Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Sidewalk Robbery

This afternoon, (Tuesday) I was walking down Cairo Road (like Main Street in downtown Columbia). I had just left the passport office and was swinging by the local grocery store to buy a bottled water before going back to work. As I approached the store on the sidewalk, a boy stepped out in front of me saying "Hey Mzungu!"

It's normal for Zambians to call us white Americans "Mzungu", but it is not normal for them to get in your way as you try to walk down the street. As soon as I realized that he was trying to slow me down, I reached for my back pocket to make sure my wallet was still there. (Usually, I walk with my wallet in my front pocket when I'm in town because of all the thieves, but today I forgot.) When my hand reached my pocket, I felt something...unusual. Someone else's hand!

It's a common scam here in Zambia and I'm not the first ACTION missionary who's fallen victim to it. One guy distracts and another swoops in to make a quick steal. I'm not quite sure I did what Jesus would have done, but when I felt the guy's hand on my pocket, I quickly shoved him and then turned back and shoved his partner in crime. I told them that if they tried that again that I would beat them! Again, not sure that's what a missionary's response should be, but it was my gut reaction. I did pray for these guys after leaving the scene though. :-)

There is no moral to this story, I just thought I would share one of the trivial things that we have to deal with here every once in a while. The desperately poor sometimes go to desperate extremes. It seems that crime is on the increase lately in Lusaka as we've heard more and more stories of people being car jacked or robbed. Generally, people do not get hurt, as violent crime isn't all that common, but it has been happening more lately. As you pray for us, please pray for our protection and for us to be on alert!

AZ Lowdown

Do you ever wonder what's going on in the rest of Action Zambia's ministry? Members of our team contribute quarterly to a document called the AZ Lowdown. It gives updates on the various ministries that missionaries with Action Zambia are a part of. Please take the time to check it out!

Please CLICK HERE to view the 3rd Quarter AZ Newsletter.

Friday, September 17, 2010

It's Official!!!!

Thomas Mwila Roberts is now officially part of our family. The week leading up to the appointment was rather hectic, but the Lord defended the cause of the orphan and moved in many ways on our behalf.

If I can take a moment to tell you some of the many prayers that He answered:
  1. After last Friday, we were told that a police report didn't exist for when Thomas was first placed into the orphanage. On Tuesday, a police report surfaced.
  2. That same Tuesday, we turned in the police report to Social Welfare and asked people to pray that the documents would be filed by this Friday's court date. The documents were on file!
  3. We asked people to pray that our Social Worker would be present in court. Not only was she present, but she was there before our attorney.
  4. This morning, when we arrived in court the judge's marshall was not present. They told us that we would need to reschedule again. We asked our attorney to contest and we began to pray. An hour later, we were sitting before the judge with a new marshall.
  5. We asked for people to pray that the judge would process the adoption quickly and without any more questions. She didn't even ask us a question. We were in and out in 20 minutes!
Thank you soooo much for lifting us up in your prayers. The Bible says that God desires to give good gifts to those who ask and He has done oh so much more. Thank you.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Not done yet!

Dear Friends & Family,

We just wanted to request your prayers over our current adoption of Thomas. Today, we showed up for court and met with the judge. Things didn't quite work out like we had hoped. In Thomas's situation there needed to be more documentation proving that he was in fact an abandoned child. The judge ordered that we file any reports available (i.e. Police Report) that were created when Thomas was first placed in the orphanage.

So, they have rescheduled our court date for next Friday. Please pray for us during this time. Pray that we would get the appropriate documentation to satisfy the Judge's inquiry into his abandonment. Pray that those involved in the process would have soft hearts and be helpful as we try to finalize this adoption. And pray for Thomas. He was really looking forward to this being completed.


Monday, September 06, 2010

Prayers Answered

This was Thomas' prayer last night: "Lord, thank you for bringing me into this home and giving me a family. Thank you for giving me a mommy and daddy. Please let the adoption happen soon. Amen!"

So, in yesterday's post, we asked you to be praying with us for Thomas' adoption. Specifically, we asked you to be praying that we would get a court date this week to finalize the adoption. Well, the Lord has heard our prayers and answered! This Friday at 8:30 am, we will be going to court. Yaayyyyy!!!!

Please continue to pray for us. Pray that everything would go as planned and that we will leave court this Friday with the final signed documents for his adoption. Thank you for your prayers!

Sunday, September 05, 2010

You Don't Tell A Child About God

There is a well known African Proverb that says "You don't tell a child about God." When I first heard it, I didn't quite understand the meaning. My first thought was why would you not want to tell children about God. But the answer to the proverb was quite simple. You don't tell a child about God because it's obvious that He exists.

In the States, there are people who declare themselves Atheist. They argue until their blue in the face that God is made up, a way that people have created to cope with a purposeless existence. Not only do they adhere to these beliefs, but they push their agenda so that others will follow their path.

Here in Zambia, though, we live in a culture where belief in God is a given. To suggest that God doesn't exist is so crazy in the eyes of Africans that it wouldn't even register. Listen to what God's word says about His existence in Romans 1:18-25:

"18The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, 19since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. 20For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.

21For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools 23and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles.

24Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. 25They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen."

As I thought about this proverb, I thought about the mandate that God has given both Kerri and I to speak of Him to our children, to tell of His goodness and faithfulness, to share with them daily about how He has set us free from the power of sin and created us anew so that we can have fellowship with Him. I also thought about our new son, who has grown up for 6 years now without consistently hearing about God and without experiencing His love through a family that follows His son Jesus.

Would you pray for us as we try to raise children who love God? Would you pray for their young hearts? Would you pray that they would all choose to follow Him? Would you also pray for our adoption of Thomas? We have been waiting on a court date now for 3 months. Our lawyer is telling us that we should get a court date very soon, but could you please pray that we would get a court date this week? That was Thomas' prayer this evening. Would you join him and us in this prayer?

Thursday, September 02, 2010

We Finished

To view the slideshow, go to our website: www.RobertsinZambia.Blogspot.Com

Well, we all raced and we all finished. I'm sorry it has taken this long to write this post, but I needed to collect the pictures from the Allens and Whitfields cameras before I could put the slideshow together.

The trip was great! We took the bus from Lusaka to Livingstone and then crossed the border into Victoria, Zimbabwe. We stayed at a little camping lodge called Rest Camp. It was a rather expensive place to stay, just kidding (only $11 per person per night). The girls stayed in a 6 person dorm and the guys stayed in a 12 person dorm.

The race was well organized. We registered the Saturday before and raced the next day. The course was a different story. It was racked with hills and with temperatures getting into the 80's, it made for a difficult race. But no complaints. We had a blast!

Thank you for everyone who supported us in this race for Zambia's children. So far, as a team, we have raised over $8,000 towards kids camps at Ciyanjano. If you are one of those who supported this cause, thank you, thank you, thank you. If you were someone who was interested in supporting the event, but still haven't donated. It's still not too late. You can do so by going to the following link: CLICK HERE

We really had a good time running for a good cause. We're already planning for next year's 2nd annual Kilometers For Kids / Victoria Falls Marathon. Thank you again!