March 30, 2010

Donation = God's Perfect Provision

This week we were given a donation from the local butchery of 100 pounds of meat bones. Yes I said meat BONES. The are bones left over from butchering that still have scraps of meat on them and can be used to boil up and make stew, gravy, added to beans, etc. These are the only "meat" many will get and a treasure for those that are poor here in Mozambique. We made room in our chest freezer and our small fridge freezer to store them. Yesterday we started distributing them and continued today. So far we have been able to give them to a primary school (200 kids), a children's feeding center (75 kids), an orphanage (15 kids), a local church that will give to their widows and several individuals in need. We still have about 1/3 left and will continue to distribute.
We are just so grateful for God's Perfect Provision through this unexpected donation!

March 27, 2010

My Guys

Here is what my guys have been up to lately.....
Preparing for Easter..



And fixing things.

Grace & Mercy

A friend on Facebook recently posted this quote.
'Grace keeps giving me things I don't deserve,
and Mercy keeps withholding things I do....'
I like it.
It is true.
I need it.

I was going to try to have some deep, insightful exposition on the topic but....
it's all pretty much been said.

March 23, 2010

A Day at the Beach

Sunday we drove to the beach in Beira.
The flood waters had receeded, mostly.

The boys sported their new hats from Grammy.

They were excited for a day in the sand.

Our friends were great company.

The boys did lots of creating.

I enjoyed coffee.

And the view.

There were fish to be caught.

Games to be played.

And laziness had by all.

March 19, 2010

Finally, A Good Use for Rats

From a online news article: "For quite some time, dogs have been one of the main tools used to detect land mines. However recently, there is a new animal that is proving to be just as useful in sniffing out landmines and other unexploded ordinances-rats. The non-profit APOPO, based in Tanzania, has been training rats for mine detection and is currently putting them to work in Mozambique to clear minefields left over from conflicts in the 1960s, 70s and 90s. The rats wear harnesses attached to a wire held on either end by a handler. The rats then run up and down the attached wire, and each time the rat reaches the end of the wire, the handlers move slightly in one direction, until the rat has meticulously inspected the entire section. The rats are trained to detect the smell of TNT, and to start scratching and digging when they find something. They are then called over by their handlers and given a tasty reward, and the mine can be removed."

I guess there is finally one good use for rats here in Mozambique!

Plumbing Day

Today started off quite WET. Yes, I said wet. I woke up to my husband in the bathroom laying under the sink in a puddle trying to stop a leak that apparently had been dripping all night long. We are not light sleepers so neither of us heard the water dripping so by the time it was noticed early this morning there was quite a little BIG puddle on the bathroom floor. My hubby skillfully jammed a rag in the hole with a screwdriver to stop the water and left it until he could get some parts to replace the broken part. Once he returned with the new part (2 of them actually) he once again got on the floor and replaced the part. Only problem was as he was tightening down the connection the part broke apart. Yes, the brand new, cheap, Chinese imported, part was no longer any good. But because my husband is a pessimist BRILLIANT he had another one to replace the new broken one. So he did, very carefully. It worked. Since he had been to the store to buy plumbing supplies he next decided to tackle the kitchen faucet that has been dripping more and more each day. He removed the old faucet and replaced it with the new one that was all shiny and sparkly. I was impressed. This evening as he was washing supper dishes (isn't he great?) he started yelling for Nate to get him the biggest rubber band he owns out of his desk and come quick. Of course I had to see what all the action was about so I headed into the kitchen to find my hubby trying to hold the new, sparkly, cheap, chinese imported faucet together with his hands. He had tried to turn the water off and the faucet knob had completely broken off in his hand. I couldn't help but smirk and laugh out loud as water was squirting into the air with the faucet in Marc's hand. Once he had secured it with the rubber band he got busy putting the old faucet back on. Hey what's a little drip?? At least there is not squirting and no large puddles.

March 18, 2010

Mozambique's Beauty

When I think of the beauty in Mozambique, 
I often think of  

the deep red earth,

the striking mountains....

or the lush green valleys...

Those are indeed beautiful.

 However true beauty is not found in objects

but in PEOPLE,

the faces of Mozambique

that God desperately loves.

March 17, 2010

How to Explain a Dryer?

The other night we invited a young Mozambican couple over for dinner. Emma, the wife, is actually from Swaziland (South Africa) but has lived here for 10 years now and her husband Joaquim is Mozambican.  Emma works for the local gas distribution company as a secretary and Joaquim has his own business preparing legal documents and assisting in legal processes for people. After our dinner of chicken, mashed potatoes and green beans we sat around at the table talking. They were curious about different types of technology etc in America. The discussion turned to laundry and we explained that in America most people do not hang their clothes out to dry but instead use a dryer. We quickly discovered it is difficult to describe what a dryer is and what it does to someone who has never seen or heard of one before in their lives. Now, they are not typical Mozambicans in that they own a washing machine. It is a two sided machine that washes in one side and thing spins in the other side. The closest we could get to an understanding of the dryer because we do not own one and could not show them was that it is like a really good spinner that uses heat and when it's done your clothes are finished and all you have to do it fold them.
Funny, how complicated some things become when they are not the "normal."


Happy St. Patrick's Day!

The boys had a fun day celebrating.
We only did St Patrick's Day related worksheets for school.
They also received a box from Grammy & Grampy.
They didn't care that it contained Valentine's Day stuff.
Thanks for making the day special guys....we love you!

March 15, 2010

Chocolate Conversations

Here is a funny copy of people's comments on Facebook after I made the following comment "Andrea Pavkov does not love when she finds a worm while eating her least it was on it and not IN it."

Brooke Moreno Ball  "I remember picking worms out of the rice before we cooked it!!!"

Heather Neufeld "better than finding HALF a worm... either in it or on it!!!!"

Diane Lammott "I'm with Heather...still none at all is best of all!"

Andrea Pavkov "Yeah but not better than putting it in your mouth and then finding the worm when something seems odd about it."

Heather Neufeld "ahhh.. ick. did you take a picture??? now there is something to blog about."
Holly Elena Schilinski "the question is, was it still alive?"

Lisa Roerdink "Ew. I know that feeling. I once found a maggot on my reece cup. But what is it that Mr. Bland used to say (or was it Mrs?) about the seasoned missionary thanking God for the extra protein?"

Debi DiGiorgio "If facebook had a "thumbs down", this would be the time to use it."

David Spindler "It is better than finding a half a worm."

Felicity Wolper "Yummy..choclate covered worm...extra protein."

Andrea Pavkov "I am a seasoned missionary...I spit the worm out, brush the chocolate off and kept on eating"

Andrea Pavkov "The worm was dead."

Stephanie LaVonne Willis Spindler "WTG, Andrea."

Julie Bazal "You got to wonder what killed the worm? Was it the chocolate? Just something to ponder."
(The question above in no way reflects the writers feelings about chocolate. Life is so much better with chocolate!)

 Marc Pavkov "See, I put the worm there, hoping for the rest of the chocolate. Gotta come up with a better plan."

Julie Bazal "Yes Marc, your woman is pretty tough. You will have to think harder!"

Sara Born "yeah...seasoned missionaries aren't going to waste chocolate for anything....haha...I know that one too. That's great!"

March 13, 2010


A recent report about flooding in a nearby province. It is strange that our province is desperate for rain but others are suffering with the flooding. "The Pungue River is no longer rising, but its flood waters still cover a ten kilometre stretch of the Beira-Zimbabwe road, between Mutua and Tica. Only trucks and four wheel drive vehicles with high suspension are allowed to use this stretch of the road - and only by day, and under police escort." This is the only road that goes from Zimbabwe to Mozambique's coastal city of Beira. I guess we won't be heading to the beach anytime soon. Please pray for those affected by flooding in several areas of Mozambique.

March 11, 2010

Rats Like Plastic!

We have a grocery store named Shoprite. It is the only one in town and I am grateful. It is not by accident that Shoprite is nicknamed Ratrite by lots of missionaries. We often see evidence in the aisles of their visits and lets just say you have to be particular about what packages you buy as some will have been chewed. Anyway, back to my recent adventure. I went grocery shopping the other day and took Nate, our youngest son with me so he could take a stroll through the toys. Most are very cheap Chinese, "Dollar Store rejects," as Marc calls them. None the less Nate had some money burning a hole in his pocket and went to browse to see what he could find. I continued with the shopping and was ready to leave when Nate returned excited about what he had found that he could afford and wanted. It was a small plastic army set. Really that is all that ever excites Nate there so he has started a collection. Anyway, he brought me his treasure to show what he wanted to purchase. I tried to act excited and asked if he is sure that he needed MORE army stuff.

        He tells me, "Yes, Mom and this is for sure a Mozambican army set."
       "What do you mean?" I ask him.
       "Look right here...the rats have chewed the bumper of the jeep but I don't care. I still want it."
       "Are you sure?" I asked him.
       "Yeah, it's the last one plus that makes it special from Mozambique because in America you can't buy
       one chewed by rats," he declared.
       "Ok, then let's go," was my response and off we went to the checkout.

I would say by God's sweet grace my kids have adapted pretty well to their new life in Mozambique, wouldn't you?

March 10, 2010

Ouch Electricty!

Today Micah found me in the living room with a wide eyed expression on his face and his hands shaking. He began telling me how he had taken their fan from one room and tried to plug it in again in their bedroom but that it shocked him and he heard a loud pop. He was a little shaken up as he got a good jolt throughout his whole body. It seems the wire was slightly exposed near the plug end and instead of holding the plug when putting it into the socket he was touching the wires. Needless to say it provided a great opportunity for a school lesson. Wires conduct electricty son and that means you get shocked. Plastic is an insulator and that means you don't get shocked. After he calmed down a bit he could laugh about it but none the less isn't very anxious to touch a cord or plug again soon. This is what I found when we went to discover what had happened. The "explosion" had blown the two pieces completely apart. Ouch! Looks like Dad has some repair work to do.

March 6, 2010

Strange Lingo

My boys are beginning to lose some of their American vocabulary.
Do you know what these words mean??

Swimming Costume


An email I sent off to my sister today. "I have a funny thing to tell you. We have been going to the post office once or twice a week the last couple of weeks to check and see if there is a package since Mom and Dad sent one a while ago. We like to check and keep and eye out. Marc went this morning and the guy tells him that the man with the key to the "package room" is not there yet so he needs to come back later. So we went back a couple of hours later. Now there was no slip in our box saying we had a package so we knew it is unlikely that there is one but what the heck let's just check. So the man with the key was now there, it was 11am mind you but as you can tell schedules aren't real important here. He opens up the package room and agrees to look around for the box from Mom & Dad for Marc. Nope, not there, but oh wait a minute there is another one here with your names. It was the package you sent me for my birthday. It had been sent on August 20th. So nearly 7 months later we finally get it. Oh sorry, I guess the slip must of gotten confused with someone else. CRAZY PLACE!!! There is no point in getting upset because culturally it isn't incorrect or unprofessional in the least. Now you can probably understand why at times I feel like I am losing my mind around here:)"
Thanks Carrie for the "Birthday" package. It really was a surprise. I had forgotten you had sent it since it was so long ago. (Check out that American mouse trap she sent. Marc keeps joking that the rats around here would spring the trap and then haul it around wearing it as an earring:)

March 5, 2010


In the Bible.
The book of James.
My favorite.

 Some reasons:
#1 It's practical
#2 It's challenging
#3 It's straight forward
#4 It's saturated with truth
#5 It's short and easy to read

Please pray for me as I lead a women's Bible study focusing on James over the next several weeks.
For truth to become reality.
For words to become deeds.
For faith to take action.
For challenges to bring purpose.

March 4, 2010


I am not proud to say that more often than not my practical, organizing, rational, sensible, fleshly (ouch) part gets the better of me when it comes time for faith.

But, over the last several months I have been on a faith journey. Let me explain.

When we found ourselves suddenly without a vehicle in July of last year we knew we needed a vehicle and began praying that we could purchase our own.

Slowly, very slowly, a little bit of money came in. Then we had a generous donation from one donor and after lots of prayer decided to take a leap of faith and begin looking for a vehicle.

We only had about 65% of what we would need but asked God for direction anyway. We looked and looked. God led us to a vehicle for sale by some other missionaries through friends of ours.
We didn't have enough money.

We contemplated what to do and prayed some more. We felt peace and an urging to step out in faith and trust God. We approached them. We committed to paying them $500 a month (that we did not have in our normal budget). 

They were gracious and trusting allowing us to pay them what we had, take the vehicle, and put it into our name with the agreement to make monthly payments.
In the back of our minds we wondered how exactly we were going to do this, knowing we couldn't but choosing to trust in faith.  

So here we are, overjoyed and FAITH-full celebrating what He has done.
Every single month He miraculously provided an "extra" $500 in donations for our car payment. 

And along the way we have learned a very important lesson in a very real way.
We have an amazing God that is worthy of our FAITH!

March 3, 2010

Such is Life

Such is life in Mozambique....

It has rained everyday for the last two weeks.
Drying laundry has become a challenge and mold seems to be growing everywhere (our shoes, the floor, the walls, hats). But I am not complaining as this rain is desperately needed and a little inconvenience on my part is fine if it means their is hope of food for the hungry people of Mozambique.

The guys have successfully caught 5 rats so far in and around our house. Two nights ago, as I stood behind the safety of the kitchen door, listening in on Marc and the boys attempting to catch the latest culprit I couldn't help but laugh at their conversation.
Micah says to Nate, "You're such a girl." (as Nate was crouched on top of the chest freezer).
Nate says, "I don't have a weapon, Dad took mine." (Each boy had come prepared with a stick.)
Marc says to Micah, "Don't play with him, hit him." (Referring to the rat, not his brother.)
After they brought in our dog Bowser (who is quickly becoming known as the rat catcher) they succeeded in driving out the rat that was hiding in the motor compartment of our freezer and catching it.
And all was peaceful again in the house, at least until next time.

We have not had internet access for the last 5 days because the "system" was down which could mean a million things.
(Sorry I missed your birthday mom. Hopefully we can catch up via Skype soon.)

Sadly, the man that Marc transported to the hospital last week died in the hospital here in Chimoio. We are constantly reminded of how fragile life is living here.