Thursday, October 21, 2010

FALL or PRE-FURLOUGH CLEANING

Do you ever wonder what happens to a missionary's house while he is in the States?  Our previous furloughs we took things off of the walls, draped sheets over the furniture, and locked the doors.  Some missionaries move out of their houses, and others store everything in containers.  This time things will be different for us.  A fellow missionary will be returning from their furlough in January and will be staying in our house during our absence.  This will keep our house occupied, as well as give them time to find a house of their own.  So the cleaning, sorting and packing has begun. My book-loving kids are begging, "Please don't pack these books, yet.  What will we have to read?" 

Washing the living room walls
 
For several weeks in a row, our ladies soulwinning team has seen someone saved each week.  Tonight my partner and I were making visits and were able to lead a Jaja (elderly lady) to the Lord.  Please pray for the men's soulwinning on Saturday.  At the invitation of the widow, they will be going to the village of the man who died in the accident.  We desire for God's name to continue to be glorified.  Wouldn't it be great if we saw revival in this village?  Last week the men went to our church in Lukaya and helped them put a roof on their building and partial walls.  Our two churches enjoyed sweet fellowship, delicious food, and a goal accomplished.

Building and cooking team in Lukaya

I know I have mentioned this before, but I am so proud of my husband's weight loss accomplishment.  He now weighs less than he did when he entered college 20 years ago!  After altering his trousers in three ways, I don't think I can do anything else with them.  The first step was to move the button over about 1 1/2 inches.  After he lost some more, I then took in the side seams.  My final alteration was to sew up the back seam, cutting 2-3 inches out.  We are hoping they last until we reach the States.  I have taken up the sides of several of his shirts, but they still have a tent-look.  I think next Tuesday will need to be market day.  People in town ask him if he has been sick to lose so much. 

Keith modeling his old trousers

Shiloh is doing well, and we appreciate the many notes of concern and prayer.  Thank you for praying for us.  Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

SHILOH'S ANGEL

We have given Skyler an additional name - Shiloh's Angel.  At 1:30 this morning, Skyler woke Keith and I up again with the words, "Shiloh's sick."  (Even writing about it sends my heart racing.)  The symptoms were the same as our last scare with the addition of headache and blindness.  In garbled speech, Shiloh kept asking if we could take the mask off so he could see. 

Shiloh & Rufus - His Diabetes Bear
Let me give you a peek into our hospital experience.  We arrived at the hospital to find the emergency room door locked, and no one around.  I went in a different entrance and began knocking on doors.  A nurse woke up, and I told her that I wanted an I.V. of Ringer Lactate for Shiloh..  I asked her to call either one of two physicians whose names I had given her.  After 40 minutes of waiting, a totally different doctor came.  This doctor and nurse stood by watching as Shiloh vomited and offered no assistance.  I asked them if they had anything I could use to wipe the examining table so Shiloh could lay back down, and the nurse handed me two pieces of gauze.  After an hour, we were given a room (that hadn't been cleaned from the previous occupants), and the I.V. was started.  When you are admitted to a hospital here, you bring all of your own linens and toiletries.  Although a little of Shiloh's vomit had gotten on the sheets while in the emergency room, I had no choice but to use it for the bed in the room, too.  Keith went back to the house as one of our supporting churches had requested a Skype call at 4:45 a.m. our time for their Missions Conference.  (And there was no room for him to stretch out anyway.)  At 5:00 people began preparing breakfast for themselves and their sick relatives right outside our window on the sidewalk.  At 5:30 the nurse checked Shiloh's vital signs.  At 6:00 she asked if we wanted holy communion (this is a Catholic hospital).  At 6:15 she brought pain medicine (which I declined for Shiloh since I knew he would never be able to swallow such a huge tablet and would vomit it anyway).  At 6:30 the noise of talking outside my window became so loud that I opened the curtains and said (in as nice of voice as I could muster after just 3 hours of sleep), "EXCUSE ME, SIRS!  Could you, please, go someplace else to talk?  You are talking very loudly, and we need some sleep."  As their voices reduced in volume, I caught about 30 minutes of sleep, which helped a lot.  After 400 ml of I.V. Shiloh returned to his normal self - including sight.  We are thankful for this "backwards" hospital that at least has the drip Shiloh needs.

Skyler said that he had been having a scary dream about a bug that grew really big, which caused him to wake up.  I believe God allowed Skyler's dream so that he could be his brother's life-saver once again. 

Please pray with us that we will be able to find an endocrinologist who is willing to work with us during our two-week stay in Austin, Texas before we start traveling on furlough.  Our prayer is that Shiloh will be able to be fitted with an insulin pump that will help to control the blood sugar better and that we will gain further wisdom in helping Shiloh.

Thank you for praying for us, and please - don't ever stop!

Friday, October 15, 2010

HOT DRINKS - COOL WEATHER

Where would we be without computers?  Well...I found out as I was nearly a week without mine.  My greatest fear when it first gave me the totally black screen was that everything was lost.  Praise the Lord - my documents were retrievable but all emails were wiped out.  Which means...all of my email addresses, too.  But that is such a small amount of loss compared to the possibility of everything being gone.  So...if you have corresponded with us in the past year, you might want to send us an email letting us know your email address.

This week we have been getting plenty of rain which gives us nice, cool weather perfect for African Chai or Hot Cocoa.  We have a spice here called Tea Masala that makes the chai soooooo good.  I am already stocking up on it to take back with us on furlough, since I am so addicted to it.  Drinking chai is my stress reliever (yes, I drink a lot of it), my comforting drink (especially when having a culture day), and my method of warming up (must be the pepper in it).

AFRICAN CHAI
⅔-¾ cup sugar      
5 tea bags
½ stick natural vanilla or 1 teaspoon real vanilla
2-3 teaspoons tea masala, optional
1 quart water (1 liter)
1 quart milk (1 liter)

 In a 2-quart sauce pan, combine the sugar, tea bags, vanilla, tea masala, and water. Bring to a boil. Add milk and heat through.

Most of my children prefer hot cocoa.  Of course, who can resist a cup when a couple of marshmallows are floating on top.

COCOA MIX
4 cups powdered milk
¾ cup cocoa
⅛ teaspoon salt
2 cups sugar

Mix well.  Store in airtight container.
TO USE:  Pour about ¼ cup of mix into cup.  Add hot water and stir.

Have a great weekend and enjoy a hot drink in your cool weather!

Friday, October 8, 2010

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, SAVANNAH!

Savannah has finally reached the age everyone thinks she is - three years old!  She is tall, talks a mile a minute, and has a storehouse of "wisdom" from five older siblings, so for several months people have thought she was older than two. 




She was blessed to have her Grandma & Grandpa and Aunt Alisha be here for her special day.






Savannah loves her sister and tries to imitate anything she says or does.  She likes to use Stanley as her horse and take rides around the house.  She looks to Shane as her protector to save her from the dogs (and to carry her around).  Skyler thinks up new ways to get her to scream, and Shiloh is her quiet buddy who she depends on to help her. 

Siblings look on as she opens her presents

How thankful we are for our six blessings and the joy they bring to our home.  We pray that each one of them lives fully for Christ as His servant.

Friday, October 1, 2010

HAPPY BIRTHDAY STANLEY & OTHER CONGRATULATIONS

Grandpa Stensaas (61) and Stanley (13)
I'm two days late posting Stanley's birthday pictures, but some unexpected events came up.  Stanley was blessed with two cakes again this year.  He shares a birthday with his Grandpa, so when Mom & Dad stayed with us last week, I fixed a chocolate cake for the birthday boys to enjoy together. 

Shane getting dunked by Keith
On Wednesday, we took the kids swimming.  Some Danish friends allow us to use their private pool, which we especially enjoy doing for birthdays. 

Stanley wanted to float his penguin in the pool.  I wasn't willing to risk it.
I'm not sure what inspired his request, but Stanley asked for a penguin cake.

Savannah drying off and getting warmed up
Also on Wednesday, my husband reached his goal of losing 70 pounds!  Congratulations!  For seven months, he has worked diligently.  He has a great amount of self-discipline, and I admire his perseverance.

Skyler throwing toys into the pool
Yesterday Skyler lost his first tooth - and we're not sure where!  He had shown me that it was loose, and then this morning he discovered it was gone.  This is the first time one of our children has TOTALLY lost the tooth!

During ladies' soulwinning, I received a call from one of the groups I had dropped off saying that a piki-piki (public motorcycle transportation) had ran into one of our ladies.  Upon arriving at their location, I found Christine witnessing to the man who had just collided with her.  He prayed to accept Christ and received eternal life. Christine had a minor cut, bruising, a broken shoe, and fruit to her account.  We had a total of three saved last night.  Praise the Lord for a great week!