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