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)