Monday, April 23, 2012

Back on African Ground

Hi all,
Just a quick note to tell you I made the trip safely to Johannesburg. Staying in a hotel near the airport one night and then it's off to Zambia in the morning. The first song I heard getting off the plane was by Bryan Adams...classic. Loving the cool evening air and the familiar accents, too. Sometimes it feels like it's been ages since I was last year, and other times, it feels like no time has passed at all. Can't wait to hug my friends in Zambia tomorrow and to meet some new friends, too!

Here's the plan:
April 24 - May 1 at the Hands at Work annual Celebration in Zambia
May 1 - May 4 in the community in Malawi
May 4 - May 9 at Hands Hub in South Africa

Not sure how often I'll get to access the Internet, but I'll let you know how things are going whenever I can.

Much love,
Brooke

Monday, April 25, 2011

Hands at Work in Africa, Zambia Celebrations

Last week I had the opportunity to attend Hands at Work in Africa’s Regional Celebration in Zambia. Each year Hands at Work gathers leaders from partner Community Based Organizations throughout Africa for a time of learning, sharing and celebrating about what God is doing throughout communities in Africa. This year Hands had its biggest Celebration ever in Zambia from April 13-16.

The theme of the Celebrations this year was, “Going Deeper.” The vision of Hands at Work is the local church in Africa effectively caring for the orphaned, widowed and the dying and unified in this mission with the church outside Africa. All of the different sessions focused on Going Deeper in relationship to make this vision become a reality. The celebration kicked off with a message from Hands at Work founder George Snyman who focused on Going Deeper in our relationship with Christ. He asked the question, “Why do you do what you do?” The motivation for caring for the orphaned, widowed and dying should come out of a deep love for Christ, a thankful spirit for what He has done for us, and a willingness to share that sacrificial love with others through service.

An excerpt of Ephesians 4 was given to everyone at the start of the Celebrations to read. I think it speaks directly to the purpose of these regional celebrations.



On the last day of the celebration before the official program started a large group of individuals gathered in the morning to sing songs together. It was just an amazing time. Here is a video of one of my favorite songs, “Ananipenda,” which translates to, “He loves me.”


Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The End

Well, we are way overdue for our final post. We have been back for a couple of months now and have enjoyed reconnecting with so many friends and family, spending time outside (especially ice fishing and snowshoeing), cooking supper for my mom and dad, and working on crafty projects. The job hunt is starting in earnest now and we're excited to see what's next!

Our hearts ache for Africa, but in a way I hope never goes away. We appreciate so much what we've learned in our 39 months away about love, compassion, and friendship. Thanks for your support, your mail, blog comments, and so much else.

With love,
Brooke and Jed

Me and my nephew Gino



The view from Jed's deer stand


At the shack


Jed in Chicago with George and Pam

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Close of Service

Just wanted to give a quick update. Things are going fine in Pretoria, after a few initial hiccups. The PC office was strangely quiet when we arrived at 8:15 on Monday morning. Although we emailed PC a few times before we arrived to touch base about our Close of Service 10-14 Oct, nobody mentioned that Monday was a public holiday in the U.S. so nobody would be there to start our medical checkups and interviews. So, we spent Monday hanging out watching movies and at the mall. It was a little torturous, after running 24/7 for the last few months, to be forced to slow down so suddenly. But this little "break" is probably a good thing, ultimately. I'm generally happy to be working long hours...I consider it a privilege to spend myself on behalf of the most vulnerable, who are so close to God's heart. But this is really a test of whether I truly believe what we've been learning and saying for these last few years, that we are before we do. I know God loves me not for the work that I'm doing but just for being me. I just need some practice in loving myself even when I'm twiddling my thumbs in the waiting room at the PC medical office or taking a walk or visiting with the Australian tourist at breakfast this morning.