Sunday, August 30, 2009

August Prayer Letter

We just finished our August prayer letter.  So many of you will be receiving it in the mail.  But just in case you didn't want to wait, you can click here and read it.  God bless!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Kasempa Church Plant

Last weekend, I had the opportunity to travel with the leadership of Great Commission to Kasempa, Zambia to take part in a church plant.  Pastor Kandela and his brother have been planning this plant for a while and invited me and Luke to assist them.

Above is a video from our weekend.  If you are receiving this post via email, click here to watch the video.

In the next few posts, I hope to talk about some of our experiences while there, but I wanted to get this video up on the site before then.  So, until next time...

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Zambian Poetry

A good friend of mine and member of our home church wrote this poem after her recent visit to Zambia.  Her name is Leslie Chartier.  She and I served together in the widows & orphans ministry at Columbia Crossroads Church before Kerri and I came to Zambia.  Just thought I would share it with you.  

Suffering and Beauty
(The Church of Zambia)

Though poverty chases
with no ready cure,
you share what you have -
your generosity sure.

Though suffering is present
at every turn,
your hearts are humble -
your spirits burn.

Though trials surround you
your joy remains pure.
your face radiates Him
His love will endure.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Difficult Start

I'm back from Kasempa, and want to tell all about it, but I need to edit the video before writing a posting.  So, I'll try to get that up by tomorrow.  Until then, I just thought I would update you on yesterday's drama.

After returning from the trip to Kasempa, I received a call Monday night from our accountant telling me that I needed to be in the office early the next morning to pay our rentals to the landlord.  Apparently, in the midst of transitioning the office back in May, we forgot to pay for our home for the 2nd quarter 2009.  I initially thought she was just coming to pick up the payment for the 3rd quarter.  Needless to say, she was not a happy landlord.

So, the next morning, while I was in the office trying to pay her, I realized that I left my keys to the office safe at home.  I asked the landlord to wait while I went back to get the keys.  Thankfully, she was content to wait.  As I was rushing out, a small car, which I did not see, pulled in behind my vehicle.  Cliopatra, who works with True Love Waits next door, was being dropped off and was getting out of the passenger side of the vehicle.  I was backing up straight into her door and her legs were already outside of the door.  Luckily when she saw me, she screamed and I heard it.  I stopped the car just in time.  She was hurt, but she only suffered from minor bruising.  Praise God it wasn't worse.  If I wouldn't have heard her, one of her legs would have most likely been crushed.  

All this to say, here I was in the parking lot, with an upset landlord, an injured woman and a guy whose car I damaged.  Not the best start to a day if I must say so myself.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Quick Updates

The team has left and we've finally caught up on our rest.  It was a hectic and busy week, but it was also a very fun time.  While they were here, we went down to Livingstone for a couple of days to see Victoria Falls and Safari.  Above is a video of some of the sights and sounds from that trip.  If you are receiving this post via email, click here to watch the video.

Please be in prayer for me this weekend.  Luke and I are traveling with the leadership of Great Commission Baptist Church to the Northwest province to assist with a church plant.  We will be traveling all day Friday, doing outreach and showing the Passion of the Christ on Saturday and then I'll be preaching Sunday morning.  Pray that God would go before us and prepare the hearts of the people.

I'll be sure to post some updates after my return.  Blessings!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

A Great Visit!

The team from our home church, Columbia Crossroads, returned to the States after a two week visit.   It was hard saying goodbye to our friends, but it was such a blessing to have them here for this short time.  

A special note about one of the team members, David Stumbo.  He came to Zambia knowing that his fourth child, Annie Caroline Stumbo, would probably be born before he returned home.  Vanessa was more than 8 months pregnant when he left.  Well, last Sunday evening, Little Annie was born.  David came over to our house for the night to listen to the delivery via Skype.  We just wanted to say congratulations again.

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Another Perspective

I thought you would enjoy seeing Zambia through the eyes of the team from our home church.  Below are the newsletters they have been sending out through our church newsletter:

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Good Week, Tough Week

I've been busy running registration for our pastors conference and trying to facilitate ministries for our church team visiting.  So, I have had literally no time to put any posts up this week.  For that I am sorry.  Here are a couple of posts (in one post).  This Monday through Wednesday, we will be in Livingstone with the team.  So, again there will be no posts for a couple of days.  I just wanted to let you know what was going on.  The regular updates should resume by the end of next week.


A team from our home church has been visiting.  So, we tried to arrange their schedule such that they would get to experience many different aspects of the ministry and meet many of our Zambian friends.  Among other things, they have visited with orphanages, held kids camps, participated in HIV/AIDS outreach and ministered at the hospital.  Throughout all of this, they have built relationships with many Zambians and had fun while doing so.  For the most part, I would guess that they have had a good trip, one that they would consider a success!

But while this week has been one of good experiences, it has had its emotional tolls.  On Wednesday, we went to University Teaching Hospital for hospital ministry.  The administrators at the hospital gave us permission to come in and provide hygiene kits and some food for families who were caring for children in the malnutrition ward.  Just as they entered the ward, one of the children passed away.  Gail, a team member, had the opportunity to pray with and encourage the mother during this tragedy.  Then, while we were still there, another child in the same ward also passed away.  While this is not a normal thing to happen while doing hospital ministry, I think it revealed to us all just how fragile life is, especially over here.

As if that wasn't enough, during Thursday outreach, another tragedy occurred.  Just after we had setup for the event and began playing music, there was a large explosion one road over from the field we were using for outreach.  At first, we were told that it was a transformer that had blown.  It was the biggest fire I had ever seen in my life.  Needless to say, the people who we were trying to attract were more attracted to the fire.  As we waited for things to settle down, the people were still not returning.  So, I walked over to see what was going on.  It was not a transformer that had exploded at all, but a dump truck.  Apparently, while trying to dump a load of sand, the top of the truck bed caught a power line and the truck erupted into flames.  I was looking for the pastor who I assumed had walked down by the truck.  So, I headed that way myself.  I had assumed that the truck was empty, but I had assumed wrong.  By the time I got down there, they had pulled the driver out of the truck and had his body laid on the ground.  I won't go into details, but needless to say, I have never seen anything like that in my entire life.  Because of all that had happened, we decided to cancel the outreach. 

So, all of that to say, it's been a good week of ministry, but it has also been a tough week of ministry.

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Surprise for Caleb

The team from our home church arrived safely this afternoon around 3:00 pm our time.  On board were two surprises, Gabriel and Payton--two of Caleb's friends from Columbia.  Of course, Kerri and I knew they were coming, but Caleb did not.  We've been keeping this a secret from him for the past three months.  The only thing he knew was that there was a surprise for him coming with the team.  As you can see in this video, I think he liked his surprise!

If you're receiving this post via email and would like to see the video, click here.