Monday, December 30, 2013


This has been something that's been in the works for a few months.  My dad retired today from BlueCross BlueShield, a company he has worked for the last 37 years.  With the help of a few of his friends there, I was able to fly in from Zambia and be the surprise guest speaker for this celebration.  It was such a great opportunity to share with others how proud I am of my daddy!

If you would like to view the video, simply click on the link above.

Monday, December 23, 2013

A little more farming

We had the kids out planting again this past week. This time we're experimenting with a crop known as velvet beans. We're trying to teach the importance of giving back to the land and not just taking all of the time. Velvet beans are a cover crop. That simply means that they produce a bunch of vegetation and cover the land that they are planted in. In addition to covering the ground with organic material, they are also a legume and, thus, put nitrogen back into the soil.

We're trying to show, among other things, the importance of good stewardship. Can't wait to see how their planting will improve the soil in both the land and the hearts that are planting them!

Monday, December 16, 2013

Living Testimony

A few weeks ago, while I was visiting some of our friends on a nearby farm, a minor emergency occurred.  The owner of the farm mixed up the instructions on the deworming medicine for their sheep and accidentally gave them twice the lethal dosage!  To lose these sheep would have a significant financial impact.  It was close to 35 sheep worth near $7,000.  It was an emergency.  But with this emergency, came an opportunity.

As I was getting ready to leave, the wife asked if I would pray for their sheep.  This family is a dear family and I was excited about what God could do to prove his faithfulness to them, even with sheep.  That evening, we gathered in the living room before putting the kids to bed and Caleb said this prayer.  "Lord, let them lose not even one sheep from the poisoning."

The next morning, just after we woke up we sent the husband and wife a text.  We said that we had prayed for them and we prayed specifically that they wouldn't even lose one sheep.  We then asked what the report was.  Within a few minutes, they both replied that, in fact, all of the sheep were doing well and that they hadn't lost one!

Needless to say, they were relieved and we were excited!  It's neat to see that God revealing to them that He cares for the sheep, because he cares for the owners of these sheep even more!

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Making New Friends

The other day, while working at our rural ministry centre, I had the opportunity to visit with some new friends in the community.  George (Far-Right) is building a house for one of the headmen and his wife (the couple on the left).  It was really neat seeing how the house was being built, but also having the opportunity to meet some new friends in the community.

The headman lives less than a mile from our rural ministry center and he's trying to get this house constructed before the December rains settle in.  George, the builder, is the same guy who will probably be building the house we are planning on building for Hyrence at our ministry center.  So, it was also a good opportunity to see the quality of work that he does.

Can't wait to get started on this project next April-May!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Awesome Opportunity

Great News!  We’ve just received a matching gift of $15,000 good through the end of this year (December 31st)!  This means that every dollar donated to our ministry is matched up to $15,000.  Would you consider giving a donation that would double instantly and be a tremendous help to our family and ministry?

To make a donation, go to  All donations are 100% tax deductible.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

The Little Reminders

The other day, while shopping recently, I came across this little box.  I know the picture is blurry, but it was a stark reminder of how fragile life is here in Zambia.  While you wouldn't see these so readily available in the States, they are produced in bulk here.  This coffin was about 3 feet in length and was being sold at the same place we buy lime for fertilizing our fields.

Crazy isn't it?  The same place we go to buy supplies for creating a new season of life is the same place a lot of Zambians go to buy the box to place their little loved ones.

Sunday, December 08, 2013

Our Loss is Heaven's Gain

Please be praying for this family and many members of our church who are grieving!  Ruth (Far Left) was a member of our church here in Zambia.  Her and her husband Bernie recently moved to Zimbabwe.  We found out this morning that she was in a bus accident and didn't survive.  Ruth loved Jesus and has now entered His rest and for that we are very thankful!

Saturday, December 07, 2013

Building Blocks

At our rural ministry center, we are planning on building a house for a local pastor who will be overseeing the property and training people in the community on issues of farming and faith.  So, as we have begun preparations, we had to seek out someone who could make the bricks for his home.

Have you ever wondered how you make bricks for building homes in the African bush?  It's actually a neat process.  As you can see in this picture.  They take a red-clay soil and mold it into bricks and then stack them one on top of the other.  But in the middle of the bricks, they leave an opening.  This opening is for fire.  In order for the bricks to stand the test of time, they must be baked first.

After stacking the bricks and getting the holes ready for fire, they finish it off by covering the outside of the pile with the same mud that they used to mold the bricks.  This is when they are ready for the fire.  They then fill the holes with wood, light the fire and close the openings.  After some time, all of the bricks are baked and ready for building.

Pretty ingenious if you ask me!

Thursday, December 05, 2013

Being a Kid Again!

My friend Campbell invited me to go bush pig hunting later this month.  But in order to do that, we have to build a blind in the trees so the pigs won't see us.  Sounds fun huh?

As we were romping through the bush carrying poles, grass, wire and other supplies to build our fort in the trees, I was taken back to my youth.  I still remember, clearly, the times when a bunch of us kids would sneak off into the neighborhood and find an abandoned lot and do something very similar.

O the memories!

Wednesday, December 04, 2013

On the Fence

Development on our property in Ngangula village has officially begun.  We're not really building anything, just fencing in some of the property so that we can run our Foundations for Farming programs.    

Care of lifestock takes on a whole new meaning in the village.  In our western approach to raising pigs, goats, cattle, etc, we think of them being confined to the property of their respective farmers.  In the Zambian village, the approach is a bit different.  Most rural Zambians believe that cattle, pigs, goats, & chickens should be allowed to roam and graze where they see fit.  Meaning if they want to stroll across your personal property, it is perfectly acceptable.  Just about every day over the past 2 weeks of being out there, I've seen goats chewing on some of our trees and cows leisurely strolling across our already planted FfF plots.

Today, Movet, Lloyd, Baba and I headed out to Ngangula hoping to fence in 2 of the 12 acres that the Chieftainess has given the ministry.  As you can see from the pictures, we had to get creative with pulling the fence and driving the posts into our rocky soil.  But we managed.  Our should I say, we managed 1/4 th of what we set out to do.  So, tomorrow, we'll head back out there hoping to finish a majority of the remaining work!

Tuesday, December 03, 2013

All We Want for Christmas

Yep, that's me.  In an all too familiar position.  Doing work underneath the car.  At least this time I had some help.  Recently, we have had a lot of issues with our one and only family car.  Last month, we had to spend several thousand dollars rebuilding the front and rear differentials, replacing the radiator, and rewiring everything behind the dash.  Today, I've been busy trying to trace a problem with the fuel line.  Whenever we try to accelerate, the engine is just shutting down.

I never thought I would remove a fuel tank on my car, but to do it twice has been double the pleasure ;- ).  Anyways, after getting all of that work done, we're having new problems and just found out today that the brand new radiator has a big crack in it.  I haven't had the opportunity to show the mechanic who purchased and installed it for us.  I'll do that on Thursday.  The radiator alone was $1,000.  So, it's important that he replaces it for us with no additional costs.

All that to say, we are just asking you to pray for us.  It's been a really frustrating few months as far as the car is concerned and it seems to becoming more and more of a money pit.  I try to do everything I can do on my own to save money, but it just seems like more and more keeps breaking.

The Lord says that we have not because we ask not.  So, would you join us in asking Him, for a newer more reliable car for the Roberts?  Zambia, unlike America and other countries, is landlocked and all vehicles are imported.  On top of this, when vehicles are imported, they are taxed at up to 96% of their value.  So, if you buy a $10,000 used car, it can costs you close to $20,000.  Our current car, (2000 model) we purchased roughly 2 years ago for $23,000 and it has not been that dependable.

So, for the Roberts to get a newer more reliable car we will probably need $35,000 - $40,000.  And we know that God will have to provide, because it's just nowhere in our budget at this time.

Thank you for joining us in this prayer!

Sunday, December 01, 2013

Realizing Potential

This year is a big year for our discipleship farming programs.  Last year, we were able to work closely with 5 families which produced about four times the national average in terms of yield.  And those 5 families have learned a little bit more about faith through doing this practical work.  In addition to this, we were able to conduct various field days training many others on the benefits of honoring God in all of life including farming.  It's been encouraging to see some of our friends excited about their faith and excited about their farming.

But this planting season we have been involved in something new, with a slightly larger scope.  This year, two of our guys who we've trained have now been hired as consultants to plant a commercial farm all by hand.  A farmer in the area wants his farm to be used as an example to the Tonga people that you don't need big machines and sophisticated equipment to plant on a large scale.  If you have people and farming hoes, you can plant even at the commercial level.

Campbell is planting 60 acres, 40 with maize and 20 with soy beans all by hand using the principles from Foundations for Farming.  It was awesome seeing our guys Terren and Lloyd directing his staff to take on such a huge endevor.  We can't wait to see some of the impacts that such a project will have on the lives of many of our Tonga friends here in Chikankata.