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