Sunday, December 26, 2010

Zambia Year end update

James's update

Dear Friends,

Merry Christmas from Zambia! We thank the Lord for the privilege of serving him in Lusaka, Zambia, and for the blessing of having so many friends and family prayerfully supporting the work here. The various works are going on well, which has caused us to rejoice in God’s great kindness to us.
Since there is so much to cover, I thought I would give you a brief summary, and then attach a more detailed newsletter. So, the summary is as follows:

-The Lord provided for us to start a new college in Lusaka for local pastors in poorer areas. It’s called Lusaka Ministerial College
-The college in the Copperbelt grew in attendance to about 35 students, and the Lord has provided money for us to build hostels for when the students come for training
-The Lord opened the door to start a new orphan ministry work in a shanty town area of Lusaka called Kabanana. Presently, we have 11 kids being supported there, and hope to have 10-15 more over the coming year.
-The Lord led us to a little girl who needed a home, and we have now adopted her by His grace.
-The Lord upheld us all year long through various difficulties of adjusting to life here, starting to learn the culture, and dealing with scary sickness like Malaria.
-The Lord answered many prayers along the way for help to make it, comfort for homesickness, and provision for the work,

-to complete the building project for the college in the Copperbelt by mid-year and see the students begin staying there
-to build a ministry center for at least one of the two orphan ministry projects in Ndola or here in Kabanana
-to celebrate the first graduating class of Copperbelt Ministerial College after four years of module courses!
-to get all of our audio/video courses and notes from the last few years online and accessible for free, and available cheaply in printed form for distribution here in Africa
-to add two additional church planters whom we will be supporting starting this January, and hopefully a third by the end of the year
-to add at least 10-15 kids here in Kabanana to the orphan sponsorship program—and others as the Lord provides
-to develop a much closer relationship with the kids under our care, so that their spiritual, physical and emotional needs are more fully met
-to get to know the lives, families and churches of our current students in Lusaka and, Lord willing, mentor them in their growth in Christ

Many of you have asked about specific ways in which you can contribute to the work. Here are a few ways you can contribute directly to something and receive feedback on the gift you have given.

Monthly orphan sponsorship: $35 per month to provide for the food, clothing, and school fees for a child
Monthly ministry student sponsorship: $75 per month to provide a scholarship for a pastor training with us; this amount includes his books for each term.
Yearly church planter support: $6000/year if you (as a church or individual) want to support a church planter.
One time gift: $200 to buy a Kindle and load it with books for a pastor
One time gift: $25,000 to pay for the basic construction costs of a ministry center and/or a small church in the needy areas of Zambia

You can reply in email or contact the deacons of our home church (RBC Louisville) for more information on these things.

-Our spiritual health. It is taxing laboring in a new and foreign context, and juggling a LOT of responsibilities. It is not just a cliché to say we need prayer to stay close to Christ. Everything else is secondary to our relationship to Him, so pray it is strong and growing.
-Insight for effective ministry. Pray we have wisdom to discern legitimate needs and to minister to the orphans and pastors with whom we work in a way that connects with them and does the most good with the resources our gracious God has entrusted to us.
-Pray for the children we’re sponsoring—especially pray for a lasting spiritual impact and that like our Savior they would grow “in wisdom and in stature, and in favor with God and man” (Luke 2:52).
-Pray for our pastors -Some of our pastors are paying a price for preaching the “new” things they’re hearing at our school, instead of feeding the people with the deadly prosperity gospel they get on TV. Others are rarely paid for their labors and need help to put food on the table. Remember these students before the Lord our Provider.

I was reading E.M. Bounds on prayer the other day (a very challenging and convicting book!). He had this to say regarding how we look at our lives, and the passing of time:
“Men and women, ‘we must hurry.’ That was the great word of William Chalmers Burns in Scotland as he thought of the shortness of time. Buy up the opportunities of the week that lies ahead. It will never return.”
This is so true. Money may return, healthy may return, but time? It never returns. It is always passing. May we redeem these precious weeks and hours in living close to Christ, and carrying out His works in a world that is quickly passing away.

Grace to you in Christ Jesus,

James and Megan Williamson

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