Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Hi from a soggy Tchincombe and Foster family!!

Hi from a soggy Tchincombe and Foster family!!

We went yesterday with both Landys and our trailer to bring back fencing and our camping equipment which we had left there last weekend. It didn’t rain in the night though it looked like it would and so most of night in tent we were sleeping lightly waiting for it to start pouring! It only started that in the morning! It rained most of the way here and had rained really hard here in the night. It sure makes things green and lovely thought hot and sticky!

We met Paulo with tractor pulling big farm trailer on his way to get a load. He said DAF was coming behind him so all the way we were expecting to meet the DAF – it’s actually nice to know when a vehicle is coming as the bush tracks of course are single lane! We never met up with the DAF and arrived here to discover that the DAF has broken down – fortunately right here at the farm – it doesn’t want to go into gear! Nando Yuma, the driver, will go into town tomorrow with Stirling to talk to mechanics in town about the problem.

Firmino spent the afternoon taking apart the right front wheel assembly of the Unimog in an attempt to discover where a not good noise was coming from – they found the offending part and Stir will try to get a replacement in Lubango tomorrow!

So all of the machines are down except the blue Ford tractor which is about 20 years old!!

Pray that amidst all the breakdowns and difficulties that we will know God’s enabling and that we will trust Him! He knows all about trucks and cars and EVERYTHING!! Pray too that we will be able to encourage others to rely in God alone!!

In Him,


Friday, February 20, 2009

Stirling and trucks have left the border!

Stirling and trucks have left the border! So we’re off on another adventure! We’ll be away from computer, etc for a few days so we thank you for your prayers! Will be in touch when we get back to Tchincombe! Donna for all of us!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The border saga continues!

Hello! The border saga continues! Stirling returned to border early Monday to begin the Angolan importation process – it really is a gauntlet of paperwork and officials! I talked to him just now and he FINALLY received the bill for customs – 837,500 kwanzas (customs) and 68,000 (clearing agent) = $11,608 of importation fees. It’s less than the quoted $14,000 so we’re glad for that! Stirling is at the bank paying and now we wait to see how long that takes and if the trucks will be released today!

The 3 interlink trucks are too big to travel the bush tracks to Tchincombe – too much sand – so they will head to the farm of a friend near Kahama (near main road) – about 100 miles from here. As soon as we get word they are leaving the border then the children and I will go to meet them with camping equipment and food!

Monday I made a day trip to Lubango – that was plan A! My goals were to get a letter of invitation got Aimee Heyer and to get turbo of Chevy welded. I did manage to get turbo welded by about 4 PM but no letter of invitation. So Meghan and I stayed over– that was plan B – a bit of challenge since we weren’t planning to spend night – toothbrushes, change clothes, etc - but with help of colleagues and family we managed. Now we get to plan C! The letter of invitation was in hand by 9:30 but in the meantime Stirling had called to ask me to take money from one bank account to another – you would think this would be easy BUT 2 of the 3 streets going to the one bank were closed for road work – they also happen to be 2 of the only 3 streets that get one in and out of town so. . . . . lots of time in traffic with crazy taxi drivers! But by lunch time the money from one bank was in hand and taken to the other. Since we didn’t want to go back to Lubango on Friday for the food we’d need for the farm store this was added to the agenda – again with the gracious help of colleagues we did manage to accomplish everything we set out to do and I made it home by 8 PM last night (Tuesday)!

Jeffrey and Matt managed very well here on their own for the night. Perpetua was quite surprised that the boys weren’t afraid to stay on their own. In African culture there is always family with you - your nuclear family or extended family - people are rarely on their own – especially at night. The ladies are always surprised when I’m not afraid to stay by myself on the rare occasion that Stir and the kids are away together. I’m not sure of all the ins and outs but there is a definite fear there!

Stirling called – the import bill is paid. Now – will they get out the gate today? Is there more paperwork!? We’re on stand-by. Stir hopes to get out by 2 PM!



Saturday, February 14, 2009

Stirling is on is way here for the weekend

It took all day Friday for the trucks to make it through the gauntlet of the Namibian export process. The trucks are in Angola BUT clearing agents and customs are closed on Saturday so the Angolan gauntlet of paperwork will have to wait until Monday!

Stirling is on is way here for the weekend and will leave Monday morning 4AM to get back to the border! It’s only a little over 200 miles to the border but it takes about 6-8 hours – depending on road conditions. When Stir called earlier on the HF it was raining so it will be a mud adventure!

Continue to pray for Stirling on Monday has he will be interacting with truck drivers, customs officials, police inspectors, etc that the light of Christ will shine through him. There are many hours of waiting so pray for opportunities to plant or water the seed!

Afonso, one of the school teachers, didn’t come on Wednesday as planned as his mother was hospitalized. Alfredo is carrying on with classes for 1st grade and 2nd grade but 3rd and 4th grade must wait for Afonso to arrive!

Thanks for your prayers!

Donna for all of us!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Have been in contact with Stirling who is at the border!

Have been in contact with Stirling who is at the border! He went Tuesday in order to be there early Wednesday to start the customs work BUT the trucks were delayed leaving Windhoek so they didn't get there Tuesday night as planned. The trucks should then have arrived Wednesday afternoon to start customs this morning BUT one of them broke down on its way to the border! It's been repaired and is on its way so now the process will only begin tomorrow – Friday! At least that’s the plan!

The clearing agent calculates $14,000 of import tax! Stirling has access to $10,000 – the other $4000 we do have but it would be complicated to get it to border in a timely manner! The clearing agent was supposed to have done all the calculations last week before Stirling went to border so Stir could take the proper amount BUT the clearing agent didn’t do it earlier as promised!

There is possibility for some exemption so please pray for mercy! Every bit of money not paid on import tax can be put to good use here so we’d like to pay as little as possible!

PRAY to for Stirling to have a good attitude and patience at the border! Courtesy goes a long way in the African contest!

Thanks so much for praying!


Wednesday, February 11, 2009

we got just over 35mm rain last night

Hello from a wet Tchincombe – we got just over 35mm rain last night – ahhhh!

Stirling set off for the border yesterday to meet the trucks this morning BUT we got a message late yesterday saying the trucks weren’t finished loading and so they will only be at border on Thursday morning! So Stirling has the whole day to stew or rest! Pray that he’ll get rested up for the next days! Please PRAY that the import duties will not be exorbitant!! Pray too that the 3 trucks (interlinks for those of you who know trucking) will be able to leave the border by Saturday – otherwise there is a charge by the trucking company for ‘standing time’. Angola’s border crossing for those importing is really a nightmare of lines, noise and delay! PRAY for patience and that Stirling will be calm in the midst of it all!

The services at Imbondwe will be 21-22nd this month please begin to pray now for those of us preparing to go – the music team, Steve who will be preaching, and ourselves!

The primary school starts next week! It should have started last week. Pray for Alfredo and Afonso as they start classes. Rosária, the other teacher, only made contact for the first time this school year today – her number had changed so we hadn’t been able to get in touch with her – very frustrating – the ride to the farm was today and so she must wait until there is another ride! Pray that Afonso and Rosária will be more committed this year. They had many absentee days last year leaving Alfredo with most of the work!

We are so grateful for him – he is so faithful and really does love teaching.

Pray for all of us here at Tchincombe that our every day lives will be a testimony to the grace shown us by God and his Son!

With Love,


Thursday, February 5, 2009

We’re home again – have been for 10 days!

Dear Praying Friends and Family,

We’re home again – have been for 10 days! We hit the road running as the saying goes! Thanks for you prayers for safety in travel. We had a good time camping going down and coming back. We identified a new bird at the Waterberg Plateau Park (African Paradise Flycatcher) and as always we enjoy any time we can spend in Etosha National Park viewing wild game.

Thanks for praying for Brent’s visa. He got his visitor’s visa and so was able to cross the border with us albeit arriving at 1 AM Friday so he had only a few hours sleep before we faced the border. The actual border crossing was no hassle for which we are ALWAYS grateful. We had a little 4X4 excitement! I will let Shelley describe it (She and Peter were also traveling with us):

The road gave excitement almost immediately on the Angolan side as 5 kms in we had to cross a 30 yard patch of black water of unknown depth and mire! We were three 4x4's in convoy as we were traveling with Stirling and Donna Foster in their Land Rover Defender with a trailer and Brent Mudde(MAF colleague) in his Land Rover Discovery. Brent was the guinea pig and made it across with little difficulty but enough to make us all wonder if Stir's car with the trailer would make it. Peter took the Jeep across next and it made it also with just enough difficulty to make your heart race and then Stir came across. It looked like he was going to get stuck several times right in the middle of the patch, but by backing up and trying again he made it!! We all cheered and yelled and danced after we were all safely across and thanked the Lord again for safety and 4x4's!! The rest of the trip was "boring" according to Jeffrey(my 14 yr old nephew) who thinks the only exciting drive is one in which a couple of folk get stuck - but the rest of us were quite content with "boring"!

Since our return Stirling has been back and forth to town several times (3 hours one way – down from the usual 4-5 hours as roads have steadily improved lately) getting documents sorted out for the importation of the fencing. As I write he is on his way back from the border. He had to go there to turn in documents to find out how much customs we will have to pay. Import items varies considerably! Wire is only 10% for example but wood (in this case fence posts) are 50%! We had hoped there would be exemption since this is a church project but it doesn’t sound like it! PRAY that we will rest in the knowledge that God is not poor! He knows all the needs of Tchincombe! PRAY for Stirling for stamina as there’s still lots of travel to do. On Monday he has to run back to Lubango for another document. On Wednesday back to the border to meet the trucks! The trucks will get to within 60 km of here (farm of a friend) and then we’ll have to transport three platform, interlink’s worth of fencing material with our equipment (Unimog, Chevy, tractor & trailer, and pick-up truck)! And then the work of installation begins – Whew! I’m tired thinking of what’s yet to be done!

The kids and I are into our second week of school! Meghan, 4th grade and Jeffrey, 9th grade! Things are going well so far! I do enjoy teaching the kids but I always feel the strain of wanting to do more in terms of literacy, language and Bible teaching!

Over the years we have had a keen interest in developing a horse herd to use in farm management – and also for our enjoyment/recreation. There is a young Canadian woman, Aimee Heyer, who is keen to come and stay with us for a months and help us begin working with a few horses. She’ll also give Meghan and Jeffrey riding lessons which will be a special treat for them! Please PRAY for all the processes involved in getting her here –especially getting a visitor’s visa quickly. Aimee’s parents, Clarence and Louise, are good friends of ours – they were with MAF here in Angola in our first years here in Angola.

Continue to pray for the outreach at Imbondwe that the Word would penetrate hearts and that particularly the elders in the community would see God’s reaching out to them and pursuing them with his passionate love!

PRAY too for our weekly ladies’ meeting – for ladies to open up and share their struggles and joys.

THANKS TONS for all your prayers on our behalf!!!

Partnering with You!

Donna for all of us