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. 

New Yorkers

Pastor McDearmon, Rob Burchet and Ken Maiella from Ballston Lake, New York
 have been here this past week. They have been here in Lusaka teaching for LMC.

They arrived last Saturday and had several suitcases full of books, gifts for the orphans and things for us. Including Sarah's school dvd curriculum for next year. Exciting! 

On Sunday the three men split up and Pastor McDearmon preached at Emmasdale Baptist Church, 
Rob preached at our home church Ibex Hill Baptist Church and Ken preached out in Kabanana at Faith Baptist Church. Our family went with Ken. It had been a year since we were last at church there. 
It was good for our kids to see the kids there again. 

Ian with Wisdom, Alex,Morgan and Llyod

Ken preaching with Pastor Curtis Chirwa translating

The Kids Sunday School class ( meeting in the new HOPE kitchen)

After church, talking to Curtis

Jackson and Caleb with Gift, Alex,Stephen and Frank (HOPE Kids on the right)

Fanny, one of the ladies from church, Maureen, Megan

The evening we all went to Mt. Mukulu where Pastor McDearmon preached 

Saturday, October 13, 2012

On the way to school

The drive from our house to the kids school is only about 5 miles, and takes about 10-15 minutes.
It is a paved road with many dirt roads branching off of it. It goes through the area of Chilenge.
There are always people walking on the side of the road everywhere we go.

By now, we have become used to so many things here that we see just while driving down the road.
But I remember that it is not the "typical things" you all would be seeing on your drive to church or your kids school.  So I have kept a notebook in the car and asked Ian to write down the things they see as we are driving.  They are in random order, but honestly it is quite funny how random they are as we are seeing them.  And they are all on the side of the road...

Woman walking and nursing her baby at the same time

Man running with a 25kg sack of mealie on his head

A chicken running across the road

Man on a bicycle

Different people wearing the Che Guevera Shirt

Shoeless Children running about

10 loafers (men) sitting under the tree

Suited Man w a fedora sitting on a stool

The purse store ( a shipping container turned into a store with second hand purses and bags)

Chickens being sold out of the back of a pick up truck

An old rusty car and bus broken down ( for years now) on the side of the road

Dude with a cowboy hat

Drunk Men starting a fight

Blue Minibuses- everywhere

Chilenge Market

The OK  Food Store

Piles of trash

Lady carrying a grocery sack with a live chickens head sticking out of the side


People carrying water. Sometimes children. Sometimes on their heads. 


Power Plant

Bedframe for sale  

Lots of ntembas  ( small shack-like shops selling various items) 

Men walking holding hands

Random armchair/ recliners for sale 

Guy with a Mr. Bookkeeper shirt

Lady with a basket of fruti on her head with a large knife sticking out of it

Man carrying 25 shirts on hangers

Man peeing on the side of the road. Children peeing on the side of the road.

Chicken being slaughtered 

Friday, October 12, 2012


In August we had our first ever camp for the orphans.  They all had a great time!  It was so fun to see them all enjoying themselves.  

The kids arrived Tuesday around lunchtime. We met with them for an orientation and then let them set up in the cabins. The campground where we were meeting was in lusaka west out at Ciyanjano. Some friends of ours run the campground. ( part of the ACTION Zambia Ministries) 

The kids were so excited to be setting up their blankets and settling in. For almost every single child, this was an opportunity to sleep on a bed, with a mattress!- not on the concrete or dirt floor that they sleep on at home. 

There was a great playground, plenty of space to play football,  and a volleyball court.  The kids immediately started playing and whenever there was not an activity going on they were found at those places or napping enjoying their beds. 

We planned the menu and meals and I purchased all the food, but the best part was that for about $10 each day we had 2 ladies cooking and cleaning up after the meals for us.
That was great! 

In the mornings we had a type of VBS for the kids with crafts and activities. Catie Woodman from MI  came to help us out with the VBS.  Then in the afternoons we had scheduled times of meeting with the kids to talk about hygiene or getting along with each other as well as some other activities. 

Then in the evenings we had a service. James preached for one evening and then Pastor Thole preached the other 2 evenings.  He told the kids to call him "Uncle T"...
The messages were geared especially for the kids and went very well.  Uncle T  taught the kids a song, " I am so happy..."  For there is no condemnation in my heart..

The older boys did a skit for us and sang a few songs,  then Francis helped the younger kids practice a song to sing for us as well. It was very sweet. 

When it was time to leave the kids didn't want to go.  Katryn said if we could find another group of "mothers" to come take care of the kids they would be happy another week there.  We were exhausted. 

Among us, we split up in the cabins. Maureen and I took the little boys cabin and then Fanny and Kat, along with Catie took the girls cabin. So we each were responsible for  specific kids. That seemed to work out well. A bit of drama in some of the other cabins, the older boys and the girls so Maureen and I were joking with the others about "our kids" and next year we would have them drama yet with little boys. 

Uncle T encouraged us to make this an annual camp for the kids as he pointed to how many times its at camps like this that the kids lives are most directly impacted. For us, it was a great time to spend more time with the kids in a fun environment and where they were comfortable and continue to make tiny drops of deposits into their lives.  It is for the long hual.  It's not just one camp or tutoring session or meeting that is going to impact the kids lives the way we want to, so it is p'ongono p'ongono.  (little by little). 

The last night we roasted Marshmallows.  Catie had asked if there was anything she could bring us, and I told her I wanted to do smores with the kids!  That was a huge hit and they ALL loved it!  It was so fun to see them enjoying the bonfire and roasting.  Even Fanny and Maureen had their first ever Smore... 

It is great to do theses fun things with them that we usually can do with our own kids.
I have many pictures that I put into a video/slide show and have been waiting to post but the internet...
So rather than waiting another month I will go ahead and post this with one picture.

Monday, September 3, 2012

July Class -LMC

Andy Dunkerton from Mebane, North Carolina came in July with David Scott.
They taught the men at the Lusaka Ministerial college for a week.
It was great to see Andy again, he had come to Zambia a few months after we had first moved here 2 and a half years ago.  It was our first time to meet David and we also enjoyed having him here.

July 2012 Class 

Andy teaching the class on the Holy Spirit

Andy and David with Pastor Thole 

Taking notes during one of the classes

David went with James to buy the tickets at the Intercity bus station. Davis said it was quite the experience! 

At the head of the river before the falls.