30 September 2006

He does not sleep

Psalm 10:11 "he has said in his heart, 'God has forgotten, He hides His face, He will never see.'"

James 4:3 "You ask and do not received, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasure."

We have had a busy couple of weeks inclusive of power outages, internet network problems, political rallies, disciplinary issues at the orphanage, shortage of materials at the various building projects and squeezed in between all that... If we did not know that the Lord is in control, the last couple of weeks would have been much more difficult and hopeless.

One of the bright spots was news from one of the young people we assisted in the past. He is doing well in his nursing studies and can't imagine having ever thought about doing anything else. He looks forward to the time when he will be working full time in the profession and be able to provide more than physical medicine but spiritual medicine to those in need. Another young person came in on Monday to check on one of his assignments from the Bible College program. He is keen to continue to the next module once he sits for review of the last assignment.

The youth meeting on Friday afternoons is progressing well. Two weeks ago the lesson was on the subject: "God Must Be Asleep" and last weeks lesson covered "Give Me, Fix Me, Restore Me, Bless Me". Many of our young people are going through trying circumstances and while going through those valleys they frequently wonder whether the Lord hears them as they cry out for help. What they do not understand, and often we ourselves, is that God's purposes are at work in our lives even through those seemingly silent periods. God is not silent or busy or hiding His face. If they/we are experiencing the "cold shoulder" from God, and can't figure out why, we need to remember that God never changes (Mal. 3:6), we do. If God seems distant and impersonal, it's not because He has decided to ignore us; He hasn't gone anywhere. He doesn't go on vacation. He doesn't ignore us. He isn't busy somewhere cleaning His
heavenly garage and forgot about us. We are not a "to do" item in His Daytimer that he has not gotten to yet (Mt. 6:25-34). There may be times He CHOOSES to be silent, or we may have distanced ourselves from God by our own choices. Truth be known, If God seems to be somewhere else, it's frequently because we have wandered off from Him. The youth were reminded that if they desire to hear God and experience His presence, then they have to give up something for it (Rom. 12:1). You can't have it all. You can't have the world and its pleasures, and the full measure of God's presence (Mt. 6:24). Pray for our young people as they make some discoveries over the next few weeks.

The believers out at Kafubu Block Chapel came into town the other day to advise us of progress on their building and await our visit to see what they have done. They are so excited about finally having a permanent structure that will stand the test of time. Continue to pray for this small gathering of believers as they make the blocks and do the construction themselves and as they reach out to their neighbors with the words of Jesus Christ.

The construction work for Fellowship Chapel is slow, this being a town congregation and many more restrictions, regulations and that old paperwork needing to be filed. At every turn it's something else but at least we have made some progress. Not only that but the town council has demarcated some of the plots nearby for homes and we have noticed our new neighbors beginning to prepare their ground for digging foundations. Pray that when the church finally moves to the new location, these people will join us and come to a saving knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ. Please continue to pray for this project.

Thank you for your continued support and prayers on our behalf.

In His Service,
Patrick & Sherry

06 September 2006

"Little is much when God is in it"

Greetings from Luanshya!

This mornings Bible reading was from Hosea 14 where we are reminded that: Every man must do his own growing, no matter how tall his parents are. When it comes to growing a garden, there are usually two kinds of people: those with green thumbs who grow everything, and those who are all thumbs and grow nothing. To which group do you belong? It is not surprising that when Hosea searches for a suitable illustration to describe the potential of God's restored people, he finds it in a picture drawn from nature: "the lily... roots... branches... olive tree... corn... vine... green fir tree... fruit" (Hosea 14:5-8). Nature silently but eloquently testifies to the fact that God is in the business of transforming seeds into trees if you will but entrust them to His loving hands. A little talent... a little money... a little time—each can become something great in God's economy. "Little is much when God is in it."

Some years ago we took on the care of a young, troubled boy named Chewe. We have mentioned him in prior newsletters but this time we have some additional, exciting news. After graduating from high school, with honors, he went to Lusaka, the capitol city of Zambia. He moved in with a distant relative while he sought a job and attended night school studying computer programming. Subsequently, he has graduated from that course of study, worked one year for a computer graphics company and is now setting up his own graphics company as of last month. Chewe’s next goal is to attend another course of study in the evenings and achieve a diploma in IT (Information Technology). Chewe visited us this week, sadly, to attend the funeral of his aunt. He stopped by the Christian Resource Centre to provide this update for our encouragement. His parting words this afternoon were, "Mama, thank you for believing in me and giving me a chance to succeed. Without your support, discipline, prayers and guidance, I do not know where I would be today. You've made a man out of me and I want to make you proud." We wish to thank those who have prayed with us about the many young people that have passed through our care over the last 8 years. Investing in this young particular life has made all the heartaches worth it! Chewe returns to Lusaka this evening and will resume his work and continue in the youth leadership program at his local church.

Speaking of young people, Colin returned to school over the weekend. He has begun his mock exams and will complete his final exams in two months time. Please pray for him as he winds up his education in Zambia and prepares for a future back in the USA. The kids at the Lighthouse Children's Home have also returned to school this week. We are back to paying school fees, picking up supplies, arranging for tutoring and the whole nine yards. Your prayers on behalf of our children is greatly valued. We will be making some tough decisions with regard to the education of our children in the next few months—some may be moved from the private school to the government schools come the new year.

The ministry at the Christian Resource Centre has been fruitful over the last couple of weeks. We were pleased to see one young man return... Happy Kafungwa. He brightly informed us that he was away for the last few weeks because he had "gotten married". Happy is a young itinerant preacher here in Luanshya and makes good use of one of the computers donated to us in the library. Pray for Happy and his wife, Doreen, as they set up a home and ministry based on the Lord Jesus Christ.

As always, we greatly appreciate your prayers on our behalf. Yes, there is much to do but your support makes it possible for us to remain...

In His Service,
Patrick & Sherry