I'm engageeeeeeedddddddd!!! I couldn't think of any other way to start this blog entry :) Many have asked how he did it, so let me take this forum to tell the story!
Every Saturday morning, Sydney takes me on a "coffee date" where we can catch up, talk about the week and he can tell me about his sermon if he's preaching the next day. We always go to a little cafe called "Blue Moon" but on the 5th, Friday, he asked if we could try out a new place called "Sandy's Creations." So, on Saturday morning I picked him up and (as is my custom since I knew he started ring shopping) checked for any ring box sized bulges in his pockets. There was no mistaking the flat pockets- so off we went and I didn't suspect a thing! We went and had breakfast at Sandy's which is a beautiful gardens place with an amazing pool and flowers and trees- so gorgeous. We sat there for hours, talking and chatting about life and eachother and love. Finally it came time to leave but before we got up, he said "Oh by the way, you thought we came here for breakfast but... we didnt". He then reached into his BACK pocket (the sneak!) and pulled out a white ring box!! He made a beautiful speach of which I didnt hear not ONE word because I was bawling- and then he asked me to give him the honour of being his wife!
I said yes, by the way! Now traditionally here there is an engagement party where the ring is given in front of a big crowd and the answer is obviously known. He took a big risk doing it the "American" way- just the two of us, and apparently I gave him a serious panic attack when i started to cry cause he started second guessing !! I am so grateful tho, for this memory of just me and him in the bright sunshine smelling the beautiful flowers and confessing our love and commitment to eachother- I wouldn't trade it for the world!
So- We are getting married! The date is 22 June, and he has sacrificed having his family and friends be able to attend in order to appease me and allow me to have it in the US, knowing we'll now be spending the rest of our lives here in Africa. I wish there were some way to at least get his brother, Bright, who has been a God send to both of us there for the wedding as a representative for Sydney far from home, but we are still trying to figure out how to make that possible. We will then have a separate party here, in Lusaka for his family and friends and my Zambian family.
It will be expensive just in terms of travel and visas and all of that logistical stuff, so we are planning on a budget and trying to squeeze two celebrations into that tight budget so pray with us as we try to be as wise as possible.
We will be moving to Kasama, which is about 10 hours from Lusaka. Sydney, Lord willing, will be ordained as the pastor of Kasama Baptist Church next year, and I will follow. This does mean that I will be leaving the LION of Zambia orphan ministry in about 6 months. It is such a bitter sweet thought for me. I have dreamed of finding a man like Sydney my whole life, and he is truly a gift from God that I don't deserve. I will follow him joyfully to the ends of the earth. This marraige does, however, mean leaving behind over 40 children that I have come to love, cherish and that I have been mothering the best way I can for two years. It also means leaving my best friend, Fanny and her family- Maureen and hers, the williamsons and NOT to mention my FAMILY at Mount Makulu Baptist Church who have been there for me and loved me for the past two years, most especially the Mwondela's and Sakufiwa's and all related parties... So much of my heart and soul has been invested in Lusaka and all these people and families, but I trust God has used me how He saw fit for that time.
I am looking forward to starting life (because marraige is really where this new life starts) with Sydney as the pastors wife and main support system and encourager. I am anxious to see what doors God opens for me there, and how I will be able to minister and serve and what I will be able to do with everything He has taught me thus far. I have big plans for a ministry there- but Sydney has put his foot down that the first year of marraige is to be just us, and I am submitting (yea... submitting! haha!). It will be a big year for him starting out in his first official pastorate, in a new place and settling in there, and so my ministry in 2013 will be Sydney!
In two weeks we are going together to Kasama to see the place we will be living for the first time! keep us in prayer!
Now- thats my exciting news! In terms of the work here, things are going well. PLEASE pray for our grade 7's and grade 9's who have major exams coming up in the next few weeks. (Wisdom, Robert, Tisa, Kaumba, Kelley, Morgan, Francis, Ruth and Felix) and all the others who will be wiritng tests and end of the year exams.
Nathan just finished his first term at univeristy!! Such a proud moment when I went to pick him up and we emptied out his dorm room into my car so he could be home for break. Keep him in prayer as he continues his higher education (he is studying medicine).
Rabecca has been sick on and off lately. They had said it wasnt malaria, then treated her FOR malaria, but she can't seem to kick it! Otherwise, we haven't had too many health issues.
Alex is doing well and does not need to be on any serious medicaions for the time being, and he is putting on weight! We are very thanful for that.
We plan to have a pool party in November, and then Christmas party in December!! Looking forward to these fun times to round out the tough year we've had.
I myself have been in and out of the clinic for 3 weeks with terrible flu symptoms, painful coughing, bloodshot and painful eyes and a number of other odd things. It seems to FINALLY be leaving me!
I think that's all I can come up with for now... just know the hot season sun has NOTHING on the shine of my smile right now... God is good!!!!