Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Communicating with us in Zambia!!!

  • Would you like to be able to talk to us in Zambia?

  • Would you like be able to do this for free anytime you want (accept in the middle of night, of course)?
Well, there is a software that some of you may or not be aware of that will allow you to do this. It is a FREE download and it allows you to make computer to computer calls. The only requirements are that you have a microphone (which can be purchased at Radio Shack for approximately $30) and speakers for your computer. The name of the software is Skype. If you go to the following link, you can download this software for FREE: http://www.skype.com/.

If you need detailed instructions on installation and setup, you can view the user guides at: http://www.skype.com/help/guides/. Also, our friend John Ballentine has agreed to assist anyone having technical issues setting it up. He can be contacted via e-mail @ jkballentine@sc.rr.com. It takes less than 10 minutes to install and setup and it will give give you the ability to communicate with us while we are on the field. Please consider taking the time to set this up!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

His Intent...

"His Intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms according to His eternal purpose which He accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Ephesians 3:11-12)

Last Sunday, we had the opportunity to share about Zambia with the congregation at Union Baptist Church in Elgin. A friend of mine, Hank Goff, invited us to their evening service. Their pastor and his wife (Jerry and Wanda Lewis) were longtime friends of Kerri's parents. Kerri's father and mother were the best man and matron of honor in their wedding. We didn't realize that this was their church until the night before. When we arrived, they had a picture of Kerri - at age 2 - up on the screen! During the service Kerri sang, we shared about our call to go to Zambia and then they had a little reception. We really enjoyed our time of fellowship with the body of Union Baptist.

Yesterday, we had the opportunity to share with one of our sister/daughter churches, The Church at Dutchfork. Our home church assisted in planting this church a few years ago, so we knew a lot of the members. One of the elders there, Thomas Yarbrough, is a longtime friend of ours and he invited us to come share about Zambia. Before introducing us, he mentioned Colossians 1:17 "Christ in you, the hope of Glory." It was kind of neat because this is one of the central themes in one of ACTION Zambia's ministry videos. We were able to share and then the church prayed for us corporately. We are very thankful for our time worshiping with the members of the Church at Dutchfork.

Over the past year the Lord has seen fit to allow us the opportunity to share about His vision for Zambia with several churches here in the Columbia area. We are so thankful for the ways He is using these churches to make His manifold wisdom known. And we are so thankful that they have opened their arms to us and become involved in our ministry to the people of Zambia.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Quick Prayer Request

Kerri and I wanted to request your prayers. We have a buyer for our home, but it is dependent upon them selling their own house. Their house is on the market. Would you please pray that their house would sell quickly!

Thank you...

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Blessings and Opportunity

------Please read this post in its entirety as it discusses our current funding and specific prayer requests------

The only way to describe this past month is Blessings upon Blessings! After speaking at the CLC on October 11th, our support levels climbed drastically. Within just a few days our monthly support went up by over 30% and we reached our one-time support goal. This past Tuesday, after receiving additional information, we learned that we were 100% supported, both monthly and one-time!!! In fact, the home office has now cleared us to buy our plane tickets and we will be leaving this February. It is so amazing and humbling to see how God has provided the rest of our support in such a short period of time. It really gives credence to one of the names of God found in the bible—Jehovah-Jireh “The Lord will provide.”

With these blessings comes more opportunity. On Thursday morning, we received an e-mail from our friends in Zambia. In recent weeks, during a process of trying to get a better understanding of Zambian tax laws, the ministry discovered their perception of certain tax policies has been incorrect. Their ability to write off certain expenses through the mission is limited to far fewer items than was thought before. As a result we will need, going forward, to pay taxes on substantial items such as: rent, car insurance, diesel, etc. When this happens, our taxable income as missionaries will increase and push us into a higher tax bracket (from a 17% tax bracket to a 35% tax bracket). The net effect is an increase of $795 in monthly taxes.

Ultimately, it is the Lord who provides and we trust that he will provide this additional support by our February departure date. We are now in the process of putting legs to that trust. We will be purchasing plane tickets in the next couple of weeks. Our house is being packed up and will soon be on the market. I have also informed my employer that I will be leaving my job in mid-January. What once seemed to be out in the distant future is now just around the corner. Would you please pray for us during this time?

Please pray that:
· The Lord will raise the additional amount of monthly support.
· Our home will sell quickly and at the right price.
· We would find some affordable plane tickets.
· The process of packing up our lives here in the states will go as smoothly as possible.
· We would be anxious for nothing and that our hearts would be stayed on Him.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Marine Corp Marathon

On October 28th, I had the opportunity to run in the Marine Corp Marathon in Washington, D.C.. A very dear friend of our family, Wilton Lyles (pictured right) and I had been training throughout the summer—he in Colorado, I in South Carolina. For those of you who don’t know, the Lyles family was very instrumental in my coming to know the Lord. Wilton’s son John (pictured middle) and I are best friends and the Lyles have been kind of a second family to me growing up. While we were training, I told Wilton that I wasn’t going to lose to a 60 year old, but that turned out not to be the case. We both finished the grueling 26.2 mile race. I completed the race in 5 hours, 1 minute—about 6 minutes behind Wilton.

God has taught me many things over the last few months as I was in the process of training for this race. Specifically, he has been showing me the importance of discipline in my daily walk with Him. In order to train for a marathon, you have to discipline yourself to run on a daily basis. If you don’t, you will not be prepared when the race comes around. It is the same in our walk with the Lord. 1 Corinthians 9:24-27 says:

24 Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. 25 Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. 26 Therefore I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air. 27 No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.”

As we transition towards life in Zambia, I’m seeing more and more the importance of being firmly rooted in my relationship with Christ. I know we will face situations that will be trying and the winds will be blowing harder than ever. Please pray for me in this area. Pray that I would develop habits that lead to Godliness. Pray that I would be a man who desires to be in God’s word on a daily basis and who prays without ceasing on all occasions. Pray that God would sanctify me through and through—that I would be the leader this family needs, the husband my wife desires, and the father who continually points his children back to Christ in both word and deed.