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