In case your email put our newsletter greeting in your spam folder. Enjoy our greeting to you this season.
Our Journey back to the coast wasn’t without its share of struggles. It took us 16 hours over two days to travel 375 miles on the infamous Mombasa-Nairobi road. In America, that distance would just be a 5 to 6 hour journey on the interstate. It took 5 hours to travel through Mombasa and to cross the ferry. The sun had set when we finally arrived near our house. We turned off the paved road and onto our little stretch of dirt road. We had planned to arrive in daylight because we had been warned the road was impassable after the recent rains. The rain had washed gullies 2 feet deep on the sides which narrowed the road. The car slide off the road and we were stuck only 200 yards from home. Claudia and Anastasia walked to the house. The neighbors came to our aid and helped to work me free. I could only get the vehicle closer to the house. The next day the neighbors and I “fixed” the road and made it passable for now. We will see how long this will last.
Since being back we have been re-setting up the house. We are finally unpacking completely after being on the road for almost a year now. We have been so many places over the past year. It feels good to hang something on the wall and call it your own. The neighbors have come over to see Anastasia. It is nice to be back in the village. The day after we arrived, I went to the market to see my vegetable dealer and he warmly greeted me. He gave me extra veggies and gifted me 3 bananas for Anastasia. Africa is full of kindness and love! We have purchased a palm tree and decorated it as our Christmas tree. We have placed a small nativity beneath it. Just today Claudia was able to briefly explain what the nativity is about to two ladies who were visiting. We look forward to starting language learning again and building relationships. Babu’s death while we were gone has changed our neighborhood. Some of his family have moved up from the coast and are now staying in his house. This has brought some new women and children to our backyard which is a blessing. Pray with us as we engaged those around us and continue to build relationships. We are excited to start a Bible Storying project in the coming months which we will share more about later.
Greetings from Nairobi. Yes we are still alive. Sorry we haven’t blogged an update in awhile but life has been a little unsettled. But as I sit here and pen this post I can say we are moving in a good direction. Since we last posted, Anastasia is now 6 weeks old and eating, growing and pooping and sleeping. Mommy and Daddy are trying to keep up with her with little success. We have also been able to acquire her birth certificate and she is now an official U.S. Citizen and her passport is coming in the next few weeks. Jeremy has been able to find a good vehicle and this week we should have the transfer complete and take possession. I’ve also been able to get my Kenya driver licence. (Both no small feat). In three weeks we are due to head to our annual AIM Kenya Conference about an hour north of Nairobi. It looks like we will have all our paperwork, doctors visits and a vehicle ready to be able to head back to the coast after our conference. This is a HUGE deal!!! We are excited and ready to return to the village knowing we don’t need to return to Nairobi anytime soon. We are slowly getting adjusted to this new life of parenthood and all the joys and struggles that come with it.
Our world has forever been changed with the arrival of Anastasia Louise at 2:28am of September 23, 2017.
She is a precious gift from God. We have much to learn about being parents. Thankfully, we are surrounded with so many people with their love, support and encouragement. We feel this through all the messages and prayers.
Several people have asked about how to give a baby gift. You are able to give in two different ways.
1) If you want to send a card with a love gift of money so that we can purchase items here in Kenya, then mail a card to Jeremy’s parents.
109 Pineview Rd
Statesboro, GA 30461
2) If you want to send a small and light weight gift to us here in Kenya, then mail the gift to Claudia’s sister.
2819 Evansdale Circle
Atlanta, GA 30340
Claudia’s mom and sister will bring all the gifts with them in January when they come visit us here in Kenya. This is why the gift needs to be small and light weight to fit into their luggage. Gifts need to be to them by December 15. We do have a baby registry on Amazon.
Thank you for wanting to express your love by giving to our family of 3 now as we celebrate this precious gift from God.
With much love,
Jeremy, Claudia, and Anastasia
Ha3els in Africa
Anastasia Louise Hazel
We are happy to share with everyone what our daughter’s name will be. Like most of the names in the Bible, her name has an origin and means something.
Anastasia means resurrection. And Louise means renowned warrior.
So together her name means Renowned Resurrection Warrior.
How did we come to this name?
Louise is from our American family.
- Claudia’s grandmother was Claudia Louise.
- Jeremy’s grandmother was Barbara Louise.
- Jeremy’s mother is Deborah Louise.
Anastasia comes indirectly from our San family in Namibia.
When we were visiting Namibia in April, we told our San family we were expecting. Tsaba, my mama and namesake, gave us a boy and girl Ju/’hoan name. This is their tradition for the grandparents of a child to give the name and not the parents. Tsaba gave us /asa for a girl. It has a click. It is the easiest of the 4 clicks but the U.S. government would not understand it for a birth certificate or future legal things. We didn’t want to complicate our daughter’s life, so we westernized it to Tasa. We pondered it for a long time and just didn’t feel it was enough. We searched and searched through other names but kept coming back to Tasa. I found that Tasa meant resurrection. Then I looked for other names that meant resurrection. This is when we found Anastasia and Tasa can be a nickname of Anastasia. It took several weeks for us to settle on Anastasia.
I did more research. I read an article about how one man presented the gospel by introducing his family and the meaning behind their names. Anastasia was his mother’s, wife’s and daughter’s name. “Anastas” is a Greek action and promise word found in 138 verses in 6 different forms in the Bible. When used as a verb, it is means to make or cause someone stand up, to raise up or to raise again; resurrection. This started with Abram when God told him to arise and walk about the land of Canaan and when God promised that everyone would be blessed through him. This is the inheritance of heaven for all who confess and believe in the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies.” John 11:25
If you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. Romans 10:9
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you. 1 Peter 1:3–4
But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect 1 Peter 3:15
Jeremy and I have used often 1 Peter 3:15 to describe the work God has for us here in Africa. Hope with gentleness and respect. This hope we pray will come to the San, the Digo and all the unreached people groups of the world. We have just a small part to play. Thank you to all who play their part by praying for us and faithfully giving. Please continue to pray for this pregnancy: that I will remain healthy even though I am unable to get to doctor appointments as normal and that Anastasia will be born healthy. Our little warrior is growing and active these days!