24 December 2007

Christmas Greetings

From View message header detail Patrick Coleman
Sent Monday, December 24, 2007 5:08 am
To 'Patrick G Coleman'
Cc "'Sherry I. Coleman'"
Subject News from Zambia - 24th December 2007

24th December 2007
Greetings from Luanshya!

This is for those of you who – like me – slip into your office (or wherever your computer is) and check email even on Christmas Eve! I am writing this note "by faith" because the Internet connection has been down for three days and ZAMNET (our ISP) is arguing with ZESCO (the government-owned electric company) about who is at fault. I really don’t care who is to blame as long as somebody can fix it... Sigh!

This is our first Christmas with a completely empty nest. Our eldest son and his family are in Kansas City experiencing their "white Christmas" – something about which I never dream. Our daughter and her husband are in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area dealing with the "winter wonderland" of ice and snow. Our youngest son is with his grandparents in Bellflower, CA, on leave from the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, CA. Sherry and I are in soggy Luanshya where it has rained every day for over two weeks and we already have warnings that this may be the wettest rainy season for a decade or two. This year we have no children, Peace Corps volunteers, Youth Exchange Students or other house guests. It is just Sherry, me, the cat and the dogs. There are nine packages under the tree and from the looks of things it will be an academic Christmas – all of the packages look like books. We know each other’s taste in reading material.

We did have an incredible blessing yesterday (Sunday) when John and Sarah Bwalya were able to be with us in our morning service. For those who do not know (or cannot remember) John is one of the young boys we helped when he was abandoned by his mother. We put him through high school and teachers training college where he met and ultimately married Sarah. They have been away teaching in a rural village, but are now in Luanshya for two weeks taking a course at the local teachers college. When I knew they were coming I asked John to preach for us. He did a remarkable job explaining the Christmas story from the book of Isaiah with references from Matthew and Luke. Since they will be here next Sunday I have asked John to preach again. He said it was difficult to preach with me in the room because I am his teacher. I explained that I was his teacher in class, but in the church I do not critic his presentation. I am looking for what God has given him to give to me. Watching and listening to John present a clear and concise message of the Gospel was one of the best Christmas gifts we could had received. We are proud of these young adults. Please pray that God will allow them to move back to Luanshya!

On the building front, the church walls are all the way up to the peak of the roof and the roof has been completely covered. In Wednesday the door and window frames will be installed and the Mobile Mission Maintenance team will begin the plastering of the walls. This should take 10-14 days. The men will sleep in the building in order to guard against the door and window frames from being stolen… Really! The burglar bars will be installed, but the concrete has to dry before we can leave the building unprotected. It is an amazing fact of life that we have to protect a building dedicated to worshiping God from thieves who would steal the doors, but these are the times in which we live.

Still, God has been marvelous and we want to wish you a wonderful Christmas celebration wherever you are around the globe.

In His Service,
Patrick & Sherry

12 December 2007

He Is Interested

Greetings from Luanshya!

My brother Tim just turned 50 a few weeks ago. My brother, Steve, and I teased Tim constantly when we were young because Tim is blond in a family full of brunettes. What's more, Tim has blue eyes whereas Steve and I have brown eyes. We told him that he was adopted and if he did not do what we told him to do we could always take him back. Kids can be cruel.

In spite of our incessant teasing Tim taught me a tremendous lesson about prayer. I saw him in the back yard one day when we were kids, praying and asking God to help him find his dime. He had dropped it in the tall grass and had been looking for it for several minutes and decided he needed divine intervention. Being the older brother and full of the wisdom that comes with being an older brother, I rolled my eyes and stated laughing. I said Tim, don't waste God's time for ten cents. Tim wasn't discouraged. He kept on praying. He kept on looking and he found his dime. He said to me, "God is interested in my ten cents." I never forgot that lesson.

Roofing BeginsLast week the carpenters came to put the metal sheets on the roof of the chapel. This is, of course, the rainy season and it rains every single day. I prayed that God would allow us to have no rain during daylight hours for a whole week. We needed the time to get the roofing sheets on and this work cannot be done with the storms that are common during December. The carpenters came and God held the rain back. Handling Roofing SheetsThe roofing sheets are all on the roof. On Saturday morning I was in the garden and it began to sprinkle. It wasn't much so I went to the Lighthouse Children's Home to work with the boys there in the garden when suddenly the sky opened up and it poured. The rain was constant for the next twelve hours. I was reminded, again, that God had answered my prayer for five days.

We often think that God doesn't really care and that our prayers are simply an exercise to keep us humble. Nevertheless, God cares about roofing sheets and He cares about dimes. I appreciate my brother's lesson and we appreciate your faithfulness to pray for us as we serve our Lord in Zambia.

By the way, Tim, as a 50th birthday greeting… you weren't really adopted. We now claim you as part of the family. Thanks again for your faithfulness and in teaching your older brother a little bit about God's faithfulness.

In His Service,
Patrick & Sherry

05 December 2007

Progress and Purpose

The first truss goes upGreetings from Luanshya!

Progress is steady at the building site for Fellowship Chapel. The trusses are in place and the metal roofing will start going up tomorrow. The team from MMM says that this is a two-day job so by the weekend, the building should be covered. This morning I spoke with the manager of the company that will make the window and door frames. He has offered to transport the materials without cost, saving us nearly $400 on this particular part of the project. Teamwork The man overseeing the project is a member of the Baptist Church in Luanshya and is very excited about helping with this particular portion of the project. The best part of the work this week, so far, is that the rains have waited until evening so the work can continue throughout the day.

Please pray that this project will continue steadily despite the holiday season.
Nine trusses in place
Andala is a young man who came into the Resource Centre and asked Sherry, "What is the purpose of life?" She spoke with him for a few minutes and then he began reading "The Purpose Driven Life" by Rick Warren. Sherry phoned me and I came and spoke with the young man for a few minutes. He is new to Luanshya and is looking for a place to call his spiritual home. Please pray for him and for us as we continue to visit.

Andrew, the youngest child from the Lighthouse Children's Home, has been working faithfully on his piano practice. Last week he specifically asked Sherry if there were any Christmas songs he could learn. We searched through our resources and found a few simple carols (melody only) that Andrew can learn. Every afternoon he is dedicated to learning to play at least a few songs in the book. We are excited that not only did he initiate the prospect of learning to play the piano but that he wants to learn Christian music. Please pray for Andrew and his progress.

Both Andrew and John, from the Lighthouse, have successfully completed grade 6 and will begin grade 7 in January. In the meantime, we await the grade 7 exam results, due on the 23rd of December, for the other three children under our care. Pray that their scores are passing and high enough for each to be accepted in a good school.

We have begun thinking about the Christmas season this month, singing carols at church and listening to Christmas music at home and office. We know that the Lord Jesus was probably not born on December 25th, but this is the season when we commemorate His birth, whenever it was. Because of His birth, we have the opportunity to have eternal life and to share that story-His story-with the world. Your prayerful support helps to make that possible.

Thank you for allowing us to be your representatives in Zambia.

In His Service,
Patrick & Sherry

28 November 2007

Fair Service

Greetings from Luanshya!

ZAMNET has been having "issues" again. This time the electricity went out at a relay station 50 miles north of Lusaka (150 miles south of us) so email was out. The electricity kept going on and off for several days so email was out of order and Internet access (and SKYPE) was intermittent. They tell me it is working... We'll see!

Last Saturday we were given the opportunity to attend the graduation ceremony of the Mobile Missionary Maintenance Vocational Training School.

The MMM teams have assisted us several times over the years on various construction projects. It was started by missionaries from Australia and was placed entirely into Zambian leadership a few years ago. They still receive support from outside Zambia, but the day to day administration rests squarely with the local Zambians. As I sat and watched the graduation, I was impressed by the quality and testimonies of those who had gone through the program. They had trained carpenters, bricklayers and tailors but the outstanding facet of the education was the Christ-centered curriculum.

Students talked about loving the Lord and being prepared to serve Him through their vocation. It is good to know that we had a small part in sending these young people into the fields to harvest.

Speaking of MMM, one team of carpenters is currently on site at the Fellowship Chapel grounds to place the roof on the building. Due to illnesses and the graduation ceremony, the building is four weeks behind schedule and, of course, we have the additional challenge of almost daily rain storms. The one this afternoon lasted twenty minutes and dropped nearly four inches of rain and hail. The students quickly covered the timer, gathered all their tools and waited under shelter until the rain passed.

Immediately after the storm, they returned to the site and resumed work. We are excited about the prospect of having this building enclosed in a few days time. Please pray for the MMM team as they endeavor to complete this task.

During my discipleship session with Mr. Siwale we were discussing the lordship of Christ. As we looked at Romans 12:1, it struck home to him that being a living sacrifice-giving everything you have to the Lord Jesus Christ-is reasonable service. The "fairness" of being a living sacrifice became real as we talked about other things being fair. Go into the market to buy vegetables and paying for them is fair. Going into a shop to buy shoes and paying for them is fair. Enjoying electricity in your home and paying the monthly bill is fair. Giving our lives back to Christ because He paid for it with His blood on the cross is fair. The realization brought a smile to his face. He said, "This is why obedient Christians are happier than disobedient Christians." This is a profound statement. Please pray for brother Siwale as he continues to grow in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.

The Christian Resource Centre continues to be a valuable ministry. There have been a number of new enrollments in the Bible correspondence school while new faces have been appearing every day to use the resources offered.

This afternoon a long time student came in to have Sherry work on his computer straightening out a Bible resource program. The work among the youth of the community continues. With school almost at an end for the year, we expect many new young people to attend the special meetings set up for them. Friday evenings we continue with various films. We are currently watching the Chronicles of Narnia. Thank you for praying for the various ministries that fall under the Christian Resource Centre.

In His Service,

Patrick & Sherry

21 November 2007

Last Act

Greetings from Luanshya!

This has been a very difficult week for a number of the believers with whom we work. Mrs. Tali, the wife of one of the church leaders, lost her 73 year-old mother because of a stroke and subsequent complications. Finally, John Bwalya's brother, Victor, was killed in a bus accident just a few days ago. All of these individuals were born again children of God. The family and friends will see them again when they reach heaven. However, the pain of the loss is always excruciating and grief takes time.

Victor Bwalya was the youngest of those who died last week. Yet his story is the most compelling. He recently obtained a job as the conductor on a long distance bus service. His job was to make sure the customers were happy and obviously that they all paid their fare. However, Victor was much more than this on his tours back and forth. He was known to share the gospel by preaching to this "captive audience" of travellers. On the day he died he had just finished preaching the gospel and was on the way to the front of the bus with a gospel music tape in hand to play over the sound system. Another driver, who had determined to commit suicide by running into a large vehicle, collided with the side of the bus right where Victor was standing. Nobody else on the bus died. The driver of the other vehicle also survived. We cannot know why God allowed this event to take place. John and his family are dealing with this sudden loss and trying to make sense of it all. Those who survived the bus accident talk about the testimony of this young man. He was dedicated to the Lord and proclaimed his faith openly. The last act he committed on earth was to share the gospel. What a fantastic testimony that is!

One of these days we will all commit a "last act". Until that time, we prepare for our transition as believers from earth to glory. This past week, in the midst of all the trials, I met with Mr. Siwale for our discipleship class where we talked about sharing the gospel. Mr. Siwale said he was learning more and more and was becoming bolder in his sharing of the good news. After hearing the story of Victor Bwalya, we pray that more believers will gain boldness to share and hold forth the Word of Truth.

As we come to this particular time of the year, we thank the Lord for the blessings we have received. The blessings include the opportunity to serve Him and to represent you in that service to the people of Zambia.

May you have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

In His Service,
Patrick & Sherry

14 November 2007

Veterans and Remembrance

Greetings from Luanshya.

I have been "celebrating" (if that is the correct term) Veterans Day for over half a century. I have watched hundreds of films showing both the devastation and victories of war. My favourite film on the subject is the 1941 classic "Sergeant York" starring Gary Cooper. As a boy, was that this man with such a violent temper made a complete turn-around when he came face to face with God - even to the point of refusing to go to war. He became a hero not because he wanted to kill, but because he wanted to stop the killing of his comrades in arms.

For the past 14 years I have been a participant in the "Remembrance Day" service here in Luanshya which is conducted on the Sunday nearest 11th November. For 11 of those years I have been the preacher at that service. In the past I have spoken on turning swords into ploughs, seeking peace through a relationship with Christ and thanking our fathers for the freedoms we enjoy. All of these messages were Biblically sound, but this year the service meant something more to me. This year we have a son in the military.

As I was preparing for the message I looked at the patriotic presentations sent to me by friends and family in a different light. The sacrifice offered by our fathers (both of whom served in the United States Navy) suddenly became more real. As I talked about the ultimate sacrifice made by (then) Northern Rhodesians – both black and white – in World War 2, I thought more about what a certain young man was preparing to sacrifice in service to his country: our youngest son, Colin.

Last week Colin telephoned and we spoke for over 30 minutes about his training and his plans. He made a comment that left me speechless for a moment: "Dad, I love my country and the more I am here the more I love it." Remember, this is a young man who never had the privilege of attending a high school football game, did not have a homecoming parade and never – not ever – heard the Star Spangled Banner played or The Pledge of Allegiance recited in school while in Zambia. In fact, he was almost always the only American in his class. We were criticised for encouraging him or even "allowing" him to enlist. His decision to enlist in the United States Air Force was entirely his decision and some members of his own extended family were not pleased. Colin's response: "My decision. My choice."

While we do not wave an American flag at our home or have a decal on our car here in Zambia (as suggested by the American embassy and the local police) we are proud of our young airman and look forward to seeing him in uniform some day.

Thank you for your prayers for us and our family,
Patrick & Sherry

08 November 2007

Rain! Rain! More rain!

Greetings from Luanshya!

Rain! Rain! More rain! Ordinarily we would enjoy early rains. The official start of the rainy season isn't until the last week of November but we have had four days of heavy rains from Saturday through Tuesday. As I said, ordinarily, this would be great. However, when we are trying to build and paint, the last thing we want is RAIN. Fortunately, we know that we serve a sovereign God and we know that He has a reason for delaying this work. It's only in our human limitations that we are frustrated with the weather.

Several weeks ago we mentioned the fact that a young church leader had come into the library to share that he had lost his 14 year old son to a drowning incident. This morning the husband came in to ask for an appointment for him and his wife. This afternoon we spent an hour with brother and Mrs. Zulu.

They shared their anger and their pain at the loss of their first born son.

We were able to share scriptures and experience with them. It is important that they forgive the boy who may have inadvertently caused the death of their son. It is even more important that they realize that God never makes a mistake and that this experience is part of His plan-as hard as that might be to accept. All too often we tend to believe that God owes us an explanation for what He does. As His children and as His servants, He does not owe us anything. The loss of a child, or any loved one, is never an easy situation. Being angry with God because of such a loss only magnifies the pain. Please pray for brother and Mrs. Zulu. Because of their position in their church, they are being observed. This makes their grief even more difficult to endure.

The grade 7 examination period is over! Our three grade seven children from the Lighthouse Children's Home are thrilled to have completed their exams and all of them, of course, think they did spectacularly. The results will be out in a few weeks and we will be able to congratulate or console them with the final outcome. We hope to find places for each of them in local government high schools that will take them through to grade 12. Please pray for them as well as the grade six students who are entering grade seven and will be experiencing these same exams a year from now.

This coming Sunday I will be speaking at the Veteran's Day Memorial Service commemorating the four remaining Zambian servicemen from WWII. It has been my privilege to speak at eleven of the last fourteen memorial services. It is an opportunity simply to say thank you to these very senior gentlemen as well as share the Word of God to the current soldiers and police officers of the day. Please pray for us during this service. It has all the more meaning this year with our son now serving in the United States Air Force.

We are privileged to be used by God and ever thankful for your prayers on our behalf.

In His Service,
Patrick & Sherry

01 November 2007

Continuing Education

Greetings from Luanshya!

We want to start with an update from last week. We mentioned a young man named Potiphar who came in asking questions about prayer and salvation.

Sadly, he did not return on Thursday for our follow up meeting. He did, however, come in to the Christian Resource Centre this morning while I was making a hospital visit and apologized profusely for missing our appointment. He is in the middle of his grade 12 exams and this is obviously taking up a lot of his time. We were encouraged that he came and is interested in continuing our conversation. Please pray for him and for the rest of the children who are taking final exams during this period.

The lumber for the trusses at Fellowship Chapel have been purchased and treated against termite infestation. The carpenters will be on site, Lord willing, by the end of the week and the plan is to have the roof on by the end of next week. Bit by bit we are completing this very important project.

The youth continue in their study of The Names of Jesus. This past week they looked at "The Branch", "The Bridegroom" and "The Bright and Morning Star".

There was quite a bit of discussion on the various names and coinciding verses that made the young people think beyond the surface. Please continue to pray for the classes. We hope to hand out small booklets to each of the attendees for review at home.

The Christian Resource Centre has been busy these last few days with various ones coming in to use the computers for Bible study and others using the books in sermon preparation. The are a number of young people who have also been making use of the facility as they are completing homework assignments from their Christian education classes. We praise the Lord that we are able to serve the community in this way and open the doors for those who request counseling and advice.

With that is happening through the week it would be impossible to put it all in one letter. Please believe us when we say that your prayers and support make it all possible. We appreciate you tremendously.

In His Service,
Patrick & Sherry

24 October 2007


Greetings from Luanshya.

Happy Independence Day! Today is Zambia's 43rd anniversary of their independence from Great Britain. The celebrations are not as grand as those that occur in the United States. We do not have giant firework displays and people are not into picnics, but there was a bit of a ceremony in the middle of town and a band played as they walked around town centre. Of course, all the businesses are closed so not much was accomplished on that front, but we are still having our midweek Bible study and we will look at the 3rd chapter of 1 John.

Earlier this week a young man named Potiphar (yes, his real name) came into the Christian Resource Centre and said he had a problem with confusion when he prayed. We slipped into the other room and chatted for about forty five minutes. His father is a church leader in one of the cult groups in town and Potiphar has been thoroughly indoctrinated with their teaching. My goal is not to spend the time blasting his denomination but to introduce him to what the Bible says about salvation. Obviously, a personal relationship with Jesus Christ is the first step in an effective prayer life. Potiphar began to realize that being good is not a step toward eternal life. Trying to please God does not bring us any closer to heaven. The first step is believing that Jesus Christ is the only way to the Father and receiving Him as Lord and Saviour. He has a lot to think about for the next day or so and promised to see me on Thursday afternoon. Please pray for this young man as he seeks to know the reality of salvation.

The bricklaying crew for the Fellowship Chapel building has reached the 10 foot mark (3 metres). They have returned to campus so that the next group of students can come next week, Lord willing, to begin the roof. Tomorrow I will buy the timber and nails for the trusses. We need to have everything on site by Monday in order to avoid delays. We did receive a wakeup call yesterday when the skies opened and we had an hour long thunder storm. The streets were flooded and the temperature dropped to a comfortable 85 degrees. Nevertheless, with the rain comes the humidity factor for the two hours after the rainstorm, it was pretty miserable. Such is the month of October. We are excited about the progress of the building. Please pray that it continues.

The youth group began their series of lesson on The Names of Jesus. This past Friday they looked at three of these: Almighty, Author & Finisher and Beloved. A brief discussion as well as questions arose as to how each name impacted the believer and the practical application to our lives. Continue to pray for the young people, especially those who are in the midst of their year end exams.

We appreciate your prayers on our behalf. We know that it is a vital part of everything we do in Zambia.

In His Service,
Patrick & Sherry

18 October 2007

Hope During "Suicide Month"

Greetings from Luanshya!

We have made mention in the past that October has been nicknamed "Suicide Month" because of the intense heat as well as end of school year pressure.

This past week there have been a number of suicides mentioned in the press.

One young man was a manager in one of the government newspapers. He climbed to the top of a four story building and simply jumped off leaving a wife and young baby behind. Another case was of a 17-year old grade 7 student who had impregnated his girl friend. When the parents of the girl showed up at his house to talk with his parents, he ran out the door and into the woods and hanged himself using a tree vine. There is so much waste in the loss of young people who take their own lives because of depression or guilt.

Perhaps one of our greatest challenges is to encourage our young people to have hope in the Lord and a purpose for living.

Sherry has just completed a two month series of lessons on End Times. As she completed the last lesson, the young people began to realize that there is a purpose, there is a hope and God has given us both. Sadly, we cannot reach them all and not all we reach will listen. Yet, we invest our time in the lives of these young people with the hope that many will come to know the Lord Jesus Christ as Saviour.

The library has been busy. Three young ladies who are taking Bible classes have been coming in to study on the Tabernacle. We have a number of excellent resource describing the structure and purpose. They have been utilizing all of them and taking copious notes. We trust that these studies will be more than just Old Testament history and that they will be able to make application in their lives as Jesus Christ is our Tabernacle.

Three local church leaders were in the library utilizing the various resources in preparation for messages this Sunday. Brother Kafula is preparing a message on Genesis 3. Brother Katongo is preparing a series of lessons on effective Bible study while Brother Muke is doing an in-depth study on Angels. We are pleased to see our resources being used. Every day there are people coming by to see what is happening in the Christian Resource Centre. We are blessed with the privilege of being able to offer these resources free of charge to those who want to spend time in the Word.

Exams! Students in grade seven will begin their final exams next Monday. The exams will take approximately two weeks to complete. Grades nine and twelve will begin taking their exams in late November. Please pray for our children from the Lighthouse who will be taking the grade seven exams.

The Fellowship Chapel sanctuary is up to the top of the door level. Today the contractor was pouring a ring of concrete along the top of the building which will serve as the lintels for windows and doors. By the end of the week, Lord willing, the walls will be completed and the next stage will begin-the trusses and roof. We are excited to see the progress and the community is surprised with how quickly the work is being completed. Please pray for Mr. Musonda and the students from Mobile Missionary Maintenance Training Centre.

As always, your prayers are deeply appreciated.

In His Service,
Patrick & Sherry

10 October 2007


Greetings from Luanshya!

ANTS! Man-eating ants! Early morning phone calls are usually a bad sign. 99% of the phone calls we receive before 6 a.m. are either bad news or somebody on the other side of the Atlantic forgot to look at the clock and subtract 6 to 10 hours.

Sunday morning we received a phone call at 4:30 a.m. On the phone was the housefather for the Lighthouse Children's Home frantically asking if we had any diesel because four of the walls at the Home were covered with impashi (flesh eating ants). We had about a gallon remaining from the previous attack and we have not had time to buy any more. The fuel station does not open until 6 a.m., at the earliest, so we had to wait. After arriving at the Home, at 6:15, the trails of ants heading into the boys bedroom, the kitchen and along the wall. We worked for several hours spraying the trails and killing the hundreds of thousands of hungry insects.

You may be wondering why we take the time to mention this. Every year, about this time, the red ants begin to attack houses all over this part of Africa.

They usually come in the cool of the night, when people are sleeping and can cover a body without waking the victim. There is some signal given and all the ants bite at once. Hence, putting the person into shock and the individual dies-thus another soul lost. Please continue to pray for the Children's Home as we remain vigilant in our look out for anything-physical or spiritual--that may harm them.

The building of the sanctuary of Fellowship Chapel has begun. Unfortunately, stuff happens. The construction was really moving along until the students heard that one of their teachers had passed away over the weekend. The foreman and all four students returned to the campus Monday morning and we hope to see them again shortly. There have been many enquiries about the church and what we believe at the new venue. We have been able to pass out gospel tracts and personal invitations to those who pass by. Please pray for the construction as well as for the family of the teacher who was promoted to glory.

This past Friday Sherry met with the youth and they discussed "The Final Judgment-The Great White Throne". The young people were enthralled with what would be occurring during that period. The time of the final rebellion of Satan and his followers was an eye-opener to many as well as the fact that the Lord Himself would deal with this final battle and destroy one and all with fire. The ensuing judgment of all unbelievers at God's throne was a shock, particularly when they began to discuss who would be there and how God would know all through the Book of Life. This coming Friday the final lesson in the series will be: "The New Heaven and the New Earth". Thank you for praying for the young people.

On a personal note, Colin is experiencing something new in his life: cold weather. He has not been around temperatures requiring a coat for a long time. His body is not acclimated to North American temperatures, even if he is in Monterey, California.

Thanks again for your prayers as we remain.

In His Service,
Patrick & Sherry

03 October 2007

Knowing the Ends

Greetings from Luanshya!

After weeks of anticipation and delays, the bricklayers arrived on site this afternoon at 2:30 to begin putting up the walls of Fellowship Chapel. Richard Musonda is the foreman/teacher of the four students who will be getting their on-the-job training. Much of my day was spent collecting the workers and their tools and making final arrangements for the building supplies that we did not dare purchase until we knew the workers were going to be ready to work. Please pray for a swift and safe construction period. (Estimated time to complete the walls = four weeks.)

The young people at the chapel are studying the final judgment this Friday afternoon. After a prolonged series on End Time Events, they have now reached this point. This has coincided with seven weeks of films that focus on the subject. Last Friday we asked the young people what the series has meant to them. One of the young ladies said that it emphasized the need to tell her friends about the love of Christ before it is eternally too late. This is, of course, exactly why we talk about these issues. It is not our intention to set dates or to make some prophetic announcement about when the Lord Jesus Christ is coming. It is, however, our intention to warn the believers and unbelievers alike about the impending tribulation and the events thereafter. Thank you for your prayers during this series. We hope it has had an effect on the lives of those who have set through the lessons and the films. The kids in the youth group are looking forward to the final lesson, in two weeks time, covering The New Heaven and The New Earth.

A few days ago I heard someone shouting my name from across the street while at the post office. While this not an unusual event in a small town, it is unusual to have someone shouting at the top of their lungs over and over. When I turned around I saw a young man that I have known from nearly my first week in Zambia, over thirteen years ago. He was almost naked and had on a pair of boxer shorts that were several inches too big for him. He was dirty and obviously not clearheaded. I said, "Mark, what is the matter with you?" His first comment was, "Well, I was killed..." I stopped him and said, "Snap out of it son." He continued to babble on until finally a hint of recollection came into his eyes. At one time Mark was a brilliant engineer in the Luanshya mine. He was also a faithful church attendee and claimed to be a Christian. He began running in some unsavory circles and found himself today in a state of confusion. The solution to Mark's condition is obviously in the saving power of the Lord Jesus Christ. Sadly, his years of false profession and acting have caught up with him. Still, we pray that Mark will be able to get away from the activities that fry his mind and continue to confuse him. Please pray with us in this situation.

A very special friend of ours here in Zambia has just found out that he has cirrhosis of the liver. As a young man, he lived a very rough life. In later years he came to know the Lord Jesus Christ as his personal Saviour and his lifestyle changed dramatically. He has spent over ten years in ministry here and has a fantastic testimony among the local believers. This is an example to the young people that even though we are forgiven by the Lord Jesus Christ, there are consequences to our actions. Our friend knows that He is a child of God and is absolutely certain that when he passes away he will open his eyes in Heaven. His family is suffering but they, too, know that his pain will soon be over. Please pray for his family and for those with whom he serves.

It has been a marvelous week. God's goodness is all around us and we appreciate your faithful prayers and support as we continue...

In His Service,
Patrick & Sherry

26 September 2007

Growing Up

Greetings from Luanshya!

The power cable to the broadband antennae "died" yesterday, so we are back to s l o w Internet access!

This afternoon young Andrew, from the Lighthouse Children's Home, came into the Christian Resource Centre with a very serious question. He is the youngest child in the Home and probably the most brilliant. He sat us down at a table and said he was taking music lessons after school and would like to use the keyboard that Colin used when he was still living at home. There are 16 students in his music class and he realised that he really does not get enough time to practice during that one hour. He has heard Colin play and wants to be "just like Colin." We explained the rules: only he touches, he only touches what he is supposed to touch, and he only touches when he's supposed to touch it. So, tomorrow I will set up the keyboard and Andrew will come in several times a week to practice his lessons. We are thrilled to be able to have this opportunity for Andrew to learn. Please pray for him as he continues to practice and use his talent for the Lord.

Earlier in the week a friend came to see us with a very heavy heart. His 14 year-old son was swimming with some friends over the weekend during church camp and drowned. Victor and his wife are heart broken with this tragedy. His comment to Sherry was that every place they look in the house they see the memories of their son: his shoes, his toys, his clothes, even his school books lying open on his desk bring tears to their eyes. The only encouragement they have is that they will one day see him again in heaven. Please pray for brother and Mrs. Zulu, their family and their church as they go through these deep waters. Pray for us as we encourage our friends.

Last week we mentioned the fact that we were planning to put the roof on the Buntungwa Chapel sanctuary. We also mentioned the fact that we would be gone for a few days and that the work would begin this week. While we were gone another missionary, who has never been to that particular assembly of God's people, showed up with a group of his friends. When he realised that the timber for the trusses was there and a lot of the work had already been accomplished, he offered to do the job for them. When the Christians there said Brother Coleman has a team coming on Tuesday to do the work he told them that he would do it instead and have his team there on Monday.

We are not really geared up for competition between missionaries. Nevertheless, we are deeply disturbed when people who are supposed to be colleagues step in and assume a ministry in which they have never had a part. This particular missionary has a dislike for anything "American" and Americans in particular, but his actions are inexcusable. We are also disappointed by the actions of the local leadership who did not have enough integrity to insist that the work had already been started and his interference was not necessary or appreciated.

In the final analysis it is important to remember that there will be a roof on the church building. The building belongs to God. We have many other areas in which we serve and this will ultimately be water under the bridge. It does, however, sting when brothers and sisters compete in ministry. Please pray for the leaders of the church in Buntungwa and the offending missionary. This kind of activity could have been a victory for Satan.

Finally, we have received a picture of Colin, our youngest son, in his United States Air Force uniform. We have, of course, shown it to anybody we can stop long enough to take a look at the photograph. One of our good friends who is known to Colin as “Uncle John” Kanyakula remarked, "Our little boy has grown up." He has indeed and we are proud of our youngest son. Please pray for him as he continues his preparation for service to God and country.

In His Service,
Patrick & Sherry

17 September 2007

The Ultimate Goal

Greetings from Luanshya!

When we opened the doors of the Christian Resource Centre, ten years ago, we did not really know what kind of reception there would be in the community with regard to a Christian reading room and library. Our desire was to see books that had been a help to our ministry become available to help others in ministry who cannot afford to buy their own. As we look at the different people using the facility and the various subjects being studied, our goal has been accomplished.

This past week alone Mr. Kafunda was doing an in depth study on the Christian and ownership. He is looking this from the perspective of a national believer "inheriting" the ministry of a long time mission which is in the process of handing over a particular aspect of ministry to local leadership. This should be, of course, the ultimate goal of all missionaries. However, it is often difficult both to let go and to assume leadership and all that entails.

Mr. Silungwe is an older brother in the Lord of about 70 years of age. He is doing detailed study of Psalm 23. He is interested in learning about true joy in the valleys of life. He suffers from high blood pressure and peptic ulcers. He has outlived all of his siblings and many of his nieces and nephews. He is considered to be the patriarch of his family and he sees many of the next generation ignoring the things of the Lord.

Mr. Muke is a local church leader. He is in the process of training new believers so is preparing lessons on the New Testament Church. He was reviewing a book on the Lord's Supper and worship.

These three men are examples of the kind of people we see every day in the Christian Resource Centre. None of them could afford to buy the books they are able to use here and certainly none of them could afford to buy the laptop top computers from which they gather much of their material. This has all been made possible through our personal library, contributions to this library and those who have generously provided laptop computers for this ministry. We may never know in our life time the ultimate fruit of this labour but we do witness the gratitude shown by those who utilize these resources on a daily basis.

For those who have been praying specifically for my cancer review, the doctor has given a clean bill of health once again. Sherry is elated, of course! The next appointment will be in March 2008. Please continue to pray for good health for both of us. We are a long way from acceptable medical services.

As always, we thank you for your support and prayers.

In His Service,
Patrick & Sherry

13 September 2007

Transitional State

Greetings from Luanshya.

As I write this note I am preparing to go to South Africa for a medical check-up from my cancer surgery in 2005. There is no problem that I know, but this routine check-up every six months is to make sure there are no “surprises” on the horizon. I appreciate your prayers. Sherry will be staying here with work on her calendar. My trip is a quick down and back. I leave this afternoon and return Thursday afternoon.

Sunday was a marvellous day! After the service Kunda, a young lady who has just finished high school and is waiting for a place in university (another story) came to Sherry and said she was convicted by the message. I had preached about loving the world enough to sacrificially give to present the message of the Lord Jesus Christ to them. She said she had sat “long enough” and now wanted to serve in the church. Sherry had tears in her eyes as Kunda repeated her words. Please pray for Kunda as she begins her service to the Lord.

Often we talk about the “transitional state” of our town. People come to church, hear about Jesus Christ’s love for them, receive Him as their Lord and Saviour, then move away because there is no work to be found in Luanshya. Such is the case with two of the men in the English congregation. Both are highly qualified and educated. Neither can find decent work anywhere near Luanshya. They have asked us to pray for them. They either need work close or they will be forced to relocate to areas where work has been offered. Please join me in praying for them.

The film series continues in the subject of the end times. The group is getting larger and more questions are being asked about being “Left Behind.” One pressing question is “will people have a chance to repent if they are left behind?” My comment is – and has always been – why would you want to wait and take that chance? The seed is being planted. Please pray that fruit may abound!

We are often asked about our lives and are their “special requests” that we have. Sometimes things “pop up” without notice and we just have to deal with them. Yesterday, for example, the water stopped at the house. The overhead tank went dry. No warning… the water just stopped. In some parts of the world you can just call the water company and tell them to send their work crew over and fix the problem. When the water you get comes from a well there is less of a chance of “fixing it” quickly. We called the technician who said it might be one or more of several problems. He said he would come tomorrow (today) and see what he could see. Now comes the point of the story. We know that people are praying because (1) the crew DID come this morning, (2) the problem did not involve replacing a lot of expensive parts and (3) it was fixed in a matter of minutes instead of the expected matter of days. An underground hose had come disconnected and the technician simply put it back together!

As you can see, your prayers are deeply appreciated. Even before we can tell you about the problems they are sometimes solved. What greater evidence of your faithfulness in prayer is there? Thank you in advance for your continued prayers!

Together in His Service,
Patrick & Sherry

05 September 2007

We never really know

Greetings from Luanshya!

Sometimes we don't realize how expansive our reach may be when we touch a life. Mwenda Kasonde was one of Sherry's students 12 years ago when she taught Religious Education in the local government schools. Over the course of time Mwenda has been in contact with us through the Source of Light Bible Correspondence School, weekly youth meetings and recently appeared in the Christian Resource Centre during a school break. He is now a student at Copperbelt University and is doing research for one of his courses in Poetic Expression. He uses the medium of illustrative art. Sherry was able to suggest the book "Water From The Well" a devotional book as a basis for further ideas on illustrating biblical truths. His hope is to use this medium as a way of witnessing to his professors at the university as well as to his fellow schoolmates. We never really know what will become of the seeds we plant in the hearts of youngsters. Please pray for Mwenda as he continues his studies as well as for the youngsters with whom we are working today.

Roy Sakahundu has been working through the discipleship program for the past two years. Because of his work situation, he has not been able to meet with me every single week but he has been faithful to complete the assignments and his growth has been phenomenal. Last Sunday he completed the final session which was the end of the survey of 1 Thessalonians. When we finished the hour, he looked at me and said, "This is the end, but it is also the beginning." We are very pleased that he has been able to achieve this accomplishment and that he is using what he has learned. For the next two Wednesday Bible studies, Roy will be the teacher. We look forward to seeing what he can do. Please pray for Roy as he continues to grow.

Good news concerning the building of the Fellowship Chapel sanctuary. Six thousand bricks have been molded and are awaiting the Mobile Missionary Maintenance construction team. I spoke with the project manager this morning and the team should be on site next week. So far the bricks have cost us just over US$2,000. We are the process of negotiating the construction costs of putting up the walls. Pray with us about this project. We would like to see it completed before the end of the year.

School has started! Sadly, it is only the third day term, an exam term at that, and the teachers at the high schools are going on strike. Students are very upset because they are preparing for their end of year exams and they know that the teachers are doing this in order to put the Ministry of Education over a barrel. If the teachers don't teach, the students don't pass. Please pray for the situation and that it does not become volatile. We are fortunate, however, that the children under our care at the Lighthouse Children's Home are all in private school where such activities do not occur.

It has been a marvelous week and we thank you for your prayers.

In His Service,
Patrick & Sherry

29 August 2007


Greetings from Luanshya.

"Salaula" is the word used for used clothing here in Zambia. It has become a growing industry bringing both good and bad news for the people. The good news is that Zambians with limited incomes can buy good second-hand clothing for a fraction of the cost of buying new clothes. Some of the "salaula" is actually overruns from factories in the USA or Europe so the clothes are actually new, but sold as used.

The bad news is that the clothing manufacturing industry in Zambia has collapsed leaving thousands of Zambians without work and forcing the factory owners to drive their Mercedes Benz an extra year or so before buying a new one. (Pardon the sarcasm.) It also means that used clothing sent to us by friends overseas is often taxed when we receive it. It is assessed at the customs office and we are asked to pay customs duty on the value determined by the Zambian Revenue Agency (ZRA). The ZRA has targets to reach every year and so far they have been successful in reaching those goals.

Still, we have MORE good news. Because the "salaula" brings affordable clothing to our town we have been able to take advantage of this for the children at the Lighthouse Children's Home. Thanks to a very special gift from some dear friends in Florida, Sherry was able to give each of our wards a certain amount of money and has let them buy their own "trainers" (I still call them "tennis shoes" even though we don’t play tennis in them.) They go into all the "salaula" shops in our small town (we have several) and bargain for the best price. After the shopping trips the children proudly display their new treasures. The shoes all look brand new and the children "promise to keep them like new" for years to come. (Parents have heard that promise time and time again.) We do have to beware of the Chinese rip offs like "NIKKE" or "ADIBAS" shoes. They look great in the box, but last about 20 minutes.

Still MORE good news! We received a box of "goodies" from a marvellous group of ladies in Florida who not only pray for us but remember those with physical needs as well. The box contained clothing for children as well as a few things for women. The ZRA man at the post office realised that this box was NOT to be sold and we were going to help Zambians by giving it all away. We did! We were able to help a young family with clothes for their young children as well as something for the mother. They were overjoyed by the generosity of these strangers who shared. There was also something that three of the Lighthouse children could use.

These stories may seem minor in the scope of world events, but the lives touched are changed for eternity. The Lord Jesus told us to love our neighbour and these acts of unselfish generosity exemplify that love. The children who receive these shoes, shirts, dresses and trousers will one day be the leaders of Zambia. Having experienced the love of Christians, they know what it means to experience the love of God in their lives. When they come to us and thank us for taking care of them we know it is because of the love shown to them by people who may never actually see them, but who care for them because "He first loved us."

Thank you for allowing us to be your representatives.

Together in His Service,
Patrick & Sherry

22 August 2007

Building Lives (and Bricks)

Greetings from Luanshya!

The most exciting news of the week is that the bricks for the Fellowship Chapel building are being made as we speak. The young men from Mobile Missionary Maintenance brought their machine to Luanshya and have been working for the last few days. Already they have made nearly 1,500 bricks of the required 6,000. Once this is completed the next step is to put up the walls. Lord willing, the building will be completed this year. Pray for continued progress.

We spent an evening with John and Sarah Bwalya discussing their plans for the future. Before they were married we had them write up a one year, five year and ten year plan. They are doing well in following their plan even with all the "bumps in the road". John is considering cell group Bible studies in his school community. Both he and Sarah have a very strong reputation vocationally and spiritually. We are proud of these young people.

Please continue to pray for them as they serve where the Lord calls.

On Friday the Youth class continued their study on the end times. Their topic was "The Antichrist". A lot of discussion was generated particularly on the need to tell others about the Lord Jesus Christ before it is too late. In the film that followed, which was entitled Revelation, this same subject matter was portrayed on the screen and the adults who joined that activity asked many of the same questions. The group actually doubled from the previous week and we pray that many more will come this week to watch the film "Tribulation". Pray that many hearts will be stirred and lives will be changed.

We have a special prayer request concerning one of the churches in a township nearby. Without going into a lot of detail, there is a power struggle between the church leadership and the congregation at large.

Apparently there was quite a brouhaha. A few weeks ago when people who weren't even a part of the church came to a meeting to watch the "fight".

People were shouting, making accusations and basically acting very unchristian. The leaders are heartbroken because many of these are people they have led to the Lord and trained over the years. Please pray for the situation. God is not honoured in confusion.

We know that in the last days the work of the Lord is not going to get easier. People will seek those who tickle their ears and false teachers will abound. I am actually teaching about this subject in a few minutes from 2 Peter 2. We know we are in the last days and we know who made the promises to protect and keep.

Thank you for allowing us to represent you.

In His Service,

Patrick & Sherry

15 August 2007

Ultimate Control

Greetings from Luanshya!

What a wonderful week this has been. Last Sunday I preached from Ephesians 2:1-10. There were several people in the room that I knew needed to know the Lord Jesus as their personal Saviour. The message was clear and hearts were convicted. Two of the young men, Patrick and Victor, spoke to me after the service and made appointments for Monday morning. At 9:30, Monday morning, Victor gave his life to the Lord Jesus Christ and became a child of God. One hour later Patrick also came to a saving knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Both of them have already started on the discipleship material and will, Lord willing, be baptized this coming Sunday. It is always exciting to witness the new birth of a believer. Please pray for these two young men and their families as they begin their new life in Christ.

On Friday the youth class continued in their study on the second coming of Christ. Sherry explained fact number one: The Lord Jesus will Return In The Air to Call Up The Saints and secondly, the Judgment of Our Deeds in Christ's Name. Many questions were asked and concerned faces seen. Pray for the young people as they consider their future both in deed and word. That same evening we showed the film "Apocalypse" which demonstrated the events that may occur immediately after the believers are caught up with the Lord in the air. The fear of those left behind and the deceit of the Antichrist were both portrayed realistically in the film. There were a number of new faces in the room and several people, not only asked specific questions but promised to return this Friday for the second film in the series. Pray for those who will come.

Last week we shared that John and Sarah Bwalya were going to be moving back into Luanshya. Sadly, they were told that their move would be temporary, two weeks, and that their advanced education would be by extension. They will return every few months for two weeks at a time for the next year or so. Even though we will not have them every week, we are happy to know that they will be with us periodically. We will use their talents while they are present.

I had a rather disturbing conversation with one of the leaders from a rural church. Next week there will be a leaders' conference for church leaders in the Luanshya district. It was organized by local Zambian church leaders and I was asked to participate as one of the trainers. The property on which the conference will be held is owned by another missionary in Luanshya. When that missionary found out that I was to be on the program, he told the conveners that either my name was removed or the conference would be canceled. The conveners were shocked at the attitude of the missionary, but he told them "If Patrick Coleman wants to have a conference, then Patrick Coleman can pay for his own venue". Since plans are already in an advanced stage, it would be difficult for this conference to be moved so I told the conveners to go ahead and have the conference and I will pray for the meeting. We do not want to cause a problem among the Zambian leaders. We always hope that our co-workers will work in unity, but petty jealousies tend to get in the way. Please pray for these church leaders and for the conference that they might grow in their knowledge of the Lord Jesus.

We are excited about what God has been doing in our lives and thrilled to see new believers come into the family of God. Even with the disappointments that we face, we know who is in ultimate control of our lives and ministry. Thank you for your continued support.

By the way, tomorrow (16th August) is Sherry's birthday. Don't tell her I told you, but her email address is scoleman@zamnet.zm

In His Service,

Patrick & Sherry

08 August 2007

Being Ready

Greetings from Luanshya!

Last week we showed the film "The Bible vs. The Book of Mormon". The turnout was not as good as we had hoped. We did notice that the two young Mormon missionaries in town were standing 50 yards from the front of our building dissuading people from coming to the film. Nevertheless, all those who came seemed interested in the subject. After the film, one young lady said that she needed her entire family to watch this film. A few years ago her uncle had brought the family into the Mormon movement, but he has since left when he realized the errors in doctrinal teaching. He had actually telephoned his niece and told her she need to watch this film. She is now trying to convince the rest of her family to spend the hour and six minutes it takes to sit through this expose'. Pray for this family. Also pray for those who are equally trapped by this cult.

The parent/teacher conferences were held for all five of the children remaining at the Lighthouse. We are thrilled at the fact that all of them have improved over the last school term-especially in mathematics. We pray that they will do just as well on their final exams beginning in October.

The children in the Sunday School are studying "The Return of Christ". The discussion was particularly heated at one point when one the children expressed their concern over how long it has taken for the Lord Jesus to actually return. Then the discussion turned to the idea of "I have too much to do in life. He can't come yet!" The whole idea is to be "ready". Pray for the children as they continue to study this interesting topic. The same subject happens to coincide with what the Youth Group have begun studying.

In light of this the Christian Resource Centre will sponsor, every Friday evening, a series of movies on the end times. Pray that many will be convicted and make a decision for Jesus Christ NOW.

Monday afternoon we received a telephone call from John Bwalya. For those who have been keeping up with our ministry, you will remember that John is one of the young people we assisted when abandoned by his mother. He has since gone on to earn his teaching certificate, been married and has two daughters. However, this success took him away from Luanshya. He called to let us know that he and his wife, Sarah, have been accepted in the Teachers Training College here in Luanshya and will be joining us in a week. This will give them an opportunity to earn their Bachelor Degrees. It also brings them home so they can minister with us in the English speaking church. We have been praying that they would be able to return and are thrilled with this answer to prayer.

When we think about the end times, we think about time management, redeeming the time and simply the fact that time is so short that it cannot be wasted.

Thank you for praying with us as we invest our time in the lives of the Zambian people.

In His Service,
Patrick & Sherry

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

01 August 2007


Greetings from Luanshya!

Today is a very special day for us. It is actually a double anniversary. Twenty-two years ago today I first set foot on African soil. It was then that I realized that the four years of French I took in High School was only spoken in American High Schools and was of virtually of no use to me in Zaire.

My first decade in Africa was filled with new experiences. I did, in fact, learn not only the French spoken in Zaire but I also became fluent in Zairian Swahili. Churches were started. Local leadership was trained. And God blessed in the face of political turmoil. That decade ended in tragedy, but I knew that God was not finished with me in Africa. The next two years were a bit of a blur.

This last decade started a new era in my life when on 1 August 1997 Sherry and I were married. A lot has happened since that date. Our focus has broadened and our ministry borders have been stretched. The Christian Resource Centre, Source of Light Bible Correspondence School and the Lighthouse Children's Home have come into existence all within the last ten years. In addition to this, four new churches have been started in Zambia and a number of others have been strengthened as the leaders in those local assemblies have been trained.

Over the last week, there have been a number of new registrants in the Correspondence and new faces in the Resource Centre. The youth ministry is preparing for a series of studies on "Charting The End Times" while the Sunday School classes are delving into "The Return of Jesus". Discipleship lessons have taken on a new dimension with one student preparing his commentary on 1 Thessalonians.

During the month of August, we will be showing a series of films dealing with Bible Prophecy as well as the film "The Bible Verses The Book of Mormon". These films are often a catalyst to reaching people who may have questions yet fear to ask. After the films, we will have a question and answer period and hopefully we will be able to show people, from the Word of God, truth from scripture.

As we look back over what God has done in our lives, we are thrilled to be able to represent you in Zambia.

Together in His Service,
Patrick & Sherry

25 July 2007

Back in Luanshya

Greetings from Luanshya!

We are back in Luanshya after five weeks of visiting friends, family and local congregations in eastern USA. We were pleased to have the opportunity to present the Lord's work. One of the most frequent comments made was that people appreciate receiving the weekly updates. It makes them feel as though we have not been gone very long. We appreciate hearing that because the primary purpose of these little snippets is to keep people informed on what the Lord is doing in Zambia.

A few months ago we mentioned the fact that a laptop computer was stolen from the Christian Resource Centre. This week's update is actually being typed on a laptop that was given to us to replace that unit. Sherry has already loaded Bible software onto the computer and it will be placed and secured via heavy-duty cable and lock in the library tomorrow morning. We wish to express our sincere appreciation to those who have prayed for our "loss". The Lord has supplied.

Our schedule has resumed. On Sunday we were back for the regular Sunday services in the local fellowship. Sunday afternoon I met with brother Sakahundu for his continuing discipleship lessons. In a few moments we will be entering into our midweek Bible study. We will begin lessons from 2 Peter warning believers to beware of false teachers. I am due to meet with leaders from two of the other local churches to prepare the calendar for the upcoming evangelism seminars. All in all it is great to be home.

Shortly before our departure abroad, we were faced with the decision to have Stelia removed from the Lighthouse Children's Home. In spite of numerous warnings and hours of counseling, this girl had refused to obey putting herself in grave jeopardy. It was decided, with the local Social Services, to place her in the care and custody of extended family members that we did not even know existed. It is sad that she has forced this decision upon herself, but we cannot jeopardize the well-being of the other children in the Lighthouse Home. Please continue to pray for Stelia and the rest of the children who remain in our care.

Sherry is preparing for the next series of lessons with the high school class. Since school holidays begin in a week's time, this will be a great opportunity to possibly study the topic of "End Times". Along with the regular Bible study, we will show a series of films depicting what may take place immediately after the return of the Messiah. Please pray for the young people and the friends they bring along from school.

As mentioned earlier in this update, the primary purpose for sending this to you is to let you know what we are doing so you can pray intelligently about what the Lord continues to do in the land of Zambia.

Together in His Service,
Patrick & Sherry

06 June 2007

"Two People Died"

Greetings from Luanshya!

Last Sunday morning I preached on the subject "Two People Died". In the previous week two people of note passed away with whom I was familiar. Both were very generous in their community. Both were known for acts of kindness. Both were known for loving their family. One was famous in her country. The other was well known in his community. This is where the similarity ends. Ethel Mutharika was the wife of the President of Malawi. She had a very strong testimony of her salvation and attended her church whenever State duties did not keep her away on Sunday. Mr. P. was a Hindu and believed in all the things that the Hindu gurus taught him. As we know, the Lord Jesus Christ said, "No one comes to the Father except through me." In spite of all the good works that both of these individuals accomplished in their lifetime, the question that God asks when we stand before Him is not, "What did you do in your community but what did you do with My Son?"

With that thought in mind: We continue to preach and teach about the Saviour to young and old. This coming Sunday the children in the Sunday School program will finish their series of lessons and will have their quarterly Sword drill and memory verse competition. Some of the children are really showing signs of growth. Others are still struggling with the pressures of childhood.

This Friday the young people will be talking about "The Grace of God" from Titus 2:11 which tells us that the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all mankind. There have been a number of new faces in the group and we are pleased that the youth are bringing their friends to the functions. Please continue to pray for the young people as they try to live out their faith at school, home and play.

This evening in the Adult Bible Study, we will conclude the book of 1 Peter where the believers are encouraged by the words of the apostle. He reminds us that glory always follows suffering if we submit to the Lord. We are told to be faithful, be humble and be watchful. One of the most humble men in our local church has recently completed the 24 discipleship lessons and has grown tremendously in the Lord as a result. He is now beginning a verse by verse study in the book of 1 Thessalonians.

Three weeks ago we mentioned the fact that we were going to have one of the ant hills on the church plot broken down in order to make brick for the new building. This afternoon we went by and saw that three fourths of the ant hill has been brought down so the work of making the bricks should begin in the next week or so. After the bricks are made and cured, the construction can start. Please pray for the process and workers.

We will be visiting a number of supporting churches over the next month. Our updates may be intermittent but we will appreciate your prayers as this work continues.

In His Service,

Patrick & Sherry

16 May 2007

No Secrets

Greetings from Luanshya!

This past weekend I was invited to go to a conference in the Drakenberg Mountains in South Africa. Initially I was asked to speak twice, but when I arrived the convener of the meeting asked me if I would fill in two more "spaces" that were left open by speakers who were unable to come. I am always thrilled to speak and talk about the Lord so this was not a problem except that the early Sunday morning slot was at 6:30 a.m. Still it was an opportunity to share and I took advantage of that opportunity. After the service, one man came up to me and said that he did not know why he came to
the conference because he was really too busy to be away for a weekend, but the message about Gideon and "every man standing in his place" was exactly what he needed to hear. Sometimes we do not know why God allows us, or pushes us, into certain circumstances. Yet, we know that God is sovereign and it is always exciting to see Him use what we allow Him to use in our lives.

Meanwhile, back in Luanshya, the youth on Friday began their new series on "Great Words from God's Word". Sherry began in Psalm 147:5 "I will speak of the glorious honor of thy majesty, and of thy wondrous works." The lesson focused on three personality traits of God: His Omnipresence, His Omnipotence and His Omniscience. The young people were astounded by the fact that there are "no secrets" with God. A lively discussion ensued. Next week they will look at "The Grace of God". Pray for the class and for Sherry.

This evening in our adult Bible study we studied the second half of 1 Peter 4. It was a continuation from last week's lesson on "Suffering". Suffering is a very difficult topic to discuss with people who really feel that they are suffering because of their poverty. In actuality, they do suffer more than the average North American Christian but the suffering we are discussing is that which pertains to persecution for being a Christian. Ironically, Christians in Zambia are not persecuted for being Christians and this makes it almost too easy to proclaim faith in Christ. It is a very strange thing to say. However, Christian's who do not experience suffering, very often become complacent in their daily walk. I used the example of a church that was closed in Zaire because a government official did not get his "gift" when the building was completed. That particular church grew because it meant something to be a Christian and there was a price to be paid for proclaiming Jesus Christ as Lord. The challenge here in Zambia is to go beyond the complacency and reignite the fire of the early church. Please pray for those in our Bible study that they might take the message to heart.

Thank you for having a part in our lives and ministry.

In His Service,
Patrick & Sherry

Site News: Updates Are Back!

This is Christopher, Patrick and Sherry's oldest son. I am the one responsible for maintaining this website.

Unfortunately, we ran into a bit of a problem with it which took far longer to resolve than should have been the case. Hopefully, they are all resolved at this time.

I am attempting to restore all the archives, and am working backwards to do so. Please keep checking for the latest News from Zambia.

10 May 2007

Hustle and Bustle

Greetings from Luanshya!

It has been yet another busy week with school resuming and the hustle and bustle of preparing school bags and materials, uniforms and shoes, school fees and the list goes on. The children from the Lighthouse Children's Home are set for the second term of classes. Half of the children are now in grade 6 and the other half are in grade 7 preparing for high school entrance exams. There is a lot of pressure to do well and be chosen for a place in a successful government school. Only a small percentage of grade 7 students manage to qualify for the next step in their education. Over half of these take the exam a second time an entire year later hoping that they will receive placement. The head teacher at one of the schools, where our children attend, has suggested strongly a boarding school for Nancy because she is doing so well in school. (Boarding school in Zambia is a sign of a dedicated student and most students prefer it over staying at home and having the distractions that keep them from their studies.) We are not financially in a position to do this for her, but it is good to know that she will presumably find a place in one of the local high schools in Luanshya. The boys are struggling a bit, but they are making every effort to pick their grades up. When we consider where they were when they came to us, speaking absolutely no English and having never attended an organized school, we are very proud. Please remember to pray for the children at the Lighthouse as they prepare for their school exams.

We were very pleased to receive a box of books from a dear friend in Ireland. Unfortunately, the box did not make it to us without "someone" opening and taking inventory. The note we received from the missionary to ultimately forwarded the box to us stated that they had opened the box accidentally even though our name was on top of the box in one inch letters. The reality of life is that not everyone has the scruples that a believer in Christ should have. Seven of the books are missing and we assume that they were sold. The good news is that we have 63 books for use in the Christian Resource Centre and even the seven books that were lost to us are presumably being used by their new owners. We are always excited when we have new study materials to share with the people of Luanshya.

We are seeing some progress at the church plot for Fellowship Chapel. Now that the rains have stopped, the prisoners locally will be fulfilling their community service by breaking down one of the 30 foot high ant hills (yes you read correctly) so that soil can be used to make bricks. The Mobile Missionary Maintenance team will be coming to make the bricks and to construct the building. Realizing that nothing works quickly in Zambia, the plan is to have the building completed by the end of November when the rains begin again. Pray for the building program and the involvement of the local believers.

The Friday youth class has completed their series on "Faith In Action". They will begin a new series this Friday on "Great Words from God's Word". The adult bible study on Wednesday's is moving methodically through 1 & 2 Peter. This evening we will talk about "Suffering" (1 Peter 4). This is a subject easier studied than experienced. Suffering for most believers in the U.S. is the inconvenience of having to walk from their car to the front door of the church in the rain. Here, in Luanshya, it is more a matter of "will my employer pay me this month or will I need to forgo some meals in deference of my child's health?" This promises to be a spirited discussion.

We do what we do because you make it possible with your prayers and support. You are appreciated more than we can fully express in words.

In His Service,
Patrick & Sherry

25 April 2007

Grasping the Concepts

Greetings from Luanshya!

Half of the children at the Lighthouse Children's Home are in grade seven and are facing a pivotal exam at the end of this academic year (November). After looking at their math scores, it is apparent that all three of them needed some additional help. During the school holiday, this month, I have been working with them for about an hour to an hour and a half a day in their math studies. These children are not stupid, but they are lacking in basic mathematical skills which should have been taught at their school. Unfortunately, when there are 30 students in the classroom and their teacher also doubles as the school principal, a lot of things fall through the cracks. It is amazing to watch them light up when they grasp a concept. As I said, they are not stupid children; they just need to be taught. They are grasping many concepts while working with Sherry and myself, not only in math but in biblical truths. Please pray for them as they continue their studies both in school and in church.

Last Sunday Mr. Siwale stopped me after the service. I had preached from Matthew 6 and the message got a hold of his heart. He said, "Brother Coleman, I need to speak with you about being baptized." Later this afternoon he will be coming to the chapel early and we will go through the biblical teachings about assurance of salvation and baptism. Mr. Siwale is a university educated businessman. He is making his decisions slowly and carefully. Please pray for him as he makes this important step in the faith.

Over the last several weeks there has been a grade 12 student coming into the Resource Centre whenever he has a spare moment between school and home responsibilities. Sam was a student of the Source of Light Bible Correspondence School a few years ago but left to attend high school in a different town. He has been relocated back to Luanshya and has resumed his studies in the correspondence school. He also has an incredible thirst for biblical knowledge. Two weeks ago he began studying a book entitled "30 Days to Understanding The Bible". When he finished this, he began studying another book "The Bible in 12 Lessons". This afternoon he began a comparative study of Genesis and Acts – both books of beginnings. Yesterday he came into Sherry's office and said, "Aunty, I have a question from the Bible. My friends say..." Sherry immediately opened a Bible in front of her and together they found the answer. She then told Sam that our friends may say lots of things but the moment he said, "Question from the Bible", she reached for her Bible. Sam, like so many other young people, puts a lot of faith in what his "friends" say. Peer pressure is the same the world over. Pray for Sam as he continues to seek truth.

This coming Sunday I will be returning to the Buntungwa Chapel. Brother Katandula and brother Chomba have asked me to begin a series of lessons on Evangelism. They were supposed to go to an evangelism conference in Northern Province but transportation is very expensive. When they came and told me about this particular conference, hoping I would pay for them to go, I asked them why they would spend the money to go all the way to Northern Province when I could come and teach all the church members how to tell others about the Lord Jesus Christ? They were quick to accept the offer and they have already begun to translate the outline into Bemba.

Because of your support of this ministry, we continue to share the good news of the Messiah.

In His Service,
Patrick & Sherry

11 April 2007

"Your teaching is not falling on deaf ears."

Greetings from Luanshya!

Sherry has been thoroughly enjoying the discipleship lessons with Nancy. This week's lesson was on the fact that God does not set traps for His people. Many new believers see God as a vindictive disciplinarian instead of a loving Father. They fear God in the sense that they are afraid when the Bible says we should fear Him with respect and awe. Having never really known love from an earthly father, this whole concept is foreign to her. The love that she has experienced has come from people who were not only strangers, but also foreigners. We have been able to use the analogy that just as we have taken on the guardianship by choice, so has God taken her into His family by His choice. Every day, Nancy has more questions and every day Sherry is able to give her answers from God's Word. Please keep praying for progress.

On Resurrection Sunday I was able to explain the difference between Easter and the day we celebrate the resurrection of Christ. The world's perception of Easter as bunnies, candy and Easter egg hunts is slowly creeping into Zambian society. The local grocery store — the only grocery store in town — was packed with chocolate bunnies and marshmallow chicks all imported from South Africa. The children and adults alike wanted to know what this had to do with the resurrection of Christ. I had to admit that I had no idea whatsoever. We celebrated the day talking about the empty tomb and the fact that almost nobody fully understood the implication of what had occurred. Pilate was clueless. Herod thought he had a solution. The ladies were devastated at the death of Christ and the disciples were stunned with disbelief. It was only when Christ appeared to them that they began to realize the meaning of what He taught over the three-year period. Sadly, many people in the world today still do not fully understand the implication of the death, burial and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ.

After the service, Mr. Siwale stopped me at the door and said, "Your teaching is not falling on deaf ears. I am listening, I am reading and absorbing." He has been coming to almost every service including the small group Bible studies and asking a lot of questions. When he makes a decision for Christ, it will be firm and it will be his. We are planting seeds and trusting God for the harvest.

A brief update on my father's heart condition, the angiogram is scheduled for Wednesday afternoon, California time. The doctor and the surgeon will confer and make a decision on when to perform the valve replacement. We will keep you updated with the latest information as we receive it. We have been able to communicate a lot better over the last few weeks using a program called "Skype" which allows us to have voice conversations through the computer... for free! This does, of course, depend entirely on our ISP connection being clear and strong. We thank God for small miracles! We appreciate your prayers on our behalf.

In His Service,
Patrick & Sherry