23 February 2005

News from Zambia - 23rd February 2005

Greetings from Luanshya!

It has been said that nothing is fast in Africa. That isn't exactly
true. Some things are very quick. Some time ago my windscreen was hit by
a stone, thrown by the tire of a vehicle ahead of me. It wasn't much of
a problem, until the weather got hot and the "star" began growing feet
that scattered, across my field of vision. What was a little problem
became serious in a, matter of weeks.

Earlier this week I had to go to Lusaka to get my windscreen replaced.
It, was supposed to take 24 hrs. Two days later I finally returned to
Luanshya, with a new windscreen, new timing belt and a new antennae and
a bill for, just under US$1,000. Bad things come quickly. Repairs take a
while. Life is, like that. We are working with several people who have,
in various ways, messed up their lives. Their actions were in many cases
avoidable simply by, being faithful to the Lord and keeping the promises
that they had made to, Him. Nevertheless, now they find themselves on
the road to recovery and in, many instances finding out that sin has a
much higher cost than previously, anticipated. We cannot give the names
of these people simply because it would not be proper for us to do so
but we do ask you to pray for those who are hurting in Luanshya and that
God would mend their spirits and in some, cases their families.

The College and Career Class, led by Sherry, last week studied the life
of, someone whose life was turned upside down through absolutely no
fault of his, own. The lesson was entitled "When The Lights Go Out".
Their character study was on the life of Job. People often remark Job's
circumstances were unfair. It often seems "unfair" when bad things
happen to good people. Often the, larger picture is not seen. In Job's
case God was making a point to Satan, the angels and even to some of
Job's "friends" concerning faithfulness. Job also learned a lot about
himself through this series of events. By the end, of the lesson the
young people had learned a lot about themselves as well as, about the
faithfulness and protection of God. Three of the young men who, visited
for the first time on Friday also visited the services on Sunday,
morning. Please pray for Luke, Felix and Danny. I will be visiting them
in, the next couple of days and inviting them to know more about having
a, personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ.

Finally, today we celebrate Colin's 16th birthday. Please pray that as
he, nears adulthood he will remain faithful to the promises he has made
to the, Lord and to his parents and that God will continue to bless him
in his, spiritual, academic and physical life. We are proud of him and
his, accomplishments and pleased with his life goals.

We count it a privilege to serve the Lord as your representatives in
Zambia. Thank you for being a part of this service,

In His Service,
Patrick & Sherry

16 February 2005

News from Zambia--16th February 2005

Greetings from Luanshya!

Today was a day of celebration. Brother Silungwe completed the Design
for Discipleship program after two years of intensive study. When he
first began the study, his answers were shallow and his voice was
hesitant. The last book of the series is a verse-by-verse study of the
book of 1 Thessalonians. His answers were succinct and his voice was
clear as he shared his responses. I am very excited that he has
completed this course and that he has determined to use the basic
outline to examine other books in the Bible. He is looking forward to
the opportunity to guide others through the Design for Discipleship
course. By the way, brother Silungwe is 62 years old. Please pray for
him and praise the Lord with us for this senior saint.

Last week Sherry's College and Career group studied the experiences of
Jonah. One of the major points set before the group was that we need to
do the will of God whether we appreciate His plans or not. Jonah most
definitely was not keen on the idea of warning his nations enemies,
Nineveh, of God's impending judgment. However, God in His mercy wished a
message of repentance to be presented to a lost people. The fact that
they did, indeed, repent was a miracle. Jonah rebelled at the immediate
responsiveness of the Ninevites and actually wanted God to destroy them.
It is not often that a preacher prays to be a failure. One of the most
significant lessons in the whole book of Jonah was how God dealt with
His own servant who was steeped in pride and self-pity.

Most people think of Sherry as being quiet and reserved. As she is
telling the story of Jonah, she was becoming animated and actually
acting out the parts of Jonah, the pagan sailors on the ship and the
Ninevites when Jonah was vomited onto the beach and shouted out to the
people "repent"! The class was getting into the story and participating
with the practical applications from their own lives. They enjoyed
themselves and learned something at the same time. Thank you for praying
for this class. Please continue!

The Sunday School lessons last week and the next two weeks are focusing
on Moses. It is interesting to see the story through the eyes of
children who consider it grossly unfair that a little baby would be
stuck in a basket and put in a crocodile infested river. As the story
unfolds, it will be even more interesting to hear the impressions of the
little ones as they walk through the life of Moses and learn that God
has a plan and a time for everything that happens in our lives. We may
not appreciate the circumstances that He brings us through but in the
end we will come forth as gold. God uses our experiences both good and
bad to bring glory to His name and souls to Himself.

Thank you for allowing us the privilege of being a part of God's plan in

In His Service,
Patrick & Sherry

09 February 2005

News from Zambia - 9th February 2005

Greetings from Luanshya!

The Resource Centre has been a hive of activity throughout the last week. Some days people are waiting at the door before we open and often we have to apologetically ask people to leave when we close the doors at the end of the day. The age span goes from early school children to retirees and every period of life in between. February is only one third over and we already have twice as many new students enrolled in the Source of Light program than we had in all of January. We are excited about this ongoing ministry and we continue to be thrilled with its effectiveness even as we near our 7th anniversary in operation. We currently have over 3,250 students and more are coming almost every day. If we had room to expand, we could buy more chairs but we don't so we can't. The owner of a private primary school in Luanshya asked me if he could bring his grade seven students to the library to read. Since he has nearly forty students, he will have to bring them in shifts since we only have room to seat 16 people at one time. Thank you for praying!

We covet your prayers for the need of Sunday School teachers. With John and Sarah so far away, we lost both Sunday School teachers at the same time. Sherry has stepped into the gap but the goal, obviously, is to have local church members stepping into this position of leadership. Please pray that this will become a reality soon.

There has been a lot of sickness in our small congregation. Things like the flu and malaria are common ailments that are usually treated with medication. Other ailments including meningitis are signals of a much more serious physical ailment. It is difficult to watch seemingly healthy people suddenly fail in their health, but this is the scenario in our part of the world. We continue warning our young people about the dangers of being promiscuous, but even watching their parents, aunts and uncles doesn't seem to slow down the spread of HIV/AIDS. We have spoken with several experts in this field in the past two weeks and many are discouraged about the situation. Behavioural change is the only answer in this dilemma and behavioural change can only be accomplished when the heart is regenerated by the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ. Please pray for those who are preaching the gospel, that the message might be heard and lives transformed. We find it astounding that discussions of HIV/AIDS and sexual activity are being held in classes as young as grade four. Often these students are already aware of the "facts of life" because of the living conditions in which they find themselves. As discouraging as it seems, we have not given up and we continue to share the Word of God and to warn people-both in and outside the church that there is a price to pay for ignoring the Word of God. Please pray for this situation.

Life here is sometimes like a roller coaster. We have victories that excite us. We have challenges that startle us, but we know we are not alone. We appreciate your partnership in prayer on our behalf.

In His Service,
Patrick & Sherry

02 February 2005

News from Zambia - 2nd February 2005

Greetings from Luanshya!

Several of our Lighthouse Children have recently enrolled in the Source
of Light Bible Correspondence School. Within a day of starting the
program themselves they have been inviting their friends at school to
enrol. They are using the SOL courses as an evangelistic tool to get
their friends interested in knowing the Lord Jesus Christ. The
Lighthouse Ministry was not on our agenda when we came to Africa but we
have seen God use this ministry in so very many ways to reach out into
our community. We are so thankful for those who remember our children.

Sherry's College and Career class is growing leaps and bounds. She
really didn't know how many would attend during the Friday evening time
slot. This past week she had more students than handouts prepared. A
couple of the young people actually showed up two hours early simply to
take advantage of the Youth Centre behind the chapel. Last week they
talked about Moses and "learning to let go". This weeks' study is on
Jonah "Regression of Pride". Please pray for this new and exciting

Last Sunday morning I was in Buntungwa. My first meeting with that new
congregation 22 months ago was under mango trees and we had five or six
adults and a few children. Last Sunday there were 97 in the service and
several others were at a funeral for a child of one of the church
members. Working in a village ministry is very different from working in
town. As I looked around the room, I noticed that the people were the
poorest of the poor. One little girl was concentrating very hard on
tying her shoelaces. The shoes themselves were so badly worn that it
took a moment for me to realize that the backs were completely torn out.
Nevertheless, she was happy that she had shoes on her feet, which made
walking in the mud during the rainy season a lot easier on her feet.
Please pray for brother Chomba as he leads this young congregation. This
morning we provided several hundred tracts in Bemba. Their plan is to
give one tract to every house in their township and invite people to
attend services.

The month of January was not spectacular at the Correspondence School as
many students were out of town visiting family in the villages as well
as seeking their exam results from other schools. However, 72 courses
were corrected while 83 were distributed, 9 certificates of completion
were awarded and 15 new students were enrolled. The month of February
has already been busy with new enrolees and those who were out of town
have returned and are now retrieving marked lessons. Several of the new
enrolees are those participating in Sherry's College and Career class.
I spent the last couple of days working on my office. Moisture from the
rains has been seeping through the concrete walls and several of my
books were getting water damaged. I've panelled all four walls of the
office. This is made even more challenging by the fact that there is not
one square corner in our house and the "panelling" is actually
particleboard with a paper veneer. Nevertheless, I have finished the
office except for the final trim which I will do this weekend.
Hopefully, this will stop any further damage to the books-and it makes
my office look like an office. There is something about the "look of
wood" that makes an office look like an office.

We have had a great week. We have seen God bless in many ways. Thank you
for remembering us in your prayers.

In His Service,
Patrick & Sherry