We are the Davis'

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Christmas or “Kimishish” in KiKaonde

 We are two weeks shy of having lived in Zambia for one year. That is so hard to believe. Part of me feels like we just got here and another part of me feels like I can’t even remember what carpet looks like or what Diet Coke tastes like. Anyways, this post is not about our one year mark, that will come later.

Jeremy and I have been married for three years now, and we have only been home for one Christmas so far in our marriage. Our Jamaican honeymoon fell on Christmas and now our third Christmas together has been spent in Africa. It’s hard to get into the Christmas spirit when you are constantly sweating from the heat and you are outside planting flowers. It did not feel real to me until Christmas Eve, when our team shared in a Christmas dinner and a game of charades together. Every year the Davis family plays a game of charades in Ooltewah, TN, so, since three out of the five families on our team here are Davis’s we decided to carry on the tradition. It was a fun night, and Erin’s parents were our special guests as they are here visiting.

Christmas day was bittersweet. It finally hit me that Christmas was here, and we weren’t home for it. However, I am SO thankful for technology. We were able to talk to our parents and did some skyping. I was able to chat with my sweet grandmother, who sang me Christmas carols over the phone for about 15 minutes. Jeremy and I had presents to open (we received amazing care packages from our parents). We went to Konkwa church that morning which is about a 30 minute walk from here. We walked to church, and Jeremy preached on the meaning of Christmas. Which looks a lot different in Zambia, than it probably did at our churches back home. In Zambia, New Years is the big holiday and the churches will come together to celebrate and cook a big meal. Christmas is not celebrated as much in the villages.  

Jeremy and I then came home and rested before we started cooking for our meal we were having that night with Jason, Erin and her parents. We concluded the night with some fireworks with the kids on our team.

We missed home very much. But, we definitely appreciate all that we have so much more being here. I hope everyone back home had a Merry Christmas! Thank you for keeping us in your prayers.
Here are a couple of pictures from Erin's camera, I forgot to use mine over the holidays.
Having a Christmas ladies tea, hosted by Mrs. Ellie.

Christmas Eve with the whole team

Monday, December 19, 2011

Three Years

Three years ago today, I became Mrs. Jeremy Davis! It has been an incredible three years. I am blessed and so thankful. How do you put in to words what your marriage means to you? I don't know, but these three years have been the years I've loved the most and grown the most. We are blessed.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Fields and Christmas

After the day I had yesterday I am so grateful for a God that is so much bigger than me. I am thankful for his hand which is stretched out over those I cannot reach and over things I simply do not and will not understand. I am thankful that he is with my 91 year old grandmother as she fights back pains in Rome, GA and is having to take an unexpected 30 day stint in a live-in rehab to heal. I miss her and wish I could sit with and listen to her stories to pass the time, but God is there. On the opposite end of the world, I am thankful for how God is working in Mumena. He has been here, and he always will be.

Yesterday after a few morning chores, I went to visit a family in their village. One quick, 15 minute bike ride away. When I arrived, only the grandmother was still sitting under the kensanza, and I figured the parents and kids were in their field. The grandmother sent me out with her niece to get to my friend's field. After a long, sketchy walk through the bush, we arrived in an open field where I saw the family all out working. I was happy to be alive at that point, because we walked through grass that was as high as my waist. As I began walking through the field to meet up with the parents, all the little boys starting yelling "WHIT-I-NEY, WHIT-I-NEY!!" We turn my name into 3 syllables here because it is a lot easier to say for everyone. I LOVE hearing those boys call my name so loudly, nothing can make your heart melt more. My friends, Cosmas and Josephine handed me a hoe, and I joined them in their planting. They had arrived at the field that morning at 7 am. When I had found them it was 2 pm, and they had no plans to leave anytime soon. They had not eaten and just planned to make a meal once they finished for the day. About two hours later, it began to rain pretty hard, and I knew it would be getting dark in a couple of hours, and I should begin the path back to find my bike and then ride on home before it flooded. The kids were tired and ready to head home too, so they escorted me back to their house where my bike was. We then began the "high grass"walk back to the village. It started raining even harder, and the boys couldn't stop laughing because we were all soaked. I was laughing but also a bit terrified that between the 2, 5 and 6 year olds traveling with me--one of them was going to get bit by a snake, I was just sure of it. Of course, they make these journeys every single day. We all made it back to the village safe and wet.

Once I finally made it home and got in bed I couldn't help thinking about all of the decisions I get to make in life and the choices I have. My sweet friends would be up at 6 am the next morning to spend the day in the field all over again. There is so much to be thankful for. Although this is the way I perceive my life and theirs, God is right there in the middle of their lives as well making things happen. We are blessed.

In other news...just in case, you were curious what our house looks like at Christmas time, here are the pictures to document Jeremy and I's Christmas in Zambia.

There's our Christmas open house. Quite cozy :)

Monday, December 5, 2011

Sunday Blessings

Yesterday we had a full and rewarding day. Jason, Erin, Jeremy and I all set off for the refugee camp for church. We were going to worship at Rd. 68 church because one of Jeremy and Jason’s close friends had just lost his baby. Very tragic situation, but all too common in Zambia.

The service was great as usual. Rd. 68 church of Christ is one of the oldest churches we have worked with, and they are all Congolese. They get VERY involved in worship: loud clapping like you’ve never heard before and singing until they sweat. After church, two of the young men who had come for the Congolese seminar last month asked to be baptized by their mentor John, who is also Congolese. We were excited to tag along.

After worship, Jeremy and I were dropped off at Kayonge church to help them complete their building. They had been saving money and resources for almost a year now and the day had finally come. The men spent the afternoon putting on the roof, and I was able to spend some down time with the women that attend Kayonge. It was an important step in our ongoing relationship with the church, and I was humbled to see the time and effort they put in to their meeting place. The ladies had even planted flowers on either sides of the front door.

It was a full day out. In Zambian time that may only be 10 hours, but for a non-Zambian who is immersed in a different culture, it feels as if you’ve been without sleep for two days straight. We came home very fulfilled but very tired and went straight to bed.