Monday, September 24, 2012

The Holy Spirit is Always Speaking

Christmas (left) and his friend (right)

I wanted to share an encouraging story from our trip on Lake Kariba last week.  On our last day visiting the second fishing village, we had the opportunity to do some teaching.  As one of our friends was teaching about faith in Jesus and people were responding, I caught this guy out of the corner of my eye and felt like the Lord gave me a word for him.  His name was Christmas.  It was the first time that something like this had happened to me.

After finishing with the teaching, we headed to the lake to baptize those interested in professing their faith to their community by this act.  Christmas, was one of the few who were baptized that afternoon.  So, as he came back out of the lake, I grabbed an intrepreter and shared with him what I felt the Lord had laid on my heart.  I felt like God wanted him to know that he was being raised up to be a leader of faith in this small community and that he would be a strong pillar for Jesus.  And he received it with joy.

Now, jump ahead to the evening.  After some more teaching that night, I noticed Luke pointing at Christmas and grabbing an intrepreter to talk with him.  What you have to understand is that Luke didn't come with us to the village earlier in the day.  So, he had no idea that Christmas had made a profession of faith and been baptized.  And he didn't have any clue as to what I had shared with Christmas before this evening meeting.  But when I saw Luke heading his way, I kind of drifted his way to listen in on what he had to say.

What did I hear?  As Luke was listening to the teaching and looking at those in attendance, he felt like God had given him a word for Christmas.  As he shared, I heard the exact same encouragement that I had given Christmas earlier in the day.  He told him that God was raising him up to lead the people in this village.  I know Christmas must have been encouraged to hear this again, but I was encouraged as well.

But then as we got back to the boat and began to share about our experiences in the village, we were even more encouraged.  Because we learned that earlier in the day, before me, one of the other guys Harold, shared the exact same word with Christmas.  Three guys, unknowing of the others comments, sharing the same message to a new believer in the faith!  Isn't the Holy Spirit awesome?

As we talked about this experience, I couldn't help but think that maybe, just maybe, the Holy Spirit is talking a lot more than I think.  And maybe the reason I don't hear Him, isn't because He's not talking, but because I'm not listening.  Lord, let me be a listener!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Flying by the Seat of Her Pants

Must Read!!  Extremely funny story!!

During their visit recently, one of our friends here in Zambia shared a story that I couldn't resist sharing with you.  Now, let me set the scene.

Her and her young daughter were visiting some Zambian friends in Kalingalinga compound in Lusaka. Kalingalinga is like most other compounds.  Housing is in brick buildings with metal sheet roofing.  There is no running water.  Some have electricity and some don't.  And there is no indoor plumbing.  Meaning you use the toilet in a pit latrine (hole in the ground).  It is equal to one of the poorest and dirty environments in all of Africa.

Now, our friend (she'll remain nameless for protection ; )) was getting ready to leave from visiting one of their Zambian friends when her daughter told her that she had to go pee pee and couldn't hold it.  She planned on just opening the door to the car to shield people from seeing her daughter and letting her pee beside the car.  But her friend, being the gracious host that many Zambians are, offered to let her daughter use his family toilet.  So, they headed back to his home and into the back where the pit latrine was located.  As they entered, our friend picked her daughter up and just tried to hold her over the hole and let her do her business.

Immediately, after she started peeing, hundreds of flies began to fly out out of the hole.  Her daughter began freaking out because there were so many.  Then it happened.  As our friend was trying to keep her daughter calm and saying consoling words, she accidently inhaled one of those flies coming from the depths of the pit latrine!!!  That's when she began to freak out.  As she explained it, she was running through a million different ways she could expel the fly and cleanse her tummy.

As she told the story, we were all dying laughing, including her.  I know that everyone doesn't share our same potty humor, but I knew there would be a few who would appreciate this story.  So, here it is, shared with you.  Blessings ; )

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Lake Kariba Video

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

I just finished putting the final touches on the video from our trip on Lake Kariba.  During this trip, we were able to visit with two different fishing villages and share the gospel through the Jesus Film and through other teaching.

It was such an encouragement to see the Lord work over the course of this trip.  Not only did he reach quite a few Tonga speaking Zambians and change their lives for the better, but he also touched several of the team members in very specific ways.

In each village, we saw key individuals give their lives to Christ, individuals that we believe God will use to change their village and beyond.  It was also neat to see how God used the different giftings of the team members involved in the trip to reach these dear people.

If you get a chance, take a look at the video.  It's only a little over 4 minutes, but gives a very good highlight of our time on Lake Kariba.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Amon and Kenneth



On our 2nd day on Lake Kariba, we visited a small fishing village on the Zimbabwe side.  Upon our arrival, we were greeted by a familiar friend of our hosts Bruce and Sue.  His name was Amon.  Bruce and Sue have been making these trips for a few years now and had visited this particular village the year before.  During this trip, they first met Amon.  He was a notorious drunk who used fishing as a means to provide for his habit.  Amon, became a follower of Christ then.  So, Bruce was interested to see how he was doing.

To his and our joy, Amon was doing great!  He was completely clean from his addiction and had an amazing joy about life that wasn't there before.  Something that truly couldn't have happened outside of the grace of Jesus taking over his life.

In addition to the encouragment we received upon meeting with Amon, we also met another younger guy named Kenneth.  After we showed the Jesus film and then later met to speak with him, it was evident that God was doing a work in his heart.  He said that he wanted to follow God and have a relationship with Jesus, but he felt like he had been tormented by spirits.  So, we began to pray for and with him.

And as we prayed, God began to work.  By the time we were done, Kenneth's whole demeanor had changed.  We now saw a man with Joy in his heart because of the invading work of the Holy Spirit.  Afterward, we went down to the rivers edge (a river filled with crocs) and Kenneth, Amon and a few others who had made professions of faith were baptized.  It was definitely an encouraging start to the trip.

Please pray for Amon and Kenneth.  They are the start of a small group of believers in this fishing community.  They have been given scripture and training materials, but pray that the Lord would uphold them as they grow in their faith.  Pray that He would use them to bring others in the village to faith!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

The Cat's out of the Bag

We try not to talk about Nzoka (Snakes) on our blog just so the grandparents don't worry, but somehow they found out about this one.  So, since they already know, here is a picture of an 11 foot rock python that was brought by the house a few weeks ago.

Kennedy, one of the farm workers, had his friend bring it by to show the kids.  As you can see that's one big snake!  This particular snake was killed on a neighboring farm.  The zambians use an oil that is found in the python for helping with ear infections.

Pretty cool huh?

We're back!

We had a wonderful time serving the Tonga's of Zimbabwe on Lake Kariba the last 6 days.  I hope to write several updates on our trip, but just wanted to let you know we're back home and it was a great trip.  God showed up in many ways and ministered not only to the Tonga's, but also to many who were on our team.

Updates to follow!

; )

Friday, September 07, 2012

Disciple Ship

Well, the conference is over and we're now on the waters of Lake Kariba heading to a small fishing village to do Jesus Film outreach. We'll living on this boat for 6 days!

We're extremely excited about how God will use our team these next few days. Thomas is also having a blast. He just got to jump off of the 2nd story of the boat into the croc infested waters. Don't worry Grammy and Mimi. We're far enough off shore that we don't have to worry about them.

Anyways, the conference was amazing! I'll update you on it soon. I just wanted to give a little post for now to let you know where we are on our journey.

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

We've Arrived

It was a heck of a trip to say the least, but an experience I won't forget for the rest of my life. Luke, 4 friends from up north, Thomas and I drove to the Zambia/Zimbabwe border hoping to make the remaining 5 hours of the trip after clearing immigration. What we didn't know was that we didn't have the proper paper work for the car. We were told that we could go through, but that the car had to remain at the border.

So, we had two options: taxi (which the taxi driver was trying to take advantage of our helpless situation by asking for $350) or minibus.

Now, for those of you who don't understand the minibus scene in Zimbabwe, let me explain. These buses are usually in terrible shape and are known for breakdowns. They usually have seats for 13, but somehow the conductors find a way to fit 20. And people aren't always the only passengers (i.e. Chickens, goats, etc.). But missionaries are brave (and also poor). So, we chose the minibus.

To make a long story short, our bus was overcrowded and someone was transporting dried fish (smelly), but we did finish the journey in a little under 14 hours! We're now here at the conference having a wonderful time connecting with friends and making new ones. But we'll update you on that in another post. Just wanted to give you a quick update on our crazy African travels.

Sunday, September 02, 2012

A Quick Update

Its been a busy several weeks and we want to update you on everything, but for now, we'll just give you some quick hitters.  The next 3 days I'll be in Zimbabwe for a conference with Foundations for Farming and then the next 7 will be helping some other missionaries do outreach on the lower Zambezi river to the Tonga people.  We will be showing the Jesus Film in various villages on the river using a boat for our sole mode of transportation.  After our return, I'll try to properly catch this blog back up-to-date.

But for now, here are some of the exciting things happening in ministry here in Chikankata:

  • Chieftainess Mwenda and her family have donated a plot of land in Ngangula village for the purpose of us developing a ministry centre.  We hope to plant our first demonstration plot by October and I hope to be getting out there to train local pastors using Firm Foundations chronological bible training.
  • We finished our first lesson with students from Terranova Basic School in agriculture and biblical discipleship.  The students learned about composting and how it relates to God being a God who doesn't waste.
  • Tuesday's Chronological bible study with the farm workers here on Marula Farm is still going strong.  We're through the first 8 lessons and have a very large weekly attendance.
  • We're finalizing plans on short-term team housing and will begin development soon.  We hope to host our first Stateside teams beginning next summer.
Like I said, it's a brief update, but in just over 10 days, we'll try to give you more detail.  Bye for now!