I had the opportunity to see so many of you during my time in the States. Thank you for the time you took to say hi and get to know in person how things are going in Zambia. Thank you to all of you who were flexible working with my tightly packed schedule. It was such a blessing to see a lot of my extended family and witness my sister’s BEAUTIFUL wedding!
A few months ago, my co-lead and I were imagining what it would be like to involve our kids and youth to tell the Christmas story this December. We have been trying to stress that our kids and youth can partner with us in ministering to others. After talking to our colleagues, we decided to give our kids the opportunity to share the Gospel through a Christmas play and choir. My co-lead, Amber, and I have been busy at work creating our own music and skit (in the local dialect, Tonga!) in order to make it more accessible to our audience. This is the first time that most of the kids are receiving singing or acting training. It has been an adventure so far, and we have a ways to go yet. We will be giving three performances, and our first performance is December 12! Would you pray that the audience would be blessed by the performance and understand Christ’s coming in a new way this year?
Our church uses “learning communities,” where a group of people commit to diving deeper into Biblical topics for a certain length of time. Many of you in the West Lafayette area are familiar with the Alpha Course, a study that the church I grew up in has used for many years. I think I attended the Alpha Course probably five times in my youth. And guess what? We just started the Alpha Course this past Sunday as a new learning community! My colleague Brad is teaching with our co-worker Collet translating. I am going through it again so that I can better know how to teach with Zambians in mind. For our first session, we had 11 people attend, most of which were youth. We have already gotten some good questions, like, “If God knew Adam was going to sin, why did he allow it to happen?” We are excited to see what other questions and beliefs are unearthed from being in this learning community!
Our leaders recently blessed us with a staff retreat, which included donuts, staff awards, a swimming pool, and lots of laughter! We also reflected on how far the Lord has brought us this year. Here are just a few stats:
- Poetice Church started with 18 staff members and family, now regularly sees an average of 70. We have met for 32 weeks and have had 20 baptisms.
- Pastors’ Fellowship has about 50 pastors from the area meeting weekly. Poetice has participated in 11 of those meetings.
- In nine months, Poetice team members have made over 100 community visits into our neighboring communities (Mwapona and Kabanana).
- Almost 50 kids, teens, and adults have participated in discipleship groups with Poetice team members, meeting about 50 times.
- Poetice Kidz/Youth have met 30 times, including five Tuck Shops. We began with 60 kids and now average around 200! The most we have had so far is 416 kids.
As I reflected on things to give thanks for during this season, I realized I live a privileged life. Just in my work alone–It is a privilege that I am able to devote my time and energy to help those in Zambia. It is a privilege to be able to walk with the youth and watch them rise up as leaders. It is a privilege to be fulfilled everyday in what I do. If you are reading this, I am privileged to have YOU.