Monday, February 27, 2012

Afraid to Play

The other day as Luke and I returned from some meetings, the boys were playing football (soccer) in the yard with some of the older boys from the farm (guys we had hired for the day to help with the yard work). When they saw me pull up, they immediately stopped and the boys started walking for the gate. They told Caleb that they were afraid of the bwana (boss). They were afraid that I would be mad that they were playing in the property. I haven't done anything to cause them to be afraid, but, regardless, the fear was there.

Luckily, Caleb and Thomas were able to convince them to come back and we were able to watch a pretty spirited match. But the experienced just made me aware, all the more, of our need to go above and beyond to show these dear Zambians the love of Christ - to show them that there is no need to fear us. So, I guess I'm seeing a need for a weekly match with the "bwana's" also participating!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Lessons in Language

I don't know what they are trying to advertise with this sign. Maybe they are selling rocks that strike fear into the heart of every man! No, just kidding, it's just an opportunity to appreciate the various languages in Zambia.

If you haven't ever studied the Bantu languages, you probably wouldn't understand the sign above. Many times, in Zambia, when reading or writing in English, the letter "L" and the letter "R" get mixed up. For instance, Kerri is, a lot of times called Kelli. And in the case of this sign, Dread Locks becomes Dread Rocks.

Just thought you would appreciate the signage coming out of Zambian shops!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Meet Lucas Milambo

Lucas Milambo is the great nephew of Chieftainess Mwenda. He was born just a few days ago in Chikankata and named after our friend and ministry partner Luke Whitfield.

Today, we met with Chieftainess Mwenda to discuss future ministry plans in Chikankata. We were able to visit with her for over 2 hours and hear about her heart for the people of Chikankata. We were also able to make a little headway into finding the land that the ministry centre will be situated on. We were also able to meet her great nephew Lucas Milambo, named after my friend Luke. How awesome is that? Thank you to those of you who prayed for this meeting.

In the next few weeks, we hope to host a few key leaders from her family and community at our home for a cookout. We have a very good relationship with the chief, but we also desire to build relationships with those she knows and loves.

Please pray for this gathering. Pray for God's Spirit to be present in a way that helps us to establish lasting relationships with those we hope to work with and serve.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

It's Contagious

Luke and I are in the city for a few days to do, you guessed it, car repairs. Our new car is almost sorted out, but it seems like the Whitfield car caught a little Roberts cold. Nothing serious, just some small issues here and there, but definitely something they didn't want to deal with in their first full week after returning to Zambia. Anyways, pray for them and us.

On a side note, we have a meeting with the Chieftainess early next week. We're meeting to talk about the land that the center for ministry will be developed on. We'll also be trying to setup a meeting with her rural development team. Pray for wisdom as we meet and pray for strong relationships to be developed with the members of the rural development team.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Grody to the Max

If you're squeemish, don't watch this video. I have shared with you a few times, that there is a fly here called the putsy fly. It is a special fly in that it lays its eggs on damp clothing and when the eggs hatch on their unsuspecting victims, the larve burrows into the skin.

Well, I've been waiting for the first person in our family to get the first putsy so we could videotape its extraction. Can you guess who the first victim was?

Excuse the video of me with my shirt off, but I took a video of Kerri helping me get one of the 5 putsy larve that have now found their way into my arm, back and leg. Apparently, we're going to have to wait until the others get a little bigger before we can get to them, because at this size they are just too difficult to remove. Oh, the fun stuff we deal with as missionaries in Africa!

If you are receiving this post via email and would dare to watch the video, please do so at:

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Late Anniversary Celebration

Because of all that we had going on with moving in and car issues and unpacking, etc. Kerri and I never had the opportunity to celebrate our 13th anniversary. So, since we were headed to Lusaka to pickup the Whitfields from the airport, we added another day into our trip so we could enjoy what we missed out on in January.

Just outside of the city, near the airport, there is a small safari lodge called Chaminuka. When you have 5 kids, celebrating your anniversary, a lot of times, just means getting away and doing nothing and that's what we did. We spent the day just lounging around, talking as well as going on a 2 hour game ride. The trip was exactly what we needed.

So, here's to being married to the best wife a man could ever ask for!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

20 Years (Part III)

Up until now, I have shared about my life before Christ found me and the day that I responded to His calling by faith. But what about the next 20 years? (And no, don't worry, this post isn't going to detail the next 20 years of my life)

I'd like to say that the next 20 years were a wonderful time of growing in my relationship with the Lord, a time where I no longer struggled with sin (even some of the same sins that I struggled with before I became a Christian), a time where I was happy all the time and everything just seemed to go my way. But that would be a lie and that wouldn't be indicitave of what the Christian life is all about.

God's word is pretty clear. When I join His team, the pressures of life will only intensify because I have now joined a battle in the heavenlies. He never promises to take me out of the trials of life, but I do have something that I didn't have before I became a Christian. I have Him! I have His Spirit living within me to help me through the trials. I have His Spirit to bring to mind the things of Scripture that I need for this life and for my battle with sin, my flesh and the enemy. I have His Spirit to comfort me during the difficult times. I have the power of His Spirit for a life of ministry that brings glory to the Triune God (Father, Son and Holy Spirit). I have the ability to approach Him in boldness and talk with Him in prayer.

So, yes, my life wasn't perfect after God invaded my life that evening in February of 1992. I had times of victory, I had times of defeat. I still made mistakes and will continue to do so, but I have a perfect Father who loves me unconditionally, who looks on me with favor, not because of what I have done for him, but because of Christ and his precious sacrifice on my behalf. My life, even though still messy, does show some of the fruit of His life in me. And after 20 years, I feel like I'm just now starting to understand His love, which in turn is helping me to love others. So, the trajectory of my life in Him over the past 20 years, while its had its ups and downs, has been one of slow and steady growth.

So there you go. That's the work that God started in my life 20 years ago and will continue until the day that I finally get to see him face to face. I hope what he has done in me can encourage you wherever you are in the process of knowing Him, whether it be that you're not a believer and are trying to understand this Christian thing better, or if you are struggling in your walk with Him or even if you feel like you know Him well and are growing daily in your relationship with Him.

God Bless!

Monday, February 13, 2012

20 Years (Part II)

On Feb 9th, 1992, a guy from a local Seminary, Nathan Hardeman, spoke to our youth group. He shared about how God had a plan from the beginning of creation - that he created the first man and woman to be without sin and in a close loving relationship with himself, they then chose to disobey Him and as a result died spiritually. Because of their sin, all mankind (us) inherited sin at birth and, therefore, we all stand guilty before God and unable to have a relationship with Him.

But God, being rich in mercy, still promised to restore His relationship with us through a sacrifice. Nathan shared how in the book of Hebrews it says that without the shedding of blood there can be no forgiveness of sin. And that Christ, God in flesh, came to earth, lived a perfect life, was beaten, spat upon, cursed, hung on a cross and killed as a payment for my and your sin. That three days after he died, he was raised from the dead to prove all of his earthly ministry to be valid and that he had done what he had promised, he defeated death. In addition to this, for 40 days after his resurrection over 500 people were witnesses to him living again.

He then shared how there was nothing we could do on our own to merit God's favor - that it doesn't matter how much good we do, because our goodness will never earn our forgiveness. Our only hope is in the person of Jesus Christ. If we place our trust in Him, trust Him with our whole lives, our decisions, our worries, our messups, our victories, our hopes, our dreams, our disappointments, our fears, with everything and if we lay our sins at His feet (repent) - the anger, bitterness, envy, jealousy, lust, immorality, hatred, evil thoughts, etc. we can be forgiven completely and restored to a right relationship with God the Father. So, it's not based on anything we do, but on everything Christ did. We are saved 100% by His grace (meaning we get something good that we don't deserve, for free).

After he shared, I had an intense burden to want this faith to be a part of my life. I still remember to this day, sitting there praying to God, "God, this is what I want. I'm tired of trying to live this life on my own. I need you. I need your Son and the forgiveness that is only offered by His blood shed on the cross." God had begun a process of calling me out back in December of the previous year and it was on this night (Feb 9th, 1992) that he brought me to a point of decision. As I prayed, I felt like this tremendous weight had been lifted from my shoulders. I literally felt a burning sensation in my chest and a feeling of intense joy swept over me! I now knew what forgiveness, true forgiveness felt like. I had nothing to offer God, I wasn't a good person (in fact, no one is). But God, by his mercy (not giving me something bad (hell) that I did deserve), reached down and made this dead boy alive!

Now what? (Part III, Wednesday)

Saturday, February 11, 2012

20 Years (Part I)

February 9th, 1992, something amazing happened in my life that has changed me ever since. God called me into a relationship with himself. So, for those of you who don't know me very well, I figured I would give a short (maybe long) story about who I was before this date and who I have been becoming since.

To give you some history, I was the problem child and that's an understatement. I was the kid that no parents wanted their children playing with. Seriously, by the time I was 11 or 12 years only one kid in my neighborhood was allowed to play with me. I remember picking fights with just about every kid on the bus at one time or another. And it got so bad that my dad had to take time off of work to come stand at the bus stop to make sure I didn't get beat up.

Before I was 10, I would go into local grocery stores and steal various candies. At age 12, I was stealing cigarettes from my grandmother's kitchen cabinet in an attempt to try out smoking. At age 13, I was sneaking out of the house at night with other friends and vandilizing properties in the neighborhood. At age 14, I was sneaking out with the same friends and gathering in abandoned lots in the neighborhood to drink alcohol. Let's just say that if anything bad happened in the neighborhood, the security would show up at my house first to ask questions.

I was a kid with a lot of issues. I was angry all the time, lied to just about everyone just because I could and really gave my mom and dad a rough go at it. It wasn't because I had bad parents or a poor family environment. My parents were great and they always made time for me and my sisters. They were loving and cared deeply for each of us. I do have my speculations as to why I was so difficult, but this is not the time or place to get into such issues. The important thing to communicate though is that I was rotten to the core, dead spiritually, having no interest in God or His love for me! I was a broken individual, helpless to do anything for myself.

Then, in December of 1991, God began a process of changing me. It started with a visit to a close, close friend in Colorado. While there, I met this girl, who was a Christian. A girl who was so passionate about her faith that it rubbed off on other people. And a girl who, at the time, I was very much attracted to. It turned out that her family was moving from Colorado back to Florence, SC. And me, in my vanity, decided that if I had any chance to pursue her, I needed to be going to church to "Learn Up" on the things that Christians do so I could hopefully impress her enough to date long distance (1 hour apart) once she moved.

The girl and I never dated, but God did use that relationship as a stepping stone to get me into an environment where I could hear about His grace, mercy and love for me. As I started visiting a youth group at a local church, I started to see people who had a different heartbeat than me. Guys my age who wanted to talk about heart issues and struggles and older men and women who really cared about me. During the next month and a half or so, I remember God beginning to weed out some of the desires that I had previously had in my life.

One example: I remember sitting down at lunch one day with a friend from highschool and telling him that I thought I was going to wait until I was married to have sex. Remember, this was still before I had become a Christian. Needless to say, he looked at me like I was crazy, but looking back on that conversation, I can see that God was in a process of calling me to Himself, be it ever so gently.

(Part II to post Tuesday)

Friday, February 10, 2012


We've finally joined the rest of the world. After two months of typing / checking emails and updating our blog from the phone, we finally got connected to cyberspace. We were hoping that the phone companies internet would have been available and fast enough where we are, but they were not. So, we contacted the same provider that most of the farmers around us use, Pronet. They are a satellite internet provider. And for the low, low cost of $2,400 to setup and $300+ a month, we can now communicate with the western world!

We'll be splitting the signal and the cost with the Whitfields. So, it will at least be comparable to what we had in the city, but it isn't nearly as fast. No complaints though. We're just happy to be able to talk with family and friends via skype and keep up with what's going on in the world.

Friday, February 03, 2012

February 2012 Newsletter

Dear Friends & Family,

Here is our February newsletter. It is a special request concerning a situation we are facing here in Zambia.