A House! We Have a House!
Today, October 1st, is our first day as official renters in Zambia!
About three weeks ago, our language committee put us in contact with a woman who had a house for rent in Petauke. We had a chance to see the house and make some basic arrangements.
There was some delay in the negotiations, partly due to the presidential election on 20 September and partly due to the fact that our landlady is a nurse working in a very remote village without good cell phone coverage. But thanks to the hard work of her son, good advice to us from the Lutheran missionaries here, and God’s grace, we were able to sign a “Tenancy Agreement” that begins today.
The house is big. It has three large bedrooms, a huge sitting room, a dining room, and a kitchen. Like many houses in Zambia, the bathroom is divided into two separate rooms – one for the toilet all by itself, and another for the tub, shower, and sink. There is also a nice backyard, complete with garden, chicken coop and orchard with mango and cashew trees.
However, there is much work to be done on the house before we are officially ready to move in. The biggest thing is to hook up the indoor plumbing. There are plumbing fixtures in the house, but they are not connected to anything yet. The only water on the property is a hose pipe in the yard, which is only active for a few hours a day. We are planning to build a metal tower in the yard with a tank on top. The city water fills the tank when it flows, and then we use water from the tank the rest of the day. We can then run a pipe from the tower to the house for the bathroom, kitchen sink, geyser (hot water heater), and washing machine. We also want to put screens on the windows, add a few more electrical outlets, and do some other cosmetic work. Then we need to work on furniture! But the rent is good, the area of town is quiet, and our landlady is open to the idea of a long-term stay while the Bible translation project progresses.
While we are doing that work on the house, we are able to stay at a mission guest house in Chipata, about two hours from Petauke. This way Chris can go to Petauke to oversee the house work while Sean and Janine keep a regular school schedule close by. Our prayer is that by the end of October we will be well settled in our new house in Petauke and be able to start calling it “home.”
Thanks to all who continue to pray for our housing situation, and thanks to those who gave to our “household setup fund.” It is such a blessing to be able to get what we need to prepare our home in Zambia. We hope to post pictures soon – maybe we will wait until we have some “before” and “after” shots so we don’t worry anyone too much!