Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Christmas

It's hard to believe that this was our 7th Christmas in Africa and being hot at Christmas actually is starting to feel normal. I do admit, Christmas is the one day of the year that I miss snow but the other 364 days I am thankful it's not snowing.  The past 6 years, we have had our mission family to spend Christmas with but this year was a bit different. With everyone leaving this year, I was quite dreading being in Botswana for Christmas. BUT our God is so good and so faithful. We had a family invite us over for Christmas Eve and another family invite us for Christmas with their extended family. We are so thankful for friends!

We spent Christmas Eve with the Anderson and Dorough families. It has become tradition to swim on Christmas and this one was no different. We celebrated with swimming, grilling out, crackers/poppers, and a fun game of family feud (btw, the Turner family won).
Bradyn and Abe

Sweet friends

Tradition of pulling poppers/crackers. They contain a crown,
joke, and toy. Love this tradition!

Kids with their crowns

Christmas Eve crazies
 Taylor's best friends family invited us for Christmas day. They even cooked a turkey and ham and we all ate way too much!
Kids with too much sugar

Bradyn enjoying some ice cream
Merry Christmas from Botswana!!

Camping in Botswana

We just got back from a family camping trip in northern Botswana (Moremi, Savuti, and Chobe). We stayed 6 nights/7days in the bush with the lions roaring around us away from all civilization and had the most amazing time. All the animals we saw were beyond what words can describe but looking back through the pics, some of my favorites were seeing the joy on the kids faces as they try to find something in the binoculars and actually find it. Taylor's favorite memory was not the hippos swimming, baby elephants trailing behind their mommy, or lions roaring at night as we slept (or tried to sleep) but was of the times we spent around the campfire. #family #botswana

Our tent

Baby elephants are definitely my favorite!


"Wait, mom!!"

Even baby hippos are too cute

baby wildebeast

Lions can be so fierce but they love on the members of their pride

This baby lion literally licked our bumper...amazing!!

Family boat ride on the Chobe river

My love

"Mom, there are lobsters in the pool"...nope, they were scorpions

Relaxing in the hammock

Beware crocodiles...really!!

Hippo swimming

3rd bridge at Moremi. We drove 160km (99miles) this day to our next
campsite and most of the roads were like this. It took us 8 hours!

Cooking over an open fire with lions roaring in the background

Giraffe with rain looming behind it

Lilac breasted roller

I love seeing giraffe drink

Kori bustard-national bird of Botswana

Bee Eater

Majestic Lion

Lions on a hunt

baby lion cub

I know this is hard to see but it's one of my favorite shots.
It shows a lion on the ridge stalking the zebra just out of site. 

beautiful

stalking

african sunset

elephant crossing the road in front of us

taylor with an elephant bone

Bradyn with an elephant bone

Tay being silly in a cape buffalo skull

this truck and brent did amazing getting us through some pretty
crazy roads!

Dung beetle rolling poo...too cool!

Hippos grazing

Croc...I think he was smiling at us!
 
Tay's favorite times were sitting around the campfire

Bradyn spotting something cool, or at least trying to

My boys



Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Children's Ministry

Children's ministry is what I (Amanda) LOVE doing! I was so honored to be invited to share with Lobatse Baptist Church this past Saturday about children's ministry and to give them a few tools to help them in teaching the sweet children at their church. Will you join me in praying for this church as they have a passion in reaching the children and that God would use each one of those who attended to impact the children in their community?
The crew that attended our session

Baptism in the Village

This past Sunday, November 27, we went out to the village of Ditshegwane where we have a new church plant to hold a baptism. Two other village churches also joined us (Calvary Baptist and a new potential church in Dutlwe) and we baptized several people who have accepted Jesus into their hearts. Our son Bradyn also wanted to be baptized. He was saved over a year ago and has been too afraid to do it, but asked to be baptized earlier in the week...so proud of him!!
Building the Baptism

The church

The pastors demonstrating what to do when you are baptized

Getting water for the baptism



Bradyn getting baptized





So thankful for a daddy that is such a great example to his son

The pastor of the church and his son James

The 3 churches together

Our family-we love this village so much!!

Friends
These churches are living out Matthew 28:19-20. Calvary Baptist Church pastored by Moruti Thokwane in Molepolole along with Cool Spring Baptist Church in Virginia  have partnered to reach the village of Ditshegwane (Dee-say-wah-knee). There is now a new church plant there, praise the Lord. Then the village of Ditshegwane wanted to reach one of the next villages over from them called Dutlwe (Doo-Kway). Soon there will be another church planted there. They have been planting many gospel seeds in Dutlwe and last week when Brent told them the story from Matthew 7:13-14 about the wide path/narrow path ALL 15 who attended the bible study accepted Jesus.