20 December 2016

20 December 2016

Good morning from a wet, hot, humid Luanshya!

As this year comes to an end we look back on some of the events of 2016.

Shortly after we were married we began helping a number of orphans and street kids. Over the years we were involved with 36 children. Most of the children were with extended family members (uncles, aunts or grandparents) but seven became full-time wards of the Lighthouse Children’s Home. Of those seven five have completed their secondary and tertiary education and have now entered their various vocations and are active in their local assemblies and communities. We are thankful to have had a part in their lives and now leave that part of the ministry behind.

After years of struggling with the leaking roof of the Christian Resource Centre, we were able to do a “make-over” of the building. We now host our regular ministry outreaches (Correspondence Bible School, Christian literature and tapes as well as counselling). Sherry now leads a Ladies Bible Study, will open the seminar room for deaf language lessons and preparations for a College & Career Bible Study. The Lord has truly been good!

Partnering with our community has enabled us to provide school desks to Mobile Mission Maintenance Vocational Training Centre and other Community Schools. Local schools gave us discarded desks and, with help from the Rotary Club of Luanshya, the desks were renovated and delivered. MMMVTC is expanding their program to reintroduce carpentry and joinery to the curriculum as well as basic welding. The school is also branching out into two more rural communities with vocational training and evangelism. Residents in these villages are learning by helping to build their own chapels. We both continue to teach the Bible courses on Friday’s at the main campus.

We have been extremely busy with the various outreaches these last couple of weeks. The rush to complete village visitations with the oncoming rainy season has been hectic. However, this is the very reason why it is so important to train others to carry on the ministry. There are two brothers that Patrick has been working with very closely. They will do the visitation of the rural churches on their own as Patrick remains closer to town. What a time of testing for them (smile).

In other areas, Sherry began a public Bible study at the Christian Resource Centre. She just concluded the book of Ephesians. This week she will look at the story of Chanukkah then take a one or two week break before picking up with a series entitled “Being A Woman of Excellence-God’s High Calling For Women”. This is an outreach where people are exposed to the Word of God, visit the Christian Resource Centre and have access to all the study materials. The class has grown each week and we pray that many will come to know Christ as their personal Saviour while others grow in their faith and become grounded in the Word.

Over a nearly two-month period we had a group of deaf visiting with us at Fellowship Chapel. We thought that since we have deaf kids joining us at our song service Sunday evenings, perhaps it would be nice for this other group to do a "trial run" for 6 weeks or so and see if perhaps they would like to fellowship with us and become part of our church family. Well, the trial period has concluded and we are overjoyed that Fellowship Chapel now caters for the hearing and the deaf community offering four services on Sunday, one on Wednesday and one on Thursday. At the conclusion of the trial period, we were able to baptize 30 believers at the chapel and welcome them to The Lord’s Supper. With each passing week, more people visit the chapel (both deaf and hearing) and make enquiries about how they can be part of our gathering. We thank the Lord for this opportunity and those who have come along beside us to grow the work at the chapel and reach out to a segment of the community often overlooked.

With Christmas just a few days away, we wish to express our sincere appreciation for your constant prayers and support for our various ministries and trust that the Lord will continue to lead and guide in the year ahead. May you and yours have a blessed holiday season and a Happy New Year.
In His grace,
Patrick & Sherry

24 November 2016

24 November 2016

Greetings From Luanshya!

Dear Partner in service,

Today people in the United States and Territories will be celebrating Thanksgiving. Its roots reach back to Colonial days almost 400 years ago. Other nations also celebrate a similar holiday. Canada celebrates it much as we do but on the second Monday of October. With its background of former slaves from the United States, Liberia celebrates from the traditions brought with them from the United States. One city in the Netherlands annually celebrates because there are connections to the Mayflower of people who had formerly lived there before setting off the “The New World.”

The Caribbean island nation of Granada celebrates on October 21st because on that day in 1983 the United States invasion of the country freed them from a communist leader and they learned of the U.S. Holiday from our troops as they occupied at the time. Norfolk Island in the South Pacific also developed a Thanksgiving celebration as a result of contact with American Whalers. They celebrate the last Wednesday of November.

We are personally thankful for the many open doors that God has provided for us this year.

  • Our personal contact with nearly 80 students at the Bible school continues to bear fruit.
  • The rural outreach studies are expanding with congregations building their own chapels.
    • Lulamba


  • Sherry’s newest Thursday afternoon Bible study is flourishing.
  • A small group of deaf believers has joined the Luanshya congregation and are integrating well into the ministry there.


Thanksgiving is not a Zambian holiday and both Sherry and I have afternoon Bible studies planned so we are working. However, we did find a turkey (imported from Brazil) and will enjoy a dinner with good friends tomorrow night. (I missed the "planning meeting" on this and was given the job to wash dishes!)

We are especially thankful for our partners in this ministry here in Zambia. Because of you we are able to remain…


Together in His Service, Patrick & Sherry

07 September 2016

7 September 2016

Greetings from Luanshya!

Over the decades we have been able to impact the lives of many people, young and old, with the gospel of Jesus Christ. One of our greatest thrills is to see that impact move to the next generation. This past week Sherry has been visited by one of our Zambian granddaughters. She is 10 years of age, in grade 5 and is asking questions about baptism. The conversation went something like this:

Grandma, I want to be baptized.
Why do you want to be baptized?
Because I go to church every week.
Oh! Is that what God wants when it comes to baptism?
Hmmm. I think so.
Well, let’s see what the Word of God says…

As Sherry went through the scriptures, when our granddaughter was asked about whether she was a sinner, she said, “no”. Later on she changed the answer, “I am a reformed sinner”. It was difficult to hold back the laughter. However, she was dead serious. As she asks more questions, Sherry will be able to give her more answers from the Word of God. We look forward to the day when she fully understands why she needs to have a personal relationship with the Lord and confess her spiritual condition. At that point, we will be very pleased to have her follow the Lord in scriptural baptism.

A former Source of Light Bible Correspondence School student, who is now in ministry, came to the Resource Centre seeking some help for his youth ministry and outreach. Remembering the influence that these Bible lessons had on his life as a youth, Ben now wants to share the same with the young among whom he ministers. He will continue in the courses he has yet to complete himself as a testimony that all believers need to be continually studying the Word. At the same time, he will begin training with Sherry in the utilization of the correspondence courses which involves testing the reading of those who want to enroll, marking their papers, counseling their questions and encouraging them. So, this will begin another extension in another town using these same courses. Pray for Ben as he learns, studies and expands his borders.

One of our core values in ministry is the empowerment of local believers to reach into their own communities caring for widows and orphans and the vulnerable in general. Mrs. “N” was widowed several years ago and began a ministry after her retirement from the health sector, caring for orphaned and abandoned children. She used her own personal resources and managed to obtain some local donor sponsorship. Mrs. N. has come to the point in her life where she needs to begin considering her own wellbeing and realizes the need to ensure that her legacy continues in this ministry by transferring “ownership” to the local community. She asks for concerted prayer that the Lord would guide her to the right people who would have a heart for these widows and orphans. Please pray for her as she is endeavoring to further the work of the Lord beyond herself.

Again, we too, are seeking to develop a network of leaders who can assume responsibility for outreach, the encouragement of the saints and the building up of the Church. As Paul wrote the Ephesian believers, that he has heard of their ongoing faith and work, we also wish to look beyond and hear of past students/disciples spiritual growth, ongoing ministry and evangelistic outreach.

Thank you for your continual prayers and support.

In His Service, Patrick & Sherry

17 August 2016

17 August 2016

Greetings From Luanshya!

One of the great joys of long-term service is seeing fruit from seeds planted decades ago. A few weeks ago Dickson Siwale, one of our Lighthouse Children’s Home wards, called to say that the company for which he was working had gone on “leave” pending the outcome of the presidential election. He had no work and no prospects in Lusaka. We suggested that he come home for a few weeks and see what he could find to do “closer to home.” For those who might recall, Dickson was our “fighter” when he entered our care in 1991.

We saw the Lord convict, convert and transform this boy who had been taught that violence was his first and only option to the young man who works hard and cares much for those around him. In just a few days after his arrival he was contracted to repair a security wall, construct a utility/garden shed and construct a small two-bedroom house. While here we hear him pray, share his testimony and demonstrate his faith to those around him. We are proud of the young man that he has become and are grateful for those who gave so that Dickson – and the other Lighthouse wards – could grow up to be productive and faithful members of the Zambian community!

Speaking of children, we were approached a few months ago by Sarah, the wife of another Lighthouse ward, who told us that the primary school where she is a “senior teacher” was assigned by the Ministry of Education to start a pre-school (K4-5) at her school, but they were given no chairs, desks, books or equipment for the toddlers. With the help of some great friends in Illinois, we were able to purchase short chairs, construct short tables, purchase early reading books and construct a playground for the children with size-appropriate playground toys. Last week the playground was officially handed over to the school along with nearly 100 books including Bible story books – which are still permitted in Zambia.

The principal of the school, Mrs Bwalya, and the District Education Board Secretary, Mr Kaonga, were both on hand to receive the contribution and to thank us for helping to prepare the children for their future academically, physically and spiritually. Here are a few photos of the event:

Knowing that these children will grow up with the knowledge that “someone” cared enough to make sure that they had a good foundation in their education is incredibly encouraging to us!

Thank you for making this all possible!

In His Service, Patrick & Sherry

30 July 2016

30 July 2016

Greetings From Luanshya!

Good morning from a very cool and sunny Luanshya! Winter in Zambia means “bone-chilling” evening temperatures of 40 degrees and daytime temperatures only up to the mid 70s. When we see photos of ice storms and blizzards in the northern hemisphere in January, we appreciate the winters that we are “forced” to endure here at home.

Winter is also the time of construction and building repairs because it is the dry season – meaning no rain for at least 7 months. We have struggled with a leaking roof at the Christian Resource Centre for several years. Thanks to an extraordinary gift from Calvary Bellflower we were able to not only repair, but replace the entire roof and repair the ruined ceiling inside the building.

Outside...

Inside...

Our youngest Zambian son, Andrew Silungwe, just completed his studies in electrical engineering and installed the lights and sound system at cost. Last week we conducted our first leadership seminar. It was great not having bits and pieces of ceiling board falling on tables.

We deeply appreciate your prayers and support in the Lord’s work here in Zambia. We are seeing lives changed, servants prepared and the Kingdom of the Lord increased.


Together in His Service, Patrick & Sherry

08 June 2016

News from Zambia - 8 June 2016

Dear Partner in service,

Greetings from “chilly” Zambia! When I first arrived in Africa in July 1985 I was surprised that people were wearing coats and hats in 70° temperatures. Even the Air Za├»re plane that we used from Kinshasa to Lubumbashi had the heater running. My family was sweating and the pilot was wearing a leather jacket. After three decades in the tropics we can officially state that temperatures in the low 70s are officially cool. Anything under 70° is considered cold! Night-time temperatures plunge to a bone-chilling 50° and day-time temperatures “only” climb top 78-82°. We are surviving!

We take advantage of the dry, cool weather to do any repairs on buildings. We have struggled with the leaking roof of the Christian Resource Centre for nearly fifteen years. Our neighbour has been very uncooperative and the only solution was to completely change the roof structure. Thanks to a very generous gift, we have been able to make the necessary changes and hopefully put an end to our water issues. The photos below show the process of the work thus far. We still have the painting and new signage to complete on the front of the building, but we are expecting a big change during the next rainy season!

The construction of the Mwewa Chapel and community school is progressing after a temporary shortage of some of the essential supplies. It is interesting that something as basic as building sand can hold up a building project, but that has been overcome and, as you can see in these photos, we are nearing completion. The builder assures us that it will be finished by the end of July!

Thank you for your prayers and support as we continue…

In His Service, Patrick & Sherry

12 April 2016

News from Zambia - 12 April 2016

Greetings from Luanshya!

One of the greatest challenges of living here is our health. We sometimes take it for granted, but there are many threats to our physical wellbeing that are often unnoticed until it is too late! We are careful. We boil and filter the water from our own deep borehole well, we grow many of our own vegetables, wash everything we eat and we wash our hands many times a day. Still, as the saying goes, "stuff happens." Amoebic Dysentery is not fun and the medicine makes you feel worse before it makes you feel better!

I spent four days in bed eating very little and drinking a very nasty-tasting rehydration drink to keep my electrolytes stabilized. I was able to preach at a funeral on Friday and spoke three times on Sunday morning at the Kangonga Blind Centre Chapel, but it took all that I had to stay on my feet. Fortunately Bro Simwanza has been trained and was able to go to the rural areas for me. While I am still not 100%, I am on the mend! Please continue to pray for our health!

It has been a rough week!

Good news = I lost almost 18 pounds.
Bad news = It was Not a diet plan that I would suggest!

We have had two computers go down at the Christian Resource Centre. Sherry is in the process of getting them up and again but time and parts… Many local church leaders continue to use the library materials and study lessons each week which is always encouraging. The Source of Light Correspondence Bible School is advancing. We are still planning an expansion program this year. Sherry was recently requested to consider a College and Career seminar focusing on "Relationships" for the youth. She is waiting for confirmation from the group as to date and time.

Schools have closed for the end of term break. During this period, John Bwalya, our eldest and first Lighthouse Children's Home ward has just completed his second year of studies in higher education in Special Ed focusing on business and commerce courses for the children. His wife, Sarah, is completing her second year of advanced studies in Guidance Counselling and will sit her exams in June. 

Election campaigning has begun nationwide. There has been some sporadic violence but generally calm. We pray that it will remain calm over the next four months while Zambian's choose their leaders.

Thank you for your prayers as we remain…

In His service,

Patrick & Sherry


Patrick & Sherry Coleman
P O Box 90010
Luanshya, Zambia
colemanpg@gmail.com

30 March 2016

News from Zambia - Ministry update - 30 March 2016

Here is our latest ministry update.

Enjoy!

PGC

06 January 2016

News from Zambia - 6 January 2016

Greetings from Zambia!

Here is our first ministry update for 2016!

Enjoy!

In His service,
Patrick & Sherry