Tuesday, July 29, 2008


so the time has come for it ... the death of this poorly attended to blog.  

and as karma would demand, it's death from this failed life does not lead to real rest, but the need to be re[born] and to live and work more purely.

and that is what we intend to do at http://the6chapmans.wordpress.com/2008

and praise God for grace that doesn't stay confined inside the box of karma...

Sunday, January 27, 2008

can you spell j-e-t-l-a-g?

Jan. 12. We arrived back ‘home’ in Africa yesterday, and were greeted by our friend John Brand at the airport. He brought our Land Rover to meet us, and we managed to get everything in the car, as it was raining heavily. The boys were thrilled to be back in ‘their’ car, and it has been fun to watch them re-discover their previous life here.

We arrived at 4pm here, which is about 9am Ohio time. Exhausted from the trip, we wanted to be in bed at 10pm, but the boys were wired until 1am… but this morning they slept until noon. And all day they have been back and forth from exhaustion to complete energy – it’s been fun.

I [Crystal] had an African visitor in my shower welcoming me back this morning, a green praying mantis. It made me think of all the prayers of our friends, asking God to deliver us here in safety. Thank You for praying.

My OBGYN appointment was today. The baby is looking very healthy, and I am very happy with my doctor. We’ll return to Johannesburg in a month or so and get an ultrasound and find out if we have a girl or boy [maybe]?

We will be here in Joberg for a few days, getting some things done [appointments, car service, etc...] and visiting friends. It’ll be good to be home in Swaziland soon.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Not quite at home at home - by Crystal

Our time in the States has been both a blessing and a challenge. It has been so wonderful to be here for the year and to enjoy friendships, family, church and all the comforts that America has to offer. On the other hand there is a nagging and tugging at our hearts that this is just not home. Our hearts burst with anticipation to be back in Africa and all that God has for our family as we serve Him there.
It has been so special for us and the boys to be close to family. A huge blessing has been that the boys have really enjoyed hanging out with the Aunties, Uncles and Gram and Gramp. We are so thankful for their love and kindness to us and for their loving extra measure of patience just when we have needed it. As the boys are older now it has been interesting for Lad and I to see through their eyes about their experience living in Africa. They have gone through tons of emotions as their little hearts have processed what our family does. They have had many questions too, voiced their fears about going back and seem to be mourning already at the thought of saying goodbye and in the same breath looking forward to and saying hello again to Africa. It has been good and we are thankful they are able to share their feelings as we talk and pray through all of them.
The boys (Squire and Wyatt) are almost finished with their home schooling for the year and will start a new grade at their school in Africa at the end of January. At the beginning of the year the task seemed daunting to a mom who has never home schooled before and I am happy to say the end is in sight and I think that they actually learned something! The baby, Crusoe is not a baby anymore he is definitely into full-blown toddler life and trying to keep up with those big brothers. The boys had the opportunity to play fall soccer this year and it was so fun to see them running and having a blast being on a team and playing with friends.
The year has been busy and full and we do praise God for our time here. We are getting excited about turning our hearts and hands toward Africa once again. We count it a huge privilege that you are on this journey with us through your prayers and partnership with us. Our family could not survive without you! Thanks for making our time here a good transition for our family and especially for our boys. We look forward to this next term in Africa with you on our team! Love, Crystal

Friday, November 09, 2007

God made brains cool

Waking up on top of my land rover in rural swaziland at a 4.46am sunrise gives you time to think and pray...

...and it just came to me.

7 months without any need for it, and it came back just like that!

People in the States ask me if I know Siswati at all, and I say, “a bit.”

“Tell me some,” they ask … and I can’t think of a word.

But as I arrived back home in SZ last week, the words and conversations just came right out of my mouth.

It is like the context of sight and smell and sound brought it all back to me. Just like that. Brains are cool.

Thank you, Maker God.

in africa again - october 11

Three years ago today Crystal and the boys and I landed in Johannesburg via one way tickets through London, as we moved to Africa to serve Him in whatever He had for us. Crusoe was not born yet, and my exhausted wife and children and I spent a day or two sleeping and recovering from the trip as we entered an entirely new life of serving God in a new place and among a new people.

I arrived in Johannesburg to be greeted by my good friend, Andy Sims, who I met on that same day 3 years ago in this same airport. It is amazing how quickly time has flown by, and how it seems a lifetime ago at the same time.

I am in Africa to prepare for our move back to Swaziland in January of 2008, to meet with the group of people I am going to be serving with in Children’s Cup, and to help a team of people as we begin the process of building Orphan Carepoints in the rural area of Herefords. I will be here for 2.5 weeks and then I will return to Ohio to finish up our interim pastor role at Leroy Community Chapel.

It's going to go by quick. Selah ...

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

the best stuff lasts

what kind of things filled up the events of your life today? what character marks you as you go about that 'filled-up' life and influence the people around you in life?

if you're normal, your life is probably full of things that aren't all that important and your character needs some attention from within the process....

i spent a couple hours last week saying 'goodbye for now' to a friend who is looking at the last days of her life here on earth. what a blessing it was for us - to share a moment with a friend in the trials of watching life on earth escape from her possession... and what amazed me was the beauty of her present clarity in life.

people who are 'dying' tend to know a lot about priorities - there's not much time, so they make the most of it.

Crystal and i cried and laughed and wept with our sister, and were overjoyed at her clarity about God's goodness and grace to us as people - poor, rebellious people who spend so much of our lives defying God and making ourselves too busy for Him.

as our friend's body and health wastes away even now, she is left with nothing but the grace of God, loving forgiveness and repentance in her relationships with her family and friends, and an anticipation of seeing her Savior.

with our friend, as her health fades, the best stuff has lasted. as all else fades, the gold and silver of her character and God's work in her life are shining brightly. i can only pray that as my life gets examined in the tests of today and the future that there will be gold and silver there to shine through, that God will have refined in me in His grace.

Monday, September 03, 2007

wish we were here...

we are in oregon at mt hood where we were pastoring youth for almost 7 years before africa. it has been great to see people and spend time with our students who are now adults - even to marry a couple of them together and send them off into life's journey as a family! thanks God for the honor....

the trouble with all of this is the beauty of it. the beauty of friendships. the beauty of the work of God in the local church. the beauty of the mountians and foothills off my morning deck. the beauty of all the "what if we had's" of life here.

the trouble with serving in different places is disengaging and allowing God to take it beyond you and not wishing you were there ... all the while serving in a new location and time. being willing to enjoy the sweet moments of remembering and not to long for more of the past.

and that doesn't even figure in the issues of snowboarding and fly-fishing - that is a completely different level of disengaging!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007


being id'd, or 'identified,' with Christ is a great spiritual privilege for those who have believed in Him and been transformed by faith through the grace of His resurrection.

Christ called us to tell the good news of the forgiveness that is available in the Cross to everyone around us 'as we go' in life, making them followers of Him by teaching them the Word in a way that leads to the radical transformation of lives. to cap it off though, He told us all to get id'd with him - identified with Him in Baptism. identified with Christ in His death and resurrection to new life - the old is gone, and the new has come!

So Sunday was and 'id'd day' at our church. people id'd with Christ because they just got saved. kids id'd with Christ who have been trusting in Jesus for few years, but just decided to get baptized. adults who finally faced their fears and committed themselves to living for Christ. people who got saved during the baptism service and got id'd in the water on the spot!

so 67 in all were baptized - id'd with Christ for all to see - what a day! and the first one i had the honor of baptizing was my oldest son squire. what an honor as a dad, to get to baptize, along with my dad, the first of the next generation of my family, as he continues to choose to id himself with Jesus! one of the best moments of life!! thank you Lord - may You lead him and keep him as he continues to grow and learn to walk with you. amen.