21 October 2009


Greetings From Luanshya, Zambia!

The transition between one of the coldest winters to one of the hottest Octobers in history was too fast! We have gone from heaters to fans in a few short days. Even the Zambians are remarking about the heat so we know it isn't just us. Of course, October is traditionally the hottest month of the year and there is no rain to break the spell, so we live with it as we have for 25 years.

We mentioned in our last update that Sherry was feeling better after her bout of pneumonia. She is back at about 90% of her full strength with only a nagging cough left. Our personal physician told her last night that part of the problem was all the meetings she has been having coupled with the dusty trip to the rural church three weeks ago. After two courses of antibiotics and the "nastiest tasting cough medicine on the market" we are seeing a marked improvement and she is back in the office at the Christian Resource Centre full time again. The doctor has told her, however, that dusty roads are out of the question for the time being until her lungs are completely clear. Sherry agreed so she will be avoiding trips like the one I am about to make today for my mid-week Bible study and discipleship class at Kafubu. Thanks for your prayers! Keep it up!

The exams have begun in Zambia and the students in the exam classes (grades 7, 9 and 12) are concentrating on remembering all they have been taught in preparation for this month. In addition to the three children at the Lighthouse Children's Home, we have several young people in the weekly youth class that are taking these exams as well. Some of our regulars have been coming to the Christian Resource Centre to find a quiet place to "rest their brains" between exam sessions. They read novels or magazines to help them relax after the tense situation of life-changing exam periods. One grade 12 student remarked: "I need this place to help me keep my head together." We are pleased to be able to help "keep heads together" as well as keeping hearts close to the Saviour. Your prayers for our youth are deeply appreciated.

There is one more "transition" that will take place this Sunday. I will be officially stepping aside from the leadership of the English-speaking church that we started 12 years ago and placing it entirely in the hands of Zambian leadership. This has been the longest period of time that I have maintained a leadership role in any church and I have, in fact, shared that role for several years. The English-speaking ministry is different from the vernacular ministries simply because of the cultural and economic situation here. Also, the venue was moved in the early stages of the ministry due to circumstances beyond our control and this put it outside the selected target area.

I will not be completely gone from that church, but I will return when invited to teach, preach and help train new leaders. I will be focusing on developing church leaders in the Bible College as well as travelling throughout the Copperbelt Province working with existing churches as needed. There is also a group of people about an hour from Luanshya who have been meeting together who want to be organised into a church. They have asked me to organise a “plan” to visit them on a regular schedule so my plate is still full, but with different items. It is both exciting and frightening to see this transition, but I have been through this 25 times in the past 25 years. I look forward to seeing the baby fly!

One very important prayer request must be shared with you. There is a fuel crisis in Zambia. We have three fuel stations in Luanshya. The lines for fuel are 35-50 cars long and often the fuel runs out before the cars have reached the pumps. This morning I had a meeting with the director of one of the colleges in town. Instead of meeting at either his office or mine, we met at his car in the line for fuel. During the meeting his car went from number 30 to number 23. Police are stationed at every filling station to avoid “situations” that could become ugly. The government leaders assure us on national television that the situation will be normalised soon, but a lack of fuel severely limits what we can do especially in the outlying areas. We will appreciate your prayers.

As this ministry grows and matures we realise more than ever the part our prayer partners play. Without you we could not remain...

In His Service,
Patrick & Sherry

14 October 2009

"taking it easy"

Greetings from Luanshya!

First the good news! Sherry is better! The fever broke late last week, but it fluctuated up and down for several days. It has stabilised and she is up and moving around – albeit it slowly. The doctor told her to take it easy for the next week… so she goes to her office at the Christian Resource Centre as per usual and does the scoring of the courses for the Bible Correspondence School, prepares for her youth lessons, meets with those who come in with questions and attends to the bookkeeping of the various ministries we have. Does that sound like "taking it easy"? Hmmm I didn't think so, but she tells me that she doesn't get up from her desk unless she needs to do so. Thanks for your prayers. Please continue as her strength increases.

We had a few water "issues" at the Lighthouse Children's Home last week. The shower fixture in the boys' bathroom was leaking so I bought a new fixture. The "plumber" (notice the punctuation) left it with a leak so one of the boys decided to "fix it." The hot water handle snapped off into his hand so I had to buy another fixture. After the "plumber" left for the second time there were even bigger leaks so I contacted the water company and asked one of their plumbers to come in today. I also warned the boys not to "fix" things without my permission – and permission is denied. It is always interesting to note that boys around the world are still "boys." Hopefully the plumber will be able to correct the problem today.

This coming Sunday Sherry and I will be on "split duty" as I go out to Kafubu Block to teach and preach while she attends a service being held in the Christian Resource Centre as one of the churches in town uses our baptistry tank so several new believers can follow the Lord's command to be baptised. The water in the streams is very low and muddy so the church leaders contacted me to see if the facility was available. Of course, it is and we have just repainted the washrooms and baptistry tank last week so it is ready to be used. It is always encouraging when churches are growing and new believers are being added to the Kingdom of God.

We want to remind you that school exams begin in a few days and several of the children at the Lighthouse Children's Home will be taking these exams. Nancy, our 18-year-old ninth grader, is getting more anxious She says she is confident of passing, but there is still a lot of pressure. The boys, Shadreck and Dickson, are less confident though they promise us that they will "at least pass." Please pray for these the other students in school exams here. All grade 7, grade 9 and grade 12 pupils country wide are taking the exams.

With the challenges of this ministry it is always great to know that we have partners who pray and support our efforts as we remain...

Together in His Service,
Patrick & Sherry