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!
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