Posts in Field Staff

Emert Family Update Summer 2020

June 29th, 2020 Posted by The Emert's - Ministry Update

 

It feels funny for me to call this update our “summer” edition, as here in Zambia we are smack-dab in the middle of winter. While you’re probably making plans to go somewhere where your family can enjoy the warm weather (or at least dreaming about it), we are building fires, making s’mores, & adding extra blankets to our beds at night. Yes, it actually does get cold in Zambia.

 

 

Although the weather is cold, our hearts are on fire for what the Lord is doing right now within our family and the Poetice team. The last several months have been full of the unexpected. The “new normal” has brought us to different places than we’ve ever been. Short-term teams from all of the U.S. slotted to come to serve alongside us have had to cancel, Sunday services have been placed on hold, along with pretty much all of our weekly outreach ministries. Now you might be asking me, “How can you say your hearts are on fire for what the Lord is doing if nothing is happening?”. Oh, my friend, please don’t be mistaken! All along the Lord has been at work in the midst of this crisis. Let me tell you more!

 

As we sought the Lord as a Poetice family, it became evident that He wanted to use this time to pour extravagantly into our hearts so that, when the time comes and the doors of the church are open again, we’d be filled to pour that love right back out. We’ve spent tons of time together as a staff, praying and asking the Lord for his heart for the ministry we are doing. Then two weeks ago, we hosted a team from a fellow local ministry whose leadership came and poured into us for a week. Picture full-blown revival breaking out–night after night–praying, worshipping, on our knees seeking the face and heart of God. That’s what we got to participate in, only further encouraged to run hard after the Lord and catching more understanding of how his heartbeats and burns for His people.

 

So what next? We are still asking the Lord what He’d have us do in the particulars–daily in need of his direction and leading–but I do believe that He’s asking our local church to think differently about how we minister to our community. One example involves the adult ministry team that I have the privilege of serving on. Each day, we have been going into the community, opening our Bibles with the people He leads us to visit. We pray for healing for those who are sick, encourage them by speaking the love of God over their homes and families, and remind them that our meeting together in their home is just as much church as a Sunday gathering. Courtney continues to lead out in worship, finding the fellowship even with just our small staff family to be so rich and life-giving. We have prayer and worship every morning from 8-10 am. So many days, I just want to pinch myself because I cannot believe this is my everyday reality.

 

 

This coming week we start back to a full work schedule as we feel the Lord leading us to (gradually) open up the doors again. That means more activity on the base, but just in smaller groups. Speaking of the base, I have some super fun news! We’ll soon be breaking ground on the outdoor pavilion, as well as opening the coffee shop (for staff-only for our trial run) next week. We still have some work to do to get it fully functional for the community but this is a huge step in the right direction. For those of you who’ve given to our Build the Future Campaign, we can’t thank you enough. Currently, the entire project is 67% funded! If you’d like to see more details of what we’ve been able to do with the money given so far, or if you’d like to give now, you can click https://poetice.org/build to find out more information.

 

 

   
Our family is doing so great. The kids have been on a school holiday for the month of June and we’re kicking off back-to-school with a family camping trip to Lake Kariba, about a 5-hour drive from Choma. We are excited to spend some time together as a family. We recognize that this year is different than any other year and just want to encourage you, too, to press into what the Lord has for you in this season. Be certain that you don’t miss what He has by being distracted with things that the enemy is throwing our way. I want to remind you that because of the blood of Jesus, we are more than conquerors. Allow the Lord to speak to your heart as you continue this journey, and thanks for being on the journey with our family, as well.

A few prayer requests as we wind-up this update:

  • Unity within our team as we continue to press in and ask the Lord for allllll that He wants to give us.
  • Wisdom for the how’s, when’s, who’s, why’s, + where’s of reopening the doors of our church and ministries.
  • That God would allow all the goodness and beauty of what He’s been pouring in to continue to find good soil in our hearts so that we are pumped and prepped to pour it right back out again to our community.
  • Our living situation. We currently live in a rental property that could possibly be sold. Without going into all of the details, we’ve been led to pray about buying land and building a house here. Obviously, this raises lots of concerns, fears, and questions, so we just need to hear clearly from the Lord on this. Yes or no?
  • Our vehicle. This seems to be the never-ending prayer request. Currently, it is running properly; however, due to old age, (ours is a 1993 Landcruiser) the maintenance costs continue to be rising. We are praying whether to look at purchasing something at least 10 years newer, and for funding if this is to happen.

 

Well, that’s about it from this side of the world. Feel free to drop us a line and let us know how you’re doing. We look forward to hearing how the Lord is moving in the midst of your unusual 2020.

 

 

 

We love you all dearly!

Jeremy, Courtney, Olivia (14), Jude (11), Lincoln (9)

THE EMERT FAMILY
Resident Missionaries, Zambia
WWW.POETICE.ORG/EMERTFAMILY
emertfamily@poetice.org
+260 979149640

Winter 2019 Update

October 29th, 2019 Posted by The Emert's - Ministry 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!

Love,
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
“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!!
THE EMERT FAMILY

THE PRIVILEGED LIFE

November 30th, 2018 Posted by Lillian Ng'ambi

Hello friends!
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.

From an MK’s Perspective (Olivia Emert)

November 5th, 2018 Posted by The Emert's - Ministry Update

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 

New Experiences

September 13th, 2018 Posted by Lillian Ng'ambi

Hello friends!
We are heading into October (our hottest month in Zambia!!) but have already experienced some reprieve the last two days with surprisingly cooler weather. This hot-weather hater is VERY thankful for even one day of cooler weather!
Our latest team came from Ransom Church (South Dakota). They spent time every day going to a few youths’ homes and getting to know them on a deeper level. They also spent several hours a day praying for our Poetice team members, our property, and select people we partner with in ministry. It was a restorative week with them, and we are excited to see how our ministries will be diving off a springboard because of Ransom ministering to us. We are officially done with teams until next year! While we LOVE our church partners, it will be nice to get into a regular and consistent rhythm.

 
One of the hindrances to our ministry here is definitely the language. Many kids who come to our weekly ministry and people in the community speak limited or broken English. There are 72 dialects in Zambia, but the most common one in Choma is Tonga. Four of us on Poetice staff are taking Tonga lessons from our good friend and former intern, Chris. We seek to equip the Church, and we love it especially when they are able to take what is already “in their hands” to support themselves. By paying him for our lessons, we are empowering him to live and support his siblings through school. He certainly has a teacher’s heart and is pushing us hard to be learning grammar and vocabulary. We figured out that we had learned 165 words by the first month! It has been fun to see the smiles of the locals when we are able to interact with them in their own language. My ambitious hope is that in two years, I will be able to teach our youth in vernacular without a translator!

As you may remember, I have been tutoring Inness for the last several months. She has a new teacher at school, which I believe is the cause for her immense academic growth. It has been a huge cause for excitement and many high-fives! I have been singing a lot of songs/chants with her when we talk about the months, numbers, and colors. For the past month, we have been working on a song for the color red. In the past, she did not associate the written word with words that you can actually read. Last week, I asked her to identify where the word ‘red’ was in the song. She was able to do that AND write the word! Praising God for her progress!!! I would appreciate your continued prayers for patience and creativity as I take things step by step with her.
Just recently, another colleague (Brad) and I started visiting surrounding schools to assess how we can best support teachers and students. Both of us were teachers in the States, so we are excited to have the opportunity to analyze and attempt to problem solve! So far, we have been able to talk to the head teachers (equivalent to principals in the States) from three schools. We especially want to see how we can partner with schools in the communities because a large number of our kids are students there. At this point, we are not giving out material goods or money and are hoping to find other creative means to encourage the teachers. It can sometimes be disheartening to hear from the teachers and students about what they need, because at first glance, it seems like money or material goods would just solve their problems. However, during my early morning musings, I realized that our Savior demonstrated the perfect example: He never gave people money or things, because that was never the root issue. Please be praying that we would have discerning hearts and minds to see the true needs of people and that our hearts would not be hardened to hear the cries of these teachers and students. Thankfully, not every place is full of despair; a couple head teachers speak of their job with smiles on their faces and they talk about their students and teachers in a positive light. Seeing their example has encouraged us that we can see true educational reform when administrators and teachers’ hearts and attitudes change.
I’m thankful for a community who continues to think of me and pray for me even though I am a world away. I wouldn’t be able to do this without you!

Beautiful Pieces

August 14th, 2018 Posted by Immersion Internship – 2018, Shae Reinke

How have I been empowered to fight for justice? It’s not just about the blaringly obvious injustices of the world, or maybe it is, but not in the way I’ve always looked at it. 

Of course, we need to be aware of the clear injustices around us and I want to play my part in that but bringing justice can be done in everyday life. In fact, the injustices I face in my everyday life are the most likely places God wants me to take part in making right. Micah Kephart talked about the five global giants that envelop every injustice: spiritual emptiness, oppression, illiteracy, disease, and poverty. Each giant works in partnership with at least one other giant, but it’s highly likely that spiritual emptiness plays a part in it all.

Created in God’s image, I was meant to be whole in body, mind, and spirit, but the fall of man led to sin and brokenness so there will be struggles. The only way I can overcome the sin and brokenness in my life is by seeking righteousness through a relationship with Jesus, with the power of the Holy Spirit in me, and by embracing the love and correction of the good Father. It’s out of this disparity that we, as humans, perpetuate more sin and more brokenness when we try to fill those mistakes with anything from the world instead of seeking God’s presence in the midst of pain, mistakes, and brokenness. 

I cannot seek righteousness and justice if I am not myself in line with the will of God and am not seeking righteousness and justice in my own life. Any outward action flows from the inward work that God has done in me. I am only capable of seeking justice and righteousness in the world around me because of the love, grace, and mercy that has been shown to me. Time with God, allowing him to speak to me, show me more of his love, and correct me where I need correction, is essential to my ability to be someone who takes part in the righteousness and justice God wants to bring to his kingdom now. 

He wants me, and all who follow him, to bring into alignment the things that he intended for us here and now. It won’t all happen all at once, but how beautiful it is to see it happen in pieces before our own eyes. I can bring justice by having right relationships with friends and with family, by standing up for those who don’t have a voice whenever the opportunity arises, by seeking God in everyday things and obediently acting when he calls me to do so.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Shae Reinke

Present Everywhere

August 1st, 2018 Posted by Immersion Internship – 2018, Shae Reinke

“Always, everywhere God is present,
and always He seeks to discover Himself to each one.”

– A.W Tozer

In each short-term mission trip, I have had the privilege of being a part of, God has shown me the importance of being obedient to go when he calls. Not because of the difference I can make, but because of the way he wants to use me and change me in that instance. As Christians, we are one body. Believers in America, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, Haiti, Zambia, Lesotho and all around the world make up Christ’s body and as a body, we are called to work together. To learn from each other. To encourage one another. To sacrifice on behalf of each other. To love one another. While we were in Butha-Buthe, Lesotho we spent our whole time working and serving with a ministry called LXP Lesotho. During our time there, God reminded me just how present he is, everywhere. 


God is at work everywhere and he wants us to join him in this work to share his love and redemption to the world, to those who are lost and do not know about the life he has to offer. A life of freedom, belonging, and purpose exists for each of us and yet so many people have no idea, even Christians miss this or forget this. The harvest is ready, but the workers are few. Those who are lost are ready to be found, ready to be invited into the family of God, but they need to know that there is a place for them. It’s easy for me to take this for granted. I forget that God wants to use me, he wants to use us, to be Christ’s imitators here on earth and to be his helper’s in bringing his Kingdom here.


Godfrey and Elizabeth, who run LXP Lesotho, pour into and train leaders within their community, run a youth program every week for around 100 kids from their community in the driveway and yard of their home, and many of those kids and teens come to their house every day to play and just be around them. We got to serve them by painting a schoolroom and fix some of the desks, fix potholes in the road leading to their house and community, and serve with them in reaching out to the community and leading the youth program. Their heart is to be a family with those they lead and encounter, adults and kids alike. It’s such a beautiful picture of what God envisioned for us as his sons and daughters. It’s not just non-profit Christian ministries and churches that are supposed to set this tone. It’s the Church, all believers, single, married, children, families, all those who believe they are a child of God. “Always, everywhere God is present, and always He seeks to discover Himself to each one.” It has been beautiful to see how God is doing just that in me as well as those around me in America, in Zambia, and in Lesotho. God is so big and he is ready to use me and anyone who is willing to be a vessel for his love. I am so thankful those who shared this with me were willing and I hope to continue in the same willing spirit with others.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Shae Reinke

YOUTH CAMP

July 12th, 2018 Posted by Lillian Ng'ambi

SO MUCH has happened in the past couple weeks. I am just bursting to have all of you be excited about it with me!

Two weeks ago, we had two of our church partners from North Carolina and New York come to serve with us. It is always encouraging to have people here ready to minister and pour out their hearts. We are thankful for the way the Lord has used these team members to impact the people in our community, even though they were in country for only nine days. A few days after their arrival, our interns left for Lesotho. They were serving with our ministry partners there by repaving roads, painting a school, and going out into the community. [Our interns just returned back to Zambia yesterday. The base was very quiet without them!]

A couple days after the interns departed to Lesotho, we had our first camp for the youth! We had handpicked 35 youth who had shown leadership qualities and/or had been faithfully coming to our Poetice Youth meetings. They stayed at our base from Saturday to Tuesday and had so much fun playing soccer and volleyball, learning how to play UNO, and hanging out with the church teams and staff. While they were here, they also learned about stewardship, forgiveness, and what servant leadership looks like. We were able to bless the youth by having our Poetice staff and older church team members wash their feet. My heart has been so full after spending deeper time with them. 

On Monday and Tuesday, the youth were able to put what they learned about servant leadership into action as we had children aged six and up from the community attend a five-hour VBS-style camp VBS. Our first day of camp, we had 218 kids. The second day, we had 355! All together, that ended up being 2,324 slices of bread for lunch. We are VERY thankful for our faithful and hard-working kitchen crew!] Kids were split up by age and then rotated to six stations–memory verse, drama, object lesson, games, crafts, and lunch. Our youth just jumped in with corralling the kids, helping with translation, and leading by example. I was so proud of the way that they saw needs and worked to meet those needs. There was one youth member who had been cheating during game time over the weekend, and I had honestly looked down upon him. However, during kids camp, I saw him staying longer at the lunch station to wash the plates for his whole team. We had another youth member who has been very quiet. But after a couple days with him, he completely came out of his shell and was loud and crazy while playing with the kids! He would also take initiative to jump in and translate even when we did not ask him to. I am astonished at the change in our youth when we just give them a platform to lead.

The deeper relationships that formed during camp have been just a springboard for what is to come. As I have mentioned in my previous newsletters, our interns have been our biggest help during Poetice Kidz, and we were wondering how we were going to sustain our meetings without them. Since camp, we have had two Poetice Kidz meetings, and the youth have taken initiative in helping us with registration, leading games, and organizing a very long line for dismissal. Now that we have 35 youth who are beginning to be aligned with our vision and are passionate about reaching kids alongside us, the need to find adult volunteers is no longer as pressing. Praise the Lord!! I am overwhelmed by God’s goodness and faithfulness. It has been my dream to see Zambian youth rise up to become leaders, and I am moved to tears every time I see one of our youth stepping up. We are seeing more of a glimpse of the issues that the communities face through the lives of our youth. As we begin to see the heartache that these kids go through, pray we would have the wisdom and discernment to know what they would best need and serve them accordingly.

We praise God for the transformation we are already starting to see in these teenager’s lives, and we are ecstatic about where He is leading us!! 

In addition to being the emcee for the four days of camp, I had the opportunity to also teach 218 kids on the story of Joseph and how the Lord can use us in our faithfulness, even when we are young.

I would not be able to pull off running a camp without my amazing co-lead! We work so well together. Thankful for a friend who will listen to my ideas and choose to implement crazy ideas with me.

Stepping Out

June 26th, 2018 Posted by Immersion Internship – 2018, Shae Reinke


We are four weeks into the Poetice Internship and I feel like I have learned and done so much that I almost don’t know where to start. The very first weekend, the staff surprised us in sharing that Poetice would be hosting a youth camp through the weekend and the 17 of us interns would get to be the camp counselors. While it was somewhat crazy having 80 youth on base after we had only been here for a few days, it really provided an amazing opportunity for us to get to know the kids from the area. I made quick connections with some of the girls who also attend Poetice Youth on Wednesdays and I have gotten to know those girls more and more each week. I get to see them on Wednesdays, visit them in their homes and communities on Thursdays, and see some of them at
church on Sundays. They are bright lights in Choma and I am so thankful I get to learn from them and walk with them as they continue to step into who God created them to be. It’s been so fun!


In week one of our morning class sessions, Abby did an incredible job bringing God’s story to life. Understanding God’s story reveals to us why we exist. We are here on earth because God loves relationship so much that he created humanity to enjoy
relationship with him. He has invited us into community with him. Even though we screwed it up, he was always looking for a way for us to be united with him again. Enter Jesus. He became human, lived life with us and was just like us yet he did not sin. He set the ultimate example and died to pay the ultimate sacrifice so that we could be free from our worldly brokenness. Even though we still fall short and still screw things up sometimes, we are invited into a healing relationship with God. We are forgiven and we can move on and grow so that we can become more and more like Jesus in this life on earth. The more we become like him, the more we can enjoy the life God originally intended for us. Jesus changes everything.


We have continued to build on this reality of us as humans made in God’s image each week and the teachers each week have spoken so many necessary truths to us and over us. As interns, we are 17 individuals coming from many different cultures and it has been beautiful to see how each of us is made in God’s image. God is much more inclusive than we can imagine, and we are missing out if we do not seek out and take opportunities to learn from our brothers and sisters in all cultures. I have been especially challenged to think about how I have missed some opportunities to learn from others who are different than me in the United States. Stepping out of my comfort zone will always require sacrifice, but the sacrifice I make means I will be opening up more room for God. More room for him to show me new things, more room for him to transform me, and more room for him to show me his continued faithfulness. Not only am I being reminded of these truths and learning new things, I am expectantly praying that others hear and experience these same truths from God. Whether they already know Jesus or have yet to get to know him, he always has new things to reveal to us. My prayer is that my life will reflect Jesus more and more each day, that I will see others as God sees them, and that I will obediently encourage others to be imitators of Christ. Jesus changes everything and we get to be a part of that change in the world around us.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Shae Reinke