Monday, December 29, 2008
Today I traveled with my friend Lisa and an ABC graduate named Frackson (go ahead say it outloud with a bit of enthusiasm, it's a great name!) to a place a little south of here. She is organizing a team from San Diego to come run a camp for orphans so we went to check out a place. I was struck by the beauty of the country that I've called home for the last year and a half. The sky is so blue, the clouds so white, and the landscape so green. Everything in Malawi is exaggerated. It was a good reminder to get outside the walls. Physically and spiritually.
God takes us out of our comfort zones so that we learn to find comfort in him alone. Please pray for this lesson to take root in my heart.
Saturday, December 27, 2008
Molly Grace, Sam, Amber Elizabeth, Ford
Sarah Rose, Alice Ann
After dinner we went next door to the Dehnert's house for Christmas carols and wassail. Here is the Robbins family singing away!
Here is the new little guy who has stolen my heart. He was brought to the clinic here on campus when he was about 10 days old. He was born at 32 weeks, they think. He weighed 1 kg (that's about 2 pounds). He is now about 7 weeks old. His name is Clever and is up for adoption. Too bad it's so hard to adopt in Malawi. Please pray that we find him a home and that he doesn't end up being sent to his home village- even though his grandmother already said that she can't take care of him.
Thursday, December 18, 2008
“Miss Miller, your sound is all gone!” (when I lost my voice)
“God likes all the colors, even pink,” says Michael
“Oh no, my braids will start to stink any minute!” says Lisa after her braids (fake hair) got wet in the rain.
Our memory verse a couple of weeks ago was “The Mighty One has done great things for me, holy is His name” from Mary’s song. The conversation went like this:
Me: Who do you think is talking in our memory verse? It’s someone who is grateful that God has done a miracle for her. It’s someone who is really important in the Christmas story.
One of the songs we sang for our Christmas program has a line that says, “without the holy savior’s birth there would be no peace on earth.” One little girl sings it like this, “without the holy savior’s birth there would be a piece of earth.”
Smiles and loves,
Saturday, November 29, 2008
This is Hannah and I. Hannah was in my class this year. Her family is leaving Malawi in a few weeks. I'm going to miss them so much! They have really taken me under their wing since I got here last year.
Sunday, November 23, 2008
Saturday, November 15, 2008
In other news, it is HOT here. The response I normally get to that is, "How hot is it?" The answer to that question is somewhat misleading. I don't think it gets too much above 93-95 degrees which doesn't seem too horrible. The thing about heat here is that it is everywhere. If it is 95 outside, it's 95+ inside the house and probably about 100 in my classroom. It's like the heat gets inside of you and won't get out. Today we rode in the air conditioned car and my skin was freezing cold by the time we got there but it felt like my insides were still sweating. I don't think your insides can actually sweat, but they sure can feel like it.
Enjoy your nice cool fall days and the drizzly Oregon rain. Think of me roasting here in Africa when you get annoyed because it is raining- again.
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
Mr. Dehnert talked to our women's Bible study about this. All the good ideas are his, all the questions and confusions are mine.
How is our Father merciful? In his mercy, God came to earth for us. He shed his blood that we could be forgiven and spend eternity with him. That is the way that God had mercy on us- mercy that leads to salvation. That is not the only way that God has shown mercy to us. He extends mercy to all mankind daily. Every breath and every step are God's mercy toward us, in a way that is separate from our salvation. God extendes this mercy to all mankind so that they may come to a saving knowledge of Him. (It is not his will that any should perish).
Now, we are obviously not called be merciful in a saving sense. Only God can do that. So we are called to be merciful to everyone in a way that will lead them closer to a saving knowledge of him. Or, in other words, in a way that draws them into community. Leviticus 25:35-36 speaks of supporting people so that they may continue to live among you. As you show mercy it should be in a way that allows them to be part of a community.
Giving to a beggar does not really draw them into the community. I have decided that my mercy needs to be extended to those who are in my sphere of influence- the woman who cleans my classroom, the woman who cleans my house, those whom I have a relationship with. But, doesn't that sound like I am casting judgement about who is "deserving" of my mercy? Doesn't that show that I don't fully understand the mercy that has been extended to me?
This whole issue is spinning around in my mind. There are so many questions. I think it's good though. I think that God is pleased when we wrestle with the hard issues.
Let me know your thoughts.
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
First, pray for Nuala and her husband Ben. He is in serious condition in a hospital in South Africa for a brain trauma. We aren't really sure of the exact situation, but they need a huge amount of prayer. Pray for Nuala's strength, their 4 children who are here in Malawi, and of course, for Ben's healing. God is a God of miracles, let's pray for one.
Second, there appears to be an outbreak of German Measles or Rubella at the Academy. From what I understand the sickness isn't too harmful. Except for an unborn child in the first trimester. I know of at least one person in that category on campus and I'm sure many more at the academy.
Just pray in general for God's hand of protection to be over the Academy as we seek to do his work and share his love.
Zikomo Kwambile (Thank you very much)!!!
Saturday, October 25, 2008
Our first term of school is officially finished. I've been here for three months already! I just finished my report cards a couple of hours ago. The time is really flying by. My theory is because it still feels like summer outside, so I don't comprehend the fact that it's acutally almost November. I'm glad the first term is over, it seems like it's one of the harder ones to make it through because it's so busy. And so hot.
I'm teaching swimming lessons to 4 year olds. It's fun because the kids are really cute and I get a tan, but stressful because there are 14 of them and only two of us. Also, for those of you who know me, I don't really like to swim. Don't ask me how I got myself into that one.
The little time left of my week is spent hanging out with Annie (my wonderful roomate), baking things that aren't healthy for me to eat, watching a lot of movies, and reading.
As always, your support of my is essential to my work here. I couldn't do it without you! Keep me updated on how you are doing as well!
Love and prayers to you.
The reading corner.
1. I love the African sky.
2. Giraffes are still my favorite animal.
4. Giraffes are my favorite, but lions are pretty amazing. They are the king of the African plain. You can also see the Luangwa river in the background. All that is brown and sand is filled with water in the rainy season (all the way to the trees).
Monday, August 18, 2008
Monday, August 4, 2008
The good news for this year is that I have already purchased my plane ticket. That is a huge chunk of money that does not need to be raised. The bad news is the cost of living has been steadily increasing in Malawi (that's bad for me, and the people of Malawi...). I need to raise the full $800/month to be able to support myself there. I also need to raise enough money to cover things like taxes, student loan payments, and household necessities. I trust that God will provide for every one of my needs, as He always has.
If you would like to support me financially there are a few ways for you to do so.
You can snail mail a check to:
African Bible College
PO Box 103
Clinton, MS 39060
You can go online, see a picture of me, and click "Here for Miller" under donate:
As always, the most important way for you to support me is in prayer. I can not stress enough to you how much of a difference your prayers make in my life. Stay tuned to this blog for more specific prayer requests as the year goes on.
Friday, August 1, 2008
1. Support- please pray that my support will continue to be sufficient for my living needs.
2. Taxes- I need to get last year's taxes squared away and according to the government I am self employed which means that I pay a lot of taxes.
3. Emotions- Pray that I will be emotionally prepared for leaving home again.
4. Wedding- I am the maid of honor in Chauntelle's wedding on August 11 (that's two days before I leave). Pray for Chauntelle and Geoff, that things will work out and their life together will be blessed.
5. Students- pray for my students as they get ready to transition back to school and start first grade. I've got 21 sweethearts in my class this year!
Sunday, July 27, 2008
Here's a few pictures to show you what I've been up to.
Monday, June 30, 2008
I made it home and have been busy ever since. I started work the day after I got back to Oregon. I might be crazy, but it's ok. Things are going good so far. Please continue to pray for my transition to the states. It's been pretty crazy to get used to American culture, and all the changes that have taken place in my town, my house, and my family. Just pray that I would allow God to be the center of my life and my heart.
Here are a few pictures from my New York adventure. My favorite was the the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. Shopping was also a plus. H & M is my new favorite store. And I liked seeing Kristy. She's the best.
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
My friends, the Saywoods, are traveling by car through Zim in just a few days. They are from Zim but have lived in Malawi for the last 5 years. They have been planning for weeks what to say at the borders and police stops. They are planning on bringing as many groceries as possible to their relatives, but they have a 70% chance of getting them taken away at a police stop. Please keep them in your prayers in the next few weeks.
Other things to pray for:
1. traveling mercies for myself and others who are traveling (I'm leaving Malawi tomorrow and will be in New York City for 4 days)
2. peace of mind, heart, and body as I travel (believe it or not, I really don't like it!)
3. academy preparations for next year (new staff, supplies and materials coming, etc.)
Sunday, June 15, 2008
"Praise the Lord, O my soul; all my inmost being praise his holy name."
You know those times when you just feel so full of life, joy, peace, love? I think my student, Florence, said it best at Thanksgiving time when she told me she was "enoughed." That is the best word to describe how I've felt wrapping up my first year here in Malawi. Enoughed. God has provided for me in just the right ways at just the right times.
Today I woke up with all kinds of butterflies about traveling and seeing Annie off. I know I'll see her again in a couple of months, but it just means the end of yet another season. After going to the airport I went to the Mackay's for lunch. I had their daughter in my class (did you notice the past tense in that sentence?). It was so wonderful. I left amazed at how God designed us so that we could see him in each other. We are his workmanship, and the work of his hands is so evident in others. The funny thing is, most of the people there are not Christians- and I can still see reflections of who God is by the way he made them.
"Praise the Lord, all his works everywhere in his dominion, Praise the Lord, O my soul."
Thursday, June 12, 2008
Friday, May 30, 2008
1. Chapel. Reception thru 1st grades have chapel together every Friday. One class sings a song, one class recites a memory verse, and one class presents the lesson. Mrs. Mpata leads songs and it is such a priveledge to see the little ones lift their praises to the Lord.
2. Art. My class gets really excited about the art projects that I give them. They do really well when I give them freedom. And not so well when I try to restrict them.
3. Crisis nursery. I go every Friday to hold babies at the nursery. It's something I look forward to all week. I have seen miracles happen there, and it's a blessing to be part of it. My latest love is a little girl named Juliette. Her twin brother's name is Julius. Most of the babies there don't really smile or coo. Juliette does. She tells story after story, and has the most beautiful smile. I'm going in a little while, and I'm going to remember my camera this time.
4. Potluck. Every Friday all the ABC missionaries are invited to potluck. I know that you have an idea of what a potluck is like from all the ones you've been to at your local church. Let me tell you, this is not like that at all. Jack and Nell open their home to us, there is a theme every week (Mexican, soup and salad, KFC, etc.). There can be as many as 70 people on any given Friday (including the kids, who make up about half of that number).
5. Scrapbooking. LeAnne and I have started scrapbooking on Friday's after potluck. I started one of my classroom to show to you all when I get back. It's turning out really cute. Although it is picturless at the moment. It costs about $1.00 to print a picture here. No thanks, I'll wait for 14 cents and Costco this summer.
I really need prayer for the next two weeks- there is so much to do!! Here are some specific things:
- Field Trip- Crocodile farm. Safe travel there and back
- Packing up my classroom, organizing and trying to be ready for next year
- One particular student who is really struggling with math, and one with reading
- Wrapping up my first year in Malawi. It's full of emotions and so am I!
- Safe travel back to the states
- Praise: Selah Grace Leboffe has joined us, and so has Elijah Forrest Goodnight Robbins
Saturday, May 3, 2008
That's Mr. Guise in the background- he's my assistant. He wanted to wear an apron too.
Putting on the finishing touches. They each got to choose rainforest animals to draw and glue into the rainforest.
The finished product. Sure, bats live in the canopy layer of the rainforest and tocans are as big as trees! Not too bad for 19 first graders though!
Please pray that I can focus on the things I have to do for the rest of the year. I really need to be able to be productive in the time that I devote to working in my classroom. I also have conferneces coming up in a couple of weeks and I'm nervous! Pray also for my students- that they would stay focused and the few who are really struggling would made some significant progress in the next 6 weeks.
Friday, April 4, 2008
A story about my breakfast. I woke up at about 7 a.m. feeling like I'd had a good night of sleep. I had to get out of bed because my mosquito net was touching my face, which is about the worst feeling ever. I was also really hungry. Now, breakfast in Malawi is a little bit tricky. I have been trying not to buy cereal because it costs about $6.00 for 1 weeks worth, plus milk, which costs upwards of $6.00 per gallon (and tastes disgusting). So, that means I spend close to $12 a week on breakfast, seems a little high to me. Anyway yesterday I bought a new hot cereal to try. We had this really yummy cream of wheat type stuff in Cape Town so I thought this might be it.
I went out into the kitchen and started making this new stuff. It's called Mealie Meal. (I guess that should have been my first clue). It smells not so good. I cook it anyway. I see black things in it. I cook it anyway. It starts to thicken, looks gross, and smells gross. I keep cooking. It's done cooking, I put it in the bowl. Taste it. Gross. I'm about to eat it anyway because 1. I'm hungry, and 2. I feel like I haven't given it a fair chance. Upon closer inspection of the black things they are found to be bugs. I start to pick them out and eat it anyway. But I just can't do it. Not today. Sorry Mealie Meal, the South African favourite of families, not for me.
Tuesday, April 1, 2008
I know a lot of people from Zim, and I can't even imagine what it's like to be completely displaced from your country, and to know that it's in shambles. Please pray for Shelley, Glenda, and Owen, fellow staff at the academy who are from Zimbabwe.
For more information:
http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1726790,00.html?xid=rss-world (this one's good)
Saturday, March 29, 2008
Day Two: Boulder Beach, Cape of Good Hope and Cape Point. Words can not describe how beautiful. Seriously.
If I continue day by day this will be the longest blog ever. So here's the rest of the pictures I want to show you. We ate a lot of good food, enjoyed the scenery at the wineries, and of course, did some shopping. And saw wild animals- penguins, baboons, dolphins, creepy birds, ostriches. This baboon was trying to break into these people's car. He even took a swat at the girl. Or as Annie said, the gorilla beat up a woman.
Annie and Andy are eating delicious food. Andy is eating crocodile, springbok, ostrich and warthog. Annie's just eating a hamburger. The bottom picture is the three of us enjoying an Easter picnic at one of the oldest wineries in Stellenbosh.