Friday, December 28, 2012

Christmas Time

 We had a great time celebrating Christmas this past month.  Below are some pictures from the month.




cinnamon rolls for Christmas breakfast
 



Merry Christmas from our family!
 





















Monday, December 17, 2012

I can not be silent-Lottie Moon

video

Lottie Moon - the namesake of the international missions offering - has become something of a legend to us. But in her time Lottie was anything but an untouchable hero. In fact, she was like today's missionaries. She was a hard-working, deep-loving Southern Baptist who labored tirelessly so her people group could know Jesus.

Why was the offering named for this early China missionary?
Throughout her career, Lottie Moon wrote numerous letters home, urging Southern Baptists to greater missions involvement and support. One of those letters triggered Southern Baptists' first Christmas offering for international missions - enough to send three new missionaries to China.
This year marks one hundred years since her death.

To learn more check out the video above.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

12 Years Old!

 December 8th, Hannah turned 12 years old!  We are so proud of the young woman she is becoming!
Around Thanksgiving, while some of her friends were in Lusaka, she had a sleepover.
They made their own little pizza.

 Chocolate cream pie for desert.

 They enjoyed putting some on their faces.

 Later that evening they watched a movie and did a face mask.

 On her actual birthday she wanted a coconut cream pie.

 I made her breakfast in bed.  She wanted eggs, bacon, toast, and tea.










For lunch we went to Subway and then to a movie.  
Then for dinner she chose pizza for her meal.  It was a fun day! God blessed us with a special gift when he gave Hannah to our family!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Day 8- Lottie Moon:The call to obedience and sacrifice

 

A young, unbelieving Lottie Moon told classmates her middle initial stood for “Devil.” She pulled pranks, missed chapel and scoffed at religion. Eventually, her questioning nature led her to choose Christ and to obey her Lord’s calling to China.
There, Lottie experienced isolation and loneliness. She had a chance to marry and return home. Her response: “God had first claim on my life, and since the two conflicted, there could be no question about the result.” Lottie persisted through war and famine; the Chinese needed to know her Lord.
She wrote home, “Please say to the missionaries they are coming to a life of hardship, responsibility and constant self-denial.”
Apparently that didn’t deter the thousands who've followed Lottie during these 100 years since her death — going just as boldly, obediently and sacrificially.
“You have such a love and burden for the people, there is a certain amount of trust you have to give away to God,” says a modern-day missionary in East Asia. “It’s hard … to let go.” But God gave this young woman a clear “Yes, this is where I want you to go.”
And, like Lottie, she’s dependent on Southern Baptists’ gifts to support her.
Lottie said it best more than 100 years ago: “How many there are ... who imagine that because Jesus paid it all, they need pay nothing, forgetting that the prime object of their salvation was that they should follow in the footsteps of Jesus Christ in bringing back a lost world to God.”

Pray Southern Baptists will obediently and sacrificially give and go.
Pray that each and every one of our churches will BE His heart, His hands, His voice!

taken from the imb website


 Lottie Moon wrote missions support letters from China and inspired Southern Baptists to pray, give and go. “Oh! that my words could be as a trumpet call stirring the hearts of my brethren and sisters to pray, to labor, to give themselves to this people,” she wrote in the late 1800s.

 

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Day 7 Central Asia

It’s a brutal place to live, let alone practice medicine. But that hasn’t stopped Doug Page* from being Christ’s hands and feet in a rugged, remote corner of Central Asia. Together with his wife, Alice,* the Southern Baptist doctor is sharing Christ’s love in a place with only a handful of known believers.
Obedience hasn’t come without sacrifice. The Pages live in a mud home with unreliable electricity. Winters are especially harsh, with temperatures dropping to minus 40 — cold enough to coat the walls inside their house with ice. The public hospital where Doug volunteers is dirty and poorly equipped. He regularly treats patients for diseases rarely encountered in the United States, like typhoid fever, tuberculosis and dysentery.
Doug has amputated limbs from landmine victims, removed handfuls of worms from intestinal tracts and helped nurse malnourished children back from the brink of death, all while patiently and persistently seeking God-given opportunities to share his faith. But open cultural and political animosity toward the Gospel also means those who share Jesus Christ do so at great personal risk, including prison, kidnapping, torture — even death.
But the couple’s greatest fear isn’t personal safety. It’s that their time in Central Asia won’t count for something eternal. “We want to be faithful … knowing that we did our best, that we didn’t hold anything back,” Doug says. “Everything is on the table.”  
 
Pray the Lord will work miracles and hearts will soften toward the Gospel.
Pray that the suffering, especially of women and children, will diminish as the people of this land come to know the Savior.
*Names changed.

taken from the imb website

 Mud homes dot the hills of the Central Asian town where Doug and Alice Page (names changed) serve as Jesus’ hands and feet. The absence of green alludes to the harshness of life here. From the air – the only secure means of reaching the area – the town is a pallid oasis, swallowed by a seemingly endless march of dead, sun-burnt mountains. 

Friday, December 7, 2012

Day 6- Songhai of West Africa

  Ibrahim is a Songhai man who used to practice folk Islam. Now Ibrahim is a dedicated follower of Jesus Christ and often faces severe persecution for his faith.


When Ibrahim’s wife died, the community refused to bury her. She was a Christian and, like Ibrahim and other believers, faced daily persecution from Muslim neighbors. “We’ll treat your wife like we would a dog or a donkey — she’s just an animal that should rot,” they told Ibrahim.
The Songhai people are primarily Muslim but have many beliefs rooted in animism. IMB missionaries and volunteers share the Gospel with villagers and disciple the few Songhai who have placed their faith in Jesus. Despite the persecution, missionaries have witnessed great zeal and dedication in the Songhai church.
Determined to bury his wife, Ibrahim began digging her grave as Muslim villagers yelled insults at him. When his Christian brothers heard what he was doing, they came immediately to help. That day was a turning point for the Songhai believers. One of Ibrahim’s close friends, Boubacar,said he greatly admired Ibrahim’s loyalty to Christ that day. That day, the believers showed the inspiring power of a true family of Christ.
The Songhai church is small but full of dedicated members who cling to the Gospel. Thank you for being faithful to send workers through the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering — workers who disciple leaders like Ibrahim and Boubacar.
Pray for the doors to open — for more U.S. churches, volunteers and national partners to take the Gospel into places it’s never been. There are still many Songhai villages waiting to hear the message of Christ.

taken from the imb website 

 

 The few Christians in this small Songhai village face persecution on a daily basis from their Islamic neighbors. This has not stopped them from meeting together to share God's Word and pray for one 

 

 

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Day 5-Believers in persecution


 


IMB workers Nik and Ruth Ripken* have served in some of the toughest Muslim areas of Africa. They’ve known believers who have been martyred for Christ. They’ve interviewed hundreds of other persecuted Christians in more than 70 countries.
After all that, they’ve learned something about persecution: “The most persecuted person is a lost person who has no access to Jesus,” Nik says. “Satan wants to keep people from hearing about Jesus. If he can’t do that, he wants to shut you up, to silence your witness.”
Most American Christians fall into that second category. They experience no persecution because they tell no one about Jesus. Yet persecution of Jesus’ true followers has been normal from New Testament times to our day. The primary cause? People coming to know Jesus. The key is how to make persecution count for God’s glory as the early Christians did.
Everywhere the Ripkens go in the world, they meet Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists and others hungry to know about God. “Every time we send a missionary through the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering, we’re saying, ‘We will not stop until every man, woman, boy and girl on earth has access to Jesus,’” Nik says. “Being His heart, His hands and His voice means we’re representing Jesus among all the nations.”
Pray for boldness for believers in persecution as they proclaim Christ.
Pray that the worst persecution — no access to Christ — will end in our generation as missionaries take the Gospel to all peoples.
*Names changed.

taken from the imb website


 PEOPLE NEED THE LORD - The Ripkens (names changed) meet Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists and others hungry to know about God. They help IMB workers and Southern Baptist churches understand effective Gospel witness and church planting in environments where persecution is the norm. 


Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Day 4- Beijing, China

When Steve Hamilton* was diagnosed with prostate cancer just before he and his wife, Lisa,* were to go as Christian workers to Beijing, China, some friends took it as a sign.
“Of course people [said], ‘I guess you are not supposed to be going overseas,’” Steve recalls.  “And I said, ‘No, I think I am just getting a tune-up here.’” The illness caused a year’s delay, but it didn’t deter the middle-aged couple from going where God wanted them to serve.
While most of those in their generation were deciding where to travel or settle for their golden years, Steve and Lisa saw a golden opportunity. During an overseas visit with friends who serve among a people group in another part of China, the Hamiltons opened their hearts to the idea of sharing Jesus Christ in China as well. “Every day we just saw the Lord doing things. So halfway through the trip we said we ought to check this out,” Steve says.
And God has used them from the start. Before they even acquired language skills, God brought young people into their paths. All of these had come to Beijing from other provinces looking for employment opportunities yet finding Christ through the Hamiltons’ desire to be His hands, His heart and His voice in Beijing.
Thank God for Steve and Lisa and other workers like them who obediently go despite illness, delays and discouragement.
Pray for divine appointments, good health and acquisition of the Mandarin language for Steve and Lisa.
Beijing is the focus of International Mission Study 2012 by Woman’s Missionary Union. Visit wmu.com/Beijing.
*Names changed.

 A worshipper at Lama Temple in Beijing goes through the motions. Students sometimes come to the centuries-old Buddhist temple before exams, hoping their offerings might lead to successful test results. Christian workers are working to reach young people. 


this was taken from the imb website

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Day 3-Pray for Nepal




Before he found Christ, Bishwa Karmacharya was destined to become the temple priest, making sacrifices on behalf of others. Instead, the Nepalese church planter grew up to tell others about Jesus’ sacrifice.
Karmacharya is Brahmin, the priestly and highest caste in Hinduism, the religion followed by most Nepalese. It’s typically unthinkable for Brahmins and high-caste Hindus to associate with lower-caste Hindus.
But Christ has no caste, says Karmacharya, who was trained in church planting by IMB worker Carl Russell.* Russell watched God develop in Karmacharya a gift for sharing the Gospel and church planting. Now he and his wife, Ramila, plant churches among all castes and people groups in Nepal.
His radical obedience has permeated a growing generation of Nepalese pastors who, like Karmacharya, have chosen the road less taken, braving threats and bombs to see Christ’s name glorified in the Himalayas.
“We don’t pray for one more church,” Karmacharya says. “We pray for one more healthy church.” This means having local, indigenous leadership. That’s why the Karmacharyas regularly pile into their car and drive down roads that hug the hips of mountains to train these leaders.
Many Nepalese would call Karmacharya a radical because he’s chosen obedience to Christ over caste, culture, family and Hinduism. He sees himself as only obedient.
Pray for healthy churches and other godly leaders to be raised up in the Himalayas; pray for safety for the Karmacharyas.
Pray that the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering goal will be met so more obedient workers like Carl Russell can disciple and train national leaders.
*Name changed.

taken from the imb website



Women stand in prayer to Hindu gods at a temple outside Kathmandu.
 Hinduism is the predominant religion in Nepal.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Day 2- Embracing the Unengaged

Grace* shakes her head. Feathered earrings dance, framing her face with motion and color. She is a member of one of the indigenous tribes of South America and is talking about the future of her people.
There are outsiders who would keep them in something of a museum — as living history, she says — stuck in a time that has not been a reality for several generations. It’s not what she wants. Yet the identity of her people in the global community is not an easy issue. “A lot of our people don’t even know our [culture],” she says. “They say they do, but they hide behind it.”
She wants her people to move ahead — to “win.” She wants them to take advantage of all that is going on about them while retaining the best of their culture. That means having to change.
Grace and her tribe are among 3,400 unengaged, unreached peoples across the world. Nearly 400 are in South America. Isolated by language, culture, history and — in some cases, geography — they live mostly in small clusters of fewer than 3,000 people. Most will never have a missionary assigned to them. Yet the church is called to take the Gospel to all peoples.
Gifts to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering allow IMB personnel to identify and understand these often forgotten people, offering Southern Baptist churches committed to embracing unengaged, unreached peoples a basis for beginning their work among them.
Pray that Grace’s people truly will “win” and have the opportunity to hear about their Savior.
Pray that your church will be one to embrace an unengaged, unreached people group that might not otherwise hear the Gospel. (Learn how at call2embrace.org.)
*Name changed.

 One of the elders of an indigenous people group accepts a Bible from strangers visiting the tribe. It is during an early contact with this unengaged, unreached people group. These tribal people prefer to hold onto their traditional faith – but they’ve never heard a clear Gospel presentation. 

(taken from the imb website)

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Week of Prayer for International Missions

Today is the beginning of a week of prayer for International Missions.  Each day this week I will post prayer requests that are listed on the imb website.  You can visit there yourself at:  http://www.imb.org/main/pray/page.asp?storyID=5624

Focus Scripture: Matthew 16:24-25, HCSB
Pastors brave threats and bombs in the Himalayas. In Central Asia, an IMB doctor’s greatest concern isn’t for safety but that his ministry will make a difference for the kingdom. A worker in war-torn Somalia of the ’90s knew he’d have to be willing to die for Jesus and spend years learning why believers in persecution grow unimaginably strong in the faith.
Engaging people groups in the hard places comes with risk and sacrifice for all who obediently choose to be His heart, His hands, His voice. Most of us aren’t threatened because of our faith, but we need to be in prayer for those who are — not that persecution will end but that believers in persecution will stay courageous and bold.
Giving is also a call to obedience and sacrifice. The Lottie Moon Christmas Offering® enables IMB missionaries to live and work at the forefront of lostness and extend our witness through their full-time ministry.
Each of us and our churches are called continually to take the next step in our obedience so that Christ is glorified and to ask “What am I doing and what is my church doing to be obedient — to BE His heart, hands and voice, no matter the cost?”

Today's focus on prayer is on the country of Egypt.



A glimmer of light shines in Egypt. It’s not pretty and it smells worse, but it’s hope. It’s a sign of God at work. In the middle of a city dump, which more than 3,000 people call home, God is raising a church.
Leading the vision to build this garbage city church is a 31-year-old man who moved to the community as a teenager. “I have a strong sense for what it is like here, since I have lived here myself,” says Joseph.* “So God put in my heart to build a church here. That has been my dream.”
Joseph’s church is but one of many in a country with a rich history of Baptist ministry. “Southern Baptists were very influential through the Cooperative Program and Lottie Moon,” says Ron Robinson,* who served in Egypt for 29 years and witnessed the beginning of Baptist work. “When we first went [to Egypt], the work was evangelism that resulted in churches. That was our statement.” The work has led to a vital impact on Egyptian churches who are answering the call to reach their own people.
Especially with the unrest in the region, Southern Baptists need to stay focused on how God is working in Egypt, says Ron. “He sent His Son to die for these people and we cannot lose the eternal big picture. [We] have to stay on track.”
Pray for Joseph and other leaders who are carrying out the vision to BE His heart, His hands, His voice.
Pray that Southern Baptists will act now with generosity and obedience while the doors of opportunity in Egypt are open.
*Names changed.


Saturday, December 1, 2012

World AIDS Day-What's happening in Zambia

 One reason many Christians aren't fighting HIV/AIDS is that they haven't seen the innocent suffering it causes.  Regardless of how the pandemic got started, despite the fact that many people are suffering because of their own sinfulness, vast multitudes of people are sick and dying through no fault of their own.  People are dying because a spouse brought the virus home.  Girls are infected because they were raped by men who believed AIDS can be cured by having sex with a virgin.  Babies are sick because they were born to someone infected with the virus.  Today is World AIDS Day.  Please don't close your eyes and try to block out that these people exist.  They are very real and in much need of a Savior.  Below are some pictures of some of my new friends living with this disease in the compound.


This man is named Gilbert and is HIV positive.
  Some friends of mine serving in Kafue joined  up with me on this day and gave out
blankets to these patients as I gave out BGR buckets.




  Phyllis Kalumba is 70 years old and has had a stroke.  She also has diabetes.


Here Phyllis is with her bucket and blanket.



Ezekiel is 40 years old.  He is HIV Positive and has TB.  His brother Shadrach
 is his caregiver in the home.

Anthony is 38 years old.  He is HIV positive and has TB.   


 


 

    Prisca Phiri is 22 years old and is HIV positive.  She was recently released from the hospital under the care of her uncle and aunt.  Prisca hasn’t eaten or had anything to drink to speak of since her release from the hospital.  Evidently, she has sores in her throat.  She is very weak and her body aches all over.  She lies on the floor all day and sleeps.  She was so out of it that she barely responded to me praying for her.






 Christopher is 16 years old and in the 9th grade.  He has had major leg infection on both lower legs for at least one month.  He has recently recovered from a very bad case of malaria after which, the leg sores appeared.  He told us that since he has been sick he hasn’t had the opportunity to study properly for his exams.  Therefore, he will have to wait until next year to write grade 9 exams. 





 Jimmy is an older man that lives with his wife and some extended family.  Jimmy is the brother of one of the needs care givers.  Jimmy had a major stroke in 2009 and has many complications associated with his stroke.  Some of which are breathing & heart issues, stomach swelling, and back cramps.  He is able to walk a little bit, however it takes a lot of effort to do so.  He has had certain deformities since birth that further his health issues.



praying for Jimmy and his family

 Here I am with a couple of the care givers I work with, Esther and Susan.  These care givers are doing a tremendous job in this compound.  Please pray for them as they reach out and help these people who are suffering with HIV, TB, cancer, and other sicknesses. 
 Several people I have gone to visit over the last few months have already died.  It always is hard to hear such news as you can imagine.  It only takes one visit with these sweet people for them to have a special place in my heart.  

A mind-boggling 33.2 million people worldwide are living with HIV/AIDS. Every minute a child dies because of HIV/AIDS.  We’re very sure Jesus expects his people to care about these people the way he cares about them.  Praying for those who are sick is very important and if you would like to do more I would encourage you to see what Baptist Global Response is doing  to help.  You can visit:  http://www.baptistglobalresponse.com/projects/view/world_aids