Thursday, July 31, 2008

Wait, I want to talk.....

"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. But do this with gentleness and respect." 1 Peter 3:15

As the women sat around me listening to Pauls testimony taken from Acts 26 and my testimony they knew it would be their turn next. They split up into pairs to practice and then we came back together again. Since my time was short I only had time to listen to a few share their testimony. I really should leave at 2:45 so I won't be late for my next meeting at another church so when I saw that it was 2:55 I told the ladies that I needed to go. Then one woman spoke up and said, "wait, I want to talk..." She then proceeded to tell me her testimony with a prayer request. Then when she finished another spoke up and said again, "wait I want to talk too..." She too told me her testimony. These women were eager to tell how God had worked in their life. Isn't it exciting to hear how God has worked in others lives to bring them to Him. How could I leave?? Now, it was 3:15 and I told the women I really must go but that I would listen to everyones testimony the next time we meet. I will not be able to go next week so at the next meeting they will share their testimonies with me and also how they did with their homework assignment. They are to share their testimony with 3 other people in the next two weeks. Pray for these women to be bold as they share what God has done in their life. Pray the verse above for all of us that we will always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks.

Baptism at the Lunsemfwa River

This past Sunday Kevin went to the Lunsemfwa River for church. He was meeting with one of the new churches there that the volunteer team from Arkansas helped to plant. He met with all of those that were supposed to be baptized. Then they held a baptismal service down at the river. Kevin first baptized a few new believers to show one of the leaders, Jeffery, how to do it and then he took over and baptized the rest. Sometimes our church leaders think that it has to be a missionary that baptizes all the people. But Kevin just teaches the leaders how to do it so they can do it in the future. There were 11 all together that day that showed up to be baptized.


Kevin preaching from the water. You see how shallow he is here. Remember there are critters in this water.


Kevin baptizing a young person.


Here is a woman that as soon as she went down into the water she started manifesting demons. It took these two men and then another to drag her up onto the land. These men prayed for her and the demons went away. The demons said they were going back to the water.


Now, it is Jeffery's turn to baptize.


This lady was 80 years old. Amen!!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

A sister for a while....

This week Hannah had a friend stay with us from Tues. until Sunday. Her name is Kelsey Cook and her parents serve in Lusaka. The rest of her family had to go to South Africa so Kelsey stayed with us. Hannah has always wanted a sister so she got her wish this week. They had so much fun playing together.


They have matching dresses so they got dressed up in those today.


They liked to play and put they baby dolls on their backs like Zambian women do.


Kelsey loves our little dog, Tippy. I thought this pic. was a cute one of them both.


They even washed dishes with those babies on their backs. Now, don't think I made them do all this hard work. Hannah just has one day a week that she does dishes and Kelsey volunteered to help her.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Forgiveness

For the last two weeks each time I went to Chainda II Baptist Church the women did not show up. One week they were out in the field and the other they were at a funeral. This week everyone was there. I still had my same lesson that I had prepared to do 3 weeks before. I was going to tell the story of The Prodigal Son. You know I just don't believe that it was by accident that those women were not there for those two weeks. I don't think I was ready to tell that story until this past Thursday. Of course, there are several things you could focus on when telling this story but I chose to focus on how we are to forgive others. I asked the women if they were the father in this story if they would forgive their son in this same situation. They all said no. Why is forgiveness so difficult? Why is it so hard to even ask for forgiveness? Just this week something happened in our life that made it impossible for me not to forgive several people. Thursday morning while preparing/practicing this lesson the Holy Spirit very clearly spoke to my heart in such a way that I knew I could not teach this lesson unless I forgave these people. I told the women my story of what happened and it really spoke to them that I could forgive. So, was I supposed to share this story 3 weeks ago when I was first meant to? No, I think Thursday was in God's perfect timing.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Circle of Influence

Today at the women's meeting I told the story from Acts 10 about Peter being summoned to go and tell Cornelius and his family about God. The women really had trouble understanding this story until we started talking about their circle of influence. Our close family, good friends, and distant family are all a part of our circle. When I asked them how many people just in their close family did not know God many of them had to say that there were quite a few. The bible says that Cornelius and his family were devout and God fearing. Cornelius generously gave to those in need and prayed to God regularly yet he still did not know God personally. Every day we come in contact with so many in our circle of influence exactly like Cornelius. What kind of difference are we making in their lives? Are we taking the opportunities that God gives us to witness for Him?
After the lesson I closed in prayer. Then one of the women spoke up and asked if I would pray for her husband because he was not a believer. Then another asked if I would pray for husband as well. I then asked for all those whose husbands were not believers to raise their hands. 10 out of the 20 women said their husbands did not know God. They wrote me a list of their names so that I could pray for their salvation. I am now asking that you would pray for each of these 10 men as you feel led. I shared a story of a woman I know who prayed for her husband for 20 years before he became a believer. I challenged the women to persevere in prayer and not give up. God's timing is always perfect!

1- Martin Tembo

2- David Ngulube

3-F. Sakala

4- Sosola Phiri

5- Mr. Chitambo

6- Athony Mpande

7- Samson Mwiyenda

8- Mr. Lungu

9- Mr. Tembo

10- Mr. Luudika

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Happy Birthday Mapalo!

This little boy's name is Mapalo and is the youngest child of our yard worker/neighbor Tito Mulenga. He turned one years old today so I made him a cake. We took it over and sang "Happy Birthday" to him. He was so fun to watch. He liked his cake a lot!





This is Mapalo's family from left to right: Deborah, Dorcas, Tito, Mapalo(in lap) and Amai Mulenga.

What We Feel Is Not Who We Are

I got this Daily Meditation today from someone and liked it enough to share it with others.


Our emotional lives move up and down constantly. Sometimes we experience great mood: swings from excitement to depression, from joy to sorrow, from inner harmony to inner chaos. A little event, a word from someone, a disappointment in work, many things can trigger such mood swings. Mostly we have little control over these changes. It seems that they happen
to us rather than being created by us.

Thus it is important to know that our emotional life is not the same as our spiritual life. Our spiritual life is the life of the Spirit of God within us. As we feel our emotions shift we must connect our spirits with the Spirit of God and remind ourselves that what we feel is not who we are. We are and remain, whatever our moods, God's beloved children.

Friday, July 18, 2008

A word of appreciation

Last week I gave out the hand bags that were given from some women in the states. I gave out the rest on Thursday to all those who weren't there last week. Thankfully, I had just enough. This video is of one of the ladies basically saying, "Thank you, we are praising God for the bags which came from America to put our bibles in. When we go out to the fields we will take our books and our bibles. Thank you."

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Thursday, July 17, 2008

A lesson to learn

This past Sunday we went to worship with Mphamvu Baptist Church. At the end of church the women were asking if I could come and teach them on Thursdays. I had to tell them that I was all ready teaching at two different churches on that day but since it was on the way to Silver Rest Baptist Church perhaps I could pick them up along the way. So, today I picked up 9 women from Mphamvu and headed to Silver Rest where we met 14 other women. All together there were 23 women. I was amazed that there were so many.
Today I taught on 2 Tim. 2:2 "The things which you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, entrust these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also." I tried to cast a vision for multiplying trainers or disciples by sharing a story of how Jesus taught the disciples, they taught Barnabas, he taught Paul, Paul taught Timothy, Timothy taught faithful believers, and so on. I asked them to think about the person who told them about Christ and then asked them to think about what if that person had not told them. I said, "imagine if you and one other woman were the only two Christians among 5000 people. You would have two choices in how to reach the others for Christ. 1- You and your friend lead 50 people to Christ each year. This would take 100 years, or 2- You and your friend can win two people to faith in the next six months and train them. In the next six months the four of you can win four and train them. Then in the next six months those 8 can become 16 and so on....At that rate it could be done in 5 1/2 years. Which will reach your town/village faster?" They all said that the second choice was the best and fastest. They said that 100 years was way to long to reach 5000 people. It was amazing to kind of watch the light bulb come on as they began to see how God could use them to tell others about Christ.


Amai Banda is a friend of mine that I have not seen in over a year. She came to the women's meeting today and she told me she had been very sick. When she stood up I was surprised to see that half of one of her leg was missing and she was using crutches. She told me that the doctors had to take part of her leg off and now it also looks like her big toe on the other leg will have to removed. She said she is diabetic. She no longer has any sugar on anything. She is not taking the medicine the doctor has asked her to. She said that she is just trusting Jesus to take care of her. When I asked the women what they needed to obey from the story today. She said, "I need to tell others about Jesus- my family, my neighbors, and my friends. I need to train them so that they can tell others too." So then miss missionary that I am told her that in her condition it would be hard for her to get out and tell others. I wasn't trying to give her a way out I was just stating the obvious. I mean I had just seen her hobble over to the mat just 15 feet from where she had been. Anyway, she said back to me, "oh no, it is my job as a Christian. I can get along just well on my one leg. God will help me."
I told a friend of mine this week that every time I go to teach the women teach me something in return. Today, Amai Banda taught me that no matter what is ailing me I shouldn't come up with excuses to not go out and tell others about Christ. If this woman can go out and walk with one leg and crutches then what is stopping me? Is something stopping you from sharing?






Sunday, July 13, 2008

School's Out!!!

School's out and Zach's home!! Friday Zach arrived home from boarding school. So we had a bit of a celebration that night for everyone being finished with school with a great big choc. chip cookie. Zach made the A honors roll for the term and finished with a GPA of 3.6. We are very proud of how well he has done his first year at Rift Valley Academy. I haven't finished grading all of Justin's work yet but I'm sure he did well too. Hannah finished first grade and is a reading machine. You can almost always find her with a book in her hand. She has devoured just about all the books I ordered her for second grade. Pray we will all enjoy our break and have a great time together as a family. There is a link below to a funny little school's out card if you want to look at that.


http://www.hallmark.com/ECardWeb/ECV.jsp?a=EG4626032880802M267544104Y&product_id=

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Zambian Children


Yesterday when I went to Chainda II Baptist church there weren't any women there at first. While I sat in the church all alone waiting, a group of children came up. There were 14 children in all ranging from 3-11. They sang many songs for me and then I taught them some songs. They really liked Father Abraham and Zacchaeus because of the motions that you use. I also taught them Miss Mary Mack and then they taught me some of their little songs where they clap their hands too. Two women ended up coming but we decided to just wait until next week to do the lesson when more women could be there. I ended up staying for 1 1/2 hours just playing with the kids. It was a lot of fun!


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This video is of the kids singing their "ABC's" like they do in Zambia. The tune is quite different than what we sing in America.

Today at Silver Rest Baptist Church


Today at Silver Rest Baptist Church I told the story from Mark 1:14-20 about Jesus calling some of the disciples to follow Him. It was a smaller group than usual today but God had who He wanted there I'm sure. After our meeting I gave the women a gift from some ladies in the states. Our volunteer team that was just here brought these hand bags that some women in the states made. They wanted me to give it to some of the ladies I worked with. These women were very excited to have something to carry their bibles and hymn books in. I'll give the rest out to the women next week when I go back.

Making a Cave

Justin and another mk Austin began digging this cave in the side of Adventure Canyon. AC is just a big area of dirt and rock near our house that the boys named after we first moved to Chongwe.



Now it is big enough for someone to fit into. Justin can even go over to the right enough to get his body into also. I'm not sure how far he will dig, maybe to the other side.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

It's been a long time....

It's been a long time since I had two little ones around. Lily(3) and Easton(almost 2) Helgren came and stayed the day with us while their daddy went out with Kevin to a TEE (Theological Education by Extension) class in the bush. It was so much fun and reminded me of when our boys were this little. Boys just love to be outdoors and are amazed at everything or just give them a car and they can play for hours. Then there are little girls... girls just love to play dress up. Lily changed clothes many times throughout the day. I think she liked being Belle the best. Here are a few pictures of our day.


Easton loved going in the rabbit cage. He tried to catch one but just couldn't, so Justin helped him out a little.


Lily in the Belle dress.


Easton played for a long time with Justin's hot wheel cars. He would take them out of the box and line them up just like my boys used to do.


In this picture Easton doesn't look too sure about our baby turtle but later he was playing with it, pushing it along like it was a little car. That is when I decided to get out our cars for him to play with. I told him the turtle had to take a nap.


Hannah and Justin enjoyed playing with Lily and Easton today. Here is one of Hannah with Lily.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

The Team Is Back

Well, I am disappointed to say that my husband was the only one on the team who had a digital camera and he didn't take any pictures the whole time they were out. One of the team members said he would send us a disc of the pictures he took with his camera once he gets them developed, so maybe later I can post some pictures.
The team was all ready to travel back yesterday but Kevin's truck wouldn't start. I failed to mention earlier that we have been having truck problems for a while. We thought it had gotten fixed but evidently it had not. They worked on it for about 40 minutes trying every trick in the book until it finally started and they headed back to our house. Kevin dropped them off and went on to Lusaka to put our truck in the shop. Everyone took showers and then came in for lunch. It was so much fun to sit around the table and hear story after story of all that God had done over the last 6 days.

Cherished Moments...
-I asked the team if the trip was all that they had expected and they all said it was so much better than what they had thought it would be. They all felt like God had taught them so much personally from the people.
-Although the people are in hunger they sacrificed and provided enough food for the team(along with what Kevin took) and many who just camped out with them. The people came to watch the Jesus Film and brought a mat and then just slept there at night.
-They were amazed at God's creation. They were able to see crocodiles, hippos, a spitting cobra, a black mamba(snake), baboons, and lots of birds. God protected them from all of these things yet they still had the adventure of seeing it all.
-During the days they went out doing hut to hut evangelism. They were amazed at how much the people wanted to stop what they were doing and listen to what they had to share. As they were out sharing one on one, many prayed to receive Christ.
-At night they would show the Jesus Film to a crowd of people. Many prayed to receive Christ afterwards during the invitation.
-At the first location when they met for church on Sunday there was a crowd of about 120 people including children. Some of these were from one of our existing churches near by but there was still a good group of people that will become this new church body.
-At the second location there was about 60 people for the service. Kevin said that most of those were not in any church and will make up this new church plant.

...Fond Memories
- David is a pastor of a church in Arkansas. He came with a church member, Terry, and his youth pastor, Daniel. The first full day out witnessing hut to hut David walked a long ways. He could tell he was getting blisters on his feet but couldn't really do anything about it while he was out. When they got back to their camp he took his shoes off and he had two big blisters, one on each foot, about the size of a silver dollar. These two godly men from his church ministered to their pastor by washing his feet, draining the blisters, and taking care of him.
- Jimmy is a Director of Missions in this area where these other men live. He said he was out sharing the gospel and this one young man around 17 years old followed them around and heard the gospel at least 3 times. At the last stop he prayed to receive Christ. Later, he came up to Jimmy smiling very big and said how happy he was now that he was born again.
- As Kevin was in camp one afternoon preparing for showing the Jesus Film a woman came to him and said she had demons. After the film she prayed to receive Christ and was delivered from her demons that had been troubling her for many years. She came back later and said that she was so happy that she was free from the bondage of Satan.
-The four team members left this morning to go to Victoria Falls for a couple of days. They will go shopping, go on a game drive and see lots of animals, and see the Falls. They will return on Friday afternoon and then fly back to the states on Saturday. Pray for this team as they enjoy some more of God's creation in Vic. Falls and as they fly back to the states. Pray that the things they learned while here will forever be imprinted in their minds and hearts. Pray all the people that were saved would begin to grow in their relationship with God and that God would grow and bless these two new churches.