February 21-28

1 03 2009

It’s hard to believe that February is already over….the weeks seem to have gone by quickly!

This week started the track season at Hillcrest. The first track meet was another eye opener for us newcomers. For starters it is 85-90 degrees with the sun beating down on the track. Some Africans run in long sleeve shirts, long pants and even hats. Maybe their skin gets too hot and the clothes protect it??? Most of the athletes from other schools do not have running shoes. They run barefoot, or in socks! Again I had to ask why? Most likely cost and availability. It was also evident that the other schools’ athletes don’t get time and/or much guidance to train, but the goal and purpose is different here. The athletic events are opportunities for kids to gather and compete for fun. The encouragement of the parents and students towards every athlete, even those coming in last, is heartwarming.

Woohoo! The care package from Mich, Berna and Kathy arrived unopened and unharmed! It was so fun opening it up! The kids were oohing and aahing at the cereal, treats and movies! I never knew mail to be so exciting. It wasn’t just the stuff, but the love and thoughtfulness that went into sending it to us, and God’s provision in getting all the way here safely. It made us feel very special!

I (Kimberly) feel like I have been in a ‘holding pattern’ waiting on God to see how and where He wants me to serve. Some days it is nice to be flexible and uncommitted so I can help in different areas, but other times it is hard and I want to see a plan unfolding. Waiting is a challenging place to be! Please pray that I would recognize God’s leading; not be hesitant, but also not to jump into anything ahead of God.

This week I substituted for high school English! Luckily I did not have to teach them English, but administered practice SAT tests. I also helped time track events and record statistics for the meet; it was very fun and exciting to be a part of it.

This week’s cooking adventure: I found out I could buy wheat flower from a nearby town, so a friend purchased it for me and delivered it. It arrived in full grain form, unwashed and unground. I stared at it on my counter for a week and then tackled it. I washed it, picked out rocks and leaves, dried it in the sun and have been slowly grinding it in our coffee grinder. In these type of moments I feel the full cultural experience of Africa! We have also eaten egusi soup, made from ground melon seeds, with pounded yam (we bought instant pounded yam, like instant mashed potatoes in the U.S.) and zobo, a drink made by boiling the leaves of the yakwa flower. It’s very similar to cranberry juice, including being *very* bright purple…yummy! You can also blend up the boiled flowers into something very much like cranberry sauce that some missionaries have at Thanksgiving.

And a funny story from the church service last Sunday… the pastor borrowed Gary’s laptop computer for his power point slides during the sermon at Sunday morning service. Midway through while he was preaching the computer reverted to the desktop. Suddenly up on the big screen was a picture of… you can only guess….a Mastercraft tournament ski boat! We had a good laugh.

Additional prayer requests:

  • Need for teachers next year (2-3 HS / 1 MS (social studies) / Grade 4)
  • Continued peace and healing of relationships in Jos
  • Opportunities for building deeper relationships w/ students

Thank you for all your prayers, love, support and encouragement!

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4 responses

6 03 2009
The Clems

Hi Paynes! We just love the updates and pictures, and are eagerly following your adventures. We look forward to skyping this weekend!! love from the Clems

5 03 2009
Erika Callies

Wow, the stories are great. I check every few days to see if there are any updates. We love seeing the photos of the kids with their new friends and doing so many different things. The wheat grinding looks tough- I hope it tasted great!. I am also glad to hear of a package arriving in good condition. Is your wish list up to date? We continue to pray for your family daily.

2 03 2009
Kathy J

I am lol about the boat picture coming up during the sermon!!!
I am so excited that your package came and wasn’t damaged in any way!!! That is such a “God thing!”
I will be sending you a copy (DVD) of Matt’s memorial service in the near future. It was a great service-very “Matt” and lots of good memories from friends. The jam session was still going at 5:30pm when I was here briefly!!! They had fun. There were at least 275 people.
Love ya-kj

2 03 2009
Kris Kramer

Just wanted you to know I’m tracking with you. The pictures are great; The descriptions of African life are excellent. God bless!




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