Sunday, December 21, 2008

A Christmas Party...

We just came back from the Amassador's House for the American Embassy Holiday party! I know it sounds official but it is really just simple fun. Food, caroling and seeing Santa! Here is a couple of pictures!

Lots of love- amy louise

The journey of motherhood...

I am such a proud mama of my girls but here is a day I am so proud of my cute daughter Nya. They had a swimming competition for the entire school and she had to swim in a relay... So here Nya is getting ready to dive in and swim! They won and were so proud of themselves. My friend captured this on her amazing camera!

You know as the days that Nya and Analise get older the journey of motherhood grows deeper. I love these deep moments. Nya was so nervous to swim but has now caught the passion to be a swimmer. We will see how Nya does in the years to come. I never knew that swimming is a big part of the community here.
Speaking of water and swimming. We were out of water for about 2 1/2 days. Thank you for praying! It is amazing how much you need water for everyday life. We are thankful for the simple things! Lots of love- amy louise

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

We need water...

We love water don't we. The world needs it and so do we. Well -we really would appreciate some prayer over here. The people that run the water for the city decided to go on strike and turned off all the water for the entire city including us. We have reserve tanks but that will not last for long. This has never happened before here so hopefully they will sort it out soon. But in the mean time alot of people suffer due to this. They say it could last for at least 5 days or probably more! I would appreciate some prayers for that. We really live in Africa! Thank you in advance! love- amy louise on behalf of the city Lilongwe

Monday, December 15, 2008

So below are some videos of the Christmas Program...

So the first video is of the dance recital. There was a girl that helped bring analise back to back at the end. She was sick so Analise at the end was left out in front. It was priceless! Also in the other video is Analise winging it. She didn't know the song and didn't know the hand motions. So cute!

the christmas dance recital

Nya and Analise ringing those Bells...

Saturday, December 13, 2008

I am in Africa...

So the other day, I am driving down the road trying to tune something in the radio. As I scanned the stations I was looking for something familar. Many times I come across a old doo wop song from the 50's they are playing, or Phil Collins or any American song comes on and you are just asking your self "where do I live that they are playing that song all the way over here?" I guess I never imagined I would be here listening to anything familar. One day i was driving and on came "Lion King music you know the Circle of Life song" So I just felt, wow! how many times have I heard that music and imagined Africa. Now I am in Africa, listenting to it.
Anyways- as I was searching for something familar. I came to a fun Malawian station that made me remember that I am in Africa. I sometimes crave for familarity that I want Africa to be like home (America) But if Africa was America then it would not be Africa. Oh but my story continued as I had to go to 3 stores to find an ingredient for a dinner I was making. This is me thinking "Why do I have to go to 3 stores to accomplish something simple. If I was in America (oh America) I would only have go to one store" But then I reminded myself I would not be in Africa! Oh man I go through such journeys of life here - don't I?

I think one thing that we (at least me) can't do is get away from is our culture, Our culture is American over here in Africa. Maybe even white American. But American through and through. The way we live life is American and what our culture exposed to us since we are born is American. We will never be African. We will try and live like Africans, eat like Africans, talk like Africans and live over here forever we will still never be Africans, But as the years go on it is easier to live like Africans, easier to eat like Africans, and easier even talk like Africans. So one day we can become American -Africans but I understand we will never be anything but American. But the journey is so much deeper than American or African - The culture that transends all this is my relationship with Christ. So I think I need to be calling my self to be politically correct, "Christian Euro-American African" as it get easier to live, eat and talk African. (Malawian really)

Deep! I know but as I teach my class of senior women, I am learning about so many things that disturb me about cultural traditions here, the way children are abused, how women are treated because of culture, how men treat families and how the women do things to themselves because culturally that is what is expected of them. Some christian women do things that don't line up with Christ. Like sleeping with Pastors because they will forgiven of sins if they do.
Don't get me wrong, I believe American culture has many major problems too. It is just overwhelming when you are exposed to a whole new reality check of a new culture and there is not much you can do because you don't belong to that culture. Remember I will never be African. But as I prayed for days for insight on this story that I carried - I felt so burdened - how do I change culture that is not Christ like. But I so appreciated the Lord saying to me. Duh! you can't only I can! Oh thanks for that reminder! Dumb me thinking I could do it again by myself. There I go again, trying to change the world by myself. The verse I felt that He gave me to share with these women was this -

Romans 12:2
Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

and 2 Peter 2:11
Dear friends, I urge you, as aliens and strangers in the world, to abstain from sinful desires, which war against your soul.

Ahh! I am free to be any culture I want be on this earth but as a daughter of Christ - I am and will always be first a christian then my earthly culture will come....

"Christian- English-Swedish and all different types of european cultures-American-girl who is living in Africa"
"sold out and serving Jesus daily- Euro- American- African"
"a really yucky person who sees how much Christ has transformed and continues to transform me from the inside out Euro- American living in Africa who sometimes misses living in America"

Ok so that is enough of my blahhing to you all! Serving Him on this planet called earth- amy louise

Thursday, December 11, 2008

The dancing girls....

So last night was the Christmas program here at ABC. The girls sang songs and did a dance to "what Child is this." So cute.

Show me your ballerina arms. That is what they did...

Here is about 200 hundred of the 300 kids in the program. Amazing job they did.

Analise had to sit with the big kids because she was in the dance. So she hung with her favorites. Megan has been here the same time we have. We all love her. Here is when I was trying to get the girls attention. Girls look at me and smile. Girls, Girls! This was the response. major distraction... I was too.

Some one said let me take of picture of you two! So here we are!

The parent section! Loved being apart of that crowd and not on the other side. Nya said she was so nervous and Analise it didn't even faze her.

Here they are waiting patiently. As you can see Megan in the background. Analise was in her lap most of the 2 hours.
So I am going to put on videos of the dance and songs. Now Analise in the dance was so cute when the song ended she forgot what to do and so she just stood there. Also she knew none of the songs and she did a great job of winging it. I love it! Well I just wanted to let you in on last night. Today was the last day of school for 4 weeks. We love the long vacations! We will be refreshing not having to be up and dressed by 7am.
We love you all! love amy louise

Girls Night Out...

So 3 teachers and I took out 11 high schoolers out to dinner. It was just simple fun. Get dressed up and hang out.
Here are the girls...

teenagers are still the same every where... Cute girls...
Here the teachers... we are Me, Annie Williams, Bethany Robbins and Marley Evans.

It was just fun to go out and have fun together. Tonight is the Christmas Program. Analise and Nya are doing their ballet performance. Cute pictures promised soon. Amy Louise

The deer...

She is all grown up. She is about a year old now. She only lets the girls touch her....

Analise looks beautiful there.
Love you all- amy louise

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Some things that have been happening around here...

Christmas Decorating happened on December 1st. Here is Nya and Analise ( as you can see we are freezing our tails off over here) :) and Tina in the pink and and Mafunase in the blue came for the fun. After we decorated we were so hot we took them swimming. It was such a fun memory to decorate and swim within 2 hours.

Love this picture of Analise!

Here is my Senior College Bible Study. It is Finals week and boy let me tell you about my final. Bake a Cake and watch a Christmas movie as the cakes baked...

Here they are watching Elf! Such a true christmas classic It was fun to see their reactions to the americanese of it. The ladies loved it and they all passed. I am one tough teacher I know!

Here is the World Religions class getting ready to go to the Hindu temple. As they sat in my living room waiting for the bus to arrive discussing the excitement of what was in store for them. So fun to be apart of.

My friend that lost her husband went back to the states today. So thank you for all your prayers for them. Well- lots of love and chat with you soon. Amy Louise

Monday, December 08, 2008

The deepest ache...

This last week a missionary friend of mine lost her husband in a tragic car accident. They are our age with 3 little girls. He was dropping off food for some pastors on a road we have traveled many times. As he was coming to a trading center (a small town) and a car lost control while speeding and killed him instantly. Ugh! So please pray for her. Here is a picture of their family blog... I couldn't sleep the first night that I heard it. It was too raw. Too close to home and so overwhelming to understand why. They came the same time we came last year and have gone through the same journey we here. They were teaching at a bible college and just loving on Malawians (doing what we are doing). it has been very intense this week. Then my other friend here just lost her baby at 8 months pregnent. A baby boy. Ugh! Death so real and so raw. So please pray for her and her husband. Their names are Nick and Rudo.
So please pray for us as we have been loving, praying and being a support to our friends as they search to find God real during this time. Love- amy louise