Friday, February 22, 2008

Hello from a soggy Tchincombe!

Hello from a soggy Tchincombe! The rains continue! My trip to Chiange
yesterday went well - everywhere I passed it had just rained so the road was
wet and sloshy. There were a couple slip and slides but the Landy plowed
right through. Even so it took 3 hours to get to the main road (usually
takes 2).

On first appearance it was a fruitless visit. The County had not received
the text books so we couldn't receive any. Even though classes have started
the students don't have books! The official was very apologetic saying
because of lack of transport the books hadn't arrived. We left a list of
the number of students enrolled here and asked them to safe the books for us
when they do arrive. The problem is that we are 100 miles away and there's
no quick way to get word to us so by the time the word does reach us the
books will all be distributed. PRAY that indeed they will save the books
for us!

We were allocated 4 new teachers (only 1 has come, the other says he can't
come until the 27th). The two teachers from last year are here at
Tchincombe but the official said they have been reallocated somewhere else
and they should report to his office ASAP. We're not sure exactly what to
do because it would mean that we'd have 4 brand new teachers, i.e. they have
NO experience. We certainly can't let them go until the other 3 new ones
actually do appear! Pray for wisdom!! We still do have Alfredo who is not
a government teacher but is paid by the parents so that is good - he is a
very good teacher and very reliable!

In spite of our lack of success on the part of the school we (Paulo and his
wife went) did have a good visit with Jacob and Maria. They are doing well.
It was worth the trip just to be an encouragement to them!

Tomorrow is the last Sunday of the month - when we usually go to Tchimbolelo
farm for service - due to lack of numbers there we are changing to a
preaching point. We will be at Imbondwe tomorrow.

As soon as dry season begins we plan to go on Saturday nights to have
activities for young people, show the Jesus film and have question &
answers, and then have church on Sunday. Steve Foster and Brent Mudde
should be coming from Lubango to meet us there.

Pray especially that older folk would be interested and come. The older
folk say this 'religion' is OK for young people but not for them. They are
too old (they are not really old - 40s-60s) to change their ways and dress.
We want very much for them to understand that the Good News is about a
Person and about relationship not about religion and dos and don'ts!!


Tuesday, February 19, 2008


Dear Friends,

Stirling went to town today and is delayed as the headlights on the Land
Rover stopped working and he couldn't sort out the problem to come back
tonight. Pray for wisdom - he has access to a computer program in town that
has the wiring diagram!

On Friday I will be making a trip to Chiange to talk with the school
officials about various questions we have about this school year. One
important item being getting school books. In theory the government should
be giving the text books but they so far are not available though they are
available to buy on the open air market - mysterious that - pray that if
there is stock that the county school system will give them to us as they
should - otherwise the books are quite expensive!

The other question we'll find out is if there are 2 more teachers or not -
we were told we'd receive 6 but so far only 4 have showed up and we should
have started school last week!

Pray for a safe trip as the road will be wet!

The primary school does start tomorrow! Please pray for us! There are at
least 150 students enrolled - more than anticipated!! Pray especially for
professora Adriana - she has a terrible attitude - she'll be teaching 3rd

Here is a note from our friend's, the Smiths, and their grandson:

"With regard to the last item for praise, the Consultant was with Penny this
morning and he told her he was really amazed at the sudden improvement in
Jamie, quite beyond what he had expected or hoped. Penny told him that many
folk had been praying for just that! The outlook is good. The medics hope
that within 48 hours or so they will be able to withdraw Jamie's feeding
tube from his tummy and probably dispense with the oxygen tube as well.

Bulletin 13 (10:15am Tuesday 19th February)


Jamie's oxygen tube was removed this morning and the feeder tube will be
withdrawn later today. He continues to improve and, all being well, he will
be discharged from the hospital on Wednesday.

The family will be together for the rest of the week and then, if things go
according to plan, they will all to come to us on Sunday for a couple of

Praise the Lord!!
John & Valerie"

Thanks for your faithfulness in praying!!!
Donna for all of us!

Saturday, February 16, 2008

5 1/2 month old Jamie

THANKS for your prayers on behalf of 5 1/2 month old Jamie - he is getting
better! His grandparents thank all of you that prayed for him!

Stirling got back from Lubango at 3 am on Wednesday! He finished things in
town late and then had supper departing at 8:30 PM bringing 3 visitors. The
car was hevily laden and it was pulling the heavily laden trailer along
muddy, wet roads which took quite a long time! I think if they'd realized
that it would take so long they would have come in the morning!!

3 of the 6 teachers allocated by the government came to Tchincombe late last
night. We sent the farm truck to the main road to meet them at the bus stop.
The 4th plans to come on the 27th - we're not sure whether the other 2
really exist or not - i.e. whether they were indeed allocated or not! Pray
for the school as it starts this week! Pray for the teachers that they will
be dedicated - only 1 teacher actually lives at Tchincombe (Alfredo - he's
been with the school almost from the beginning). The other teachers are all
from town and have to 'serve time' in the bush before they can be allocated
to a city school. And that's how they see it - 'serving time'. Last year
the 2 teachers that were from town were here less than 1/4 of the time!
Fortunately, the government didn't pay them since they didn't work - we are
hoping this year they will be more dedicated!

THANKS for your prayers!!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

We've had lots of rain in the last week!

Dear Friends,

We've had lots of rain in the last week! The waterholes are filling up.
There has been lots of plowing and planting. There is still hope for a good
harvest. We will still need to sell animals as the grass will not grow
enough for 1,300 head. It's OK as we need to buy fencing as soon as
possible. The price of wire in South Africa is going up as there are energy
shortages and production is down.

We heard yesterday that the government allocated 6 teachers to Tchincombe
Primary school - you have really been praying! Pray for us as we try to
organize a workable schedule and plan!!!

Stirling made it to Cavango and back with no problems. The heifers arrived
well. The road was dry on the way there BUT wet, wet, wet on the way back!

Jerry and Louise Latimer were able to fly out of Lubango on Thursday despite
rain and low clouds. They arrived back in Kansas safe and sound and to find
it VERY cold! They were a great blessing to us!

Our trip back from Lubango was wet and muddy! Lots of four wheeling fun.
We brought our colleague's Land Rover home for a diagnostic workup - losing
water but can't see where! Working on Land Rovers is recreation for

Stirling went to Lubango today for meetings and we hope he'll come home
tonight or tomorrow early.

THANKS for standing in the gap!!

In Him,

John and Val Smith

Greetings from Tchincombe! Please pray for our friend's John and Val Smith
and their grandson, Jamie. Jamie is 5 and a half months old. He is in ICU
and on a life support machine because of double pneumonia. Please pray for
the doctors, for Penny & Paul (Jamie's parents), and for Jamie. THANKS!
Donna Foster

Monday, February 4, 2008

the last two days we've had 30 mm of rain


In the last two days we've had 30 mm of rain (> 1 inch) - WONDERFUL!

Today it has been overcast and feels cold outside - 70 degrees :}!

Jerry has one more morning of bulldozing to do before we take him and Louise
to town to catch their Thursday flight - so far he's done over 7 km of
bulldozing - it has been a big blessing! It is good to have them here.

Stirling as far as we know made it to Cavango. The MAF plane flew over
Cavango on Sunday and reported seeing his vehicle there so that's good news!
We'll have to wait for his return to hear the details.

The last Sunday at the Tchimbolelo preaching point there were only 10 people
- mostly children. We are going to move the preaching point closer to the
villages. There are 3 other preaching points that we haven't visited in a
long while due to lack of staff - we'd like to choose one of those sites -
pray for wisdom to know which one - Ondjinwa, Imbondwe, Yandja.

Peter, Shelley and Sheila came for the long weekend (today is a holiday) and
Meghan has been having riding lessons with Aunty Shelley! It has been great
to have Sheila back!

Pray for safety as we (Meghan, Latimers, Duplantis', Sheila and I) travel
to town tomorrow - it promises to be muddy - yippee!

In Christ,
Donna for all of us!