Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
We thank the Lord for His many mercies to us as we seek to see Christ magnified in this part of the world, just as you do at home. As for the Williamsons, the kids are all on a one week break from school. They are doing well by God's grace! Emma and Ian have birthdays coming up August 3 and 4, and like all the other kids, they are making plans far in advance! I am mainly involved with the college, but also is teaching Sunday school weekly for Ibex Hill Baptist Church and helping with the development of this church plant as he is able. I am also preaching once or twice a month at different churches, and will be preaching at a Youth Conference here in Lusaka July 2-3. Megan is caring for the kids and managing the home, helping with homework and generally being a Proverbs 31 woman. As the orphan ministry supervisor, she visits the kids weekly, giving direction to that work, and travels around town during the week buying clothing and food supplies, administrating the schooling, etc.
At the moment, there are many things going on for which thanks to God is due, and for which your prayers are requested:
1. ORPHAN MINISTRY:
After adding 15 kids a couple of months ago, the ladies of the Hope Kabanana work, led by my wife Megan, have had their hands full. With now 45 kids to look after, it is full of challenges. Some of the kids show gratefulness, but many do not. Some study and try hard at school, but many do not. We have several kids that are not showing up for tutoring which they sorely need, and others who show up and disrupt the classes and disrespect the teachers. So, do pray that the ladies will not "grow weary in well doing," and also for the Lord to change the hearts of these kids.
On a positive note, thanks to some gifts last year and early this year, we have a completed classroom and almost completed kitchen. This is a big help, since we've stepped up the meals program to be more consistent and make sure the kids are all getting what they need for nourishment. Thank the Lord for this facility on the grounds of Faith Baptist Church of Kabanana. The kids of the orphan ministry will have a Youth Camp from Aug 7-10 just outside of Lusaka, which Megan has been organizing along with Katryn, Maureen, and Fanny.
2. LUSAKA MINISTERIAL COLLEGE:
LMC has moved into its third year, and is doing well by God's grace. Our main focus right now is insuring that the 20+ students in the program receive more out-of-the-class mentoring and development. In the first two years, we have gathered in students and begun teaching them. But we see that we need to make sure they are really implementing what they hear in their personal lives and their churches. This is a major part of ministerial training, and it requires a lot of time and energy and personal relationship.
With the growth of the college, we are very much feeling the need to have our own building in which to hold classes. It would be well worth it to have somewhere to meet regularly that is suitable for our size and needs. So, we feel a bit like the "school of the prophets" under Elijah who needed to build to accommodate their studies! The building we are thinking of building will probably cost about $30 to $40,000, and we hope to have two classrooms, a couple of offices, and a small library. Most of our students are from the poorest areas of town, so the college already runs on a subsidized budget from the support of churches and individuals from the States. Anyone who wants to contribute to some bricks and mortar for this building project, therefore, is most welcome!
3. TRAVELING EVERYWHERE!
The roads and airways will be filled with activity related to LION of Zambia ministries tthis summer (summer, that is, in the US; it's COLD season here!). Pray for traveling mercies and God's blessing on the labors of each traveler.. First, I am scheduled to teach with Kabwe Kabwe (Zambian and academic dean for CMC) in Botswana June 25-29. It's their first set of module classes to see if we may develop a college there, so pray for the Lord's help and direction. Then, Catie Woodman from Grand Rapids is coming next month to help with the orphan ministry and with the Bible camp mentioned above. Andy Dunkerton and David Scott are coming to teach at LMC July 16-20. Joachim Reick (a pastor from Namibia) and Kabwe Kabwe will be teaching the next module at CMC with the newer batch of students July 23-27. Ron Baines and Jim Renihan are teaching the recent CMC graduates Masters degree level classes from August 13-24, and then Ron and I are scheduled to go to Malawi to check out prospects for ministerial training there. In September, I've been asked to teach in Kenya and help with the development of a new college there, along with Victor Kanyense (Zambian). Then, George McDearmon and Rob Burchett are coming Oct 15-19 to teach at LMC, along with a deacon from their church.
We thank the Lord for your prayers and support. We are keenly aware that without the provision and encouragement we receive from you, we would not be able to remain here and do this work. Thanks very much! And may the Lord abundantly resupply according to your generosity and kindness.
Yours in Christ,