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Monday, October 28, 2013

Creativity




Our homeschool was enriched with the discovery of these caterpillers yesterday in our yard. A hippotion celerio

By the end of the day I was feeling a little sorry for their new-found "pets" as the kids carried them in baskets, and rode their bikes around, with the caterpillers precariously hanging on. However, this morning, I'm not feeling as sorry for them after discovering what they inevitably turn into! Large - yucky looking moths. I have since learned, that most adults moths are not really pests, and do not even eat. They drink nectar. The real notorious agricultural pest happens to be when they are in the caterpiller stage. It's the laying of eggs, and gross amount of eating these guys do before undergoing their change to the moth stage that poses difficulties on farmers and gardens.

Despite all of that, and my (Karina) lack of love for insects and bugs, diversity around here never ceases to amaze me. From all of the different plants and yes, even the creepy-crawlies, it shows me that we serve an Almighty Creative God!

Friday, October 25, 2013

The Life-Giver


Everywhere we look new life is popping up around us in Madagascar. I love this time of year here, as well as the time when everything is full bloom and filling every empty space in our yard. But right now, each new bud and bloom is another reminder of the Who is behind it all.

We have moved plants from here to there. Some new pots have been placed at our front door, and clippings have been planted in them---hoping that beauty will take the place of once empty space.

The larger bushes that we pruned way back at the beginning of winter show signs of early life. Little greenery dots branches.

We can sow, but we can't grow these beauties. I look outside and creation truly does declare the wonders of God. He is behind each bud as it opens, and forming each tender petal. He gives life to these incredible creations.

The heavens declare the glory of God;
the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
Day after day they pour forth speech;
night after night they display
knowledge.
There is no speech or language
where their voice is not heard.
Their voice goes out into all the
earth,
their words to the ends of the
world.
Psalm 19:1-4






Election Day 2013

Today is election day in Madagascar. This is the first presidential election held since the coup in 2009.

The article linked here explains why no elections have gone ahead yet. This particular one was scheduled for July of this year, but because international funding was pulled from Madagascar from the European Union after they found out that the former president who was ousted was running again, elections were cancelled.

Follow this link to learn more about it:  http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-24585831

Meanwhile, please pray for a peaceful few weeks after the ballots have been counted. Likely, with +30 electoral candidates, few are expecting anybody will receive over 51% of the votes, therefore a second round will probably ensue come December.

Please pray for fairness, and peace, and that a good leader would be elected in this country!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Back in Mada and Snippets of the Long Journey

We made it! After a very long journey, we made it back to Madagascar. It's still hard for me to believe that my very young family has done this plane ride 3 times! One lady in the airport remarked how little all of our children were and couldn't believe how much they had flown already in their lives. It's funny because Faith met a little boy at a park, while in Canada, and they were chatting about whereabouts they lived. And when the boy mentioned to Faith that he'd never been on a plane before, Faith looked at him as though he were from outer space! Little does she realize that flying/travel, the way our family does it, isn't normal for most children her age.

Once the long travels were over, and we stepped foot into our home, I was happily surprised to feel at home again. I was preparing myself (Karina) for a somewhat foreign feeling, or "Really? This is our home?" Perhaps I was just happy to have those 32 hours behind us. But when we woke up the next morning (3:30am), no, it really did feel good to be back.

 
Here we are at Vancouver International Airport bright and early in the morning! We left Mission at 4:30 to arrive in Vancouver at 6:00. Our first 3-hour flight to Minneapolis would leave at 8:30.
On the first flight. Joyanne with Dad, and Wesley is on the other side of him.
 Happy to be on the first flight. :)
This is in Minneapolis airport. This cafe/bar had a personal Ipad at every single place setting (easily over 100) where you could order food or drinks or even buy electronics and have them brought right to your table. The kids were kept entertained during our entire 3 hour layover in this area.







This is in the airport terminal at Paris. There's a great children's play place nearby the gate where we needed to board our flight for Tana. The kids were so happy to run around for an hour, after the first 8 hour flight, before boarding the plane again for another 11 hours! Considering they basically pulled an all-nighter on that Minneapolis-Paris flight, they were pretty chipper here. :)

... waiting for our bags at Tana International airport (approximately 11:30pm local time, Sunday evening) 




Only 4 items of 12 that we checked in Vancouver were missing at the airport! Not bad. Rob and Michel went to get 3 of them which arrived early the next morning. And the last item should have arrived at the airport as I type this.

What's next? Rob returns to the hangar today (Wednesday)--Not terribly jet-lagged anymore. I am organizing school-material and putting away things we brought from Canada.

Thank you for praying for us and following us on our journey. We are certain it's only because of all the prayer support and God's grace that we have been able to make this long journey again with our family.