Monday, December 28, 2009

Merry Christmas

Our first Christmas in Zambia has come and gone and while we missed spending time with family and friends back in the States, it was a good Christmas. A few days before, we visited a local orphanage and had a party with the children there. It was the first time in a long while that these children were able to have pizza and cokes! And since Ellie was turning 1, we combined the christmas party & her birthday party. She enjoyed her first cake.

Christmas eve, we went to the Allens and had a small church service. It was very nice, a few of our Zambian friends came, Kerri sang, Stephanie led the music and Steve preached. After the service, we came back home and put the kids in bed.

Christmas morning, our children were ready to start the festivities at 6:30 am. The grandparents sent some presents via mail and had us buy others here. We also had a visitor for the weekend of Christmas. You'll see him in a few of the pictures. We'll let you know more about him when we are permitted. All in all, I think the children and the parents had a very merry Christmas.

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Monday, December 21, 2009

When It Rains It Pours

Rainy season still hasn't hit full swing yet, but when it has rained, it has been quite impressive. There are a lot of areas in town that do not have proper drainage and therefore, flood. Case-in-point, Manda Hill. This is one of the two shopping centers near our home. I passed it on my way home from the office.

Normally, this trip (which is about 3 miles) takes anywhere from 10 - 15 minutes depending on traffic. But when it rains, it is a completely different story. This night, it took me 2 hours.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Passport Photos Anyone???

I just had to post these pictures. In January, we're taking the train up to Tanzania for vacation, but in order to go, we must get visas. To get Tanzanian visas, you have to have passport photos. Well, here in Zambia, things don't work quite like they do in the States. While they do have westernized photography stores, they tend to be much more expensive.

So, in order to avoid these costs, you get creative. On Thursday, our family and the Whitfields packed all of our children into the car and headed to town. On Cairo Road, the equivalent of Lusaka's main street, there are shops that advertise passport photo taking. We found such a store and had them prepare our photos.

As you can see in the picture, all it took was a white sheet and an old digital camera. Priceless!

Saturday, December 19, 2009


I received this from Doug Nichols, the founder and international director emeritus of Action International. They are statistics on a lot of the stuff we see on a daily basis here in Zambia.


The following are statistics of suffering from the new book, "The Poor Will Be Glad" by Peter Greer and Phil Smith:

1. Hunger: Approximately 850 million people go to bed hungry every night and search for creative ways to ignore their discomfort. [page 25]

2. Child Mortality: Worldwide, eleven million children die every year before reaching their fifth birthday. That translates to thirty thousand children who die each day from hunger and preventable disease -- one child every three seconds. [page 25]

3. Drinking Water: Twenty percent of the world has no access to clean water. Millions more walk long distances to carry every drop of water to their homes. (Geography IQ, "Infant Mortality Rate," (August 19, 2008). [page 25]

4. Diarrhea: In the developing world, diarrhea wracks the thin bodies of tens of millions of children who have no access to diapers or plumbing -- and it kills between 1.6 and 2.5 million children every year. (University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, "Novel Compound May Treat Acute Diarrhea," Science Daily, June 21, 2008, (August 19, 2008). [page 25]

5. Health Care: More than half of all Africans do not have access to modern health facilities. The result is ten million annual deaths from the four most common preventable diseases: diarrhea, acute respiratory illness, malaria, and measles. In many cases, one simple shot could save a life. (Mark Kinver, "Water Policy 'Fails World's Poor,'" BBC News on the Web, March 9, 2006, (August 19, 2008). [page 26]

6. Women's Rights: An Afghan man was told that his sick daughter's life could be saved if he took her across a dangerous mountain pass to medical care in a city two hours away. "No, I don't want to do that," he responded. "Girls are free, but donkeys cost money." (Kirk Magelby, "MicroFranchises as a Solution to Global Poverty," December 2005, (August 19, 2008). [page 27]

7. Employment: In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, only 10 percent of the entire population is formally employed. There simply are no formal employment options, no "Help Wanted" signs, and no employers who are legally mandated to provide a minimum wage and other rights. [page 27]

8. Poverty: As of July 2007, there were approximately 6.6 billion people living on earth. Approximately four billion live on less than $4 per day, nearly all of whom live in developing countries. Their incomes are distributed in the following way:
a. One billion live on less than $1 per day.
b. Two billion live on $1 to $2 per day.
c. One billion live on $2 to $4 per day.

(For a more complete analysis of the breakdown of poverty and the difference between the countries moving out of poverty and those stuck in a poverty trap, we recommend The Bottom Billion: Why the Poorest Countries Are Failing and What Can Be Done About It by Paul Collier (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007). [page 29]

Peter Greer and Phil Smith, The Poor Will Be Glad (Joining the revolution to lift the world out of poverty), Daniel Literary Group, LLC, Nashville, 2009

Friday, December 11, 2009

Village Video

Steve Allen put together a short video of the trip to Chikankata this past weekend. They went to several different villages with the Chiefteness accompanying them. Take a look if you get a chance.

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Sunday, December 06, 2009


I know this post is late, but because of our computer problems, I haven't been able to get access to our pictures or the Internet on a regular basis. This Thanksgiving was our first away from home. If you remember last year, we came home for the delivery of Ellie. So, it was a little sad celebrating a holiday that we normally spend with our families.

Any who... We did have a good time over the holiday. Luke and I took our kids (minus the little ones) out to Ciyanjano (our ministry center) for a pig roast. Luke downloaded the instructions on how to do a Hawaiian Pig Luau and we spent a better part of 7 hours trying to follow those instructions.

To prepare a pig this way, you dig a pit and burn wood for several hours. When you have a nice base of coals, you put in some large rocks and heat those as well. Then you put several layers of banana trees over the rocks, wrap the pig in banana leaves and chicken wire, cover with some more banana trees and a wet tarp and voila! 12 hours later a delicious pig picking - at least that was what we hoped.

Well, to my surprise and Luke's joy, it did work and for Thanksgiving day, our team enjoyed some good barbeque!

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Thursday, December 03, 2009


Well, today, two of our teammates along with about 6 Zambian pastors, are headed down to Chikankata for a weekend of outreach. They are eating dinner with the chiefteness this evening and spending the night in some traditional african huts. The chiefteness has been busy publicizing the weekend. She has had announcements in the local radio station and has sent word through her headmen that a group is coming. So, the schedule for the weekend should be very busy.

If you remember, I was supposed to be going on this trip, but we just found out yesterday that we will be hosting a very important visitor this weekend here in Lusaka. So, I had to back out.

Please be in prayer for this team of men this weekend. They will be visiting 3 separate villiages which have little to no exposure to the gospel and have no active evangelical churches present in their communities. They will be showing the Jesus Film, courtesy of Campus Crusade and will be speaking to several groups. Pray for their safety, for a good reception from those who they are going to see and for a successful weekend of ministry. Pray against the attacks of the enemy as spiritual warfare seems to be so prevelant in rural Zambia. Pray for the Zambian pastors, that this weekend would give them a vision for rural and cross-cultural missions. Pray that God would begin to call some of these men out in service to Him.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Living Without

It's official. Our computer has died. We would love to get it fixed here, but there aren't any Apple dealers anywhere in Lusaka. So, tomorrow morning it will be boarding a plane with some friends for a long trip back to the U.S. and will hopefully be repaired on that side of the ocean.

Therefore, for the next little while, we will be updating our site on a less frequent basis. We hope to have our computer fixed and returned as soon as possible, but will be relying on finding a visitor to the ministry with space to carry it back. Please be patient with us in the meantime.