Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Living Gospel World Mission

We went to one of James's students church yesterday. James was invited to preach there. We all went along with him, and even though it is always challenging for us all to go, and it makes for a long hard day with the little ones, it is always a blessing.

We were brought into the church to the very front row with the "good chairs" reserved for our whole family.
Bringing 6 kids into the front row of any church is a bit overwhelming but we are getting used to it now and with the exception of Grace having to go out frequently the other kids did great.

I stood in the back with Grace for awhile and realized this here is the training ground for something I have always wondered. How can adults in Zambia sit so long for church services and not even move or shift around in their seat every 3 minutes like I do?

About 50 children were seated on hard uneven benches from about 8:30 until 12:30. As I watched them squirming a bit and getting restless at 11:00 , as I too was restless and had only come at 10:00, it dawned on me they learn when they are this young. It is expected of them to sit here and they learn it. So all the kids were in the back and all the adults in the front of the church.

This church was a bit interesting in that during the preaching they had 3 men going back and forth bringing drinks of mealy which is like a liquidy porridge for everyone to drink during the service. Probably for many, especially the kids that were there this was their breakfast. They had about 8 to 10 cups and would just use them over and over for each person going up and down the rows until everyone had had a drink.

The singing was beautiful and I have a video that I hope to upload at some point. They had each group represented, the men, women, youth and children and they each came singing down the aisle up to the front for their turn to sing 2 songs together.

After James preached and we greeted everyone in the church then they brought us to the pastors office to have lunch and a drink. They had brought 8 bottles of water out on a platter to where we were seated at the beginning of the service for our family. That was so kind and a "treat".

They treated us so well and it is humbling how us visiting there, simply because we are muzungus, we are the visitors and because James is a preacher and the prinicpal/ teacher at the college. This gets much respect and differential treatment.

As we were preparing to go Pastor Phiri told James that he can not describe in the english language in words what this has meant to him, his visiting and preaching at his church. What his going to the college has meant.
He said, What you have done means so much to me and my ministry…It is hard when you are alone and teaching things. He mentioned how when you are alone preaching you feel isolated, but going to the college and learning and then having James preach the same things Pastor Phiri has been preaching, just was a huge encouragement to him.

The message he preached had personally ministered to Pastor Phiri and he was very thankful
At one point he said something about "you have given me more than if you would have given me a million US dollars. "

The college and the classes for these men are making a difference in their ministries and their lives and that was a great encouragement to see!

They prepared lunch for our family and the two elders.
Pastor Phiri and James

I served the food up. It was spaghetti noodles with a sauce of green beans and tomatoes to put over it. Then there was chicken. I was not sure what was in the container until I opened it to serve and laying right on top were 2 chicken feet, with toes and all! I was a bit surprised and had to compose myself because looking at toes really did me in. I found some other parts of the chicken under neath and served those to my family and then served the feet and another piece of meat to the 2 pastors. I figured they were used to eating them.

As we were getting ready to leave Pastor Phiri pulled out a bag of green maize to give as a gift along with a envelope of a offering that was taken ( consisting of about $28) and then he pulled out a chicken. This is a great sign of appreciation and we told them thank you very much. The feet were bound and since James had received the bag of maize I was the one that had my hands free mometarily. This is the first time we have received a chicken as a gift, and I think he was motioning for me to take it. I am not positive but James quickly asked if he could carry it to the car for us and then Emma took it to the trunk.
But first we stopped to take a picture.

Saturday, March 26, 2011


It's been over 2 weeks since I blogged. I can't really tell you anything new and exciting of our ministries that is going on right now or even any Africa life stuff right now. But I thought I could share what is going on inside me and my heart.
Something to read and think about at least if you have been checking the blog and there has been nothing…and maybe it will encourage someone else who feels like they are struggling more than usual through this life as well!

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. it does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrong doing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Now a lot of us for a lot of our lives read this passage and are taken back to a wedding ceremony, candles , flowers, pretty lights…. Ahh, LOVE. How wonderful is love and how sweet this passage is in scripture and how encouraging, LOVE.

Well I read it this week and wept. And I am not talking tears of happiness and joy. Tears of sorrow and conviction. Tears of a knife was put to my heart as I have seen how much I don't LOVE.

You fall in love with someone and truly do love them and commit to spend the rest of your life with them and say you will do anything for them. Then you grow in your love for them and years down the road it is much deeper and stronger and you look back and think, I thought I loved them then, but I really love them now! My love now for my spouse is nothing compared to the love I thought I had for them back in the beginning.

And you continue to grow in your love and it becomes much more special and meaningful because of how much your spouse endures and puts up with from you. How much they forgive you. Over and over again. Day after Day.
And you know they love you deeper than before because of how they forgive you and continue to LOVE you.
This is such a blessed gift. To have your love grow in this way.

But it is a painful gift too. A sanctifying gift. No one wants to be hurt by their spouse and no one wants to hurt their spouse. But it happens. And in marriage, seems like all the time, the one you love the most and are most comfortable with and are the free-est with is often the one you hurt the most. Crazy, I know.

But there is real love. And I know that only those who know and love Christ and who know Christ loves them and forgives them freely can really LOVE at all.

LOVE is a powerful thing.

When I look at my husband's LOVE for me I see Christ's LOVE for me.
What an awesome thing to be able to be the one that shows the Love of God the Father and the Love of Christ to another person!

Life can be very hard. Things pressing in on you from all sides. Stress in your life like you have never known before
and attacks of the enemy like you have never known before. Weariness and tiredness sets in and in the midst of all these things we are still to LOVE.

Sadly to say in the midst of all these things I have not LOVED.

And let me just say I was going to title this blog PRIDE.
Because it is PRIDE in my heart that years ago made me think I never struggle with anger and depression and other things. I could look at others and see those struggles and then think, Well I have different struggles but really those have never been my issues. And feel a sense of pride that at least "those sins" are not my areas.

But let me tell you, when you think that…Knowledge puffs up but Pride goes before a fall.
You are about to see it in your own life. And when you least expect it!
The Lord allows us to be pressed down at times and squished and we see what squirts out. And it is not pretty.

So as I read the passage of love and wept I thought:

I have not been patient and kind.
I have envied and boasted;
I have been arrogant and rude.
I have insisted on my own way;
I have been irritable;
I have not bore all things,
I have not believed the best in all things,
I have not had hope in all things,
And I certainly have not endured all things.
I have Failed. ( Love never fails!)

So rather than being encouraged and feeling cheery and fluffy about love, I was feeling broken.
You know it is bad enough to read through the scripture and see something about yourself and come to terms with it. But when you read over a list and you can pretty much say, Yep..this whole entire thing is totally not me right now. that is pretty depressing! And "breaking".

But we know what God does with brokenness and that is where the encouragement comes. We may fail miserably again and again. BUT GOD.

So though I see so many failings lately and that what is coming out in times of hardship and stress is ugliness and not the sweet aroma of Christ, I have hope that in seeing this more clearly and wanting to be the sweet aroma, God helping me, I will be more and more transformed into the image of Christ. And I am so thankful that His LOVE is perfect towards us!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

LMC Pastors Seminar

The class

Randy Pizzino teaching on "the Holy Spirit"

Todd Jaussen teaching, "Christ centered life and ministry"

Randy eating nshima for lunch with the men

Todd teaching the men

More Heavenly Springs

About a year ago I mentioned a book I was reading that was encouraging.
2 years later I am still going through the book, over and over.
I might have written a few of these quotes before, but the Lord has freshly encouraged me with these things again.

Still highly recommending the book to everyone. "Heavenly Springs" by Andrew Bonar
These are just random thoughts he wrote.

"Lift our eyes heavenward.
Earthward is bad enough, but inward is dreadful.
Lift us heavenward to where Jesus sits on the right hand of God."

"The nearer you come to Him the better, for you will then be farther from the world, and the world will have less power over you."

"It is a good thing angels were not sent to preach to us. I would go far to hear an angel preach, but I don't think I would get much good from his sermon. I would come away thinking of his beautiful words and his persuasive tongue, but perhaps saying, "It is all very well for that angel to talk about the miry clay, but he does not know how stiff it is; he never was in it!"

"When Israel reached the other side of the red sea, how surprised they must have been. No river flowing like the Nile flowing through the land, no palmtrees heavy laden with dates, no gardeners of cucumbers and melons! What was to become of them?
They were to learn that God could take them other ways and other means to lead them onward. He took from them all visible means of support, and then He stepped in with the wondrous manna from the skies. When the Lord takes away from His people anything that they used to have, He does not mean to make them unhappy. He wants to make them happy in another way. He gives them Manna instead of bread. Corn is never called 'the bread of the mighty', but manna is. "

"When you begin to pray always get into this position, leaning on His bosom. Don't pray to someone far off. Don't pray even to someone in the same room."

"The blessing we pray for may not come at once, but it is on its way. Sometimes the Lord keeps us waiting long, because He likes to keep us in His presence."

" May we stand on the shore of that ocean into which our sins have been cast, and see them sink to the depths, out of sight, and the sea calm and peaceful over them, the sunshine playing on it, the sunshine of Your love and Your favor. "

"Christ needed the storm on the Lake of Galilee that He might show how His single word could quiet it. He needed a troubled conscience that He might show how His atoning blood could calm and quiet it. And he needed a great and guilty sinner in order to show the power of the atonement and the riches of His grace."

"We go forward, praising You for all past mercies and trusting You for every step of the Way"

Saturday, March 5, 2011


GOD has been so GOOD

We took our 22 Kabanana kids to the clinic today to get tested for HIV.
We had prepared and talked with them and prayed much for this day. Many people were praying this week in preparation for this day.

We all met at Fanny's house at 8 hrs. We had hired a bus to take most of us and Katryn also drove.
We got to the clinic and then the kids waited and one at a time they came in and told them their name and age and then they did the finger prick to take their blood. The kids all did great!

We waited afterwards for the results . God was so kind and merciful.
We took 22 kids. We knew 2 of them were HIV POSITIVE. We were nervous as to what the results would be.
ALL other kids , ALL were NEGATIVE!!!!!
God answered ours and many others prayers!

waiting at clinic

Then we came to our house to have pizza and cookies with the kids and a fun afternoon together.
The kids played football, swam, and also enjoyed riding on the scooters.
I have never made 10 pizzas at once before! The kids all seemed to enjoy it and for many I think this was their first time eating pizza!

Todd Jaussen talking with boys

Then Randy Pizzino gave a short devotional and we sand 3 songs in the local language with the children.
(We only know about 3, so we picked those!)

(many of these pictures were taken by Katryn...want to give credit where credit is due)

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Shopping Zambia style

Once a month there is a Saturday Craft Fair Market where people gather to sell their crafts and vendors sell good food. Lots of expats go there and it is something fun to do once a month

We usually by pass the crafts and head to the book table and the junk table.
We have been able to find some books here and this week the junk table had brand new shoes.

Shoes! They had Crocs and Old Navy flip flops and slippers from Walmart. ( It was so nice to see those names again!)
We paid twice as much for the flip flops as the prices listed on the tag. 2 pairs for $5 old navy and then we paid $7 for one pair!
It was nice to get some new shoes for the kids.

thanks for praying

Just a quick note wanted to thank everyone for praying for us.
We have known the strengthening of the Lord this week and are encouraged.
Please keep praying!