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!