Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The Details of Our Move

(Our Rental Home in Chikankata - Ready in November 2011!)

It's in the mail, but we also thought we would include it on our blog. Below is a link to our March newsletter giving all of the details of our move to Chikankata, Zambia. It is rather lenghtly (3 pages), but we wanted to make sure we covered as much as we could. Please take the time to read it and get caught up with how the Lord is leading us to this new work in Zambia!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Foundations for Farming

Below is a post from Luke Whitfield on Foundations for Farming (a.k.a. Farming God's Way). When we return to Zambia, Luke and I will be trying to implement this program in Chikankata. So, I thought you might find his write-up about an international conference he attended in Zimbabwe interesting.

Dear Friends,

It has been a while since our last update and so we wanted to take a few moments to fill you in with what has been going on in our lives. I, Luke, specifically would like to share about a recent trip I took to Zimbabwe to attend a week long seminar to be trained in conservation farming with a Christian ministry called Foundations for Farming. It was an amazing experience to be a part of a group that represented 16 countries including places like India, Mexico, Ukraine, Sudan and many more. One of the coolest stories was that of a very tall man name Michael from Southern Sudan. Michael shared about his dream to take what he had learned and begin teaching school children in Southern Sudan so that through the younger generation his people’s future might be a bit brighter.

I want to start by sharing some statistics. Over the past 50 years it is estimated that close to 2.3 trillion USD has been pumped into Africa in the form of aid. Africa also possesses 30% of the world’s natural resources. Sub Saharan Africa (where we are) has a great climate, bountiful rainfall, fertile soils and plenty of people to work the land. Despite these facts Africa’s total Gross Domestic Product only represents 1.3% of the world’s total. Poverty continues to grip the vast majority of the continent’s peoples resulting in Africa’s population growth exceeding agricultural production. Bottom line, Africa continues to be the hungriest and most malnourished continent on the planet.

Foundations for Farming is all about seeing Africans go from being the world’s beggars to becoming a blessing to the nations. Since the vast majority of Africa’s population are small scale farmers the vision is to teach productive farming techniques to these individuals with the net result being the production of enough food for families as well as extra income to aid in the development of economic growth. At the heart of this vision is a focus on achieving these outcomes through a heart change of the people. Based upon a Biblical perspective promoting stewardship with what God has given them the course encourages participants to farm on time, at a high standard, no wastage and most importantly with joy! This is a very simple explanation of what Foundation for Farming is all about and we would encourage you to take a second and learn more about this amazing and revolutionary ministry by visiting their website at: .

So why are we sharing all this with you? As we detailed in our February update, 2012 will see some major changes in our ministry focus. Upon our return to Zambia in January of 2012 we will be moving down to the rural area of Chikankata to begin full time work assisting the chief of that area in expanding the Kingdom of God amongst her people. As we have planned for this shift one of the unanswered questions has been what would be the best way to enter into the community and gain the trust of the Tonga people. After my trip to Zimbabwe we feel like Foundations for Farming is God’s answer to that question. Our hope is that as we are able to train the people of Chikankata to be more productive and profitable in agriculture a door will be opened to share Gospel of Jesus Christ.

We will be sharing many more of the details surrounding this shift in the months to come and are excited about this open door God has provided us with to reach the lost in Chikankata. Again thanks for your continued support and prayers. We love and miss you all dearly and are looking forward to reconnecting upon our return to the States in July 2011.


Luke (for the fam)

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Follow-Up Blog Post

We had almost completed our next mailing when the software on our computer blew up. We have ordered a software update and should be receiving it soon. So, once we receive this update, we will send our newsletter detailing everything that is happening as we transition our lives and ministry to Chikankata, Zambia. But until then, we wanted to provide some follow-up to our last email/blog post.

Answering a Common Question:

Since we sent our last email/blog post, several people have asked us the same question: Should we continue to support you through Action International Ministries? The answer is yes. We are currently missionaries with Action International Ministries. We are in the process of switching to another sending agency, but we have committed to ACTION Zambia to finish out this current term with them. In due time, we will share with you about the new sending agency and give you all the information you will need to change over your support.

Why the Switch:

ACTION Zambia is a wonderful ministry that has and continues to make significant impacts for the Kingdom in Lusaka. We have a tremendous amount of love and respect for ACTION Zambia and the men and women serving in this ministry. We are not leaving ACTION because we are upset or discontent with their ministry or because of any broken relationships. We are stepping away because ACTION’s philosophy of and approach to ministry in the city wasn’t a good fit for the ministry to which we see the Lord calling us in rural Chikankata. Again, shortly, we will be sharing with you all of the details, but we just didn’t want you to wonder about what was happening on that front.

Save the Date:

We want to be available to answer all of your questions. On June 26th, 2011, shortly after Brent returns from a 2-month trip to Zambia, we will be hosting a gathering at our home church (Columbia Crossroads Church – St. Andrews Campus). We want the opportunity to share with you about our move to Chikankata, Zambia, and the ministry going forward. We will provide dessert and coffee, show a brief video, and then have a time for questions and answers. Our hope is to share all that God has done to call us in this new direction as well as to answer any questions that you might have concerning our new ministry in Chikankata. We will send out an official invitation as the date approaches!

Thank you:

Thank you again for being patient with us during this move. We cannot express just how much your love, encouragement & support mean to us.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Let's Reach A Kingdom

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

I've written about Chikankata in the past, but I wanted the opportunity to share this short 3 minute video with you. This is an interview of of a local chieftainess where she is discussing the spiritual and physical needs of her people. There are a couple of reasons why we are sharing this video with you. One being, we want you to hear from a Zambian chief, who loves Jesus, as she shares about the needs of the people that God has placed under her care. The other is because of a calling that we feel the Lord has given our family as it relates to this southern chiefdom in Zambia.

Just to refresh your memory, Chikankata is a 100 sq/km Tonga speaking chiefdom located about 2 hours south of Lusaka. In this part of Zambia, there are little to no evangelical churches and few Christian believers. Some of the villages in this area have had no exposure to the gospel in over 40 years! The people live in fear and bondage to witchcraft and animism, most live in abject poverty, HIV/AIDS still affects nearly 20% of the population and children die every day from preventable illness.

When we return to Zambia, we will be moving to Chikankata. We, and the Whitfield Family (Pictured Above), have felt God calling us to go to Chikankata to live and work full-time. We will be leaving the city and getting a taste of the country life. The ministry that we have been involved in over the past 2+ years will be changing as well. There are many things that the Lord has done to confirm His leading and we are excited for what the future holds! Our desire is to see Zambians, some for the first time in their lives, have the opportunity to know and love Jesus, for churches to be established and strengthened, and for the needs of the poor and vulnerable to be met.

Very soon we will be sharing all of the details with you, but we wanted to make this announcement so that you are aware that changes are in the works. Please be patient with us and in prayer for our family as we transition our life and ministry in Zambia.