.  Thankful for the four that are headed out and the work they will get to do while visiting our adopted people group.  Excited about what God is going to do among the people and through our team.  Be praying for them and all the logistical and ministry details they’ll be dealing with!

This was quite a wordy post.  Thanks for getting through my scatterbrained comments!

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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!

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It’s been an interesting week leading up to our trip.  I’ve consistently asked God over the last couple of weeks to provide a stress-free week at work so that I can be mentally & emotionally prepared to go to Africa.  What has my week been like thus far?  Crisis after crisis.

I had a mini break down last night and today at work dealing with a difficult situation.  I began to question God, even going so far as to say, “I feel like God is mocking me.”  How could he be so unkind as to allow various “trials” in my life when I’m so desperate to be “all there” for this trip?

Poor Brian has had quite the time speaking truth into my life and trying to help me trust God with what’s going on instead of shaking my fist at him.  As hard as it is for me to want to believe this, I truly think that through all these “crises” God is reminding me to, “Stop striving.  Wait on Me.  Trust My plan.  Seek My wisdom in everything. Consider the times and how fleeting it is and do not be anxious for anything.”  Sooo, so hard to do.

Thanks to the hubs for encouraging me with the following: 6 Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, 7 casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. 8 Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. 9 Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. 10 And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. 11 To him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen

Why Africa?

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I remember one time, while living in Central Asia, talking to my teammates about Africa.  I distinctly remember stating, “I don’t think I’ll ever go to Africa…I just don’t feel called there, nor does it interest me all that much.”

Wow, really?  I said that?  But thinking back, I believe the heart behind my comment was based more on the fact that when talking about missions most people tend to immediately picture the starving children of Africa as the neediest people to take the light of Christ to.  At the time I made the above comment, I was living in a very difficult place, surrounded by darkness and spiritual oppression.  I was serving on a team that had barely got enough volunteers to even proceed with the trip.  I could see that people were not beating down the door to go the Central Asia.

That was years ago.  And God has really worked in my life and in my heart to help me recognize that missions isn’t just going to some faraway place that no one else is going to.  It involves, as I was recently reminded in a sermon at my church, coming and seeing AND going and telling.  My life should be such that people that don’t follow Christ can come and see in me a difference.  A difference in my priorities, a difference in my speech, a difference in the way I live my life, serve my husband, love others. And desire that.  Come and see how Christ has changed my life, healed my marriage, strengthened my resolve to not live for myself.  Sharing Christ is an everyday effort of loving my coworkers, even when it’s difficult; it’s not being ashamed of the gospel; it’s serving and putting others first even when I’m tired, needy, selfish.

And it is also, Go and Tell.  I used to think that in order to go you had to be “called”.  But I don’t think that’s necessarily the case.  My attitude is more, “I’m ready to go and Lord, if you don’t want me to, then please close the door and make it obvious.”

So, why Africa?  Because.  Our church has partnered with an unreached/unengaged people group in a country in Western Africa.  This people group is something like 0.06% reached.  Pretty significant.  So, because our church has partnered with them I (and Brian) see this as a great opportunity to go.  We are willing to sacrifice our time, talents, treasures ($), etc. to further the light of Christ.  We’re a part of team 2 and we leave in 8 days!

I know this is a pretty short explanation of why we’re going.  But it really just boils down to, “Why not Africa?”  In the words of Lecrae, “Send me, I’ll go, lemme go, lemme go!”

Africa Awesome

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We’re getting ever closer to Africa preparedness.  The culture of the country we will be visiting is quite a bit different than ours in myriad ways.  One such way is in the clothing the women wear.  Unlike American culture where shorts and tank tops are the norm on 100+* days, the women in West Africa traditionally wear long skirts or dresses.  Showing the ankle is a very risque thing to do.  Making mental preparations to be ok with sweating. A lot.

So, Julie and I will be donning long skirts and dresses for our time in country.  Thankfully, we didn’t have to go out and buy a bunch of clothing (that we would most likely not wear again while in America) because our friend Kate, who used to live in the country we’re going to, still has multiple dresses/skirts left over from her time there.  So today, the Kennedys and Lowthers spent a little time playing dress up.

Oh yes, Jason & Brian WILL be wearing those awesome pants at least one day during the trip.  I think it’s some sort of missionary initiation requirement.  Or something :).  I think we have nailed down the “outfits’ we will need for each day we are in country.  Yippee!

T-minus 13 days!

Dye Job: Africa

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Africa is looming.  In exactly 2 weeks we will be boarding a plane and heading across the Atlantic.  We’re pumped!  Still learning our stories and preparing for our trip.  I did a bit of shopping at Target yesterday.  Initially the trip to Target was for general toiletry items and cleaning supplies we had run out of.  But who can pass up the handy travel aisle without taking a peek?  This girl can’t.

I picked up a few things, like travel face make-up remover wipes, travel sized sunscreen (cause it’s gonna be like 100*), travel face lotion, etc.  While I was there, I also browsed the skirts and found a really fairly cute ankle-length skirt that I might even be seen wearing in the States!

Finding clothes to take for the trip is one of the challenges in planning.  Legs are considered sexual where we’re going and women do not wear pants; so Julie and I will need to wear long dresses or skirts of which neither of us have in our wardrobe.  But I’m not the only one struggling to figure out what to wear on the trip.

Brian has dilemmas of his own…like having to wear chacos/flip flops.  This is tough for my tennis shoes and socks loving husband.  That and he doesn’t really have many “grubby” clothes that he can sweat in/sit in the dirt in/wear multiple days in a row.  The guys will likely be wearing khaki pants and three-button shirts every day.  Brian, being the crafty/designer/ingenuitive person that he is decided to remedy the conundrum of what shirts to wear by dying one of his old Lacoste shirts.

 He had a teal blue fake Lacoste shirt that he got off Ebay years ago.  It’s always been one of his favorite shirts but he stained it somewhere along the way and was pretty bummed.  Well, he got a real teal Lacoste shirt for his birthday so in lieu of throwing out the fake one he decided to dye it black.  I’d say it turned out pretty well.

Started off teal, then went into the pot and came out black!

 Great job, Brian!  Now, gotta figure out how to pack for a week in just a school backpack…