To my friends and co-workers in Christ,
It has been three weeks since I have lived in Zambia, and it has been absolutely great. It feels like it has been three months with the amount of things that have happened since I have been back.
I am so blessed by my team daily as we get to work under leaders who exemplify and demonstrate humility, grace, and gratitude. I have loved getting to be part of a team that seeks to constantly evaluate what we do and strive to do things better.
Some brief overviews of what has been transpiring since I have returned:
- There were several renovations that our base needed to make it more functional for large teams. There have not been many improvements to the property since World Hope occupied it over ten years ago. My team immediately put me to work with painting. Lots and lots of painting.
- We have been rushing to finish all of our renovations as we are preparing for the 18 interns coming from the United States, Malawi, Zimbabwe, Uganda, Zambia, and Mexico! These interns are doing our three-month Immersion Internship where they will learn about missions in a cross-cultural setting and about who they are in Christ. They start arriving tomorrow (Tuesday)!!!! Please be praying for our staff as we desire to mentor these interns as they live, serve, and grow together in the Lord. Pray that the interns’ hearts would be soft and ready to receive whatever the Lord may have for them during this internship.
- One of the biggest news: we started a church at our base! I have been helping lead worship with the violin. We had about 60 people last Sunday, most of them community members. Poetice’s mission statement is to empower the Church. We felt that in order to accomplish this, we needed to be the Church. What better way to make an impact in the community than to start a church with authentic, Biblical teaching? It has been an answer to prayer to finally attend a church in Zambia where I am refreshed and learning.
- We have been going out into the community twice a week to get to know people and identify people who have a genuine heart to learn about God. As of right now, we have started two Bible studies! The interns will be a huge help to us in reaching people and starting additional Bible studies.
- I started tutoring a girl three times a week. Poetice has been minstering to Inness and her ailing parents for the past four years. After the passing of Inness’ mother a few months ago, she was sent to the village to live with her grandfather. Although Poetice has been sponsoring her to be in school all this time, she has had minimal attendance in order to care for her parents. After deciding we wanted to continue sponsoring her, she was tested at a primary boarding school and was identified for second grade. Inness is 18 years old. We are currently working on having her identify and differentiate letters and understanding the concept of addition.
- Our kids ministry has been a huge hit! We are regularly having over 150 kids in attendance. This past week, I started our youth group (Poetice Youth) and got to teach the Gospel. The majority of these teenagers would probably say that they know God, but when we started talking to them, we realized that probably only five out of 40 kids had heard the Gospel before. Our small group discussions also revealed that there were a lot of untruths that we must uproot and truths that we must plant. For example, in the boys’ group, the leader asked the guys who the only perfect human being was. The first reply was, “Samson!” as well as other Old Testament characters. By the seventh answer, someone finally said, “Jesus.” We have our work cut out for us, but we are overjoyed that we get to be the ones to walk with them as they discover who God really is. I am the one teaching weekly lessons for these teens. I would appreciate prayers for wisdom on what to teach and how to teach the lesson so they can comprehend it!
There are some days that I look around me and am blown away that I am actually here. Many of you have been surprised at my level of sacrifice, but it is NOTHING compared to what I am gaining here. These rich relationships where I am challenged and encouraged spiritually, while able to be entirely focused on spreading the Kingdom of God every day, is a better life than I could have ever dreamed of having. Being able to wholly dedicate my life to worshiping the Lord and teaching others about Him is such a gift. Thank you for your messages, your prayers, your financial giving…the giving and sacrifices you have made on my behalf have allowed this dream to become possible! Thank you!
PS. For those of you wondering…now that we have moved to a different town, I do not have to walk the long distances that I used to! A walk to work is only 15 minutes!