Please forgive us for not blogging. The internet is shared between about 13 people, passing an “internet stick” among our two homes. When it is finally your turn, it takes forever for a page to load, and it goes out frequently. We are very busy here, this is what we are busy doing:
* being tutored in the language
* pumping water from a well for washing and drinking
* feeding chickens 3 times a day
* giving water to chickens several times daily
Well, our flight has been cancelled! Due to the storm of the century arriving soon, all flights out of Dulles are cancelled Monday. We will just have to wait and see day by day at this point. We will have to talk to the missionary before re-scheduling, as he will be picking us up in Dakar, and we will take an overnight ferry that only runs twice a week. We are praying for our friends and family who live in areas that may be hit hard by the storm (ourselves included!).
On Friday our missionary support team (MST) surprised us with a thanksgiving dinner! Yum! We stuffed ourselves with turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, green bean casserole, fresh fruit salad and apple crisp and pumpkin dessert! We had a great time of prayer with our MST also. Our team leader is a PT, so, he evaluated my shoulder and said it is most likely rotator cuff tendonitis. He told me a few exercises I could do to try to help it. Saturday, Steve's parents kidnapped me and insisted on buying me very good shoes for our trip. I now have an awesome pair of clark's waterproof walking shoes that feel wonderful! Katja is working on schoolwork already; she said it felt weird not to be doing homework!
We will keep you updated on our plans.Thanks for your prayers!
Wow, is time going fast! 3 more days and we will be on our way! Well, if the weather cooperates, that is! I guess a "Frankenstorm" is headed our way. We are preparing to sit at the airport if things get dicey. We can play games (dutch blitz anyone?) eat snacks and nap! On my agenda for today: laundry (done), a fun activity I call, "clutter control" (mostly done), making an email list for our newsletters (not done), Steve and I are the only ones home, so, I can't enlist much help for folding towels and sheets and carrying them upstairs. I will have Steve carry, though. My back hurts from the little bit I did. We pray for all our friends and family who are in the target area of storm activity, depending on things go, I wonder if it will affect our drive to Dulles Monday? I am starting to worry a bit that our older kids will feel overwhelmed by the responsibilities of running a household and caring for the plants and animals. I know they will rise to the challenge! I also know that God will enable them to do what they need to, even if that means asking for help. Aren't you glad that we don't have to do the work of life alone? Even when we feel most alone, our Heavenly Father is right with us, waiting for us to call out to Him. Jeremiah 33:3 says, "‘Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great
and unsearchable things you do not know."
If you feel burdened by worry, whether it is the impending storm or something else, will you let me pray for you?
Father God, I ask you to be with my friend right now. Please put your loving arms around them and calm their fears. Pour your Holy Spirit upon them and give them the peace that passes all understanding. If they have drifted away from a close relationship with you, help them to hear your voice calling them back. Help them turn their hearts back to you; give them a desire to read and follow your Word; and help them to feel your unconditional love. I thank you, Father, that we can come to you as we are; that we don't have to clean ourselves up first. Help us to walk with you, Lord. To live pure and Holy lives before you. I ask this all in our Saviors' name, Jesus Christ, Amen.
We are humbled by the generosity of our friends and family! We were the happy recipients of a delicious homemade pizza dinner today. 5 little "bakers" (named, "Baker") help their Mama make the pizza, and decorated one of them with a happy face in pepperoni. Another friend had lunch with me; a meal is being brought over tomorrow and we are going to our missionary team leader's house on Friday to have dinner with our team. Another sweet blessing happened when i bought a pair of hand made earrings to send to a friend. My friend I was with told the woman who made the jewelry that we were going to Africa. I gave her one of our "prayer cards" and told her what we were doing. She told me she would pray for me and after I paid for the gift, she told me to pick out a pair for myself-for free! She said she could not go on a mission trip, but she wanted to bless me with a pair of earrings. She told me not to look at the price, just to pick out what I liked. After I finally picked out a pair, she told me, "God bless you, be safe and think of this gift as from your Daddy (God)!" Wow. I worked on several things around the house when I got home, but not too much. Thankfully, my back feels a lot better! I honestly can't believe we are leaving for Africa on Monday!
I did not get much done yesterday for our trip. It was reserved for my friend, Reba. She called it, "Pamela Day." she took me out to lunch and we wandered around an antique shop. It was good to spend time with a close friend before we leave. We have been saying our good-byes to friends and family the last week or so. Katja and I traveled to New Jersey last week and had a nice visit with my mom and my 2 sisters. We also had a full day of Missionary training in Mount Joy last week. Friends are calling and asking to bring meals; we are so blessed. Today, I worked at the house all day. I have been trying to get organized and get things as clean as I can before we leave. I did a little too much, and now my back is really hurting! So, now I must rest, which is hard to do when I still have so much to do. Please pray with me that God will heal the pain and help me get all my cleaning and packing done (and dishes washed, and laundry done, etc).
We are busy packing, weighing and re-packing our suitcases; making lists of things we need to do; saying good-bye to family and friends and vacillating between being excited and being terrified of going to Africa for 6 months! We each are taking 2 pieces of luggage, 50 lbs each. One piece is a small RV refrigerator for the medical clinic. We have been given many things to take to the clinic and the missionary. Some of these items are: 2 brooms, one kitchen and one a huge push broom, these will be cut in half or thirds to pack in suitcases, and the missionary (Beryl) will put them back together in the village. a package of used prescription glasses, new reading glasses, 2 very large frying pans, medicine for the clinic, a camera for a villager, bandages, gauze and other medical supplies. I am sure I am forgetting some things. Things we are bringing: 2 cooking pots (Beryl told us to bring for our use), 4 canisters of rolled oats (oatmeal is not available there and I felt that it would be a good breakfast and a source of calcium when made with dry milk), 2 large jars of peanut butter, 2 big bags of trail mix, a 50 oz camping coffee press, 2 lbs of coffee (don't know if we can get good coffee or any coffee there), lots of stick deodorant (unavailable in GB), 9 toothbrushes for us, 4 tubes of toothpaste, 5 changes of clothes each, hiking sneakers, water shoes, keen sandals for me, malaria pills, antibiotics in case of illness, ibuprofen, personal prescriptions to last 6 months, 1 set of sheets, camping soap to use for laundry, dishes, shampoo and shower. We also bought a 5 gallon camping shower to hang up in a stall. We have been staying up too late most nights lately, getting ready, and waking up too early due to excitement or not being able to turn our minds off of what we may be forgetting! I am going to bed now, I'll try to write about how we are preparing to leave next time. There are so many loose ends to tie up when you leave the country for this long! Blessings, my friends!
Thanks to our daughter, Emma, for the catchy title! Welcome! We are the Jablonski family. Steve is a physician assistant with about 25 medical mission trips worth of experience over the last 20 years. I am his wife, Pamela. I am a registered nurse with a Master's degree in nursing education. We have 6 wonderful children: Josh, a high school history teacher in Philadelphia (wife is Lindsay, an MD) 25; Caleb,an elementary teacher, 24; Julianna, an Elementary and Special Education major (husband Jed, an English teacher), 22; Samuel, a Bible college student, 20; Emma, a pre-occupational therapy major, 19; and Katja, an 8th grade student, 12.
This website will be a meeting place for our family, friends and supporters, and a forum for our newsletters.
We are busy getting ready to go to Guinea-Bisseau for a 6 month term serving in a small very rural village. We will be helping in a medical clinic on the mission grounds, possibly helping in the preschool, building relationships and modeling a loving family life. Women are seen as property in West Africa. Men have multiple wives and beat their wives and children.
so, in a very short 3 weeks, we will be heading out for a very exciting time of our lives!
* please pray for our family at home, for safety, provision and protection.
* for safe travel for us
* for us to learn the language (Guinea-Bisseau Kriol) quickly
* for protection from illness
* for a smooth transition from living in a land of convenience and plenty to a very rustic and sparse lifestyle (which we are actually excited about-go figure!)
Thanks to all who have supported us in prayer and financially! Please keep praying! I will try to keep this site updated as well as I can, internet coverage is not always the best on the mission grounds.