Saturday, December 31, 2011

Christmas in Chik

We hope you had a wonderful Christmas and pray for a good beginning to the new year. We just wanted to share a few pictures from our first Christmas in Chikankata.

Before we left the States, the grandparents packed and paid for 2 bags to be sent with us to Zambia full of Chirstmas presents. We sure are glad that they did, because the kids were so excited to wake up Christmas morning and have presents to open.

After opening presents, our kids each picked a present of their own to give to Dailes, Pauline and Moverty's children. So, we used some of the paper from the presents that they had just opened, rewrapped the presents and then walked over to their homes to have a short Christmas celebration with them. It was fun watching their children open presents.

Afterwards, the women came over to the house and helped Kerri cook a big Christmas lunch for all of the families. We ended up having chicken, fish, Nshima, rape (which is like collards), cabbage and sodas to drink. Being away from our own families during the holidays, it was nice to have other families to celebrate the day with and it turned out to be a pretty special day.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

All Choked Up

We had our first scare this evening. I fell asleep studying language and had probably been down for about an hour when I was suddenly awakened by Caleb screaming "She's choking! She's choking!". I kept up as quick as I could and ran into the kitchen just as Kerri was turning Gracyn around to give her the heimlich maneuver (don't know if I spelled that correctly).

As she squeezed, I prayed over and over. Apparently Gracyn swallowed a bone from a small fish she was eating and it was stuck and obstructing her breathing. After a few long minutes, which seemed like an eternity, the bone was dislodged and Gracyn swallowed it - ending our first Chikankata scare.

As all of this happened, I found myself contemplating all of our alternatives (which were few) if things took a turn for the worse. I was suddenly reminded (once again) of how dependent we are on the Lord and on the prayers which you offer up on our behalf. So, with that in mind, please remember to pray for us regularly as we pursue His calling here in Zambia.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

It's Not Every Day You See This...

Kerri and I went into Mazabuka the other day to do a little grocery shopping. As we sat down for lunch at the only restaurant in town, a pizza joint in a gas station, we saw this truck pull up to fuel up. I didn't know that you could fit two cows into the back of a pickup, did you?

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas

We just wanted to wish you a Merry Christmas and a happy New Year! We hope your holidays are a treasured time spent with family and friends! And we pray that Christ is at the center of it all!

The Roberts

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Tried and Failed

So, I (Brent) tried cooking a traditional Zambian meal the other night for my family, but failed miserably. In every home in Zambia during meal time, there is always Nshima on the table. It is made out of finely ground corn maize, but there is an art to making it correctly. I told our worker Dailes that I would try to cook before asking her.

After about 20 minutes, and some lumpy corn maize mush, I sent Gracyn to get Dailes to rescue me. The first picture is my attempt at Nshima (in the garbage). The second picture is Dailes' Nshima. Can you tell the difference in quality?

I promise that the next time I will get it right.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Don't Forget

To date, we have raised nearly $13,000 towards our matching gift of $50,000. These funds will be used to develop our ministry center in Chikankata. If you're looking for a place to give year-end tax-deductible donations, look no further. By donating to this cause, your gift is automatically doubled!

To donate via mail, send checks to:
Commission to Every Nation
PO Box 291307
Kerrville, TX 78029-1307

**Be sure to include a separate note stating that the donation is for Eleeo Project.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Our First Few Days in Chik

Here is a quick slideshow of images from our first few days in Chikankata. The kids absolutely love it here. Caleb said last night over dinner that he wants to stay at least 4 more years and Gracyn requested 6. We'll let the Lord determine our timeframe, but it is such a blessing that the kids love being here.

If you are receiving this post via email, you can view the slideshow at:

Monday, December 19, 2011

Different Living

We have moved and are in the process of settling in. No Internet access yet. So, we're providing updates via phone. First night we saw 6 rats. Killed the one in our dresser in our bedroom. Also had, not exaggerating, about 1,000 bugs fly into the house during unpacking. Lost electricity several times. Lost water the second day, but it has been restored. Not complaining, just trying to give you the full picture.

Please continue to pray for us. The phones will not be a viable source for Internet. So, we need to find other options. Learning to live in the African bush will probably be a bit challenging, but God is faithful and will see us through.

Blessings during the Christmas season!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Another Zambian First

When my dad visited, one of the things that stuck out to him was that Zambia didn't have any drive-thru fast food restaurants. Well, Zambia is a changing! Kentucky Fried Chicken has just built a new restaurant in the southern section of the city known as Makeni. It probably will not open before we head down to Chik, but I had to snap a picture and share it with everyone else.

Think about that, a country of 12 million people getting their first escillator and first fast food restaurant all in one year. Kind of gets me excited about the "Firsts" we will see down in Chikankata. Maybe a village hearing for the first time in this generation about Jesus or a church being planted where there never has been one. Won't that be awesome!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

A Maddie Post

This post is for all the parents out there who wonder about the things that affect missionary parents as they serve overseas. It's never fun to see your children sick, even when it's minor.

Case in point, our 3rd child, Maddie, has recently developed some kind of rash. If we were in the States, we probably could have it diagnosed very quickly and apply the appropriate medicine. But here in Zambia, we're left kind of wondering and experimenting with what treatments we can find.

Maddie is doing okay, but she is itching a bit. We're giving her some Benadryl cream tonight to see if that works, but if you remember, say a prayer for her. Pray that whatever is causing the rash would just go away! Pray for the parents too! Pray for our peace and sanity during this time of transition.

Thank you.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

How Much Can You Carry in a Wheelbarrow?

Things you don't see back in the States! I saw this guy while I was out today running errands. Quite amazing! I wouldn't have believed it if I hadn't seen it with my own eyes.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Moving to Move

So, we're still in the city, but hoping to complete our move very soon. Part of that process includes moving our workers (Dailes & Pauline) and their families with us to Chikankata. This past weekend, we successfully moved Dailes's possessions to a central location here in Lusaka. And Today, it was Pauline's turn.

Our goal is to get all of our remaining stuff and their stuff in one place so we can have a truck come and pick it all up. As you can see from the pictures, the move was a community affair. The family and a whole bunch of neighbors came to see and help us get the vehicles loaded. By the end of the day, we had taken three car loads (inside and on top) across town.

Please continue to pray for us. We are trying to arrange a truck to come and move us either Tuesday or Wednesday. In the States, this might not be such a big ordeal, but in Zambia, it is not the same story. Once this truck comes, we should be in Chikankata full-time, yay!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

A Different Kind of Start

Yesterday afternoon, I met with Gilbert Masonde, a pastor and friend here in Zambia. A church in the States is trying to help him fix his vehicle so they asked if I could assist in the process. When he showed up, I was quite surprised at how he started his car. I don't know if you can see it in the picture above, but he is actually using a screwdriver to start his car. I told him that if he got into his car in the States and started it this way, the police would definitely think that he stole it.

It was good reconnecting with Pastor Masonde. The laughs I got from seeing him start his car was a welcome break to a somewhat stressful day of trying to get things done in Lusaka. Hopefully, by next week, he'll be starting his car in a slightly more normal way!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

At What Temperature Does...

Water Boil??? Living in Zambia, you find that things don't quite work the way they do in the States. Take a spaghetti dinner for instance. The other night, Kerri was trying to make some spaghetti and started boiling water to cook the noodles. After 20 - 30 minutes, she looked a bit perplexed. The spaghetti sauce was bubbling, the burner was on high and was working, but still no boiling.

She thought: "maybe it's the water." So, she replaced the water that she had poured from the tap with bottled drinking water. Another 20 minutes and it still wasn't working. So, in came the problem solver (me).

I decided that if it wasn't the type of water and it wasn't going to boil on the stove top, then we would just put the pot in the oven and turn the oven all the way up. Another 20 - 30 minutes and voila, still no boiling. Now we were both really confused.

Since the water was steaming, we thought it was hot enough to cook the spaghetti noodles. At least this effort was successful even though it took a little bit longer than if the water were boiling. On a side note, the next morning when Kerri was heating some water for our coffee, she put a top on the pot (the same pot we used for the spaghetti noodles). And guess what? The water boiled. Had we known that the night before, we would have been able to eat our spaghetti dinner before 10:30 pm!

Sorry for such a descriptive story on cooking spaghetti, but we just wanted to give you some insight into the small things that make living in Zambia different than living in the States.

Thursday, December 08, 2011

Sweet Reunion

A few days ago we had the opportunity to visit Dailes. For those of you who didn't know or remember, Dailes has been working for us since we arrived in Zambia in Feb 2008. She has become very much a part of our family since then. While we were back in the States, there were many times that Maddie would ask, "When are we going to go back to our home in Zambia and see Auntie Dailes?"

Well, they finally got that opportunity! Both of them ran to Dailes and gave her big hugs. I honestly didn't know if Ellie would remember her, but she definitely did. While it was hard to leave the States, it has helped ease the pain by getting to see our friends here.

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Video Tour of Our Home in Chik

Here it is, a video tour of our home in Chik. Starts in the kitchen, then to the dining room, then to our bedroom and bathroom, then to the living room, then to the school room, then to the second bathroom and finally to the boys room. The girls room is still being renovated. So, it was not captured in this video.


If you are receiving this post via email, click the following link to view the video:

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Still Settling!

Yesterday, we left the girls in Lusaka and Kerri, Caleb, Thomas and I went down to our new home in Chikankata. We really didn't know what to expect, but were pleasently surprised when we walked in the home. The Reeves did a wonderful job getting the house ready, including the addition of a bed and bathroom for Kerri and me.

We hope to upload a video tour of our home very soon, but need to figure out better internet options before we can do this.

Please continue to pray for us as we settle in. We are still staying in Lusaka until we can move our workers and the last of our things down. We hope to be fully moved in by this weekend!

Friday, December 02, 2011

We're Back!!!

It started with our departure from Columbia. We arrived at the airport on Wednesday Morning to find out that our flight to Washington, D.C. was no longer offered by United. Luckily they had space on a 10 am flight and were able to get us to D.C. on time.

In D.C., the antics ramped up some more. Apparently, 3 weeks ago, South African Airways made a policy that anyone flying through S. Africa needed Yellow Fever vaccinations. The only problem was that 3 of our kids vaccinations had expired and the other 2 had never received them. After going back and forth and praying a lot, we were able to convince them to let us on the flight. There was no guarantee that we would be able to board the next flight to Lusaka, but at least we would be closer.

Then, as we were finishing getting the tickets printed, Kerri realized something that we hadn't noticed the 8 months prior: our flight from S. Africa to Zambia was scheduled to fly out on the 2nd, not the 1st like we thought. Probably wouldn't be a big deal except we had no hotel reservations and we didn't know of any places to stay. But we boarded the plane and just figured that if the Lord wanted us to land in Lusaka, He would work out the details.

In S. Africa, we found a hotel after about 2 hours of searching. It was a pretty little lodge located just 15 minutes from the airport, but it was a sleeping adventure this time. The room we were given had a bunk bed and two single beds. You try to figure out how to sleep 7 with bed space for 4! Needless to say, Kerri and I snuggled all night and 4 of our children slept 2 to a bed.

The next morning and all today was pretty uneventful. When we went to the ticket counter to ask for our boarding passes, we were not even asked for our vaccination records again. We boarded the flight and landed in Lusaka at 9:00 pm.

So, itt was an adventure, but we've finally made it! What we thought was to be a 33 hour trip (including layovers) turned out to be closer to 52 hours. Had this been 4 years ago, we probably wouldn't have known how to react, but after living in Zambia for so long, we've learned to be flexible and pray a lot!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Brain Flagilation

So, when a missionary is nearing the end of a year long furlough, you should never ask him to perform a complex task. Because of all of the different things running through his head (i.e. dealing with the stress of packing, leaving behind loved ones, coordinating a shipping container, etc.) he might just not have the mental aptitude to handle such a task.

Take this afternoon for instance. Kerri asked me to do something very simple, order pizza. We were throwing a small going away party for the kids. We wanted to let them have one last time to play with their closest friends this side of the ocean before heading back to Zambia and the guest list included 41 children.

So, Kerri asked me to buy enough pizza for these children. That's where the fun began. Somehow, in my mind, she wasn't asking me to purchase enough pizza for 41 kids, but, for some reason, she was asking me to purchase 41 pizzas. I don't know why it didn't register in my mind when I knew the bill was going to be close to $200, but it didn't. So, when the pizza showed up, the mistake was quite obvious! The kids were happy and full, but I felt just a wee bit dumb!

Please be praying for us over the next 2 weeks. We fly out in 10 days and things are getting more and more hectic. Pray for patience, wisdom in packing, a sweet goodbye with family and friends and a sweet reunion with our friends in Zambia.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

3 Generations

If you are receiving this post via email, CLICK HERE to view the video.

As part of our presentation this evening in Charleston, Mimi, Kerri and Gracyn (3 Generations) sang a song to end our time of sharing. It was rather tear jerking trying to watch this performance, knowing that we will be officially saying goodbye in 16 days. If you get a chance, check out Gracyn's first performance. She was AWESOME!!!

We also wanted to share the good news that we received this past week. We are now at 100% of our monthly budget, both one-time and monthly! Thank you to all of you who have joined our team and are partnering with us in this work in Chikankata.

Just a reminder though, that we are still trying to raise the startup budget for the ministry. This is what we received the $50,000 matching gift. So, think of us for those year-end giving opportunities.


Thursday, November 10, 2011

Amazing Opportunity

As we have ventured out in faith in this move to Chikankata, we have continually been amazed at the Lord's provisions along the way. Very recently He provided again. On Monday, a week ago, we had a couple from Texas pledge to match any and all donations we can raise up to $50,000. They requested these donations be used to cover the development costs of our ministry centre in Zambia, not for missionary support. And they have given us a timeline to raise these matching funds (until the end of 2011).

As you can imagine we are overwhelmed at the opportunity this presents. If realized, these funds we will be used to accomplish some of our goals for development sooner than later. Can you help us? Would you consider making a one-time donation of any size toward this need and take advantage of this unique opportunity to see your gift doubled?

If you would like to help us in this way, please give online at the following link:

or send checks to:

Commission To Every Nation
PO Box 291307
Kerrville, TX 78029-1307

*Please inclued Eleeo Project in a separate note or the memo field of the check.

It's also a great time to be thinking about those year-end donations!

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Great News!!!

We are receiving donations and have begun filling the container. We're trying to have it filled and ready for shipping by our Nov 30th departure date. Would you consider helping?

Below are some of the items we are looking to include in this container, but for which we still need donations. Maybe you know someone who is trying to get rid of one of these items for a tax deductable receipt:

If so, have them give us a call or send us an email!

Brent Roberts

Personal Items such as: Bike Helmets for the kids and parents
Fishing Rods & Reels as well as tackle

Ministry Items like this Hand Drill System for Drilling Water Wells

And Larger Farm Equipment like this Gator XUV

Monday, October 31, 2011

Our First Goodbye : (

As time passes, we are getting closer and closer to our return to Zambia. This weekend was a reminder that our departure is just around the corner. We were in Knoxville visiting Kerri's brother Matt and his family. Being that we don't make it up to Knoxville on a very regular basis and they don't have any planned trips to Columbia, this was the last time that we would get to spend with the Grimsley's before we fly out November 30th. While we had a wonderful visit, it was hard to say goodbye.

Returning to Zambia is kind of a "Catch 22" in a sense. We look forward to, with much anticipation, reuniting with our Zambian & other missionary friends, starting this new ministry in Chikankata and settling down in our new home. But at the same time, we don't look forward to saying goodbye to all of our family and friends. I know I've said it many times before, but it's worth repeating. The hardest part of missions is leaving behind those you love.

So, if you think of us over these next 30 days, say a prayer. Pray for us. Pray for our friends and family. Pray that the Lord would grant us his comfort and peace as we say goodbye again.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Hitting the Ground Running

Do you want to help us hit the ground running when we get back to Zambia? We have just started filling a 40ft shipping container that will be sent to assist us in our ministry in Chikankata. Take a look at the flyer and see if there are any items you might be willing to donate.

These items will be used in the:
  • Development of a Ministry Centre
  • Starting Clean Water and Agricultural Projects
  • Outreach and Leadership Training
  • Caring for Widows and Orphans; and
  • Missionary Living Setup
Also, if you would like to make a financial donation, we are trying to raise money for the shipping costs. Information for making financial donations is also included in the flyer.

Above all, please pray for this effort. We are trying to have this container filled and ready for shipping by our departure date of November 30th. Pray that the Lord would provide the donated items, the finances for shipping & clearance in Zambia to import this container!

Thank you

Monday, October 10, 2011

Story Runners

So, how do you train leaders in a culture where 80% of the people cannot read or write? You tell stories! There are various groups that have put together chronological stories which help communicate the story of Jesus (beginning in the book of Genesis and working through to the Gospels). And this week, I (Brent) am in training in Orlando, Florida doing such training.

I arrived this evening just in time for the first session. Before the end of the session, we broke into small groups and practiced telling the story of the demon possessed man in the Gospel of Mark, chapter 5. It was really interesting listening to people from different cultures trying to tell this story in a way that was contextualized for their own people.

Tonight, I met two guys from Africa (Benin and Cameroon), a family from Laos, another couple now living in the states who used to work in Botswana, and many more. There are 24 people from 9 different countries here at the Wycliffe Training Center going through this training.

Would you please pray for us this week as we seek to learn effective ways to communicate the Gospel message to semi-illiterate and illiterate cultures? Would you also be in prayer for Luke Whitfield, who is in well-drilling training in North Carolina? Also pray for us next week. I will be joining Luke at Equip Ministries to learn how to install and repair water pumps. These are the last bits of training we will receive before our return to Zambia in November.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

The Calm Before the Storm

We are getting ready to head off to vacation with some of our friends for all of next week, but we wanted to ask you to pray for us as we gear up for these last two months in the States.

Currently, we are at 100% of our one-time funding, 89% of our monthly funding and, along with the Whitfields, are about to begin raising additional funds to ship a 40ft shipping container with much needed supplies for our ministry in Zambia.

We are now only 67 days away from leaving our family and friends and returning to our home in Zambia. Please pray for our sanity : ).

Pray also for the remainder of our monthly support, pray for the $13,000 we will need to ship the container to Zambia and pray for our family (emotionally, spiritually, physically, etc...). Pray for our families and friends here whom we are leaving behind - specifically pray for the grandparents. Leaving definitely is the hardest part of missions.

Thank you so much for standing behind us. You are such a blessing to our family and ministry.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Zambia's 5th President

In Zambia, if you ever want to carry a conversation, just talk politics. Most Zambians follow their politics religiously and love discussing many different aspects of their governing body. Well, I bet there is a lot more to talk about these days. On Tuesday, October 20th, Zambia held their presidential elections. The results were released today showing that challenger Michael Sata, won the election.

As I was asked by my Zambian friend Alex, please pray for a peaceful transition in leadership and pray for the people of Zambia.

Thank you

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Guest Blog

A friend of ours, Danielle Cevallos, recently asked Kerri to write a guest post on her blog about adoption. If you get a chance, check it out! Just click on the picture above to be directed to her blog.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Faith at Work

So how do you start a project in a remote village in Zambia and get the locals to take ownership? That is hopefully what I will be finding out this week in North Carolina. Equip Ministries International runs a week long training program called Community Health Evangelism. We're hoping this program will give us the framework for working on different projects in the villages of Chikankata.

Monday, September 05, 2011

Mulungu Ali Bwino (God is Good!)

We just wanted to quickly give you an update on our finances and thank the many of you who have been praying for our return to Zambia. Last week, we shared that we were at 81% of our monthly needs and 37% of our one-time needs. Well, the Lord did some pretty amazing things this past week. We received over $14,000 in one-time donations and are now at 100% of our one-time funding!

In addition to this, our monthly support has increased a little as well (up 1% to 82%). We have also received 6 additional commitments for monthly support but we are waiting to find out the total amount of these commitments. Needless to say, we're getting close. Our prayer is that we would be fully funded within the next month so we can shift our focus to planning for our return. Would you join us in this same prayer?

Thursday, September 01, 2011

Without Your Help, He Might Be Lost Forever

(If you are receiving this post via email, CLICK HERE to view the video)

Please take the time to watch this video. We have a crisis. The American culture is getting to Thomas. And we believe we are on the verge of losing him FOREVER! Recently, he disappeared in the house with the IPAD and shot this a video. Kerri and I immediately went to the Lord in prayer on his behalf. During this time, we came away with only one answer: We need to get him back to Zambia.

To that end, we are planning on returning November 30th but we need your help in leaving on this date. We're still looking for financial partners who will commit to monthly giving. It doesn't have to be a lot, even a gift of $10 to $20 a month could make a significant impact in helping us reach our monthly goal. Would you consider helping us avert this crisis?

To make online donations, please visit us on the web at:

Thank you

If, by chance, you didn't catch the humor in this post, we will be in prayer for you ; )

Friday, August 26, 2011

Recent Provisions

When Kerri and I decided to step out in faith and move to a different location in Zambia, with a different organization, we really didn't know what to expect. We knew that if the Lord was truly calling us to do this, then He would also move on our behalf to provide for our needs, of both prayer and finances. Below is testimony of the many ways that He has already moved on our behalf. We share these in hopes that they might encourage you to step out, wherever you are, and trust Him. Listen to what God has already done!

  • Before leaving Zambia, the chieftainess agreed to give our family and the Whitfield family 50 - 100 acres of ancestral tribal land on which to start a new ministry center.

  • The Lord provided housing, basically in the middle of nowhere, that is adequate for both the Roberts and Whitfield families. Think about that, 4 adults & 10 kids worth of space!

  • Since our transition to CTEN, we have received $290 a month in new pledges and many of our existing supporters came with us, meaning that we are now at 81% of our targeted monthly budget. Only 19% ($1,000) more needed before our November 30th departure.

  • We have received an additional $7,450 (37%) in one-time setup donations. These donations will go towards such things as fixing our vehicle, buying appliances more suitable for rural living, etc.

  • Then, very recently, we received two rather sizable donations:

    A company in Chicago has agreed to donate new power tools and 2 generators valued at approximately $15,000; and

    A church here in Columbia, is purchasing a 40ft shipping container and will be helping us coordinate shipping these tools and generators and other ministry items to "hit the ground running" in Zambia.

Don't we serve an amazing God!

Now, with these recent provisions, we also have additional needs. So, please be in prayer for us. As we mentioned earlier, we are still trying to raise $1,000 in monthly support and $12,550 in one-time setup support. In addition to this, we are asking God to find individuals, small groups & churches to assist us with donations that will not only allow us to fill the shipping container, but also cover the cost of shipping ($13,000).

If you would like more information on any of these opportunities to assist our ministry, please feel free to contact us at If you would like to make a donation, please do so at the following links:

  • Monthly and One-Time Setup Donations:

  • Shipping Container Project: For financial donations send checks to Chapin Baptist Church, 950 Old Lexington Hwy, Chapin, SC 29036. Be sure to include "Wednesday Knights Zambia Fund" in the memo field. A list of items needed for the container will be published at a later date.

Above all we ask for your prayers as we continue to trust God and believe that in Him we will not be disappointed (1 Peter 2:6)!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Introducing the Roberts

(Click the Picture Above to View the Video)

A dear friend of ours, Leon Bouknight, recently assisted us in putting together a new ministry video for our ministry in Zambia. Please take a look if you get a chance. It is meant to be a simple video introducing us and our ministry to individuals who don't know us very well. It's 9 minutes in duration. So, if you have a chance watch it and maybe share it with someone else who has not heard about us or our ministry!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Utterly Meaningless

(Click Here if you are receiving this video via email)

If you opened up this post to receive a thought provoking story. You have wasted your time. While we do value communicating certain spiritual truths, ministry updates and missionary life experiences through our posts, we also believe it is important that you see our silliness as well. The above video is a prime example. It's called: Cookie Face Race. Enjoy!

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Renovations Are Underway!

One of the reasons we cannot return until the end of November is because we currently do not have a home to move into. The Reaves, our landlords, have just begun the addition of a bed and bathroom to our house in Zambia. This addition is scheduled to be finished shortly before we return November 30th. Anyways, we just thought you would want to see some pictures of the progress that they are making.

Thursday, August 04, 2011

A Day of Worship

This week I had a last minute opportunity to attend a conference in Chicago with our friends and ministry partners Luke and Elise Whitfield. Thanks to frequent flyer miles (provided by my dad) and cheap lodging (free) the trip was possible. It's been fun getting to meet the rest of the Whitfield family and see where Luke grew up. Yesterday was pretty amazing too, as we attended the first day of this three day conference. The first speaker spoke about being completely sold out to Jesus no matter what the cost. Worship in the evening was lead by Hillsong United. Needless to say, we all had a great time.

Please pray for us the next few days. Blessings!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

August Report

(To View the Letter, Click Here or Click the Picture Above)

We've put together an update for August. It will be mailed out next week, but we wanted to make it available online before then. We think you will enjoy the short story at the beginning of the update. Also included is an overview of the new ministry in Chikankata.

The Roberts

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Every Man, Woman & Child

(Kerri Roberts & Allison Shipman doing a little tubing on Lake Murray)

This past weekend, we had the priveledge of attending a gathering/conference on Church Planting. There was a guest speaker, Dwight Smith, who is the president and founder of Saturation Church Planting International and a few other local leaders all with a similar vision: "Reaching every man, woman & child in a geographic area with a repeated opportunity to hear and accept or reject the Gospel of Christ."

Most of the attenders were church planters who live and work in South Carolina, but our location was irrelevant. We, just like them, have been put in a specific place (Chikankata, Zambia) at a specific point in the history of the world (2012 and the foreseeable future) to repeatedly reach a people who need to hear the Good News of Jesus Christ. Sometimes it's good to get away with people with a similar vision for ministry and dream big for what God wants to accomplish through his people. And to that end, the weekend was a success!

Kerri and I came away from the weekend very refreshed in our journey with God and challenged in our future ministry both in our family and to the Tonga People of Chikankata, Zambia.

Please do pray for these church planters who want to make an impact right here in South Carolina. There were couples present who are currently planting churches in Columbia, Lexington, Aiken and Charleston.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Sharing in Chapin

Sunday morning we had the privelege of sharing about our ministry in Zambia with a combined Sunday School at Chapin Baptist Church. This is the second time we have had the opportunity to visit with our friends here. Typically when we share, we leave at least half of the time for questions & answers. Our thought is that we could rack our brains trying to figure out everything to cover, but there will still be people who want to know something about Zambia, our ministry or family life that we wouldn't think of.

While we do field some of the same questions, I am amazed at how many times we get questions we haven't been asked before. For instance, today, a couple wanted to know about how the kids were schooled. Something I wouldn't think to cover in a presentation, but something of interest to those hearing about our ministry.

We enjoyed our time with Chapin Baptist this morning and are thankful for the relationships that God has given us with some of the members of this church. But in order to fulfill His vision of reaching Chikankata, we need additional prayer and financial partners standing behind us in this work. It is through speaking engagements such as these that the Lord has and continues to build our support network.

How about you? Do you have a church, small group or a few friends who might be interested in hearing about our ministry in Zambia? We would love the opportunity to share. Please contact us at if you would like to set something up.

Sunday, July 03, 2011

Our New Ministry

Above is a video introducing Chikankata and our new ministry. Please take the time to watch if you get a chance. It's just under 5 minutes in duration.

If you are receiving this post via email, please go to the following link to view the video: CLICK HERE.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

A Four Year Summary

Our friends and partners in ministry are about to make the trip back to the States to join us in support raising for the next several months before returning to Zambia in the new year. Above is a pictoral summary of their ministry over the past 4 years. It's a really good video of the impact their ministry has already had in Lusaka and beyond. Please take the time to watch.

If you are receiving this post via email:

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Saved a Life, but...

Here is a post that our friend Steve Allen wrote a little while ago. It gives great insight in to the cultural stigma attached to HIV/AIDS in Zambia. Difficult, but great read!


I saved a life this week... And it probably won't matter. (It didn't)

I don’t write these kinds of blogs very often, but I really need to give you a sobering look at HIV/AIDS in Africa. This is probably going to hurt a bit, but I think if you can hang in there long enough, you might be able to save a life as well.

Last Sunday, I was picking up ACTION missionaries Paul and Patrick from a church in a compound near my house. When I arrived, I asked the pastor how his niece was doing. His mother was carrying this little girl and when I approached her to pray for the baby, I was shocked by the size of her face. On Friday night, the baby began crying, and as they later discovered, had sores all over the inside of her mouth and then her face began to swell. When I saw her on Sunday, she hadn’t eaten anything in a day and a half. She has been to two clinics. I stood there, by my car, in this dirty, crowded compound, with this desperate mother and whimpering child, gawked at by all the Zambians, wondering what I should do.

I spoke first to the pastor, saying, “Why don’t you call me in the morning and if she is still bad, I can take her to a private hospital.” But, I thought, she might not be alive in the morning. I have witnessed too many babies dying of such preventable causes that I just couldn’t leave her but, honestly, I also didn’t want to give up my Sunday afternoon nap. (Just being honest.)

After praying for this sister-in-law of the pastor, she walked towards the house of the pastor. I was very conflicted. What do I do? I got in the car, and began driving out of the compound, but said, “I need to take her to the hospital.” And so I got the o.k. from my guests and pulled over by the house. I saw my pastor friend and told him what I was thinking. The mother with the child and the wife of the pastor came along with the pastor and we all headed out the hospital, over bumps, through gullies, alongside little raggedy shops, kids yelling out and waving, with this dying little 2 year old dying in my car.

We made it to the hospital and I left them waiting for a consultation. An hour later the baby was admitted to the hospital for what would become a four night stay. The baby had HIV. They found that out after the second day when I had to convince the pastor to have the baby tested. With medicine and ARV’s, the baby could have a chance, unlike the sister before him, who had died around the same age.

If the mother had been tested any time in the past few years, and had taken ARV’s drugs, this baby could have been born without HIV. If the baby had been taking ARV’s from the beginning, it could have been saved from this traumatic event. But, what is even more maddening, is that, the baby will probably not live, because they will probably not either be faithful to give the baby the ARV’s or will refuse to, out of fear of stigma and mistreatment of people in the community or some other obstacle that happens so often.

I am not kidding. The fear of HIV/AIDS runs so deep that people will choose to live in ignorance and denial rather than receive a free test, free counseling, free medicine and free follow-ups for the rest of their lives. Please pray for Zambians and African in general.


After four days in the hospital, and a relatively healthy month, the parents stopped giving their baby medicines because they couldn’t afford the “review” price. If there is one thing you can't do with HIV medicine is miss even a day. I was in the states at the time. They finally got the money to go and switched to a free government clinic. A few weeks later, though, the baby got sick one Friday afternoon, went to the clinic for a blood draw and then died that night. That was three days ago. I didn't go to the funeral. I am not sure why. Maybe I am still to angry. It conflicted with my own family schedule. I am still wrestling with all of that. I should have gone. It was the right thing to do culturally. Anyway, we move on... Will the mother finally get tested and get on ARV’S? It remains to be seen. Such is the life we live here... Pray for us, too... I apologize if this was a little too raw. Sometimes, reality cannot be ignored.

One more thing, my title was a bit of an exaggeration. It did matter. She got another couple months with her only daughter. She learned that the cause of the death is HIV related (whether she will admit that is another situation altogether) and hopefully as a result she will get tested, thus allowing her to live a healthier life and give birth to more children who are healthy. Maybe I didn't save the life of this baby, but perhaps I will allow a life to live if there is another baby.

So how do you play out in all of this? Could you pray? Check out our HIV/AIDS ministry that I am more and more sold on as a significant way to help fight this war against AIDS in Africa. Lastly, do a little inventory of your own life. Is there anything you are too afraid of checking into that you would rather (literally) die than deal with?

Monday, June 27, 2011

Timeline for Our Return

One of the most frequently asked questions we have had thus far since being back in the States is "When are you scheduled to return to Zambia?" I don't know if it is because people are ready to get rid of us ; ) or if they are just curious, but we figured we would write this short post to give you a timeline for our return.

If you're someone with a short attention span, don't like to read more than two paragraphs, or just want a high-level answer, then you can stop reading here: It's November 30th


If you're a details person and want to know how we will be spending the next few months while here in the States, then here is the longer answer:

While we are ready to return tomorrow and we can't wait to get back to Zambia, there are a few things that are contributing to our return date being November 30th:

  • Rental Home Renovations - Our rental home in Zambia is under renovation. Being that this house is the only one in the area that can accomodate our family, we must wait for the renovations to be completed. To that end, we are hoping they will be complete upon our return. (If you are receiving this post via email, CLICK HERE to view a video tour of our rental home in Chikankata)

  • Various Training Opportunities - Luke and I are scheduled to attend several training sessions in September and October that we see as vital to this new ministry. These include:

  1. September 5 - 9: Community Health Evangelism,

  2. October 3 - 7: Hand Drilling Water Wells

  3. October 3 - 7: Chronological Bible Storying for Illiterate and Semi-Illiterate Cultures

  4. October 10 - 14: Water Pump Installation

  • Support Raising - Based on where we are moving, we will have a few one-time needs in Chikankata that we didn't have in the city (i.e. generator, satelite internet, etc.). In addition to this, our montly support could use a boost and we need to raise ministry funds so that we can fulfill the vision to which the Lord has called us. So, over the next few months, we will be trying to meet with individuals, small groups and churches in order to raise these much needed funds.
On that front, please be in prayer for us. While this new ministry is a great opportunity and God has given us and the Whitfields a heart for the people of Chikankata, we need financial backing to do the work. Pray that God would raise up financial and prayer partners over these next few months who are committed to helping us fulfill this vision of reaching every man, woman and child in these 240 villages of Chikankata, Zambia!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

A Third World Project

While I was back in Zambia, we were able to finish construction on the hammer mill. A hammer mill is used to process Maize (corn) into mealie (Zambian's staple food). This project is expected to provide the community with a nearby location for processing their maize while at the same time provide in-country funding for AZ's ministry centre.

We just thought you would like to see this Third World income generating project and how it was started. So, above, is a video of the project from the beginning up until implementation (opening day). If you are receiving this post via email, you can view the video by going to the following link:

Thank you to all of you who sacrificed to support this project.

Monday, June 20, 2011

It's Official

It’s official! We have finished our commitment with Action International Ministries and have signed on with a new sending agency (Commission to Every Nation) to go back to Zambia.

We will be moving from the city (Lusaka) to rural Zambia (Chikankata) to start a new ministry. Working alongside the local tribal leader, we will seek to address the physical and spiritual poverty of the Tonga people through various biblically based ministries. We have given this new ministry the name Eleeo Project. Please take the opportunity to find out more about this ministry at

Future Speaking Engagements:
If you are associated with any churches, small groups, individuals, etc., who might be interested in hearing about our new ministry, we would love the opportunity to share. Please contact us at with any inquiries.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011


Greetings from Kerrville, Texas! We arrived here on Monday afternoon for our three-day orientation with our new sending agency, Commission To Every Nation. We had a great first day, getting to hear more about the vision of CTEN from its founder, Richard Malm. We also heard from each of the pastoral care team members and received some encouragement and instruction in the areas of Partnership Development and taxes! Of course, we also had the privilege of meeting about 25 neat people who God has called to various work around the world. We are already very excited about this new partnership and look forward to learning more over the next two days. Please pray for us, as well as for our kids and parents back home in SC!

Thursday, June 09, 2011

Do They Look Alike?

I am one of those people who will watch a movie and then people watch to see when people look like movie stars. Well, tonight, I think I found a movie star in my own home. Kerri's favorite movie is Dumb and Dumber. You can ask her about that one. But as I sat there and looked at Ellie sitting in her seat, I kept thinking of Jeff Daniels from Dumb and Dumber. Do you see the striking resemblence to his character in the movie? I think it's time for Ellie to get a hair cut!

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Zambia Report

We are in the process of shifting gears in terms of a new ministry and support raising, but before posting anything on the new ministry, I wanted to give an update on how things unfolded on my most recent trip back to Zambia.

As you recall, the trip had multiple purposes: to move our household goods into storage in Chikankata, prepare Action Zambia for their year-end financial audit, a few other administrative tasks such as switching the ownership on the motorcycle, planning for the new ministry in Chikankata and finally starting the hammer-mill business at Ciyanjano that I had been working on before returning to the States last December.

Well, in terms of getting everything done that I set out to accomplish, the trip was a success! We moved our home the first week I was back in Zambia, started the audit (which was wrapping up when I left) in the third week, changed ownership on the bike (with the help of a Zambian friend Chilito), made significant progress in planning for the new ministry with the Chieftainess and 3 days before I left, opened up the Ciyanjano hammer-mill business with a free day for the community.

I must say that spending 6 weeks away from the family was not easy, but I was thankful for the time that I had to be back in Zambia to get these much needed things completed and to reconnect with our friends and teammates.