Email Excerpts From Chad

2011 March 15

23 Jan 2011
Jonathan and I have a papaya garden now. I'm really enjoying that. We had a worker boy put a fence around our well which included our papaya garden and some other room. That way the goats won't eat our plants. We also had bricks stacked high around our banana trees. We were happy when this got finished because we really don't like the goats and pigs eating our precious banana trees. One day, before they were protected with bricks, a pig ate down at the base of the tree making one of the trees fall over. When I saw the pig having his great meal I ran outside after him with my shoe and threw it at him, but missed. I chased him bare footed down the little dirt path. He ran away so fast that I think he might have been scared that we wanted to eat him for lunch! Unfortunately, Icut my foot on a rock and limped around a little for several days. Next time I think I'll wear shoes.

Setting up our hut has been really exciting, but a lot of work. We have a big wide board across two barrels on which we set fresh food and other food items that we use a lot. Underneath the big board/counter between the two barrels we have several buckets of food stacked. This set up is working really nice. Our bed is propped up high now with storage underneath. Jonathan rigged up a facet connected to the bottom of a big bucket that we have up high next to the sink. This works for running water for now (we don't have running water to our hut yet) and is so helpful in washing dishes. That was really nice of him to make for me. In general our hut is mostly set up now and is clean and tidy. It is so nice not to have it such a mess from unpacking and setting up anymore.

Melody and Jonathan

13 February 2011
Three Snakes:
Lately we have seen three snakes. The first one they say is not poisonous but we killed it before we asked. I saw it while Jonathan and I were leaving our hut on Sabbath afternoon (8 days ago). It was right near the front of our hut hurrying away under our grass fence.

We saw the second snake when Jonathan and I were returning from a walk one night last week. We had been out in the bush walking and talking out toward the end of the runway and before we came back it got dark. On the way back to the runway we had our light on. Then when we got to the runway Jonathan turned off the light. Just as we turned off the taxiway onto a little path leading to our hut Jonathan turned his light back on. Immediately before us lay a poisonous snake. It was about 3 or 4 walking steps in front of us! I was so thankful that Jonathan turned on his light and thankful to God for this too. Jonathan gave me the flashlight and then picked up a brick that was, thankfully, beside us. With one mighty blow Jonathan hit the snake with the brick. It mostly died fairly quickly.

We found some locals before going back home and asked them what the snake was called. They call it a Viper of the Sand. The one we killed was very small but sometimes the small ones can actually be the most dangerous.

We thank God for protecting us! And from now on we are going to use our lights a LOT more at night.

We don't know for sure if the third snake was poisonous or not but I think the locals say it was. It was laying right between the screen door and the outer door of Gary and Wendy's house. I was just about to step in the house when Jonathan saw the snake and pulled me back. It slithered away and went into the tool shed close by.

We appreciate your prayers for us! We know that God can protect us and we are so thankful for serving such a wonderful God who does!

Melody and Jonathan

2 March 2011
It actually rained a fews drops last week! (It isn't supposed to rain until May or June.) A big wind storm came and we could just feel the atmosphere change. It felt and smelled like rain was coming. That was exciting but Jonathan and I were a bit worried because our hut roof is not fixed yet. It is full of leaks and badly needs a new layer of grass on it. We can look up and see sunlight during the day in multiple places. We are still in the process of getting new grass. I did feel several small drops but thankfully it didn't rain much at all.

Last week while I was working on washing our sorghum, to my dismay I found rat poop in it! That is really disgusting and I'm sure we are probably eating rat poop every time we eat sorghum. I find bugs in our beans regularly too. For some reason I wasn't so bothered by bugs before I starting washing and sorting myself. Now, I actually see them and that is gross. Jonathan and I are still eating beans and sorghum though. I am just having to get used to this a bit more now and that's okay. I want to use local food even though I get a little grossed out at times. For the most part, we are actually eating very well! We still have fresh food everyday and other varieties of tasty food also including some food that came on a container for the hospital. God is blessing us so much!

While I was washing the dishes one day I discovered a very long centipede hiding under the zip lock bags. I was just moving them and there it was! I cut it's head off with a kitchen knife but it still ran around. I cut a little further down his neck but that still didn't kill it! I finally put it in a bucket to show Jonathan when he came in from work. After showing him I finally decided to cut it into several pieces with a scissors. This worked a lot better but when I tossed the thing outside I saw one of the little pieces move. This is amazing. Those things are really hard to kill!

On Sunday Jonathan and I went on the motorcycle to the river for a picnic and swim. We like to do this sometimes as a means for a break and some quiet time away from all the interruptions we get at home (there are lots of needs here). On the way we fell and both got burned. The sand was so deep. It was bound to happen sometime. Jonathan gave me his extra T-shirt to wrap around my burn. Then he noticed his burn. Jonathan's burn is a larger area then mine but not as bad. My burn seared off the first layer of skin completely and looks kind of nasty. It didn't hurt much the first few days but then it got infected and has been taking a long time to heal.

We want to get the locals more involved in leading out at church so on Sabbath we assigned Franco's wife to do the nature lesson and Aaron to do the Bible story. We are excited about this.

God is blessing here and progress is moving forward slowly but surely. Progress is definitely being made even though it's taking longer then we wish. Please pray that we can get a lot done before the rains come. We need to finish Gary and Wendy's house, the hanger, and put up a lot of churches, if possible, before the rains. All things are possible with God and we appreciate your prayers.

Melody and Jonathan