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