Thursday, February 27, 2014


It comes in the Morning. That’s what the Bible says, so it’s what God says. 
And He, of course, is ALWAYS right. 
Even when things don’t make sense or it seems like it it might come in the morning for others, but not for me. 

It still does. 

A friend here wrote me about the process of getting a Driver’s License and I remember writing about it on the blog so today I found my way back over here to the LION blog. 
And I just read the last entry and remembered writing it with a solemn and sober, discouraged heart. A little hopeful, but still a discouraged heart. 

But the Lord works beauty out of messes and what once was a heavy cloud seems to be sunshine now even in the midst of other rain (challenges, difficulties and chaos)

So I wanted to add an “update” to the last entry, because why end it on a discouraged note, when it can end on a joyful one! 

So we have found our joy once again. And here we are living. loving. doing. being. 

Living our life, raising our kids. 

Loving each other, this is the greatest joy of all. 

Doing the work that is in front of us at the moment to do. For James that is teaching at an International School and for me it is my baking business. We both have plans and dreams for more, and are confident there will be more.

And being. Maybe it should be “striving” to be being what God has called us to be. To leave our mark on this part of the world in whatever way we can. To relate to and enter into pain, sorrow, hardships, happiness and joy with people, all kinds of people. 

If you are reading this because you were interested in the ministries, then you can check out their new blog run by the LION ministries. (

James still gets calls and messages from his former students, asking about him. Same for me. We are still involved in the lives of some of the people and children that God put on our hearts. The people and the place are on our hearts and that has never changed. 

If you are reading this because you are interested in US as a family, then this update is just to tell you we are doing well. And if you don’t care what kind of work we are doing, where we are living or what ‘brand’ of church we are attending, but you just love us, then you already know how to get ahold of us and how we really are doing anyway! 

Peace out.  

Wednesday, February 27, 2013


I thought I should write an update for the LION Blog. 

Many of the churches that supported us know this already but others don’t, including some friends and extended family. 

We have stepped out of the ministry here in Zambia with LION. 
We have had struggles in the home the last couple years and decided it would be best to step out of ministry work entirely for a time and focus on things at home. 

We pray and hope that some day we can do “ministry” work again. If that is what the Lord wants. If not, that is ok too. Those that have had the blessing of hearing James preach and be under his ministry know how God has really gifted him. He never has been afraid of hard work or doing a job that needs to be done that no one else wants to step up and do. Which is partly why there are two colleges training pastors in Zambia now that didn’t exist before. 

We don’t know what the future holds so will have to wait and see, but our work with LION is done. We have been so thankful for the opportunity to work here and be sent out from our home church and supported by churches in America. We were very blessed to be able to move here and have the full financial support needed to do the work. 

Though our work with the mission of LION is finished, we have decided to stay in Zambia. We love it here, love the people and this has become our home.   We know that many people do not understand that or will not ever be able to relate, but that’s ok. Certainly life is much harder here, not the ease of America in just having many of the basic things we all take for granted. But there is also a simplicity and peacefulness that is hard to explain. We have finally felt settled here.  The kids have good friends and we as well have been developing friendships. We feel comfortable at our church and we have an evening Sunday night international bible study that we attend.  It is made up of christians from various denominations. Many westerners and africans. There are missionaries and expatriates too, of which we are now part of that group. 

This means we are no longer supported by any churches or individuals in the States and will be living and working here on our own. A big change for us when we have been connected with and employed by (for the majority of that time) our church in Louisville for the last 15 years. James has an undergraduate degree in English and so has started teaching part-time for an international school here in Lusaka. We are hopeful this will turn into a full-time job but will have to wait and see. 

So obviously things are a lot tighter now financially. Everyone knows teachers don’t make much money...Teachers in other countries often make even less. So we will wait and see what the Lord has planned for us. If after some time of trying to make it work living here and it seems like we can’t make ends meet, or its not working then we will look at coming back to the States. Which in itself is another major life change to move back. You don’t just up and move a family of 8 back across the world. 

For now, I am continuing to be at home. Two of the kids are doing correspondence classes at home through DVD programs.  Though if they are able next school year they would probably go to school where James teaches. Also the younger kids are still in school at a Zambian church school, and have friendships there that have been a blessing to them. Though the education is not as great as what they would be getting if I was teaching them at home, it is a decent education, a good one for Zambian standards and quite frankly I have no desire to be homeschooling.  The teachers care about the kids, it is a christian education and we think it has been a good experience for the kids to be in school there. 

I am looking at a few options to try and bring a little extra money in, while being at home. There is still a lot of work at home to do, raising 6 kids, driving everyone here and there on top of the increased housework of basic tasks like boiling water, laundry etc  that take longer to do living in a third world country. Things that our house helper has done in the past, but we will be letting her go as well as our night time guard to save money. 

The ministries we started and worked with, will continue on. We hope and trust the funding and support for them will continue. They have always been under the oversight of the local Zambian church here, Kabwata Baptist Church, and will continue to remain that way. It has been the desire from the beginning, once things were started especially with the colleges to have them run by the Zambians. Things were already in place with the pastoral training moving in that direction, though there is still a transition period right now.  They are in the process of hiring someone to oversee the Lusaka Ministerial College and the HOPE Kabanana orphan work. 

Regarding the orphan work, that is still continuing on and we hope that those people who were supporting and sponsoring the orphans individually will continue. The kids still need the sponsorship and the church in Louisville is still receiving and distributing the funds to the church here to support the kids on the ground. 
The other American that was working with us, Katryn is getting married and moving away in a couple months so also will no longer be part of the LION ministry. So, it will truly be a “Zambian” run program. 

Please do pray that these things would transition and run smoothly. 
We do believe that God will continue to bless the work that was started here. 
He uses people for a time and then continues on using others. It is not dependent on us, and never was. 

We do know that in all these things God is working it out for our good and the good of the Zambians. Sometimes that is hard to see or understand. We love those that we have been working with and plan to continue in a friendship with them, volunteering when we are able whether they are the pastors at the colleges or the orphans in Kabanana. I know the kids would still love to come here for the annual swim party. 

So I guess in a way this is the last  blog entry for the LION of Zambia blogspot. 
If you are on Facebook, you can continue to follow the LION page. One of the newly hired staff members Mwindula Mbewe is also administrating the page and should continue to update the various works on Facebook.  

Thank you to all those that read the blog, followed our work here, expressed love and prayers and support for us, and have encouraged us. Encouraged us when we came here and even those that have now still been an encouragement to us in leaving the ministry and remaining in Zambia. We sincerely appreciate it! 

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

HOPE Camp Video (August 2012)

Here is a video from the first Camp
 for the Isubilo (HOPE) Kabanana kids.

The camp was held in August of 2012,  but I am back in the states right now visiting my parents and have access to fast internet to upload the video. One of the many blessings in America!

Hope you enjoy watching the video. The kids all had such a great time and we hope this will be an annual camp for them. No one wanted to go home. ( Except us the "aunties"!)

Wednesday, December 5, 2012


UPDATE from James 

Dear Brethren,

Thanks very much for your prayers and support of the work in Zambia. It is almost three years now since we moved here, and we have seen God's kindness in many ways over that time. That has continued into 2012, and the Lord has been pleased to bless the work this year in several ways, for which we are very thankful. I'll list some quick prayer points first, followed by a more detailed account of the ministries.

Prayer Points:
-Help to provide better schooling for the kids of Hope Kabanana
-Continued transformation in the lives of the CMC and LMC students
-Blessing on the transition of leadership at LMC
-Direction and provision for another worker here for ministerial training
-God's blessing on the family and marriage of the Williamsons

Detailed Report:

1. ORPHAN MINISTRY. We recently had all 43 kids we sponsor over to the house for a day of swimming, eating, and fellowshipping together. It went very well, and the kids had a great time. With the increased number of kids, we have needed to hire new workers. Fanny Banda, who was doing a great job as a volunteer for us, has now become a full time employee. At the same time, Katryn Belke is engaged to be married and will be moving to northern Zambia. Congratulations, Kat!  We'll miss her, and are thankful for her work here the past two years. Thankfully, the Lord has provided a Zambian man to fill that role. It should be a big help to have a male worker, since the majority of our sponsored kids are boys. He is scheduled to begin working in January, Lord willing. 
Because of the state of the schools in the area, we are hoping to develop a school for the kids in addition to the tutoring which we already provide. This will require a lot of work as well as funds, but we think it is an important part of the ministry to provide a quality, Christian education to these young people. We don't want their school to undermine what we teach them one on one and at church, but rather to reinforce it. And it seems the best way to do that is to school them ourselves. Pray about this!

2. COPPERBELT COLLEGE (CMC). We have been blessed to see the Copperbelt College grow a lot in the last year. This past week's classes had the highest attendance yet, including three Malawi brethren whom I met in August on a short trip there with Pastor Ron Baines from Maine. Many of the present group of students are having their first exposure to Reformed teaching, and it is not uncommon for that to shake them and their churches up quite a bit. I was struck just last week with a student who said the teaching of this college is having a great impact on himself and his fellow ministers and they are committed to come to the college from afar to get this teaching, because it's nowhere to be found in their region. It reminded me of the importance of this work of providing solid teaching to such men. It was also striking because I hear that kind of thing literally every month or two from some student or another! Let us not grow complacent and take these blessings for granted!

3. LUSAKA COLLEGE. As we have turned over the work of CMC more and more to the brethren there, we are seeking to do the same here in Lusaka. Isaac Makashinyi is set to take over from me as principal in January. I will still have a lot of the day to day responsibilities since he is also pastoring his church, but he will be the man in charge. Pray for the Lord's blessing on this transition. We have had about 5 or 6 new students interested in joining the college in the last two months, which is also exciting. They should start when we resume in January. I have taught Foundations of Theological Study, the Pentateuch, and other courses this past year at LMC and elsewhere, as well as preaching and teaching regularly in the churches around here.

4. COME OVER AND HELP. We continue to receive requests to work in other parts of the country and beyond. Zambia has more qualified Reformed pastors to teach than the rest of southern Africa, and some countries have almost no such teachers. As a result, we have sought to send local pastors to Botswana, Malawi, and Kenya, and I have gone to those places as well. There are also opportunities in parts of Zambia where the Gospel has made less impact and the pastors are fairly ignorant of basic Biblical teaching. With the increasing requests and demands, it would be helpful to have another full time worker involved in one or more of these places. We are doing what we can, but the "come over and help" we are receiving is also being passed on back to you brethren in the States and elsewhere.  We are seeking the Lord's direction concerning the future of the work of ministerial training, and what may be needed for that work. Please pray for the Lord's direction about and/or provision of someone who can teach pastors here and elsewhere and help in the development of new regions for ministerial training.

5. FAMILY UPDATE. It has been a busy and trying year for the family here. There is never a dull moment with six kids around! With Megan gone right now, I've already had two or three Daddy questions just while writing this note!  We're thankful that the kids have all done well in school, and have made new friends. The three older kids have especially improved in the area of friendships, as they've met some American missionary kids and others who they could connect with, as well as developing some friendships with Zambians at church and school. Grace, our adopted Zambian daughter, has adjusted well overall in her two years with us, though she has been a handful! We have come to realize that in so many things she is having to go through the emotional stages she would have as a baby, and that requires a lot of patience on our part. Even her school teacher said she is "hyper active"!  But still adorably cute. Megan spends 1 or 2 days a week helping oversee Hope Kabanana, the orphan ministry in Kabanana, which will increase a bit this month with the Christmas gift time approaching. She does a good job with that ministry. The rest of her week consists of dropping and picking up the kids from school, shopping for the family and supplies for Hope, etc. Thankfully, most of the housework is done by the housekeeper, Miss Catherine. 
Since moving to Zambia, the need for a strong family and marriage has been very evident. Since coming here, we have seen a lot of changes to our family life, some for the better and some for worse. I have felt the responsibility and weight of needing to lead the home far better than I have, especially since I am supposed to be a good example of a godly marriage and family to the pastors I teach. That has not been the case, so we are seeking the Lord's help and direction on that very crucial matter.
The kids just finished school and are on break until January 7, so the house is much more full and active during the day. We hope we can do a family vacation before they go back, since we haven't had one this year.

We are keenly aware that without the Lord's upholding grace, we would not make it. He has been exceedingly patient and merciful toward us. Please continue to pray for the Lord's work here. May His beloved Son the Lord Jesus receive great glory in response to your prayers!

In Christ,

James Williamson

Sunday, November 11, 2012


We had our 3rd Annual HOPE Kabanana Swim Party at our home yesterday. The kids arrived about 11 and had lunch and swam and played.  Everyone seemed to enjoy their time. 
We had probably twice as many kids as last year since we have added more but than pretty much all but 2 or 3 kids that are currently in the program were in attendance. This is the first time we have had all the kids together as the other events and functions seems like several were gone for various reasons. 

The kids enjoyed the pool, swing, scooters, trampoline, soccerball, and this year, basketball and  the zipline. Seems like it all was a hit! 

It is now rainy season and so we were hoping it would not be raining while all were trying to swim. 
The Lord blessed and the rains held off until all the kids were out of the pool and preparing to leave and then it was a down pour for several hours! 

James and Caleb playing basketball

Francis. This is progress, he actually put swim trunks on and his feet in the water. Who knows what next year will hold. 

Some of the girls playing with Emma's barbie dolls

This was sweet, one of the boys is trying to help the other one swim.


Waiting in line for a turn on the zipline


Older boys swimming. There were kids everywhere!


Sunday, October 21, 2012

Church in Lilanda

We went to church at one of my favorite churches this morning. The Living Gospel World Mission Church with pastor Nsangu Phiri. Pastor McDearmon preached there this morning. I debriefed him on the drive over, since James was taking the other two men to preach at different churches. I thought it might help to be prepared for the "lively" worship and singing, the multitude of distractions and that he would receive a chicken as his thank you for preaching!  

Pastor Phiri translated, and did a great job at that.

Time of giving tithes and offerings

The other 2 elders at the church along with Pastor McDearmon and Pastor Phiri

Pastor McDearmon was delighted to see among Pastor Phiri's books, the ESV Study Bible that their church donated to the pastors over a year and a half ago. 
Washing hands before eating the snack that they always so graciously give us.

Our troopers!
They do a great job when we are visiting these churches. It is often very hot, like today, and services are long and loud and can be a test of our endurance ( mine included) on many days.
The gift of the chicken!

Pastor Phiri's family.
He has 7 children ( one is not pictured) and then has also taken in 4 children that were needy in the church. And I assure you he does not have a big house or a big salary. He just saw the need and acted on it. 

A few kids from the church. I took their picture and within a few seconds a huge number of them had gathered
to have their picture taken as well...

Saturday, October 20, 2012

HOPE Sponsors

The Orphan Ministry links kids with sponsors. The sponsors write them letters, the kids write back, (less frequently) and we send updates and pictures of the kids. 

One of the happiest times is when these kids actually get to meet their sponsors. It has happened for a few of the kids. This week Ken and Pastor McDearmon got to meet the boys that they are sponsoring! 

Ken meeting Llyod on Sunday

Then again on Thursday they got to spend a little time together. Ken brought him a NY yankees hat

Then Morgan Tembo was able to meet his sponsor that he has been writing for the last 2 years.
In his letters to the McDearmons he mentioned he wanted to be an auto mechanic. So Pastor McDearmon brought over some brochures on different cars,  a die cast model car and a type of a mechanics handbook.  It was so sweet to see Morgan ( in his very reserved Zambian way) very happy!

After they met their sponsored kids, the men spent time talking to some of the boys. 
They really need male influences in their lives and seem to just eat up any time and attention that men can spare with them.  They are always full of questions.