It's Sunday afternoon here - well, evening really. 6:08pm to be precise. The temperature here is 86 degrees. I have been inside all afternoon, it is a bit overcast outside but probably not unpleasant.
Michael arrived about 9:45ish am CDT which was about 4:45ish pm South Africa time - they are seven hours ahead of us.
In Johannesburg, South Africa it is 1:08am (tomorrow) and the temperature is 41 degrees (according to my weather channel desktop application). He left yesterday from DFW airport at ~11:50am. The last word I have from him is a text at 2:11pm CDT that he had just landed in Dulles in D.C. He had not met up with Michelle yet. Once he saw Michelle, I had no chance to get any kind of reply, repsonse, etc. He hasn't seen her since early March and even though he talks to her several times a day, I know that heaven and earth faded from view once he laid eyes upon her. To say that he loves her is an understatement. Actually, we all love her, but we do still know our surroundings when she is near. Once he is sure that she is not going to disappear, and that she is going to be with him for the duration of the trip, he will get his bearings again.
Doug and I are not going to Zambia this year after all. We are both at peace with this decision, so don't feel sorry for us. Maui (Doug's mom) was diagnosed with ALS or Lou Gherig's Disease about this time last year. She has had some changes since spring break and Doug just doesn't want to spend so much time, and such a great distance away from her. I agree with Doug. Maui has been my 2nd "mom" for 29 years now. She treats me like she treats her own children and always has. She came to help me after I had my babies (one mom is good - two moms are better). My mom couldn't take care of my kids when they had Chicken Pox because she has never had it, so Maui came and stayed for almost three weeks. I don't know how to relate to people who don't like their mother-in-laws because my has always been so wonderful... but I digress. I feel like I should be here for her - and I want to be. There are other reasons why we are not going this year, but I don't want this blog to be a big list. Let's just say that God has put overwhelming evidence in front of us to confirm that this is just not the year for us to do the ZMM. We have trip insurance so we are out only a small amount and we have just rolled the rest over to the 2009 mission.
I will probably not "hear" from him while he is gone. I might get an email from him if he can get access to the computer when they have down time at Namwianga. I am o.k. with this because I have been two times myself and I know how things work there. Also, Michael has been twice before. I know he will be fine. I will keep up with the ZMM mission group via the blog site http://www.zmm2008.blogspot.com/. If you would like to keep up with the mission and pray for its success, I would appreciate that, too.
Well, I had to stop for a while and go to work. I am back home now and will just stop the blog here. Maybe tomorrow I will write about what Michael will be doing while he is there. In the next few days I will write about some of my adventures on my last two trips and post a few pictures for you.
It is currently 5:48am in Johannesburg and 39 degrees. He will leave there in about 5 1/2 hours for Livingstone, Zambia. He will arrive in Livingstone around 1:00pm and then take a 3 1/2 hour bus ride back to the mission at Namwianga. He will get there in time to clean up before supper. He will be tired, but happy to be at his 'home away from home', where familiar faces will greet him with big smiles and warm hugs.
Leza amuleleke! (God bless you!)