Category Archives: ACTION Zambia

Bethlehem Baptist Team (Part 2). The Retreat.

(Left to right) Jack, Lydia, Laurie, Monica, Liz, Steve, Tyler, Sheryl, Kate, and Kate

(Left to right) Jack, Lydia, Laurie, Monica, Liz, Steve, Tyler, Sheryl, Kate, and Kate

Insignificant. Small. Don’t know very much. Unworthy. Limited experience.

Great. Mighty. Strong. Big. Exceeding.

The first set of words/phrases is how I heard members of the Bethlehem Baptist team refer to themselves in comparison to the ACTION Zambia missionaries and national workers.

The second set of words is how I would describe the actions of the Bethlehem Baptist team as they humbly, energetically, graciously served the AZ team on our AZ Staff Retreat. “Whoever would be great among you must be your servant” Matt. 20:26, ESV. They achieved greatness in God’s eyes through a thousand small acts of self-sacrifice under a few big categories.

1. Through the word of Christ and worship. “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs” Col. 3:16, ESV. Jack Delk (who I – Kristin – have known since I first started going to Bethlehem in 1999) primarily led the teaching time, with Steve Stein bringing up the rear with a slam-bang finish. A few highlights of this time for me, personally, were…

  • worshiping with our team (led by Tyler Stitt, who did a great job!),
  • sharing with each other what the main burden is that we each carry these days,
  • being reminded of what the gospel is,
  • assessing the motivation behind why we do what we do,
  • looking at the incredible bigness and power and sovereignty of our God in the universe and then applying his specific and good love to each of us.
Liz, beginning each session with an ice breaker

Liz, beginning each session with an ice breaker

2. Through trusted childcare. “Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me” Matt. 18:5, ESV. “Train up a child in the way he should go” Prov. 22:6, ESV. Liz Stein and crew provided times for the missionary kids to learn about God’s care for them through his promises to them. I know that Liz put plenty of time and thought into addressing the felt needs of each child there, and God honored that! When I told Charlie that the retreat was over and it was time to go home, he cried and said, “No, I just want to stay here forever!” One of our teammate’s children said, “It’s like Miss Liz knows what missionary kids are like!”

And not only was there structured teaching/activity time for the kids so that the parents could participate in adult teaching without distraction, there was free babysitting during the down time! Charlie especially adored Auntie Sheryl and Uncle Tyler, who walked with him and played with him and listened attentively to his endless observations. Sam loved the independence of being able to wander wherever his little legs would take him with the comfort of knowing someone was right there in case he needed help.

3. Through gifts. The entire retreat was paid for by the Bethlehem team. This included delicious meals and snacks, comfortable accommodations, fireside chats, lots of fun activities – swimming (brrr!), billiards, safaris, cheese tasting tours, boating, and fishing – and then giving each of us a stack of fresh reading material to build up our souls.

4. Through questions and prayers. It was apparent that the Bethlehem team sought out not just practical ways to bless and serve the AZ team, but they took advantage of moments to talk, listen, understand our lives, and then pray. They were moments of total giving – not seeking to be heard or having a platform to talk, just asking and listening and affirming and caring. They were sweet and life-giving.

Thank you, BBC (Steve, Liz, Jack, Tyler, Laurie, Sheryl, Monica, Lydia, Kate, and Kate!!!!), for giving, serving, teaching, and investing in us!! You loved us well.

The BBC and AZ Teams

The BBC and AZ Teams

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Prayer for Bethlehem Team and Zambia’s Presidential Elections

We would really appreciate your prayers for a busy upcoming two weeks!

zam-team-2016

Hospice Seminar and AZ Team Retreat: A short-term team from Bethlehem Baptist Church (our home and primary sending church) arrives today. All this upcoming week, they will be putting on a hospice seminar for past and present CROSS Project churches, similar to what they did during the 2014 trip. We are expecting a really big turnout, with almost 200 people passing through the seminar over the course of the four days. Then, on Saturday, August 6th, we all head to a local lodge for our AZ Team Retreat, both missionaries and national workers. BBC will be watching the kids and putting on a program for them and also be facilitating the teaching for the team retreat. We really look forward to this time together! You can follow the team’s blog here.

Pr Elections

Zambia Presidential Elections: Then, BBC leaves on Tuesday, August 9th, and the rest of us will lie low for Zambia’s Presidential Elections, which take place on August 11th. This election season in Zambia has been marked by more violence than previous elections, and we would ask for prayer for Zambia during this election time. Also, the new constitution says the presidential winner needs to have 51% of the vote, so we are praying for a clear winner and for peace and stability to prevail.

Thanks so much for praying!

Summer 2016 Newsletter

pacific

Hi everyone, here is our latest newsletter for Summer 2016! In this newsletter, we cover:

  • Thank you for praying and giving!
  • CROSS Project general update
  • CROSS Project Marriage Seminar update
  • CROSS Project Hospice Seminar with Bethlehem Baptist Church coming up in August
  • Thankful for Community Schools
  • Family Update
  • Latest Prayer Requests
  • Some Charlie Quotes

You can access it here or here, if you need to view it in a lower resolution.

Marriage and Marshfield, WI

IMG_2680Christian marriage is always a hot topic in America with numerous opportunities for couples to attend a host of marriage seminars, weekends, or conferences that deal with marriage, sex, family, kids, etc. Zambia is no different, in that marriage and sex are hot topics, but there aren’t nearly as many opportunities for couples to attend a seminar or conference about marriage, sex, or the family.

Last week, ACTION Zambia was blessed to have a short-term team from Faith Fellowship in Marshfield, WI come and put on a one-day Marriage and Family Life seminar for present and former CROSS Project churches. On May 27 and 28, we had almost 400 people (couples and kids) come to Camp Ciyanjano. The topics that the team covered were Biblical Marriage, Marriage and Purity, Discipling Your Children, Leaving a Legacy, and Medical Care for Your Family. Because the extended family, and culture as a whole, plays such a big part here in Zambia, to live out a Biblical Christian marriage can be really challenging for couples, especially younger ones.

As a CROSS Project Team, we felt that the Marshfield team did a great job of explaining Biblical marriage and appropriately and biblically addressing difficult cultural challenges in marriage and family here in Zambia. The team also got a lot of complements from the participants that they were encouraged by the teaching and time.

Driving through Kanyama

IMG_2595Yesterday, Pastor John and Jacob (two of our AZ National Workers) and I drove to a church in Kanyama Compound. Kanyama is one of the biggest compounds in Lusaka, with some people estimating that almost one million people live there. Much of Kanyama is very under developed with high rates of poverty and extreme poverty. We went to go visit the pastor of a church, where we taught the CROSS Project a few years ago, about some future ministry possibilities with their community school that has over 1,500 students.

I haven’t done a driving video for a while. So, below is some of our drive into Kanyama yesterday –

Encouraged by Our Visitors

In Romans 1:11-12, Paul, says to the church in Rome that, “…I long to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to strengthen you – that is, that we may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith, both yours and mine.”

When people come and visit us, they usually remark on what a challenge it must be to host people for a couple of weeks at a time and they appreciate that we are willing to host them. Yes, hosting has become more challenging with two little kids, but just as Paul talks about in Romans 1:11-12, we are so encouraged by our time with people that come to visit us and stay with us!

Over the last three months, we have had the joy of hosting Wade and Annette Hetrick, from my home church in Appleton, WI (Wade is the pastor there), for a week in Zambia and then a week in Cape Town, South Africa; Kristin’s parents, Terry and Connie Carlson from Burnsville, MN, for a few weeks; and then last week, Nelson and Linda Reed from the Seattle, WA area. Nelson was ACTION’s International Director for nine years up until this last March and is still our Africa Regional Coordinator for ACTION. All of these three couples have encouraged us so much and have been a huge help with the boys! Charlie and Sam have loved every minute of play time with their Meme and Gpa, Nana and Papa, and “Grandma-Auntie” and “Grandpa-Uncle” (those were the names that Charlie came up with for them).

All three of these couples were also a help and encouragement to ACTION Zambia (AZ) as well and those we minister to here. Wade and Annette did a one-day marriage seminar for AZ’s Pastoral Leadership Development department. Terry and Connie gave the graduation address to two of the graduating CROSS classes and also did some medical home visits through Faith Tabernacle Church in George compound. Nelson and Linda greatly encouraged us all here on the field and gave us all some soul care!

We are thankful for our recent visitors and for making the trek all the way here to encourage us and minister to us, as well as others! We hope that we were an encouragement to all of them as well.

Here’s our Christmas Newsletter!

DSC_3980 (1)Merry Christmas!

Greetings from hot, humid Zambia! We hope you all enjoyed your Fall (although, it sounds like it still is Fall for some of you with the mild weather it has been)!

Here is our end-of-the-year newsletter (click here) with the bird’s eye view of what happened in our lives this year.

In this newsletter, we cover:

  • How many miles we traveled in the month of July
  • Self-inflicted vs. Providential issues that made this a one-of-a-kind year
  • Quotes from Charlie, our thoughtful, sensitive, quick-witted firstborn
  • One surprising thing Derek learned about himself
  • And more!

Thank you so much for your prayers and support of us here in Lusaka, Zambia!!

“Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of a great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.” Luke 2:10-11 (ESV)