Monday, February 28, 2011

today ...last night

i walked thru the streets of a local township
the sites i saw were those just like other days
but today
more so than others
my heart struggled.
my mind wondered.

i walked
and peeked into a creche (day care)
with the name of Jesus taped on the walls
with precious children clamouring for my attention and hands to hold,
dancing with me and proudly showing me a colored page.

i glanced at a garden being sown
with rubble used to maintain the bed
and sawed off 2L and pipes to water it.

i noticed more children
too little, so i thought, to be alone
roaming the streets.

i saw dogs. i always see dogs.

there were clothes blowing frantically
on clothesline after clothesline
strung between shack after shack
after shack after...

and oh the wind. the swirly, whirling dust up, down, all around wind.

i saw the largest collection
of glass bottles i've ever seen.
beer bottles to be exact.
sorted by clears and greens.

the familar site of
person after person after person
walking, roaming
always walking,
always roaming,
doing what?
going where?

then there were those sitting.
every corner
looking for what?
waiting on what?
work? someone?
food? money?
hope? Jesus!

i went into homes.
homes nothing like mine.
one room homes.
where Jesus and love still live.
where families lay there heads at nite
sometimes on the ground
sometimes on one mattress.
where life happens daily for many.
where community is all around
and silence is not.

which lead me back to the thoughts
i fell asleep with last night...

where neighbors are always out,
kids play all around,
sharing and living life together
is the way.
where fellowship is alive and well.

and how in some ways
these townships have it right
and in other ways more wrong.

and where
in some ways
my "american" life
had some right and
more wrong...

and how
i think we are all
missing out
on the way
life and relationship
to be.

and how
we should learn from each other.

and my mind reels
as it tries to soak in
and make sense
of what
i've known all my life
and what i see around me every day now.

i can never go back to the way it was before
because i have seen.
i have lived.
my mind, heart, thoughts, life
will never be the same.
and i am blessed
God opened my eyes.
and He continues to open my eyes, heart, life.

"kids can always play"

"bottle collection like i have never seen"

Friday, February 25, 2011

backside baby

Bristol and C...
one day
i, myself,
figure out
how these
do this
all the time
looks so

love to
do it.

i just feel
i do it,
it looks awkward
and destroys
my back.

"see" this

Chad and Shelley, our friends from the eye team/our home church
made this video about ministering here in SA...
check it out!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

what a difference...

one year ago today 2/22/10
we began our mission adventure
by traveling to Colorado
for training HERE.

we see beauty like this and feel cold cold cold

we meet these amazing folks
who are 
now serving all around the world
how cool 


and one year later 2/22/11

we see these amazing views and then these...

  and meet precious folks like these every day

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

4 little loves

4 little loves

and their
from nonni and poppi
from mimi and padre

and a little something
from mom and dad.

thank you to the grandparents
for the special love.
we were all so excited about the goodies.
they brought perfect delight!

and they weren't the only ones treated...

brax and bri picked me out the most fab
red necklace and bracelet.
so priceless watching brax
trying to find me just the right thing.

and aunty danielle
kept the troops
(thank u thank u)
so joe and i had
a fab, fun,
only adult convo,
no juggling kiddos,
most enjoyable
dinner date.

and bri,
sweetest girl in the world,
hand made valentines
for each member of the family
(including the dog and cat).
her thoughtfulness
and love
never ceases to amaze me.

we have bucketloads of love.

word of the day...

to those back home...
we love you.
though you are far away,
you are never far from our thoughts
and always in our hearts.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

last nite with the tennesseans

for the last nite
with the extraordinary folks
we get to call friends...
we played tourists
and took in a quaint local town 
with shopping, views to die for,
and african dinner and dancing...

girls...i love each one of you and am blessed
by you sharing a part of this life i live here.
you have inspired me, filled me.

your heart and beauty shines to all sweet friend

the "leader" this week
mrs sharon- you rocked it!

our friends serving here with us
who do such great work for every team that comes this way

it wasn't long after this shot
that myself and natasha (seen in pic above this one)
were pulled up for some stage dance time.
let's just say
we are missing some jiggle

what  a crowd
view #1

a the other side of the troops
view #2

these guys here
could spell t-r-o-u-b-l-e.

Joey and I are overwhelmed at the support and love we have back home in the States.
Those that made this trip
and those who held the forts down back home while their spouses ventured our way
and those that lift us up daily in prayer
and give of their finances
to support all that we do here for the Lord's calling.

We are blessed. God is good.

To you all who spent the past week plus with us...

Our hearts are forever bonded to yours.
Just sharing a glimpse of what our life is like here with those back home means so much to us.
Just having you come serve beside us fills us with such undescribable joy.
You may never understand
the depth
of comfort, joy,
love, peace,
endurance, replenishment,
you provided our family.

As I write this,
just thinking of each of you brings tears to my eyes.
My heart is so happy you were here
but goodbyes,
i have learned,
are a way of life for us now
and they are always hard.

Wouldn't trade one second of
our time together.
You each are precious to us.

as I said before,
there is a bond that forms
when you are joined
the Lord Jesus Christ.

Love to all,

Friday, February 11, 2011

eyes 'r' us

today was the last day of eye clinics
for the week,
an overwhelming amount (700+)
people from the local townships
were given glasses, 
bp checks,
and prayers.

here are a few pics from 
of the last day...

beautiful children, beautiful people

Rocky making friends...

precious ones getting gum

lined up for eye testing

vision tests and glasses

couldn't resist
this smoosh faced sleepy angel

The inaugural Eye Team was on their game.
You folks rocked!
And we loved hanging with you and feeling that connection to "back home".
Thank you guys for coming around the world
and for serving Him BIG!

Part 2 pics (tourist 'r' us coming tomorrow)

Thursday, February 10, 2011

the bear...

a boy 
has never lived 
so true to his name...

barron hudson...

the BEAR 

from intense to huggable,
grizzly to teddy,
this bearish boy
in one moment has me crazy
and another melted.

and as lately
i have often tagged a quickie at the bottom of the post

i will do so again
sharing THIS...

Joey has said for months
that he and Bear
would buzz together.

i have shed a few tears over this thought.

and then today
we went and bought "sheep shearers" for
Joey's crazy- hasn't- been- cut- since- tennessee hair.

and i knew the clippers would end up
on bear's crazy- hasn't- been- cut -since- tennessee hair.

i was atleast suppose to supervise the project.
didn't happen!

left these 2 alone for just a sec
and came home to THIS.

joe finally got his wish.
i was a bit disappointed he didn't do the mohawk...
he said he honestly forgot
and we can go that route again as it grows out.

it's hard to be chicken hawk
when you are red necked buzzed:)

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

for the eyes...

once again
the theme for the day
eye clinic.
and glorious sites for the eyes.
that was our to do list today

approximately 150 people had there bp and eyes checked and were prayed with and loved on.
a site for the eyes...definitely.

next up,
more sites.
sites on such grand a scale the eyes wonder if they are clearly seeing.

next up,
cape point.
the tip tip of africa.

and yes,
there is still more for the eyes to view.

headed back from adventure full of observation
a family of baboons
frolic and play on the side of the road.

lankford car first.
windows up.

team van second.
one window slid open.

as the team looks out one side of the van
at the cute baboon family
a sly big guy jumps through the open window
on the other side
for a quick visit.

after what i thought was entirely too long,
the van door opens,
baboon jumps out,
protein bar in hand.

a site not often seen by the eyes!

can u take a little more for the eyes?
a beautiful sunset devotional.

and then
 just because i love this pic from today...

we are gonna miss 
uncle rocky.
it has been such a treat having him here in SA.
(thanks teri.)

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

quick glimpse into...missions

i had hoped to take amazing pics to share but haven't yet.
and so tomorrow,
i will take better pics to post
of the our awesome 
tennessee friends
(aka the eye team)
in action in SA.

here is just a glimpse of today's clinic
where approx 200 people... 

had blood pressure checked,
eye exams,
glasses given if needed,

hands held
and prayed for.


and after a long days work...
a time of fellowship together with those we love and who love us.
dinner at our place.
oh, how it does a heart good.

these precious folks
i have known getting close to 20 yrs.

wow- when i write that it seems totally crazy.

parents of friends of mine,
sunday school teacher to briley,
and now to us.
treasures to our hearts.
thank you for everything!

Monday, February 7, 2011

1st ever RUGBY

here we go stormers, here we go!

so seriously,
we have NO IDEA
how the game of rugby works
we load up our crew

a couple of our early bird mission trip buds from Tennessee
a few of our friends on the ground here in Cape Town

the bear
couldn't get enough asking many questions like...
why don't they wear helmets?
what are they doing?
when can i tackle?

the game was a blast.
and tickets were cheap.

yep! YEP! YEP!

is the
where's waldo
my Briley
said we must take.
turned out
pretty cool.

new family fun has been found!

Friday, February 4, 2011

a taste of back home

though we have settled nicely here in SA,

this week has been long anticipated as
Joe's best friend from back home arrived....

and he came bearing American treats. this is just a glimpse of the loveliness. oh, how happy our hearts.

we have enjoyed the past few days hanging
with a friend as close as a brother (which Joe happens to have 3 of back in TN) .

and today,
we welcomed 2 more friends from our SS class back in TN
and who are amazing supporters of ours.

and this weekend,
we will welcome a whole crew of friends
as they jump over the pond to serve along side us this week.

exciting. i can not wait to hug me some TN necks:)

God is working amazingly in our lives and we are so blessed.

sidebar:) i have had 2 meetings this week about my role in ministry here and i am over the top fired up!