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