Friday, September 30, 2011

Meet My Neighbors...

"Love your neighbor as yourself..." Jesus. (Luke 10:27)

Today I was afforded the opportunity to walk into the "Zambia Compound" to visit a home of a child, sweet C, who attends our school. The compound is something like a squatter village, with many homes that house over 2,000 children in our area. Our home is about .5 mile from this compound. Those who live within it... they are my neighbors.

I have been in the compound before, by car, but never by foot. I walked with E and Z, along with visiting Vision Team members.

I cast my eyes upon children... every which way that I looked. I saw children with no clothes... I saw a mother struggle to carry her twins: one on the front and one on the back... I saw a little boy who had a bad cut on his face, needing a mother's care. I saw children tending to themselves with their mothers laying lifeless under a tree. We encountered men who had clearly had too much of something, and were aggressive with the children we love. I met a mother who has 4 biological children, and is caring for her dead sisters 2 children. She has no job. She has no husband. The oldest child is deaf and mute. Yet she says "Without Jesus Christ, I could not face these trials."

It simply isn't right. For us to live as if this does not exist, and for me to live as if they are not my neighbor... is wrong. To not love them as Jesus would is a reflection of a hardened heart.

So... meet my neighbors...

And so...

"... who is my neighbor?" (Luke 10:29)


Wednesday, September 28, 2011

A little glimpse...

Our first night in Africa... it was a sweet time, blessed with a beautiful sunset! (like every night)

The walk down our road to and from the school... it's a beautiful walk, and a beautiful thing to see my children walk the roads with such amazing people!

The kids were a bit overwhelmed at first, with 215 kids staring them down. In the words of KG "it was kinda crowdy." ha. BUT, since then, E has attended class, KG has found several playmates, and Z has been to basket weaving cla
ss 2 days! (plus they are all getting spoiled by the older kids!)

We are so blessed to live among the only strawberry farm in Zambia! That's Lifesong Farm! You can click here to see more. The kids LOVE it!

A little story and some prayer...

I wanted to ask you to pray for P. He is a little boy that is Z's age who is constantly sick. He was at school with his mother yesterday, as she wanted him to see the nurse at school. I was asked to sit in on the visit to possibly help from a social work standpoint. You see, little P is suspected to be HIV +. However, his mother denies this greatly and has up to this point refused to get him tested. I sat down next to P and another team member. Our nurse, Christabell (who ROCKS), had a heart to heart with the mother. She said "do you want your child to die?" The mother hung her head and eventually said "no." She said "You can get tested, treated and take medication and do very well." The mother agreed to go immediately and have him tested. LS provided the ability for her to get to the clinic. We are supposed to learn tomorrow these results and get him medication if necessary. Pray for his mother, that she would be able to stand strong and make wise choices for P. Pray that she would be able to keep his best interest in mind rather than the stigma she and her family may face. Pray for P. He is a sweet, sweet little boy who wants to be well... to run and play like other 6 year old boys do.

Ya'll... I don't know what more to say, other than now that I am here I feel like this is what I was made for. While I'm not blinded to the darkness around, I'm finding such deep joy and gladness that God chose us to be in this place.


Monday, September 26, 2011

I'm in love...

We made it to Zambia! On the trip over, I had several uncertain feelings…and at times just wanted to scream “turn this plane around.” But once landing in Lusaka, it all changed. Since, I haven’t had one moment of “get me out of here.” Now, granted… we are 3 days into this thing. I’m well aware there will be times I feel that way. However, I’m basking in the goodness of our God in allowing me to feel at peace right now.

The past couple of days have been spent getting our home set up and organized (do you know how easy it is to unpack when you only have 11 bags?) This place it truly perfect! I’m so proud and grateful for all the many hands that went into making this place our home! Honestly, I LOVE it!

What makes our home even better… is a house FULL of kids! Saturday and Sunday was spent having several “visitors” come and welcome us, and play with our kids. Yesterday afternoon, a few boys came and played soccer with Zack. Zack certainly thought he was pretty cool. Ha. As I looked around, I saw such joy on my children’s faces… well, on ALL MY children’s faces. So much to soak in.

I'd love to leave you with some pictures... but of course, I forgot to bring my cord for the camera! UGH! Can't remember everything! ;)

My next post will be a series of stories and pictures that I don’t want to forget… Hopefully our internet will be working or at least I can bum it off of the school!

Well, it’s 6:20 and time to get breakfast on the table before our FIRST day at school!


Thursday, September 22, 2011

Last post from this side of the ocean...

If you are my friend on FB... you will see the cute airport pics I've been posting. I haven't had time to get them loaded from the phone to the computer! :/

Right now we are sitting in DC waiting to board our flight to Ethiopia. That will arrive around midnight tonight US time and then we will board another plane to Zambia! That will be 6 hours and then we will have a 5 hour drive from Lusaka to outside of Kitwe.

Alright! We are ready to board! Gotta go! We are all great! Pray for the rest of our travel and I'll see you in Zambia!


Tuesday, September 20, 2011

The Riches of His Word...

As Thursday morning (@5:50am to be exact) approaches, I am finding myself much like the first time I ever went scuba diving. I sucked the air out of my tank like it was going out of style... nervous... uncertain... having NO CLUE what I was doing... I sounded like Darth Vader on steroids! Currently... I'm sucking wind... "it's go time!"

What I love is that my sweet Jesus is constantly filling my tank with the necessary air.

"So will My word be which goes forth from My mouth; it will not return to Me empty, without accomplishing what I desire, And without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it." Isaiah 55:11

His word is my air. A battle is going on in my mind between what makes "earthly sense" and what God has called us to.

My child is sick... How are we going to get all this luggage there? What in the world are we thinking? I can't even drive well on American highways... now I have to change sides of the road AND sides of the car?

Thoughts of this world become heavy... and then... HIS SWEET, wonderful, Rich, purposeful, full of life WORD comes to meet me this morning.

All is quiet, I can literally hear the birds singing and there is a Fall chill in the air as the sun rises. This morning has my Creators invitation all over it. And here... is what He fills my tank with today.

"For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace." Romans 8:6

"Do not love the world, nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lusts of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world. The world is passing away, and ALSO it's lusts; but the one who does the will of God lives forever." 1 Jn 2:15-17

"For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are unseen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal." 2 Cor 4:17-18

These verses may not speak to your heart... but it certainly did to me this morning as I am so tempted to look at the temporary, to get caught up in the things that do not matter in light of eternity. Living in the riches of His word is the only way to receive the air necessary for the journey...

Sunday, September 18, 2011

From Shaky to Sure footed...

Over the last few days, there have been so many opportunities for God to speak to my heart. Recently, my sweet E (and KG for that matter) put his feet into the ocean for the first time. He has always had some struggle with things that move, or appear to move, beneath his feet. The ocean completely freaked him out at first. I could tell that he couldn't understand what was happening... was He moving? was it moving? are we all moving? Needless to say... he did NOT like it at first. He lost all confidence and became frozen in fear. .... well... see for yourself...

New experiences can be really scary. The unknown, lack of understanding, etc can engulf you and leave you frozen in fear. What I love... is that it didn't take long for E to adjust... and then check it out...

Here's some verses God placed in my mind, and how it could be very similar to me in a few days...

"The Sovereign LORD is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to go on the heights." Habakkuk 3:19

"For the LORD will be your confidence and will keep your foot from being snared." Proverbs 3:26

"Teach me to do your will, for you are my God may your good Spirit lead me on level ground." Ps 143:10

"But blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in him." Jeremiah 17:7

"You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands." Isaiah 55:12

easy does it... remember who's placing my feet... and soon the confidence, peace, and joy will come and I will be "jumping the waves" with joy in Zambia.


Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Favorite Snaps...

Well, we are having an amazing time! My children R.O.C.K. No, really. They do. They are real troopers and are having a blast. At the same time, Zambia... and the reality that we leave in ONE WEEK is never far from our minds nor hearts. Honestly... it's more us than this is... but I ain't gonna lie... WE are grateful for this time with dearest family and friends... and the fun ain't too bad either... Hope you enjoy the photos!


Friday, September 9, 2011


In 12 days... we will be on a plane heading to Zambia... our new home... the place where God has so clearly called our family and planted our hearts.
Our bags are packed.
Everything is complete.
SO... the next 9 days will be spent with some great friends and family... resting... laughing... and building memories as a family.

I hesitated to even write about it. I think often times I have guilt for taking time to rest. Many moms can probably relate. Well... most of you can probably relate. Maybe I'm afraid people will label me as selfish...

But, let me share with you a couple of lessons I've learned over the past 2 years.

1. While, ultimately, there is no "balance" in being completely surrendered... God certainly calls us to times of rest...

2. While we are created to reach out... pour out... and give away... we cannot do that in a way that honors God if we neglect those closest to us: our marriages... our children... our families... and most importantly... time to sit quietly before the LORD.

So, with that said... I pray the majority of my days on this earth... I hope are spent in service to those around me... the next 9 days will be spent in rest... focusing our minds on things ahead... and simply enjoying our greatest blessing= each other.

I hope to share it with you... along with all the many things floating through my mind about what stands before us in just 12 DAYS!!


Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Favorites from the Weekish...

I wanted to share some of my favorite moments over the past week with you... so here they are...

BFFs... minus one.

My very courageous, sweet, "leave it all on the field" little man...

Ice Cream at the Train Station...

You do know they pick their nose with that thing, right?

My hubs... back home where he belongs! (with a cup of coffee)

Birthday picnic for the Mr... complete with sushi & Starbucks ice cream!

Ok, and really yummy cupcakes! (we decided to share those with the family)

3 Generations... photo by Z...

So, what's the McBs up to, anyway? Besides all the wonderful things you see... we've had SO MANY things we couldn't include it all! Visits from college friends, last minute Dr's appointments, picking up the few items we realize we need, selling our cars, working on some really cool opportunities to serve the kiddos in Zambia, and celebrating with over 100 people who support us and our ministry in Zambia! This time has been an amazing blessing, many prayers have been prayed... and many laughs... God is filling our cups to be poured out!


Thursday, September 1, 2011

Where I come from....

Vonore, TN
Population: city: code: approx 4,000
Average income: $34,000 (this has doubled in the past 15 years)

If I had to described the place I grew up... it would be like this...

It's a place where some things change, but the important things stay the same...

It's where beauty and fun co-mingle ...

the amazing mountains with some good old fashion muddin'

the great lakes with some blood pumpin' bridge jumpin

and the smell of camp fire is never too far away.

It's where a day of hard work doesn't scare a man away, nor do they think they are too good for it.

Most people know how to do almost anything... grow food, fix almost anything... and if they don't, they know someone who can. This kind of education comes from living a life of having to figure things out yourself.

Everyone knows where to go for the best breakfast in town... it's not the one of 2 fast food joints... located at both red lights in town...

it's off the beaten path... everyone knows Charlie Hall's is the place for the best biscuits and gravy your mouth will ever taste.

It's a place where you go to a little league football game... and as you hear the last name called out over the speaker, your mind goes back to the day their daddy wore the same blue and white...

It's the place every country song was written about...

It's where family is never far away... and a grandmother is always ready to cook up something yummy on a moments notice.

Good people, amazing Faith, and tight families... the important things that never change about where I come from... ;)