Friday, June 23, 2017

Bible Distribution Trip to Namibia #3

Well, I had hoped to update our blog a little more often, but between being very busy and no much internet access, it just hasn't happened until today, our last day selling Bibles.
The team:  Pieter & Hester Marais (team leaders), the TLC team,
Erik Grant (inter from HSBC), the Motovilov family, and the Gault family 
Our camp in Ongediva, Namibia
The Bible sales have honestly been a little disappointing.  Quite a few have sold, but nothing like past years in Zambia.  In Namibia we are working in partnership with the Bible Society of Namibia, so they set the prices and we just help to sell the Bibles.  Their business model is a bit different than Hope International Missions.  They emphasize sustainability of their organization, where as our emphasis has always been to get Bibles to people as affordably as possible.  The price they have set is a bit high for the average person to just buy easily, so the volume hasn't been that high.

On the bright side, Hope International Missions, through a very generous donor in South Africa, made it possible to print Oshindonga and Oshikwanyama Bibles after they were out of print for some time.  Even though the price will require people to save up their money to buy, at least the Bibles are available.  The Christians in this area are rejoicing about that!  We are also very thankful for people from Hobe Sound Bible Church for their generous gift that made it possible to purchase 30 Bibles to give to a solid, Bible-believing church in Oshakati to be used in their outreach ministry.  It was a joy to deliver these Bibles to one of the elders of this church this morning.

The Motovilov's "Bible Shop"
Passing out tracts at the hospital

Selling Bibles in the Open Market at Oshakati

Going out to sell Bibles on the street

HIM's youngest Bible salesman
Photo credit for most of these pictures:  TLC Namibia

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Bible Distribution Trip to Namibia #2

Monday and Tuesday nights we have stayed at Urban Camp in Windhoek.  The Bible Society of Namibia  recommended the place and helped us set up the booking.  Today we had a little time to relax since the TLC team doesn't arrive until tomorrow.  We really needed it!  We haven't had a minute to sit still and think since I got back from my sister's wedding just over a week ago.  Tonight we went out for supper and enjoyed some authentic Namibian cuisine.

Zebra steak
Oryx schnitzel

Bible Trip to Namibia

I don't know how often I'll be able to post, but I'm going to try to update our blog now and then with news from our trip.  Some of this is excerpts from family emails, so the updates might not be very formal.

On the 8th of June 40,000 Bibles arrived in Windhoek, Namibia

We picked​ up Erik Grant in Bloem on Saturday, the 10th of June in afternoon. He is here for a missions internship from Hobe Sound Bible College. From Bloem we drove on 2 hours to Kimberly​. We spent the night at the African Evangelical Band mission home there. The missionaries there are Ian and Marezelle Waterson. Ian is a close friend to Jannes van der Merwe. It was my first time to meet his wife. Ian was on an outreach, so he wasn't their. His wife and her mother, who was visiting, graciously gave us a place to stay and breakfast Sunday morning.

In the arid parts of South Africa and Namibia, there are few tall trees for the weaver birds to use for their nests.  Instead, they use the telephone poles and build "multi-unit condos" on them.  There were hundreds of these as we drove along!
Weaver bird nests
Sunday we drove on to Namibia. The border crossing was uneventful, but not nearly as streamlined​ as we are used to between South Africa and Lesotho. I think it took more than an hour. We slept last night at Grünau at the Grünau Country House. The budget rooms ​were clean, plain and affordable. Overall, we were very satisfied with our short stay there and felt we got excellent value for money.  

We really enjoyed the interesting scenery along the way. From Kimberly on it was semi arid or desert. Around Upington along the Vaal and Orange rivers there was quite a bit of agriculture in spite of desert like conditions​. I was especially surprised to see extensive vineyards​. The Khalahari desert of Southern Namibia is very dry. There was some goat farming, but it looked like the only thing to eat was rocks!

Between Grünau and Keetmanshoop we went through some very interesting mountains​. Mostly just piles of boulders. It looked like igneous or metamorphic rock. A few miles east the mountains looked more like the sandstone plateaus of the Free State.  Wonder if it was some kind of a seam or extrusion. The elevation along the big rivers was less than 3,000 feet but we climbed back up to around 5000 feet in those mountains.


Both the sunset last night and the sunrise this morning were spectacular. As usual, pictures didn't do it justice​.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Springtime in the Rockies

Kaitlyn, Kristell, and I (Glenn) flew to America for a short family visit beginning Tuesday this week.  We'll be attending my sister's wedding, and making a trip to Kansas to spend a week with Stephanie's parents.  As you can see from the picture below, Colorado has given us a lovely spring welcome!  At the moment winter in Lesotho is warmer than spring in Colorado, but the snow is absolutely beautiful!

We had a seven hour layover in Frankfurt, Germany, so we took the subway into the city and spent a couple hours looking around there.  We especially enjoyed seeing this tower that was built more than 600 years ago!

Thank you so much for your prayers and your financial support!  We are deeply humbled by your generosity that made it possible for Kaitlyn, Kristell, and I to be a part of Joy's wedding!  May God bless each of you!

Kaitlyn liked this giant rubber ducky.

Kristell is smarter for having sat beside
Einstein in the airport 

Friday, May 5, 2017

Caleb's Immigration Application

Yesterday we filed our petition for Caleb to become a U.S. citizen.  The Department of Homeland Security made an exception for us, and we were able to file through the U.S. Embassy in Maseru rather than the very long process of mailing it to a lock box in America.  The consular officer who processed the application said if my police background check comes through clear, she believes our file will be in order and Caleb will get a visa.  She will be sending the file to the Embassy in Johannesburg for a final decision once those results are in.  Once Johannesburg has the file, we understand it will still take 3-6 months.  We have no idea why it should take that long, but governments are pretty much the same the world over!

Thank you so much to all the people who have helped us get our file ready.  A few names immediately come to my mind:

  • Bryan and Anita Geurink from Beautiful Gate.  Thank you for sharing the information you had on immigration.  It was a big help to point us in the right direction on what to include in Caleb's file!  
  • Ms. Masealimo from the Ministry of Social Development. From start to finish, we have been very impressed with the way Ms. Ntebo and Ms. Masealimo and the Ministry of Social Development handled our adoption.  Special thanks to Ms. Masealimo for getting a letter written and signed for us when your department was VERY busy hosting an international workshop!  The adoption (which involved the Government of Lesotho) was DEFINITELY easier than the immigration phase which involved the U.S. Government!  
  • Ms. Malefa from Small World Adoption Agency  Thank you so much for getting information for us and staying in touch even though you had no obligation to help us!  We're impressed!
  • Everyone who has and is praying for us!