Thursday, December 15, 2005

December Update


We are in the dark here in Angola! Just meaning that we have been without electricity for 12 days and counting! It is actually just our neighbourhood that has the problem, but apparently it is a major one! The first 2 days of our power outage was also a city wide water problem, unfortunately we are not in the loop language-wise so we missed out on the warning, no water for 2 days! The generators that we brought from Canada had a faulty part so we were waiting for them to come, and as I mentioned in my last email we had just purchased a side of beef that we were hoping to keep cool!!! We drove to Lubango for a prayer meeting with the SIM missionaries (thanks for the invite, very encouraging!) and to pick up our parts for the generators. Praise the Lord they were in! On Wednesday we came home and Pete installed the part and the generator fired up... it then proceeded to run for about 4 hours that day, and 2 the next and it went dead! Pete checked it over, couldn't figure out the problem. The man living in our annex offered to take it to a mechanic friend and today it is back, working like a charm! It is amazing how much you count on electricity, you only "REALLY" realize it when it is absent from your life! So I am sure you are asking what happened to our meat... well thankfully (yet sadly) the Joubert's are going home to South Africa for Christmas and their deep freeze was almost empty... it is TOTALLY full now! THANK YOU!

Is that all, you say? Well actually there is a fuel shortage now... we do have fuel in Namibe, but when we were in Lubango we drove around from one end of the city to the other looking for diesel and there was NONE to be had! In fact the line ups for gas were incredible! So we bought some off one of the missionaries at Mitcha and headed out on our way, praying there would be fuel in Namibe. I only had to wait behind 5 vehicles for my fuel this time! There is fuel today but that is no guarantee for tomorrow! This is Angola!

Other than that, well one of our batteries on the truck is no longer any good, Pete let them use it on the water pump when they were trying to figure out the problem and it sucked the life out of it. So hopefully we will be able to make due until we reach Namibia as everything is twice as expensive here as it is there. Which brings me to another point, we will have to travel to Namibia to renew our visas again in the middle of January... no one is looking forward to the trip... although in a way I find it bitter-sweet. Groceries are a lot less expensive and you can find things that you cannot find here! Other than that the bone wrenching roads leave your back a mess for weeks, so it is give and take!

On a much more positive and upbeat note... (not that we are down and depressed over the events of the last couple of weeks... it is just life here and the sooner you get used to that idea the easier it is to handle...) the girls have been going to choir practice several times a week, I am hoping they get brave enough soon to join them on a Sunday morning, but so far they are too shy and unsure of themselves to do it. The sun is shining every day, not easy to get into the Christmas spirit, but we'll survive. The kids were able to get some used books last week, enough to keep them busy for quite some time... even Trevor and Tavis are getting into the swing of reading! It is very exciting! Pete and I are plodding along with our language training, with our new teacher Augusto. He is hard on us, but it is good!

Just a couple of prayer requests:
1. For continued perseverance in every area of our lives (life, language, school, etc) 2. For Rosa's daughter Minda (our house-help, she comes 4 days a week and brings her smallest child with her) she has malaria... she was very weak on Monday and her mom took her to the hospital while we were away, she got medicine and Thursday when she came Minda looked much better, but today again she is not looking great so Rosa was going to take her back to the hospital. Rosa has 4 other children and her husband left her 9 months ago and hasn't returned, she says he is in Lubango.

Thank you all for your continued prayers and encouraging letters you've sent. Thanks for keeping in touch.

Hope you have a Joyous Christmas Season!
Charlene for the Knightly Family in Angola!

November 27 Update

Knightly News Update
November 27, 2005
Hi all,
I figured it was time to send out another update, since the last one sounded as though we were not going to make it out alive! We are still alive; a little beat up but still breathing! :0) God is good... All the time!
Some of the highlights:
1. Thankfully we have had more regular power.
2. Our rusty water lines were replaced with PVC (the backyard is still all in an upheaval, but we have water!!!) 3. We have managed to have a meeting with our leadership here in Angola, we were able to discuss our concerns and they responded very well. We are looking forward to more regular meetings (possibly monthly) just to keep the lines of communication open! Praise the Lord.
4. We had some unexpected visitors for a few days which was nice, a fellow missionary's Landy broke down and we ended up towing it to Lubango last week. I took some great pic's for all you Landy fan's out there :0) We also had a very nice visit while they were stranded, we got to know a short term missionary who is from Manitoba she just finished a 3 month term in Menongue.
5. We had another visitor from Lubango, an MK (Missionary Kid), it was nice to have the visit, PLUS it was also nice to have a translator to help out for a few days!
6. Pete has planted his garden at the farm, it is amazing how fast things grow here, the corn had sprouted and was up about 1 inch in 4 days.
7. Pete has been doing some work at the farm (gas and produce runs), a good warm up for when the Joubert's go for Christmas for 6 weeks (Ahhh). Strauss had been away to South Africa for 2 weeks and we are glad he is back!
8. Pete helped work on the water pump at the farm (which is very old and in NEED of replacement), it is up and running now... we must pray that it stays that way!
9. We have been able to go and minister to a group of people in Namibe that live in patched-up tents (they were evicted from the caves they lived in), we look forward to getting to know them better... we'll keep you posted!
10. We are very thankful for the truck that God has provided us with (it stands out like a sore thumb here in Angola, although there is a man with a white crew cab Dodge Ram here in Namibe). People here in Angola walk many miles in their lifetime, and our feeling is that if we can lift that burden for even a few miles "em nome de Jesus" "in the name of Jesus" then we will do it. Please pray for the safety of our passengers and that the truck will continue to run efficiently!
11. The kids still struggle away at their school work; sadly all the Angolan kids have holidays now until February... it IS summer here!
12. Talitha is thinking she would like to go back to Canada for grade 12, so we are working on where she will stay and go to school. She really enjoys it here, but she has some specific courses she would like to take and it will benefit her to return home.
13. We were able to purchase a side of beef from the Tchincombe Farm (another UIEA project) for the 'summer'... pray that the parts for our generator come soon as we need a back-up when the power goes out.
14. We renewed our visas in Lubango for our first renewal back in-country, as here in Namibe they translate the rules a bit differently (instead of the first renewal after exiting the country, they say the first renewal for your lifetime), the difference is about $25 US dollars per person!!! So we drive 2 hours for our first renewal! Please pray about our work visa process, it is difficult to know where it is at (or if it is LOST). The next OUT OF COUNTRY trip will be mid-January (if we have to!!!).
15. I must say that we are very thankful for the Joubert family; we are really going to miss them over the Christmas holidays. They have been a great encouragement to us and we say "thank you"!
16. On another note... I can't believe it is less than a month until Christmas!!!! It is SO warm here!!! What a transition! We'll keep you posted on how we handle that!
17. Almost forgot, Tavis had malaria a few weeks ago. He is up and running again but he sure was lethargic and worn out for a good week. Thankfully we were able to buy some good malaria med's in Namibia before we came up (we are also taking an anti-malaria medication... but it doesn't STOP you from getting it, it supposedly just weakens the effect?) 18. It looks as though we have found a language teacher. We will keep you posted on how it goes!
Well, that is probably enough for now... everyone is feeling ok now (it is off and on... kinda like the electricity... ha!). We sure appreciate all of your prayers and communication. It is so nice to hear from you. Have any questions??? Just drop us a note, we'll try to answer! Internet is one of the highlights of our week (if it is working... :0).
Just in case you wanted to send out some snail mail our mailing address is:
Knightly Family
Igreja Evangelica de Cristo
CP 307
Via Portugal
(If you live in Africa you can leave off the via Portugal, but otherwise it gets to us quicker if you send it that way)
We look forward to hearing from you, and those of you in the north "enjoy the cold and snow"!!! If we start to miss it we will just hop in the freezer for a while!
Love and prayers,
Charlene for the Knightly Gang!