Friday, June 29, 2012

Reaching a Nation through Schools?

A really neat opportunity has basically landed in our laps, but one that we think could have significant reach when it comes to the gospel going forth in Zambia.  A local school, Terranova Basic School, has asked us to assist them in creating an agricultural program with it's foundation rooted in the truths of Scripture.

This past Thursday, was the 2nd meeting that we have had with teachers and students from the school who are part of a committee who will be assisting us in implementing this program.  Currently, the school has a plot of land on site with access to water.  We hope to work with them to clear this land within the next few weeks and begin a weekly discipleship program teaching kids from grade 2 to 12 about honoring God through farming.

The beauty of this program is that it is rooted in Scripture and teaches kids to look at what God is doing in nature and learn from His ways.  Then apply these ways in their farming as well as their personal everyday lives.

Here's a simple lesson that will be taught during our time there, but one which I hope gives you insight into the potential of opening the eyes and ears of these children to their creator through farming:

In this program, we teach that weeding is a "year-round" process.  Many Africans only weed just before planting and sparcely during the growth stages of the plant.  Because of this, the weeds have a chance to grow and produce seeds which will, in turn, create more problems for the farmer.  Had the weeds been uprooted early when they were small, they would not have had the opportunity to reproduce and consistent weeding will eventually reduce the population of weeds in the land.  The same can be said about sin.  When we live with sin and let it grow, it has the propensity to reproduce and cause more problems.  If we deal with sin as soon as it is identified, (when the plant is small), it has less of an impact on our lives and fellowship with God.

Isn't that exciting!!!  Kids learning about farming, but more importantly learning about a loving relationship that they can have with their Creator each and every day.  Pray for us as we develop this program over the next few months.  We hope it will be a model for additional schools to use here for the glory of God!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Your Kids Learn Spanish,

Ours learn Tonga!  Today was the first day of language learning for the kids.  They will be meeting once a week to learn a bit from our friend Cynthia.  Today, they learned their Tonga names.

Caleb is Cipengo (Meaning gift)
Gracyn is Mutinta (Meaning a girl born between two boys)
Thomas is Coolwe (Meaning lucky)

They also learned greetings, yes and no, finished, I'm not fine and thank you.  This is a combined group with the Whitfield children.  So, there was a lot of giggling at the different pronunciations.  But, all in all, they had a really fun time learning.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Lights Out

(Solar Lighting and Movie Watching on Computer)

Power is at a premium these days in Zambia and generators are selling like hot cakes.  Apparently, there are two separate issues with our utility company.  One is that they are repairing/replacing various transformers for our area.  In the States, this would be rather seamless as they would probably have backups waiting in the wings, but here in good-ole Zambia, it just gets switched off.  Then on top of that, one of the turbines at the river plant is leaking so badly that they had to take it offline.

What does that mean for the Roberts you might ask?  14 hours without power in one day with many more like it scheduled in the near future.  As you can see from the picture, the solar lights we purchased and installed when we got here are now our new best friends.  Tomorrow, we'll work on getting the generators (which just arrived on the shipping container) hooked up to our main power supply so we can power a few other small appliances.

Anyways, fun stuff here in Chikankata!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

We Come to Serve

(Mwenda Rural Development Trust Board Members)

We recently had the privilege of hosting several of the Board members from Chieftainess Mwenda's rural development trust.  They oversee a group of about 130 Zambians who are working together to bring more development to the Chikankata chiefdom.  The chairperson is Daniel Kalichi, the chieftainess' husband.  He is the one in the tan jacket standing between Luke and myself.

The purpose of this meeting was to develop relationships and share with them some of the programs that we would like to see implemented amongst many of the villages that they are already living in.  It turned out to be such a sweet time.  We were able to take them over to our demonstration plot, composting station and greenhouse and share with them God's plan for improving the physical and spiritual lives of the people of Chikankata.

After a late lunch, the board gathered for this picture and then headed back to their homes.  They left here full of food, while we were full of hope for how this relationship might grow and how we can work together to glorify Christ in this rural African district of Zambia!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Helicopter Party

Sorry for the slow updates.  There has been 2 major issues with the power company and we have been without electricity every night for the past week.  Being that evenings are when we update the website, there haven't been many posts.

Thank you to those of you who prayed for Gracyn.  This past Monday, we traveled to Lusaka to get x-rays of her foot.  Diagnosis: no broken bones, just some deep bruising.  So, she should make a full recovery!!!  We are extremely thankful for this report.

Why the picture of the helicopter?  This afternoon, Maddie and Ellie went to a birthday party at our friends and neighbors the Reeves.  Their son Owen turned 3.  One of the guests decided to arrive in style and the father flew him in on a helicopter.  Pretty cool huh?  Can't say that I've ever been to a party where one of the guests arrived in one of these : )

Thursday, June 07, 2012

Celebration with a Hiccup

Today, in celebration of Dailes's 40th birthday, we decided to take a day trip to Livingstone. Dailes has lived her entire life in Zambia, but has never seen Victoria falls.

The trip went pretty well up until this afternoon when we were just finishing a drive your own safari. Gracyn had a slight accident and got her foot run over by the car. We think she might have a broken bone on the top of her foot near her pinky toe, but it could have been a lot worse. So, we are very thankful.

We'll head to the vet in the morning for X-rays and then maybe to Lusaka if there is a break and anything needs to be done. Please pray for our baby girl.

Saturday, June 02, 2012

Why Send Missionaries

Our director recently posted this article on  global missions.  Thought it was very insightful on the need for sending missionaries.


I have been asked, “With so many non-Christians in America why send missionaries to other countries?”
You can sum the answer up in one word: access.
While there are many unbelievers in the US there are innumerable churches, Christian ministries, magazines, television and radio programs, even entire stations, plus thousands of pastors and, of course, other Christians to reach U.S. unbelievers.  Over 1 out of every 4 full time Christian worker in the world lives and serves in the United States.
On the other hand, in many nations there is no, or very limited, access to the gospel – not on television, not on radio, no churches, no Christian publications, absolutely no way to discover who Jesus is.  It is estimated that in some areas of the world there is only one Christian worker (a pastor, lay leader, missionary, etc) for every 1 million people.
One missionary, upon entering a village, began talking to a woman about Jesus.  She directed him to a shop that could fix his sewing machine thinking perhaps that is what a “Jesus” is and that his was broken.
It is sadly true that there is an abundance of non-believers in the United States but there is also an abundance of believers who can easily make Christ’s name known.  There are an endless number of opportunities for a seeker to discover who Jesus is and the message of salvation.  We must ask ourselves: Should one group have multiple chances to reject the gospel when there are millions who have never even heard it for the first time?
Finally, Jesus commands us to go – to Jerusalem (or own city), Judea (the surrounding area), Samaria (our neighbors – even if they aren’t very friendly toward us) and the ends of the earth (Acts 1:8).  It is not a “pick one” option.  He said we were responsible for local and global, Jerusalem and the ends of the earth.  Obedience demands we send missionaries.  Are you ready to go?

Matthew 28:18-19
“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.
Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, …