Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Jacaranda...how I love thee...

In tribute to the beautiful purple Jacaranda trees here I color this blog purple. How I love Africa, let me count the ways....
1. The Jacaranda tree in full bloom, which towers across roads, yards, rooftops and into the heart of the people.It's little trumpet-shaped blossoms falling on your head like fresh snow falls to the earths' surface in winter. It is refreshing, the smell, the sensual illumination...God did it all for us, he left NO stone unturned and if we look we see perfection all around us in every moment.
2. The faces of the children who do like seeing me on campus. There are three in particular whom I am falling deeply in love with. These children have good loving parents and two of the three speak wonderful english. It is an honor to be counted in their adult friend group. They come, find me, and hold my hand while we talk. Such kindness is a blessing.
3. A hard day of work on the house and in lesson planning, that ends in a great outdoor co-ed volleyball game with a volleyball that looks like it is kin to the one Tom Hanks used as a "friend" on CastAway, the movie.
4. The early a.m. chapel. No, I don't yearn to be up and fully dressed at 7 a.m. but since that is the way of life here, I am growing into it. The fact that at 7:25 a.m. every one of the staff and college students are up and praising the Lord  in Chapel. Just brilliantly beautiful and NOT a dull soul in the place. 
5. Sunrises and Sunsets. As I get up the morning I hear the birds banging on my tin roof. Funny thing, I priced a new tin roof in the U.S> for our home in Normal. I wanted it so badly, this roof would have cost me 10K! Now, here, I get a tin roof inclusive! SO COOL. Well the birds banging on it happens daily. But after awakening I see out the window a beautiful!
To bed, I see a sunset out the kitchen window that is amazing. The yellow.orange glow shining through the purple life of the Jacaranda.,..words leave me speechless!
And to think, It is all for the glory of God..this makes it worth more than words.


Sunday, September 23, 2012

Bendiga, blessings...bariki, blessings

So, God gave me the opportunity this weekend to immerse myself in the culture group here known as the refugees. Who is that group? It is a set of people who have left their country to come to this country to stay for a time period and to be kept safe from harm and to have their needs taken care of by this land. Here, if you immigrate from a country as a refugee, you don't stay in the general public initially- you go to the camp. Some of my students that attend the school here are from the refugee camp and have made conscious decisions to trust the Lord for their provision. In trusting him, they have come to the Nazarene Theological College of Central Africa for a time period for education.
Why did I go to the camp? Well a few weeks back the college chaplain, Rev. Phiri mentioned he was asked to do a wedding there. As a nosy US person, I thought whoot, I am gonna do this! I said I would like to go and in so doing I was allowed.
Saturday morning I got dressed up. Dressed just like I would in the U.S. because it was a wedding.
When we arrived there was no big barrier, there were no tents, there were not people waiting in and outside the gates, it just seemed as though we stumbled upon a large subdivision. We crossed some rather rough roads in the camp and arrived at the church. A wedding of a couple I did not know and I was being allowed to go. Rev. Phiri had called ahead and so they knew I was coming. This man, Abusa (Pastor) John was to wed someone he loved, Miss Nadine! Abusa is over the Church of the Nazarene in that camp. He is a delightful man.  Then, we spent the next nearly four hours in worship, in prayer, in the ceremony of this couple. Part of the tradition here is that the bride and groom are stoic. They come in and it is more like a funeral dirge than a wedding of two people who love one another. They look so sad and withdrawn. They look forced and scared outta their minds just as they are marrying. Then as he pronounces them man and wife and they move forward to the hall they look happy!
After the ceremony we went to the house of the Uncle, I believe, of the bride. There, we went into their front room...about the size of a U.S. laundry room. About twenty five of us joined them there. The family, Rev Phiri, two students from the camp who went with us and helped me immensely with translation. Instantly, the bride was smiling. She was happy. She ousted her new husband and asked me to sit with her as her sister. She said, you are my sister. That was about the extent of the English she spoke during my time there. In that room, we were served a great feast. We had rice, nsima, fries (a big staple here, not wimpy fries either), hard-boiled eggs, set atop a slice of tomato, served on a bed of coleslaw, there was fried bird necks (maybe ducks), some sort of meat ribs, yummy tomato sauce, and ICE cold Fanta orange soda. First it is a ceremonial handwashing, they bring you a basin of water and then they run it over your hands to clean them. This is so beautiful and I think it is a kind way to welcome people. A prayer over the meal and then we shared. Oh my, never in my life did I think I would eat the neck. When it comes with the turkey I THROW IT away! But alas, it was perfectly crisp and a delightful treat on my palate. We spent so much time enjoying this meal and sharing fellowship with the company. I would have been lost were it not for my student Elysee who helped with the french/swahili translation.

Then we went for pictures. They take pictures at a beautiful place, somewhere lovely. We ended up at a school area, taking photos. It was of key importance for her that I be in so many of the photos. Really felt like the old song, I'm so glad I'm a part of the family of God. I was her family for this moment in time, it was such a beautiful thing in my life. Words are not there, speechless over this...
Then, we drove to a nearby area. We were not really driving for any specific reason, other than to assess this area. The area is called Dowa. As we were about to pass a hospital I said, oh let's go in, I would love to see it. The care made an immediate turn. We walked around the wards, they are all individual buildings...we ended up in the children's ward. They allowed us to come in. The smell in the air was burnt skin. As we walked, we saw each child. The first ones we spoke with were in a roomed off area (the wards are really just 45 beds stacked in a room by disease type). This room contained two children and three women. The two children had severe body burns. The type that children do not usually live through and end up with many grafts and repairs. It was beautiful how God allowed us to pray with them and one child, Lodita, the mother allowed me to touch it's head. It was a sense of the fact we are all mankind, we speak in different tongues and we look so different, but we are all human with a heart. Our hearts beat the same way in all bodies (or they should) and it was such a moment in my life I will never forget. I do not think that child will ever forget the moment the mzungu came in and touched them either.
The reception was wonderful, I could go on for ages, but alas, I just tell you this. God is ever changing our hearts and lives. He moved me beyond words this weekend. A trip to the camp has left me with new vision for life and new passion for these people. The people of the warm heart of Africa, Malawi.
 

Friday, September 21, 2012

From Leyana: A post about Africa

Life here in Malawi is getting easier everyday. Some days we go the whole day without power and some days it is just the evening without power for three hours. But no matter what, if it is at night time we are singing hymns.
For some of you, who have never been out of the states, this would be hard with you. For us it is something we were prepared for because when we went to Senegal we went without power. I think God was thinking, "I am going to prepare them for what they are going to go through in Malawi." Because he certainly prepared us to go without power for 3-5 hours. I am grateful to God that we actually have power most of the time. And when we have power, my Mom cooks everything we will possibly need for the next few meals.
Here in Malawi we have to boil water to wash dishes. Then you wash twice and rinse. The water here isn't like it is in the states so it is not unlimited and it is also not purified. We get our water and we don't have to do anything to it in the States, but here that is different. You can not drink tap water here. 
School here is different, too. We do a lot of different subjects that we don't do in the United States.
Well, I just want to say I hope you all are well!
Leyana

Mzungu. Learn to love you.

"the little girls at the back of the bus, they used to laugh and call us names, they would talk about our hair, our clothes, and call us homemade"-Nicole C. Mullen
As I have wandered the streets of home, Area 25C, daily it has been brought to my attention that this new environment has not been exposed to the large variety of people that are in my other home, Normal, Illinois. As I walk, I hear snickers, gasps, and often outright verbal noise that says, hmmmm you are different. Mostly what I hear is, "mzungu" and then a burst of laughter. At first, it was very disheartening, because I didn't know what they were saying. Then I was told that is white person by a few people on campus. When I googled it tonight though I found something that says it truly means one who wanders aimlessly. Some children laugh when they say mzungu and so I have been praying that the word would be joy to my soul. It is my identity that I am white. It is my heritage as much as if I think African when I see the children. I am so blessed to be who God intended me to be.
"I am a promise, I am a possibility,
I am a promise, with a capital P,
I am a great big bundle of potentiality,
I am learning, to hear God's voice,
and I am trying, to make the right choice,
I am a promise to be anything God wants me to be!"
Today I was at the Blessings Centre with two of my students when I needed to go to the back house to see someone. As I rounded the corner there were a host of children who were playing. Each of these children has a special need, they are the different children in Malawian society. But they all yelled, "MZUNGU" and I looked, I said, YES! and they ran from where they were playing over and embraced me. Oh my goodness, my soul was flooded with joy! I am a great big bundle of potentiality...try not to get overwhelmed, stay calm, love your neighbor as yourself, grow in grace daily, and most of all...keep your eyes on what God wants you to be.
Jesika

Friday, September 14, 2012

Rain rain rain...


It rained here today. First rain I have seen in over two weeks of being here and it smelled good. The ground smells the same in Africa as it does in America. The water wets the pavement and soil and nature releases the fragrance of the Earth. The earth is the same here, God’s perfected creation-once flooded by the same skies that released small drops of rain today. The sun has yet to return to us but it is there, behind the clouds peeking and asking permission to return and scald the earths’ surface. Alas, I am happy for a day with cooler temperatures it brings some peace to the congested days of heat and sweat.

We are well. Leyana has learned a lot about culture here in her classes at school. The time came yesterday when she hadn’t time for her homeschooling and we talked about removing her from the school here. Never fear, our friends, there is plenty of time for learning at home. We have curriculum from the states and I don’t teach until the afternoons. So we have instituted that she will dive into serious homeschooling tomorrow after chapel and focus on completion of necessary studies. This will enable her time in the afternoons with friends and with socialization. She has developed some darling friends here, in this way the Lord has blessed us.

Internet has been down for over 24 hours. I don’t know what happened to it but it is gone and so we have spent time just hanging out. I am lesson planning, she is working on life skills. We are out in the campus talking to neighbors, friends, learning about Africa from their perspectives. We are not surrounded by native Malawians so we are fortunate to learn about ALL of Africa here.

On one side our neighbors are from Zimbabwe, they say their life was very different in Zimbabwe. And their acculturation to the country of Malawi took years. They have beautiful children who moved here in very formative phases of life, some have adapted well, others long to leave. Isn’t that the way when we move from state-to-state in the United States? Our children usually long to return to home and if fortunate enough to return find it changed and unlike their memory banks.  The thing is their native tongue is neither English nor Chichewa, it is all learning for them as well.

On the other side we have neighbors who were originally from Ivory Coast. That is a completely different world I can guarantee you. It is like being from California and moving to New York City. Very different indeed their lives have been here. Only, in the middle, they lived in Manchester, England. There is nothing similar about Manchester, England as to Lilongwe, Malawi with the exception of maybe the side of the road we drive upon in both places. Their daughters all sound British when they speak. Their formative years have been divided. Their mother is a beautiful woman and their father a very skilled preacher. The ideas that they speak are mixed with emotion of not knowing home. A challenge at times to speak positively of life changes due to all the difference in their lives. The oldest of their home has just been accepted into a national school for her last years of school and left home two days ago. She is only a young teenager and will board hours away in a school with other strangers, another change in her life that modifies input/output sensory.

We are blessed. Our time here was volunteer, the Lord hand-picked this destination for a time for us. We will return to our life in the United States, where Starbucks is down the road, Von Maur still has free shipping and wrapping, and Meijer is open 24 hours a day. Our church will still sing in English, our people will still worship at the family meal each month, and our friends will still come for dinner which will be cooked with power on and water at our reach. I observe that this will somehow change the return. I long for that change and awareness of my time here. I yearn to know what it is that the Lord has for me in this time here. After all, the Earth is the same, the smell of the rain is the same, the sun shines here as it does at home….but something will go with me. I pray that the Lord reveals this in our time here and that I am prepared to receive what it is that the Lord has for me.
Love y'all!
Jesika

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Perekani, Perekani

Lessons learned in Malawi now include things at the rural "bush" wedding. As an American we hold high to our values of a white dress and the attention being on the bride (and sometimes on the groom) and on how sacred the day is to them. Yesterday, we had the great fortune of seeing a different side of the world and how they view their day. We went about an hour down the road and we then turned off and went another hour into the rural area. It was not a pleasant drive due to the bumpiness but God was with us. When we arrived at the town, the children came to the church (we were the only vehicle in the town). Then when we got out they were in shock. One of the men later told me that Leyana was the only white child to ever visit the town (or what he said was the only child with no color).  We listened to the kids sing, watched them dance, and tried to be friendly to them. I can not imagine if I had never seen a person who was black/brown/African and then all of a sudden to be introduced. I will tell you, the babies cried. All except one, Christina, she was young enough to just stare at me and let me hold her. Funny thing, Leyana made friends with Brenda, which was the name of one of my childhood best friends who was african-american. The experience was unnerving for Leyana. She isn't sure how to react when the children laugh, touch, and possibly mock her. The language barrier for her caused her to be scared. It was brilliant to watch this out of a child who has never been scared of her shadow, I hope God uses these moments to bring her into his fullness and faithfulness. We heard the word brought by Rev. David Mosher to the children-translated by a young ministerial student from the campus, Philemon. He told them of the full truth found in John 3:16. It was beautiful. God is so real, if we listen we hear him. The wedding, well the wedding there was about telling the story of God's faithfulness. We heard the truth from the word about waiting to love, learning to love, patience and God's faithfulness in love. We watched the couple exchange wedding vows, exchange rings, and exchange their kiss. It was really interesting. They act shy and cautious, it is sweet. She had rented a very pretty white dress and veil, gloves and shoes. He had on white suit, white shoes and a great smile. She chose the color sage green for her bridesmaid (one) and her junior bridesmaid (one) and her flower girl wore white. 
It was precious.
At the end of the ceremony there is a time of dancing. The couple sat up front where they were through the ceremony and then they put down a piece of material. When they started chanting and singing, people came and threw money on the material. Then they danced away. This happened over and over with money being thrown...lots of money in fact. This is part of the ceremony. It is called Perekani, perekani, which translated means give offering. Really enjoyable watching how happy people got giving the money. The money is then used to curb wedding expenses, pay for needs, and start new life.

The rest of the experience to the reception and after was beyond words. I will say that we were treasured guests and I felt at peace the whole time, watching how the world responds and how we respond to the world. Philemon and Teresa live here on campus, would you pray for them. They are wonderful people and helped to ease any discomfort we may have experienced in our first trip to the rural area.
What if we gave and gave, what if our offerings stretched deeper into our pockets. What if perekani was a dance of happiness to the Lord, what if when we gave we danced to the offering plate and gave of ourselves? Tithe shouldn't be painful, we rejoice in the marriage of Christ to the church (his bride), what if we invested into that marriage in the same way that they invest into the marriage of new young love in the perekani celebration. God wants for us in the same way that a bridegroom wants for his bride. He wants us to have love, peace, blessing and happiness. He yearns for his bride to be happy and blessed, safe and growing in knowledge. What if we had this and more!
I say, the next time you give, try to outgive God. We can't, perekani, perekani, give offerings!
From here to next time,

jesika

Friday, September 7, 2012

Help!

I wanted to share with you an exciting fundraising opportunity. We don't normally post about these on the blog directly, but this one is a fun one that I get to do right before I head to Africa!

On Saturday September 22nd, I will be participating in a 50 mile bike ride from State Farm Park out to Dawson Lake via Downs and back, and I'm looking for people to sponsor me!

Would you consider sponsoring me 50 cents, $1, or more a mile?

The money will go towards our ministry in Africa and will go directly towards those ministry expenses.

If you'd like to sponsor me, I ask that you please post a comment to this blog entry (just like you'd sign a paper sponsorship form), or if you'd prefer to sponsor anonymously, send me an email letting me know how much a mile you are willing to sponsor.

Then, you can go online to our fundraising site, http://web.nazarene.org/goto/moore.malawi and make your donation on there!

I'm also hoping, that now MapMyRide now provides live tracking, to live track the event so if you'd like to follow me live on the map, add me as a friend on http://www.mapmyride.com my username there is "moorea7".

We are also always looking for people to join our prayer team, so if this is something you are interested in, drop me an email to anthony@love-coffee.com. You will get an email with our prayer requests on the day or days of your choosing. I've also now added a daily prayer list for those who wish to pray for us every day, so if you're interested in getting the prayer requests every day, let me know!

Thanks and God Bless!
Anthony

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Great days in the warm heart of Africa

Power goes on. 

Power goes off.
water is on
water is off
Daytime falls again. 24 hours no internet access. 12 days without a starbucks sign in my view finder.
I sleep. I wake. The birds chirp. The dogs bark.  The roosters crow. The school kids play in my backyard. The neighbors use the outside water tap and water the garden.  The people talk in the courtyard out front. Tap tap, the birds and bugs in the ceiling make noise. Leyana speaks and breaks through my silence as I contemplate life here. It is so amazing the people here. They don't stop functioning because the toilets do. They don't stop working when the power goes out. They just cope. They learn and grow and function, I gasp for two seconds, what will I make for lunch. Oh who cares, they make Nsima and beans at the food hall everyday so I am covered. In fact, I can get three squares without worry if I like. I hear that noise again, Leyana wants to play. Sure, play. I will just finish up the dishes that are waiting.
I need to do laundry. I have possibly a whole clothesline to do. Last time I did laundry the red ants bit my legs about 47 times and I had lovely laundry done and also had lovely swollen bumps. Hm. It is a trade off. Let the piles pile or tough it out. Where are the wellie boots I need! Oh, in the U.S. Ugh! Sigh. Wait, I will go for a run instead. Ahhhh, five miles of laughter. Not by me, by the locals. I must look awful when I run. They all stare and laugh. I am the only caucasian for the whole five miles. I imagine it isn't a very pretty tapestry watching me run, but I press on. I want to live healthy here. I think to myself...a cold shower sounds good right now...well I am relieved to find the water is on when I arrive home. Oh and the shower only runs at 55 degrees farenh...so I am in luck! I shower, now what! Go out, feed Leyana on her school break.
It is so fun here. People are different. The way of life is different. The peaceful times are different. Like chapel at 7:30 a.m. There is nothing quite as soul satisfying as hearing an African choir sing to you about the love of Jesus at 7:30 in the morning. All in perfect harmony and with soulful spirits. Yes, it is different here. I can't think how students would get to chapel at Southern Nazarene University if it was at 7:30 a.m. There are some who can't make chapel by 10:00.
Today, water was on, power was off. I missed chatting with my Mom before she went to China. I miss you Mommy. I hope you can read my blog while you are there. Don't forget to get me a pretty pretty. Enjoy the river.
Special times tonight... went with Rev Mosher and Marquita to meet Wellington Obotte and Helen Obotte. They are headed stateside via Kenya tomorrow and well we were pleased to meet them before they left. Just a really darling couple. They had the gardener/yard worker clear the lemon tree for us. The house smells sublime (haha sublemon maybe) right now! Had an amazingly american tasting dinner which included our first beef since coming. Wow. 12 days no beef and neither of us missed it, but we sure did appreciate and enjoy the meal...oh yes, and cheese...mmmmmMMMM! And for me, jalapenos just about made the meal over-the-top! Loved it. Time was spent with skip-bo.
Yes, we are certainly "suffering" over here in Africa. God is with us and he is showing us how to give thanks in all things. God is mighty. he is love. he is praiseworthy. he is patience. he is virtue. he is trustworthy. he is giving. we are not in need peeps. i know you all were worried for us. well it isn't a walk in the park, but we have our chins up, our dignity intact, and God is blessing us! Miss ya, but having too much fun here to realize what we are missing.
I know one thing is for sure...I am thankful for this experience.
Phew! G'night!


Tuesday, September 4, 2012

URGENT PRAYER REQUEST!

Please pray for my neighbor and his family. Ronald, the young son of the family, has just been diagnosed with Malaria. This is very serious for such a small child! PLEASE pray!!!

Saturday, September 1, 2012

All you need is Marshmallows

I admit. We are marshmallow junkies. Leyana and I have explored every spectrum of marshmallows as we have traveled the globe called earth. We stick by the fact that the best ones we have EVER eaten are from the SPAR store in my Mother-in-laws town of Baslow, England. I mean that whole-heartedly. They are pink (the best) and white and there is just a particular taste to them that is impossible to replicate. Yes, I have even purchased them at art fairs, dollar stores, mall kiosks, from vending machines and of course have tried all of the spectacular flavors they come in at Meijer, a store chain in the U.S. We have tried peppermint, chocolate, green apple jelly filled, raspberry, coconut (a close second), dulce de leche, strawberry, organic, non-organic, kosher, halaal, homemade, and even we have stooped and just eaten the freeze dried version from the packet of hot chocolate mix. We are junkies I tell ya! Tonight, our junkie craze became a missions opportunity.
The power went out (I say, what's new?). We sat in the dining room and to candlelight we both went about our tasks. Then we heard our outside water tap turning on, running, turning off. Finally, I got up the courage to look out the window. Much to my surprise it was Mr. Banza from two doors down. I know he has a tap on his house so I went out to investigate. He said he needed to water the garden (which is near our back yard) and so he used the closest tap. Now, see if you are from America (U.S. proper) you are thinking yeah but not on my water bill, well here, who cares! So I offered him another bucket to fill alternating them. Out of the corner of my eye I thought I saw a fire. I asked him if someone was coming from around the house and he said no, just that the neighbors had a fire pit going. Ahhh...tell me what you think of? MARSHMALLOWS! Yes, so did I. Just then I saw the little boy sticking some sticks in the fire and went to chase him away from the open flame as any good NP would do out of nerves for a burn. I say to Mr. Banza, this would be perfect for a marshmallow. After he asked me to repeat it a few times I told him I would get him one. Yes, I packed them in the carry on luggage...muhahaha! See Junkie as described above. He came over, I got him a marshmallow from the kitchen (thank you Abby Posey for leaving that extra bag at our house, your ministry continues all the way in Africa). He touched it and was amazed at the soft texture and the smush that was resilient to touch but reappeared after only a few seconds in its normal state. I then took him and a spare for myself and we headed back to the fire pit. I asked the fella inside for a fork or something to use as a fire tong. He said he would get a spoon. So, on the handle of the spoon I placed a marshmallow. I lit it on fire, slowly turning it like a rotisserie handle with chicken cooking. Then just as the coat went black I blew it out. Giving them play-by-play instructions as I cooked it. Just gooey, it was as I pulled it gently from the spoon handle and placed it in my mouth. I could almost taste America. Is that why I am a junkie? Is this my American pull? Well, needless to say, I handed the spoon over and he roasted his first marshmallow. He was pleasantly surprised with texture, taste and experience altogether. It was amazing to watch a grown adult eating his FIRST smushy hot gooey yummy marshmallow (all the while praying he enjoyed it and didn't waste it). Then I went back inside and took two more marshmallows out for the neighbors who willingly shared the open fire pit. As they ate them it was beautiful to see their eyes light up and smiles appear. YES! Go God! Another connection-language barriers can not transcend the ability of the Lord to connect fellow believers.
Our life is much like that marshmallow here. For the last few days we have felt a smush over us, then the power comes back on and we return to our normal shape and texture. Then the water returns and we look normal again. We also look at things normal when we are not being smushed. Even a marshmallow has limitations to it though and it can not withstand without often suffering a tear in the texture and perfection. It is still a marshmallow and that doesn't change the taste when it hits your mouth! I also reflected on the refiner's fire tonight as we roasted those delicious treats. The outside got quite crispy and burnt but the inside remained pure gooey goodness and the only change was the melting part. God is so wanting our experience in Africa to get a little toasty on the outside and a little bit gooey-er (or MOLDABLE/PLIABLE) on the inside. Praise Him tonight for lessons learned through the simple bag of Marshmallows. Goodnight from the warm heart of Africa, Lilongwe, Malawi.
Thanks for your love and reads!

Friday, August 31, 2012

RESTORE ME!

Folks, I wasn't yet at the end until tonight, I just prepared dinner (oatmeal), turned around to make the leftover boiling water into a nice hot cup of chai when blip, the power went out! I still thought hmmm...how much more to breaking point. I was planning to do a lot of work this evening on my courses and out went the power! Don't wanna be a complainer, but I am not used to this. I have lost power in my life, gone days with rainwater to wash in, but I don't even see rain on the horizon for this country we are in and man!!!!
Then, we coped. We ate our oatmeal, recycled our cups and made chai. I decided it would get better. I won the first game. Then drip, drip, drip...what is that sound I said. WATER WATER WATER, the toilet bowl was filling with WATER! I say it again WATER! WINNING-DIAMONDS!! See to make a toilet flush here with the water out you lift a 55 pound drum up and fill it to the top and then flush once. So you no flushy flush without numero dos! Oh then you take the drum next door and fill the lil pot with water and washy washy your hands. Then the drum to the toilet, to the sink, oh wait, dishes need doing, back to the kitchen and then in the middle Leyana needs to potty potty, back to the bathroom...do you hear me folks? It has been a long but speedy acclimation to life here. Back to the story, after we screamed praises to Jesus out the front door into the dark night sky and heard our neighbors doing the same and banging pots and pans and praising Jesus for his goodness and FAITHFULNESS, we sat down and played Skip-bo, I won both games...see the WINNING had begun. Then we switched to UNO. Leyana says she was just about to ask for the power to come back on when the power came on. For a moment it was disbelief...then we were again screaming praises to Jesus. We needed to get online and immediately praise praise praise! So all the friends we have can join the praises. Here we are praising Him again.

Can't even believe today...
So, the rest of the day seems like months ago in life. However, Leyana did get her school uniforms back (they made them in less than 24 hours time, hand sewn by the tailor). She has two uniforms which are very basic with white shirts and gray jumpers (picture on facebook). We went to town to refill the bottles of water-the type you would have in an office. Then we were hoping at that time to fill our yellow 55 pound drums and wouldn't you know all the stores lacked water too! However, the missionaries who came here from Kenya (Rev. and Mrs. Obotte) had water! So we went in and filled the two buckets. Then we came back from there and I worked for five hours on course work for my classes. Leyana studied her social studies unit, took the test and scored 85%. She also completed a chapter in her spelling and the words were all African countries, she scored 85% on that as well.  Then we took a little break and played volleyball with the girls from the neighboring two homes. Four of them and us, we all played for a while and then it began to get dark. Aside from that, we did get to speak with Rev Mosher and Marquita on the phone for a few brief but reassuring minutes today.
God rules! Yes, He most certainly is on his throne and hears the prayers of those who speak to him. Another great day to be in Malawi!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Day three- coping intact

Well, today has been much more successful for the Moore's in Malawi! We praise God for the victory dances he did around us today. First, we had a rough night of sleep. It got quite warm under our mosquito net and so we both awoke about 1:30 a.m. and came to the dining room. We tried to get online and found we were able to both video and chat skype with Anthony and my Mom (Towana) which was absolutely and positively great. We are hoping my Mom feels better today and looking forward to God helping her through her recent eye issues.
We also chatted online with Jessie, a dear friend and our daughter's Godmother. This too was an encouraging event for us as she is a fellow servant for Christ. 
 As you know we are without water for nearly two full days now. Well, this morning started with a knock on the door and one of the fellow brothers checking on our spare water supply (mind you it was well before 7).
I am happy to say we were up and on our way by 8:30. We went to the SPAR and Shoprite looking for some items we needed. Those items, so simple, are so costly, just shocking! One prepared beef roast, weighing a half of pound cost $20.50 U.S. with current exchange rates. Really inexpensive food is like rice, beans, cornmeal for Nseema, flash pasteurized milk~ not what our staple diet is used to, but it will grow on us.  During our shopping trip, Brother Chinsinsi took me by two furniture stands to find living room furniture and the second guy gave a better deal. See, the house here was fully unfurnished except a bed in each room. We did manage a plastic dining room table with a broken leg which fell off and collapse was bad. We will look for furniture for the dining room later in the week (maybe tomorrow or the next day). We are greatful for the financial supporters we had/have that helped us secure these things. They will be left here in this cottage on the field for future workers that the Lord will bring.
Then home, we were still without power and so lunch was a protein shake (with cream soda flavoring from the grocery store), and a leftover slice of pizza.
Leyana is suffering from stomach pain and so we have started her on Probiotics. She and I are also taking daily multivitamins, papaya enzyme, malarone (anti-malarials), vitamin C, and will probably need to start eating a little oatmeal in between.
We swept and mopped the whole house with some pine-sol smelling anti-septic and the new furniture came. What a relief! We made chai and worked on homeschooling. We took some great pictures on the campus, checked out a book from the library. Would you believe it, they have The Masters Plan, Nazarene Version, I checked it out in honor of Larry Alvey. I believe it was the way he won people to Christ. I also am working on a book from yesterday~ Exile in the Fatherland- by Martin Niemoller, a series of letters to family after the Lutheran pastor was taken hostage in Nazi Germany. WOW! Amazing stuff!!
The most exciting part of the day is yet to come...at five pm. Leyana and I have two neighbor girls coming over for popcorn and Skip-bo! Pray all goes well, she only has two more days before school starts and friends before school are always a helpful adjustment!
Love to you all! Thanks for the read! Consider joining our prayer groups and getting more in depth campus prayer needs. email anthony@love-coffee.com for more information.
Mwah!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Day Two: Let the fun begin

Good morning from Malawi! I am sitting at our makeshift table this morning and I hear the birds chirping. That is such a universal sound, birds chirping! If I close my eyes I can imagine I am on the back patio of the house there in Normal and the birds are chirping, or I could be sitting in my Mother-in-laws garden in England or the deck in Solola, Guatemala and the birds would be chirping. Alas though, my eyes can not stay closed forever and so I open them and I see the wonders of the life here. We are living in a house. The house has four walls, but that is about where we stop in commonalities from the life we came from in Illinois. My body is a bit achy this morning as I adjust to our non-Serta mattress...which I slept on last night for six straight hours.
We were welcomed with wide open arms yesterday as we had our staff meeting, which involved walking the campus and meeting the other staff....mind spin...I hope I will remember names. Today I also hope to get out and take pictures for those of you who are in the waiting phase or want the pictures (how I usually am there)!
God is good. We did well on the flights, no troubles at all. We made all of our connections and traveled brilliantly through customs. In fact, of 8 suitcases, she wanted only to see one. She opened it and said, have a nice stay. Then flagged Leyana and I through and the woman behind us since she was in such great spirits. We also didn't have any problems through the immigration portion of entry.
I will tell you of a few differences:
Money- the money here is large, as in 300:1 U.S. amazingly, when I took money from an atm yesterday I was a millionaire (there is a first for everything).
Roads- ahhhh left side of the road driving and right returning, in other words, British ex colony, now drives the way the Brits do, and yes, the steering wheel is on the wrong side of the vehicle for my mind. The roads are some paved and some are not. None on the campus are paved, campus, oh yes, a new word. The campus is a series of buildings on a beautiful property with lots to offer (when I awaken to this time zone). It is dry. Very dry season in fact. Everything is brown almost. And by brown I mean crispy brown, like Illinois was this summer. The grass doesn't need cutting because when you walk on it, it crumbles beneath your feet.
The stove- so thought I was making hot water for coffee this morning. Waited twenty minutes and heard no boiling. Then I went back into the kitchen and noticed on the wall a switch to turn the power on to the stove. Hmmm...delayed gratification!
The doors- they use the old school big keys and yes, they lock from the outside and then you put the key in the door on the inside and do it again! Key stays in door at night so you can find it in the morning (as was the failure of my morning when I couldn't open the door at 7:30 for Marquita to drop off some items)!
Finally, the most expensive items: Toilet paper, kleenex, chocolate, butter, and diet coke. All the good stuff people...all the stuff we can't and shouldn't live without! Ahhhh...but God is weaning me.
If you want more spiritual stuff, probably best sign up to be a prayer partner. This will just be a candid blog and a day-in-the-life type blog!
Love ya'll!

Jesika and Leyana

Arrived safely!

Praise report!

Jesika and Leyana have safely arrived in Malawi to begin our ministry there. To quote her Facebook post this afternoon:
Well, got to campus, no power, no internet, now it is late at night, both power and internet. Here is the update: Easy passage through customs, all luggage arrived safely and without much damage, house is four walls with running water, need furniture...got groceries, dinner, and now going to crawl into my mosquito net covered bed and get some sleep. Thanks for the prayers!!
Jesika will have more to add, I'm sure, but wanted to get the word out to those of you who are following our blog that they are safe, and all the luggage made it there too!

Blessings to all,
Anthony

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Final preparations

Jesika and the rest of the "Guat Girls" safely returned from their Guatemala trip yesterday, and now final preparations are underway for Malawi. In the past couple of days, we have received our textbooks, secured missions insurance and have our contracts signed and in place, so now we're all ready to send Jesika and Leyana off to start our missions work in Malawi!

For those of you in Illinois, or at least within driving distance of Bloomington, IL, we wish to extend an invitation to you to come on out tomorrow (Saturday August 25th) afternoon between 3 and 6pm to enjoy some fellowship and a spaghetti dinner with us at Fairway Knolls Church of the Nazarene, 610 IAA Drive, Bloomington, IL. We are not charging for dinner, but a donation basket will be available and all donations will be put towards our expenses on the field. If you'll be attending and haven't done so already, please drop Jesika an email at jesika@love-coffee.com so we can make sure we have enough food prepared for everyone!

For those of you on our prayer chain, you will start receiving emails for your designated day to pray shortly. If you would like to be added to the list, please send an email to Jesika or me, letting us know which days you would like to sign up for. 

I would like to request all pray for us during the next couple days especially as we make these final preparations. Jesika and Leyana fly out at 6am Monday morning and 3 flights later, land in Lilongwe at 12:25pm (local time) Tuesday afternoon. Pray for traveling mercies and for swift adjustment to the new timezone. Pray also that God would prepare the students for the courses that we are to teach and that he would help us to adapt our teaching methods to the needs of these students. Finally, pray for Leyana as she enrolls in school in Malawi, that she would adapt quickly and make friends.

Many thanks and blessings to you!

Anthony and Jesika

Monday, August 20, 2012

Thoughts from Guatemala...

WOW! I want to write with some color tonight. What color? Green! Green for the lush trees of the forest and land in Guatemala. Blessed tonight to be sitting on a couch in a room where we are staying in Guatemala on a short term missions trip. We-my Mom, my Aunt, my Friend Stephanie, we are here, working side-by-side with Pedro and Felis Patlan in SololÄ, Guatemala. This opportunity presented itself back in February as we became better acquainted with a ministry here that is an orphanage and outreach program to the mountain/indigenous people of Guatemala. Eagle's Nest International is an orphanage started by God who asked Larry and Claire Boggs to open/run/manage after they came to Guatemala in the 1970's.
What have we been doing? Well, we came with one mission in mind, rock the babies. Why did we pick rock the babies? God has given each of the us the same command...love one another as Christ loved the church. He loved the church like his baby. He helped it, instructed it, disciplined it, and bathed it in prayer. We are here to do the same. Help, instruct, bathe in prayer (we leave the discipline to the Mama's).
Well this all plays into your life nicely, how? Through the next story I will share.
Today I was walking with two young ladies. These young ladies are in their early teen years (a very formative time for each of us). One of them announced to me that she wanted to be a missionary when she grew up. She further told me she wanted to leave Guatemala and become a missionary somewhere. I queried her faith, are you a Christian? Yes, I am a Christian she replied without hesitation. I insisted to her that she was already a missionary then. Well, no a real missionary she said. I then had a prime window of opportunity to share with her the great commission...and add to that the life she has currently living in Guatemala and speaking the native language gives her an amazing opportunity to be the missionary that God wants for her to be. To her neighbors, her friends, her loved ones, her family, her teachers, her salespeople, to share his love and catch his vision NOW! She was in awe, she admitted that is not how she had ever thought of a missionary.
Are you a missionary today?
Quick song and a sign-off,
Missionary Song for the Children

Be a missionary every day
tell the world that Jesus is the way
be it in the town or city
or a busy avenue
Africa or Asia
the task is up to you
so be a missionary every day
The Lord is soon returning
there is no time to lose
so be a missionary
God's own emissary
be a missionary today!

A challenge for us all...be a missionary...wherever..all over...permanently...seeking Christ....learning and then sharing what we learn...thanks God!

Blessings,
Jesika
P.S. count down to Malawi. One week! YIPPEE! Pray that all the text books would arrive smoothly please!


Tuesday, August 14, 2012

It's time!

Well friends, here we are. Half way through August already! Last night we packed Jesika and Leyana for Malawi. Jesika will be leaving for a quick 6 day missions trip to The Eagles Nest Orphanage in Guatemala on Saturday. When when she returns, she'll have two days to catch up with our wonderful friends in Bloomington-Normal and Chicago before the big one - 24 hours of travel starting August 27th to Malawi! 

For those of you in the Bloomington-Normal Area, we are hosting a Spaghetti Dinner Send-off at Fairway Knolls Church of the Nazarene, 610 IAA Drive, Bloomington on Saturday August 25th between 3 and 6pm. We will be serving spaghetti, rolls, drinks and desserts and are looking forward to spending some fellowship time. There is no charge for the event, but a donation basked will be available and all donations will be graciously accepted. RSVPs are not required but appreciated by email to jesika@love-coffee.com so we can have an idea as to numbers.

We are still looking for prayer partners to commit to pray for us during the time in Malawi. If you are able to commit to a day of prayer, please send Jesika an email with your desired day of the month. You would be responsible to pray for us on that day of each month until December. We will send you specific prayer requests the night before your assigned day. 

We are also still looking for donors to meet the monthly needs while we are there. This helps to cover the insurance, gas, food and other living expenses while we are in Malawi. If you feel so led, you can sign up to help in this way at http://web.nazarene.org/goto/moore.malawi 

The outpouring of love on us has surpassed even what our minds could have imagined. WE can NOT thank you ENOUGH! But do know that you are being prayed for, God is being given Glory and we are hoping for a blessing to each of you as well as the lives in Africa!


Many blessings to you all,
Anthony, Jesika and Leyana

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Calendar of Prayers

Friends,
I write tonight with passion for prayer. Recently, prayer has come to light in my life with a fresh renewal. I found myself speaking to a friend over lunch and we were talking about how different a life bathed in prayer reflects Christ. I want to be seen with that reflection! Do you?
I am here to speak of opportunity for praying...we are still in desperate need of a load of prayer partners. This is simple, it requires no money, no changes, only a monthly commitment to raise our needs on the field and our needs at home to God. Here is what I have available

Dates of the Month:
1- need 3 prayer partners
2- need 3 prayer partners
3- need 2 prayer partners
4- need 3 prayer partners
5- need 3 prayer partners
6- need 3 prayer partners
7- need 3 prayers partners
8-need 2 prayer partners
9- need 2 prayer partners
10- need 3 prayer partners
11- need 2 prayer partners
12- need 2 prayer partners
13- need 1 prayer partner
14- need 2 prayer partners
15- need 3 prayer partners
16- need 2 prayer partners
17- need 2 prayer partners
18-need 1 prayer partner
19- need 3 prayer partners
20- need 2 prayer partners
21-need 3 prayer partners
22- need 3 prayer partners
23- need 3 prayer partners
24- need 3 prayer partners
25- need 3 prayer partners
26- need 2 prayer partners
27- need 3 prayer partners
28-need 1 prayer partner
29-31st- need 12 prayer partners
As you can see, there is still time to hop on board and help us with the prayer needs. We would like at least one person per day at a bare minimum! However, we serve a GREATER GOD, we know you would want to hop on board and give an opportunity to bless and minister around the world. If you are interested in a date that is above, please email me with the date, an email address where I can send requests, and your full name. 
We are so excited about your partnering with us for the success of this mission! YIPPEE! My email is jesika@love-coffee.com

God bless, God speed, can't wait to get moving!

Jesika

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

August of today and August of tomorrow

Well we are seriously close. Seriously close to closing a gap, that is the gap of the last 24 months and also the gap of the last 28 years, and that folks is scary. 28 years ago I told God, yes Lord here I am send ME!, he replied that it was His plan. I waited. I went through periods of running my own life. I went through many a great high fluting experiences. I have been blessed to walk where the rich and famous have walked, dine in high establishments, travel with an unrestricted budget, but alas, now my life is exactly positioned to work in the capacity God wants it to be and Whooooa there nelly it is quite different. Plans here are the same: Guatemala for work and witness and then return home, two day layover (clothes repacked) and out the door to a new adventure. It does seem surreal still I won't lie, to think in 26 days I will be far far away with no turning back. Nope, not too sure what to expect. This is less than spiritual, but how to cope with not knowing. Not knowing about food, water, plumbing, washing of clothes, using an iron on my clothes, will the house be carpeted, will there be pictures, will there be silverware, will I smile and will people smile back, will Leyana make friends or instead be a shy outcast, will we meet all the goals God has for us while we are there, will lives be changed other than ours, and if it were only ours is that enough for the reason God is sending us. This August is monumental. For the past four months I have said, well August will be when this becomes more than a dream, it will become real. Now, IT IS AUGUST! *(slight panicked voice, then returning to normal)* We gave our puppy up nearly two months ago in preparation for many weekends, Sundays, and dinners away. Well last Sunday we saw him, and well pretty much God said, alas he remembers you and he doesn't really miss you, but it is a treat to see you. When I was there I thought, I hope I never get a relationship with God like Hershey has with me. In this hustle of coming and going and speaking and meeting, I want God to be the one I can't live without, not a coffee with a friend. I don't want to get to Africa and realize that I recognize God but got so busy planning I forgot that He and I, we are unstoppable together but not apart or alone. He depends on me to fulfill the great commission (insert Mark 16:15) and I am also dependent on Him completely to prepare me and continue his work in me. I have stopped playing on Words with Friends this month (MAN THAT WAS HARD). I have independently contacted some of you to join with me in an intimate circle of prayer warriors and positioned myself in a circle to help pray for me as we go. I have made some intentional prayer dates and some intentional coffee times. I wish there were more of these dates available... I will begin to limit my connections on Facebook as I seek to focus on the ministry we have been allowed to begin. I still desperately need 40 more prayer warriors for daily prayer updates and prayer request mail-outs. PLEASE email me if you can do this for me. I start today! Thanks a bunch if you chose to do this... :-) Pray for Leyana. She is having a bit of a hard time thinking about being gone (probably a little incapable to be honest, four months is a LONG time for a 9 year old). Pray against Satan invading our space and our home as we tidy up and close some loose ends that are working to divide our attention. Pray for God to already be preparing the hearts of our students. Pray for wisdom as Jesika needs to get one more textbook purchased for the students classes, pray for purchasing favor. Pray for fellow missionary J&J, who will be having a serious operation later this month when a donor is found. Pray for friends Gavin and Jill F, as they head to language school to join the work in Africa. Pray for the health of retired Malawi missionaries Margaret and Jon Scott. Pray for the safe deputation of current African Missionaries, Ermais and Mulu; LeCrecia and Aweis. Pray for God to be already building a hedge of safety and friendship for us in Africa. Thanking God for you, thanking God for your love, thanking God for your partnership in the vision, Anthony, Jesika (author) and Leyana Moore

Friday, July 20, 2012

A Plea for Education!

Imagine a place where less than 1% will ever attend any college, and where the majority will not attain a 5th grade education. These places exist in some parts of the world, and Malawi is one of those places. According to the US Department of Labor:
"In 1995, 62 percent of students entering primary school reached grade two, and 34 percent reached grade five. The dropout rate is higher among girls than boys."
Jesika and I have the opportunity to take the gift of education to the people of Malawi this fall. One of the ways Nazarene Theological College of Central Africa is able to keep the education cost down to an affordable level is due to volunteer educators who can teach the courses. However, to bring this education we need your help!

If you had the opportunity to finish high school, you did something that most Malawian children could only dream of.  We are looking for 100 friends to sign up for just $10/month from now through December to raise a total of $5000 that will provide funding for 3 much needed college courses. Would you consider this a scholarship? If you graduated high school, would you consider making a gift of just $10/month as a scholarship for our Malawian students? 

To pledge for a students' education, sign up at http://web.nazarene.org/goto/moore.malawi. The site allows donations to be made via credit/debit cards and bank transfer for the recurring donations. When you sign up, you can leave us a message on that page. We are looking forward to hearing from you!

Finally, please pray for us, for the school, and for the students. It is only by the grace of God that we are able to do this.
"Give me wisdom and knowledge, that I may lead this people, for who is able to govern this great people of yours?” (2 Chronicles 1:10)

Friday, July 6, 2012

“… And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us…” (Hebrews 12:1c)


We sit just 21 days away from the opening ceremony of the 2012 Olympic games in London as I look today back on the events of the past year in our lives, I came across an article on the Olympic torch relay.

After a short relay around Greece, the Flame is handed over to the new Host City at another ceremony in the Panathenaiko stadium in Athens. 

The Flame is then delivered to the Host Country, where it is transferred from one Torchbearer to another, spreading the message of peace, unity and friendship. It ends its journey as the last Torchbearer lights the cauldron at the Olympic Games Opening Ceremony in the Olympic Stadium, marking the official start of the Games.” (http://www.london2012.com/torch-relay/history/)

What Jesika and I are doing is participating in a relay race. Our relay race started with the birth of Jesus Christ over 2000 years ago in ancient Jewish times. Many greats have stood before us, such as Paul and the Appostles, Martin Luther when he started the protestant revolution. John Wesley with the start of the Holiness movement, and Phineas F Bresee with the start of the Church of the Nazarene.  It also includes the work of Dr David Livingstone, the first missionary in Malawi, and includes Jon and Margaret Scott, retired missionaries to NTCCA in Malawi and the couple that paved our way towards heading to Malawi with their presentation at the NMI convention 2011.

As we bring the torch forward into the lives of our students at NTCCA, who knows where they will go. Let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us as we take the torch back to Africa… A race that we cannot run without you. For Jesika and I to be successful in the race, we are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses as we read about in Hebrews 11 and 12 as well as you, the reader of this blog. We need your support in prayer and fasting during our time there and as we lead up to this. We also need your support financially… Bringing education to the people of Africa is not free and is sincerely deserved. Jesika and I have our education that is enabling us to go, but in order for us to teach there, we still have to travel, have insurance, and meet everyday expenses that we will incurr on the field. So far we have been blessed with amazing partners who come up beside us, challenge us, some whom even have gone there before us. We feel all of this as we plan our trip and work with the leadership to grow our goals, expectations, and preparatory skills. 

We are looking for our Olympic champions to run the race with us. Would you be able to join us, champions? Maybe you could be a “bronze” champion and support us at just $10/month? Maybe you could be a “silver” champion, and support us at $20/month? Maybe you could be a “gold” champion, and support us at $30 (or more) a month? Our goal is to now collect support in the form of monthly pledges that could meet the necessary cost of our insurance and needs while on the field. We have raised enough to support the plane tickets for Leyana and Jesika, but ultimately there is a greater need...that need is the need of prayer support. The goal we set was for a prayer partner for each of us, for each day, for each month. That may seem like a high number but it is only 120 people. We currently have 25 people. That is a huge goal to achieve (like setting a world record at the Olympics when the stakes are high and you are competing against the toughest competitors). Please seek to search your heart, as God to grow your mission in order to grow the mission. If you feel so lead to compete with us in the race, send an email our way anthony@love-coffee.com or jesika@love-coffee.com for prayer support. For financial support you can sign up directly with the missions organization at: http://web.nazarene.org/goto/moore.malawi

On the same note, a huge blessing today came via a plane ticket change for Jesika and Leyana (as you know they will travel apart from me due to our different schedules). Originally they had five landings on the flight to Malawi and five on the way home. Both flights had four layovers and crossed a few days and hours. Due to the airlines final confirmation of ticketed passengers the flights have been changed to reflect two stops each way and only two layovers. What an amazing God we serve!!!

Thank you for your prayers, they are working to bring all things to good for us, those who are called to this place and in His service.
We love you!
God's blessings and joy!
Anthony and Jesika

Monday, July 2, 2012

UNEAK: UNIQUE; the world view from Normal to Malawi

Well, what a productive morning I had today! I got up early and Leyana and I had our travel clinic appointment. What is that you say? Well we go and meet with a government certified travel medicine doctor who looks at the countries we will be traveling through and places we will stay and identifies any immunizations and/or medications we require. Praises because neither of us needed immunizations today (only because they have to special order them) and we got 120 days of anti-malarial medications. We will go back at the end of the week and receive our first Rabies immunization and then two more subsequent immunizations.  Jeffery was so sweet during our process he just chatted away!
Then, off to get the notarized copy of Leyana's camp registration that Anthony had fixed up for us at his work. A quick stop at the company store to get Leyana a flashlight and batteries. We then drove 120 miles to drop her at camp. This was SUCH a bright spot in my day. How I realize that five or fifteen minutes with women of God who have such divine purpose as encourages in my life was just what I needed. It was super to see Reya, Sherry, Trisha W, Trisha D, Renee, Retha, Cheryl, and the list is exhaustive. The touch through a hug and a hello is so poignant in our life. Little did they know that I needed that girlfriend minute more than anything today.
I won't say I am afraid, but definitely contemplating life outside of my own little world (to steal a lyric). I live in a town called Normal. Yes, seriously, I am going from Normal to Malawi in less than seven weeks. Now that is a HUGE move! In my own little world, I live less than one mile from Meijer, WalMart, Target, Kroger, a mexican/chinese/thai/fastfood/chain/starbucks/coldstone/subway/mcd/wendy, then I contemplate that I drive everywhere, there are roads everywhere, there are phones, constant power, constant internet, convenient television, girlfriends which are just a minute away, a church home which is 2.8 miles away, schools which all have air/con, comfort of a work which requires no personal preparation except show up on time, the pool, the putt-putt course at State Farm, LOTS of parks to walk and play in, and still we prepare for Malawi. I just now came to realize things will be different there and now I am beginning the spiritual preparation to take my heart outside of this little world and go. Oh, I know, I have been on a bazillion mission trips and what is different? Well, what is different is a round-trip ticket separated by 3 months time and really I know not one person there intimately. I will have God, he is our steadfast soulmate. He will go with Leyana and I, he and I are intimate, and I expect to come home with an even greater sense of intimacy with Him.
Please don't misunderstand the post here, we remain thrilled with the calling of Christ to go and make Christlike disciples in the nation of Malawi. We are thankful the Church of the Nazarene has invested in our lives so we may invest in many others. I would ask if you think of us, pray for presence. Pray for God to begin to separate us slightly to prepare us greatly.
Absence makes the heart grow fonder. The next seven weeks I will work to prepare my classes and get the syllabi/tests/plans/powerpoints in order. I will finish the reading of several pertinent textbooks and at one point I may even cut off some Facebook and WWF's and fast this for our mission. God is moving, I am listening and it is sweet, the lingering of his spirit in my heart.
Thank you for your support, your love, and your patience as we grow to be what God has called us to be.
Love and peace,
Jesika

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Washer, Dryer, Swimming..God is GREAT!

The sun was sooo warm here today. Thanks be to God.
We swam as a family at the pool tonight. Thanks be to God.
We ate delicious leftovers and there were leftovers of the leftovers. Thanks be to God.
Gas prices have dropped drastically. Thanks be to God.
I was shown favor by an employer today. Thanks be to God.
Anthony had a good day at work and has been assigned one project from two projects. Thanks be to God.
Our missions Sundays are filling up fast. Thanks be to God.
We had two more prayer slots filled up. Thanks be to God.
I was able to share a smile and give hope to a patient in need. Thanks be to God.
Our electricity was on all day long and there is no end in sight for the electricity. Thanks be to God. 
I hear the washer spinning and the drying-drying clothes right now. Thanks be to God.
I am thinking...
Because of his LOVE, God had already decided to make us his own children through Jesus Christ. That was what he wanted and what pleased him! Ephesians 1:5
Thanks be to GOD!
Today, in my casual text message conversations God brought a reality. A verse to mind that was hidden in my brain archives. It is Hebrews 11:1, which says, "Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see."
One instance was a friend in need of a word from the Lord. She has undergone such trial and has shown perseverance in the Lord and hope for tomorrow. Today however, found her beaten and hiding..the verse comforted me to speak it to her. I love her so much. She is a friend I met on mission to Mexico, one that Anthony and I worked side-by-side with and had such a great time!
The other was when my sister and I were talking theologically. She attends a church which is not Nazarene and there was some conversation about speaking at her church. Ultimately her pastor decided to stay within his denomination for speakers doing missions work and disappointment set-in because we had hoped to share our joy for Africa with her people as well. God again reminded me that the churches we speak in will be God's decision, our hope is to serve. God has NO intention of holding back, he will fulfill our faithful steps in HIS timing. Isn't that beautiful? Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see....!!!
I am hopeful for a friend whose sister-in-law suffers from cancer.
I am hopeful for a patient who I had in Chicago that is raising children alone and has taken in children who aren't even hers to help raise them. 
I am hopeful for my friends who are moving from border missions to Africa for service with the Church of the Nazarene. 
I am hopeful that each person we touch in Family Practice sees Jesus in my eyes.
I am hopeful for faith in Christ in my life to be expanded. 
God has great plans for each of us who remember Hebrews 11:1, he has plans for the faith action from the hope we have and the certainty is in Christ.
Friends be excited...that hope is just on the horizon and God is going to do something great! In fact, he already is doing a great thing!

Praise Him today!
Jesika

Monday, June 25, 2012

SATAN ROARS LIKE A LION

Sometimes it is just soooo hard! Here we have enjoyed a very relaxing weekend with a few wonderful friends and lots of to-do's getting tackled. We were in the fellowship of two very receptive services and we have enjoyed two beautiful love offerings of prayer on our ministry intentions...but man alive...as sure as my skin is on my body there he is...the deceiver, searching and seeking, waiting for a moment when he can barge into my almost perfectly God given weekend and PUFF, try to blow my lights out! 
I really have about had it..so here is the verse that instantly came to mind:
1 Peter 5:8- Be self-controlled and alert! Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 
Now, I like steaks, and I like grilled steaks. But I don't want to falter at the hands of a roaring lion. I want an instance like Daniel standing in front of that roaring lion- snap their jaw shut so tight and PROTECT us Lord I pray...this is my thought as Satan seeks to trample on my seemingly God spent and perfect weekend. I am reminded once again..I am flesh...but as Pastor Todd Keller spoke tonight, I should bleed the words of the Lord when I am bitten/smacked/harmed/and tested. 
The commentary on 1 Peter 5:8 says>Your adversary the devil - Your enemy; he who is opposed to you. Satan opposes man in his best interests. He resists his efforts to do good; his purposes to return to God; his attempts to secure his own salvation. There is no more appropriate appellation that can be given to him than to say that he resists all our efforts to obey God and to secure the salvation of our own souls.
WOW! That speaks of power...a forceful fight..one wanting me to bow down and give up and one hoping I will put up a fight for God.
What do you want to know...you want to know more about the services?
Our mission field is as much in our home, outside our doors, and in our neighborhood as the people we are going to serve in Malawi. Are we all fighting? Are we working to snap the jaw of the Lion shut and send him whimpering? A threshold on our home is a door for destruction.

Our prayers go out to the following people tonight, please help us this week to lift them up in prayer:
Melinda Tooley- fighting cancer
Mark Brown-recent loss of his wife to cancer
Lucky Brown-awaiting transplant
Jim Mitchell-awaiting hip replacement
Katherine Knight-giver of kidney
Angel Cheney -album cut
Abbi D.- diabetes Type I, uncontrolled
The Chengs- recovery, peace, and snapping that jaw shut
Bill Brandon-new diagnosis of cancer
The Alis and the Moshers-home deputation
Jordan and Rachel Thompson- http://thompsonpng.blogspot.com/
All of our students and the preparation for graduation for the current classes at ANU and NTCCA!
The staff of the college who are making preparations as well.
Lindie Kusky-a healthy continuation of the pregnancy
Jen George-a healthy continuation of the pregnancy

This is just a few of the many we will be praying for this week. Feel free to drop us a line: jesika@love-coffee.com if you want to be added to the prayer list.
And remember..Satan lurks.
We did have a wonderful time with friends at Fairway Knolls Church of the Nazarene. We feel love and appreciation from all of you.
Then this evening the blessing of God fell at Point of Change Church of the Nazarene. We feel God is going to do great things in this ministry and we are praying equally...oh and a shameless plug for this church plant but they have a BIG YARD SALE---yes, a BIG sale going on this weekend at the Central Illinois Holiness Association Campgrounds as they are two weeks from launch.
Enough writing, must go pray. Thanks all for your continued prayers!

Love ya!
J & A

Thursday, June 21, 2012

FUNDING THE MISSION: WHO DOES IT?

Recently we had friends who came to our house and stayed with us. While we were talking about the mission work in Malawi that we are going to be doing, they looked puzzled. It was a similar puzzling look as the one my little brother gave me when we told him we were going. The look said, "but why do we need to support this work, shouldn't they be paying you to go?" We inquired this time about the look and indeed it was the look and reasoning we suspected. Our friends who were with us knew of plenty of missionaries whom they had known in their life who were all paid for their work on the mission out of their church budgets/denominational budgets. So, they couldn't figure out where we fit into that equation.
If I said 38 million, would you automatically think dollars? or would you think lives? Well, we in our denomination spend 38 million dollars funding the mission...what is the mission? The mission is the goal to Make Christlike Disciples in the Nations...what Nations...well as Nazarene people we are working in countries around the globe in over 200 areas. Those areas touch the lives by the millions in observance of the Ultimate Mission...which is to go into all the world preaching and teaching...
Where do we fit in? Well, that budget supports missionaries who are full-time global missionaries, the staff at our headquarters, retirement and pension of missionaries who came off the field, insurance, health insurance, furlow (home assignments), radio broadcasting, JESUS project, and many many more things...what it doesn't always support is new or sustained work. That is us: We are the new work. We are going with the church of the Nazarene to teach a new cohort of students who want to spread the gospel into their local villages and people groups. However, it is a new work! We are going to teach the classes that we teach for the first time EVER in this people group in this city/state/country! We pray it is a GO! However, the mission has been hit by the recession just like all things. Four years ago the budget was 48 million...but donations, expectations, and reality has hit the mission. Is the mission any less strong? NOPE!
It just means we go into our people groups and ask for donations. We ask that you fund a new work! In direct support of furthering education of the people across the world...hold on you say, you are going to Malawi, how is that across the world? Well, by giving, you support the hopes that Malawi will send out missionaries from the group to their own places, in turn raising up the next generation of missionaries...remember...missionaries are not limited to American Citizenship! They are all over the world..if each one can reach one...there is an unlimited amount of this....:-)
I hope this helps everyone who reads this blog to understand a little bit better why we are asking for your financial support as well as prayer support.
We are very excited we have reached the 20% mark and can only imagine that the next two months before we leave will fly by. I surely hope the months to come meet the needs so we can fulfill this promise...the promise of education and hope for the people group in Lilongwe, Malawi.
A huge thanks to those of you who are already praying for our mission!! ! ! ! !
We are substantially blessed by you, we already feel the pieces coming into place and it is HOT! EXCITING!!! YIPPEE!!!
God bless,
Anthony and Jesika (author borrowed the husbands account to complete this blog)

Thursday, June 7, 2012

With Greatful Hearts

Good evening, friends!

Jesika and I have so much to be thankful for today...

First, thanks to Marseilles Church of the Nazarene for being such gracious hosts and for your generosity. It was a joy for Jesika and I to share with you what God has laid on our hearts for Malawi.

Thanks be to God that our missionary friends who were looking for a van large enough to fit their large family (2 adults, 2 teenagers, and 4 in car seats) plus luggage for all of them were able to locate and purchase a van!

Thanks be to God that our friends on the mission field who had an urgent need for provision were provided more than expected in less time than expected!

Thanks be to God - We can confirm the first part of the plan... Jesika and Leyana will leave for Malawi at 6:04am from Chicago O'Hare on August 27th, and I will follow soon after. We are all getting very excited, and we ask for prayers for support to continue to come in.

We are in high need of Churches to speak at throughout July and August. If you would like us to speak at your Church, please let me know by email anthony@love-coffee.com. Jesika and I will get back with you with date options!

Current Prayer Requests

Will you join with us in praying specifically for these needs?

  1. Unspoken request for a student at NTCCA for a physical need
  2. Traveling mercies for friends who are coming home for the field for deputation
  3. The son of our friend, Michele, who is sick, for healing
  4. Churches to share our vision with
  5. Meeting the financial needs of this trip
If you have a need you'd like for us to add to our prayer list, feel free to email it to anthony@love-coffee.com, or leave it as a comment on this post.

For those of you who feel so lead, you may make a donation online at http://web.nazarene.org/goto/moore.malawi

Monday, June 4, 2012

Being a Christian is an amazing privilege. If you call it any less, you are mistaken. The life of Christ and the gift of him as God's only son was such a story that it can never be repeated. I am blessed that this is my destiny, to be a Christian. I hope that words I say, lives we touch, gifts we give, and prayers we prayed bless those around us.
When we attended a church in Oklahoma City during our early years of marriage, Pastor Mark Crow would spend time each Sunday going over the testimonies of those whom God was meeting their needs. As those needs got met, the expectation was that they would take from the abundance of the storehouse and give a greater gift for the gospel of Jesus Christ to be shared throughout the world. The motto of that church was reach our city, change our nation, and touch the world with the Good News! They were firm believers in the power of giving and this rubbed off on us early in marriage. Anthony and I were POOR. We had a baby 10 months after getting married, he had no visa to work, I worked nights in the ICU, I had school debt, he had no income, we had hungry mouths and ends barely met...what we learned is that His grace was sufficient for us and that the money had no value. Tithe when it seems to hurt and giving will become a way of life.
This morning we were able to impress on our home church the value of the seemingly over-giver. How God wants for you to not just give money through tithe but to dare to stretch yourself and see if you really "go without"...2 Corinthians 9:7- Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 
We gave the Faith Promise Program its rightful start for the year and it was well received. Each person took home a solar garden light. Why this? Well as God was speaking to us in the program we learned that our light (the one that is not to be hidden but to shine on the hill) is powered by the Son. Just like the solar garden light is powered by the sun! Also, it comes with a stake for putting it into the soil...it isn't a shallow stake that can be easily pulled out with wind or that water can wash it away from it's place..it is firmly rooted in the soil, just as the light was firmly rooted so our lives must be grounded in the soil of God's word and rain will come and water our hearts and grow us as Christians...Oh can you see I am a visual learner? Well in reflection the service was awesome!
Then this afternoon we headed to Marseilles, Illinois. We were invited to speak on our mission to Malawi. This church is an amazing reflection of the beauty of giving. Watching their congregation from the pulpit was a ministry. Their eyes, their amazement, their faith it was unchartered and unabandoned love for our Savior. They are holy devoted to the Great Commission and this was seen in their actions and words as well. Often you go to encourage and share and walk away with a fresh perspective and a new anointing. This was one of those nights and it was great. We were able to share and give information and hopefully picked up some prayer partners along the way. A shout out to Sam, the soundman, he did a great job running our various slides and presentations and never missed a beat! Thanks! We felt the love...it was beautiful!
I want to close with this prayer. It is liturgical, which may not be what you are used to, please take no offense. It is the prayer we prayed for many Sundays and through dark periods that the Lord was molding our marriage and our life...it is now a prayer of praise:
Lord, here we stand, 
as we bring our tithes and offerings unto the Lord,
we are believing for jobs and better jobs, raises and bonuses, benefits,
sales and commissions, growth in business, settlements, estates
and inheritances, interest and income, rebates and returns, checks in the
mail, gifts and surprises, finding money, bills paid off, bills decreased, blessings 
and increase, thank you Lord for meeting all my financial needs that I 
may have more than enough to give into the kingdom of God and promote
the gospel of Jesus Christ, hallelujah!


Similar to pressed down, shaken together, running over...
God is the God of more than enough. Thank you for blessing us so that we can give more and be in Malawi for the fall of 2012.
Blessings!
Anthony and Jesika Moore

Thursday, May 31, 2012

A very LONG road to Missions-by Jesika

So, we had a request from someone that is working on the field in Africa that we tell the story of our callings...each from our own perspective...this is a long, deep, trench that my feet have been dragging through for many years...
I am a Nazarene. My blood actually bleeds in tones of John Wesley red and Southern Nazarene Crimson Storm....since the first church that I have memories of attending I was sitting in Sunday school with Janice VanFleet and reading mission books for kids provided by Beth Barker. God was growing in me a passion even while I was young. When I was 8, a missionary was home on "furlough" and they spoke of a wonderful culture of people in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, Africa. My heart was stolen that day to the African people. Keeping in mind that I was 8 and the whole continent of Africa in my mind consisted of one type of people who spoke French. I told my Mom I was leaving to Africa to be a missionary when I grew up. She never doubted God called me that day.
Throughout my teen years I participated in the district Impact Team and we traveled and sang. As we met different people in different churches I thought WOW, now I know why we are called the Impact Team. Each person we met was our mission and we could make an impact in their lives. Again, this group being lead by Teri and Kandra Dilts, more strong Nazarene women who were molding my life.
Each year I participated in the NMI convention and as a child I packed boxes, made care kits, and heard the wonderful stories from missionaries invited to speak at our convention. In high school, this grew to a service project each year that varied from soup kitchens to cleaning out closed/re-opening churches. Each project made my heart yearn for service opportunities.
In my senior year of high school I had a friend Stephanie Jankowski who was serving as a volunteer in Jamaica. With my parents blessings I saved enough money from my paychecks to purchase a flight and go volunteer at the School for the Deaf in White Sands, Montego Bay, Jamaica. It was a feeling of awe as Dawn and the other volunteers at the school taught me about water preservation (short showers and turning off the water while you brush your teeth and how valuable rainfall was to fill the tanks we used at the school). The children were full of wonder for this red-headed American high school student who had vigor and love for each of them. When I left, part of my heart stayed on that mission field.
Off I went to college, Southern Nazarene University! The one and only! (yes, I am proud to have been blessed with my opportunity to attend here) I met such wonderful Christian people in college- Dr. Howard Culbertson, Pastor Mark Brown, Dr. Finkenbender, Dr. Nancy Halliday, and our then dean of spiritual ministry, Dee Kelley. The cohort God brought into my life was equally matched by the missionary kids who I went to college with- Jeff Myers, LeCrecia Mosher, Arianne Udd, to name a few...and guess what they had in common-AFRICA!
In 1997, I served with A Christian Ministry in the National Park, out of Maine for five months. I worked in Yellowstone and preached alternating Sundays to park visitors in Grant Village. I hiked, sought God, learned more about me and more about what I was and what I wasn't. God did a work in me and I took a friend with me, Leslie Hart, and God grew us both.
In 1999, back at SNU I was working towards a degree in the field of Nursing and I went to Mexico. That year we went to Tampico. Oh it was a great experience for my life. Again, a growing stop in my growing into a missions minded person, and again directing me at the fact that all of life is our mission field.
I graduated from SNU (finally) and married Anthony. We were instantly aware of the calling on our life together. We attended Victory Christian Center in Oklahoma and had many opportunities to work there, including directing the Wednesday evening children's ministry program, a mission outreach and a lot of fun!
We didn't commit to foreign travel for missions for many years, rather focusing our mission on family needs (extended family) and completion of my degree as a Family Nurse Practitioner. The year before I graduated with this degree, we took our then 5 year old daughter and went to Mexico with Dr. Culbertson and the Southern Nazarene University campus. This trip provided me the opportunity to see patients in a "clinic" setting for five days and to witness and minister to them. Gloria a Dios! It was marvelous!
The following year I took at position in rural South Dakota. People, I mean rural, three hours drive through the reservation to the nearest WalMart. My dependence was in the Lord. It was cold. I hit a deer. I walked the 2 mile road in to the church at the bottom of the hill in Wounded Knee on the reservation many Sundays. We cooked for the church people every Sunday. We sang specials. We fund raised at our "home" church when we returned to Normal, Illinois to see friends. We held outreaches. We visited people. We learned what it was like to live without a hope. We learned that a cold winter was even colder when the Pastor didn't have any propane to heat her house or church, but the overflow from her heart kept us all warm each Sunday. It was a long year in South Dakota. But the Lord was working, he was conditioning us. He was teaching our daughter that all of the United States didn't look like Chicago.
Finally, we completed my contract to work for the government in South Dakota serving 25,000 patients between just two providers and it was a day mixed with sadness and hope. Hopeful we left part of our hearts there and that the people would be closer to Christ because of our hearts.
The next winter, we went back to Mexico (can ya tell I like it warm?). This time, I challenged my parents who were former Nazarene Pastors to go with us. My Mom is now a Nurse Practitioner and my Dad a hospice nurse, I thought what better fun could a family have than to go on a vacation together in MISSIONS WORK! My family thinks my sense of vacation may still be a little distorted from the America themed Disney vacations (though I did take my daughter there once). This trip, oh this trip, WOW! God linked me again with new missions friends as we worked with Gavin Fothergill (second time around)(border ministry/Mission Corp/YouthInMission) and Stephen Heap (life missionary to Brazil). Stephen speaks Portuguese in his home country, but God gave him the gift of crossing barriers to speak as my translator in the clinic. Through him I learned patience and a new sense of gratitude for my gift as a Nurse Practitioner. His purpose of being there was that he was one of the few that gathered for the initial Commission Unto Mexico trip some 40 years prior as a student lead initiative. What a great time we had together...all showing me God was at work!
We returned from Mexico with BURNING desire, so we booked a flight to Africa. I would finally get to go. Our friends who work in the Creative Access had willingly opened their home to us (and let me tell you- I realized that day how AMERICAN I was-traversing the airport in Senegal)...God blessed us on this trip and it was powerful. Again, I learned of food shortages, slavery, modern slavery, trafficking, water shortages, power shortages, immunizations and daily pills, and family life as missions workers...how amazing...it wasn't for a missions trip...it was more a "Work Experience Evaluation" of the life of missionaries.
As I returned home, my heart was changed. This time I only brought back a little bit of my heart and the rest remained in Africa...where it waits for me in sweet surrender. Confirmation came through the missionaries Jon and Margaret Scott faithful servants and excited recruiters.
I forgot one piece of the African puzzle, my Aunt sent me an article about running an orphanage in Malawi some time before I married Anthony. That article has silently continued to replay itself in my mind for many years.
In August, I will leave my family practice and go to Malawi. I pray that I stop and listen for the still small voice that gives us direction, peace, and hope in our times of discerning prayer with God.


A praise report for the day:
Our first gifts were received on the convio website that Anthony posted about last night and I am happy to announce that we love those who gave. I also added two new facebook friends after they read and followed our blog...stoked! Keep it coming God cuz this is the joy of my soul and the passion of the fire in my heart...I love you Lord! Thanks friends for hearing my story...or rather the Story of God at work in my life...

To give: http://web.nazarene.org/site/TR/Events/MissionCorps?pxfid=4660&fr_id=1090&pg=fund
To send us a shout out or a prayer request: jesika@love-coffee.com

Take care and blessings!