Nothing is better than cooking with little ones. All the cousins got together and made some Christmas sugar cookies. Lots of dough and flour everyone!
Saturday, December 22, 2012
We were so thankful that Grammy and Grandad waited for us to arrive before decorating the tree. Noa, Ainsley, and Ian (our nieces/nephew) came over one morning to help decorate the tree together. What a fun time!
All of the cousins have reconnected so well and are the best of friends
We left Botswana on December 10 and finally arrived 30 1/2 hours later at Dulles Airport and were greeted by our families. I can’t begin to tell you how extremely tired we were after all of that travel (Bradyn only slept about 5 hours total and probably screamed on the plane for about the same amount of time) BUT we are so excited to be back home with our families. Christmas is such a special time of year that just doesn’t seem like Christmas unless you are with your family and boy does this year feel like Christmas. It’s been so much fun to reconnect with family-especially our nieces/nephews. We are still adjusting to the cold…BRRRR!
We have been having a great time enjoying all of the Christmas scenes and we recently went ice skating. Amanda’s parents came up to Maryland for a few days so we went into Washington DC and enjoyed a night out. Amanda’s mom ice skated for the 1st time and did great.
We also visited the national tree outside of the Whitehouse. We just love DC at Christmastime.
Saturday, December 1, 2012
YOUR GIFTS to the Cooperative Program and Lottie Moon Christmas Offering® allow us to live and serve here in Botswana. We are showing the love of Jesus to the Tswana people. WE thank you for your prayers and support! We have an insert that I would be happy to email you for your church bulletin concerning the Lottie Moon Offering. Just shoot us an email and we will happily send this to you (email@example.com)
The Turner’s-Brent, Amanda, Taylor, and Bradyn
2012 Lottie Moon Christmas Offering
Jesus tells His disciples in Matthew 16:24-25, “If anyone wants to come with me, he must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life because of Me will find it.” As followers of Christ, we must be obedient to Him, whatever the cost. We must be His heart, His hands and His voice in the midst of a world filled with unreached peoples. We are part of the task to fulfill the Great Commission. And although we Southern Baptists have been praying, giving and going for 160 years, the task is far from finished.
Taking up your cross
Denying yourself means dying to your self-will and choosing to do God’s will instead. As our hearts align with Jesus’, we will be led to care for others, even to the ends of the earth. There are definite risks involved, but God’s call to be His heart, hands and voice by praying, going and giving is clear. Every follower of Jesus has a personal role in God’s mission to make His name known among the nations.
His heart, His hands, His voice – through praying
Jesus tells us in Matthew 9:38 to pray to the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into His harvest. We must join our hearts with God’s in praying for every language, people, tribe and nation to hear and receive the Gospel. Thousands of people groups have never heard the Good News; God calls us to faithfully intercede for them. Would your church consider adopting a people group to pray for? And please pray for us and other Southern Baptist missionaries who are sharing Jesus in dark places. Your intercession helps us to walk out the Great Commission.
His heart, His hands, His voice – through giving
Christians may have different talents and abilities, but we all come together to form the body of Christ. Southern Baptist missionaries can’t carry the Gospel to the ends of the earth without your support. Through your giving, we are freed to concentrate our time and efforts on engaging the unreached with the Gospel. How much will you give to reach the ones who still do not know? Think about what you spend on Christmas gifts for family and friends. Then consider giving your biggest gift to God through the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering. The 2012 goal is $175 million. What role will you play?
His heart, His hands, His voice – through going
For 160 years, Southern Baptists have been faithful to step out of their comfort zones and go around the world with the Gospel. But even today, billions of people remain lost. The church was given the Great Commission, and we must take responsibility for helping reach the unreached people groups of the world. Would your church consider partnering with Southern Baptist missionaries and sending members to touch lost people groups with God’s love? The work is hard, but the reward is unspeakable. Come join in God’s global mission! Learn how at imb.org/main/lead.
Embracing the unreached and unengaged
There are more than 6,500 people groups today with a Christian presence of 2 percent or less, making them unreached. Of these people groups, 3,250 of them are also unengaged, meaning there is no current strategy to bring Christians into contact with them. IMB President Tom Elliff has challenged Southern Baptist churches to embrace the ends of the earth – to commit to an unreached, unengaged people group. Embracing means not only praying faithfully for people groups, but also committing to study them and earnestly seeking to bring a Gospel witness to them. Will your church commit to embrace? Go to call2embrace.
Lottie Moon past and present
The 2012 Lottie Moon Christmas Offering goal is $175 million, the same as in 2011 and 2010. In 2010, Southern Baptists gave $145.6 million, while in 2011, receipts from giving totaled $146.8 million. In this tough economy, we can rejoice in how God has blessed Southern Baptists’ sacrificial giving. However, to see the Gospel go forth to the ends of the Earth, Southern Baptists must commit to continue giving in obedience to God’s call.
Small gifts; big impact!
Helping reach a $175 million goal can be very daunting if you’re struggling to make ends meet. But God smiles upon every gift given from a joyful heart, no matter the amount. Every penny given to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering is used to help support about 5,000 Southern Baptist missionaries serving overseas. Last year, more than 2.2 million people got to hear the Gospel from missionaries like me (us) and our national partners. And from those hearers, your missionary force reported baptizing 333,823 new believers and starting 28,873 new churches.
Sunday, November 18, 2012
Taylor has been taking ballet since June of this year and she absolutely loves it. She just did her first ballet recital “Kingdom of Sweets” on November 16 and 17 and was just the cutest little ballerina. Each of the children’s classes were different sweets (candy). Taylor’s class were pink and white marshmallows and other classes were candy necklaces, jelly tots, licorice, lollipops, popcorn, etc. We are so proud of our little girl in her 1st performance.
Before the 1st performance Amanda was able to go backstage and help with makeup for all of the girls. It was so much fun and can’t believe our little girl wore makeup.
Above: Bradyn loved watching Taylor in the play.
Below: Daddy brought flowers for his little girl on the first night of her performance
Marshmallows: Taylor is 2nd from the left in the front
Above: I didn’t know any of the girls in this group but their costumes were super cute
Below: This was popcorn. Lili Pettigrew another missionary kid is 5th back on the right side.
Saturday, November 17, 2012
On Saturday mornings, we go to the neighborhood beside of ours and do a women’s and children’s bible study. On Saturday, November 17, the kids did a Christmas Play. You may be thinking, why are they doing it so early…great question! The kids finish school this Friday and most all kids go to the villages for their Christmas break and won’t be back until January. So today was our final bible study day. It was really so much fun. They learned “Joy to the World” over the last few weeks (video below and did a great job singing it.
To start the morning off, the kids got Christmas bookmarks and colored them. Thanks to a team from the States for these!
Below: Angel Gabriel coming to Mary to tell her she would have baby Jesus.
Above: Mary and Joseph going to the Innkeepers in Bethlehem to find a place to stay.
Below: The 3 wise men (1 wise woman-Taylor) coming to bring gifts to baby Jesus. The whole play was done in Setswana and I was so proud of Taylor for saying her part in Setswana. All of the kids clapped for her when she finished. Most older children learn English in school but Setswana is definitely what language they feel comfortable speaking.
We study at my friend Onalenna’s house. Her mom was so gracious to buy all of the kids ice pops (which you can see Bradyn enjoying below) and chip packs on our last day together.
Maun, Botswana is located right below the Okavanga Delta where most animal hang out due to the availability of water (remember most of Botswana is desert and very, very hot). Brent went to Maun in late October for a week for a meeting and was able to see some pretty cool things in the evenings during their free time. Thought you might enjoy seeing some pictures.
They did a walking safari and walked right up onto this giraffe.
This fish eagle took off to try to get a catch from the river.
Sunday, November 4, 2012
The term “garden” to me means growing vegetables, but the term “garden” here in Botswana means our yard. Here are some fun things we see in our garden.
We have several weaver bird nest in the tops of the trees in our garden. The male is a beautiful bright yellow bird with a black mask on his face. The male makes several nests and the female will come and inspect it. If she does not like it then the male has to build more nests. This is a female checking out a potential nest.
Above: This is a blue headed lizard that lives in the trees in our back yard. The females are just brown but the males have this vibrant color.
Below: We have been having some wonderful rains lately. It had not rained until last March and has just started raining in October. Everything is become lush and green again. The below picture was taken from our front yard with no editing done at all on this picture. I have never seen it be so yellow outside-a rainbow to top it all off.
So no one dresses up here in Botswana for Halloween, but for the last few years we still let the kids dress up and they go out our back door and come to our front door and say “trick or treat”. We also had some fun doing some art together. They both got a lollipop and were happy as can be. I need to make sure we are not on Stateside in October so they don’t see how much candy they could get :)
We also made some hats. We blew up balloons to what we thought the size of their head would be and then put glue and newspaper on them. The following day we popped the balloon and painted the hats. Well, this is one of those projects that just didn’t turn out like I thought it would but the kids still had fun. Bradyn’s hat was way too small for his head and was collapsing in at certain spots. We sure do have fun together, even if it flops.