31 December 2008

Looking Forward

Greetings from Luanshya!

We are thrilled to be able to let you know that my father's heart surgery was successful. He now has a bovine valve in his heart. For some reason the doctor decided not to use the sow valve. One could say he is now "strong as an ox." He is now on the road to recovery. Please continue pray for his full recovery and return to an active life of ministry, even at the age of 80.

As the year comes to an end, we look forward to the many opportunities of service that the Lord may lay before us. This past week we've both had occasion to spend time with believers in the churches where we minister and are making plans to expand the counselling outreach as well as the multimedia facility at the Christian Resource Centre.

The Bible School where I taught earlier this year has invited me back to teach in an expanded capacity. I am looking forward to this opportunity to train church leaders from several countries in south/central Africa. As they return to their homelands better equipped, we trust many more souls will come to know the Lord Jesus Christ as personal Saviour.

Sherry will continue with the youth ministry as well as training those that wish to participate in the music program and Sunday School. This is an exciting aspect of our work as the young people insist on having classes even on public holidays and during school vacations. Their thirst for knowledge and willingness to question everything is refreshing to us.

The correspondence Bible school division of the work continues. We end the year with 3,650 students. My work with the community as the Luanshya District Education Board Chair will give us an even greater inroad to the schools as we introduce the Source of Light Bible Correspondence School ministry to new students. We have already expanded the adult segment of the school, now to focus fresh attention on the primary school children, again.

Your prayers and support during 2008 have made it possible to represent you and the Lord Jesus Christ to the people who come within the circle of our influence. We continue...

In His Service,
Patrick & Sherry

15 December 2008

"How To Pass A Test Without Cheating"

Greetings from Luanshya!

This morning we had a delightful conversation with John Bwalya. John is the young man Sherry and I brought up some years ago when his family kicked him out. He is in Luanshya for continuing education to acquire his "diploma" in Teacher Education. He and his wife were both a bit discouraged by the fact that they have been posted in rural schools for the past four years instead of being transferred back to Luanshya after two years, as promised. As he spoke, he shared that one of his students from the village attained the highest grade 7 scores in the entire zone. Five of his students scored high enough to be placed in the best high school in the District. Sherry shared with him a portion of her upcoming youth lesson on Daniel. Daniel did not want to be where he was, but God wanted him there for a purpose. Sherry entitled the lesson "How To Pass A Test Without Cheating". While we would love to have John and Sarah back in Luanshya-and pray for that end-we know that God has a purpose in keeping them where they are for the time being in order to minister both to the students in the school and the rural church where they are very involved. Please pray for John and Sarah as they continue to serve where God has placed them.

Last Saturday Sherry and I lead a leadership seminar at the Christian Resource Centre. We discussed team building, communication, public speaking and leading with vision. Some of the participants are community leaders and we used this opportunity to share not only basic leadership principles but also biblical truths. While not used specifically as an evangelistic tool, we have had several of the participants talk to us about their spiritual and emotional needs since the seminar. People are really looking for answers and not finding them in their traditional religious settings. We are offering an alternative to "conventional wisdom". Please pray for this rather unusual outreach as we continue to be available.

The expanded audio/visual section of the Christian Resource Centre is being used regularly. We have made available a number of the Christian DVD's in our possession and have set up some viewing areas for those interested in using this facility. There is also a small lounge for people to sit and talk about issues in their lives and yet another section where discipleship can be carried out around a table. We appreciate the assistance of those who have made this expansion possible.

Finally, As you read last week, my father had an angiogram, but the scheduled valve replacement was delayed until after Christmas. It is now scheduled for either 29th or 30th of December. Needless to say this year will end on an interesting note. Please pray for my dad and for us as we are so many miles away.

We celebrate Christmas because it marks the coming together of both God and man in the person of Jesus Christ. Now man can find a way to God through His Son for eternal salvation-and that is something to celebrate!

May you have a joyous Christmas celebration.

In His Service,
Patrick & Sherry

10 December 2008

Life has been incredibly busy

Greetings from Luanshya!

Life has been incredibly busy these last few weeks. Our internet access has been sporadic so these updates have not been as regular as we would like but we know you are ever faithful in your prayers for us.

We were asked if we celebrated Thanksgiving in Africa. We do, but it is not an African holiday and therefore is a regular workday. We were able to find a turkey for the first time in four years. We had invited a few friends to eat dinner with us and we explained the concept of Thanksgiving Day. They thought it was a great idea and thoroughly enjoyed the meal. We appreciated the turkey. they just thought it was a giant chicken. We knew the difference!

School is out and that means children are everywhere. Sherry's youth lessons continue in spite of the fact that the children are not in school because the students don't want to take a break from their weekly gathering. Last week, Sherry's final lesson on "Practical Christian Living" covered "Church: Who Needs It?!" Obviously, she gave them biblical evidence that we all need to be gathering in God's house and the discussion was animated as they covered the important of discipleship, evangelism, praise, worship and the development of their spiritual gifts for the edifying of the Body of Christ.

The youth lessons will continue through the holiday season. The next series covers the Panorama of Prophecy. This week they will look at "Daniel: God's Man of the Moment".

I have been meeting weekly with a young man in discipleship. He lives just outside of Luanshya and travels in to town twice, if not three times a week to spend time in the Christian Resource Centre, in discipleship, watching Christian audio visuals and church activities. Currently we are about to finish the second of seven books in Design for Discipleship series. Each week he amazes me with the depth of his questions as he grows in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. Pray for Kelly as he continues to mature.

Finally, on a personal note, my father had an angiogram yesterday. He was scheduled to have valve replacement, but that was delayed until after Christmas. As our oldest son said, "any time a doctor does not feel that probing around in your heart is an immediate emergency, is a good thing."

Please pray for my dad and for us as we are so many miles away.

Until next week.

In His Grace,
Patrick & Sherry

19 November 2008

Life is never dull in Africa

Greetings from Luanshya!

Life is never dull in Africa when you are involved in the lives of the people among whom we serve. Last Saturday Sherry and I were invited to a Matabeto celebration. This occasion marks a period of time in which a married couple have been together. The family of the wife honours the husband with a huge feast and entertains his friends. There were nearly 100 people from all walks of life enjoying the food and fellowship. We were the only non-Zambians at the feast, but we were accepted and included as part of the family. Longevity in marriage is a rarity around the world. This couple has been together for 32 years and have been faithful to one another over the years when cultural norms encourage quite the opposite. Praise the Lord with us as we commemorate this event with J & B.

Sherry's youth lesson last week centred on Romans 8:28-30, "Providence Made Practical". Sometimes we tend to spout off verses without actually taking the time to consider what is really being said. Sherry was giving the young people encouraging words for discouraging days. Many of them have just completed their year-end exams. As we have mentioned in the past, this is a very stressful time for students. Just in the last few days we have heard of several incidents where teenagers have taken their own life because of the intense pressure placed on them to succeed. Fortunately, the young people in Sherry's class know that they can come to either of us, at any time, and talk through their frustration. Please pray for the youth. They want to succeed, but they need to realize that success in God's eyes is not the same as success in the eyes of their peers. The lesson concluded with the idea that whatever happens God means it for good and not evil. We must move past our initial rejection, progress beyond our toleration, and be encouraged by our realization of God's faithfulness. (Jeremiah 18:1-4)

We have had a number of students in the Christian Resource Centre focusing on various topics. One gentleman was preparing a message on "Spiritual Warfare-How to Be Prepared for Battle". A youngster is coming to terms with the divorce of her guardians and has read two booklets dealing with issues of divorced parents. Another young man is studying the Holy Spirit and is reading Chuck Swindoll's book "Flying Closer to the Flame". Yesterday an elderly gentleman was in researching on the Apostles. We just happened to receive a few weeks ago a book on "Lives of the Apostles". A few weeks ago we were able to give him a pair of reading glasses. Since then, he has been in every week reading and studying. Something as simple as a two dollar pair of reading glasses has transformed a mediocre existence into a vibrant learning experience.

In the different kinds of things we are doing we see God is able to use us to meet the various needs of those with whom we come into contact. Your part in our ministry makes that possible.

Thank you for your continued prayers. as we remain…

In His Service,
Patrick & Sherry

29 October 2008

Election Fever

Greetings from Luanshya!

We were very pleasantly surprised yesterday when a truck pulled up at the house with several boxes of books and "goodies" from Northern Ireland and Canada. There are hundreds of books for our Christian Resource Centre library including Bible studies, biographies, devotionals and a set of World Book Encyclopaedia. Some of these books will be put into small libraries for young preachers who live and minister in rural areas while many of them will be put to immediate use in the library. It was a very exciting day!

In addition to the books were the other items of interest. Knitted sweaters and jumpers for babies and girls were also included as well as baby "sleeping bags" and blanket & towel sets for new mothers. We will distribute many of these over the next few weeks in the Lighthouse Children's Home and churches where we minister. The baby sleeping bags will of special interest since nobody here has ever seen them (including us). For several years we have presented gifts to new mothers in the hospital at Christmas. There were also many, many baseball caps included in the packages. While 99% of the Zambian boys have never seen a baseball, they ALL love to wear ball caps. Sherry is planning to distribute these to the young people at her Youth Meeting on Friday. This will add to the excitement.

"Election Fever" is alive and well! Not only are the Americans up to their neck in political advertising and news, but the Zambian special election for President is hot and heavy… and only hours away. The polls here open at 6 am on Thursday 30th October and all four candidates (and their supporters) are working country-wide to garner support of the electorate. There is hardly a vertical space in our town without a poster proclaiming that a particular candidate is "the right man for the job." This is truly democracy in action. Enthusiasm is exciting and contagious. We see this as campaigners wave signs, make distinctive hand gestures (each party has their own unique hand gesture) and shout out the name of their candidate of choice. Wouldn’t it be interesting if Christians were as excited about their Lord and King, Jesus Christ?

Funny you should mention that! Last Friday was Zambia's Independence Day so Sherry assumed that her youth meeting would be cancelled. She asked the young people what they wanted and they unanimously "voted" to have class… on a HOLIDAY! She said not only were her "regulars" there, but they brought visitors. As we mentioned earlier, the election is tomorrow and it has been declared a national holiday. Often the Friday after a Thursday holiday is also considered a de facto holiday, but Sherry assumed nothing and again asked her class what they wanted. She was not surprised this time when they again unanimously "voted" to have class. The young people are enthusiastic about their Bible study and excited enough to bring visitors even on holidays. We are thrilled with their enthusiasm and excitement. Please pray for them as they study "How to Survive the School Jungle" this Friday.

I have been told by more than a few people on my FACEBOOK page that they are praying for us. It is always good news to know that we are being remembered to the Throne of Grace. Our work is shared by all who support us in both prayer and contributions We appreciate your partnership in this ministry.

Together in His Service,
Patrick & Sherry

16 October 2008

Washing Hands

Greetings from Luanshya!

The electricity was turned off in the section of Luanshya where the ISP antennae is located at 4:15 pm on Wednesday so while this was queued to go out at that time it will not go until ZESCO (Zambia Electrical Supply Company) turns the lights back on.

Here is something you probably didn’t know: Today, 15th October 2008, is the first annual "Global Handwashing Day." Just when you thought all the special events in life were covered someone comes up with something new. Actually, for much of the world an act as simple as washing hands with soap is not automatic. People all over the world wash their hands with water. The belief that washing with water alone to remove visible dirt is sufficient to make hands clean is commonplace in most countries, but washing hands with water alone is significantly less effective than washing hands with soap in terms of removing germs, and handwashing with soap is seldom practiced.

Just as many people believe that water will wash away dirt, many also believe that going to church will wash away their sins. I asked a pastor from a one of the many churches in town recently if he knew he was going to Heaven when he died. His answer was predictable (considering his denomination) and sad. "I certainly hope so. I spend most of my time in the church so that must count for something." His whole eternity is based on "salvation by location" and that is a poor substitute for the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Last Sunday Kelly Jere was baptised. We had visitors so I explained that the water of the baptism does not wash away Kelly's sins. I briefly told how Kelly came to know Christ as his Personal Saviour and that baptism was his public testimony of that fact. After the service, a young police officer (one of the visitors) came up to me and asked if he could visit our office on Thursday afternoon. Please pray for us as we talk about what really washes away sins.

We had visits from two government offices in the past two weeks. One was from the Registrar of Societies explaining that all orphanages were being asked to re-register so they could update their records. We will also receive a new registration certificate. They explained that there were so many new churches, preschools and orphanages "popping up" all over Zambia that the Registrar of Societies wants to confirm and verify which organisations are really doing what they say they are doing. The team of inspectors was very pleased with what they saw. There is an additional cost for this service.

The other visit was from the Ministry of Social Welfare. They also had new forms to be completed with much of the same information. The ladies from this office have been at LCH before and we have known them for several years, but the visit was mandated by the head office in Lusaka so we were happy to spend time with them showing them around the home. They did remark that the children were growing up and all looked healthy. They asked about "fundraising" projects for the home and we explained that this was a faith mission and God provided as the needs were presented. Other organisations have raffles or fund-raising dinner dances to support their work. (My mother never let me dance so that would not be a pretty sight.) Before they left they asked for our mission statement. I gave them this: "To raise children to be viable, productive, responsible citizens of Zambia and to see them grow in the nurture and admonition of the Lord."

We do this together with you as our partners. Thank you for being a part of our "team."

Together in His Service,
Patrick & Sherry

PS: We both voted this past week. It was both an honour and a duty.

08 October 2008


Greetings from Luanshya.

On our side of the equator this is the third week of Spring. Calendar-wise, this would equate to early April in North America. Most people "there" would be welcoming warm breezes and gentle rains. The third week of Spring here is hot, dry, dusty and hot… in that order. Today it was ninety degrees (F). Next month we will wish for anything under 100. Very few people have access to air conditioning so shade trees become "meeting rooms." We have a large tree in front of our house and we often have people sitting under the tree trying to stay cool. This morning a businessman was meeting with a client under the tree because the office downtown was "just too hot." I was reminded of the small group of ladies who met by the river near Philippi to pray. I always picture trees by a river and I can imagine them sitting under a tree to stay out of the sun. After meeting with Paul and Silas these ladies became believers. Amazing things happen under trees.

With that thought in mind, we met with the members of the church last Saturday and planted 10 trees on the church property. We had previously planted another 15. Before we purchased the property it was an "unofficial" dump for the community. There were no trees on our part of the property except those growing from the top of the 25 foot tall ant hills. The men of the church decided we needed to "decorate" the property, so we have been planting trees. He said, "Ultimately these will provide shade for small-group Bible studies so we can stay cool on these hot October and November days." The church building has no electricity so no fans or air conditioning. The men are thinking ahead!

Brother Siwale completed his Discipleship Course in June. In August he began working with Sylvester – a new believer – in the same course. Last Sunday he was talking to Sylvester about his lessons and Kelly asked him what it was all about. Kelly will be baptised this coming Sunday and is eagerly soaking up any and all teaching he can about God’s Word. This afternoon Brother Siwale began working with his second student. This is 2 Timothy 2:2 in reality. We are thrilled to see this interaction, enthusiasm and spiritual growth. Please remember to pray for these young men as they equip themselves for service.

The world economic situation is affecting us here. Prices continue to rise both due to regular inflation and the fluctuating dollar. Costs at the Lighthouse Children’s Home have gone from $1,000 per month to over $1,600. The price of rice has more than doubled and electrical rates have gone up four times this year. We received notice yesterday that water rates were going up again next month. We deeply appreciate your prayers and support of this ministry. We cannot do it without you!

Together in His Service,
Patrick & Sherry

01 October 2008


Greetings from Luanshya!

It is incredibly bad form to start a letter with an apology. Therefore, we are not apologizing for our weekly updates being more sporadic than consistent. We are simply announcing that the internet service in Zambia is intermittent at best. Hopefully, it will stay up long enough for this note to go out to you.

We have had very interesting discussions during our teaching periods with the various small groups with whom we work. Last week the youth discussed Onesiphorus during their lesson on "Character Counts-Building A Life of Character". The apostle Paul commended his friend for his "refreshing spirit". In a time of great persecution, Onesiphorus took the time to journey to Rome from Ephesus in order to encourage and pray for this soldier of Christ. He is only mentioned twice in Scripture and both occasions in the book of 2 Timothy. Sherry emphasized the need for the young people to be faithful in encouraging their friends during times of frustration and tribulation. As the young people enter into the period of final exams, these are often known as "suicide months". Pray that our young people will have an impact on their acquaintances.

In the Men's Bible Study we discussed the teachings of Amos and the warnings given to the children of Israel for their selfishness and disobedience. The final question last week was "how can we, today, make a difference in our community?" Brother Siwale said that we have to get out of our comfort zone and force ourselves to express the love of Christ to those around us. I found it interesting that he used the word "force". It doesn't matter where we live, it seems we all have to continually "force" ourselves to love the unlovely and share Christ with those whom we come into contact whether it be at work, the market or our neighbourhood.

We have a special request for a dear lady at our church. She has a very unstable situation in her family. Last week she asked us to help her write a Will. While writing a Will in the USA is a normal part of family responsibility, it is seldom done in Zambia and usually only by those who feel threatened either because of illness or other physical danger.

Obviously, we cannot mention her name, but please pray for M. M.

Earlier today I met with a young man named Kelly. He has been in the Resource Centre regularly learning from the material and asking Sherry many questions. Over the past couple months; he has been attending services at Fellowship Chapel. During our conversation today I discovered that he has been bounced around from family member to family member for most of his young life. Currently he is responsible for caring for his grandmother who lives out on the family farm. We talked for a long time about salvation. He is sure of his place with the Lord and has a strong testimony of that fact.

In two weeks time, he will follow the Lord in Scriptural baptism declaring his faith to friends and family alike. His desire is to know the Word of God. His friends are a little surprised that he reads his Bible during the tea breaks at work. He told them he was "addicted to the Word." Please pray for Kelly that his "addiction" will become contagious to his friends.

We appreciate the part you have in our ministry through you gifts and prayers.

In His Service,
Patrick & Sherry

17 September 2008


Greetings from Luanshya!

We recently received some contributions to assist those who are still recovering from the floods a few months ago. I walked through the Chipulukusu Township with one of the church leaders and he was astounded that people were still living in houses that were leaning at a 15 to 20 degree angle. We spoke to the men in the church and they said that the greatest need at this time of the year is protection against malaria.

Sherry and I purchased 40 insecticide treated mosquito nets and distributed them last week to members of the congregation as selected by the deacons.

They were considered to be the neediest. They included widows with young children, the elderly, the blind and the physically handicapped.

With Brother MusondaDuring the service one man suffered an epileptic seizure. Sometimes this can be confused for demon possession by those who do not understand epilepsy. We were pleased to observe that the members of the church carefully and lovingly carried the young man out of the building so he could rest under the shade of a tree outside. We were also pleased to notice that one of the nets was designated to this young man. Brother Musonda told us that this was a perfect gift and thanked us for the contribution. We are grateful to those who helped make this possible.

School has resumed and the children from the Lighthouse Children's Home have started their last term of the academic school year. Two of the children, Johnnie and Andrew, are taking major exams in a few weeks. The grade 7 exam will determine whether they continue in school and depending on the marks each child receives, which school they will be able to attend as different schools have various cut-off points. Pray for the boys as they prepare for this milestone.

Happy Kafula has been a regular user of the Christian Resource Centre since we opened. Several times a week he spends the morning preparing lessons for the youth group, seminars and leadership series. Last week he was asked to go and lead a new congregation in Nampamba, about two hours away from Luanshya Town Centre. He came to us with both excitement and disappointment.

He was excited about this new ministry opportunity, but disappointed that he would not be able to utilize the resources of the Christian Resource Centre.

He thanked Sherry, enthusiastically, for allowing him to prepare his life for ministry. Unbeknownst to him, we are in the process of preparing a small library of Christian literature which he will be able to take to him to his new rural home. Please pray for Happy as he ministers in this new field.

Whether we are helping those with specific needs or helping to prepare the leaders of tomorrow, we are here doing what the Lord has asked us to do and we appreciate the role you play in our ministry.

In His Service,
Patrick & Sherry

27 August 2008

Small Things

Greetings from Luanshya!

It has been a solemn week in Zambia as people openly mourn the death of President Mwanawasa. Zambia has never been through this kind of experience, the loss of a head of state. Nobody really knows how to feel or react. The burial will be on 3rd September. It would have been President Mwanawasa's 60th birthday. Please continue praying for those in leadership. There has been a lot of political jostling for authority, but there has also been peace during the transition.

The Christian Resource Centre has been busy over the last couple of weeks. This often occurs during the school holidays with students coming in to read, but the majority of those in the library have been adults. Some are preparing lessons while others are simply studying for their own personal encouragement. A number of Bible school students, from Kitwe, came in to study the Life of Christ from the book of Luke. They were amazed to find all the information they would need in our facility. We are pleased that they were able to utilize the materials.

Last month we received a special gift from Canada to help those who had been affected by the recent flooding. Tomorrow I will go with two church leaders in Luanshya to Chipulukusu to visit church leaders there with the prospect of giving insecticide treated mosquito nets to families in that area. We should have enough money for forty nets which will help tremendously in that low lying region. As the temperatures warm up, mosquitoes become more active. There are several friends who are currently suffering from malaria. While mosquito nets will not stop malaria, it will help in slowing down the spread of the disease by killing the mosquitoes that carry malaria. We are thankful for the gift and look forward to making the presentation.

Yesterday morning an old man came into the Christian Resource Centre to read a devotional book we had on display. Sherry handed him the book then realized that the spectacles he was wearing were held together by adhesive tape and the lenses were horribly scratched. She didn't say anything but walked back into her office and brought out a small box of brand new reading glasses sent to us by friends abroad. Through a process of elimination, they found a pair that fit just right and enabled him to read without struggling. This small act of kindness changed his life. It is in doing these small things that we realize why God put us here in the first place: simply to share His love.

Thank you for allowing us to serve Him here.

In His Service,
Patrick & Sherry

20 August 2008

Zambian President Levy Mwanawasa, 59

Zambian President Levy Mwanawasa died in a French hospital on Tuesday, August 19, 2008 after suffering a stroke several weeks ago, Vice President Rupiah Banda said.

The Zambian leader, 59, was a favourite with Western donors for tackling corruption in the southern African country and he had been one of the strongest critics in the region of Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe.

"Fellow countrymen, with deep sorrow and grief, I would like to inform the people of Zambia that our president Dr. Levy Patrick Mwanawasa died this morning at 1030 hours (4:30 a.m. EDT)," Banda said on state television.

"I also wish to inform the nation that national mourning starts today and will be for seven days."

President Mwanawasa accepted Jesus as his Saviour and was baptized about 4 years ago at Twin Palms Baptist Church on the campus of the Zambian Baptist Seminary in Lusaka. Thanks for praying for his family, friends, fellow church members and the nation of Zambia at this sad time.

Patrick & Sherry Coleman
Luanshya, Zambia

18 August 2008

Life Markers

Greetings from Luanshya!

At the end of last week we received some very exciting news from our daughter, Chandra, who lives with her husband James in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. Chandra excitedly announced that they were going to have a baby in April. We received an e-mail this morning letting us know that they could not find a heartbeat when they did a sonogram yesterday. Chandra and James are devastated, of course, as are we. Please remember them in your prayers.

Nobody likes going to the dentist. Nevertheless, it is a necessary "evil" even for the kids at the Lighthouse Children's Home. This morning we took three of the boys out to a missionary dental clinic to have their check up. They were given an almost clean bill of health. The visiting dentist said they needed to scrub a little harder and gave them a fluoride treatment for their teeth. Tomorrow we will take the rest of the children as well as one of the WWII veterans. The team has come from Kansas City and will be here for one week in conjunction with a Bible conference. Pray that not only will teeth be made healthy but souls will be healed.

For the last several days a young man named Misheck has been visiting the Christian Resource Centre. He has recently moved to Luanshya to help care for his aging grandmother. He has been asking a lot of questions about groups that are present in Luanshya which "detract from the truth of the gospel". While we were in the States recently, we picked up a number of Bible study helps to help believers understand the difference between truth and error. These will come in quite handy to ask questions like those posed by Misheck. He will be joining us at Fellowship Chapel on Sunday. Please pray for him as he cares for his grandmother and seeks to know the truth for himself.

Nancy, one of the girls in the orphanage, returns from the Red Cross Camp today. We look forward to hearing about her experiences and opportunities to share the Lord Jesus with the other 3,400 young people who attended this five day function. This was the first time Nancy has been away from the Home, on her own, in 8 years. The rest of the children have missed her helping around the house and keeping peace among the children. It is encouraging to see that she has a valued placed in the Home.

In the Men's Bible study last week, we concluded our study of the little books of the New Testament. We will enter a three week study on the book of Titus then go into the "little books of the Old Testament". The men asked last week why most Christian's don't read the little books. I told them that most Christian's don't read the big books either. The fact that our men are interested in studying is a rare treat, indeed. They have become closer and stronger in the Lord through this weekly Bible study. Please pray for them as they prepare to lead.

Your partners in Christ,

Patrick & Sherry

07 August 2008

A Chilly Luanshya?

Greetings from a chilly Luanshya!

We are home! After spending a few weeks in the States visiting with family and friends and having shared our ministry presentation twelve times, we returned to Zambia for a few days then went down to South Africa to attend a conference on Child Mortality. We have finally returned home and will be here for some time.

The day after we arrived we were back in church participating as normal and were pleased that our absence was felt. We were more pleased, however, to know that the ministry in the local churches continued even though we were not physically present. Our goal is and always has been to train leaders who will in turn train leaders to lead. Witnessing this following our longest absence in years, was heartening. Please continue to pray for the local leadership in each autonomous gathering of believers.

June and July are our winter months in Zambia. Literally dozens of people have come down with colds, flus and bronchitis. We are very happy to note that none of the children at the Lighthouse Children's Home have been seriously ill. Now that school is on break for the month of August, we hope to spend some time with them as two children prepare for their final exams in grade 7 in November. The eldest girl will be helping Sherry in the Christian Resource Centre while some of the boys help in the vegetable gardens. Thank you for praying for our children.

I met with Major Sambo, a retired army officer, and we are planning a series of lessons for the young men and women at the Luanshya military base. Pray for wisdom as the Word of God is shared and lives impacted for eternity.

Please add to your prayer list Zambian President, Levy Mwanawasa. President Mwanawasa is a professing Christian who has striven during his term of office to return integrity to the office of The President. He suffered a stroke while attending the recent African Union meeting in Egypt in June and was rushed to a French military hospital where he is being treated to this date. Details of his condition have not been released and there is much speculation among the local population. Our prayer is that there will be continued peace and that the President will return to full health soon.

We have been less than a week and are full steam ahead. Thank you for partnering with us as we serve.

In His Service,

Patrick & Sherry

03 June 2008

Amazing Stories

Greetings from Luanshya!

Sometimes we hear the most amazing stories. Last week Mr. Mutale came into the Resource Centre. He seemed to be distraught over the fact that his wife left him. Sherry gave me a call and I sat with Mr. Mutale for some time. It seems his wife went missing from the family home eleven months ago. She left behind everything she owned, a four year old child and a nine month old baby. Mr. Mutale said he waited over night to see if she returned then went to the police the following morning. He told me that the police said to him, "If she comes back, or if you find her, bring her to us. Otherwise, forget her and marry someone else." The whole story sounds incredible. When I suggested to Mr. Mutale that he bring me a photograph of his wife so that we could publicize the fact that she was missing, he hesitated then finally agreed. A week later we are still waiting for the photograph. It would appear Mr. Mutale was seeking attention and perhaps a "financial contribution" from the missionary. He did not want a solution and he did not want counseling. Sometimes we find ourselves targets of unscrupulous individuals. Pray that God will continue to give us wisdom to know the difference between those in need and those in want.

Rachael Bulama was called back to Nigeria by her office as they prepare for national elections. She was very sad to have to leave early especially since she and Sherry have formed a very tight friendship in the short time that Rachael has been here. She has successfully completed the first three discipleship courses and will be carrying the remainder of the curriculum with her. She also requested two additional sets in order to disciple other women once her studies are completed. Please pray for Rachael as she travels and for Yakubu, her husband, as he remains behind to finish his tour of duty here in Luanshya.

For the next few weeks we are going to be out of the office. We will be renewing friendships and sharing the work of the Lord on the west coast of the United States. We will have an opportunity to spend some time with our grandsons as well as most of our children. It has been some time since we have seen them and look forward to a brief break. We will resume our activities the end of July. However, will continue to be involved, via correspondence, in the many projects under our direction.

Please pray for us as we travel and take some time to come aside and rest a while.

In His Service,
Patrick & Sherry

21 May 2008


NOTE FROM THE WEB SERF: Due to some minor problems, posts back into April were not showing up. Please check the Previous Posts on the lower right for back issues you may have missed.

Greetings from Luanshya!

My father says that birthday's are good for you. The more you have, the longer you live. My wife says she's afraid to put candles on the birthday cake for fear of burning down the house. Quite frankly, it's nice to have survived yet another year and look forward to many, many more.

This birthday started off in the emergency room of the local hospital. About

11 o'clock last night we received a phone call from one of church members whose son had ingested poison in an attempt to take his life. I went to the hospital and found the doctors and nurses working feverishly to keep the boy alive. His blood pressure and pulse rate dropped dangerously low on several occasions and medication was administered. Every time his pulse dropped his mother cried and blamed herself. After several hours of heart-wrenching close calls, the doctor stabilized the young man and was able to comfort the mother with at least the knowledge that her son would live. This morning he opened his eyes and recognized both his mother and me. We prayed and will continue to pray that this crisis will bring the lad to his senses. The economic situation in Zambia sometimes leads people to do foolish things.

Please pray for Rita and her son, Sydney, as they seek hope, answers and worth through Jesus Christ.

Over the past week we hosted two high school youth exchange students from abroad. One was from Canada and the other from the United States. They needed an "escape" from the daily routine and we offered a haven of rest.

There were a number of opportunities to speak with each about spiritual issues. At one point the girls asked Sherry why she believed the Bible and how its relevancy affected daily life. The soaked in the information and went away thoughtful. Please pray for the girls as they ponder these truths for daily living. We will maintain contact with them even after they leave Zambia in a few months time.

Yesterday we had five more visitors. These were all from Australia. There were a lot of questions about what we do and why we do it. We were able to share with them our motivation in serving the Lord both at home in the States before we came to Africa to the present time. We trust that as they continue their journey across the continent, they will think about matters of eternal value.

We use every opportunity to share with visitors as they pass through. Pray that the seed sown takes root.

We appreciate you and your prayers on our behalf.

In His Service,

Patrick & Sherry

14 May 2008

We're In!

Greetings from Luanshya!

We're in! The Fellowship Chapel family moved into their new facility on 4th May. We had a good group of people in attendance but I forgot to take any pictures. The camera was actually in my pocket while I preached but I was so involved with the message of the day that I did not think about taking a snapshot. We will try to remember to take a picture this coming Lord's Day and put it on our website. In preparation for this big day every, almost every member, from the youngest to the oldest, cleaned, swept, scraped and swept again. We had three work days just prior to the dedication service. The building is not quite finished but the church members will be taking special offerings to complete the aesthetic aspects of the sanctuary. This has been a three year project and we are happy to see its culmination.

Mr. & Mrs. Bulama are from Nigeria. Mr. Bulama is a temporary pharmacist at the local hospital on volunteer service. Mrs. Bulama works for the Nigerian government and is here on holiday visiting her husband for a few months. We invited them to join us for lunch Sunday afternoon so we would have a chance to get to know them better. They are dedicated Christians, but with stunningly different backgrounds. While Mr. Bulama grew up in a Christian home, in a "Christian" section of Nigeria, Mrs. Bulama is from a Muslim home. They live in a very Muslim part of Nigeria. Because she was raised by an aunt who happened to be a Christian, she had an opportunity to hear about Christ and came to know Him as her Saviour when she was a teenager. Her family is very suspicious of her faith but, she has endeavoured to maintain a close relationship with them through the years. Please pray for the Bulama's while they are here and as they prepare to go home. The challenges they will face are great, but so is their faith.

Our wards at the Lighthouse Children's Home have begun their second term at school. Young Andrew is currently in the next room practicing the piano. He's already working of Christmas songs. Right now we are listening to a very rough rendition of Silent Night. Nancy continues to exemplify her leadership capabilities and she has proven an asset to the stability in the Home as the "big sister". Shadreck has taken a strong interest in mechanical drawing while Dickson is exploring his artist bent. John is working feverishly preparing for his grade 7 exam at the end of the year. The other children are constantly reminding him to spend time studying as opposed to being on the football pitch. We're sure you can hear his grumbles from afar. Please continue to pray for the youngsters.

When leaders in ministry dedicate themselves to the Lord's service, Satan is upset. One of the men with whom we work came to us recently in tears (highly unusual for an African man) telling us that his wife of 25 years had abandoned him. He tried everything possible for reconciliation but she served him with divorce papers a month ago. He was devastated. To make matters worse, she began accusing not only him of cruelty but us as a part of their problem. We were called as witnesses to the case and it became apparent, even to those in the courtroom, she was fabricating her story and changing it as she went along. It still does not help with the situation in his home. He is dealing with the pain of rejection and shame as this becomes public. He has been encouraged by members of the Christian community who have known him for decades. His wife never accused him of physical violence. She is just tired of being married. Please pray for Chabala and his family as they seek refuge in the Rock.

With the victories come the challenges. With the challenges our reliance on the Lord is renewed. Your faithful support in the ministry is deeply appreciated.

By the way, Mothers Day is not celebrated in Zambia, but Sherry did receive a Mothers Day call from Colin to let us know he is doing better. At the moment he is in Texas visiting our daughter, Chandra, and her husband, James. We appreciate your continued prayer on his behalf.

In His Service,

Patrick & Sherry

30 April 2008

Movement Begins

Greetings from Luanshya!

The big news of the week is that the church that meets at Fellowship Chapel will officially moving to its own facility on Sunday. The movement of furniture and fixtures begins Thursday and should be completed by late afternoon.

There are a few finishing touches. The glass for the louver windows has not yet been cut though it was promised "faithfully" by mid-day today. I have been able to put the glass in one of the twenty windows but glass or no glass, we're moving. Another seemingly significant issue is the fact that the restrooms are not quite complete. This is, interestingly enough, one more promise is several days late. Everything that the plumbers need to complete the task is on site. All we really need is for the plumbers to show up on time ready to work. Hope reigns forever.

With the new facility, we have had a number of people in the community ask about attending services. One young child had a friend who came up to me yesterday and asked, "Dr. Coleman, is it okay if I come this coming Sunday?" I assured her that it was not only okay but I would be very pleased for her to come. Bring her friends and her parents. She was very pleased and we look forward to seeing several new faces. One of the fascinating aspects about the new building is that people are more inclined to come to a church that looks like a church rather than one that looks like a down town shop. Yes, we say that the church is not the building. However, we are dealing with generations of teaching that is not all biblical. Pray for us as we make his move.

Last week Patrick and Caroline Wood (Zambians), came into the Christian Resource Centre to see what we were all about. They were thrilled to learn that there was a reading room, sermon tapes to listen, and counseling available. All for FREE! They were even more astonished to learn that they could take correspondence Bible courses...for FREE! They eagerly enrolled and brought their first lessons home to the farm. Back home to the farm is over an hour away from Luanshya town centre. Yesterday, Patrick and Caroline visited with Sherry and turned in their first examinations. Behind them was their 9 year old son, Nathanael. He wanted to do Bible courses too. He went through the reading exercise to determine whether he was literate and passed with flying colors. You should have seen his face light up when he learned that he was going to school with mom and dad. Pray for the Woods as they sit as a family and study the Word of God.

For some months Sherry has employed a young lady to help her clean for a couple hours at the Christian Resource Centre. She is an orphan being cared for by her brother-in-law who is a Pastor in a local church in Luanshya.

This was more a situation of helping the orphan than having a decent cleaner but it allowed both the young lady and her guardian to feel like she was contributing to her own upkeep. Sadly, last week Sherry caught her stealing money from the office which was supposed to go toward groceries at the Lighthouse Children's Home. Initially, the young lady not only denied that she had stolen the money but swore on her "living God" that she had not touched the money. There was no one else in the building who could have done it. After giving her every opportunity to confess and return the funds, we were compelled to call the police who came and searched her. They money was found. We did not press charges but we did discharge her from her duties and informed her guardian. It is sad when those we help act irresponsibly. But, we have not turned our back on others who are in need and will continue to serve as God gives opportunity.

On a family note... Colin has been suffering form some serious headaches. It may be a combination of stress from learning Mandarin and not getting to eat his mother's great cooking, but the doctors have run several tests and have not found anything to have caused the headaches. Please keep him in you prayers as the doctors continue to probe and prod.

We appreciate your prayers in this ever challenging ministry.

In His Service,

Patrick & Sherry

16 April 2008

A Lot on Our Plates

Greetings from Luanshya!

Brother Paul Muke (MOO-kay) is a frequent visitor to the Christian Resource Centre. Not only is he one of Sherry's Bible Correspondence School students, but he is also utilizing the many books that we have made available for practical Bible study and sermon preparation. He pastors a local Bible believing church and is utilizing material from the courses as seeds for sermons on Sunday morning. Paul just finished a course on "Faith" in the Basic Bible Doctrine series and specifically commented on how vital the lesson was and thought provoking. Being able to provide this kind of material for church leaders was our initial dream for the Christian Resource Centre 10 years ago last month. As we enter the 11th year of this particular ministry, we are excited about the potential for growth and the influence it will have on our community for years to come.

The Sunday School program at Fellowship Chapel is about to begin a series of lessons on: A Life of Service, Prayer and Following Jesus. Nancy Chanda, our associate Sunday School teacher, has grown tremendously through her teaching experiences and looks forward to expanding the children's work once the church family shifts from the current site to the new church facility a mile away. The first lesson in this series is called: "Dare To Care" and covers Christ's ministry to the demoniac. Pray for Nancy and others who assist in the program as they reach young hearts for Christ.

Speaking of the new church facility, the painting has been completed, the sign on the front and back of the building are being completed as we type, the restroom facilities will be completed by the end of next week and the congregation moves into our new home on May 4th-three years to the month from when we first acquired the property. It has been a long process and we look forward to this transition to a new community. Pray the people who live in the neighborhood who may not have a church home. Pray that they may be attracted to the Word of God and His promises for their lives.

Next week we will be presenting a film on Christ In The Passover. This is a unique opportunity for the believers and non-believers to observe that last night the Lord had with His disciples as he broke the bread and passed the cup of wine. Each symbolizing the work He would accomplish on behalf of mankind in the days to follow that last supper. As we consider the Passover of old, we anticipate the Marriage Supper of the Lamb when all believers will gather together regardless of race, color, nationality or denominational separation. May His name be praised!

It has been a hectic week with a lot on our plates, but we are excited about what God is doing and the fact that He has chosen us to accomplish His great plan for Zambia.

In His Service,

Patrick & Sherry

09 April 2008

Great Enthusiasm

Greetings from Luanshya!

Last we I took my semi-annual trip to South Africa to visit the oncologist for a review of my cancer surgery of two and a half years ago. Because of the kind of cancer I had, he also wants periodic chest and spine x-rays. After probing my throat and mouth and reviewing the x-ray, the doctor has given me a "clean bill of health". He said that the possibility of there being a recurrence is less than 5%, but he still wants to see me regularly because 5% is more than 0%. Still, we are thankful for the good news from the doctor.

We have two current discipleship students. Each is continuing in their studies with great enthusiasm. Rachael is halfway through the lessons on practical Christian living which deal with conversing with God. Today was a lively discussion on making our prayer time with the Lord practical and real. He is interested in our concerns and our joys. Gordon has started the last book of the series which is a verse by verse study of the 1 Thessalonians. This is much more intense than the first six books where questions were asked and the answered obtained straight from the Word of God. In this final book, the student must come up with the observations and cross references themselves followed by practical application. When he is finished with this book, it will be his commentary on 1 Thessalonians. This same model can be used on all the books of the Bible so that ultimately he will have his own Bible commentary if so desired. Please pray for these two students as they continue to learn more about the Word of God.

Our Associate Sunday School teacher, Nancy Chanda, who studied under Sherry, has completed her first series of lessons with a class. This Sunday she will conduct a Memory Verse Competition among the students. This quarterly event is always something the children anticipate. They work hard to memorize the thirteen verses given to them over the course. Thank you for praying for Nancy and the children. We also appreciate receiving Sunday School material through our friend Greg Kuras in New Jersey, which makes all of this possible.

While I was gone last week, Sherry had an unexpected and very unwelcome visitor. At about 8:30 one evening the dogs began to make an unusually loud racket. Sherry was sitting at her computer in the house and looked out the window to see someone walking around. He has apparently come over the front gate and was just wandering around looking to see what he could take. What he didn't expect was to see Sherry (a.k.a. Annie Oakley) come charging out of the house with her 9mm friend, cocked and loaded. He immediately put his hands up over his head and Sherry escorted him back to the gate and off the property. Being a couple thousand miles away when this took place, didn't allow either of us much sleep for the next few days. I have already begun looking for someone who can add a bit more security to the top of our gates.

We have avoided using spikes and glass, but we cannot be at risk in these difficult days.

We appreciate your prayers on our behalf. We thank the Lord for good reports and for protection in times of challenge.

In His Service,

Patrick & Sherry

26 March 2008


Greetings from Luanshya!
Packing the Floor

Leveling the FloorLast week the youth discussed "On-The-Job Integrity" from Genesis 46-47.

Joseph had many opportunities to cut corners and compromise. His integrity was far too valuable to allow him that simple pleasure. All too often Christians of today do not see anything wrong with cutting corners, misappropriating their employers time and wasting talent. The young people were given a clear example of what it means to do the right thing, for the right reason, even when no one is watching. This Friday is the final lesson in the series on the life of Joseph. The week after that , we hope to show a film on Joseph from the "Greatest Heroes of the Bible" series.

Shining the FloorDiscipleship lessons continue. Sherry is currently working with Rachael Bulama from Nigeria. They have completed book one and are now going through book two which covers "The Spirit-Filled Life". Rachael's comment last week was that she is enjoying the lessons and looks forward to bringing this knowledge home and discipling women in her own local assembly.

Painting the UndercoatThe Sunday afternoon men's bible study just completed a study on Deborah and Barak. There was a lot of discussion about the fact that Barak would not step out and lead without Deborah being by his side. In a male oriented society like Zambia, this is a significant character fault (smile). I explained that a lot of the people that God used in His service were initially reluctant to serve. This coming week we will be looking at the life of Gideon-The Reluctant General.
Restroom Construction
There has been a lot of progress on the church plot. The restrooms have been built. The final touches should be done by the end of the week. Plumbing will begin next week. The initial undercoat of interior painting has been finished. Tomorrow, the second coat will be applied and on Friday the painting should be completed. We anticipate making the move in the next few weeks.

Yesterday we received the initial paperwork for our youngest ward at the Lighthouse Children's Home, regarding his application for high school. This year Andrew will sit his grade seven exams. Porch BeginsWe anticipate success and look forward to his continued growth academically, physically and spiritually.

It has been a busy week filled with challenges and blessings. We appreciate your continually prayer on our behalf.

In His service,
Patrick & Sherry

19 March 2008


Greetings from Luanshya!

Last Friday in Sherry's youth meeting, they talked about the Ultimate Family Reunion. For those of us who live thousands of miles away from family, visits become very special and are, sadly, all too rare. This is especially true as our children get older and grandchildren enter the picture. We do not get to spend Thanksgiving, Christmas, birthdays or other holidays with our loved ones. When we are able to get together with them, those gatherings are extra special. Imagine the family reunion that Joseph had with his father after 20 years of separation-especially when Jacob thought his son was dead! Sharing this with the young people elicited a lively conversation.

We look forward to the day when we will have a family reunion with our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ along with our friends and family members who have preceded us to heaven.

On Sunday we had a full schedule of activities. The men's Bible study continued as we looked at the life of Ehud, the left-handed assassin/judge.

The men were impressed by the clever plan that Ehud had devised to kill Eglon the King. They determined that one of the lessons learned from this study was that God could even use people who were "handicapped" by being left-handed. It is important to understand that culturally, in Africa, being left-handed is, indeed, a handicap. Eating with your left hand is entirely unacceptable. Handing something to another person with the left hand is considered an insult. They were pleased to note that God could use anyone in His service-even left-handed people.

Monday I began lecturing at the Bible Institute in Ndola. There are students from Zambia as well as Uganda and Tanzania. Students from Kenya were not able to attend due to the civil unrest in the country. Apparently, several of the students are actually from the trouble spots seen on the news. The students from Malawi were unable to come because their travel documents were not in order. Still, we have had a good series of lessons teaching four hours a day on New Testament Survey. The students range in age from 22 to nearly 50. The questions are almost constant as there are a lot of interesting philosophies being propagated in other parts of the continent.

The students have learned my favorite phrase-"The Bible says.". They have learned to preface their comments with that phrase and have discovered that biblical documentation is required. We are half-way through the week of this module and look forward to the final two days of the week. We are able to use some of the books that we have received from Everyday Publications in Canada as textbooks and resource material for the class. The students really do not have easy access to good books so these new additions to their personal libraries are nearly priceless to them. We appreciate those who have made that contribution possible.

As we continue to go through the week, there are so many other things that we could share, but space does not allow in one letter to express all that God has allowed us to do with the discipleship, Sunday School, Lighthouse Ministry, Correspondence work and on and on. Your support of our ministry makes all of this possible and we deeply appreciate those who have partnered with us in this work.

Together in His Service,
Patrick & Sherry

12 March 2008

Taking It Easy

Click for larger imageGreetings from Luanshya!

Today is a holiday in Zambia: Youth Day. We decided to take it easy. I slept in until 6:30, spent three hours at the Lighthouse Children's Home while Sherry prepared for discipleship with Rachael. This afternoon I will meet with Mr. Siwale for his discipleship lesson and moderate our evening Bible Study covering Paul's first missionary journey. We love "days off".

After Sherry's youth meeting on Friday, one of the young people remained after. He asked if he could bring his friends on a Sunday afternoon to talk about the importance of Bible study and how it applies to every day life. Click for larger imageOf course Sherry agreed. This young person is not allowed to attend Sunday morning services, his parents will not allow him, however he is a regular at the youth meeting and is growing tremendously. Please pray for him and for those to whom he is reaching out.

Sunday afternoon I am now moderating a men's Bible study. With the conflicts arising in several of the local churches, it has become apparent that we need to train the men-both new believers and older believers-just what it means to be a "man of God". This will also help to solidify the "band of brothers" in our local assembly of believers. The men have enthusiastically begun this study. Every one of them participated in the discussion from the book of Judges. Pray that this will be more than an exchange of ideas and continue to be a study from the Word of God which will be applied to their daily lives at home and in the local church.

Click for larger imageWe have significant progress on the church building. All the window frames and door frames have been installed. The ceiling is complete. The front porch has been done and we can see the light at the end of the very long tunnel on this project. The students from Mobile Mission Maintenance were so excited about nearing the completion of the ceiling that they actually worked an hour and a half overtime to complete that aspect of the days work.

Click on the pictures in this post to see larger images. We anticipate moving into the building during the month of April. Pray that the weather continues to hold so we can complete this endeavor.

Click for larger imageNext Monday I will begin my first week of lectures at Gospel Literature Outreach Bible Institute. The first course is a module on New Testament Survey. The students are coming from all over Zambia as well as Kenya and Uganda. It promises to be an exciting class and I will be able to utilize some of my Swahili. Please pray for the students and the professors.

We appreciate your prayers on our behalf.

In His Service,
Patrick & Sherry

27 February 2008

Hitting Home

Greetings from Luanshya!

Great news! The builders are back. After dealing with torrential rains, sick professors, end of the year and school holiday, the young men from Mobile Mission Maintenance are back at the building site to continue working towards the ultimate goal of finishing that building. The window and door frames have been completed and will be installed this week. Pray that there will be no other situations that delay the project.

Monday I spoke at the chapel service of a small Bible college to about 90 students. Their theme for the year is "Passion For Change". After watching the American political scene on the international news, it appears that everyone is claiming a passion for change. I told the students that the most important change in their lives would be the attempt to go back-back to the standards that God gave His servants; back to the command to spread the gospel and back to the dream of seeing the world come to Christ. Too many Christians want to make the world look like Christians. We clean people up, feed them and educate them without really giving them what they need: an introduction to the Lord Jesus Christ so that they can have a personal relationship with the Saviour.

Last night I had a conversation with a local pastor from a large church here in Luanshya. He talked about the social work they were doing and meeting the needs of the poor in the community. While these are good things, they are not the main thing. When I asked him what he would say to somebody who asked, "What do I need to do to go to heaven?" he gave me a blank stare and said, "Ah, that's a difficult question." He promised to meet with me later so we can have a discussion on this issue. Please pray for Pastor Bowa. He also needs to meet the Saviour.

The youth continue in their studies on the life of Joseph. There were three main points we wanted to get across to the young people:

1) recognize and admit your negative mentality,
2) force a vertical focus until it begins to flow,
3) stay open to a new idea for at least five minutes.

The goal was not to imitate the actions of Joseph's father who looked for any reason to avoid having his youngest son go to Egypt with the brothers. Even in the end, he looked towards "bribery" as opposed to the Lord's protection of his son and his return. In a place where bribery is commonplace, this really hit home. Continue to pray for the Friday afternoon youth meetings.

Many of the local churches around us are struggling with leadership issues. Some of these divisions are tribal while others are simply power plays. It is really sad to see an assembly of born again believers openly fight over who is in charge. In order to avoid this kind of situation we are starting a men's Bible study on Sunday afternoon at Fellowship Chapel. We are going to start by "Experiencing God". The men are excited about this. Please pray that the excitement grows and we can experience unity across tribal lines.

Thank you for your prayers on our behalf.

In His Service,
Patrick & Sherry

20 February 2008

Practice and Perfection

Greetings from Luanshya!

Working with young people is one of the many focuses of our ministry. Last week in the youth lesson the young people studied "Activating A Seared Conscience" from Genesis 42. Obviously, the point of the lesson is for the youth to consider their actions before they developed a "seared conscience". Many of the adults with whom we work struggle with this phenomena and cannot understand why some of the things they have always done are wrong. "Practice makes perfect" is not always the case-especially if you practice it incorrectly. Please remember to pray for the youth. Many of their role models are "doing it wrong" and they will follow in the footsteps of those they see.

Yesterday morning I met Mr. Phiri. He is 72 years old and has been attending one of the larger denominational churches in town for most of his life. In his endeavor to fine the truth of God's Word, he has stumbled through a myriad of religious philosophies and opinions. His confusion led him to the Christian Resource Centre simply because we are a library filled with books and he wants to know more and more and more. As we sat and talked about how we can know that we have eternal life, he was unable to accept the simplicity of God's plan of salvation. With every verse I read, his response was, "But.". I gave him a list of scriptures to read along with one of the Bibles we had recently received from a friend in California. He promised to read the scriptures and study the tracts that we had and come back to us in a few days. The temptation we often have when talking to senior citizens is to press them for a decision. Mr. Phiri has been pressed for 72 years and as we mentioned in the previous paragraph, has been practicing it all wrong.

The windows frames for the new chapel have been completed by the manufacturer, finally! The door frames-which had to be returned because they were done improperly, should be completed by Saturday. On Monday the students from Mobile Mission Maintenance Vocational Centre will return to fit the windows and continue working on the inside of the building. We were very excited about the progress of the building and have been rather frustrated by the delays caused by the manufacturer and the torrential rains, which of course hold everything up. Nevertheless, we know that God is ultimately in control of all of these issues and look forward to completing this building for His honor and glory.

The entire community has been affected by an annoying flu. Sherry got it last week. I have this week. And we are sure the kids at the orphanage (Lighthouse Children's Home) will have it next week. Please pray for everyone's health. It is also during this time of year when there are outbreaks of cholera. We are fortunate that this has not yet occurred in the Luanshya. Please continue to pray.

Your partnership in this ministry is appreciated beyond our ability to express it in words.

In His Service,

Patrick & Sherry

12 February 2008


Greetings from Luanshya!

In our last letter, two weeks ago, we mentioned the fact that the torrential rains had caused wide-spread flooding from Zambia, to Malawi, Zimbabwe and Mozambique. Literally hundreds of families have lost their homes, livelihood and possessions. I traveled to Livingstone, in Southern Province, to survey one of the worst hit areas in the country. Entire villages were swept away and some of the poorer houses in the townships had literally crumbled to the ground.

Click For Larger ImageWe contacted an agency called Shelter Box Trust, based in the United Kingdom, and asked about the possibility of getting some help for the worst affected.

The response from Shelter Box came back within 46 minutes. Their offer included two hundred plastic storage boxes which contained a tent which would sleep ten (including children), six blankets and ground mats, two large cooking pots, two water jugs with water purification tablets, two insecticide treated mosquito nets and assorted tools to help the families rebuild their homes when the floods recede.

Click for Larger ImageEach of these boxes cost approximately US$1,000. So the contribution came to US$200,000. To give you some idea of the cost of getting these things locally, one six-man tent manufactured in Zambia would cost US$2,500 and would include none of the items mentioned above. We distributed these Shelter Boxes with the help of volunteers in Livingstone, Kazangula, Sesheke and just this past Friday (in our own backyard) Chipulukusu. The pictures attached are self explanatory.

Click for Larger ImageIn the distribution of these boxes we did not limit it to those who were members of the household of faith. We decided it was better to share it with all in need beginning with those who were the worst affected. In doing so we were able to exemplify Matthew 22 by simply loving our neighbour and sharing with them the love that Christ has shown to us. We do not know the ultimate outcome but trust that the believers we left behind will continue to share the gospel with their new neighbours. While in Livingstone I spoke with a member of the local Gideon's camp who said he would make sure that Gideon Bibles were distributed in the new settlements in Southern Province.

Please continue to pray for the situation in Zambia. The rains are expected to last another two months. Currently, we have had heavier rains than have been reported since 1957. Local government agencies are doing their best to cope with the situation but the sheer amount of rain has detracted from what little help has been available and the logistics have been a nightmare.

We wish to express our appreciation to those who were praying for us in this effort and for those who helped make it possible for travelling to facilitate the relief program.

In His Service,
Patrick & Sherry

31 January 2008

Holding On

Greetings from Luanshya!

Last Saturday was a phenomenal day. A young man named Leonard Bwalya has been working with youth in the Luanshya area for a number of years. The focus group for his ministry is the young people just out of high school who are preparing to enter college or the work force. This group is often the most vulnerable when it comes to issues of morality and Leonard has a burden for their spiritual well being. In the past the group has been meeting at his home in the back yard. As the group has grown, the need for a dry place to meet became evident. We have offered the use of the Resource Centre for this specific purpose. On Saturday there were 60 young people who gathered for a time of prayer and bible study for two hours. It is refreshing to see a young man with a burden to help teach and prepare other young adults. Please pray for Leonard in this growing work.

Sunday morning Nancy Chanda, Sherry's associate Sunday School teacher, taught her second lesson. She began by interviewing the Prophet Jeremiah about his calling as well as his writing of the scriptures as spoken by God. Due to the heavy rains the class was very small but Nancy's enthusiasm was undeterred. We are proud of her growth and interest in teaching the young ones.

Sunday afternoon I was asked to speak to a congregation I had never visited. The young leader is a frequent visitor to the Christian Resource Centre, accessing many of the study tools. He is trying to lead the flock away from many of the false teachings they had observed over the years in their various church experiences. He has grown tremendously and wishes to see this local group come to a saving knowledge of Christ and mature in their new life. He asked me to begin a series of lessons on "New Life In Christ". Many of these individuals have come from a variety of church backgrounds. Some are believers, others are not. I began with a definition of salvation and then went into God's purpose for our lives. Speaking to this group of people was very unusual in that they were both apprehensive because they were listening to a complete stranger and yet eager to learn from the Word of God. I made it clear that the Bible was our only authority and we were going to use the phrase "The Bible says" extensively. When I came to the area of security, I illustrated John 10:27-30 by holding onto a young man's arm. He held my arm and I held his. We were inseparable as long as we both held on. I told him to let go of my arm and sit down. As he began to move, he realized that he could not return to his seat because I was still holding on to him. I insisted that he leave and sit down, but he insisted that he could not as long as I remained connected to him. I explained that this is the way it is with God. Even in our moments of weakness when we might lose our grasp, once we become a child of God, He never lets go of us. The congregation was silent for several moments until they finally realized the truth of the scripture. After the service, one of the older believers came up to me and said, "I have lived in fear of losing my salvation for years. Today I discovered that I am His forever." What a thrill it is to show believers their freedom in Christ.

Last week we mentioned the problems of the flooding caused by torrential rains in Zambia. Sherry and I have been working on a project. I will be going down to Livingstone, in Southern Province, to oversee the distribution of relief materials for about 2,000 people which we ordered last week. Sherry will be remaining in Luanshya to coordinate and maintain communication with the partners in the United Kingdom. We have contacted a missionary working in the Livingstone area to help us obtain Bibles for each of the families affected by the flooding, in their mother tongue. Please pray for us as we endeavor to reach out to our "neighbors" and share the gospel in the process. The flooding in Zambia is nationwide and hundreds of families have lost everything. We are doing our bit in our part of the country and to the south. Please pray for those who have been affected by this emergency and for us as we endeavor to meet their needs both physical and spiritual.

In His service,

Patrick & Sherry

23 January 2008

Greetings from Luanshya!

This is actually coming from MY computer which is feeling better, but not quite 100%, after being attached by "many viruses" (according to the technician who finally found them). We are also sending it out early because of the subject of the next paragraph…

Few things are more romantic than a candle light dinner. That is, of course, if it by choice and not under duress. For three of the last four evenings the entire power grid of Zambia has gone dark. This means that every light in every direction which is connected to the Zambia Electrical Supply Company (ZESCO) has been doused. This includes water pumps, fuel pumps, security lights, the Internet connection and hospitals. None of the hospitals in our area have a generator which means that babies in incubators, patients on respirators or dialysis and anybody on operating tables are immediately put at risk. There are no immediate records of the numbers of people who have died because of the outages, but the citizens are becoming more and more irritable. Yesterday the ZESCO vehicles were being stoned in the capital city of Lusaka. It is not the technicians who are driving these vehicles who are at fault. They are simply the targets at hand of frustrated clients. Please pray that this situation is handled quickly and reasonably before the infrastructure of the entire nation is affected.

In spite of these challenges the ministry continues. Last Friday the youth meeting attendance more than doubled. The topic under discussion is "Joseph - A Man of Integrity & Forgiveness". This past week's focus was on "Resisting Temptation". The conversations that were generated from the lesson gave many a pause. Continue to pray for the young people as they learn from the life of Joseph. This week the lesson will focus on "Imprisoned & Forgotten" from Genesis 39:20-40:23.

This Saturday morning we will be hosting a youth meeting for the African Encounter Revival Ministries. This is an evangelistic emphasis gearing young people to share their faith. Most of these young people are post-high school. The evangelist, Leonard Bwalya, has a real burden to help these youths in the practical expression of their spiritual gifts. Some months back I turned over the "Caddy Chapel" ministry to brother Bwalya. Pray for him as he uses our discipleship program as a source material with those that attend the weekly meetings.

Due to the torrential rain storms over the last few weeks, work at the building site has been seriously delayed. The door and window frames have been completed, but the security bars have not yet been installed. We are doing everything we can to make this happen. While delays are frustrating, we know that God controls the weather.

One other avenue of service has presented itself. Severe flooding in the southern part of Zambia has left hundreds of families homeless. Most of their worldly goods have been completely washed away. I have been asked to help coordinate a relief exercise and may be going down to Southern Province in a week or so to oversee the relief work. We will have an opportunity to help restore some sense of family order and will work with the Zambian government in this process. Pray for the believers who affected by this disaster as well opportunities to share Christ and His love by our ability to "love our neighbour" in a practical form. We are trying to source Bibles in the Tonga language for each family we help.

As always, your prayerful support of this ministry is important to us. We appreciate your faithfulness.

In His Service,
Patrick & Sherry

09 January 2008

New Classes, New Students, New Lessons

Greetings from Luanshya!

This is an incredibly busy time of year. The school year in Zambia begins in January so we go right from Christmas to "back-to-school". Having five children in four different schools, each with their own uniform style and other special requirements makes life interesting. We spent much of this week traveling from school and from shop to shop making arrangements for our youngsters from the Lighthouse Children's Home to begin classes on time. New shoes, new trousers, new shirts, new skirts, new blouses and dozens of notebooks have been organized and each of the children is good to go. Please pray for our youngsters. Most of them are in new schools with new challenges.

With the new school year we also have new opportunities to reach into these schools and present the Source of Light Bible Correspondence School ministry. Our goal is to do this within the first month of school. This always brings a large influx of new students both from the student bodies as well as teachers. Sometimes, even the parents will come along and see what their children are doing. We appreciate your prayers in this particular ministry which has grown exponentially over the last decade.

Sherry's youth class is starting a new series of lessons based on the Life of Joseph "Favored Son, Hated Brother". They will learn many interesting characters traits as well as the importance as the sovereignty of God in our lives. Joseph's life went from bad to worse in his eyes but God had a plan to put him in place to the salvation of a nation and a people. All too often Christians look at individual events in their life and decide that all is lost, woe is me. God, on the other hand, sees the whole picture and knows exactly where we are to fit in His plan. If we could only know and understand the flow of God's grace, we would live in the peace and contentment that God has designed for us. Yes, it is easier said than done. The natural man all too often wants it done "his way" thus blocking the flow of God's blessings in our life.

Pray for the young people and for Sherry as she prepares each week's lesson.

We have a very pressing and immediate prayer request. Patrick's computer was attacked by a "worm" of some sort and technicians have worked for the last two days to try to sort out the problem. The temptation is to throw the whole thing out the window but there is way too much information on the computer that he does not wish to lose. Please pray that we can get this sorted out before he reaches for the hammer.

We appreciate your prayers on our behalf as we continue.

In His service,
Patrick & Sherry

02 January 2008

Great News in the New Year

Greetings from Luanshya!

The New Year has started with great news. All three of the children from the Lighthouse Children's Home who took the grade 7 exam passed with flying colors. Nancy received an invitation to attend the Luanshya Girls Secondary School. She will be part of the last grade eight intake available at LGSS because the school is upgrading to high school only beginning next January. In fact, they are only taking half as many grade eight students as they would ordinarily take. We spoke with the headmistress of the institution this afternoon and made arrangements for Nancy's school fees and uniform on Monday. We went by Luanshya Central High School where Shadreck and Dickson should be attending but the school administration offices were closed. They will be seen tomorrow to make final arrangements. Thank you for praying for the children as they prepared for their exams and successfully completed them.

The correspondence school ministry moves forward. During the last period 278 lessons were distributed and just as many were marked. We had 23 new students and were able to award 30 certificates. We are planning on visiting some of the local schools to introduce new students to the curriculum as well as to the youth ministry available at the Christian Resource Centre. In Zambia we still have access to students in government schools. We praise God for open doors. Please continue to pray with us for the youth of this nation.

Mr. Siwale is progressing very well through his discipleship program. His work schedule allows us to meet twice a week so we are literally going twice as fast as students of the past. Tonight we talked about integrity. I have always defined it as doing the right thing even when no one sees you. Basically that means don't lie, don't cheat, don't steal… ever! There is always the issue of culture when teaching things in Africa. The issue of integrity in the home always brings interesting side bars into the conversation. The wife is supposed to be submissive. In every conversation with the husband the question arises: "How do I make my wife submissive?"

I ask the question, "Who gave you the responsibility to make your wife submissive?" The Bible says the husband is supposed to love the wife. It does not say "husbands MAKE your wives obey". Culturally it is not unacceptable for husbands in Africa to spank their wives when they are bad. I know this is going to raise eyebrows for both husbands and wives in North America. So, I suggested an alternative to the spanking. I proposed that when his wife is having a difficult day he should try a different tact. I told him to say something like "Sweetheart, I know you are not feeling well and you have worked hard all day. How can I help you?"

He said, "So, showing her love will make her submissive?"

I said, "No, showing her love makes you obedient to God. That love will be returned in due course and submission emanates from love. Mr. Siwale left our session with a lighter step. I suspect I will hear the results on Sunday. Please pray for our families. They are under the same pressures you have.

We look forward to sharing our hearts and lives with you during 2008. Thank you for being our partners in ministry.

In His Service,
Patrick & Sherry