Sunday, May 24, 2009

Bringing in the Harvest

It is harvest time here in Zambia. People all over are beginning to harvest their maize. Yesterday afternoon we went to help our friend Tito load our truck and bring it back to his home about 6kms from his field. They had all ready been working all day shucking the corn. We just had to load it in bags and then dump it in the truck. Then when we got back to his house we unloaded it on the ground. This week they will fill their chimpaka(granary) with it. Many peoples fields may have been ruined by not enough rain or too much rain. Pray that as the harvest comes in that it would be plentiful for everyone. Tito had 3 truckloads of maize which is better than he had last year, praise God!

Tito dumping in the bags of maize.

We filled it up higher than this, almost to the top, 3 times.

This pic. was taken back at Tito's house. Kevin got inside the truck and pushed out the maize and the kids helped too. They were so excited!

Friday, May 22, 2009

They're outa here....

40/40 is all over and the bus rolled away yesterday taking the participants to the airport. It sure was an exceptional group of new missionaries. We are so proud of all they learned, endured, and overcame throughout this whole experience. We had fun together! It is always so hard for me to say bye to everyone. It is amazing how close you can feel to people just after spending 30 days together. Below are some last pics. of this group. Thank you all so much for praying for us all over this last month. Your prayers were heard and answered by our Gracious Heavenly Father. He is so good to us all the time! Please pray for all these new missionaries who are now going back to their places of service in Uganda, Sudan, Zambia, Malawi, Botswana, South Africa, Lesotho, Tanzania, and Kenya. Pray that they will take all that learned and now use it among their people groups that God has called them to work with. We are so excited and expectant of what God is going to do in and through them all.

This is the biggest 40/40 group ever!

The Warner Family were all wearing their 40/40 t-shirts on the last day so I just had to get their pic.

On our last night we had a brai(cookout) and then had an evening of fun with a talent show and awards ceremony. This group was filled with talent and had some very funny people in it. I laughed so hard! Above is Matt L., one of our staff, playing a song for us.

Shanna headed up our whole night of entertainment and was the MC.

The whole group got involved by playing a game having to do with a man, gorilla, and a gun. Here is Mike and Hannah as partners. If you lost, you got another partner until there was only one standing.

Benton shared his talent singing our happy camper song in a little different way.

Tracey Davis taught the kids how to sign the song "Shout to the Lord." They showed us all on this last night. They did a great job.

At the very end we had a group hug and prayed together as a group.

Our week at Ibis

We had a great week at Ibis Gardens. The weather was good too except for the last day when it got too cold to swim in the afternoon. Here are a few pics. of the week.

Amy and Marci

Everyone enjoyed swimming during the afternoons during some free time.

Here are two pics. of almost all the mk's. They did one funny pic. and one serious one.

Each morning Sky Scott led the participants in learning PILAT.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Zach's Birthday

17 years ago today, our son Zach was born. I can hardly believe that same little boy that used to run into my arms and bring me flowers is now bigger than me. It is so hard to be away from him on his birthday and I don't know that we will ever get used to that. So, pray for him and us today as we deal with being separated. We are so proud of him and thankful that God gave him to us to raise. Happy Birthday, Zach!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Ibis Gardens

After finishing the 3-day Homestay program, participants then travel to Ibis Gardens where they have time to relax, recharge, and reflect on all they have learned. Ibis Gardens is a nice lodge/resort type area where participants are eased back into their own world again. Time is given at Ibis for them to relax and spend time reflecting on their experiences. However, there is other work that is done at Ibis Gardens as well. A typical day at Ibis Gardens involves morning sessions with Regional and Cluster administrative people. This is where we share some things with them about strategy, finance, administration, etc. which will be more specific to their individual circumstances. After the administrative sessions, participants go through a few hours of PILAT language learning training. The PILAT program is designed to help them learn how to learn a language. Again, PILAT is experiential in that we do mock sessions with African helpers, so that participants will understand how to set up their own language-learning program when they get to their assignment. The afternoons are free, but on one afternoon, each participant has a time of debriefing with the program director and regional staff. This is an opportunity for the participants to evaluate their own 40/40 experience and put everything together at one time. This is also an opportunity for the participant to examine the question of “what is next?” and consider how they will apply what they have learned when they arrive on their particular field. Then they are put on the plane and head off, hopefully better prepared, to their chosen assignment.
I'll add some pics. later.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Mountain Climbing

One of Justin's favorite things to do is rock climbing. He isn't afraid of anything either. During each 40/40 Kevin and Justin try to find time to slip away and spend some time together doing something that Justin really enjoys. This time they were able to climb 3 different mountains. This will be Justin's last 40/40 because he will be going to RVA at the end of August. I can hardly imagine this program without Justin. He is a big help.

Justin and Kevin

A view from the top of one mountain to the other one that he climbed another day.

At the top of each mountain that Justin climbes he takes some paint and paints his name and year.

Sunday, May 17, 2009


After 24 days of experiential learning, the participants are then given the opportunity of a lifetime. They are sent to live with a Zambian family for 3 days. This is by far the most challenging and most rewarding part of the program. Their assignment is not to go there and try to teach them everything they know about America, but instead to try to go there and learn everything they can about African life. The Homestay families are selected, approved, and prepared in advance for the participants who will stay with them. We also endeavor to make the experience as close to the participants needs as possible. Those going to an urban assignment will stay with a family in the small Petauke town, while those going to a rural assignment will stay in rural village setting. The participants are assigned to work with them, talk with them (if possible), eat with them, sleep in their home, play with them, and simply live with them for 3 days. This, more than anything, gives the participants a glimpse into African life and the issues that are important to the people God has called them to reach. Historically, participants have come away from this part of the program feeling humbled, burdened, and also prepared to love and minister to their own people group. Having walked a “mile in their shoes,” they feel better prepared for their own missionary task.

They all left for their homestays this past Friday. Please pray for them this weekend while they are going through this special experience. They return to camp Monday morning and will then board a bus and head to Ibis Gardens.

Some of the participants staying close enough to walk to their village is picked up by their homestay hosts. Here are some pics. of some of those traveling by foot.

Emily, Allisa, and Shanna

The Langston family is staying at the Chipanga's home. Here they are in front of the special little house that they have built just for 40/40 participants. The Chipanga's have hosted families before. We are so grateful for all our Zambian friends which host our participants each time. These pics. below are of their village.

Taylor, Micah, and Emily

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Camp Life

Most people enjoy bush camp the best during 40/40. I'm not much of a camper but it is my favorite part as well. During this phase of the program the participants are still going out and doing their DFA's(Daily Field Assignments) but it is also a time when they can learn some everyday skills to help them in their new place of service. Life just seems a little more laid back in the rural areas. Participants enjoyed going out to the boma and then later in the week going to villages. They are able to compare and contrast life in the city to life in the bush.

Each day starts off with a time of worship and small group bible study.

Tiger, the camp dog. He stayed in the fire pit a lot to keep warm.

Esnart is one of our kitchen helpers.

Mwaka helps in the kitchen. Each day she greets us with her beautiful smile.

Each day all the participants travel in this big truck to the boma to do their DFA's.

Bush Camp

Building a fire.

Some of the kitchen staff snapping green beans for dinner.

Apton Mwanza teaching the mk's how to make a fire.

Nellia with Rya

On this day all the men went out to visit the chief. The chiefs wife and sister came to have tea with all the ladies. The District Commissioners wife came as well and shared a lesson with us and sang us a song. The women were able to ask them each questions to learn about culture and being the wife of someone in leadership. This is our group picture taken afterwards.

Another side of bush camp.

Evie and Hannah playing around in the tent.

Madison, Jamie, and Carrie making choc. chip cookies.

Zephan and Walker swinging.

Chris Suel practicing tying knots.

Jane pulling Nathan in the wagon.

Gene learning how to tie a certain kind of knot.

These ladies learned how to make tortillas. It's a lot of work but they sure tasted good.
Marci, Allisa, Shanna, and Jamie

Shanna and Jamie rolling them out.

Torie and Shanna frying the tortillas.

We had all the helpers in Petauke go to the front of the room and then different people from our group told something they appreciated about them. Saying bye is important in Africa.

We then lined up outside and shook hands.