28 November 2013

News from Zambia - 27 November 2013

27 November 2013

Greetings from the Coleman's!

Sherry shared this with me tonight:


At 4:33 the sun set over the city of Jerusalem. It was now time for the lighting of the Hanukkah candles and the saying of the prayers. Sadly, the Rabbi was late. The service was postponed until 5. Then 5:15.

Eventually, the Rabbi arrived, opened his Siddur and recited the prayers and lit the candles. He then led the traditional song reminding us of the great miracle that happened so many years ago when God preserved the oil that was enough for one night for seven more. One would have thought that the Teacher would take time to share the story of the great miracle and the events that led up to it. Unfortunately, he did not.

As the crowd disbursed, some of the visitors and onlookers asked one another "what does this celebration represent?" Standing alone and hearing the question, Sherry called the people together who wanted to hear.  She stood before them and told the ancient story of the Maccabees, their battle against evil and those who wished to inhibit the worship of the One true God.

A few moments later a teenaged boy had overheard a part of the story and wanted to hear from the beginning. So, she started again. When finished, the young man expressed his appreciation and thanked her for the time spent in revealing the miracle of Hanukkah.

Shortly afterwards, Sherry walked by another group of people who had watched the service from a distance but heard little and understood less. She heard them ask those she had told, and thus the story passed to yet another group who learned what God had done to preserve His people and a way of life that lives on even until today.


Sometimes, as we go about the practice of "doing church" we may forget that people outside our sphere may not fully understand what we are doing or why we are doing it. We assume – as the Rabbi did in Sherry's account above – that everyone understands the true meaning of Christmas. For many "Santa Claus" and the "Charlie Brown Christmas" are all they have every known. Their Christmas film collection is the "Miracle on 34th Street," "Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer" and "It's a Wonderful Life." To assume that people connect the most incredible miracle of God becoming flesh and living among us with "Christmas" is as far removed from them as lighting a Chanukah candle was for a group of tourists.

As we tell this story of God's provision for His people we also share His provision for our salvation. Take time this Christmas to share the story of he birth of the Christ child with someone new. It may be the first time they have ever heard it! 

In His Service,

Patrick & Sherry

Patrick & Sherry Coleman
P O Box 90010

Off:   260 212 512359/512539
Res: 260 212 510033
Cell (P): 260 966 780113
Cell (S): 260 966 780112

06 November 2013

News from Zambia - 6 November 2013

6 November 2013

Greetings from Luanshya!

November in Zambia means rain. We have had a couple of very severe storms already and leaking roofs are apparent. The neighbour of the Christian Resource Centre did some “repair” work on his wall and roof. Unfortunately it means that the water coming off of his roof ends up coming though the wall and into the seminar hall. We have spoken to the tenant and have not had much success this far. We may end up fixing his problem in order to avoid more problems for us.

Speaking of roofs… We have received about half of what we need for the roof at Mukolwe Chapel. I have spoken to the Mobile Mission Maintenance Vocational Training Centre (where two of our Lighthouse boys are attending classes) and we will start the process of putting up the roof next week. If we can get at least part of the roof up, then the congregation can meet without getting wet. While the people do not have an abundance of cash, they have collected the sand for the project. We will give progress reports as the project continues. We deeply appreciate those who have already given to make this possible!

This past week was one of our most difficult for several years. Our friend, Jonas Chinoya, passed away at the age of 68 from an asthma attack. Jonas was a deacon at Fellowship Chapel and he was the first member of Fellowship Chapel to die in the 16-year history of the church. His funeral was conducted last Wednesday. We had over 200 people at the funeral and the Gospel was preached in both English and Bemba – something rare in most churches here. Several of the attenders mentioned that they were impressed with the message. We are planning visits with them in the next few weeks. Please pray that the Lord will prepare their hearts as we share the Gospel with them in their homes.

The high school kids will resume lessons with Sherry the end of November. Their final exams will be over and it will be a matter of waiting for the results to come out in February/March. Our Andrew will be sitting his last exam on Friday and then he will be opening the doors to his own little repair business to raise some pocket money. Once his results are out, we will be able to take the next step in his education. We are looking at his attending Luanshya Technical Business College. Please pray for the young people as they begin looking beyond high school.

You faithful prayers and support keep us…

In His Service,

Patrick & Sherry