An update from Africa and our lastest news and prayer request.
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Lumela.                                 Hello.
U phela joang?                      How are you?
Re phela hantle.                    We are living well.

We are back in Johannesburg after spending 3 weeks in Maphutseng, Lesotho at Growing Nations. It was a great experience as we were surrounded by people speaking Sesotho. I (Claudia) was able to sit in on a couple language lessons to learn a few words. The hardest was to catch the few words I could understand. My Lesotho name is Mamello which means perseverance. I also had a lesson in making steamed bread which the ladies make over a kerosene heater since they do not have ovens. We had our first taste of Pap and Greens at a farmers home in the mountains. I also learned how to do laundry by hand. It was a tiring job the first time because I waited a full week and had tons of washing to do all at once. I quickly learned to do a little every other day. I understand now why the fabrics are thinner in Africa because it is very difficult to wash by hand thick fabrics. We learned what Lesotho Shweshwe fabric is and Jeremy had a skirt made for me by a local tailor. It was a blessing to pray for the tailor, her family, and her business.

We participated in a mini-farm quest at Growing Nations with a Basotho and a development worker. We learned the basics of Farming God's Way. The biggest lesson Jeremy and I learned was to protect the soil. In Lesotho, plowing and over grazing of the land has created a huge problem in the heavy rains which are eroding the land. Literally, the land is just washing away. However, we did witness how protecting the soil can make a big difference. We visited one farmer who was practicing Farming God's Way up in the mountains. He had a thick "blanket" of mulch covering all his small fields round his home. Underneath the blanket, the soil was moist even though it was the dry season, the soil was teaming with life such as earthworms, and the soil was rich, dark, and friable from all the organic material. The farmer gave God the glory for the transformation of his fields. His testimony of "once we were poor and now we are rich" showed us how transformation of the heart is so important. His heart was just as fertile as his fields. 

We are learning to not have expectations for the day when we first wake up. The days here are fluid and go at their own pace. Jeremy waited 4 days to help try to fix the tractor and I waited nearly a week to start transplanting strawberries. In the end, the tractor is still leaking gas but at a much slower rate and some strawberries have been moved. The time in Lesotho was definitely ordained from going to Prayer Day to meet fellow AIM missionaries, to meeting the local pastor and extension personal who are reaching out to the community for God's glory. It is about the people. This is why we are here. We are looking forward to October when we are able to go to Tsumkwe, Namibia and be with the San. In the meantime, we are enjoying the journey each day holds as we learn to live here in Africa.
The following is a little recording from my phone of worship of the LEC Lesotho Church that is based at Growing Nations. Click the link to listen.  Lesotho Worship
We have been in South Africa and Lesotho for six weeks now, I (Jeremy) have noticed or experienced a few things that are done a bit different.  First, if you ask for the restroom or bathroom you get very strange looks, trust me.  It is properly called the toilet or loo.  Second, you don't go get fast food, you go get a "take away".  Third, driving/riding on the left side of the road has been a huge adjustment.  I have driving around the block a few times but the biggest adjustment has been walking.  Try crossing a major intersection on foot with traffic coming from all the wrong directions.  You don't look left then right; you look right then left.  Fourth, when you turn off the main paved road you better have plenty of clearance and four wheel drive. Lastly beef is called "mince".  So a mince pie is not something you have at Christmas it's on the menu year round.
Prayer Request
  • Visas: Please be in prayer for our Namibian Work Visas. Only one visa has been approved on our team so far. We are trusting God to get them all approved in time.
  • Health: We both have had a cold and are now well. We both got dehydrated in Lesotho one day, so we have to remind ourselves to drink water. Jeremy has experience some stomach issues.
  • Travel: We will be traveling a lot in the next 6 weeks in the countries of South Africa, Rwanda, and Namibia. 
  • Growing Nations: The new students have started their year long internship this week. Pray their hearts are open to what God has in store for them. 
So what does the month of September hold for us. We will continue to serve here in the Southern Region Office in Johannesburg until the 19th when we will depart and head South toward the Cape for a week of In-Field Mentoring, a Farming God's Way training. This will be valuable time because it will be planting season in the community. We will arrive back in Johannesburg with only a few days left until we have to get ready to leave South Africa as our 90 day visas will expire. We need to wait to go into Namibia with our team. So we are heading up to Cyegera, Rwanda to go to the Children's Home we have visited previously. We will leave Rwanda and meet up with our incoming team at the airport in South Africa and fly to Namibia on the 14 or 15th of October. Our time here at the office has been of great help and we have been able to streamline communication which will have such a lasting impact. Currently, the office staff is a smaller than normal, so to be able to communicate effectively to the field is valuable to everyone.
  • Our time in Lesotho was wonderful. We learned much and were able to connect with people.
  • God has blessed us in many ways: safe travel, good food, great fellowship, and many new friends. 
  • We are adjusting well. With each new experience, we are growing in our knowledge of God's faithfulness.
  • Thankful for all the support we are receiving from home through prayers, support, emails, photos, and texts. Thank you for being there for us.
This was filmed shortly after we arrived in South Africa and shows the different new things we were adjusting to. This and other videos are posted to our blog. You can follow our blog by subscribing on the right-hand side of main page. See link below.
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We have found the best way to communicate with limited internet is What's App. 
Download it and then enter our South African phone number.  +27 076 369 2898
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