30 August 2006

Pest Control

Greetings from Luanshya!

We are in the final few days of the government school break. After several weeks of being out of classes, most children are looking forward to getting back to the routine of regular school schedule. Over the weekend Sherry will be making the new school term purchases including notebooks, pens, pencils, and a few pairs of shoes. It is amazing how fast children can wear out a $50 pair of shoes. On Monday everybody will be back in class and taking their preliminary final exams. This final term of the year is the most pressured period. In November the final exams will take place and their entire years' grade rests on these few exams. Please pray for the children at the Lighthouse Children’s Home as they prepare.

A few weeks ago I began teaching the young men at the "Caddy Chapel" about baptism. Last week three young men completed the classes and asked to be baptized. Since there is no way they can be in church on Sunday, we are having a special baptism service this afternoon at 4 p.m. just before the regular midweek meeting. I have encouraged the young men to invite their friends and family as they testify to their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.

Yesterday afternoon two young men came into the Resource Centre and were looking at one of the books on Mormonism. Both of them were reading the same book and discussing their findings in Bemba, one of the vernacular languages. Earlier in the afternoon, a group of young Mormon missionaries walked by the display window and counted all the books that spoke out against the movement. Sherry heard them say "why us?" What they did not notice were the many books that dealt with other cults as well. We are simply providing a resource so people are well informed about the different groups that preach a doctrine contrary to the Word of God. Many people here in Zambia have the impression that any religion coming out of America is the same as any other religion. We are often asked, as Americans, about some of the new religious cults. We, too, need to be well informed in order to guide people to the Light.

One final prayer request. As the cold time passes, malaria season begins to make a headway. The mosquitoes are already out and the incidence of malaria has greatly increased. International organizations have designated a large amount of funds for insecticide treated mosquito nets and pesticides. The biggest problem we see is getting the nets and pesticides where they will do the most good: in the houses and out of the storage rooms. Pray that during the next few weeks, government will take advantage of the opportunity to get the nets into the hands of the people before the situation becomes much worse.

We are thankful that the election period has remained peaceful. All the political parties are stressing the fact that violence is not a solution. The police and military are being specially trained to handle large crowds without using brute force. People are talking about making informed choices for leaders. While we do not get involved in the political process of Zambia, we are encouraging Christians to make prayer a primary part of their voting experience. We would ask you to pray especially on the 28th of September as the Zambian population goes to the polls.

We appreciate the part you play in this ministry which allows us to remain…

In His Service,
Patrick & Sherry

16 August 2006

Happy Birthday, Sherry

Greetings from Luanshya!

Today is Sherry's birthday so I have given her the afternoon off and I am typing this letter myself. This means three four things:
  1. It will take longer to type
  2. My spell check will be working overtime
  3. I am four hours late typing it because I made supper for her tonight
  4. My spell check has already found four errors in the first six lines (fat fingers!)
I am so thankful to God for the blessing that Sherry has been to me. I have never doubted the sovereignty of God in His plan for my life. That does not mean that I have always understood it, but I know that He is in complete control. When Sherry came into my life I was so very unsure of what our life would become, but God has blessed beyond anything I could have ever imagined. (Now you know why I typed this – She would not have allowed this paragraph!)

Last Sunday was one of those days that started off rough and got better! In the morning I went out to the golf course for the weekly "Caddy Chapel" only to find that there was a tournament scheduled. By 8:00 all the caddies were either on the course or waiting for their golfers to tee off. One of the caddies apologised and said, "Will we see you next week?" Of course!

After missing that opportunity to teach I went back to the Chapel to prepare for the morning service. It seemed that half the congregation was either out of town, working or sick. However, we had a young man come as a visitor so I felt encouraged. That afternoon I went wto visit Sidney at his home. We had a good visit. When I asked Sidney why he came he said he "just happened to walk by and heard the music." We do not believe in coincidence. Sidney enjoyed the service, though it was unlike any he had every attended before last Sunday. He told me he had already shared his experience with his sister and mother about the church and they were planning to come next week. Please pray for Sidney and his family. Seeds have been planted. Now we seek a harvest for the Kingdom

On Sunday night I received a telephone call. Late night calls are almost never good news. Robert had fallen and badly hurt himself. He is an 83 year-old gentleman who came to Zambia (then Northern Rhodesia) in 1947 and stayed. He took Zambian citizenship in 1964 when Zambia became an independent nation. His wife died 13 years ago and his children have all moved away. Several years ago he gave me a set of his house keys "just in case" he ever needed some help. The call came and I went. Robert's left arm was broken and he has badly bruised his hip – which was broken two years ago in another fall. He has been in the hospital for three days and may be there for another three.

I have told you all of this because I want you to pray for Robert. He has seen a lot of missionaries over the past 59 years. Most have disappointed him because their lifestyles do not match their words. I have spoken to him on several occasions about his eternity, but he has put me off. Today as I visited him in the hospital he began to talk about God and the future. This is the first time he has brought up the subject. Please pray that God will give us the time and privacy to continue our conversation.

Thank you for being a part of our lives and ministry. You might want to send a note to Sherry wishing her a happy 21st birthday! Again!!

In His Service,

Patrick & Sherry

09 August 2006

Building Lives

Greetings from Luanshya!

School holidays have started. The children are enjoying their freedom. Very often the first week of the holiday shows a marked decrease in the library because the kids are just too tired to leave home. In the next few weeks we will see activity increase as children look for a place to read. This is also a time when many children travel to visit relatives in other parts of Zambia. There have already been incidents of overcrowded and overloaded vehicles being involved in accidents where several passengers have been killed. Please pray for the youngsters that occupy the Christian Resource Centre as they move from place to place.

We will continue the Friday afternoon Youth Meetings. Those who have been attending have specifically requested that we not go on break as well. It is encouraging to know that the young people desire to know more and to have fun in the Youth Centre. New faces crop up from week to week alerting us to the fact that those who have been attending regularly are inviting their friends.

Last Sunday I was in Buntungwa at one of the rural churches. The building program in this village continues to progress. They have made all the concrete blocks for their foundation while they meet in a temporary grass shelter. This fellowship has a full program of ministry through the week including two mid-week Bible studies and a separate ladies Bible study. Everything they do must be during daylight hours because there is absolutely no electricity in that region. The day starts at dawn and everything ends at sunset. Continue to pray for this group of believers as they reach their community for Christ.

The Water TruckThe building program at the English speaking chapel has reached slab level. Pictures are available on our website. We are meeting with the membership to determine the next step. There are several options open to us. There are two large ant hills on the property which can produce enough bricks to finish the building up to the roof level. Please pray as we make these decisions.Slab Level

Several of the young men from the Sunday morning Caddy Chapel are planning to come and chat with me about baptism. As you may recall, these young men work on Sunday as caddies at the local golf course and are unable to attend Sunday morning services. I began going to the golf course early Sunday mornings to have a Bible study. About 12 of these young men have made professions of faith and are concerned that they cannot come to church to be baptized. I am going to teach them about baptism so they fully understand what it means and then we will arrange for a baptism service during a weekday. Please pray for these young men. This is a big step in their lives.

Sherry's children's meeting has been studying various family issues. A few weeks ago they discussed "Obedience". This past week they focused on family problems and that all families have difficulty but work it out. Realizing that many of these children are orphans, they recognize all too well that families are different. Next weeks lesson will deal with the fact that there are problems in families and that we need to depend on the Lord to be our "very present help in trouble". (Ps. 46:1) Pray for the programs that involve children. Their lives are so very unstable from home situations to school to friendships.

We have another full week in the offing. I will be making a trip to Kafubu Block to assess the progress on that particular building project. We appreciate your partnership in this ministry.

In His Service,
Patrick & Sherry

02 August 2006


Yesterday was a landmark day for the Colemans. Twenty-one years ago - 1 August 1985 - I first set foot on African soil when our family stepped off the plane in Kinshasa, Zaire. A lot has occurred since that day. I still remember the excitement and fear as someone grabbed my passport and disappeared into a crowd. Someone else grabbed our luggage and ran a different direction. There I was, with a wife and two small children, stumbling through high school French - a language spoken only in American
high schools. Somehow "Bonjour Paul. Comment va tu" did not come in very handy when running after complete strangers in a totally foreign atmosphere. Over two decades later I am a little more adept at handling foreign airports but the excitement still remains when I realize why we are here and what we are doing.

In addition, yesterday was the 9th anniversary of the day when Sherry and I were married. A lot has happened since that day, as well. There have been a lot of interesting events and situations and God has blessed tremendously. We are currently in the midst of two building programs and numbers of people are utilizing the Christian Resource Centre. When we look back at what we were doing nine years ago and compare with what we are doing today, it is both amazing and thrilling to see what the Lord has done in our lives. I was told many years ago that God may not give us everything we envision, but He would never give us more. That has been proven to be false because God has given us more than we ever dreamed possible.

The Source of Light Bible Correspondence School continues to grow steadily with twenty-three new students enrolling in the last few weeks. Two hundred and fifty four lessons were distributed, one hundred and ninety seven were corrected and twenty-three certificates of completion were awarded. One of our young men in the English speaking church, was transferred to Chipata (13 hours away by road) and was unable to complete his discipleship series with me so I sent him the last three books and he will send them back to me one at a time for correction and comments.

The "Equal Yet Different" class has concluded. Questions still arise from the lessons and we are continuing to meet with those who are interested. One young pastor came in specifically asking questions on "pride, envy and jealousy" for use in his weekly small group Bible studies. We have an outreach into congregations where we have not personally visited yet because of the scope of our ministry; we are having an influence.

This coming Sunday I will be preaching in Buntungwa Compound. This is another one of the young fellowships I helped to start with Zambian leaders. They are in the process of rebuilding on their property. Two years ago they build a mud-brick structure and now they are using burnt bricks which were made onsite by members of the church. This is another example of churches in rural Zambia that are able to do things on their own with minimal missionary help.

Thank you for praying for Colin's surgery. This past weekend the steel plate was removed from his leg and he is healing well and walking without the aid of crutches. He should be back in action in another five weeks.

Please pray for our students in the various areas of ministry. Many are preparing for final exams later this year. Quite a few of them are spending as much time in private tutoring as they are in formal classes. Still, the Friday afternoon youth classes are growing and the children are asking a multitude of questions about Heaven. We are able to be here because you make it possible through your prayers and support.

Thank you for being a part of this ministry.

In His Service,
Patrick & Sherry