Posts by emert

Winter 2019 Update

October 29th, 2019 Posted by The Emert's - Ministry Update 0 comments on “Winter 2019 Update”

Dearest family and friends,

Six years. To imagine that six years have passed since we sold most of our worldly possessions, packed up what remained in 15 plastic bins, and moved our clan 7,800 miles away, seems mind-blowing really. We left as 30-somethings and now one of us (wink, wink) is pressing 45! Six years ago, I was only homeschooling one child and now I teach an 8th grader, a 5th grader, and a 3rd grader. Jeremy hadn’t preached a sermon nor had I picked up a guitar in years…but since 2014, Jeremy finished his MDiv and was ordained, I brought along an ol’ dusty guitar with me to Africa, and somewhere along the way, the Lord allowed Poetice Zambia to plant a church, and now preaching and leading worship are a regular part of our lives. The changes, the unexpected twists, and turns, even the complete U-turns have all been directed by the hand of the Father. What we could never have predicted or prepared for, He has used over and over again for his glory, to bring His kingdom here on earth. It’s been so fun to be a part of these past six years here in Zambia, and we are so pumped for what the future holds.

We’re headed to our 2nd home—the USA—in only 2 short weeks. We’ll primarily be in Florence, SC, Pensacola, FL, and High Point, NC. We’re going to include the dates and locations of when/where we’ll be sharing because we would LOVE to see as many of you as possible over our 3-month visit. We have so many things that we want to share about—all the growth and excitement we’ve experienced in our church family, new staff who’ve joined us, our summer 2019 School of Justice and Mission crew, what the Lord’s doing in the Bible studies that are happening in the neighborhoods around our base, just all things ministry. We also can’t wait to share what the Lord has shown us personally about leadership, walking in faith, shepherding his people, trusting Him in the unseen, and all that He’s taught our hearts these two years since we last visited. And then, the thought of getting to see you and hear about your lives, to reconnect, to pray with you, to just be together…nothing could make us happier.

For those of you we won’t get to see, here’s a brief personal update: Jeremy’s currently successfully and swiftly recovering from minor surgery while dreaming and planning around his newest assignment as Spiritual Care Pastor of our Poetice flock. Olivia is presently spending the weekend with her fellow MK friend, baking and crafting and photographing the weekend away. I’m telling you this because, though it’s one weekend, in particular, it also represents the majority of her life outside of school. Jude, who recently earned his blue belt in karate (along with his brother and sister), is just growing and growing and growing, and thinks if only the “other” kind of football were here in Zambia, his life would be complete. Lincoln continues to keep us all laughing, no matter what he’s doing, along with the passel of friends he keeps. Though he also earned his blue belt, he’s much more interested in keeping his calendar filled with playdates than he is in climbing the karate ladder. I (Courtney) am currently sifting through the last four years of schoolwork I’ve managed to accumulate, gladly purging the majority of it, while also wrapping my head around what it’s gonna take to prepare this family, as well as our ministry family, for our three-month hiatus. Lots to accomplish but we’ll get there!

As we make our way to you, know that we give so much thanks to Jesus for each of you. Many of you have financially and prayerfully supported us for these six years and longer. Some of you are newer to our support family. But the Lord continues to encourage us through the relationships we treasure with each of you. The financial needs for our family and ministry continue, so you will find included in this packet a giving card that outlines the ways that you can help meet these needs. If you aren’t already, ask the Lord if He might challenge you to join our amazing team of monthly givers. We fully trust as He faithfully provides for us, He will do the same for those He leads to give.

As promised, here’s our fall/winter speaking schedule…are you gonna be nearby? Please come see us…please!!! It would give us so much joy!

11/6: Broadmoor Baptist, Baton Rouge, LA
11/10: ChristPoint Church, Florence, SC
11/20: First Presbyterian, Florence, SC
12/18: Emerywood Baptist, High Point, NC
01/12: First Baptist, Pensacola, FL

Hope to see you soon!

All the Emerts! (Jeremy, Courtney, Olivia, Jude, and Lincoln)

“We were filled with laughter, and we sang for joy. And the other nations said, ‘What amazing things the LORD has done for them.’” Psalm 126:2

Spring 2019 Update

March 13th, 2019 Posted by The Emert's - Ministry Update 0 comments on “Spring 2019 Update”
“He will restore the hearts of the fathers to their children and the hearts of the children to their fathers
so that I will not come and smite the land with a curse.”  Malachi 4:6

The Old Testament ends with Elijah reminding the family of God of this very promise.  It reminded God’s children that the Father would work on their behalf; that He was still making promises to them that He was bound by Himself to keep.  I know He’s been doing this work of restoration all along—as long as I’ve journeyed with Him I’ve heard the stories; shoot, I’ve lived the story of restoration.  He’s a restoring God—mending, healing, renewing, setting things right.  He is bringing his kingdom here to earth.  And so as we update you of life here in Zambia these days, it is with so much celebration and joy in our hearts as we see this same promise, spoken thousands of years ago, still being upheld by God, right here; right now; in our midst.  We are huffing and puffing, often spinning and out of breath with all the work and movement that just a single day may hold.  Truth be told, we often have to be so intentional to sit and lay out what’s before us, to make sure we stay balanced, in sync as a couple, and as a family; because it can overwhelm us if we let it.  But even right in the middle of the crazy, we are seeing a Church—our Choma church family—that’s becoming a picture of this very promise of God.

As Poetice Zambia began our 2019 ministry year, we set out to first ask God his heart for the year, for his people, for us. God, we can do so many good and helpful things…with so many needs, there are lots of ways we might make a plan to work and reach out and love.  But maybe You’ve got some specifics in mind; maybe You’d have us ask you really boldly for some things in particular.  So, would you speak? Would you even guide our prayers so we can see your heart for Choma, and then line up our prayers with what You want to accomplish?”

And what so many of our team heard was the word “family.”  See, we have zillions of kids all around us…it’s been such a privilege to be able to spend time with them, teach them and learn from them; meet in large groups and small groups; worship with them, do camps with them, visit their homes and meet their families.  But the adults—lots of them parents of our kids and youth— have proved a little more challenging to engage.  That is until the Spirit of God began drawing them and calling them to Himself.  We’re watching in amazement, witnessing with our own eyes, as God is calling families in Mwapona and Kabanana to worship together, some fathers coming to church for the first time in years!!  Wives are praying that their husbands will join them for a Sunday service, and then he comes and surprises the whole family, even the neighbors!!  I’m telling you, it is so much fuuuuuunnnnn to see God on the move, “restor(ing) the hearts of the fathers to their children and the hearts of the children to their fathers” just like He promised.

So that’s the BiG, ExCiTiNg, ShOuT-iT-oUt news we’ve been so excited to share!  There’s other news, too, that doesn’t make the front page but maybe you’re just interested to know for the heck of it…

Jeremy wrapped up his 2018 pastor’s discipleship group and has just recently begun meeting with a new group of pastor friends.  While his duties around the grounds as the base manager always provide an—(how do I say this nicely?)—interesting list of to-do’s, it’s usually the non-base-manager-duties that he is more partial to.  I know you’ll just be shocked (wink-wink) to hear that it’s his Wednesdays with local pastors at their fellowship; his Sundays leading communion, occasionally preaching, greeting and ushering; and other days filled with discipleship groups, house visits, and currently prepping for a short-term team coming from the States to do some work around our property—it’s these things which his heartbeats for…where Jesus stirs him up and Jeremy comes alive.  It’s another super fun thing to see!

We now have three green belts residing in this house so we’re incredibly safe and protected.  The kids all continue to work hard learning their karate katas, wearing their gis to the dojo (you gotta learn the lingo), and we’re thankful for the opportunity they have to just burn off some energy!!  School continues steadily along—grades 7, 4, and 2—and this year we’ve joined up science and writing classes with our friends, the Howells, to provide some spice to our school days.  Thank the Lord above Amber handles science, which makes me more than willing to teach one writing class with the four middle boys and another with their two elder siblings!  I’ll teach writing all DAY to avoid the rigors of the periodic table, the Laws of Thermodynamics, and heaven forBID, organizing an actual science exPERIMENT!! (Did I say that out loud?

The boys have established a secret clubhouse down some dirt road somewhere, where they play their very serious, very intense Greek gods and goddesses games.  Legos continue to overtake nearly every room in our home—as I’m sure they do many of your homes as well.  Be on the lookout for a Jude or Lincoln in your neighborhood come late-May as their Granna has plans to fly them home for a visit. (And feel free to pray for their trip, as well.)

Olivia has upped her school-game this year (I’m SO NOT READY for high school); she’s super-involved in so many things including her youth group, a band they’ve started, violin lessons, crafting, karate, and baking in any spare time she has.  She’s figured out how to manage without a library, as she and her friend have developed a delivery system by which they weekly trade books, letters, and ideas via a cardboard box.  Library a la Zambia!

As for me, I’m (attempting to?) master the art of cooking Indian food, while being very thankful for my Indian neighbor friend who does the really hard part of making the chapatis/naan.  (I can’t believe I’d never even tried it before moving here.)  Church responsibilities—namely leading worship and coordinating the Sunday morning flow—keep me both busy and incredibly happy.  I’ve also wrapped up my d-group from 2018 and will start a new one this Friday, so excited about that new relationship and how God will lead there.  Teaching school to my three still consumes most of my days, but it’s still my greatest passion in this season of life, and I don’t regret or wish to have it any other way.

I should probably stop now, huh?  Thanks so much for keeping up with us—for putting up with long silences again.  But we assure you that the silence on social media or in “Emert Update” world DOES NOT equate to silence on the ground.  We are running—many days it feels like flying—to keep up with all that our good Father has planned for us, for Poetice, and for Choma, Zambia.  He is restoring.  He is working miracles in families.  He is on the move.  And as we absolutely believe with all of our hearts,  Y O U  are running and flying right here beside us.

So many blessings your way!!

From an MK’s Perspective (Olivia Emert)

November 5th, 2018 Posted by The Emert's - Ministry Update 0 comments on “From an MK’s Perspective (Olivia Emert)”

This past year has been quite a journey for our family, and for me especially. So many things have happened, so much has changed. For starters, I have grown and changed in so many different ways. My walk with Jesus has strengthened and grown beyond my imagination. God has grown me so much. This year has been so amazing. Let me share a little about it with you. After the first three months of this year, we enjoyed lunch with all of the staff to celebrate. When the interns arrived soon after, we were all excited as usual. They were excited too. We had interns from Uganda, Mexico, Zambia, America, and a few other countries. As time went on, we got to know them better. I connected with two American girls named Mackenzie and Mallory, who were sweet to me- almost like we had been friends for years instead of months. As the internship drew to a close, we were sad to see them go, although we had fun celebrating them with a fun ceremony right before they left. This year was such a good group of interns.

Along with the interns came team season/busy season. We had teams representing The Ransom Church, from South Dakota, Watermark, in Hamburg, New York, and Emerywood, from North Carolina, among other teams. While the Watermark and Emerywood churches were here, we got to connect with my grandmother and cousin from North Carolina, who were part of the Emerywood team. There were also several teenage girls on the team, two of which I already knew, and the rest I got to know throughout those couple of weeks. These two teams hosted a youth camp, which I participated in. We have had several youth camps this year, which has been a new and fun experience for me especially. These branch off of the Poetice Youth program which happens on Wednesday afternoons, alongside the Poetice Kids program. We usually have a lesson, play games, and have encounter time, which is when we participate in prayer. The kids’ program is similar. I have made several friends there, including Vera, who is a sweet 17-year-old girl, and Eucaria, a girl my age. It has been such a stretching yet beautiful experience to get involved with the culture here. It has revealed a lot of things to me which I could not have been exposed to had it not been for personal experience. Like the greetings I have learned in the local language have really helped me to connect easier. And going on outreach with the staff occasionally. That has been powerful. I have gotten to connect with the youth at the Wednesday program I mentioned earlier.

I was so excited to have my friend Sydney from Watermark Wesleyan come with the team. This is us at the bottom of the Falls.

Recently, we have also been busy, even though it is the “slow” season. I think we underestimated the amount of programs and events we were going to have during this season. But it has worked out anyway. I have been writing a book, which I hope to eventually publish. I have been getting to know another missionary girl about my age, Stephanie. We are becoming fast friends. God provides when you aren’t expecting. I have also learned that this past year. God has also answered my prayers when it comes to people my own age. For instance, just next weekend, a youth group for missionary kids is starting up. I have been so excited ever since my mom told me about it. It is such an answer to prayer. I am fully convinced that God answers prayers. He has proven that for me. He has also provided a mentor for me, whose name is Lillian, and who also works on our Poetice staff. We meet each week, and she has challenged me in ways that have stretched me to think outside of myself and focus more on others. It has been good for me to have someone else who is a little bit farther along than me, and is not my mom or dad. They are amazing, though Lillian is another blessing that I am grateful and blessed to have.

Baby Chris is my friend Anita’s baby. He is one of my favorites!

Yeah, so overall this year has been quite a journey, and I bet God’s already ready to take me on another! So, I think I’ll end here. We, my family and I, appreciate you, our support team, for loving us and for reading our updates. Your support has been so helpful and encouraging in the almost-five years that we have lived here in Zambia.

Love –
Olivia Emert, MK 

Emert Family April/May Update

May 21st, 2018 Posted by The Emert's - Ministry Update 0 comments on “Emert Family April/May Update”

Dear Friends,

It has been over a month since we updated you on what the Lord is doing here in Choma, Zambia. It’s hard to even know where to begin as so much has happened and we are anticipating so much more! Let me start by sharing answers to prayer since our last update. We asked you to pray for our work permits to have a smooth transition over to Poetice Zambia. We have been approved and encountered not one single hurdle in the process. We asked you to pray for Poetice Kidz Ministry. Last week we had over 180 kids, ages 2-20, come through our gates. We are seeing the Holy Spirit move greatly in their lives. Courtney is helping with the babies, which is how they label all kids under the age of six, I am leading 8-9 year-olds, and our three kids are in the middle of it all. It has been SUCH a joy to walk with these children–many of whom we remember from our time in Choma two years ago–to see them grow in the Lord and learn from Him in just these few short months. We asked you to pray for our time as a family. We are finding that there is rhythm in our daily schedule. We get time as a family, time to minister together, and Courtney and I have even found time to spend quality time with each other. Would you believe that I have even gotten to play golf here!? So thanks to each one of you for praying for us. It’s so good to be fully aware of how the Lord has gone before us in so many things!

Now let’s talk about what is currently happening. We are in the middle of finishing up our first phase of renovations on the ministry’s property. This includes updating many general maintenance issues we’ve encountered on the property as well as making the space more functional as we host hundreds of people for ministry beginning this week! I have enjoyed overseeing this, and can’t wait to see how the Lord will use our base to spread the love of Christ in our community.
We also started a church at our property on Sundays. Our mission states, “Poetice exists to empower the Church to fight for justice.” When we returned this year and began reaching out to the community, we realized the best expression to minister is through the local body of Christ. Out of that came our own church, which though only six weeks in, is already growing and thriving. Such an unexpected blessing to our year so far!

This has Courtney leading worship on a weekly basis, and I have never seen her used more by the Lord than through when she is leading other’s to worship Him. It is really a beautiful thing to behold and I am grateful for the opportunity she has been given. To read more about our heart behind this and our journey as Poetice, read Micah’s Letter.

In addition to worship on Sundays, we have started small group Bible studies in two of the homes in the community on a weekly basis. This is such a joy as it means we are beginning the process of discipleship, which is where our heart is. One of my greatest joys this season has been the opportunity to reach out to ministers and leaders in Choma. I attend a weekly pastors meeting where ministers from multiple denominations come together, encourage one another, pray for one another, and hold each other accountable. We are seeing that the Lord is bringing unity through this amazing group of men and women.

And then there is what we are looking towards! This week we welcome our interns who will spend the next three months with us on our property. We have interns coming from Zambia, Malawi, Uganda, Zimbabwe, USA, and Mexico! In addition, they’ll (and we’ll) be taught by teachers coming from Lesotho, Australia, Zambia, and the United States. The interns will connect with the local community through ministry, plug into the ministries we are already running, learn about God’s heart for them and His heart for missions, and then be sent out. We will be hosting several short-term teams over the course of the summer, (including Courtney’s mom and our nephew, Myles, who are part of a team coming from Emerywood Baptist Church in NC) hosting youth camps, a leadership conference, and so much more. But we will keep you updated as the summer goes on.

Here are a few things you can pray for:
  • The internship. As it kicks off that the Lord will really pour into these students and God will use them in BIG ways. We will be mentoring 4 of the students. Please pray that we connect well and listen to what the Lord has for them.
  • Church. Pray that we continue to be led by the Spirit as we worship and grow.
  • Continued rhythm for our family as we move into a very busy season of ministry.
  • Continued financial support. Currently, we need to raise approximately an additional 20% in order to meet our yearly budget and be sustainable.
Thank you for all of your prayers and investment into our family. We are so grateful to be serving here and want to remind you what a big part you play in every element of what we do. Drop us a line and let us know how you are doing or how we can pray for you.
Big love from the Emert Clan!

The Emert Family – Great Things Are Happening

March 12th, 2018 Posted by The Emert's - Ministry Update 0 comments on “The Emert Family – Great Things Are Happening”

It has been almost a month since we have been back in Zambia. We thoroughly enjoyed our time in the States. We found time to connect with many of you, were encouraged to visit with friends and family and loved our time to share the vision of where we are heading in 2018 and beyond. It is crazy to think that we have been living in Zambia for four years now. Sometimes it feels like we just moved here yesterday and sometimes like we have been here even longer.

As much as we loved the States I can safely say that we are all excited to be back in Zambia and more specifically in Choma. Homeschool is in full swing, the children are taking karate twice a week, we love our new home, and we are busy helping to set up ministry here. As we begin this year we are so grateful for what the Lord has done to bring us back to the town that we love so dearly. It has been so fun to reconnect with old friends and dream about God’s vision for Choma. I have already had the opportunity to meet with several pastors and talk about what their dream is for Choma, for Zambia, and beyond. Interestingly enough each time I have spoken to one of them and asked what the greatest need was, they all told me that the biggest void that they find is a lack of leadership. I had the opportunity to write more about this in the Poetice blog. Take a minute and read it by clicking here.  We are looking forward to hosting a leadership conference in July where many of the area pastors and leaders will be attending. Pray with us that this begins to spark a different mentality of leadership that will send waves into congregations throughout Zambia.
The ministry is busy in getting everything prepared for our interns who will arrive in May as well as the teams that will be coming shortly after. I will be overseeing the property which is large and does require some renovations. Pray with us that we can get all of the work done in a timely manner with the resources needed. This will actually be an ongoing project as we work to upgrade and maintain what the Lord has given us.

One of the things we have loved more than anything is reaching out into the communities that we are near. Our home and the base are situated next to two compounds, Mwapona and Kabanana. My friend Abigail Van Peursem who is leading our team with her husband John wrote an excellent blog on what life looks like in these compounds. If you want to see what our afternoons look like take a peek by clicking here.

We are grateful for what the Lord is doing as we begin Poetice Zambia and are back in a place that is dear to our hearts. Let me share with you some of those:

  • We have established Poetice Zambia and are legally able to run as a ministry.
  • The first three people that changed their work permits were able to do so in a weeks time (this has NEVER happened before).
  • Our team is working closely together and we are united in vision and purpose.
  • We are seeing God connect us to the right people who know key people in leadership (headmen, chiefs, government officials, and pastors).
  • Our family has never been at a place where we had more peace since we have been in Zambia.

Here are some things you can pray for:

  • Our work permits are in the middle of being changed over. That this will happen quickly so that we can be fully involved with the ministry. Currently, we cannot “work” until this happens.
  • For our time as a family. We have plenty of time together for sure but are seeking how the Lord would want us to balance personal and ministry time.
  • For Poetice Kids Ministry. This is being launched at the beginning of April!
  • For continued support. We are in need of additional monthly donors to meet our current budget needs.

Okay, so that’s a lot to think on and pray about. Just know that as we always say we are grateful for each and every one of you and can’t wait to share more as we move forward this year. Leza Mubotu Cindi Conse (God is Good All the Time)!!!
Jeremy, Courtney, Olivia, Jude, Lincoln, and Napoleon (the cat)