26 January 2005

News from Zambia - 26th January 2005

Greetings from Luanshya!

Good news, bad news. We have asked you to pray for John and Sarah Bwalya concerning their placement by the Ministry of Education. They have both been placed and moved on site today. The really good news is that they have been posted at the same school. The really bad news is they are 30 miles away. We do not know if they are going to be able to commute on the weekends, but it looks doubtful especially during the rainy season. We are excited about their new life. Nevertheless, this means they will not be able to teach in the Sunday School and that is a major blow for Sherry. Please pray for John and Sarah as they begin their teaching career. Please pray that God will provide more Sunday School teachers to take their places here in our church.

Brother Silungwe is thoroughly enjoying his discipleship lessons. It is always exciting to see a senior saint getting involved in Bible study. The other day he said, "This is good stuff, this is really good stuff. I am enjoying my study." Another young man is showing interest in discipleship studies and we will be looking into that in the next few days to see when it will fit into both of our schedules. Pray for this ministry and for those who are endeavouring to grow in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.

Sherry's College and Career class studied the life of the prophet Elijah last week. The theme of the lesson was "Changing Our Schedule." The idea of being busy and keeping ourselves occupied 24/7 is a common mantra. This study focused on the need to prioritise and make sure that sufficient "quiet time" is programmed into our daily schedules. The example from Elijah's life is that he was so busy for the Lord, he failed to take time to rest. When the threats of Jezebel were made concerning his life, he ran in fear instead of taking a stand and resting on God's promises based upon previous experiences. Pray for the group as they look at the life of Moses this Friday and how he served as a leader among the people.

We would like to ask you to pray for Mark. He is one of our students in the correspondence school and has been for several years. He brought me a paper that he wrote having received a "vision". In his paper he states that Christ was the first creation of God. This is obviously heresy from any number of cults that are present in Zambia today. I made a few notes and gave him some scriptures to cross-reference. He came in and spoke with Sherry today, as I was out of the office. He does not go to any particular church but goes "where the spirit leads". He says that he is now an apostle. Mark's church background is Baptist but his current theology is rubbish. Please pray for him and for us as we talk with him concerning what the Bible says as opposed to what men say.

It has been a busy week. We enjoy busy weeks because we know we are having an impact on the people with whom we come into contact. Thank you for having a part in this ministry.

In His Service, Patrick and Sherry

19 January 2005

News from Zambia - 19th January 2005

Greetings from Luanshya!

Last Thursday the Lighthouse Children's Home had a surprise visit from one of the representatives from the Social Welfare office. This was the first time any representative came unannounced. I was not informed of her visit until she was leaving. General comments about the Home were that we are, still, the model facility in the Luanshya District. She did comment that we had no blankets on the beds for the children. Every bed has sheets and light blankets and the temperatures right now range from 75 and 85 degrees so heavy blankets are really unnecessary at the moment. Nevertheless, in order to avoid an argument, I purchased 10 blankets and put one on each bed. There were a few other observations but she was extremely pleased with the condition of the Home and the well-being of the children. We appreciate those who have a part in this particular ministry.

On Friday Sherry had the first College and Career class. There were a number of young people from various church backgrounds. Sherry taught on "The Walk of Love" from 2 John 1:6. The hour-long class lasted a full ninety minutes with the young people saying that they planned to bring more friends next week. Please pray for this new outreach and Sherry as she prepares her lessons on the series "To Walk and Not Grow Weary".

The Bible Institute continues. We studied the book of 2 Kings. This week we were studying the ministry of the prophet Elisha. The students are doing well and their questions are not run of the mill but unique. Since we hold classes in the Christian Resource Centre, I often tell the students "go grab that commentary" and give your answer to the class. We then spend time discussing the various issues. We are all enjoying the studies.

My father's e -mail has not been working so I do not know how my mother is doing at this point after breaking her ankle from a recent fall. She is currently in a rehab hospital receiving personalized attention and discipline. One of the church members sent me a note saying that my mother was enjoying hospital food. So I think she must have hit her head as well. :) Just kidding, Mom!

As we finish writing this note (5:00 pm), Brother Silungwe is in the Christian Resource Centre working on his discipleship lesson for next Monday. He has not been well, due to the current weather conditions, but he wants to finish these lessons. Please pray for him and for others who are involved in this ministry.

Thank you for being a part of our lives.

In His Service, Patrick & Sherry

12 January 2005

News from Zambia - 12th January 2005

Greetings from Luanshya!

Schools have opened for the 2005 school year. Children are walking back
and forth to classes in their brand new, yet to be torn uniforms.
Teachers are in class. Everything looks bright. All of our children from
the Lighthouse Home are settling into their new classes. We anticipate a
good year for them. Please pray for all of our children as they continue
in their academic studies.

With the New Year we are starting a new ministry at the chapel. Sherry
will begin a College and Career evening discussion group on Friday from
5:30 to 6:30. It will be a time of fellowship as well as a focused Bible
study for young adults. One of the young ladies at the local grocery
store stopped me a couple days ago and asked, "Can anybody come?" I
said, "Certainly." She said that she would be there if she could get
off. Sherry has had a big influence with the young people in Luanshya
since she has been here a decade and a half. Many of the children that
she taught during her first years in Zambia are now grown and have
families of their own. Please pray for this new class and that Sherry
will be able to continue to reach into the hearts and lives of the young

Many years ago an older man named Mr. Silungwe came to know Christ
through our ministry. He was baptized and began discipleship classes
with me. Brother Silungwe became very ill and was transported out of
town by members of his family to a better hospital. He has been away for
over a year. Just before Christmas he returned home to Luanshya looking
quite fit especially for a man in his upper sixties who has had a
relatively difficult life. The first Sunday he was here he said, "I
really need to complete the discipleship course started so very long
ago." Last Monday we began our concentrated study in 1 Thessalonians. It
is always exciting to see an older adult get excited about Bible study.
Please pray for Mr. Silungwe as he continues his studies. He may never
be a preacher but he does want to know about his Lord and Saviour.

Last Sunday our puppet ministry team was back in action. The two stars
of the day were Levi and Lily. The children always enjoy the puppet
presentations especially now that we have puppets with dark brown skin
thanks to a very generous church. We plan to have a puppet presentation
the first Sunday of every month. We trust this will continue to draw
more children into the Sunday School program. Pray for this ministry.

Bible Institute classes continue. It is somewhat more difficult with men
who are working because their work schedules often take them out of town
for several days and weeks at a time. I find myself teaching several
classes that are just a few lessons away from each other as one student
comes more often than others. Still, the men are keen to learn. Please
pray that their work schedules and family responsibilities will not
hinder their progress in their studies.

It has been a busy first week of the year. This month seems to be going
faster but we cannot stop the calendar from flipping over. We appreciate
your prayers on our behalf as we continue...

In His Service,
Patrick & Sherry

05 January 2005

News from Zambia - 5th January 2005

Greetings from Luanshya!

2004 has officially closed. There was no excitement in our little town. Everything was shut down and depressed. I spoke to three businessmen this week who are ready to "pack it in" and look for greener pastures. Still we see God working, especially in the lives of the people who utilize the Christian Resource Centre. In the Source of Light Bible Correspondence program we enrolled 29 new students, 280 lessons were distributed, 232 were corrected and 29 certificates of completion were awarded. Colin has been helping in the Resource Centre for the last few weeks while home from school. It has given him an appreciation of what happens in Luanshya during his absence. It has also helped him to realize that there are a lot of young people in our area who have a real hunger for the Word of God. He leaves to return to school this coming Sunday. Please pray for him as well as our students in the weeks to come.

One particular man, named Mr. Zulu, was reading our copy of "Active Spirituality" by Chuck Swindoll. He came into Sherry's office convicted about what he was reading. He requested extra time to review the book, read the Scriptures and pray over changes that needed to occur in his life. Please pray for Mr. Zulu. He is a professing Christian but his church is not in line with biblical doctrine. He is on the verge of making some changes in his life.

The week before Christmas we put together a box of duplicate books. When regular users of the Resource Centre came in, we gave each one the opportunity to choose two books for Christmas. The thrill of seeing their faces as they received their surprise is more than we can express. Being able to equip national believers for ministry is why we are here. Please pray that these tools will be utilized effectively.

Malaria and cholera are present in Luanshya in a very big way.

Yesterday afternoon we heard that several people have contracted cholera and at least four have died from this extremely contagious disease. We are boiling our water and have told the members of the churches with whom we work to do the same and to be extremely careful about letting their children play in dirty water. Nevertheless, children being children, this is always a dangerous time of the year. Please pray for the health and well-being of the believers. Most of these families do not have a consistent source of clean water. Many of them have to carry water in used oil jugs often up to three or four kilometres. We are blessed that the Lighthouse Children's Home has it's own well so our children are not drinking contaminated water.

For the next few weeks I will be doing a study from the 23rd Psalm on Wednesday evenings. The Sunday School is studying relationships focusing on jealousy this week. The younger children will be discussing temptation. On Sunday I will begin a series discussing the "Purposes" for Christ's suffering on the Cross. I am looking forward to this particular series as I have been studying it for the last few months.

All that we do is made possible because of your prayers and support on our behalf.

In His Service, Patrick & Sherry