Posts Tagged ‘brenda jansen’

Out Of Africa

Friday, October 1st, 2010

Brenda and Perry Jansen

This summation is probably for my benefit as I reflect on the incredible experience Steve and I had In Malawi and South Africa.  Safari’s are not glamorous but folk who dedicate their lives to helping others are rock stars! They are the people who captured my heart on this God-led journey.

Dr. Perry Jansen: visionary, doctor,awesome guitarist, expert in AIDS and tropical diseases, Man of God, Caring father, colleague to many, and funny.

Brenda: devoted Mom and helpmate, tender and focused heart, hostess, musical,anchor.

Nate: bright student, college bound, passionate worship leader, great guitarist, kind big brother, huge potential.

Jansen Family

Erin: emerging woman, playful kid, good writer, great big sister, sweet tooth.

Olivia: small voice, big smile, large heart, pixie, chocolate bundle of joy and delight.

Blessing: phenomenal natural talent, dependable, quiet, polite, appreciative. Bird painter extraordinaire.

Donald:  supportive friend, gracious, focused ladder climber.

Anna, Miriam, Joseph, Lester, Ida, Lucy, Octavius, Grant, John Hamilton, John Fielder, Cory, Elizabeth, Stalkers, Colleen, Maxwell, Agnes, the kids of Takambe, nurses in frilly caps, Blue-gingham girls, the 4:30 ambulance pile-in, Chijenzes, ironed shirts, short ties, and the miracles God brought about to pass every single day.

Blessing and Donald

Things I wont miss:  Goats, potholes, crumbling roads, cold showers, bicycles, smoke, power outages, no internet, pushy vendors, extreme poverty, flying for 26 hours, converting kwatcha$, nsima.

Things I did miss or will miss:  Family at home, new friends in  Malawi, wine, big salads, servants, the warmth of the people, power outages (hey candlelight is nice) the African worship, people with passion, childrens’  faces, visiting, tv-less, early nights, early mornings, MASH episodes.

Dick and Charlotte Day

In Zomba we now have fond memories of Moira and Steve Chimombo, Dick and Charlotte Day, Windeson’s cooking, Winston, Ben, Jean,Irene, Isabel,Catherine, Faith the villages of Simyoni, Kawiya,  Makundula, the Mponda School and Zomba Central Hospital.

And we took the love of wonderful folk who donated panties, time, baby caps, pencils, quilts, stencils and funds to make it all happen,  and PRAYER and those who offered it up that kept us safe and healthy!! and a husband who shared a passion and humbly served others. Love him even more.

Thank you Editor, you keep me grounded and connected.

What a journey!


Leaving Friends

Monday, September 20th, 2010

We were overwhelmed by our last day in Lilongwe.  The Dedication of our artwork and the appreciation that came our way, as well as saying adieu to the wonderful Jansen family. There are so many emotions tied in with both experiences, they are heartfelt and words just can’t do it.

What a wonderful, warm, loving time for Steve and I. We felt welcomed, that we were of some small service, made friends, and made good friends better friends.

We are Zomba bound to relinguish all our luggage’s contents (panties, caps, scarves etc) in the villages that have Gogo Grandmother groups in them.

Be safe, dear ones in Lilongwe.  God Bless you as richly as you have blessed us!

Baby Weigh Station

Wednesday, September 8th, 2010

Well Noah got finished! The weighing and measuring table is in front of it and this stencil is courtesy of Catherine Delft. Catherine is family to the Jansen’s, and she mailed this to me in the states before we left. Her design was carbon papered to the wall, and then we got to play with the colors. Hope we did you proud!

Marketplace Mayhem

Monday, September 6th, 2010

So you get to this slight canyon full of stalls, pay someone to watch your car, and venture in. The first person comes up to you and extends their hand and says “I’m—–, who are you?” From that point on, every vendor know your name and calls for you to buy their wares.

The produce was so colorful. Brenda (our host, and guide) said the strawberries are always shiny because they lick them right before they thrust them in your face at a good price!  She does wash every produce item from ANY market with bleach water, tho’ I haven’t let myself eat any berries.

Where Did I Put The Keys?

Friday, August 27th, 2010

We are currently residing with Dr. Perry and Brenda Jansen and their kids Nate, Erin and Olivia. They live in the older section of town on an acre surrounded by a 10′ block wall, topped with an electric fence and barbed wire. There is a guard on site 24/7 and an on-call private security firm.  Brenda says if you call the police, you’d probably have to go pick them up and give them a pencil and paper to write up the report.

Our attached guest house has two entry doors with dead bolt and an iron gate with a 5 lb padlock that we latch every night. Let’s see, bars on the windows, 2 German shepherds, I guess that’s it.

Oh and the best protection, is the mosquito netting over the bed.

Prayer Letter

Tuesday, August 17th, 2010

“As you help us by your prayers many will give thanks on our behalf for the gracious favor granted us in answer to the prayers of many.” 2 Corinthians 1:11

Malawi FlagWe are excited to have the opportunity to go to Malawi, Africa from Aug. 19th – Sept. 28th.  In retirement we thought it was time to we checked up on some of the folks we have supported in ministry over the years.  You might say we are leaving our comfort zone, and putting feet on our faith.

First we visit Dr. Perry and Brenda Jansen in the capitol of Lilongwe.  They were teens in Debbie’s youth choir back in the mid 1970’s.   We hope to paint murals and graphics on the walls of a new 3 story hospital.  Debbie is thrilled that she gets to paint on more walls (a hobby) .

After about 3 1/2 weeks we will get ourselves to Zomba and Blantyre in southern Malawi, to visit an organization called GoGo Grandmothers (‘GoGo’ is the word for grandmother in their language).  The grandparents are raising their grandchildren because their parents have died of AIDS.  These dear hearts are learning to raise a soy crop for more protein, and also being educated on how to teach their young ‘Reasons For Waiting Until Marriage’.  We have gathered underwear, baby caps, sewing kits, and head scarves to let them know that friends in America care.  Four + full suitcases!!

Our request of you is that if we come to mind, please pray.  Tuck our little mission in a spot in your brain and keep us lifted up.  We know God can take care of the health & travel issues as well as protection from the forces of evil when we come to Him in prayer.

Also from our little website [], we will keep you updated on our experiences.  We understand they have Internet randomly in the country as only 6% have electricity, but we will do our best to stay in touch. (God bless the Internet and Skype for keeping us close)

The prayers of friends and family have carried us through some amazing times, Thank you.

Debbie and Steve

We covet your prayers, but several friends have asked where they could send a financial gift. If this is on your heart, you can mail a tax deductible check to Partners in Malawi (see below) with our name on the memo line. This will help pay for the projects we hope to undertake.  We can’t fly with paint, so that will be an expensive purchase on that end.  However, this letter is meant only to solicit prayer.

Send checks to:
Pam Douglas, Director
Partners in Malawi
2948 Colorado Avenue
Santa Monica, CA 90404