Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Back to Reality

It seems like you cannot be here too long before you hear about another death. A few days ago, one of Action Zambia's workers, Mwape's wife (Loveness) died. She had been very sick, but it still was unexpected. Please be in prayer for Mwape and his family. Loveness leaves behind her husband and son.

Update on Warren:
As I wrote about last week, Warren Carr, my host, wrecked my motorcycle and broke both bones in his lower leg. Today, he will be checking into a local clinic for a Thursday morning surgery. They will be fusing the bones back together with metal plates and pins. Please pray for him and his family during this time.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Sometimes you gotta love your country!

Kerri here! Today I had the amazing pleasure of getting my driver's license renewed. Fortunately my license expired while I happened to be here in the States, so I was able to take care of it on time! We all sort-of dread going to the DMV because you never know what kind of wait you might find and how long it might take. This time I was in and out in 20 minutes! 20 minutes! Let me tell you, after having the experience of getting a driver's license in Zambia, I will never, ever complain about the DMV here! Some of our AZ teammates, Kelly and Tricia Huckaby, documented the process not long ago and I thought it was so funny I'd let you read it too! (Check out the Huckablog for regular, hilarious - and often poignant - episodes of daily living in Zambia)

How To Get a Zambian Driver's License in 50 Easy Steps

  1. Go to Road Transit Safety Authority (RTSA) on Lumumba.
  2. Go to the "Information" desk.
  3. Ask for a medical examination form.
  4. Go to Makeni clinic.
  5. Overpay an unscrupulous doctor.
  6. Go to RTSA on Lumumba and be told that they no longer except exams from Makeni andthat you have overpaid.
  7. Go back 3 steps.
  8. Or skip numbers (4-7) and go to one of the following approved government clinics:
    1. Kamwala
    2. Chilenge
    3. Kalingalinga
    4. Chawama
    5. Kanyama
    6. George
    7. Mtendere
    8. Chipata
  1. Make sure this list is current!!
  2. Pay k50,000 if you have an ARC.
  3. Pay k1000,000 if you do not have an ARC.
  4. Make sure you are meeting with one of the doctors who is "qualified" to administer the exam.
  5. Take your date stamped medical form and receipt of payment to RTSA on Lumumba.
  6. Be sure to bring at least two copies of your: ARC, passport, work permit, and US drivers license.
  7. Get in line for Room 1.
  8. Be sure to ask around and make sure you are in the right line and that the people who appear to be standing in that line are actually in line.
  9. Plan on being here for anywhere from 1 hour to 4 hours.
  10. When you reach Room 1, show them your documents and explain that you are seeking aconversion license.
  11. You will receive a form for a provisional license.
  12. Fill this out.
  13. Take this to Data Capturing.
  14. Then go to Rooms 2 or 3 for photographing.
  15. Try to smile, you're almost halfway there.
  16. Go to cashier (room 15 or 26)
  17. Pay k63,000
  18. Exit RTSA and purchase a King Pie from the cart.
  19. Eat pie.
  20. Return to the same window after 24 hours to set an appointment with RTSA Ridgeway branch for a competency/conversion test.
  21. Pay k47,000 booking fee.
  22. On the day of your booking go to RTSA on Lumumba go early!
  23. Go to Room 7.
  24. Be told to go see Mr. Mwamba across the street.
  25. Drive into the black gates where everyone is lined up in their vehicles.
  26. Skip the line.
  27. Park.
  28. Go see Mr. Mwamba in the booth.
  29. Arrange for a drive test.
  30. Even if RTSA on Lumumba "booked" your test for a certain time, this means nothing, plan on waiting at least a few hours.
  31. Pay someone k15,000 to outfit your vehicle with "L" plates for your drive (this may be optional)
  32. Pray
  33. Do your drive test.
  34. If you passed, go back to Mr. Mwamba and give him your paperwork for stamping.
  35. Take this paperwork to RTSA on Lumumba after 24 hours.
  36. Go to Room 25 and give them your forms.
  37. Go to Room 26 and pay k79,000.
  38. Exit RTSA
  39. Buy a King Pie (Ham and Cheese is nice)
  40. Eat pie.
  41. In four weeks you can pick your card up at RTSA on Dedan Kimathi Rd.
  42. Celebrate.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Please Pray

Our dear friend and my host while I am here in Zambia, Warren Carr, was injured when he was run off the road this afternoon driving my motorcycle. He suffered a broken leg and several cuts and scrapes. He and his wife Vicki are at the hospital now. Please pray for him and his family during this time.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

The gods are amongst us

I was at a bible study with some friends when I met a visitor from the UK. John Paul Witt is a missionary working up in Northern Zambia. He told us this story below which I copied from his website. Just thought you might enjoy reading about how the Lord is working here to advance His Kingdom.

Sometimes you hear a story of God that stops you literally dead in your tracks. This is such a story. This story was told to me by 3 people yesterday at a Life area leaders day.

In October last year in the area of Kamwale, some 30km south of Nchelenge, Northern Zambia and close to the border of the Democratic Republic of Congo, children were mysteriously dying at a school. Nobody knew what was causing the sickness, 17 children in all died. It seemed to be some kind of disease that gave haemorrhaging and violent stomach pain. The disease was fatal.

People in rural Africa, quite rightly believe that mysticism and witchcraft has power and is not load of rubbish. Confronted with this situation, many believed that the chief of the area wanted to gain more power and had bewitched the children, to demonstrate his power. At this a mob rose against the chief, and went to his palace to beat him. There was one other group that the mob rose against and this was the group that my organisation Dignity, had helped Augustine to create for the community. The groups study the Bible, pray and work for the good of the community. They seek to bring together many from different groups and reach out to those who are ostracised. Earlier in 2010, the crime zone of the village had dropped dramatically in response to the conversion to Jesus of many criminals in the area due to the activity of the group.

As people paid more attention to the Life! Group, it caused opposition from church groups that see them as a threat and often they are branded satanists, simply for wanting to help. As such it seemed to some of the people in the village that this “new” groube could be satanic and be causing the deaths at the school.

At that time Jo Hardy who works with Dignity was visiting the area with Augustine, a community activist, as part of a visit to encourage those there. As part of their visit, prayer was held, and I don’t honestly think that Jo was aware of everything that was going on. That’s not a lack of observation, it can be difficult to piece everything together when working through translators.

The bottom line is this. They prayed in the morning, those that died before they prayed were the last children to die of the unidentified deadly disease. No child or adult has died since. People in the area, have literally referred to Augustine, Jo and some of the group as “gods”, when they saw in the days afterwards the answer to prayer. The funny and humbling thing is that Jo does not know anything about it. :) (maybe she does now)

The very much relieved chief has ordered all his representatives to talk to the group in Kamwale to look at starting groups in many more areas, simply because God has defended His people, His honour, and more than that, stopped the needless death of children from a merciless disease.

3 people told me this story yesterday, and I have checked it more than once. It is true.

This amazing story reminds of one of the greatest leaders in the history of the Church, Paul and his visit to Lystra. “In Lystra there sat a man who was lame. He had been that way from birth and had never walked. [9] He listened to Paul as he was speaking. Paul looked directly at him, saw that he had faith to be healed [10] and called out, “Stand up on your feet!” At that, the man jumped up and began to walk. [11] When the crowd saw what Paul had done, they shouted in the Lycaonian language, “The gods have come down to us in human form!”
Acts 14:8-11 (TNIV)

The other day a friend said that he would pray that God would show me something noble, something upright, something to encourage me. I think he has and God has answered his

I’m very proud to be a servant of the Living God and my mission is to take His freedom, His message and power to everyone, everywhere I can.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Landed and Swamped

Packing our Home in Lusaka

Our Belongings Loaded into the Truck

The Truck the Next Morning

Unloading Our Belongings in Chikankata

I arrived in Zambia early Saturday morning and haven't stopped since. I've now been here over 108 hours and have only spent 12 of them sleeping. But we're finally moved! Monday night, we loaded a 17 meter truck bed with our entire home and drove to Chikankata. The driver was hesitant to drive at night because of thieves. Apparently, there was a stretch of road where some trucks drive really slow because of the steepness of the hills. It is here where bands of thieves will jump on board and take what they can. As we drove through this area, I was praying for extra power for the truck. I figured that if we didn't go slow enough for them to get on the truck, that we would be okay. Well, not only did we have enough speed, but we didn't see a sign of any thieves. We arrived safely in Chikankata (at 11:30 pm) after a short 2 hour trip.

Yesterday was a busy day as well. We had to unload the truck and put our belongings into storage - some into a room of the house we will be renting and the rest into a shipping container that us and the Whitfields are sharing.

The Roberts and Whitfields' Shipping Container

Moving the Shipping Container (Zambian Style)

Preparing the Foundation for the Container

We also had to offload the shipping container from a different truck that had delivered it the night before. This was a fun process. Being in Zambia and in the bush, crane operators and fork lifts are not available. So, we had to be creative. The farmer, whose houses we will be renting, had a loading dock nearby. So, we used one of his tractors to pull the shipping container from off the truck and then used this same tractor to drag the container about 1/4 mile to its final resting place. Once there, we used an adapter on the tractor to lift the container (one side at a time) so we could place supports underneath. After it was in place and on its temporary supports, we poured cement pillars under each of the corners. We will go back after they dry and lower the container on to these more permanent supports.

All this to say, even though it was not the best of conditions for a move, God was faithful. We are now moved out of our old home and beginning to move into the new one. Thank you for all of your prayers during this transition.

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Leaving on a Jet Plane

On Thursday at 3:00 pm, I will be boarding a plane to return to Zambia for 2 months. I'm really excited to be going back to Zambia, but, at the same time, know that I am going to miss Kerri and the kids. Would you please be in prayer for our family over the next several weeks?

Please pray:
  • For safety in Travel
  • That I will be able to move our belongings 2 hours south to our new home in Chikankata
  • For unhurried times with the Lord for both Kerri and me
  • For our children, that they would be obedient and helpful in my absence
  • That I would finish Strong with Action Zambia Ministries
Thank you!

Saturday, April 02, 2011

That's not a Rat! This is a Rat!

Posted by our Director yesterday. All I can say is "that is one HUGE rat!"


Some of you may have seen the rat that was killed in our backyard a couple months ago. It was rather large and I thought the gardener was a little crazy to suggest that there were larger rats yet…that is, until yesterday! Our gardener trapped it with his patented paint can method. We measured this rat to be 80cm from tip of tail to the tip of the nose that’s over 30 inches!! Half of the length was the tail and half the body.

Last November when I first saw this type of rat (Cane Rat) I freaked out and told Tim it was the size of a cat. He didn’t believe me. I told him it was as big as Tristan…again, he thought I was exagerating. At the time Tristan was two months old. Well…here’s the proof!

Friday, April 01, 2011

Hurrying to Process

This is a recent posting by one of our friends in Zambia.


I never know quite what to expect when I go teach my three days a week Bible class. Sometimes, I go, I teach, I go home and its pretty normal. Other times, memories happen. Like, today, for example. I got there a bit early and we were talking about homework. My pastors aren’t super faithful about doing homework and I get frustrated about it at times. But, today I got a little perspective of the kind of “excuses” a pastor might have. Patson told me a story about what happened Monday night. This is a recent posting by one of our friends in Zambia.

Around 11pm, a women across the street from him starting yelling for help. Her nine year old son was not feeling well. Sadly, as Patson hurried over there and tried to get a taxi for her son, he died. Seriously. Patson thinks it may have been a double dose of medicine, one from the pharmacy and then one from the clinic, a lack of communication, and a lack of life, just like that. He wasn’t feeling well during the day. He dies at night. Patson, at midnight, took the body to the mortuary at the hospital, via taxi, with a few other guys. He gave some money to the taxi driver who was going to wait for them. The taxi driver didn’t wait. So, at 2:00 am, Patson and a few guys walked from the hospital back home. Probably a good 25 minute drive during the day turned out to be a two hour walk in the middle of the night. He told me that at the beginning of class. O.K., now teach. We talked about the book of Hebrews. I think it went o.k.

So, I gave Patson a ride home today. It is always such a significant time. Every time with Patson is significant. He starts telling me about his pastor’s fellowship meeting he goes to on Monday nights. The pastors switch off in preaching and the pastor who preached went way long and went here and there and didn’t have a point, according to Patson. Every since Patson took the preaching class I taught, he said, “I understand better how to preach and when people are not explaining the Bible right and how they should preach. I went up to him after and said that you need to put you in the message.” One of the five points of preaching that I taught is making sure that the message you preach affects you first. But I like how Patson put it: “You need to put you in the message.”

Anyway, we talked about doing a preaching seminar for a few pastors in his compound as we drove through his compound. . And then I get to his street and there are huge puddles covering the entire road, and people waiting at the community water station and then I see a crowd of women near Patson’s house gathering for the child who died. And, I am just overwhelmed, trying to smile for the 20 kids that are in the road yelling “Mzungu” and waving to me. Everything was a bit in slow motion. I drove home, slowly, through the poorest place you’ll never visit, listening to some slow, somber worship music, taking it all in. It is a different world, here. And, my processing is this blog, so please forgive if the grammar isn’t right and it doesn’t quite make sense. I’m not sure what does make sense these days. And then tomorrow, I start again. I need to hurry up and process because another day is coming.

Steve Allen