Saturday, January 31, 2009

Day 2-Buckets of Love

Today, my little team of 5 went out to deliver some buckets of love. Pastor Daka and 3 home based care workers went with me in the Kamilulu area. Kevin went in the area of Chimusanya and Van went to Mpanshya. We were able to make 3 visits but talked to 7 patients plus family members. It really isn't that hard to draw a crowd when a white woman is walking through the bush. We had a good day ministering to those in need. Pastor Daka shared some encouraging words from the Bible. Then I shared the story of the Prodigal Son and shared my testimony. Miriam expained everything in the bucket and how to use it. Then we took turns praying for the patient. At our last home we visited with a husband and wife who both were HIV positive. The husband said, "This morning I prayed that God would help us today in some way. Now, you have come and brought us these things and encouraged us. We are so thankful that God heard our prayer." As I reflected on what that man said I shared with everyone sitting under this little hut that God Knows All. God knew many months ago while the churches in America were putting these buckets together that Bambo Sakala was going to cry out for help on Jan. 30th, 2009. He also knew how long the shipment was going to take to get here and how long it was going to be held in customs. He also knew how long it would take us to plan this event. It was no mistake that we went there on this day, on the very day that he had prayed. God heard this mans prayer and orchestrated the events of the five of us to bring us to his house on this day. God is truely AWESOME!

This is Dorine who also received a bucket of love.

This is Dorine's son. When I came walking up to their home he ran out and wrapped his little arms around my legs. Then when I was leaving he didn't want me to go. This was a first for me because most often out in the rural areas the children are not used to seeing white people and they cry if you even look at them for longer than 3 sec.

The woman in the yellow shirt, Violet, was the patient at this home. She is also pregnant and has several other children running around. Pray for good health during her last couple of months of pregnancy. Pray also that the virus will not be passed down to her baby.

This was our team that went out together.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Buckets of Love -first visit

Our first visit out with the home based caregivers was to the home of Rafael Mumba who is HIV positive. After greeting him and sitting down the whole family came to sit with us and see why we were there. Rafael was thankful for all the supplies in the bucket. They will really help him in the days ahead as he deals with this disease. Luke Mwila explained everything that was in the bucket so that the family would know how to use everything properly. Then Kevin shared the gospel using Creation to Christ. Then Pastor Daka shared some more from the Word of God and gave Rafael the opportunity to pray. He wanted to pray to receive Christ right there with us. Rafael and his family say "thank you" to all those in America that helped put the buckets together and then have them shipped here for those in need. It was great to be a part of not only helping him to receive Christ but to also be able to help him physically with everything in the bucket.
Please continue to pray for Rafael as he suffers with this disease. Pray that he will grow in his new relationship with Christ. Pray for our team as we continue to give these buckets to the many that are suffering.
If you are interested in giving to BGR or even knowing more about them, there is a link on the right side of this blog.

Rafael Mumba with his BGR bucket.

Luke Mwila explaining things in the bucket.

These are some of the children there.

The family all listening to everything.

Our group leaving.

This is the Mumbas home.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Buckets of Love

Baptist churches in three states; Mississippi, Kentucky, and Tennessee recently helped pack 1,378 “In-Home Care Kits” or “Buckets of Love.” The items in the buckets will be a tremendous blessing to families that must care for terminally ill relatives at home because access to health care is so limited. And although there are more than 22.5 million s and children in Sub-Saharan Africa who are living with the HIV virus, the need extends beyond even those families. Thousands of people in the region die at home each year from sicknesses like cancer, tuberculosis, malaria, and other life-ending diseases. In-home care is all the care they will receive.

The buckets include a wide range of everyday supplies needed by a caregiver – from lotions, ointments, and vitamins to bedding, bandages, and thermometers. The “Buckets of Love,” which were packed in five-gallon plastic buckets – were delivered to the Baptist Fellowship of Zambia’s human needs program in December. Our team is going out over the next couple of days to deliver some of these buckets to families that have terminally ill patients in the Manenekela area. Pray that the use of these items by loving caregivers will show the love and compassion Jesus Christ has for the terminally ill. Pray that they would come to know the True Hope that comes from a personal relationship with Him.

Today we met with some of the home based care people in our area to show them the buckets and discuss the distribution. In these two pictures, Kevin is explaining what each item is and how to use it. Today, we were able to make one visit and I'll write about that later. Tomorrow and Saturday our team will split up into two groups and give out these buckets. Since we saw one of my patients today I only need to go and visit 6 tomorrow. Kevin and Van have many more to see over the next couple of days. Please pray for our team as we go out, to be able to reach each location without problems(because of rain/mud), be a light for Jesus, that we will share hope to the hurting, and that we would be an encouragement to all we come in contact with.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Construction in Chongwe

For the last couple of weeks there has been some road construction in our little boma town, Chongwe. They have been making roads where roads have never been before or where there were just paths. Yesterday, we were surprised when we got home to find that they are also doing the road in front of our house. They just did one side of the road, knocking down everything that was in its path. This included our beautiful hedge, a small mango tree, and another tree. They then left all of this mess in front of our gate. Thankfully, it did not rain during the night and they came back today and did the other side of the road. The supervisor said that they will pave these roads next year. Well, I will believe it when I see it. I'm afraid that when it rains there will be a big mess coming down this hill in front of our house, sure hope not though. We have always felt like we were in the bush but with all this road construction and new houses going up everywhere we are losing that bush feeling. Lots of people were out just watching this big contraption going down the road. We heard that in one place a woman started throwing stones at the driver because he had knocked down all of her plants. I didn't throw rocks but I sure wasn't happy either.

Hannah took this pic. of Dorcas and Mapalo out in front of our gate. I thought she did a good job with this picture.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Cooking 101

Girls, do you remember when you were little and you would watch your mama stir something really fast and be amazed that it didn't spill out of the bowl? Sometimes, Mom's make things look so easy. Today, Hannah wanted me to oversee her making scrambled eggs. When she was stirring the eggs in the bowl before putting them in the pan she tried to stir fast like me. She said, "Mama, how do you stir so fast?" I showed her how to do it but told her that in time she would get faster also. I remember having that same conversation with my mom when I was little and I did get faster with time and so will Hannah. By the way, the eggs turned out great. She added a little cheddar cheese and bacon bits-our favorite!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Driving Slow....

Yesterday afternoon I went out with two of my ministry friends Amai Mwachamota and Amai Betty. We wanted to go visit our friend Amai Banda who has diabetes and her leg had to be cut off at the knee(I have written about her before). She is doing great and has even gotten an artificial leg that she can take on and off to help her get around better. She is even going back to church which is about 1-2 kms. from her home and climbing the stairs to get there. Isn't that amazing? Amai Mwachamota shared some scripture with her to encourage her and then I prayed for her. It was a great visit and we came away encouraged also.
On our way out Amai Banda's son asked if him and his second wife and baby could have a ride with us back to Chongwe. Yes, I did say second wife. His first wife was this woman's sister who also has a young baby. We all piled in the car and almost immediately Amai Mwachamota and Amai Betty started witnessing to him and sharing their testimonies. They were telling him the Truth, let me tell ya. I just smiled, prayed, and drove slow so that they could get it all in. What should have taken about 15 min. to get home took me 30. Oh well, this man and woman got to hear the gospel. He said he would go home and look up some of those scriptures. Pray for this couple to come to Know and Believe in God. Pray also for my friends to continue to be a light in this dark world. I was so proud of them both!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Kevin's Back!

Wednesday night Kevin arrived back safe at home. Thank you for all who prayed for him as he traveled. We have had fun talking and getting caught up on all that happened while he was gone. Continue to pray for him as he has to finish up some big papers for his classes that he just took. Also, for all the work that he has to do for the next set of classes this June/July, pray he will steadily work and get it done in a timely manner.

This is Kevin with his Mom and Dad. He was able to visit with them during two of the weekends he was there.

Kevin at the Raleigh Durham airport about to head home.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Big Daddy Weave

Have you ever heard of the Christian group Big Daddy Weave? I had never heard of them but evidently they have been around for a while. I just heard about them during our last session of 40/40 from one of the journeyman or journeywoman in this case. I listened to one song and I knew that I wanted to get one of their CD's. If you like Third Day, Casting Crowns, or Chris Tomlin you would probably like this group. While we were in South Africa recently I bought 3 of their CD's. Ok, maybe that is a bit much but they are really good. If you have never heard of them check out some of the words to a few of their songs below:

Who You Are To Me
You see yourself in the mirror of the temporary, and you think that your worth is something to be achieved. When your value really is a question of identity. Has it ever crossed your mind, who you are to Me? You're the precious child that I created. Who you are to Me. Bought with a price you're my beloved. Who you are to Me. Open your eyes and I'll show you how to see what I see. If you would just believe that you are who you are to Me. Defusing the instilled within the minds of children. You're the life inside a body that refused to believe. A revelation of My love is waiting just to be received. Won't you let Me show you who you are to Me? And I love you so much that I crossed the great divide and I love you so much that I sent My only Son to die. And there's no one who could ever take your place in My heart. I want you to know that I love you right where you are.

You Found Me
I saw 3 a.m. come and go again
Another sleepless night, thanks to living my own way
All my great ideas, I've regretted most of them
But that was back long before the day
When I saw a flash of light and I heard the sound
Of a voice like thunder shake the ground
It was the first time I remember ever feeling my heartbeat
And the arms that gripped me felt like grace
And I realized in their embrace
To be held so tight, I've never felt so free
Also known as the day that You found me
My whole life has changed ever since the day You came
The way I see, the things I want, it's everything
Some may call it strange, I don't care what people say
I knew You were the only way
I've never known a love like this
You've captured my heart and You brought the sweetest
Peace to my life, brought me into the light
Now I'm all Yours, Jesus, draw me into You
I don't think that I could ever be the same
Who would want to be anyway

Give Up, Let Go
"I'd heard all my life, "Just hang on... You can make it!" That sounds so great, and the truth is sometimes that we just have to press into the Lord and hunker down because help is on the way. I've realized more often than not though, that so much of my anxiety comes from ME trying to take care of ME. Prov. 3:5-6 shows us that God is the one who wants to take care of us. We DO have a responsibility, but it's not to try and fix the problem. It's to trust Him and acknowledge Him so that HE can take over an make our path straight. Make the chorus of this song a prayer."

Desperate, grasping with a clenched fist
I try to hold my own life in my own hand
Frustration sets in, thought I had this
Failure is the one thing that I just can't stand
Oh, You remind me that taking care of me
Has never been in my job description
Oh, now I'm finding you want to fix it all
You're just waiting for permission
I'm giving up, I'm letting go
Of everything that I've held onto
I'm giving up, I'm letting go
Of all the things that I've let hold me
For so long Lord I know
I need to give You full control
Hlep me give up, and let go
I want to trust You with my whole heart
Not lean on what I think I understand
And even when I can't see
Jesus, help me still to believe
You're unveiling an unfailing plan

And oh, sometimes the old me creeps back in
And oh, the only thing I know to do is give it all to You again
Help me give up, help me let go
Help me give up, help me let go
Help me give it all to You

Sunday, January 18, 2009

No More Braces!

Sept. 2007 (before)

Jan. 17th, 2009 (after)

Saturday, Justin was able to get his braces off after having to wear them for the last year and four months. He is growing up so fast!


Today, the kids and I went to Kanakantapa Baptist Church. I was amazed to see how much the people had done to their church since the last time we were there. We were there just a couple of months ago and they said they were about to start putting the roof on the church. Now, it is a little over half way finished. This church has been working on their building for at least the last 5 years. You may look at this little building and wonder why it would take so long. They have built it all by themselves. They had to mold each brick and put it all together. To do all of this, even the roof, they had to wait until they had some money to get started. Then as time went on when they would get a little money they would do some more. We are very proud of them for working so hard. May God continue to bless them and grow their church.

This is Joe. He met us at the door of the church before we entered in and gave us a big hand shake and smile, then said, "Hello." This was all the English he knew but he used it very well.

This is a couple of pics. on our way home. The kids wanted to go down to the water. Because the rains have been so good in many places the river is rising so much that is starting to cover the roads.

This was a pretty little waterfall that we passed. Hannah took this picture.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Alone time with just me and God

Today I started out to go and encourage the women at Chainda II Baptist Church because I had not visited with them in a couple of months. When I got there no one was in sight so I decided to just sit in the church and wait. It is not uncommon to have to wait for everyone to arrive here because time is not like what we are used to in the States. So, as I waited I started reading the book of Philippians. It's a short book but I had time to read it all. I just wanted to write some verses that were an encouragement to me and hopefully they will be to someone reading this as well.

Phil. 1:3-6 "I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus."
I thank God for all the people who pray for us. We are in a partnership together and you are just as much a part of our ministry as if you were here with us. We need you!
What work will God finally complete in us? God will finally complete the work of saving us. If we trust in Christ, we are already fully saved. But God's work in our lives continues until the day of Christ Jesus. Only then shall we be like him.

Phil. 1:9-11 says, " And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ- to the glory and praise of God." -righteousness can only come through Jesus!

Phil. 2:14-16 says," 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 as you hold out the word of life-in order that I may boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor for nothing."
I love these verses! It is difficult at times to not complain or argue because of difficult circumstances that come up in life, sometimes daily. But hey, it says that we may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault if we don't. Then we will shine like the stars in the universe as we hold out the word of life. Wow! That is my prayer for my life.

Phil. 3:13-14 says, "Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. but one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus."
Lord, help me to forget what is behind and keep straining toward what is ahead. Help me to keep my eyes focused on the goal.

Phil. 4:4-7 says:" Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."
Rejoice Always! No matter what circumstances surround you, Rejoice. I have read these verses many many times in my life but I think today is the first time that I have really noticed the part that says, "The Lord is near." How comforting is that to know as we walk throughout our Christian life and as we continually present our requests to God, He is always near.

Phil. 4: 13 says, " I can do everything through him who gives me strength."
What does God give us strength to do? Everything means everything. All that God desires us to do -not absurd, selfish or evil things though. God's grace will sustain us no matter where he leads.

Well, I finished reading and reflecting when some children came into visit for a while. After a few min. I decided to go ahead and leave. I had waited 45 min. but no one came. Perhaps they were all out in the fields working because today was a sunny day. Maybe they came later, I'm not sure. I do know that I needed that time alone with just me and God.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Saying Bye to Friends

One of the hardest things to do as missionaries is to say "good-bye." It seems like at least several times a year we have to say bye to someone or a family that we have grown to love like our own family. Of course, we have missionaries coming a few times a year also so that helps a little. You know, I have never gotten used to saying bye. I thought at one time I might, since we had to do it so often but it hasn't happened yet. In fact, in a way it has gotten worse. I really struggle with not building up walls when someone first comes. In my mind I keep telling myself that they will just be leaving soon and I will have to say bye to them too, so why be friends? I have realized over the years that I can't build up walls but I need to be the best friend I can to those who come into our mission family. God may want to use me in their life or vice versa but if I build up a wall, how will I ever be and do all that God wants me to? As you pray for missionaries, pray that those who struggle in this area will not build up walls in their lives but that they would be all things to all men even if that means being friends to someone who will eventually leave.
This past week we had several people come back to the field from their stateside assignment(formerly furlough). It is great to see them back, refreshed, and ready to work. However, on Friday, we had to say good-bye to our good friends the Cooks-Ricky, Niki, Kelsey, Coby, and Austin. For a long time we had prayed that Hannah would have a special friend her age that lived close by. God answered that prayer with Kelsey. It just isn't hard on us s to say bye it is also tough on our children. Pray for Hannah as she deals with this loss in her life and that God would bring other friends into her life when He sees fit. The Cooks are now back in South Carolina trying to find their place once again. Pray for them as they try to fit back into that American puzzle, as their pieces/lives have changed so much as a result of being in Zambia.

Niki and I at the end of the evening. I guess you can tell we had shed some tears on this night.

Last Thursday night we had a welcome/goodbye dinner for those who were coming back and then for those who were leaving. The food is always good!

Here is a picture of Sky and Daniel Scott who have just returned to work among the Lozi people. Pray for them as they are at a Strategy Leader meeting for the next several weeks to learn all they can about being better leaders.

Zach at RVA

Since I have been showing what has been going on with the rest of the family I thought I would include a little about Zach. Here are some pics. of him taken at RVA that he just sent me. I know I am his Mama, but isn't he cute?

Zach in his dorm room.

His roommate Kevin Keller.

One of his friends and old roommate, Caleb Bolthouse.

Zach's knee brace that he had to wear at the end of last term because he injured himself playing volleyball. He is fine now.

I can't remember if I ever wrote about Zach being dressed up as the Joker for Carnival. All the students at RVA dress up like someone. Last year Zach dressed up like Jack Sparrow and won first place for 10th grade. Then this year he also won first place for 11th grade as The Joker. It took him 2 hours to get all his makeup on. He also acted like The Joker while he was at the Carnival. He is quite an actor.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Difficulties and Victories

This past week while Kevin has been living it up in the states I have had my share of difficulties and victories. First, let me say Kevin probably is not living it up very much except for being able to visit with family on the weekends. Really, how much fun could it be to go to seminars every day for this long? Anyway, back to me and my story. Last Thursday, I tried to turn on the computer and it just came up blank with a little blinking curser in the top left corner. Nothing I did could make everything pop up like usual. As I have mentioned before, I am not the computer person in our family. In fact, I'm probably number 4 on the totem pole of computer knowledge in our family and I'm sure Hannah will pass me soon enough. So, I do what any other person in my situation would do-I cried, then I prayed. About 10 min. later I tried again and the computer worked! I was so excited! Then later that day when I took it into Lusaka it went out again. I finally found out that it was our ac adapter that had gone bad. So, I have been without internet for the last few days. Some friends of ours(the Scotts) have graciously let me borrow their ac adapter while they are gone so now I'm back online. Thanks Sky and Daniel!
This same day our worker came and woke us up telling us that our rabbits had dug out under our wall and about 8 were killed by our neighbors dogs during the night. Justin and Tito found the hole and blocked it. Hopefully, there aren't any more holes. The next day Dorcas(hannah's friend) found one of the rabbits at her house. She was able to grab it and give it to her Dad who then put it back into the pen. So at least one was saved.
Have you ever had to extract the square root of a number? Well, Justin is doing that now in his Pre-Algebra class and was having trouble with it. I sat down to look at and tried to figure it out. It took me a while but I finally got it. My question is, what job in life(other than a math teacher) do you have to know how to extract the square root. I mean, I'm 42 and have never had to do it before and sure hope I never have to do it again.
So, while Justin is trying to finish up his math I decide I'm going to mow the yard-for the very first time in my life. Well, my dad tried to teach me when I was a teenager but it didn't go too well and I just ended up crying so I have never done it since. Anyway, Justin thought it was quite funny that I thought I could mow the yard. I told him it couldn't be that difficult, I mean, I know how to vaccum a floor! So, he got the lawn mower out and started it for me and off I went. It only cut off one time and I got it started again all by myself. The grass was kind of tall since we had been gone for a while so it was a little difficult to push the mower through part of it but it really wasn't too bad. I thought I would be sore the next day but wasn't. Anyway, I was quite proud of my accomplishments this past week even though I had some difficulties along the way.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Homeschooling Conference

Last week the kids and I went to a homeschool conference in South Africa. We have had this conference before for all the moms but this time the whole family was invited. A volunteer team came to help alongside of some of our missionaries. The theme for the children was all about Egypt. They learned how to write like an Egyptian, play like an Egyptian, dress like an Egyptian, build like an Egyptian, and eat like an Egyptian. They did art projects and played games too. At the end of the conference they dressed like an Egyptian and had a bazaar for all the parents to come to. They worked hard in the few days that we were there and learned a lot about Egyptian life and culture. The youth went bowling, did geocaching, studied personality profiles, learned about finances, and played games. This time at the conference the parents had choices of classes to go to. I chose to go to a study on personality profiles, Physics is Phun, Power point, digital Photography, a discipline class, and how to keep ourselves upgraded. We are thankful that the International Mission Board provided this conference for us to go to. I always come away encouraged and ready to get back to homeschooling.

Hannah is working on her Egyptian necklace.


Zach and Troy


This was all the youth aged mk's at the conference.

Hannah with Abbey and Anna Bowman. Hannah loved having lots of little s to play with.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Kevin in the USA

Kevin arrived in the states Dec. 31st. His parents picked him up and they ate at the restaurant Kracker Barrel(I have to spell it like this so blogger will take it), which he loved. He was excited that they came and kept refilling his coffee and he didn't have to pay extra for the refills. They also had lots of splenda packets right on the table. They then traveled to my parents house about 1 1/2 hours away from the airport. Kevin said he is having a bit of culture shock being there but he is enjoying it. He is staying with my parents during the week nights. He will be going to visit his parents this weekend and the last weekend there. Pray for him as he takes his seminars. He said it is pretty tough work. Here are some pictures of his first few days there. Have I mentioned that I am very jealous that we are not there too???

Kevin cleans up real nice, doesn't he? For those on this side of the world you probably have never seen Kevin in a suit.

This is my niece Michaela with my second cousin Emma Grace who was born the day before Christmas. She just looks like a baby doll.

My two nieces, Micaela(rt) and Macey(lt). They are wearing the aprons I had made for them.

Macey really took to Kevin even though she was only 2 when we left.

This is my sister, Angie on the right and my Grandmother on the left. They had my Dads side of the family together for Christmas after Kevin got there so they could all see him.

Kevin and Macey

My mom made Coconut Cream Pie for desert-Kevin's favorite!