Saturday, December 27, 2008


Our family will be going in different directions over the next week so I would like to request prayer from whoever looks at my blog. Our traveling schedule is below with some prayer requests.

Dec. 27th Zach and Justin travel to Joburg. South Africa with a couple of other boys from Zambia. On the 28th they will go to MK Camp with all mk's 12 and up in our region. This is something that they look forward to all year. Pray for safety as they travel and as they are at camp. Pray that God would speak to them during this time and that they would grow closer to Him. Pray they would also have a great time with all their friends.

Dec. 30th Kevin will be traveling to the States to attend seminars for his PHD work at Southeastern Seminary. He will be staying with my parents and traveling back and forth each day to class. It is about a one hour drive from my parents home. Pray for safety as he travels back and forth each day. His classes start on the 2nd of Jan. so pray for a clear mind and plenty of rest in those first two days there. He will be arriving back here on the 22nd of Jan.

Jan. 5th Zach will be traveling back to Kenya to begin a new term at RVA. This will be a big term for him. He will be taking Drivers Education-yes, he is that big! He will also have his junior banquet which is kind of like a prom in the states. He will also go on his junior class trip. He had a lot to choose from and he chose a trip to the Mau Forest for a week. He will be learning from expert Kenyan hunters, the Massai, on how to survive in the Mau Forest. Pray for a great term of learning and fun.

Jan. 5th Justin, Hannah, and I will be traveling back to Chongwe from Joburg. Pray for safety as we travel. Pray also for a good term of homeschooling. Pray for us as we will be without Kevin until the 22nd.

Thank you so much for your prayers!

Friday, December 26, 2008

Kelsey's Baptism

On Christmas Day we had the opportunity to share in Hannah's best friends baptism. Kelsey prayed to receive Christ this past month and wanted to be baptized in the Chongwe River. They came in the afternoon and we drove down to the river. We then had to walk a little ways to find the perfect spot for her baptism. It was just a small celebration: our family, the Cooks and Niki's parents were also able to be there. Of course, there were a few onlookers up on the hill wondering what all these white people were doing down at the river. However, I'm sure that Jesus and all of Heaven was looking on as well as we celebrated Kelsey's decision to follow Christ. The Cooks have become very close to our family so we are sad to say that they will be leaving to go back to the states Jan. 9th. So we are especially thankful that we were able to be together for this special occasion.

Kevin shared a few words from 2 Cor. 5:17. The bible says, "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!"

Kelsey before entering the water.

Kelsey's Dad, Ricky, had the honor of baptizing his daughter.

Hannah and Kelsey together.

The Cook Family: Ricky, Niki, Kelsey, Coby, and Ausitn.

Kelsey with her grandparents Jan and Wyman Abstance. I know they were excited to be here and be a part of this celebration too.

I love this picture of Hannah and Kelsey walking back after her Baptism. Hannah just reached up and put her arm around Kelsey, her best friend. Thankfully, I had the camera out and got this shot. To me it is a picture of how in our Christian walk we have friends that come along side of us and encourage us to stay close to Jesus. Pray for Kelsey as she is beginning this new and exciting adventure/relationship with Jesus. Pray she will have friends throughout her life that will be there to encourage her. Pray for her parents to have wisdom as they disciple her in the coming years.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Snapshots of Our Family Christmas

We had a great day spending time together. We opened presents which is always fun. We ate leftovers from yesterday. Yeah! I wasn't in the kitchen all day. Then we had our friends the Cooks come in the afternoon. I'll write about their special visit tomorrow.

Zach loves the Christian group Third Day. One of his presents was their latest CD.

After Hannah opens a gift she runs over and gives a hug to whoever gave her the present. For those family members in the states; sorry you missed out on yours, she gives great big bear hugs!

Justin had been wanting an ocarina for a while. He was excited to get this and has all ready learned to play it some.

Kevin bought me a new cell phone because my other one was wearing out and pretty old.

Justin got a 6 pack of root beer from America! That is his favorite drink.

One of our favorite things on Christmas is to open our stockings. There are always lots of goodies inside.


Christmas Eve-our tradition

Our Family Tradition for Christmas Eve is that we have our big meal-turkey and the fixings that night. Then we all listen to Kevin tell the Christmas story. Afterwards, the kids each get to open one gift. They usually pick out something themselves(sometimes with a little encouragement). They really enjoy opening one gift even if it is something small. We usually try to watch a good Christmas movie also. Last night we watched The Nativity. This is a great movie to watch if you have not seen it.

Justin got some Fireworks.

Zach got some AA Batteries for his foot pedals.

Hannah got a shirt and some pj's from her Gram.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

We Wish You a Merry Christmas!

We Wish You a Merry CHRISTmas
We Wish You a Merry CHRISTmas
We Wish You a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!

We pray God's richest blessings upon you all as you celebrate the Birth of Jesus!

The Twelve Days of Christmas

On the first day of Christmas, Jesus gave to me: Salvation full and free.
On the second day of Christmas, Jesus gave to me: everlasting life, and
On the third day of Christmas, Jesus gave to me: peace in my heart, and
On the fourth day of Christmas, Jesus gave to me: love for all men, and
On the fifth day of Christmas, Jesus gave to me: Joy in my soul,
On the sixth day of Christmas, Jesus gave to me: Power from on high,
On the seventh day of Christmas, Jesus gave to me: a God glorified,
On the eighth day of Christmas, Jesus gave to me: a robe and a crown,
On the ninth day of Christmas , Jesus gave to me: mansions above,
On the tenth day of Christmas, Jesus gave to me: streets of pure gold,
On the 'leventh day of Christmas, Jesus gave to me: 1000 tongues to sing,
On the twelfth day of Christmas, Jesus gave to me: an eternity to praise,

What has Jesus given to you, no not just 'things', but what has He given to you? Let's take a look at the verses above, just one at a time.

'Salvation full and free', do you rejoice in your salvation? As Psalms 21 says:
'We will rejoice in your salvation, and in the name of our God we will set up our banners!'
Did your banner (your life) show your salvation this Christmas?

'Everlasting life', when I sing these words, it reminds me of John 3:15-16,
'that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. For God so loved the world that he gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.'
Without Christmas, we wouldn't have Easter! Isn't God good?

'Peace in my heart', 'Peace, peace, wonderful peace, coming down from the father above! Sweep over my spirit for ever, I pray, in fathomless billows of love'. Do you have the peace, the hope, that Jesus gave us on that first Christmas day? Romans 15:15 says;
'Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit'.

'Love for all men', 'The love of God is Greater far than tongue or pen can ever tell; it goes beyond the highest star, and reaches to the lowest hell.' Deuteronomy 10:19 says;
'Therefore love the stranger, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt.'
So, don't be a stranger, let us, let the love of God reach you, that you may reach others.

'Joy in my soul', 'I have the joy, joy, joy, joy, down in my heart, WHERE!, down in my heart!, down in my heart!, down in my heart to stay!' The kids used to sing this a lot in Sunday school. They would sing it, shout it, and have big smiles on their faces just like when they opened that present you bought them for Christmas. Isn't it neat that a child can show the 'joy' in their soul. I pray that you will have this same 'joy' in your heart.

'Power from on high', 'There is pow'r, pow'r, wonder working pow'r in the precious of the Lamb.' Psalms 21:13 says;
'Be exalted, O Lord, in Your own strength! We will sing and praise Your power.'
This power, is a power that can fill your life, a power that can change you forever!

'A God glorified!', John 14:13 says;
'And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the father may be glorified in the Son.'
As 'Christians', sometimes we don't glorify our Lord and Savior. This Christmas, let's give God the Glory! If you ask, Give God the Glory no matter what happens, it will change your life.

'A robe and a crown', 'O worship the King, all glorious above, and gratefully sing, His wonderful love; our shield and defender, the ancient of days, pavilioned in splendor, and girded with praise'.
'I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, My soul shall be joyful in my God; For He has clothed me with the robe of righteousness, As a bridegroom decks himself with ornaments, And as a bride adorns herself with her jewels. For as the earth brings forth its bud, As the garden causes the things that are sown in it to spring forth, So the Lord God will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations.' Isaiah 61:10-11.
Let God plant that seed in your life, that your life can spring forth with a renewed vigor.

'Mansions above', John 14:2 puts it this way:
'In my fathers house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.'
Jesus. Hey! it's going to be Christmas all the time! Like another song says; 'This world is not my home I'm just a pass'n through'. We've got a great God!

'1000 tongues to sing', When we all get to Heaven! O for a thousand tongues to sing my great Redeemer's praise! I love to sing (if you have not noticed) Maybe, if I had a thousand tongues to sing, this voice would sound better, Oh what a day that will be!

'An eternity to praise', Revelation 7:9-12:
'After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, saying "Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb".
All the angels stood around the throne and the elders and the four living creatures, and fell on their faces before the throne and worshipped God, saying:
"Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom, Thanksgiving and honor and power and might, Be to our God forever and ever. Amen"
Man, won't it be great to be a part of that crowd!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Zikomo Kwambili!

For my Southern Baptist prayer partners, you are familiar with the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering. For those who are not familiar with it, the LMCO supports more than 5,000 SBC missionaries around the world. Contributions to this fund from generous donors makes it possible for us to reach the lost without the stress of having to raise financial support. Every penny of this fund pays our salaries, insurance and living costs as well as funding our ministry and everything we do for Jesus in the world. The IMB is faithfully praying that God will once again provide $170 million this year to support us while we serve our Lord among the nations.

The money you give provides us with a nice home to live in. Thank you!

You also provide our children's homeschool books. Hannah says, "Thank you! I love to read and learn and you give me my books. I also get my mom at home being my teacher."

Zach says, "Thank you for giving money to Lottie Moon because I can go to RVA and get a good education and be with lots of friends."

Your giving also provides us with a good 4 wheel drive truck that helps us get to tough to reach places. Thank you!

Your money also provides our plane ticket when we go on furlough, conferences, Zach going to school in Kenya, or when we have some kind of major medical need and have to travel to Johannesberg. "Thank You!"

Your gifts also provided this boat for Kevin to use to get to places along the river. Many people can now hear the gospel that were not able to before. "Thank you!"

Your giving to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering helps us out tremendously because we do not have to spend time raising our own support. Because of this we can spend more time focused on the "Main Thing," which is telling people about Jesus. Why else would we leave the comforts of the USA, our family, and good jobs to travel across the world....only because God has told us to "Go." So when you give you are a part of our ministry. Not just ours, but all 5000+ missionaries. You are impacting the World! So, not only do we say "Thank You!" but our Zambian friends, the ones we have come to share the good news with, says "Thank you" also.

Zikomo! (Thank you!)

Zikomo Kwambili! (Thank you very much!)

"Thank You!"

"One day I may receive Christ because you gave."

"I might one day grow up and be a missionary because you gave."


Your giving also supports the 40/40 orientation program that trains all new missionaries in our region. All the participants say, "Thank you!"

This past year we distributed 200 bags of mealie meal to 100 families. They all say a big "Thank you!"

Zikomo Kwambili!


Many were baptized this year because of your giving.


"Thank you for giving so these missionaries can be here to teach us. Now, we can go back to our villages and teach them all that we know."

"We are so thankful that we have a missionary living in our area who can come and teach us the Word of God. Thank you for giving so that they can be here."

"Our church is here because a missionary helped us to plant one. Thank you for giving so they can be here."

"Thank you for providing the funds that made it possible for the missionary to show the Jesus Film. Many in our village saw this film and are now born again."

We understand the economic crisis makes it difficult to give but on behalf of thousands of missionaries in the world, will you prayerfully consider donating to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering this year? If you are Southern Baptist, you may give through your local church or anyone may donate online at:

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Who is Lottie Moon?

Did you know that Lottie Moon was a real person????

The following is her story....

My name is Lottie Moon. Actually, my parents named me Charlotte Diggs Moon, but everyone called me Lottie. I was born on December 12, 1840 in a small town in Virginia. I have six brothers and sisters. My parents were wealthy, so we had a very nice life.

My mother was a good Christian. She held church services regularly in our home. But I was not interested in church.

I wanted to be a teacher. So when I got older, I went to Virginia Female Seminary. After that I went to Albemarle Female Institute in Charlottesville.

I used to play tricks on people. One April Fool’s Day, I wrapped the school bells up so they wouldn’t ring. Everyone was late to class. I’m afraid I got in trouble.

One day when I was eighteen years old, some of my school friends invited me to go to church to hear about missions. It didn’t sound too interesting to me. But I liked being with my friends, so I went.

That night I heard a wonderful sermon. The preacher told about God and Jesus. He talked about missions, too. It was very interesting. I decided right then that I wanted become a Christian and follow Jesus wherever he would lead me.

After I became a Christian, I finished college and started to teach. First I taught children at a school in Danville, Kentucky; then in Cartersville, Georgia. But I kept thinking about missions. I wanted to know about the other side of the world. Who was telling the people there about God and Jesus? Should I be a missionary, I wondered?

Finally, in February 1873, when I was 32 years old, I made up my mind. I would become a missionary. Six months later I was appointed to China. China! I was so excited! That’s where my sister Edmonia was a missionary.

In September I boarded a ship for China. I did not know at all what it would be like. But I knew I wanted the Chinese people to learn about God and Jesus.

Living every day in China was very strange. Making friends was hard. The Chinese people seemed to be afraid of me. They did not trust a foreigner.

I also did not know their customs. One thing I did notice was that the women and girls, even little ones, wore tight cloths on their feet so they would stay small! I thought that must really hurt because they walked very slowly.

Then one day I had an idea. I would bake cookies for the children! So I did. They smelled so good. At first the children would not eat them. Someone said the cookies would make them sick.

I just kept on baking cookies anyway. Soon the children came to my house and began to eat them. They started to call me the “Cookie Lady.” As they ate the cookies, I told them about Jesus.

I began to tell more people about God. But the job was huge! So many people wanted to hear. I wrote letters back to the States. I asked the people there to pray for the Chinese people. I asked them to send more money and more missionaries.

At first I lived in the city of Tengchow. Then I decided that the people in rural areas might be friendlier. So I began to visit nearby villages.

I soon realized that the Chinese girls also needed to go to school. So I started some schools just for girls.

I lived the rest of my life in China. I was happy there. I knew that God wanted me in China to help the men and women, the girls and boys, know about Jesus.

How the story ends:

In 1912, a terrible famine came to China. People everywhere were starving. Little children had nothing to eat. Lottie gave her food to the people. But soon she got sick. The doctor said she should go back to the United States to get well.

So Lottie’s friends put her on a ship for the States. But she never made it. She died on Christmas Eve, 1912 while still on the ship. Lottie Moon gave her life so the people in China could learn about God.

As Southern Baptists we give an offering each year around Christmas in her memory. It is called the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering. The money that is given goes to fund all our missionaries serving all over the world. This way we do not have to raise our own support. Check back later for how your giving has helped the Rodgers family.

Friday, December 19, 2008

It's starting to feel a bit like Christmas

The Christmas tree is decorated, packages are nestled underneath, the stockings are hung on the mantle, baking has begun, our family is together, school is out, excitement is in the air, friends have come to visit, shopping, and even some cool weather because of all the rain... makes it feel like Christmas is coming. The last couple of weeks have been a lot of fun as we have started some of our Christmas traditions. We have also enjoyed guests that have come for a meal or just to visit.
Today the Cook family came to visit. Hannah got Kelsey an apron so today they made Chocolate pudding and tried them out. I think the apron kept the choc. off of their clothes but not off of their mouths and hands.

Hannah and Kelsey in their aprons.

The best part of cooking is licking the beaters! Yum!

They both took turns measuring, pouring, and holding the mixer.