mitch & char

mitch & char

Thursday, July 7

Who stole my corn???

The whimsical life of our visitors. A common occurance in our backyard. "You know you are not in the states when..."

Saturday, July 2

Would we have Psalm 51 if David had not sinned?

I have been studying about King David a bit.  God chose him to be the next king (after Saul).  King David once said of Saul “Oh how the mighty have fallen”… King David was on a roller coaster  in his life.  A rise to “fame”, then hit by lust, coveting, adultery, murder…and he tried to cover it all up.  God knew that David must be humbled, and essentially told this dude (Nahum) all about what King David had done.  The result: Perhaps one of the purest prayers of repentance I have read.  Psalm 51.  God knew his heart, and what choices he would make…but He also knew that David would one day repent.


I want to live a life of trust and vulnerability around me(and I recognize that that is dangerous).  If I do it in private-I want someone else to know.  Sin could have taken David, but the Grace of God redeemed him.  It is easy to cover up, not trust, not build relationships…it is dangerous to live in the open, be accountable, and take the risk that it is not if but WHEN trust is broken.  Man will let us down, but GOD never will (I love those “but God” moments).


Yet-God’s example with David is that the things we should be ashamed of need to be out in the open.  Accountability to God and to man.  Our sin will always find us…what if David had been open with his courts the instant he had Lust in his heart?  What story would have unfolded? ( I truly don’t know.  However, as the story went-it is a beautiful, humbling and rekindling experience)


Sin is such a slippery slope…one thing leads to another, and each step leads farther away from God.  As we prepare for Hills Alive, and to speak to Christians, non Christians, and who-ever else is there, we are recognizing that no matter which step any of us is on-there is still hope.  God truly wants to redeem ALL to Himself…a truly repentant heart is a beautiful thing.  It is NEVER too late to connect or re-connect with Jesus.  NO sin is too far for God to reach from the heights of the heavens to the bottom of the oceans to redeem. (see jonah)


Had David’s sin not led down a horrible path, generations would not have benefited from the results of God’s redeeming grace and a true example of repentance.  Not saying that sin is EVER ok, but what choices you have made can be stopped, turned around, and buried…all for one purpose: To Glorify God and touch generations.


I am a sinner-and desire to be a man after God’s own heart…


Friday, July 1

Budget Vs. Detergent: Budget Wins...

Thought you would enjoy this post from our missionary friends and fellow bloggers.  The Prince family(OH how we love them).  This may help shine a little light on how to save money in a developing nation with prices set higher than developed nations…



We live on a budget. We've been doing this budget thing for years -- cash envelopes, etc. It feels pretty normal. But, in the States I could cut corners and save money by store-hopping, "couponing" when necessary, and being pretty strategic. I wasn't a "double coupon Wednesday" girl, or a major clipper, but if I came across one that would work for us, I'd use it. However, since being in Africa, I've quickly learned that we don't have a lot of leeway. There's one generally one store with one option, one astronomical price, and we need to pay it to get what we need.


If you're following along with us on this journey, you may have learned that there is virtually zero middle class. That means that prices also follow the same premise. Rice, sugar, mealie (it's a white cornmeal used for porridge), beans, and fruits and veggies at roadside stands are quite inexpensive. I can get a monster pineapple for 1 USD. That's fun. However, if it's anything that we Americans would find a necessity (that typically Africans would not), we're going to pay and pay dearly for them.


Here are some examples:


Toilet paper, nine rolls (as opposed to 12): 8-10 USD

Dental floss: 5 USD

Shampoo (your run of the mill stuff, nothing extravagant): 6 USD

Shaving cream (again, run of the mill): 6-8 USD

Mascara (Maybelline or Cover Girl -- nothing fancy!): 14 USD

Mouthwash, off-brand: 8 USD

Contact Lens Solution, one bottle: 14-16 USD

Laundry detergent, 2KG 8-10 USD


Even cleaning supplies are crazy expensive, and they aren't the quality that we're used to in the States. We don't have a dishwasher, so we go through lots of dish soap. We'll pay about 5 USD for a bottle of something that looks like dish soap, but we don't see many bubbles. It's difficult to clean (or so we think) without bubbles. We Americans like bubbles.


Nonetheless, while we're still encountering sticker shock here and there, it's also a challenge to stretch the budget -- see how far our money can go. We have an amazing team of supporters whom we are so thankful for, and it's really important that we're the best stewards of what God and the team has provided for us to be here.


So, with all that, I've been seeing what I can do as "minister of domesticity" to cut some corners when I can. For example, we no longer buy expensive window cleaner -- we have a lot of windows, glass, and little fingers, and the 5 USD I was spending was way too much for how little it lasted. We now use vinegar and water with drops of dish soap, and it cleans much better than anything I could buy -- without the chemicals!


Before we left the States, our dear Jami Shull did a little googling and made us a huge tub of the Duggars' laundry detergent. It was awesome and lasted forever. So earlier in the week I ran out of detergent and it was either shell out too much for a new pouch, or get creative. I went for the latter -- and you can, too.


You'll need:


-Bar Soap (just one bar!)

-Washing Soda or Baking Soda (one cup)

-Borax (one cup)


SOAP: For my first batch I used "Green Bar." If you've been in Africa for a period of time, you'll know what I'm referring to. The original recipe called for a laundry soap similar to Fels Naptha, but we can't get that here. Green Bar is a laundry soap that you can buy in huge quantities, and the Swazis use it for everything -- it's pretty amazing stuff. The only thing I don't care for is the smell, but thankfully I have a small stash of dryer sheets. As far as the soap, you can probably use anything -- Ivory, etc.


With this one bar of soap, you'll either need to grate it (which is exhausting!), or do something way more fun. Throw it in the microwave until it slowly puffs up and dries out. You want it completely dry, so just keep microwaving it -- mine didn't burn, and it's an awesome science experiment for you homeschooling mamas, or you bored daddies. :)


WASHING SODA: We can't get washing soda here, but thanks to my awesome friend google (I use him sooo much in Africa!), I've learned that if you bake baking soda -- it's "bicarbonate of soda" in Africa -- at about 300°F for at least an hour, something happens chemically and it becomes washing soda. I'm not a chemist, but that's awesome.


So, what you'll need next is your food processor or blender. Process the dried soap, washing soda and borax together under very, very fine -- until it looks like laundry detergent! And, here's what I got out of one batch: a little butter tub that holds 128 (!!!!) loads worth of detergent, using just one tablespoon at a time. Pennies per load, and the satisfaction is priceless. :)