“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 heart beats 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 wiling 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