Sunday, October 19, 2014

Joy in the Journey


Over 200 missionary women from Sub-Saharan Africa came together recently for a ladies conference in South Africa.   The theme of the conference was "Joy in the Journey."  Each one of us came to this meeting understanding to some degree what each one faces on a daily basis.  We have all experienced similar ups and downs in our missionary careers and because of that we can encourage one another along in the journey.  Do we always feel joy?  No, not always.  We learned that we need to choose to have joy each day.  Sometimes we even have to fight for it.  May we all fight for joy as we go through life.

 
 Worshiping in English and with other like minded believers was one of the highlights of my week.

 Each cluster presented gifts to the speakers who came to lead us during the week.  Here are some of the women from Mozambique presenting the gift.

 


 

 
One night we rode in a safari truck to a restaurant for dinner.  I got to ride with my good friend Nancy who used to serve in Zambia and is now in SA.  It was so good reconnecting with friends throughout the week.

I also made some new friends during the week.  One of these ladies is named Cammie and she came to the meeting to help with the babies and nannies.  She did a tremendous job which really helped the mothers with little ones be able to enjoy the conference. 

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Hot and Dry


 

This time of year it is so hot and dry in Zambia.  As I sat in church today squished on a bench with 10 ladies which was meant for probably only 6 I couldn't help but think about how uncomfortable and hot I was.  Packed in this church with a little over 400 people I felt like we were baking in an oven!  Then as we drove home, as I looked all around us everything was so dry. Zambia is a beautiful country most of the time but during this time of the year everything is brown and dry until the rains come in November.  This made me think about times in my life when I may have been spiritually dry.  It's not like we plan on being spiritually dry it just happens over time as we let certain things go to the wayside and maybe not confessing our sin.  The good news is that when we realize we are dry we don't have to stay in that state.  We can ask God to help us.  Here is something I found written by Rick Warren.  Think about what he has to say on being spiritually dry.  Then if you think you are in this state do something about it.

From Rick Warren:
"We all hit walls at times in our relationship with God. They’re simply a part of the package. Even David, whom the Lord calls “a man after God’s own heart” had times when God seemed very distant. David once prayed to God, “God, are you avoiding me? Where are you when I need you?” (Psalm 10:1 MSG)

We simply can’t judge our quiet times by emotions. Why? Emotions lie. Feelings come and go. Some days it’ll feel like heaven just opened up for you, and you have a great time with God. Then there are other days your quiet time will seem ordinary and bland. Don't expect to have great and glorious experiences every single morning. The issue is consistency.

Yet, if you are having a long period of dryness in your quiet time, you might look at one of these possible causes:
  • Unconfessed Sin: God isn’t going to show you anything new until you do what he has already shown you.
  • Physically Unprepared: If you’re tired or stressed, it can be hard to have a fresh quiet time.
  • Trying Too Much: Pick chunks of Scripture that are too large, and you’ll rush your time with God. You never want to put yourself in a situation where you hurry God.
  • Routine: If you do the same thing every time, your quiet time will turn legalistic. Experiment with some fresh ideas. Mix up your quiet time.
  • Not Sharing Your Insights: If you’re not putting into practice what God is teaching you, your spiritual life is bound to grow stale.
Spiritual dryness may be common, but it doesn’t have to be incurable. Ask God where your dryness comes from, and let him help you turn things around."


Restore to me the joy of my salvation and sustain me with a willing spirit.  Psalm 51:12

O God, You are my God; I shall seek You earnestly; My soul thirsts for You, my flesh yearns for You, In a dry and weary land where there is no water. - See more at: http://bible.knowing-jesus.com/topics/drought,-spiritual#sthash.Mbnd66BF.dpuf
Psalms 51:12 Restore to me the joy of Your salvation And sustain me with a willing spirit.
- See more at: http://bible.knowing-jesus.com/topics/drought,-spiritual#sthash.Mbnd66BF.dpuf
Psalms 51:12 Restore to me the joy of Your salvation And sustain me with a willing spirit.
- See more at: http://bible.knowing-jesus.com/topics/drought,-spiritual#sthash.Mbnd66BF.dpuf
Psalms 51:12 Restore to me the joy of Your salvation And sustain me with a willing spiri
- See more at: http://bible.knowing-jesus.com/topics/drought,-spiritual#sthash.Mbnd66BF.dpuf
O God, you are my God, I shall seek you earnestly; my soul thirsts for you, my flesh yearns for you, in a dry and weary land where there is no water.  Psalm 63:1 
Psalms 51:12 Restore to me the joy of Your salvation And sustain me with a willing spiri
- See more at: http://bible.knowing-jesus.com/topics/drought,-spiritual#sthash.Mbnd66BF.dpuf

Friday, October 10, 2014

Soon to be a pilot

 Justin is studying Aviation at Liberty University.  He is trying to finish up getting his pilots license.  One of the last things he had to do was fly from Lynchburg, Va to another place some distance away by himself.  So this past week he flew to Burlington, NC where Suzie's parents live.  His gram was able to meet him at the airport and go to lunch with him and then he flew back to Lynchburg.  I can hardly believe that he flew all by himself so far away.  We are so very proud of him.  Here are some pictures from that day.


 










Thursday, October 9, 2014

Complaining

I read this today and thought I would share on here.  May Christ guard my tongue so that I won't complain!

-Jesus Calling Devotion For October 9-
You have been on a long, uphill journey, and your energy is almost spent. Though you have faltered at times, you have not let go of My hand. I am pleased with your desire to stay close to Me. There is one thing, however, that displeases Me: your tendency to complain. You may talk to Me as much as you like about the difficulty of the path we are following. I understand better than anyone else the stresses and strains that have afflicted you. You can ventilate safely to Me, because talking with Me tempers your thoughts and helps you see things from My perspective.
Complaining to others is another matter altogether. It opens the door to deadly sins such as self-pity and rage. Whenever you are tempted to grumble, come to Me and talk it out. As you open up to Me, I will put My thoughts in your mind and My song in your heart.

“I will refresh the weary and satisfy the faint.”
—Jeremiah 31:25

Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe.
—Philippians 2:14–15

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Trip to Tete

 

 
 Recently Kevin traveled to Tete, Mozambique with Troy L. to visit with the Nalls family.  They rode in a very small plane.  This view is as they were flying in to Tete. 

 The Nalls have 3 precious children.  Kevin enjoyed playing with the kids when they were at the house.  

 He even helped Abigail pull her very loose tooth!

 
 He even got to help feed Daniel.

 For this special occasion all 4 of the churches that are in the “greater Tete city area” met together for worship.

 Chris, Kevin, and Troy

While in Tete, Troy shared with the churches on how to meet the needs of those in the community and reach out in Jesus' name.  


 Kevin preaching


They both really enjoyed their trip.  Pray for these churches to catch this vision of how they can minister to those in their communities who are in need.
 

Sunday, September 21, 2014

TrueLife

This is Zach's first video he has worked on at his new job with TrueLife.org  
Check it out!  This is a great idea for churches to use as a means to do evangelism.  
Do you have friends at work you are trying to witness to and they ask some tough questions?  You can check out their website at  https://www.truelife.org/  which has lots of videos you can point your friends to that give solid, biblical answers to some of those tough questions.

Intro Video TL from Jesse Connors on Vimeo.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

A recent trip North

A couple of weeks ago we traveled to the Northern Province of Zambia to visit with the Schwarz family and Kimbrough family.  Unfortunately, I did not take any pictures while visiting with the Schwarz family.  We did enjoy our visit spending time with the family and going to church with them on Sunday.  After our time in Mbala we traveled to Isoka to visit with the Kimbrough family. 

 
 We traveled on a good road until we got to this small ferry.  We took this across the water and then was on a fairly good dirt road until we got to Isoka. 

 People on the riverbank

 For the next few months the Kimbrough family are hosting two "Hands On" missionaries who will be working along side of Blake doing ministry, mainly among students.  It was so good to spend time with Kyle and Tim as they were just getting started.  Pray for them as they minister among students over the next few months.  May God do a great work in and through these young men.

 Hannah with the Kimbrough kids
They all did a little bit of school while we were there but mainly just played and talked.

 Blake and Dawnya with their children: Isabel, Abigail, Isaac, and Amos

 On our way back to Lusaka we stopped in Serenje for a few min. to see a new friend of ours named Adam.  Adam was our son, Zach's, roommate for two years at Liberty.  He is now doing peace corp work out in the bush living in this hut.  He is teaching English at a rural school for two years.

 There are some good mountains to climb along the road so we stopped for Hannah and Kevin to do that.  What a beautiful view from the top!

 They reached the top!




Friday, September 12, 2014

26 Years!

 September 10th we celebrated our 26th wedding anniversary!  We went to a movie and had dinner on the 9th floor of a hotel.  The dinner was excellent and they even put rose petals all over the table.  


 It was fun to think back over the last 26 years and how God has blessed us in so many different ways.  If I had to do it all over again I would still say, "I do!"

It's fun to look back at pictures of that special day.  We were so young and ready to go forth as husband and wife not really understanding all that would mean.  God is good and faithful though and has always been with us through the good times and the bad.  Hope we will enjoy many more years together as husband and wife!