Saturday, August 27, 2016

Six kilos of pig leg

I (Ben) woke up early on Saturday morning and went to the local slaughterhouse (some guy's backyard). Men with knives were already working on the second pig that morning. All that was left of the first pig were two legs. I said, "I'll take one of those." They weighed it and it came to 6 kilos (13 lbs.). It still had the skin on it and the bones in it.

Then I went to work. I tried three different knives until I found one that could cut the skin away from the meat. I won't gross you out with the rest of the details but after a few hours we had both the crockpot and the oven full of meat.

Finally it was time to enjoy the fruit of our hard work. Jeannette made this amazing pork pie. Question: If a shepherd's pie has lamb and a cottage pie has beef, what do you call it if it has pork? We don't know but it was delicious!

Then Jeannette made pulled pork with thyme and paprika and other magical ingredients. Yum!!! And of course, we savored a little pork BBQ also. So was it worth the effort? YES!!!

Saturday, August 20, 2016

A centipede, a snake and a mongoose

Luke found this scary guy in our backyard hiding under some rocks. Yes, he's highly venomous!

Then as Ben was hanging a picture in our hallway he felt something brush past his heel...

He brushed Ben's heel so Ben crushed his head. It's poetic.

And you might be wondering, where was this guy when we really needed him?

Mr. Rikki-Tikki-Tavi here showed up the morning after the snake incident. Sure, some fierce cobra-killer he is.

Welcome to wild Tanzania!

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Mama goes back to school

Lake Victoria Learning Center is now open for a new school year! Our kids are so excited. And this school year brings a new twist. Jeannette is teaching! In the past, Jeannette has worked as substitute teacher, teacher's assistant and library organizer. This year, because we have so many missionary kids in so many different levels, Jeannette is teaching two levels of math. She teaches 3rd grade and 5th grade math...and she's the playground monitor...and she still has all of her responsibilities at home. Pray with us that Jeannette will be able to balance all of her different jobs and do them well.

Another new twist is that Jenna is officially in school. On the first day of school she was excited beyond belief that she got an eraser with a pony on it.

Kara said, "I love staring at maps and we're studying geography so that's perfect!"

Luke came home after the first day of school saying, "This is my first time ever having homework! I even have to bring my book home. It's more homework than I've ever had in my whole life" And then he finished his homework in about 4 minutes.

Ellie was excited because now she gets to read a book that Kara read when Kara was her age.

We love our Learning Center and we thank God for our teachers!

By the way, we're looking for another teacher to join our team. If you know anyone who might be interested, please give them this information:


Lake Victoria Learning Center in Musoma, Tanzania is in urgent need of an elementary teacher to join their team.

If you are a certified teacher with at least one year of experience, then this is a great opportunity to work in a unique, multi-level, non-traditional setting which enables many missionary families to continue their work in Tanzania.

If God is calling you to this ministry, we’d love to explore the options with you. We would like to have a commitment of at least 18 months.

Please contact the Human Resources Department at

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Beware of falling fish!

Watch out! If you visit us in Tanzania you might get hit in the head with a fish. Check out this video...

Thursday, July 14, 2016

We fix our eyes on the land of no goodbyes

We hate goodbyes. We hated saying goodbye to grandparents, cousins, siblings, parents, friends and churches in America. And now that we're back in Tanzania, we're saying goodbye to our dear friends who are returning to America for their furlough. We hate goodbyes.

But it has forced us to fix our eyes on our future hope of resurrection and reunion on the new earth. Many times we find ourselves clinging to the hope that, "when we finally get home on the new earth there will be no more goodbyes." And of course, we remind ourselves that the most glorious joy of the new earth will not be seeing all our beloved friends and family members (even though that will be fantastic). Rather, the most massive, magnificent joy of the new earth will be seeing Jesus and being with Jesus and enjoying Jesus forever. That's our hope!

So as we've been rehesarsing the glorious truths about the new earth from Isaiah and Hebrews and Revelation, I tried to combine many of them together in one place. Here goes…

We Fix Our Eyes on the Land of No Goodbyes

We fix our eyes on the land of no goodbyes
where there can be no night
because Yahweh is our everlasting light;
where bitter weeping is forsaken
as we zealously proclaim, "Behold your God."

We fix our eyes on the land of no goodbyes
where violence is silenced
and destruction is demolished;
where righteousness thrives
and death dies.

We fix our eyes on the land of no goodbyes
where troubles are forgotten
and joys are everlasting;
where mourning is banished
and gladness reigns forever.

We fix our eyes on the land of no goodbyes
because we desire a better country, a heavenly one
and we desperately seek a homeland
so we fervently wait for the enduring city
whose designer and builder is God.

We fix our eyes on the land of no goodbyes
where the curse is reversed
and desolation is transformed into delight;
where pain and rebellion become peace and rest
while old things pass away and all things are made new.

We fix our eyes on the land of no goodbyes
where we will see our Savior Jesus face to face
and God himself will wipe away every tear from our eyes;
where God will dwell with us
and we will live with Jesus forever.

We fix our eyes on the land of no goodbyes
joyfully awaiting the new heavens and new earth.


Here are the Scripture passages that I drew from. Spend some time meditating on them and preach to yourself the hope that we have in Jesus!

Revelation 21:25; Isaiah 60:20; Isaiah 65:19; Isaiah 40:9; Isaiah 60:18; Isaiah 60:18; 2 Peter 3:13; Revelation 21:4; Isaiah 65:16; Isaiah 61:7; Isaiah 60:20; Isaiah 65:18; Hebrews 11:16; Hebrews 11:14; Hebrews 13:14; Hebrews 11:10; Revelation 22:3; Isaiah 62:4; Revelation 21:4; Hebrews 4:9; Revelation 21:4-5; I John 3:2; Revelation 22:4; Revelation 21:4; Revelation 21:3; 1 Thessalonians 4:17; Isaiah 65:17; 2 Peter 3:13; Revelation 21:1

Monday, July 4, 2016

Digital fireworks and a quivering gecko tail

Sadly, Tanzanians do not celebrate the 4th of July. Therefore, we had to create our own fun. Here's how we celebrated...

We splurged and bought ice cream for the kids and watched fireworks on the computer.

Then as we climbed into bed we discovered a recently severed gecko tail...

That's enough fun for one holiday :)

Thursday, June 16, 2016

the airline lost our luggage, but God hand-delivered it

The words every traveler dreads the most:


The funny thing is, we had no idea that there ever was a problem. Apparently God worked a mighty miracle because when we collected our luggage at the airport we received EVERY SINGLE PIECE OF LUGGAGE! God is awesome.

So here we are in Nairobi, Kenya at a guest house for a couple of days recovering from jet-lag. We will buy some supplies and then drive to Musoma, Tanzania on Saturday. Please pray for safety and health and endurance on the 11 hour drive on African roads.