Sunday, July 24, 2016

Laid to rest....

 This past Thursday I got a phone call from someone who I thought was my friend, Rose, because it was her name which popped up on my phone when it rang. Instead, it was her daughter calling to inform me that Rose had passed away the night before.  I could hardly believe it!  She had been sick for a couple of months but I had just taken her to the hospital about 2 1/2 weeks earlier.  She was diagnosed with TB and started taking her medicine.  I called her just last Thursday to check on her and she said she was feeling better, so to receive that phone call just a week later I was very surprised.  

 Rose and I have been working together for several years visiting patients in Ng'ombe compound.  If patients were really sick we would give them a BGR(Baptist Global Response) bucket with items inside which would make their last days more comfortable.  Just about every week Rose would call me and say "I have another patient for us to go and visit."  As we would go together these patients were oftentimes quite far from her home but still in the same compound.  When I asked her how she heard about that patient she said, "Oh, a family member came to get me so I could help." She was known throughout the compound as a woman who helped others in need.

 Even though she also was HIV positive she still did her best to go out and help others in the same condition.  Some days she did not feel well but she continued to go out.  

Friday, I was able to go to her home where the family gathered.  The women sat inside her one room and the men sat outside under a small tent. I went inside with the women and greeted each one. We cried together. I shared with them what a great friend she was to me and how much of an impact she had in her community.  I prayed for everyone and then left saddened by the fact that she was really gone.
Then yesterday I went to her funeral service and burial.  I was asked to share but was worried I would blubber through the whole thing but by God's grace I didn't.  The service was a beautiful celebration of this godly woman.  Rose was 53 years old and leaves behind 8 children and many grandchildren.  She took care of her mother as well.  Please pray for her family as they work out who will take care of those Rose left behind.  She will be greatly missed in this compound!  She will be greatly missed by me too!


Friday, July 15, 2016

Moving....

We have written many posts over the years that we have been in Zambia but this is probably the hardest one to write. As you all know, because of the recent early retirement incentive, Africa lost a lot of IMB missionaries. The cluster that was most affected in the area of leadership was East Africa. So, since January Kevin has been the interim leader for this cluster as well as the Zambezi Cluster. It has been tough leading two clusters and we have been looking forward to the day that a new leader was named for East Africa. Imagine our surprise when our new Affinity leader met with us and asked us to leave Zambia and the Zambezi cluster and move to East Africa to be the Cluster Leader there permanently. We were stunned, scared, and pretty sure that we would say “no!” To us it just didn’t make sense. We know this cluster, we are effective, and we feel like we are just hitting our stride. We did, however, agree to pray about it. For three weeks we prayed, tossed and turned at night, cried, debated (with God and each other), thought, sought counsel etc. and we could just not get a peace about going. So we decided that no answer meant to keep doing what we have been doing and stay in Zambia. We agreed to wait until the next day to let our leadership know we were going to say no. However, that night and the next morning the Lord spoke to our hearts clearly confirming that we should instead say “Yes!”
So, after 19 years in Zambia we are changing our address to Nairobi, Kenya.  We need plenty of time to say good-bye well, so we will not be moving until the end of September. Even though we don’t completely understand God’s thinking in all of this, we do understand what He is telling us to do, and so we go in obedience. We love Zambia and these people, and it is hard to imagine loving another place in the same way; but we believe God will do that. This is where our children were raised and this has been the setting for the best years of our life and ministry; it’s hard to walk away from that, but we believe that God has even greater things in store for us. So we move forward, with some apprehension, but also with a growing excitement and joy. Pray for us as we go through this transition, and pray that we will come out on the other side as a living sacrifice and a sweet smelling aroma to our King.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Picnic

 One of the last things we did together with Zach and Megan was to go to Chongwe.  This is where we used to live in Zambia for 10 years.  We walked down to the river to have a picnic.  When the kids were growing up we did this often.


 We went to our special spot and had our lunch. 



 Zach and Megan



 There were so many huge black ants in this one area.

 We stopped to see our friends, Amai Mwachamota and Loveness.  It was so good to see them again.




Chongwe will always have a special part in our hearts!

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Trip to Crocodile Farm


We had a lovely time at the crocodile farm one day.  We saw all the snakes and crocodiles. 






 They are huge!  This group looks like a family posing for a picture.









 Croc burgers for lunch!  Yum!

 



 Zach holding the python

Michael holding the python

Friday, July 1, 2016

Breath of Heaven

 Two different days we went to Breath of Heaven Orphanage here in Lusaka.  We had a great time playing with the kids.  

 They loved playing with Amy's hair.

 They played a game called, "Do like I do."  It was a lot of fun to see which poses the kids would choose.

 Zach right there in the middle.  They thought he was funny!

 Megan made some little friends too.

 Zach taught the kids how to play Four Square.  They loved it!  They had two games going at once.





 Maria playing with her little baby doll.

 The kids enjoyed playing with Megan's hair as well.

 These kids are so cute!


 jump roping

 Vida was playing with my camera and put it on the timer so we took a few pictures that way.

 Petranella is sponsored by some people in our home church.  It was good to see her!

such a sweet personality

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Elephant Orphanage

 While in Lusaka we visited the Elephant Orphanage.  There were only two baby elephants there now.

When they come in the fenced in area they move so fast to get to their bottle of milk.  Then it is gone in just seconds!




We loved just watching them!
 


 That's one pooped out elephant!



Zach