Monday, July 21, 2003

hey, in case you get bored or want to know more about me or any of the other journeymen in Zambia, go to this link....

this website was created by Sean, one of the missionary's kids. Sean is great! he is 13 and can bake some mean desserts!
Right now the last thing I need to be doing is updating my website. I say this because I should be packing for my trip to Zimbabwe since we are leaving at 6am tomorrow. But since I have finally worked out most of the kinks with my website I feel compelled to update in case the site decides to get a little crazy again. So I will take the past month or so and break it down and make it a little more reader-friendly. Here we go (and in no particular order)…..

West Nile Virus

A little over a month ago my brother was put in the hospital for nearly a week. He had apparently contracted the west nile virus and was in pretty bad shape. But thankfully the doctors caught it quickly and were able to treat him accordingly. He is now more or less back to 100%. I talked to him a couple of days ago and he said he is fine as ever. I must say that I find it ironic that I am the one in Africa with thousands of illnesses waiting around every corner and he is the one who comes down with a super-serious sickness while living in the US.

Chronological Bible Storying @ State Lodge

Since April I have been teaching at a rural church named State Lodge Baptist. It takes about 20 minutes to get there and is very similar to a bush church. The building itself is made up of nothing more than 4 cement walls. The pews are also made of cement and are connect to the walls and floor. So you can imagine how much fun it is to sit on a backless cement block that is less than a foot wide crammed shoulder to shoulder with other people for over two hours (lucky me got this experience yesterday when I went to church there). Good thing it is not summertime here in Zambia!
A little over two weeks ago I completed my series of stories with the children at State Lodge. It was a bit sad because I have really enjoyed being out there with them. The kids there are too precious and always full of smiles. During my time at State Lodge I have become friends with my translator, Veniya. She is a very quiet, mild-mannered gal. She is so kind and really does have a heart for the Lord’s work. Veniya lives several miles away from the church and would walk an hour and a half one way to help me teach the children. In late August/ early September I will start CBS at another location. This time I will be going past State Lodge out near Veniya’s house. She again will help me by translating for me. Veniya is very excited about us teaching out there because there are many children there and they have been taught very little in regards to the Bible stories we will be telling.

Some of the adults at State Lodge (Veniya is on the left).

Bethany Place Volunteers

Towards the end of June, Stephanie had a volunteer team come over from her home church in America. There were 12 total. They were split up into 3 teams of 4. One team was an evangelism team that stayed in a certain area of town and basically walked around meeting the people. Another team was a True Love Waits team. They went into the schools with Stephanie and taught the youth the importance of staying sexually pure. In case you did not know, HIV/AIDS is a huge problem in Africa. TLW is a program that is helping to decrease the number of those infected with HIV by teaching youth what God has said to us in the Bible. The other team was the deaf ministry team. I got to help with this team the most. These guys would go to the deaf school here in Lusaka and interact with and teach the students. Everyone on the team had some knowledge of sign language. Unfortunately, the most I knew was how to finger spell.

Holly and Naomi (members of the BP team) playing with the kids at State Lodge.

Every evening there was a revival-type service held at a church here. On different nights different students from the deaf school were able to attend. I thought the services were very cool because the message was being told in three different languages at the same time….Nyanja, English, and Sign. During the ten days that the team was here, we were able to see 132 people come to Christ! I think that is amazing! I guess it goes to show you that Zambia truly is a harvest field!

Victoria Falls

While the Bethany Place team was here we took them down to Livingstone to see Victoria Falls. Now for those of you who don’t know, Vic Falls is one of the 7 natural wonders of the world. Vic Falls is also called Mosi-o-tunya , which means “the smoke that thunders.” I do not have any pictures of me actually standing near the falls because it would have destroyed my camera. This time of year there is so much water and mist that it feels as if it is raining. We almost rented some rainjacket-poncho things but decided against it…we wanted the full experience! We got super-soaked! The sight of the falls is so breathtaking and unbelievable. The whole time I was there I could not help thinking about what must have gone through David Livingstone (first non-african to see mosi-o-tunya) mind when he first came upon the awesome sight. Our God is truly one of beauty that is for sure!

the Zambezi River.

Oh, also while in vic falls we went on a game drive. That was a lot of fun! We saw so many animals just freely roaming around. Although there were no elephants around to be seen…they must have been off hiding somewhere. But I must say that we got to see the rhinos and that was cool.

Johannesburg, South Africa

On July 3rd I flew down to Johannesburg with my supervisor, Cindy. She needed to go down for medical reasons and asked if I wanted to tag along. So of course I jumped at the chance. It was nice trip and I really enjoyed getting away! I think the thing I liked about it the most was that I did not stand out down there. I was able to blend in and no one really gave me a second look…..except for maybe a waiter at a coffee shop but that is a funny story for another time.
While in Jo’burg me and Cindy got a reputation for our movie-watching ability. My fearless and wise supervisor was clever enough to look up the movie schedules at the different malls and print out for our convenience. Now when some people heard of this they laughed at us, but it did not phase us at all. I will confess though that we scheduled our daily activities around the “movie of the day”. Now yes, we do have a movie theater in Lusaka, but it is not anything like in the states or South Africa. Ours has one screen and you just never know what will be showing. And it usually takes us at least 3 months to get the “new releases”…..we just got the new matrix last week.
Being in Jo’burg was a little weird. I kinda had a bit of culture shock. It was almost like being in America again, except that we were driving on the other side of the road. But I thoroughly enjoyed being there. I ate McDonald’s to my heart’s content and drank all the vanilla coke and slush puppies that my bladder could hold. Unfortunately I do not have any pictures from SA because I would forget to bring my camera along. Although we did take 3 while in the airport on the way home.
While in Jo’burg I was able to meet up with some friends I met while in Virginia at training. It was very nice to see them and to catch up on their life and ministry in Jo’burg.

Mallory’s Birthday

awaiting the arrival of mallory.

A couple of weeks ago Mallory’s mom sent me and Stephanie some items for a birthday party for Mallory. She sent a cake pan, two cake mixes, two icings, birthday candles, balloons, a banner, confetti, and party favors! She really did think of everything. So we organized a little surprise party for him.

the birthday boy

This past week

This week has been a relaxing one. Since I have finished up CBS, I have little to do. This week I got to hang out with fun gal, Paige. Paige is 15 and her parents work in the office here. She came over 3 or 4 days in a row and we were semi-bums together. One day me, Paige, and Stephanie went to House of Moses. That was great as usual. There are some itty-bitty babies there now. And I think you would all like to know that one day me, Paige, and Mallory played Risk and yours truly succeeded in global domination.
And, I also succeeded in totally procrastinating and not cleaning my room, yippee!!


In about 8 hours I will be in a car on my way down to Zimbabwe. Our mission in Zambia will be having our Annual Missionary Training Meeting. This is a week-long meeting where we all meet together and discuss the vision and direction the Lord has given us. It will be a great time of fellowship with all of our other missionaries and seeing what the Lord is doing in other parts of Zambia. There are 97 (including children) of us who will be traveling to Zimbabwe, so if you could please pray for safe travel during the week, it would be most appreciated.

Well looks like I have rambled on enough and I should probably retire now and go pack for this week. You might like to know that some things never change and I still wait till the last minute to do everything!

woo hoo, looks like the problem with posting pictures is fixed!

The mighty Zambezi River. This is the view we were able to take in while dinning at a favorite restaurant in Livingstone when we went down to see the falls.

me and stephanie at a game park in front of the zambezi river.

let me state again, i am having major issues with this website. i am unable to post pictures for some reason and it is pretty much an act of God that i am able to get the text to post. maybe it is doing this because of something i did. i would not put it past me. if i do recall correctly i remember i was playing around with the whole thing a couple of weeks ago so i might have done something i wasn't supposed to do. oh well, we will cross our fingers and hope the problem fixes itself.
but anyway, i wanted to let let you know i will be gone for a week or so. on tuesday we are leaving for zimbabwe. all of the people in our mission are going down there for our week-long Annual Missionary Training Meeting. i am not too sure what to expect although from what i hear we will be taking care of some business issues (boring) and discussing strategy for zambia (semi-interesting i hope). all i know is that i am looking forward to hanging out with all the journeymen in our group. that should be a lot of fun....there are 9 of us. we will be staying on the zimbabwe side of victoria falls. i am excited about that. i will now be able to see the rest of the falls. i went to victoria falls (zambia side) a few weeks ago with a volunteer team. the falls were absolutely amazing! there was so much water and mist that it felt like it was raining! it truly was an awesome experience. there really are no words for me to descibe it to you.
so if you think about me in the next few days, could you please pray for safe travel to, from, and through zimbabwe....feel free to pray this for all of our missionaries traveling.
the day we get back from zimbabwe me and stephanie will be meeting up with a group here on a volunteer mission trip doing ministry in 5 different orphanages throughout Lusaka. the group is from texas and is associated with Pine Cove Camps. we are excited that they have asked us to join them but at the same time we know we are going to be super-busy and will be exhausted. the team will be here until august if i do not update the website for another month, you now know why.

Friday, July 18, 2003

I should be ashamed........but I'm not

Where has the time gone? How can it be that I have let more than a month pass by without updating the website. It has been so long that I am sure many people do not even bother checking it anymore. In the past two months or so I have gone from not-so-busy to super busy. A couple of volunteer teams from the states have come through to help in the work in Zambia and I have had the pleasure of assisting them in any way possible. Just last week I was on a mini-vacation in Johannesburg, South Africa. While I was there, I got to meet up with two very dear friends of mine that I have not seen since leaving the states 81/2 months ago...Ronald McDonald and Col. Sanders! Man, did I ever have a good time catching up with those guys. I have also just recently finished up chronological Bible storying at State Lodge. Oh yeah, last time I wrote I mentioned my brother being sick with the West Nile Virus. Well, he is now pretty much recovered. Praise the Lord. I cannot tell you how hard it was being on a different continent while that was going on, but the Lord was faithful and unfailing (like always).
I have so much to share with you. But, it will have to wait for now. Someday in the near future I will sit down and write out all if my adventures if the past 6 weeks. Unfortunately, right now I am unable to keep my eyes open and focused on the computer screen. We were up bright and early this morning (5:45am) for an airport run. New personnel arrived this morning and most people were at the airport to greet them. The Neely’s are a family of five and they will be living and working here in Lusaka. The Smith’s, however, will be living and working in Mongu (6 hrs west of Lusaka). If it crosses your mind, please pray for these families as they adjust to a new life far from the states.
Now it is time for bed. Hopefully I will find the time tomorrow to adequately update the website.

p.s. i am actually having a bit of trouble getting new information and pictures posted, so bear with me.