28 December 2005

Last of the Weekly Updates for 2005

Greetings from Luanshya! This will be the last of the weekly updates for 2005 and it seems like just last week we were just starting this year. Time flies when you're having fun!

People all over town are asking "How was your Christmas?" Usually in Africa that means: "Did you have enough food?" Our Christmas was, indeed, wonderful, but it was not just about the food on the table.

Our weekend began with S.C.U.B.A. - the Friday afternoon Bible Club for the children. Every week the group grows. We have two more weeks to go until school resumes on 9th January. We appreciate your prayers as we continue to teach the children the Bible truths they are learning on Friday afternoons.

On Saturday, Christmas Eve, Colin and I visited the six veterans of World War Two that live in Luanshya. Most of these men are pretty feeble now. They fought in the "Northern Rhodesian" section of the British armed forces. One of them travelled as far away as Japan and Burma. We took food "hampers" supplied by eight different businesses here in Luanshya. These men were so touched by the fact that someone had remembered them that one of them actually hugged us - not common among
men of this culture.

On Christmas Sunday morning I went to the golf course for my "Caddy Chapel". There were not many men there because of the rain, but we had a brief time of prayer and I shared a portion of Scripture. Some of these men have started coming to the Wednesday Bible study and the Friday film presentations.

After the service we went to the Lighthouse Children's Home and passed out goodies to the children including toys, clothes and books. The older children each received a small bottle of perfume/cologne. The whole house was filled with a "sweet aroma" for a few days. We remember the first Christmas there five years ago. We only had three children at that time and they were petrified with fear. On that first Christmas the house was filled with the odour of medicine because all three children were being treated for cuts and abrasions from the physical abuse they had been enduring in the village. What a difference love makes!

Our Christmas blessing did not end on Sunday. One of our visitors asked me to come by and visit him at work on Tuesday. He is a teacher at Luanshya Boys High School. I took one of our young men with who is studying the "Evangelism Explosion" lessons me. We talked to Mr Kafuli for about 45 minutes and he accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as his personal Saviour.

Yes, we had a marvellous Christmas! God continues to bless. Our year has been filled with challenges and victories. We are looking forward to the coming year and deeply appreciate your prayer and support for this ministry.

Together in His Service,
Patrick & Sherry

15 December 2005

The Creator and His creation

Greetings from Luanshya!

Last Friday was the first day of SCUBA, our Super Cool Undersea Bible Adventure for children. Forty-five minutes before the program was to begin the skies opened and we had two inches of rainfall in an hour. Sometimes you have to kind of wonder about why things happen the way they do. Then again, the program is called SCUBA. Three fourths of the children who eventually made it to the meeting were drenched. It looked like they had virtually swam to church. The attendance wasn't fantastic but the children had a great time and are looking forward to this Friday afternoon's program. Hopefully we will have a break in the weather. Please pray for this ongoing program for the next four weeks.

On Sunday the children discussed the "Beginning of Sin." The little ones had some rather interesting questions concerning the first sin. Did God know Adam and Eve were going to sin? Why did he make them if He knew they were going to blow it? These are the same questions that little ones have around the world. Most big people have the same questions. Sherry explained that God gave man the ability to choose. Those who choose to obey and come to Christ choose an eternity with the Father in heaven. Those who choose their own way choose death and eternal separation from God. Please pray for our children that they will make the right choices as they are being taught what the Bible says.

As mentioned earlier, the rains are here in full force. This brings a number of problems for the population. The roads are nasty and when people are walking to church they must decide if they are going to take a chance on getting drenched or simply staying home and remaining out of the weather. Houses in township areas are washed away every year and are being rebuilt with the same mud brick that washed away in the first place. Last week we were informed that there are several cases of cholera in our little town. One maternity clinic has been converted over completely into a cholera centre. People have been told not to shake hands (a complete breakdown of African culture) and not to attend funeral gatherings until further notice. A few years ago churches were forbidden from meeting because the outbreak was so severe. We have been informing people in the community and in the rural churches to be careful about their personal hygiene. The confirmation that cholera has, in fact, been discovered in our town is a very serious situation. Please pray for the people here as they come to terms with this life-threatening disease that has no cure. All the people can do is take the appropriate precautions and if they feel ill, rush immediately to the specific clinic for rehydration fluids and medical oversight.

This evening I will continue with the small group Bible study on Creation to Christ. Last week we discussed the creation of spirit beings (angels, demons etc.). I explained that God is the creator of all these beings and is therefore more powerful than they are. Most people here are petrified of the witch doctor and the threat of demon possession. When I explained that I had personally faced off a witch doctor in 1986 and was not afraid of these filthy people, members of the small group laughed nervously because they would not do that. Superstition and fear is taught from their earliest memory. Even church leaders get caught up in this foolishness. Pray for this Wednesday night group as we continue talking about the Creator and His creation.

Thank you for remembering us in your prayers as we remain...

In His Service,
Patrick & Sherry

07 December 2005

Challenges and Victories

Greetings from Luanshya!

Last week we spoke about the man out at Kafubu Block and the celebration of his life after his home call. Last Thursday there was another death in the community. What a contrast in lives between the Christian and the non-Christian. The woman who died last week had treated her parents, her husband and her children with disdain. She took money that the husband brought home for food and spent it on alcohol. She had a succession of "boyfriends" and had contracted AIDS through her various dalliances. When she fell ill, her parents wanted nothing to do with her. Her sisters chased her from their homes. Her children ignored her. Her husband, in spite of the fact that she had been unfaithful for a number of years, still loved her enough to take her to the hospital. Unfortunately, there was nothing the doctors to do and she died alone. The funeral was held last Saturday and there was absolutely no hope in the eyes of the mourners. This is a woman who had been given every opportunity to know the Lord Jesus Christ as her Saviour, but she blatantly refused His call. Please pray for the family as they go through this period of grief.

Exam time in local schools is over. The students are relaxing a bit and coming into the Christian Resource Centre. Last month we enrolled only enrolled 3 new students into the correspondence program. 115 courses were distributed, 101 were corrected and 4 certificates of completion were awarded. Pray for those taking lessons and those who will put them on the shelves for a bit as they relax during the school holidays.

This coming Friday we begin SCUBA, the children's afternoon Bible Club. The puppet stage has been moved into the main chapel hall, music has been rehearsed, our helpers have been alerted and we are as ready as we are going to be. We never know how many children will be involved in these programs. In the past we have had anywhere from 70 to 150 children. Please pray for this program and pray for both the children and the helpers (Crew).

We mentioned one of the girls from the Lighthouse Home was having some rather serious behavioural issues. This is an ongoing situation which does not seem to be getting any better. She is consistently lying, using foul language, and trying to cause conflict between the adults who are, in fact, in charge of her. What she has not figured out is that the adults are talking to each other. The other children have realized that this little girl is a divisive element in the family. Fortunately, for this little girl, we are not giving up on her. Please pray for us and for her. Pray for patience, wisdom and understanding on our part and for a transformation in the heart of our little girl.

Challenges are a part of life. God never said there would be no challenges. What He said was there would be victories. Thank you for sharing with us in both challenges and victories as we continue...

In His Service,
Patrick & Sherry

30 November 2005

Thanksgiving, Rewards, and Consequences

Greetings from Luanshya!

Last Thursday we were able to celebrate Thanksgiving with an actual turkey. I went to the local grocer, the only one in town, several weeks ago and asked him to order a turkey. I really didn't expect him to be successful but he called me on Wednesday to say that the bird had arrived. In years past turkey has been anywhere from 6 to 7 pounds which is more like a medium sized chicken in the States. This year the turkey was a full 11 pounds. This may not seem like a big turkey in North America but it was practically a monster in Zambia. We were able to enjoy our celebration with a Peace Corp Volunteer who came in from a village an hour away from us. We are thankful that we have the privilege of serving the Lord in the place where He called us.

There were also bittersweet moments this past week. One of the senior leaders of a rural church passed away. He was 71 years of age and had suffered from cancer for the last five years. I received word last Wednesday afternoon of his death and went out to the village to take his widow home and make sure there were people around to help her. I did not get home until 10 p.m. Saturday we had the funeral. There were well over 200 people packed into the small chapel. We celebrated his life and I preached in Swahili with the message being translated into Bemba. I declared that my friend had made it known that he was a child of God and that he had a concrete assurance that he would stand before the Lord when he died. He knew that the Lord Jesus Christ was preparing a place especially for him. I then challenged the mourners who were from several different church backgrounds that they too could have that same assurance as promised in 1 John 5:13. It is always sad to lose a friend but we celebrate the fact that our final greeting here on earth is not goodbye but "tutaonana"...we will see each other again.

We would ask you to pray for one of the children at the Lighthouse Children's Home. This particular child has been caught stealing, lying, and going to places that are strictly off limit. When she has been caught in these activities in the past, she produces crocodile tears and begs forgiveness. The other children have let it be known that this was all a game to her. She had declared that she could do anything she wanted and get away with it. The other children are afraid to say anything because they had believed this particular child, but the straw that broke the camels back was when she started blaming other children for her misdeeds. This evening the children witnessed the result of continual disobedience. School holidays begin but she will be doing extra chores every single day for the next five weeks. The other
children need to understand that there is nobody above the rules of the house - even with big crocodile tears. One of the excuses given by the youngster is that she did not know any better because she is "only an orphan". That boat don't float! She has been a part of the Lighthouse Family for five years and she should have known better than to use that excuse. Please pray for our young wards as they learn the reality that disobedience has consequences. "Be sure your sin will find you out."

Finally, please pray for Colin as he makes a second attempt at the college entrance exams (SAT's). His last score was 1500 but this new exam encompasses essays and will be the one required for him when entering university in two years time.

We appreciate your faithfulness and prayers on our behalf. The victories we experience in Zambia are shared by you.

Together in His Service,
Patrick & Sherry

23 November 2005

Yet another full week of activity and reflection.

Yet another full week of activity and reflection. This update, intended for 16th November 2005, is late, but the information is still valid!

Sherry has been occupied with preparing a team of workers for the upcoming Children's Bible Club on Friday afternoons once schools close for the holidays. The program is entitled "SCUBA" and stands for "Super Cool Undersea Bible Adventure." Our youth exchange student from Canada will be participating in the work team by teaching arts and crafts while Colin will run the music programs and I present the wrap-up "Finale" at the close of each day. Our "adopted" son John Bwalya and his wife have come forward to teach the Bible lessons and a few other young people have volunteered to assist in the puppetry. Pray for everyone involved. Pray for the preparation necessary to make this a successful program. Pray for the boys and girls who will be attending the sessions.

I have been meeting with one of the young men at the chapel for discipleship over the last few weeks. Joe has been keen to learn his role in the family of God as well as in the work of the local church. The transformation in his life has been made evident since accepting Christ as His Saviour. We are pleased with his progress and his willingness to learn.

Once or twice a week I have been meeting with two young men from the church training them in evangelism. We look forward to the day when these young people begin to bring new faces into the church and play a leading role in the outreach programs. Please pray for those going through these lessons.

We conclude our "End Time" movie series this Friday evening with "Left Behind II". Last week was a record number of attendees. Sherry made some correspondence lessons available to those interested in learning more about their "end times" and the decision that must be made now before it is too late. Pray for those who have been coming out and pray especially for this Friday's presentation.

The children in Sunday School have just had a session on "Angels". Sherry mentioned that the children had so many questions, preconceived ideas, false impressions that they were astonished when various scriptures were presented to them for research. They now know that there are varying ranks of angels, that some angels have no wings, others have six and yet others have four. Angels have certain roles to play in God's plan. They learned that sometimes angels take the form of humans and this is always in the appearance of a male. This had been one of the most participative lessons yet, according to Sherry's account. Pray for the boys and girls as they learn more about God and His kingdom. This coming Sunday the children will be learning about Satan and his demons.

Colin came home from school this Monday. His final exams have been completed and he feels rather satisfied with his performance. We now await the results and will discuss his options. We have signed Colin up for Form 6 part I which should bring him in equal standing to grade 12 in the American High School setting. He is convinced that this was his final year of school since so many of his friends have left and do not plan on completing the Form 6 years. Some of these will be heading
towards college or temporary employment. Our decision is based upon Colin's maturity, age and a few other factors. We believe with the next two years under his belt in the Form 6 program, he will make a well adjusted college student in the future. Please pray for him and us as we look to the future.

Thank you for your continued prayers on our behalf. We love and appreciate you.

In His Service,
Patrick & Sherry

02 November 2005

Learning and Growing

Greetings from Luanshya!

Last Sunday morning was great! The children in the Sunday School recited their memory verses for the last 13 weeks. Most of the children had been very involved in studying for their end of year school exams, but still managed to be able to do very well on their recitation. Nancy, one of the girls from the Lighthouse Home, quoted every scripture without mistakes. We are very proud of her progress. As a result of one of the Sunday School lessons, she comes to the library almost every day to read a few pages of "Dropping Your Guard" by Chuck Swindoll. When we look back at her situation five years ago, she was a completely different individual from today and we are grateful to those who had a part in that particular ministry involving her transformation. Please continue to pray for Nancy and the other children at the Lighthouse.

Speaking of the library...

Most classes in the government schools have closed so the grade 9 and 12 students can be taking their final exams in silence. Students have been coming to the library every day. As we type this letter there are seven young people in the library reading. Every few minutes there are students coming in to retrieve a lesson that they had completed some time back and are only now finding time to pick up. With temperatures soaring well above 100 degrees, the library tends to heat up quickly
especially with people moving around. Still, it is a comfortable place for young people to come and read and seek answers to questions that the average young person has. One question this morning from a young man concerned how does worship bring pleasure to God. I explained that any time we worship and praise the Lord it brings pleasure to the Father just as when our own children communicate with us. He seemed surprised that God would actually "feel" pleasure from His children until I
assured him that God created us in His own image and thus the emotions we experience He can also experience apart from sin.

Last month in the Source of Light Bible Correspondence School we enrolled seven new students. We distributed 192 lessons, corrected 190 lessons and awarded 25 certificates of completion. We have begun to be very careful about the younger students coming in wanting to enrol. They see big brother and sister taking the courses. They come in hoping to come in and "join" Mailbox Club. Unfortunately, many the students here that are in grade 5 and 6 cannot read even the most simple of the
booklets that are written for grade 1 students in the United States and Canada. Some of them have even memorized the first paragraph of the first book in an attempt to appear as if they could actually read the book. It is a shame that we cannot simply teach them all to read, but there are simply not enough hours in the day and we do not feel that it is feasible for us to close down one or two other ministries in order to start a reading program.

This coming Saturday is the big day for Claude and Petronella. Today is their final pre-marital counselling session. They will meet with us and discuss "Communication" and "Finances". They have already learned a lot of each other that they had not known prior to our sessions together. In the last session Claude spoke about why he loved Petronella and that he respected her as a person. She had never heard him verbalize these thoughts. As they left our office hand in hand, it was wonderful to note that we are having a part in their future. Pray for them as they enter this wonderful state of matrimony.

Thank you for allowing us to represent you and have a part in the livesof so many people in Zambia.

In His Service,
Patrick & Sherry

26 October 2005

"You mean we can really do this?"

Greetings from Luanshya!

Last Thursday two of the young men from chapel came to see me. They were specifically burdened about visiting in the homes of people who had come to visit in our services. They said, "Brother Coleman, we just don't know how to do it. Is there some training you can give us?" I gave each of them a copy of "The Purpose Driven Life" and set up an appointment to meet with them several times a week to discuss how to lead people to a saving knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ. Their first "session" was today and they soaked up the information. One of the young men said, "You mean we can really do this?" I assured him that not only could he lead someone to Christ but also it was the duty of every believer to faithfully share the gospel with the whole world (Mark 16:15). Please pray for these two young men and that others will follow their example.

Claude and Petronella are continuing with the pre-marital counseling. Last Saturday they had the first rehearsal in the chapel. There is just something about an African wedding that lifts your spirits. A few months ago Sherry and I had the privilege of attending my nephews wedding. It was a nice, calm service. At an African wedding the attendants do not simply walk down the aisle. They dance! It takes nearly 10 minutes for them to get into the church and a full 20 for them to exit. The attendees get into the spirit of things and the whole church will be joining in the celebration with their undulating cries and praises to the Lord. Please pray for Claude and Pet as they prepare for their lives together.

This coming Sunday, the children in the Sunday School will be completing their latest series of lessons with the "Memory Verse Competition". The little ones are very serious about this and work at saying all 13 verses word perfect. Our prayer is that it will be more than just words from their lips but a message hidden deep in their hearts and keep them from sin.

Last Sunday I was in a rural church in Kambilombilo. I spoke on the subject that "We Can Know That We Have Eternal Life" from the book of 1 John 5. After I finished the message one man immediately stood up and announced that he had accepted Christ "on the spot". It was refreshing to see that kind of enthusiasm. Obviously God had the fruit ready to be harvested. Please pray for t his rural church. They have a number of new believers preparing for baptism. That is also an exciting event in the life of a community. Kambilombilo is a refugee resettlement area near us where many former Congolese residents now live.

John Bwalya and his wife, Sarah, came all the way in from Masaiti District to be the Lord's messenger at the chapel on Sunday. John spoke on liberty and independence, as Monday was Zambia's 41st birthday. He spoke about the difference between physical independence and spiritual independence. He referred to scriptures ranging from Genesis 46 through the book of Exodus. This was a reminder that the children of Israel, though initially invited to live in Egypt, were eventually enslaved. One of the highlights of the message was Jacob's admonition to his sons that their home was not where they currently lived, but was elsewhere. As believers, we have the same admonition to accept the liberty offered through Jesus Christ and look forward to our heavenly home as we sojourn here on earth.

God has been good. We thank you for your faithfulness in prayer.

In His Service,
Patrick & Sherry

19 October 2005

Dive Deep!

Greetings from Luanshya!

The College and Career Class have completed their studies in the book of Daniel. The class will resume in the new year since many of the students are going into year-end exams and returning to their home villages. This is a very stressful time for students both in high school and university level. Please pray specifically for the Christians as they study and prepare for these very important examinations.

We are considering holding a Bible Club program for ages 7-15 during the school break in December. This will be along the line of Vacation Bible School, but it would be weekly instead of daily. The series the children will work through is entitled "Dive Deep!" The usual singing, games, crafts, Bible lessons with an added facet of puppetry will enliven the day. We will keep you updated as plans for this event are solidified.

One of the students in the Bible Institute has just completed a module on Job. This is always an interesting book to work through. He learned a tremendous amount in not only examining Job's reaction to trials but also in examining Job's friends' reaction to Job's reaction. Very often people assume that suffering believers are suffering because of sin.

Job, Daniel, Joseph and the apostle Paul demonstrate to us that this is not necessarily the case. Sometimes God allows suffering to make us stronger. Sometimes God allows suffering for us to be an example and comfort to other believers. Sometimes God allows suffering just to show Satan that God's children are faithful to the Lord. Whatever the reason for our suffering, we know that God is in control and will never allow us to endure more than we are able to endure. There is a tremendous
comfort in that fact!

The last couple of weeks I have been visiting rural churches. This coming Sunday I will be back at Mwaiseni. This is a church I helped to start several years ago. Their average attendance is around 300 on Sunday morning. They have invited me to come back as their guest speaker. It is very exciting to see a church grow with local leadership at the helm. Another local church has requested me to visit in November
to teach specifically about the Lord's Supper. I am looking forward to that occasion. Like the apostle Paul I sometimes find conflicts in the local churches and I am able to counsel without interfering in the autonomy of the local church. Please pray for our Zambian leaders as they seek to do the will of God.

Last Saturday evening I took Colin, Courtney (our Youth exchange student) and a Peace Corp Volunteer to watch a Hindu ceremony in Ndola so they might get an idea of yet another culture resident in Zambia. They were amazed to find people worshipping man made gods of stone, copper and gold. One of the leaders explained that one of the goddesses had a child whose head was cut off by a rival god so they grabbed the
nearest thing they could find to put on the child's shoulders to keep it alive. They found the head of an elephant. The young people didn't say anything initially until they were alone with me and then the amazement of such a story was shocking to say the least. As the celebration continued, hundreds of Hindus walked in circles around what looked like a maypole in the middle of a courtyard. The whole scene reminded me of Elijah's experience with the 400 prophets of Baal. Drums were beaten, singers were crying out and the dancers were spinning back and forth trying to appease the "mother goddess". It magnified the need to share the gospel of Christ with the whole world. Many of these Hindu friends really believe that the dancing, the drums and the wailing will get them closer to some kind of paradise. I spoke to one man who was raised in that culture, who completely rejected the idea. Please pray for M. as we
continue to dialogue about the truth as opposed to error.

Thank you for your continued prayers on our behalf.

In His Service,
Patrick & Sherry

05 October 2005


Greetings from Luanshya!

September was a good month for the Source of Light Bible Correspondence School. We enrolled 18 new students, distributed 239 lessons, corrected 225 lessons and awarded 26 certificates of completion. Several of our older students have actually come to the end of the course material. We still see them coming into the library to read and study the books that are on the shelves. Mr. Mubanga, who is 64 years old, is the first to start the new series "Light From The Old Testament." Mr. Mubanga lives two hours away by foot in an area known as Mpongwe. He makes the trip twice a week to deliver his course and pick up his new one. He uses the lessons as source material for the messages he preaches in his rural church. Please continue to pray for brother Mubanga and over 3,500 other students registered with the SOL ministry.

The College and Career class will conclude the study of Daniel this coming Friday with chapter 12. They will be looking at the Great Tribulation and the Deliverance of Israel. The group will be taking a break after the conclusion of this series until January as many will be going to their family farms to prepare the ground for planting season while others return to their homes for the holidays. During the time
slot where we ordinarily have this class, we will be showing a series of films on the Return of Christ.

One of the local churches here in Luanshya has asked me to consider coming to teach on "The Lord's Supper". There is often confusion and sometimes conflict over exactly what the Lord's Supper represents and how it is to be conducted. The Apostle Paul had the same situation in Corinth and he spent almost an entire chapter admonishing the believers on the proper attitude, mode and procedure for remembering the last
supper that Christ had with His apostles. I look forward to the opportunity to teach about this command that the Lord left for His people.

The hot season is upon us. Temperatures during the daytime hours have climbed as high as 120 degrees. There have been a number of reported deaths in our town due to heat stroke. This is also the time when many people take their own lives because of weather conditions and young people have taken their lives from the pressure of school exams. October is known as "suicide month". It is for that reason that we spend so much time with our young people letting them know that there is someplace
that they can come for refuge. Please pray for our community at this time.

Last week I had an opportunity to meet a pastor from a church in South Africa. He was talking with a group of church members and he asked the question, "Can We Be 100% Sure That We Have Eternal Life?" I smiled because I knew the answer. Sadly, he did not. He said, "While we have the assurance that the Lord loves us, we cannot have 100% assurance that we have eternal life." What hope can this church leader possibly give to his flock? After his talk, I spoke to a few of the members of the congregation and explained that I did have 100% assurance and shared with them John 10:27-28 and 1 John 5:13, along with many others. Some people have asked me if we are working with "unreached people" here in Africa. We do not know what the classification is for "unreached" may be, but we are reaching people who have been reached with the wrong message. Thank you for making this possible by your prayers and financial support.

In His Service,
Patrick & Sherry

29 September 2005

Update on Cancer Surgery Review

Today (29th September 2005) has been a busy day! It started this
morning as I went to doctors' offices, labratories and clinics to pay
bills - lots of bills. Perhaps the hardest part about this cancer
stuff is the money it takes to get rid of it!
My last stop was the last surgeon's office. As I went to the doctor
this afternoon I felt really good. I knew there were several
thousand people praying for me. The surgeon looked at the
pathologists' reports (there were two), then he checked
out my neck and tongue. He said everything looks wonderful. There is
no sign of any cancer in any of the tissue, my neck is healing nicely
and my tongue is "coming back" to normal.
He doesn't want to see me for six months...unless I notice any
change. He said the cancer was in its earliest stage and there should
be no problem. I have my wife to thank for that. When I discovered
the "bump" on my tongue in early August Sherry insisted - with great
enthusiasm - that I go to the doctor immediately. I love her.
For those who had any criticism about my marrying Sherry eight years
ago - I owe her my life.
I thought you all ought to know what I think about her! She knows I
feel that way, but I like telling her anyway. Sharing it with you is
just plain fun! ;^)
In His Matchless Grace,
Luanshya, Zambia
(Temporarily in Johannesburg, South Africa)

21 September 2005

Blessings of the week!

Greetings from Luanshya!

Last Friday the College and Career Class studied Daniel 10 dealing with spiritual warfare. Wars, terrorism, assassinations—so often world events seem out of control. We are frustrated and frightened because of our inability to do anything to stop them. The last of four great visions given to Daniel presents God's perspective on world events. In the next few weeks the class will be comparing the prophecy with history. Students are beginning to realize just how real the Word of God is. Pray for them as they continue in their study.

On Sunday I went out to a rural village in Kafubu. Many of the people in this area are older and have actually retired from their work in town and gone "back" to farm. Most of them have not been on a farm their entire working career, but for some reason they feel drawn to the land and for their final days. I took a box of eyeglasses that was sent to us from Sunrise Church in Fresno, California and distributed them to the members in the church. The looks on their faces would have lightened anyone's heart, as they were able to read their own Bibles without strain. One of the men showed me his previous pair of eyeglasses. They had been glued together multiple times and were literally falling apart in his hand. I gave him a pair of wire-framed bifocals and he was simply thrilled beyond words. This small gesture helps us to show that we care enough about these senior saints to do whatever it takes to help them in their Bible study. Special thanks to those who contributed to this need.

Visits to the Christian Resource Centre have become a family affair, in some instances. This afternoon a father came in with his 20 something year-old son so they could read and study together. The father is studying "The Five Love Languages" by Dr. Chapman. The young man is reading a book published by Focus on the Family. It is an adventure story that is aimed at high school students. The father wants his son to improve his reading so came in with him so they could spend some time together. It is very rare for a father to do this. We were thrilled to have the opportunity to make this a reality. There are quite a few mothers who come in with their daughters to do the correspondence lessons. Boys are bringing their brothers. Girls are bringing their sisters. Friends are bringing their friends. The library is busy every day. Please continue to pray for this ministry.

Footing pouredThis coming Sunday I will be in another rural church. The believers have just completed moulding the bricks for their building. They are in the process of building the kiln so they can burn the bricks before the rainy season begins. It is exciting to see God's people stepping out by faith and constructing their own building. Pray for the Word and pray for lives to be changed. Bricklayer at ChapelMeanwhile we have begun the foundation work for the chapel in town. Because it is in town the building codes are a bit more stringent so the work is slower - and more expensive. Please pray with us about this exciting venture!

Next week I go to South Africa for my first review with the oncologist following the removal of a malignant tumour on my tongue as well as the removal of lymph nodes in my neck. The last biopsy showed that there are no cancer cells remaining but a constant follow up regime must be maintained to ensure there is no recurrence. Please pray for the journey and for the doctors.

Thanks for your prayers!

In His Service,
Patrick & Sherry

31 August 2005

Great news and Great provision

Greetings from Luanshya!

Last week's College and Career class was spectacular. The young people discussed Daniel 8-World Powers In Conflict. God gave Daniel the unique opportunity of looking into the future. That future became very personal. The first seven chapters stressed the destinies of the Gentile world powers. Chapters 8-12 emphasizes the destiny of Israel. The view of the Ram and the Goat were eye openers to the young people in retrospect to chapter 7 and chapter 2. As we prepare for chapter 9 (the 70 seven's) we look forward to much more enthusiasm in discussion. Pray for the group study.

Sunday morning my young protégé, John, spoke again. Sherry and I are so proud of his development as a gifted preacher and his spiritual growth as a whole. His topic was "Your Dream Home". He described our mansion in heaven in comparison to our greatest expectation of a mansion here on earth. The congregation was enthralled as he presented the Word of God and encouraged those of us that are believers to remember that we are but pilgrims in this world awaiting our journey "home". He also presented a challenge to those who do not know Christ. They ought to prepare their souls to meet the Saviour as time is too short to procrastinate.

We have concluded the school holiday movie festival at the Christian Resource Centre. The children who participated enjoyed the presentations and very often came into the library to read books or ask about the correspondence lessons. Colin, also, enjoyed spending time with children and serving as a guide to the Christian Resource Centre. If all works out well, perhaps we will see some of these children at the Vacation Bible School program in December.

Several months ago I (Patrick) bit my tongue while eating breakfast. This is not ordinarily a dangerous exercise, but the wound became irritated. Three weeks ago I noticed a white bump (for lack of an appropriate medical term) on my tongue and went to see our local doctor. He said I needed to see a maxilo facial surgeon, but there are none in Zambia. Therefore I had to go to South Africa. I made the appointment and left within days to see the surgeon in Johannesburg. His comment was that the lesion did "not seem sinister" but needed to be removed and a biopsy should be done. He did this in the hospital there.

The biopsy showed a carcinoma - bad news. He said it was very rare in non-smokers, but he said the initial wound had reacted with an older filling in my mouth. He also mentioned "acid reflux" in my stomach (evidenced by "heart burn") that probably added to the condition. He has sent me to yet another surgeon who did a CT scan of my mouth and neck. There did not appear to be a further problem with the tongue, but to make sure that all of the cancer cells are completely removed from my tongue a substantial amount of tissue was to be removed. Also, a few lymph nodes in my neck were enlarged so they were to be removed as well and a biopsy performed. This was done on Friday, 26th August. The second surgeon said everything "looked fine" and the swelling of the lymph nodes was probably due to the irritation caused by the first surgery. Still, the second biopsy results are not in yet. I'll know more on Thursday.

The four-inch scar on my neck looks pretty gruesome at the moment, but the surgeon said it would not be "too bad" after the swelling went down. If the laboratory finds "something" in the tissue from my neck, then I will be in South Africa for six weeks receiving radiation therapy. This is not likely (according to the surgeon), but possible. Please pray about this situation. We know who is in control and our ministry continues regardless of the outcome.

God has blessed and God allows the challenges in our lives sometimes to reach other people and sometimes to build our own character. Thank you for your prayers on our behalf.

Together in His Service,

Patrick & Sherry

24 August 2005

Blessings working with young people!

Greetings from Luanshya!

Last Saturday Sherry had a very special experience. She was the guest speaker at a "kitchen party" (bridal shower) for one of the young women in the church. This event is different from our conventional shower in that it is often more widely attended than even the actual wedding ceremony. The young lady is "showered" with gifts but she is also given instruction on how to take care of her husband and home. Sherry's admonition was on marriage as a committed partnership and a cooperative effort between equal partners. The idea of equal partners in a marriage is a foreign concept in a society where men have the idea that it is okay to beat their wives into submission. All too often the wives will agree with that concept. Claude and Petronella have been sitting with us in premarital counseling and fully understand the biblical concept of loving and caring for each other. As Sherry spoke at the function, many of the older women had a hard time accepting what she was sharing from the Word of God. It was good to know that Petronella and her mother both agreed with Sherry. Pray for this young couple as they continue in their counseling in preparation for their wedding day.

The newest member of our family, Courtney from Canada, (our youth exchange student) has begun to fit in quite nicely into our home. Colin commented that it was nice to have someone his own age around the house. She has joined right in with the chores and is even learning to try out some of our local cuisine. She went with one of the young ladies to visit her school and is excited about the year ahead. Please pray for Courtney as this will be a life changing experience for her. Last Sunday she attended church with us and appeared to be comfortable in her surroundings.

Two of the students from the Men's Bible Institute turned in their answers to questions concerning their latest lessons. They have learned to give succinct, well-documented responses to the questions instead of talking in circles and trying to fill a page. The difference between their first assignment and this last one is truly amazing. As we move into the Poetic books, Job is going challenging in itself. Many issues that are often theoretical are going to be examined from a very practical manner. Pray for the students as they continue in their studies.

The College and Career class has grown substantially. Young people have begun to realize that they can actually obtain practical answers to everyday questions. The study on Daniel has brought them face to face with the concept of being faithful to the Lord even when it is not popular with their friends and colleagues. Please continue to pray for our young people. They face a myriad of obstacles. Next week they examine Daniel 8, which broaches the subject of World Powers In Conflict particularly in relation to the destiny of Israel.

We appreciate your prayers on our behalf. These weekly updates give you a brief glimpse at our lives and those affected by your concerted prayers.

In His Service,

Patrick & Sherry


21 August 2005

Blessings of the week!

Greetings from Luanshya!

Good news on the home front. Our son, Colin, went for his surgical review over the weekend and the surgeon found that his leg has been healing nicely. An x-ray was taken and it shows that scar tissue has grown along the desired regions as well as new bone growth around the break in his femur. If the healing process continues to progress as it has, the surgeon is willing to remove the steel plates next April which is six months earlier than expected. Pray for Colin as he continues to recuperate and for us as we warily watch our son become involved in more school activities. Please remember Colin as he takes his final exams over the next two months and prepares for his next step in advanced studies prior to attending college. His school year concludes this time in mid-November.

On the ministry side of things...

Patrick's' protégé, John Bwalya, returned to Luanshya over the weekend in order to lead the church service on Sunday. He presented a challenging message to the believers about the need to examine our motives as to why we do what we do and the need to worship the Lord on a daily basis. He challenged those who do not have a personal relationship with the Lord to consider their eternal state seriously and how to respond to the call of salvation. Pray for John as he continues to bring fresh insight and challenge.

College and Career met on Friday to discuss Daniel 6. Word has gotten around town about this dynamic group and as of last week three times as many young people were in attendance. The discussion of Daniel 6 led to
issues such as obedience to local government, limitations, faithfulness to God in light of today's challenges, how our testimony affects those in authority over us and much more. Daniel in the lions' den is a story that we never get tired of hearing. Daniel was not thrown into the lion's den for being bad. He was thrown in for being godly! That is an important point to keep in mind. We usually expect that when we do wrong we ought to be punished, and when we do right we ought to be praised. That is certainly the ideal, but it doesn't always work out that way. Sometimes those who do wrong are rewarded, and those who do right are persecuted. This chapter demonstrates that godliness can be costly. How do we stand up in similar circumstances?

Progress has been made out at the church plot. The foundation is going up and should be completed any day now. Already those living in the vicinity of the new church site have been asking questions about when we
see the project as being complete so they can attend. In the meantime, we are guiding these same inquisitors to our current venue so that they are exposed to the Word now and make the shift with us as the Lord leads. Pray for the ongoing work at the plot and our testimony in the community at large. This evening Sherry will be driving out to the Ndola Airport to pick up our Youth Exchange student whom we will be hosting and counselling over the next eleven months. Her name is Courtney and she is sixteen years old. She hails from Canada and will be attending grade twelve here in the Luanshya Girls High School as part of a cultural exchange program. Colin is thrilled to have someone "his age" living in the house and who will be around for him to associate with when he is home on school breaks. Pray that his testimony before his
soon to be friend is strong and that both gain from this opportunity and experience.

Sherry will be participating in a bridal program on Saturday. One of the young girls from the church is getting married in October/November and has requested Sherry to present not only a message on marriage but also one on Christ as the centre of the believer's home. Courtney will attend the function with her so this will be her first opportunity to get a glimpse of Zambian life and practice in the marriage sphere as well as hear a clear gospel message. Please pray for this meeting and the many who will be attending.

As always, we appreciate your concerted prayers on our behalf. Not a day goes by when we do not thank the Lord for your support and partnership in His work. May you know His continued blessing in your life.

In His Service,

Patrick & Sherry

10 August 2005

Yes, God answers prayer - but not always the way we expect!

Greetings from Luanshya!
Last Sunday morning at the “Caddie Chapel” there was another golf
tournament. When I arrived there at 8:00 am several of the caddies were
already out on the course with their golfers. The nine men who were
there and waiting were eager to listen so we went forward. One man even
brought his three young children because “they need to be in church.” At
the end of the brief message I asked them if they had any questions. The
man who brought his children asked a very poignant question – and one
that has been asked often and regularly by people since Adam and Eve
first lost their son: “When I ask God to help me why doesn’t He answer?”
He went on to ask me why God allowed bad things to happen. I spent
nearly 30 minutes talking about Joseph. He experienced incredibly bad
situations, but God knew the final outcome of his life. As I spoke the
man soaked in what he was hearing about God’s sovereignty (even thought
that word was not used). After I finished he thanked me and said nobody
ever explained it to him, but he now was beginning to understand. Please
pray for this small group of men – and their families – as I continue to
reach out to them.
School holidays are here and the Christian Resource Centre is full every
day. Colin has been sitting in the library to help because of the
increase in traffic. On Tuesdays and Thursdays we are showing children’s
films so the youngsters have a safe place to come during the break.
Colin works the projector which allows Sherry and me to continue our
routine. Colin enjoys having a part in this particular task. During the
holiday the children of the Lighthouse home are also receiving a bit of
additional tutoring in their mathematics studies. John and Sara Bwalya
are in from their rural post and are lending a hand with this. We are so
proud of this great couple! Please continue to remember them in prayer.
We need for them to be transferred back to Luanshya.
This afternoon Sherry and I began to intensive counselling of a young
couple who are planning to be married in November. I have known both of
these young people for over 10 years and have watched them mature
physically, emotionally and spiritually. He is completing his studies in
electronics and she is a school teacher. They want to serve the Lord in
their local church and want their marriage to be founded on the
principles of the Word of God. He lives in Lusaka now and they will me
moving there after the wedding so another member of the church is
leaving, but we always see this as an expansion of our ministry. Please
pray for Claude and Petronella as they prepare to share their lives and
ministries with each other.
On Friday I will be making a trip to Lusaka (four hours away) for Colin
to have a medical review of his leg and to have the minivan from the
Lighthouse Home serviced. Please pray for us as we travel. There is a
diesel shortage in Zambia so I have to carry all my fuel for the round
trip with me. We will be back in time for the service on Sunday. John
Bwalya is preaching and I want to hear my protégé speak.
Thank you for the part you have in this ministry. We are here because
you are there!
In His Service,
Patrick & Sherry

03 August 2005

Celebration Week!

Greetings from Luanshya!


It has been a week of celebration around our house. On Monday we celebrated our 8th year of marriage. It was a national holiday in Zambia so there wasn't even a restaurant open for us to celebrate. Still, it has been a great eight years and we are looking forward to the next eighty.

Monday was also my 20th anniversary of first stepping foot on African soil. It has been a very eventful two decades. There have been wonderful victories and incredible challenges. Through the ups and downs of life in ministry since 1985, God has blessed and our team of faithful prayer and financial partners has stood with us at every turn. Thank you for being a part of our lives. Now...

Last Friday I travelled to Mkushi to collect Colin from school. His leg is healing nicely and academically he is doing very well. He finds English a challenge because, quite frankly, he doesn't like to write. He will have to get over this, of course, because university courses require that students are able to express themselves through the written word. He loves math and science but he has to be able to communicate mathematical and scientific formulae so that the novice is capable of understanding his theorems. Please pray for Colin as he spends the next four weeks in "mom and dad's special English course for the literary challenged".

The Source of Light Bible Correspondence School continued to grow during the month of July. Thirty-four new students were enrolled, 285 lessons were distributed, 229 lessons were corrected and 17 certificates of completion were awarded. We received some new curriculum to enlarge the children's section of the school. There was also a new series ordered for the adult curriculum entitled "Light From The Old Testament." The new courses have already been put into play.

On Sunday I was out in the rural village of Buntungwa. They have completed 2,700 bricks of the 4,000 needed for the construction of their new building. After completing the moulding of the bricks, they will build a kiln, load it with firewood and burn it (the firewood) for five days. The mud bricks will harden with the heat and these will become permanent. Four men in the church are doing the work and the ladies are taking turns providing meals for them five days a week. They have taken real ownership of this project and are excited about the fact that they are doing it all themselves. The oldest man on the construction team is brother Mwape who is a retired tailor from one of the clothing manufacturers in town that went out of business. Pressing bricks isn't anything like pressing suits-especially when you're nearly sixty years old. I had lunch in his home following the Sunday service. We talked about life in rural Zambia. It was a blessing to share some time with this dedicated servant of the Lord. Please continue praying for this church as they go forward in their building program.

Last week we mentioned the teacher's strike in our part of Zambia. The union told all the teachers to go back to work, this is the last week of school for this term so it didn't really do much good to have the teachers report for classes when many of the students had already decided that they weren't coming and had unofficially begun their holiday. Our hope and prayer is that teachers and the government will come to some agreement prior to the beginning of next term (first week of September) so the exam schedule will not be jeopardised. Please continue praying for this situation.

Finally, pray for the College and Career class. A man named Various (yes, that's his real name) came in today asking if he could bring several friends with him on Friday. Of course we encouraged him to do so. We look forward to several visitors this coming Friday.

We appreciate your prayers on our behalf.

In His Service,

Patrick & Sherry


27 July 2005

Thanks for praying for our children!

27th July 2005

Greetings from Luanshya!

It was very exciting last week to listen to the Sunday School children quote the memory verses from the last term. The "champion" was Nancy Chanda, the oldest of our Lighthouse Children's Home wards. She has come an incredible distance from when she first entered our lives. Not only is she growing physically and academically, but also growing spiritual and for that we are extremely grateful to all those who have had a part in the Lighthouse ministry! Please continue to pray for the Sunday School program and the children who attend.

Colin returns from school later this week. We are looking forward to a positive school report. We are also looking forward to having some time with our son during the month of August. Pray for Colin as he prepares for more final exams in the next term. Pray for continued healing of his leg. Pray for his future plans as he begins to examine lasting life choices.

Friday evening the College and Career group will meet. They will be studying Daniel 5 and the events which led to the downfall of Babylon. Pray for lessons to be learned and prideful attitudes to be reconsidered.

This coming Sunday I will be in one of the rural vernacular churches to share the Word of God. Pray for those whom the Holy Spirit is preparing. Pray that souls may be saved and lives changed.

We have received several hundred lessons for the Source of Light Bible Correspondence School. This replenishes the stock that has been dealt out over the last three months. Once these boxes are opened, we will place the next order. Thank you for praying for the safe arrival of this shipment. We will be adding a couple new children's' series in the next month. Pray that the Lord of the Harvest will reap many young souls.

Finally, please pray for the situation with the ongoing teacher's strike in Luanshya. Exams begin in the government schools as early as October. Children have the month of August off as a school break meaning that they only have this week and the month of September to prepare. Many of the children are showing desperate signs of concern as failing this exam literally sets them back an entire year and some will never return to school because of this situation. These exams will affect the grade 7 and grade 9 students. Please pray!

We sincerely appreciate the part you play in this ministry both in
prayer and finances.

In His Service,
Patrick & Sherry

What are "Unreached" People Groups?

Christians, it seems, are focused on "catch phrases" in their personal ministries.

When I was in Bible College (several decades ago) a sweet, old lady asked me if I had heard of "the Spirit-filled life." I cautiously answered that I had and she was so excited that I had read "Dr. Ihavethenewesttrend's" book on the SFL. (Yes, she used the initials.) When I told her that I not only had not read the book, but had never heard of Dr. Ihavethenewesttrend, she was deeply offended. She did, however, offer to buy me the book.

She did. I read it. It was good, but the concept of living a Spirit-filled life did not start from him. He just put it into "catch phrases" that made it easy for us to remember.

Other "catch phrases" have come into focus over the years. I did not know anything about the "10-40 window." I thought perhaps it was where people met for their morning coffee break until I found out that I actually lived IN the "10-40 window." (I am at about 13˚ S.)

I have the books on fresh fire, the prayer of Jabez and all the "purpose-driven" programmes and really enjoy them. I have even used many – alright, MOST – of them in my teaching here in Zambia. There has never really been a problem with any of them. My friend, Jerry Thorpe, advised me to watch for "the bones" in these new and improved programmes. I have and generally found them quite useful. Several members of our church have really enjoyed "The Purpose Driven Life" and have shared it with their friends. I've read it several times myself.

Suddenly I have come across a new (at least to me) catch phrase. I was asked by a church if I was working with "unreached people groups." This seems to be the latest focus in churches. My reply to that request was (in true missionary form) "How do you define 'unreached' in your question?"

There has been a Gospel witness in Africa since the first century after Christ. Phillip led the Ethiopian to a saving knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ not long after the famous Pentecost encounter in Jerusalem. David Livingstone brought the Gospel to in his journeys to Central Africa 150 years ago. We have a book in our personal library by Daniel Crawford who described his ministry here in our part of the word 115 years ago. Has Zambia been "reached" yet? Hardly!

We have churches, assemblies, cathedrals and even "gospel tents" in Zambia. You can turn on the television on Saturday afternoon and watch almost any "flavour" of tele-evangelist. Benny Hinn and Earnest Angely have weekly broadcasts and Joyce Meiers is on the tube almost every night. We even have a Roman Catholic bishop who was married to a Japanese lady by "Rev" Moon. The Watch Tower Society has a huge following and even the LDS Mormons – racist though their theology may be – have moved into our town. Has Zambia been "reached" with the Gospel? Not even close.

The influx of religious "junk" has been misinterpreted by many people as considering Zambia – and much of the rest of Africa – "Christian." One former president of Zambia went so far as to "declare" Zambia to be a "Christian nation." The Hindus, Muslims, Jews and Satan all laughed. They knew better – and so do the Christians in Zambia.

Earlier this week a high school student came into the Christian Resource Centre that we have in Luanshya. The CRC is a library where Sherry and I have put several hundred of our books and have opened the room up to the public. Pastors, teachers and other church members are able to come in and read books that they could never afford to buy. We also have a Correspondence Bible School with almost 3,500 students who receive free Bible lessons. This young lady came in with her finished lesson, but the answers were a bit confusing. She goes to church "almost" every Sunday at a large church in our town with a bit of a different "flavour" than ours so I began asking her a few questions. It was not long before I realised that she not only did not know the Lord Jesus Christ as her Saviour, but she was more concerned about her standing in her church than she was about her standing before God. I gave her a small booklet to read and she promised to come back and talk to me. We'll see...

Was she "reached?" Certainly, but by the wrong people.

We are "reaching" the misdirected, misguided and misinformed. The same religious organisations that work in American neighbourhoods are spending hundreds of thousands of dollars evangelising the "developing world" while Christians (the REAL ones) are being duped into believing that the job is almost done. Money is rolling in from Salt Lake City to propagate the lie that "you can be a god." The Watch Tower Society has a plan to put a Kingdom Hall every five miles along the main roads in Zambia. In many villages the only permanent building in the whole village is the neat, clean, well-built Kingdom Hall, so the whole village gravitates to the "church" built by "our American friends."

Are they "reached?" Absolutely, but again, by the wrong people.

Are nice buildings the "answer" to reaching the world for Christ? No. The answer is still the one-to-one method set out by Christ in John 3. It is still the "foolishness of preaching" in 1 Corinthians 1:21 that bring a soul to a saving knowledge of the Saviour. Of course, a comfortable seat in a proper room never hurt the atmosphere. (Try turning off the air conditioning in your auditorium this Sunday and listen to the "compliments" you'll hear after the service.)

Ask a fire fighter when it is safe to walk away from a fire and he'll tell you, "When every spark is out." Ask a missionary when it is "safe" to walk away from a mission field and he'll tell you, "When every soul is reached…for the Gospel."

We can't leave the job unfinished.

Together in His Service,
Patrick Coleman
Re-reaching the Mis-reached in Zambia

20 July 2005

A Very Fruitful Week!

20th July 2005

Greetings from Luanshya!

Early this week we received a letter from one of the young men that we have helped over the last several years. He has now completed high school and is currently working in the capitol city, Lusaka, to save money for college. In his letter he thanked us not only for making it possible for him to complete school but for helping him in his spiritual life as well. He said, "I don't feel comfortable calling you Dr. & Mrs. Coleman after all you have done for me. I feel more like calling you mom
and dad." Please pray for this young man and for the others that we are helping at the Lighthouse Children's Home.

Sunday morning I travelled to a rural church. I arrived just after 9 o'clock for the service that was to start at 9:30. Being a village church, the service started closer to 10:30. We still had a good meeting and I spoke on the free gift of salvation. Following the service one young man who had been attending the church for a few weeks came to know the Lord Jesus Christ as his personal Saviour. Several others let it be
known that they had to follow the Lord in Scriptural baptism. It was a great morning. I returned home tired but excited at the fruit God had harvested. Please pray for this rural church and for the young believers in the congregation.

The Christian Resource Centre has been busy all week. Some days children are waiting at the door nearly an hour before we open. Teachers in Luanshya and elsewhere in the country have gone on strike. This is almost an annual occurrence. While we sympathize with the plight of the teachers, we are very concerned that the students are not going to be sufficiently prepared for their year-end exams. The students are as frustrated about missing class as the teachers are at not receiving a liveable wage. Please pray for the teachers and students as this issue is sorted out.

Sherry had a visit from the young lady who had been attacked and raped. The young lady is very confused. Both her parents are deceased and she is living with extended family members who seem to be less than sympathetic or helpful with her situation. Please pray especially for this sixteen-year-old girl and for Sherry as she continues to counsel her.

The Sunday School at Fellowship Chapel will be having their Memory Verse Competition this week. All the children are working feverishly at memorizing-or re-memorizing their verses from the last 13 weeks. Some of the children reported back to Sherry that they were sure God was working in their lives because the Holy Spirit had brought some of the verses back to their mind when talking with their friends at school. How exciting to see the youngsters using the lessons and scriptures in their
daily lives! Pray for the children.

The fruit of the harvest here is possible because of the faithfulness of our partners who are praying for us. Thank you for remembering us!

In His Service,
Patrick & Sherry

Dr. Patrick & Sherry Coleman
P.O. Box 90010
Luanshya, Zambia Africa

tel: (h) 260-2-510033 (w) 260-2-512359
or (w) 260-2-512539 (fax) 260-2-510718
cell: (Sherry) 260-96-780112
cell: (Patrick) 260-96-780113

13 July 2005

News from Zambia - 13th July 2005

13th July 2005


Greetings from Luanshya!


Last Sunday morning, at the "Caddy Chapel", there were five new young men who attended the Bible study. Some of these men have not been to church in a long time and their work precludes them from attending any service on a Sunday. The opportunity to go to them, before they begin their work on Sunday morning, gives me access to men who would otherwise have limited gospel exposure at all. One of the men said that he had a lot of questions about the Bible and Abel, one of the first to attend several weeks ago, said, "Dr. Coleman can help you find the answers." Please pray for these men as we seek for answers from the Word of God.


The Sunday School lesson this past weekend dealt with "Everyone Is Important." The emphasis was on the need for the boys and girls not to discriminate as to with which they will or will not share the gospel in their daily lives. An example from scripture was Philip speaking with the Ethiopian eunuch after having shared the good news of Jesus Christ in Samaria, an undesirable group to the Jew. Pray for the next lesson which will deal with "All Are Important" focusing on the scriptures of Acts 10:1-48...when Peter is confronted by the Lord and embarks on a ministry to the Gentiles.


After the service on Sunday, I was stopped by a young man named Chileshe. He is a schoolteacher in one of the local government school in town. He has been attending the chapel off and on for the last couple of months. He had some questions about his spiritual condition. We met on Monday afternoon and after talking for nearly an hour, Chileshe said, "I've been to church, I've been baptized, but I have no idea that I would go to heaven if I died right now. Can you tell me how I can know?" It was my privilege to show him, from the Word of God, how he could receive eternal life. Today Chileshe is a brother in Christ. I will be speaking with his wife later this week. Please pray for this young family.


This afternoon we had a visit from John and Sarah. They were in from their village school in Masaiti for a medical checkup. It sounds like they are experiencing the joy of the Lord and are pleased to be in the center of His will at this point in time. I recently found a box of flannel graph figures and backgrounds that John will take back with them so he and Sarah can use them in their student Bible studies. In an age where most North American Sunday Schools are going to video and PowerPoint presentations, flannel graph is still modus operandi where there is no technology or electricity available. Continue to pray for John and Sarah as they serve the Lord in the harvest fields of Zambia.


Sherry had an opportunity to talk with the leader of the local Scripture Union Club of Luanshya Girls High School. Apparently a young girl, at the school, was raped some months back. She is now expecting a child. Sherry has been requested to avail herself to this young girl for spiritual and emotional counseling during the week. Please pray for her and this young lady.


The College and Career Class will be looking at Daniel 4 this Friday evening-"A Sovereign God Rules." We are not accustomed to our national leaders describe their sins in public. That is why Daniel 4 is such an unusual chapter. Nebuchadnezzar, the great, proud, power king of Babylon writes a letter to the world describing, in detail, how God humiliated him for seven years then graciously restored him. Pray for the young people as they look at this situation and apply it to their lives.


We appreciate your prayers on our behalf.


In His Service,

Patrick & Sherry


Dr. Patrick & Sherry Coleman

P.O. Box 90010

Luanshya, Zambia Africa



tel: (h) 260-2-510033 (w) 260-2-512359

or (w) 260-2-512539 (fax) 260-2-510718

cell:  (Sherry) 260-96-780112

cell: (Patrick) 260-96-780113





30 June 2005

News from Lenexa

This is a new look for the ministry update. In addition to the regular webpage, we now have a "web blog" available to make communication even more expeditious. Please take a look at the format and tell us what you think.

We will be back in Zambia in a weeks' time and we will communicate from home as soon as we get over jetlag.

In His Grace,
Patrick & Sherry

29 June 2005

Because every grandparent should be able to post pictures of their grand-kids:

Welcome to the new and improved Coleman Ministry Update

This is Christopher who occasionally manages this site.

I am posting here, as I rarely do, to test this site, where we are experimenting with new technologies.

Watch out world.

01 June 2005

News from Zambia - 1st June 2005

Greetings from Luanshya!

The last week has been a week of harvest. A few weeks ago I began a Bible study early on Sunday mornings for caddies at the local golf course. After three weeks of teaching, several of the young men expressed an interest in knowing how they can receive eternal life. I made appointments on Monday and Tuesday morning and went back to the golf course and spoke with each of those who were contemplating a decision. Eight young men called on the Lord and received Him as their personal Saviour. Due to their work schedule they cannot come on Sunday morning to church services so I have gone out to the highways and fairways to take the gospel to them. Please pray for spiritual growth. Pray also for those who are still considering Jesus Christ.

The Source of Light program did well during the month of May in spite of the fact that we ran out of initial courses in two series. We only had fifteen new students, but turned away several dozen and asked them to return late next month in the hope that new lessons arrive. Among our existing students we distributed 300 lessons, corrected 285 and awarded 42 certificates of completion. Currently, our oldest student, 65 years of age, is beginning his final series of lessons, Basic Bible Truths (doctrinal studies). Every time he comes in he asks for tracts to distribute on his way home. He has been using past lessons as a tool in evangelising his farming community with the hope of planting a new church. Please pray for Pison Mubanga.

The Sunday Schools has just completed lessons on witnessing "Taking Risks". Very often when we share the Lord Jesus we are aware of perhaps people making fun of us. The children were encouraged to be brave, loving and kind as they share their faith with their friends and neighbours. One example given of witnessing was Peter and John. Another example was that of Stephen. Though we may face opposition in telling others of eternal life, there is blessing in being faithful.

Last week the College and Career Class discussed the great statue of Daniel 2. What was remarkable, besides the meaning of the statue, was the fact that Daniel had the courage to speak with the king, request time to seek God's wisdom, brought in fellow prayer warriors (Hannaniah, Azariah, Mishael), then praised God for answering their prayers. In an age where integrity is rare Sherry has encouraged these young people stand as Daniel in the face of the corrupting forces of the world. Please pray for this continuing ministry.

Click for larger imageAs you can see by the attached photo, we have begun working on the property for the new chapel. There was at least a decade of garden rubbish piles shoulder high on the land. That has been levelled and the building "setting" is being marked. Digging for the foundation begins on Friday. Please pray about this project. Funding has been slow in this depressed economy, but we know Who holds the future!

On a personal note, Monday Colin took his piano exam with the Royal London School of Music. We received word that he had achieved Merit status in his performance. We are thrilled at this news and proud of our son as he uses the talents God has given him.

Thank you for being a part of this ministry and our lives.

In His Service,
Patrick & Sherry

25 May 2005

News from Zambia - 25th May 2005

Greetings from Zambia!

Last Sunday I preached at the rural church in Buntungwa. The last time I was there was the last Sunday in March. At that time I carried notes in Swahili, but the interpreter only spoke English. This time I took notes in English, but the interpreter only spoke Swahili. I had a great time and three precious souls came to a saving knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ after the service. This is why we do what we do!

Two weeks ago I went to the Luanshya golf course and chased golf balls for an hour. (Claiming that I actually "golf" would be an exaggeration.) One of the caddies at the course said he would like to come to church, but Sunday was the busiest day and he had to be at the course if he was going to keep his job. I asked him if he thought other caddies would like to have a Sunday morning Bible study and he said yes so… I went to the golf course on Sunday morning at 7:45 – without my clubs. For two weeks I have had several young men at the “Caddy Shack Chapel”. Please pray for these young men. They are asking a lot of questions about “why do I exist?”

Sherry has started a new series with the College & Career Class. The subject under discussion is Spiritual Living in a Secular World following the life of Daniel. Last week the young people learned about how, from the very first, Daniel maintained his testimony with regard to dietary restrictions as required by the Lord with respect to Jews. It is amazing how out of the many young Jewish men brought into the King’s University of Babylon only four maintained their integrity. As a result, they experienced God’s blessing and began to build their reputation before King and nation. At the end of their "training" period, each oft he young was found ten times wiser than their colleagues and promoted to high positions of service as advisers to the King. This week the class will be looking at chapter 2 and will learn the importance of consulting God in the challenges of life.

The long awaited courses for the Source of Light Correspondence Bible School have arrived, but we are already running short of the initial courses limiting new enrollees. A new order has been made. Please pray that this order arrives quickly.

We did have a very interesting visitor in the Christian Resource Centre last week. While I was talking with a couple from the Congo an Indian man with a turban walked into the library. He stood patiently at the door until I asked him what I could do for him. He handed me his laminated card which identified him as a "palmist" and asked me if he could read my palm. I declined his offer. It was the first time I had ever met a door-to-door palm reader. The occultists are here in Zambia along with many other false prophets and teachers. We have been asked if we are ministering to "unreached peoples" in Zambia. The fact is, we are ministering to people who have been "reached", but they have been "reached" by people with the wrong message.

We appreciate your prayers on our behalf as we continue…

In His Service,

Patrick & Sherry

11 May 2005

News from Zambia - 11th May 2005

Greetings from Luanshya!

During the month of April the Source of Light program was incredibly
fruitful. We distributed 429 lessons, corrected 404, issued 35
certificates of completion and enrolled 23 new students. The biggest
problem we had is that we ran out of the first lesson in a number of the
series and cannot enrol new students. Please pray for the quick arrival
of these lessons so those who are seeking to enrol will have that
opportunity. Also during the month of April there were 182 people
utilizing the Christian Resource Centre. This does not include the very
small children who come in to read the children's books either before or
after school. We are excited about this aspect of the ministry as we
reach into homes where we may not otherwise be welcome.

This coming Friday Sherry will end her series on "To Walk and Not Grow
Weary" with the College and Career group. The final study is on
"Barnabas-Encouraging Others". Once this series concludes the group will
begin looking at the book of Daniel focusing on "Spiritual Living in a
Secular World."

Monday afternoon I had a very interesting conversation with a young man
who came into the office late in the day. He had a question about which
he had not received what he perceived as an acceptable answer. He has
met a girl...The pastor of his church has told him he needs to give the
relationship more time and not rush into making a commitment. The young
mans parents and the girl's parents agree with the pastor. The young man
was coming to me looking for an alternate answer that he could take back
to his parents and church leaders. He was very disheartened when I gave
him the same admonition. He is 22 and the girl is 19. Neither has
finished college and both want to go into a highly skilled profession.
Young people here are like young people everywhere. Patience is not a
priority, which is one of the reasons that we spend so much of our time
with the youth. They are, in fact, the hope of this nation and
ambassadors of the Lord Jesus. Please pray for A. He has a real desire
to serve the Lord but he needs to coordinate his plans with the will of
God and prepare for his sojourn here on earth.

This coming Sunday the children in the Sunday School will be studying
Ananias and Saphira. Pretence vs. "For Real" is the emphasis of the
lesson. When one chooses to serve God, motives must be pure. The
children will see how these two characters were not quite "honest" in
their stewardship. It will be interesting to hear the responses of the
children when asked, "Why did God take the lives of these people? Didn't
they give Him money?" The real question, of course, is integrity. Were
they honest about their gift or were they just showing off?

We appreciate your prayers as we continue to serve.

In His Service,
Patrick & Sherry

27 April 2005

News from Zambia - 27th April 2005

Greetings from Luanshya!

Sometimes we find ourselves so involved in doing "things" we forget it
is important just to spend time with each other and the Lord. The last
few weeks have been really hectic. We have had to deal with broken
limbs, exhaust systems, water tanks and tower, broken machinery and just
the every day hassles of existing in Africa. On top of that we are both
working on lessons and messages and doing other ministry/community
service. Please pray for us as we refocus over the next few days and
prioritize our lives and schedules.

Sherry's College and Career class continues to gain new faces every
week. The lessons have included a study of Jeremiah-Success through
Failure; The People of Israel-the Myth of Nostalgia-if we compare our
present difficulties with our past circumstances, we may become fearful
of the future and paralyzed in the present. This week the study is on
"How to Handle Rejection"-using the Lord Jesus as a role model. A
practical application of biblical examples has been priceless as we see
God work in the hearts and lives of these young adults.

One of the biggest pressures in our ministry is the fact that we are
caring for so many children and they rely entirely on us for food,
clothing, housing and education. Every sick child is a new burden. We
love them dearly but there is a lot of pressure. We were thrilled this
week to receive two very large boxes from some very dear ladies in Boca
Raton, Florida. The boxes were filled with hand-sewn dresses and
clothing which will give each child something special. Not only does
this exemplify the love of these believers for our children but it also
reminds us of God's provision for the needs that we have assumed in the
Lighthouse Ministry. When this ministry began, we had one major donor.
When he moved on, the full responsibility fell directly on us. We deeply
appreciate those who have made it possible to care for and love these

Finally, Colin is showing steady improvement with his broken leg
situation. The leg is healing nicely and he is becoming quite mobile on
his crutches. He has been able to help Sherry in the library which has
been a big help to her and has also helped to boost his confidence in
working in the ministry area. While he has been home these last few
weeks, he has been leading the music during Sunday services. He does
this standing on one leg and occasionally looses his balance but he is
learning where his spiritual gifts might lie. Thank you for praying for
his recovery. Please continue!

Knowing we have people praying for us makes it possible for us to
continue. Heavy schedules and frustrating circumstances are made easier
to bear because of your faithfulness.

In His Service,
Patrick & Sherry

13 April 2005

News from Zambia - 13th April 2005

Greetings from Luanshya!

We are pleased to give a positive report on Colin's leg situation. Last Thursday evening Dr. Mulla operated on Colin's leg and inserted a steel plate next to the lower portion of his femur. The plate is held in place by nine screws. Colin came through surgery very well and I stayed one night in Lusaka with him. I came home on the weekend to preach in Luanshya then returned on Monday morning to Lusaka. The doctor was pleased with Colin's progress and the condition of his surgery site and released him on Tuesday with a complete set of instructions on what not to do concerning his recuperation. The bone seems to be mending, according to the x-rays, and Colin is able to get around fairly well on crutches. We appreciate your prayers on his behalf. Please continue to pray as the leg heals. The plate will remain in place for approximately a year and a half. At that time the doctor will go back in and remove the plate.

The Lord had been blessing. One woman came into the Resource Centre last week and told Sherry that she was very pleased that her entire family, adults and children, are taking the Source of Light Lessons. In the evenings they sit around the living room and talk about what they have learned from their current lessons. Please pray for them and others as they continue to study God's Word through this ever-growing ministry.

Several weeks ago we asked you to pray for John and Sarah Bwalya as they are teaching in a rural area. This morning John came in to see Sherry and told her he was using her program for youth meetings in their school. The local Superintendent of Schools for his District has given her blessing on this program. John and Sarah are working with both boys and girls using school facilities. This would not be possible in public schools in the United States, but God has left this door open here in Zambia. We are thrilled at the fact that this young couple are able to utilize the information that they have gathered over the years and sharing with other young people. John was also invited to speak in a local Baptist Church in a village near his school on more than one occasion. The seeds that we have planted in John's heart are being planted again in areas where neither Sherry nor I have ever visited. Please continue to pray for John and Sarah as they minister both in the schools and church in their rural village setting.

School holidays have begun for the month of April. The College and Career class is down slightly in the attendance yet there are still those who are working and living in the area that want to continue the series of lessons while their college friends return home for the holiday. So, Sherry has gladly obliged and will provide lessons on Christian living through the examples, both good and bad, of various Bible characters.

On Sunday we are in a series called "The New Testament Church". Last Sunday we spoke about Christ as the Head of the Church, Christ as the Cornerstone of the Church, Christ as the Bridegroom of the Church. This coming week we will answer the question, "How does someone get into the Church of Christ?" Even the children were enthralled with the lessons giving input from time to time.

We sincerely appreciate your prayers on our behalf, especially over the last two weeks concerning Colin's accident and the expenses involved in medical treatment and travelling back and forth. We are pleased that quality medical treatment could be found within Zambia thus avoiding expensive travel outside the country. God has provided every step of the way.

In His service, Patrick & Sherry