Thursday, February 28, 2008

Always Be Prepared

"But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have." 1 Peter 3:15

Today I went to the weekly women's meeting at Chainda II Baptist Church to set up a schedule as to when I could go there and teach. However, after the singing, it was announced that I was going to teach the lesson. I did not go there prepared with a lesson that was written down on paper so I taught a very fresh lesson that was on my heart from my Q.T. this morning. I told them the story of Esther and then we focused on Esther 4:11-14. I talked about how God had used the life of this one young Jewish girl to change history. He used her to stop the annihilation of the Jewish people. So if God can use Esther, then surely he can use me and every other child of God to change history as well. Maybe what we do may not be as big as what Esther did but God has placed each one of us in certain circumstances for a kingdom purpose. As believers, our life has a definite purpose in God's plan to bring all people to Himself. Maybe God has us in certain positions at certain times "for such a time as this."

Do you have a desire to minister to a certain group of people? Do you have the gift of teaching or serving? What is your purpose in life? God saved us not so that we could just fill a pew on Sunday morning. He desires for us to tell others about Him.

When I started teaching I told them that this sure was going to be a short lesson because I didn't come prepared. However, it took about 45 min. for me to share and for us to discuss God's purpose for those women in that church. There were 7 women in attendance and some said that they had not known their purpose in life. I'm so thankful that when I was asked to teach I didn't just say "not today" or "I'm not prepared." God used what He taught me this morning to minister to these women and encourage them in their walk with the Lord and for this I am grateful.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Chikondi Baptist Church Dedication

About 12 years ago Chikondi Baptist Church started out as a little group of believers meeting in one room of a school building. Then a few years later they built their own small church and continued to grow. Today we went to a dedication at their newest church building that was started about 5 years ago and is now finished enough to where they are going to start worshiping in there each week. Most of the churches in our area are small but this one along with one other are our biggest churches. Today there were about 200 people in attendance to celebrate this opening. Many pastors and previous members from all over the association came to be a part of this special day. We weren't around when the church first got started but we did go to some of the meetings in that very first school room. It is exicting for us to see how God has grown this church over the years. Pray for Chikondi(means love) Baptist Church as they continue to reach out to their community and tell people about Jesus. Pray that they will continue to grow in numbers and in their relationship with Christ.

Cutting the ribbon to the new church.

It was a big celebration!

I just happened to get this picture of Hannah across the way from us during the choir special. She was really paying attention as you can see. She had quite a group surrounding her playing Miss Mary Mack Mack Mack.

This is just one of the choirs that sang today.

When church is over everyone comes out and goes through the line and shakes hands with everyone else. The choir sings and the people fellowship.

Before a choir sings in front of the church they come in singing from the back of the church until they get up to the front.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Sudden Deaths

Death is a part of every day life here in Zambia, most often from AIDS or malaria but today I want to write about something tragic that happened this past Friday that has changed the life of one man forever. Delix Saluyele along with his wife Vivian, daughter Joanna(12), his niece Opha, and a friend were traveling to a far away spot in Zambia called Lundazi to pay their respects at a funeral and bring back a boy to live with them so he could get a good education. About 4-5 hours into the trip a young child ran across the road and Delix swerved to keep from hitting the child. He then hit a pothole and the vehicle overturned several times. Delix and his neice were not wearing seatbelts and were thrown from the vehicle. The other 3 all had on seatbelts and died-his wife, his friend, and his daughter. His daughter was still living for about 30 min. and Delix was able to be with her. He kiept trying to get someone to stop but no one would. Imagine…..
Delix and his neice were transported back to Lusaka to a military hospital. Delix is a military chaplain here in Zambia now but has been a pastor in our area and an evangelist. He has two broken arms, lots of cuts, bruises and some internal damage as well. Opha has some head injuries, cuts and bruises as well. They will both physically recover but mentally and emotionally it will take a long time. Please pray for them as they replay that day in their mind that they will take every thought captive. Pray that Delix will not blame himself for this accident. Pray for physical healing for their bodies. Pray for comfort and peace for the other family members as they deal with this sudden loss of loved ones in their lives. All 3 who died were very strong and committed Christians so we can rest assured that they are all in the very presence of Jesus even now. Praise God!
On Monday we went to the biggest funeral that we have ever been to. There were well over 1000 people in attendance. It was held in the Baptist Seminary chapel and it was packed with people on all the pews and even some were sitting on the floor. There were also several hundred people just standing up outside the chapel because there was no more room inside. Vivian was a high school teacher. It was a real tear jerker to see about 4 bus loads of girls pull up to the chapel. These girls sang the most beautiful songs before the funeral started. Even though it was a sad occasion the music that filled that chapel was very uplifting and a beautiful frangrance to the Lord. What a testimony to have all those girls come. Her daughter, Joanna, was in 7th grade at the same school. One of her classmates even got up to speak during the service. . Delix arrived after the service had all ready started from ICU in a wheelchair with splints on both his arms and looking pretty battered. The whole place began wailing--what a tear jerker!! Delix said there was no way he was going to miss this if possible. His tears kept falling along with the thousands around him. It was so sad because someone had to stand right beside him and wipe his tears for him. So as you think of this story and these people please keep them in your prayers.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Going Fishing

Saturday we went down to the river near our house and took the kids fishing. They never caught anything but it was a nice relaxing afternoon. We were amazed when we got to the river because the water was unusually high. We have had so much rain this year. In fact, yesterday was the first day that it had not rained at all in over 3 weeks. We like to go down to the river from time to time and play on the rocks or eat a picnic lunch but today it was just fishing and relaxing.
She enjoyed fishing at first but it didn't take her long to realize you had to have patience and be still for a while. When I asked her if she had a good time fishing she said, "It was fun but then it got boring."

Hannah's first time to go fishing.

For most of the year this area is not this full of water. Usually, there are rocks down at the bottom of the waterfall that the kids play on. Sometimes they are able to walk across the top of the waterfall because there is so little water, but now.

This is my idea of a nice afternoon fishing.