Saturday, November 27, 2010

Learning About Home from Afar

"Sometimes you have to immerse yourself in an unfamiliar world before you can understand your own."

I heard this quote recently and it really got me thinking about all we have learned about ourselves since coming to Zambia. While we have learned a lot, here is just a snippet:
  • Before coming here, I had ideas about the importance of family, but it wasn't until I saw the way Zambians value family (not just nuclear, but aunts, uncles, cousins, etc...) that I learned what many of us in the States are missing out on and what we seemed to have forgotten. Family matters!
  • I thought I understood how well off we were in the States materially, but then I saw poverty first-hand. And I realized that I didn't have a clue. I didn't nearly understand the plight that most of the world struggles with on a daily basis and I didn't feel the responsibility that comes with such blessing ("To whom much has been given, much will be required").
  • I thought I understood many portions of Scripture, but then I have been able to see these same Scriptures in a whole new light - through the eyes of another culture. It has really given me a more holistic view of God's word. I'm not saying that I understand it all, but I am saying that the Lord has used our time and experiences here to reveal more of Himself to us through His scriptures.
  • Before coming here, I thought I understood sacrifice. But having to leave close friends and family for the sake of the gospel has made sacrifice a reality. While holidays are still celebrated and enjoyed, they just are not the same when you are away from those you love most.
  • I thought I understood what it meant to trust Christ. But then I met pastors who go without food for days just so their families have something to eat. These same pastors are not walking away from their faith, but are praising God for his faithfulness. I'm beginning to see that I have very little understanding as to what it means to trust in the Lord, but I am learning p'ongono p'ongono (bit by bit).

Friday, November 19, 2010

The Best Kind of Ministry

Chieftainess Mwenda of Chikankata

A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to take Caleb with me on an outreach trip. In a continued relationship with a chieftainess in Chikankata, we were invited down to show the Jesus Film (In Tonga) at a local market. Chieftainess Mwenda has a vision to see her entire kingdom (approximately 20,000 families / 100,000 people) reached with the gospel of Christ.

After visiting with the Chieftainess, we headed to the local market to setup for the film. Before sunset, we were really unsure as to whether or not people would show up. Just before it started getting dark, there were only a handful of people congregating around the movie screen. But after it got dark and we started the film, people started pouring out of the local village. By the midway point of the film, we probably had close to 350 people hearing the story of Jesus in their own language.

After the movie, we invited people up to the front, some to receive Jesus for the first time and some to pray for physical healing and release from spiritual torment. During the prayer time, I told Caleb to float between me and Luke and just be available to pray with people. At one point during the evening, Caleb ran up to me and said "Dad, we just prayed for this woman who was having leg and chest pains and when we finished praying, she was healed!!! Dad, she was healed the first time that we prayed for her."

As I reflected on this evening of ministry, I came away most encouraged not by the response to the gospel (which was great) nor to those who were healed and/or received deliverance through prayer (which were many), but I came away most encouraged about being able to participate in this wonderful ministry with my son Caleb. I came away with great joy after seeing just how excited my son had become while sharing the love of Jesus with these Tonga speaking people of Chikankata!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

We Struck..... Water??

Construction is still underway at Ciyanjano. This past week, we drilled the 2nd borehole for our water project that is just starting. We have plans to run irrigation to the campsites and income generation side of the property. Above is a picture of the machine that drilled the 50 meter hole. Needless to say, they found water!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Lanton Zimbia

Below is a final update on Lanton from Steve and a thank you to the many of you who prayed for this dear boy:


Just want to let you know that Lanton is doing very well. He is home, eating and becoming himself, again. I have never seen Mirriam so beside herself with worry, sorrow and desperation as I did at the hospital that night. She couldn’t even focus. It was as if she had seen this before and now it was her own son, and she was so afraid that she was going to lose her son. (This is such an awful reality here. I just can’t even begin to describe how often we hear about another child who just died because of some disease or illness.) And, then to have him miraculously recovered like that was an almost too incredible to believe...

So tonight she sent me this text that I wanted to share with you: "Thank you so much again for your help both spiritually and financially. I don’t know what I would have done without you. I know that there were a lot of people you asked to help pray for me. I didn’t have strength to talk to my God but you guys did it for me. What a miracle. I have no words that I can use to explain what has happened to my son. Thank you again."

Thanks again for partnering with us overhere in Zambia.


Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Njoka Maningi (Many Snakes)

Mom, don't read this one : )

So, this week has been the week of many snakes. On Sunday, a lady who is staying on the Allen's property was walking out of her cottage in flip flops. When she stepped off the porch, she stepped either on or near a snake. The snake immediately turned and bit her flip flop an wrapped itself around her ankle. She quickly kicked her flip-flop and the snake with it into the yard. They weren't quite sure what kind of snake it was (they were guessing either a boomslang or black mamba both deadly snakes) so she was rushed to the clinic. Needless to say, she was undone!

Then yesterday, while I was at Luke's house, we got a call from Steve. He had a snake cornered in some bushes and needed help killing it. When we got there, we found a 4-5 foot mamba. Instead of trying to explain what happened next, I'll just let you watch the video above. But let me say, this is one of the fastest snakes that I've ever seen in person!

Then today, we got a call from some of our other friends, the Carrs, who live just down the road from us and the Allens. Their gardener found a cobra in their yard. I don't know why so many snakes are showing up at one time, but I'm glad that they have found a way to stay away from our home.

Monday, November 08, 2010

Thank you for praying

Wow, what a difference a day makes with lots of prayer. Lanton was discharged yesterday at 4:30 pm. Nothing short of a miracle. Lest there be any doubters out there, the symptoms were really bad. But today is a new day and he is in his right mind, eating and feeling o.k. Amazing. Thank you also for the prayers offered up on his mother's behalf. They were very much needed. In the midst of not knowing what was happening, she had to sit for her grade 12 exams. She's now 30 and decided to go back to finish up school. If she didn't sit for the exams, she would have had to wait another year to sit. So, know that your prayers also got her through this tough day.

As for Lanton, the tests showed no cerebral malaria, and they don’t think it was meningitis. But, they do think it may have been a type of malaria that stayed in his system from a previous bout. Anyways, we are praising God today for His faithfulness in watching over this dear boy and his family.

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Please Pray

Please be in prayer for Lanton Zimba. He is the nephew of Dailes (Our worker) and son of her sister Mirriam (The Allen's worker). He is currently at a local clinic with what appears to be either Cerebral Malaria or Meningitis. Either of these are very serious and potentially deadly. Pray that God would heal this dear boy either by His power or through the wisdom of the medical staff attending to him. Pray also for his mother and family to be surrounded by God's peace during this time.

Thank you

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

You'll Love This One

Inswa! This is a word that means Termite. In Zambia, just after the first rains of rainy season, these bugs come out in droves. And they don't go to waste. Inswa is a seasonal delicacy here. The people love to eat them. So, this morning, while I was at our ministry center, I noticed a ton of Inswa crawling all over the place. Since I had never tried them before, I asked one of the workers if they had a container that I could use to take some of them home for lunch. He not only gave me a container, but he went around and filled it up with about 500 of these termites.

Needless to say, Kerri was surprised when I got home and the kids thought it was great. I asked Charles how to best cook them and then I went to work. Just a teaspoon of oil, some salt, cook them on high heat for about 5 minutes and voila! A delicious little afternoon snack. For what it's worth, they might look gross, but they actually tasted a lot like bacon bits. Anyways, here is a short video showing the bugs before, during and after being cooked. Enjoy!

Click Here to view the Video:

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

The Rains Have Come

Well another 6 months without any rains has ended! The picture above is from the beginning of last rainy season, but you get the point. Usually, you wouldn't be excited about rain, but when you go so long without it, it's kind of exciting. Kerri and I enjoyed watching our youngest, Ellie, experience her first Lusaka rainy season as a toddler. The expressions she made were priceless.

The only problem now, with rainy season being upon us, is that, I have to fix the broken window in the girls room. This past Sunday before church, Thomas had his first accident with a football and put a big hole in it. If it would have been during dry season, I could have procrastinated a little bit longer, but if I don't fix it soon, the girls might drown ; )

In other news, please be in prayer for our vehicle. It has been sitting in our yard now for about 3 weeks unable to run. There is a part that has gone bad that we are having trouble finding in Zambia. We may have to ship it in from S. Africa or have a friend bring it from the States. I am going to a parts store this morning to see if I can find it, but things do not look promising. Other than that, the Roberts are doing well!