Monday, September 28, 2009

Lusata Cultural Festival

Every year on the last Saturday in September is the Lusata Cultural Festival in Chinchimane. It is a celebration honoring the Litunga of the Mafwe people, Chief George Simasiku Mamili VII. We travel about an hour from Katima early in the morning and made our way to the Mafwe Royal Establisment venue.

We were invited to this event by Elton’s grandpa Fred. He is a very respected elder in our community and provided the opening prayer for the ceremony. We were seated alongside Grandpa Fred under a long thatched roof. We had front row seats to where the events were taking place. I was shocked at the number of people that kept arriving by the truckload. I was pleasantly surprised that Becca and I weren’t the only white people there (although the other people were clearly tourists).

It was a day filled with watching cultural dances, drum players, the ceremony to welcome the chief, the procession of the Lusata (the royal mace) and many speeches. I wish I could have captured how people were so colorfully dressed. There was quite a range from reed shirts, to full traditional dress, to men in skirts, and the regal clothes of the Chief himself. We ended up leaving around 3pm but it was clear the party was just getting started. My biggest disappointment is that I had heard that they butcher a ton of game such as elephant, giraffe, warthog, hippo, crocodile, etc. for these kinds of events. But if they were serving that meat somewhere I missed it. I really wanted to get a taste of elephant. Oh well… there is always next year, right?

It was a very interesting day for me to get a look into my husband’s cultural background. After attending this event I came home and googled it. I found very little information, but I did find this one article I found to be interesting.

There is also a Museum of the Mafwe people not too far from Katima.

Friday, September 25, 2009

The Barbershop

I thought you might like to see one of the more mundane details of life. Elton is COZV’s unofficial barber. Pictured here is Isabella getting a cool style for Namibian summer with Mathias checking to make sure he doesn’t miss a spot. Unfortunately most of our little girls had to go with this “summer” style due to some sort of funky scalp fungus most likely brought on by a disregard for personal hygiene. We are lucky Elton has this skill because you can imagine what an expense it would be to haul all the boys and some of the girls into town to get their hair cut.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Never travel by bus in Africa

Taken with my cellphone while we were waiting for the "rescue" bus

So last week Becca and I went to Windhoek to retrieve my truck. We had to go down via Intercape bus... supposedly one of the more reliable forms of transportation in Namibia. I've never really been a big fan of riding the bus (just ask my family) but in my opinion this trip left something to be desired. The good news is I eventually got my truck, but I'll never take the bus again.

Read Becca's blog for her insightful look at our trip:

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Compassion Walk 2009

New Hope Free Methodist Church is doing a fundraiser for Elton and I. If you want more details, you can contact:

Event: Comapssion Walk 2009"Walk-a-thon to raise support for AIDS relief in Namibia"
What: Fundraiser
Start Time: Saturday, October 10 at 8:30am
End Time: Saturday, October 10 at 2:00pm
Where: The 9 mile walk begins at New Hope Free Methodist.

Thanks all for what you are trying to do to support us! We appreciate it so much!!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Fall 2009 Newsletter

The Passage of Time
It has been quite a long time since I’ve communicated with most of my supporters. It really is no excuse but time moves differently in Africa. When you are waiting in the line at the store, time moves at a snail’s pace here. But when you look at the passage of days and months, there is often little time to breath. It is hard to believe that in November I will have been living here 2 years. What a whirlwind 2 years it has been. My first year was just getting used to the culture, language, environment, my role in ministry and the adventure of living in a foreign country. The second year has been filled adding someone special to my life and ministry.

Most Exciting News
Maybe the biggest change in my life this year is that on March 14, 2009 in Voorhesville, New York, I married M. Elton Mubuyaeta. I met Elton while working at COZV when I was here on a short-term trip in May 2007 during a garage sale we had for the staff. I didn’t think much of the chance encounter but he reminded me of it when I returned in Nov. 2007. At the time I wasn’t really interested but as our friendship grew, I began to realize my opinion was changing. When a friend of mine from the USA came to spend 3 months volunteering here she saw something in the way I looked at him and gave me the final kick in the pants I

needed to give our relationship a shot. The rest is history. God has richly blessed me with an amazing man!
We had an African ceremony on August 9, 2009. To be able to celebrate with Elton’s huge extended family was such a blessing! They have welcomed me with open arms!

Our Future Ministry: The Transition home

The Epiphany House under construction. It has been delayed by the flood because the foundation was under water.

In the near future we hope to move to a new home, the Epiphany House, built just outside the gates of COZV. This home is intended to be a place where our children can move as they turn 16+ as a way of becoming more independent and preparing them to be discharged. Elton and I will be teaching them how to care for themselves when they return to a more traditional village setting. Our lessons will be kind of like Home Economics 101: Village-style. It will include cooking traditional foods, village etiquette, sewing, gardening, washing clothes by hand, budgeting, banking, etc.
The house will consist of three separate apartments: the Mubuyaetas, the boys and the girls. This will be a continuation of our ministry at COZV, just taking a small side-step in a new direction. We feel like this is a great fit for us as an American-Namibian couple and are excited about the opportunity.

A Time Of Transition
Rebecca and Gary Mink, along with their two sons, Samuel and Simeon, have served at COZV since 2001. In August 2009, they felt it time to leave this ministry to pursue a different vision that God has given them. We wish them many blessings in their future ministry. They will be greatly missed here. Please pray for our board of directors as they search for new on-site directors.

The Flood
In March 2009, Children of Zion Village had to be evacuated due to severe flooding of the Zambezi River. We sought refuge at a nearby lodge that was able to accommodate us for about six weeks while we were waiting for the waters go down. Fortunately, the water never entered into any of our buildings or did any major damage to our property. It did, however, majorly damage the 4km dirt road our home is located at the end of which has now since been repaired.

Last year, an amazing anonymous donor gave me enough money to buy a very decent 2000 Nissan Hardbody double cab 4x4 pickup truck from a private seller in Windhoek. Despite the flood waters never reaching my truck, it was still badly damaged by the rains. We had to wait for our road to be reopened until we could tow the truck in for repairs. It’s been in Windhoek for almost four months receiving repairs to the computer box, fuel injectors and other misc items damaged by water. The computer box alone was nearly N$30,000 to repair. Fortunately, the car insurance is paying most of the damage but I still have a high deductible amount to pay.
The flood came close but never actually touched the vehicle. What a blessing! At this point it was surrounded by water with no where else to move it.

Being Here:
A Psalm of Gratitude for Children of Zion Village

Oh Lord, how loving is your name in our ears.
We praise you for our home beside the fresh river;
For the birds sweet song that we hear.
Thank you for your protection through the day and night.
Thank you for our mother and father,
Our brothers, sisters, aunties, and uncles.
Many around us are starving, but we are well fed.
You are our Provider.
Many children are alone,
But you have sent us many people
From all over the world to love us.
Thank you for the many gifts you have given us;
Peaceful sleeping and joyful days.
We are all sinners
But you forgave us and changed us, oh Lord.
Thank you for Christian education.
Thank you for all you have done in our lives.
Please don't leave us; be among us.
We want to see Your Kingdom.

Written by COZV Girls Bible study
Engela, Anna, Emelia, Lisedi, Rochester, Efa
ages 10-12

Support Needed
For the 2 years that I have been a missionary, I have been uncomfortable with the title. In my mind I have this mythical view of who a missionary is… It doesn’t really feel like me. I’m just “me” doing ordinary, everyday work for God. For this reason, I have really struggled with asking for financial support and now I’m paying the consequences. To be blatantly honest, our support is almost in the red. God has convicted me that I’ve been trying to live on my own power without asking him for help. I’ve made 101 excuses thinking I can continue to do it on my own, but it is painfully clear I can’t.

Now I come to you, my prayer and financial supporters, to humbly ask you to continue to financially support the ministry God has entrusted to me despite my lack of faith and my pride. Elton and I really feel called to continue in this ministry but we will be unable to continue without an increase in finances. Please consider becoming monthly supporters by sending checks made out to Children of Zion earmarked for Jessica Breitenbach-Mubuyaeta to: PO Box 413 Churchville, MD 21028

(I know there is some confusion about where my support should be sent. Please discontinue any previous addresses you might have been using.)

If you are interested in volunteering, contact:

Children of Zion Inc.
PO Box 413
Churchville, MD 21028