Bye-Bye Biedebachs!

The Biedebachs left on Tuesday, for a couple weeks in South Africa over Christmas, and then furlough in America until July.

JULY!  We’re really going to miss this family!  Not only are they our partners in ministry, they’re our good friends.  And the longer we work with them, the more we’ve grown to appreciate and enjoy them as colleagues and friends.

The Biedebachs had packed up their beds and linens on Monday, so came to spend their last night at our house.  It was like a slumber party!  Abi loved having lots of kids to play with and read books to her first thing in the morning!

Then Tuesday morning, all 6 Biedebachs and all their luggage loaded up in their Land Rover and Matt took them to the airport.

We’ll miss this sweet family!

Matt and the Constable

We’re in the midst of May madness around here.  School’s about to finish for the “summer,” wedding season is starting up, and around here friends are getting ready to move or go on furlough so there are lots of good-byes.  But I couldn’t help stopping for a few minutes to post this one fun picture of Matt.  It was his birthday, and we were passing by as a friend – who will remain nameless – was getting a speeding ticket.  In fairness to our very good friend – still nameless – his clutch went out and he could only drive in 3rd gear.  But as we stopped, Brian Nameless thought it would be fun to get a picture of Matt and the constable.  =)

GCC High School Team

We thought we had a big house until the Grace Community Church High School Team showed up!  It may have been a little ambitious to add 26 people to our house, but it seems to be working.  There are a few cold showers, LOTS of shoes in the hallways, and laughter throughout the house.  Most of them are gone all day working on construction projects with Brian Biedebach, but two of them hang out with us every day for KP duty.

 

GCC HS Cups

Feeding 28 of us three meals a day has been quite the endeavor.  We’re feeling pretty organized now though, with all the cups labeled, and everyone broken into the routine.

 

GCC HS Team Photo

We’re enjoying seeing these guys in action.  From playing with village kids to singing special music at church, they’re ready to jump into anything!  You can visit their blog to see what they’re up to!

How to Host 50 People in Your Home

We’ve already had 9 visitors, and we have about 45 more coming to stay in our home in the next few months. It sounds crazy, but this is a part of ministry that we love. Here are some of the things we’ve done to make it work in our house.

 

Mountain of Laundry

1. Get a good washer and dryer.

Thanks to the ladies of Mindset for Missions, we have a great washer/dryer set. They are high-capacity, and we’re putting them to work with mountains of laundry!

 

Half a Cow

2. Buy half a cow.

Yes, we bought half a cow. Someone had given us a quarter of a cow in January 2010 and it took us a year to eat and share it all. With so many people coming, we invested in 104 kgs of beef – that’s 229 pounds. Thankfully it comes processed, so here’s a sampling of what we got: 12 minute steaks, 23 chuck steaks, 28 shins, 32 spare ribs, 78 beef sausages…  A good amount of it is already made into meals or components of meals: empanadas, spaghetti/lasagna sauce, and carne asada.  Our large deep freeze is packed!

 

Guest Bedroom

3. Rearrange your house.

The Lord blessed us with a fabulous house for hosting anyone who comes to visit. It’s a bit big for just the three of us, but we’re putting it to work right now. We have 4 bedrooms with an optional 5th and possible 6th, and 5 bathrooms. It didn’t even feel crowded with 7 seminary guys, which is good because our next team also has 7, and they’re here for 5 weeks. So we play musical beds and match the mosquito nets to the right beds and we’re ready to go!

 

Pantry

4. Shop like you mean it.

We don’t have a Costco here. At times we wish we did, but then we realize that we’d miss out on all the adventures of shopping in Malawi. It goes like this: “If you find the kind of light bulb that we need, buy all they have.” On occasion the same is true of butter, flour, canned tomatoes, and even Coca-cola. The grocery shopping game is interesting when it’s just the three of us at home, but add 7-25 extras and it becomes an extreme sport! We’ve been stockpiling for months to get ready for this, though we’re sure we’ll run out of something and give everyone a good Malawi experience.

 

Biedebach Kids Helping Out

5. Get help.

There’s no way we could do all the normal things in our life and host so many people on our own. We have ladies from the church coming over to help cook, families bringing desserts, and even little decorators giving a helping hand (thanks Biedebach kids!). We’re so thankful for our church here and everyone’s willingness to jump in and share the work and the fun with us!

 

Anyone else want to come visit? We have openings in August… =)

The Biedebach Family

We mentioned the Biedebach family in our latest newsletter, but we realized that many of you may not know who they are. Here’s your introduction!

biedebach
Brian and Anita, Ami (6), Bradley (4), Benjamin (2), and Allison (6 mo)

What a blessing it has been to work with this family! They have fed and housed us, helped us find our feet in a foreign country, invited us into ministry and relationships, challenged us to love Christ more, and taught us a hundred things about what it means to love and serve the church.

The Biedebachs left for furlough 3 months ago, and it looks like it will be another couple months before they are able to return to Malawi. They plan to stay in the States to get some help for Anita who is suffering repercussions of long-term (9 months!), undiagnosed appendicitis. For updates on the Biedebachs and Anita’s situation, you can check out their blog. But here are some favorite and recent pictures of our dear friends and partners in ministry.

Beidebachs USA 1
Ami, Bradley, and Benjamin fill out the percussion section, helping Brian lead music for youth group.

Beidebachs USA 2
October 12, at the airport, on their way to America!

Beidebachs USA smalls1Beidebachs USA smalls2Beidebachs USA smalls3Beidebachs USA smalls4
We’re just a bit jealous of these more recent pictures, as the Biedebachs got to spend an evening hanging out with Matt’s parents in Camarillo, CA.

We do miss the Biedebachs, but we know that God has plans for them in these unexpected months in the States, and His plans are so much better than ours. And really, 2 more months of Costco, mild California winter, and Grace Community Church… that’s not so bad! We hope they can enjoy this time of rest, and we look forward to having them back in Malawi soon!