Category Archives: ACTION

Kristin Returning to Zambia

“A new commandment I (Jesus) give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:34-35, ESV).

Just before we left Zambia 10 months ago, one of our national workers pleaded with me to ask our church in Minneapolis to send another short-term team to train Zambians in basic home health care. I passed along the request, and the response was, “Sure!…You’ll be on the team, right?” In some ways, it seemed like a no-brainer. I have lived in Zambia, hosted this kind of team in Zambia twice, and am a nurse. But in other ways, I saw some significant obstacles – two in particular…their names were Charlie and Sam.

And yet, God made it clear that I should go. Derek willingly (with a healthy amount of fear and trepidation!) volunteered to be stay-at-home Dad for the 12 days of the trip. So, from August 1-13, I will join a wonderful team from Bethlehem Baptist Church to teach about 150 Zambians how to practically love others in their homes, churches, and communities through home health care skills. The specific skill I will teach is “nutrition & hydration in a low-resource area.”

I have not been on a short-term team for 18 years, so this will be a different role for me. Derek and I tangibly feel the need for prayer! Charlie is still trying to figure out how he can come along, and Sam can work his lower lip like nobody’s business when he thinks about me being gone. We have seen God work and supply strength and grace through your prayers before, and we are trusting that God will show up powerfully again. 

These words from Alexander Strauch in his book, Love or Die, sum up the verses from John 13 and also my desire for this trip. “Our Lord was not an abstract theologian who sat in a classroom pontificating on the high virtues of love. Instead, Jesus ‘went about doing good’ (Acts 10:38). He healed the sick, fed the multitudes, and preached the gospel to the poor. He exhausted himself in acts of kindness and deeds of compassion for the benefit of the needy. In ever way, he lived and modeled a life of love.” Pray that God would use me (and the team) to model lives of love for the sake of the gospel in Zambia. 

Bethlehem Baptist Church – Zambia Team 2018

Zambia Trip Support Needs

We are praying that the Lord will provide some additional funds to help Kristin with her Zambia trip expenses this August. If you would like to contribute to this trip, please click here and give a one-time gift. In the “Comments” box, write “Zambia Trip.” Thank you so much!

A Quick Family Update

We will give more of an update in our next newsletter about Derek’s continued work and ministry in leadership at ACTION USA and the upcoming trips that he will be making this Fall. But in short, he has stayed very busy this past Spring with travel out to the Seattle office and various projects and administrative work, which he has enjoyed. 

Meanwhile, Charlie and Sam continue to be active and talkative and enjoy that Summer is in full swing in MN. They are excited to go camping for the first time this summer!

PDF Version of our Newsletter

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Latest Newsletter – Spring 2018

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Hi everyone,

Well, it’s been a while since we posted on our blog here. So, to start things rolling again, here (click here) is our latest newsletter about what we are up to!

God bless!

Change (and a huge thanks!…and photos)

We have now been back in the States for just over 3 months and have had time to process some of our big transition. 6 1/2 years in Zambia – that’s enough time to be changed…not to mention that our family doubled in size during that time, which brings its own kind of trauma change.

While we obviously pray that God used us to shape Zambia, we know that Zambia has shaped us. We are more understanding of and compassionate toward situations the poor are in. We are less fearful. We know a little of what being a minority means. We have been made stronger through the endurance it takes to live with 12-hour daily power outages, horrendous traffic situations, the inconsistency of food and fuel availability, and so much more. We are more wise about missions and the struggles missionaries face. We know the joy of seeing God bear fruit. We are more understanding of people’s struggles. You get the picture.

Leaving Zambia was not easy. In fact, it was the hardest decision we have made in our marriage. But being back in the States has shown us 2 important things: 1) we still love missions and feel called to strengthening, discipling, and reaching the global Church; and 2) it was the right decision to be based in the States at this time. Some of the situations that had happened in Zambia over the last few years took a greater toll on us than we realized, and we are beginning to feel more refreshed and energized for what God has in store for us.

It really is a major perk that, in leaving Zambia, we get to still be involved in missions with ACTION! Derek will be traveling quite a bit next year to various fields for strengthening, encouraging, teaching, and scouting. We are already praying that God will use our experiences in Zambia to benefit many more around the world. Feel free to pray with us for that!

There is more information about our family and this big change in our recent newsletter, which we would love for you to check out, if you haven’t already. And to add on to the abbreviated “thank you” in our latest newsletter, we really don’t know how to express how full our hearts are with thankfulness. Through the care, prayers, and generosity of so many, we were sent out to Zambia and sustained in ministry there. Unless you have experienced it, it is almost impossible to describe how much missions is a group effort. Although we were the hands that gave comfort to the suffering or the feet that walked with Zambians or the mouths that taught the hope of the gospel, we could not have done it without you!

And even though we are based in the States now, we are in the same situation. Without so many of you continuing to care, pray, and give, we could not continue to serve the nations. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!! This has been and continues to be such a humbling partnership, and we pray that God returns the blessing many times over. It is a joy to serve the nations with you.

Enjoy some pictures that we couldn’t fit in our newsletter!

Major News from Derek and Kristin

One of Charlie’s favorite pastimes – having traditional Zambian lunch with two of his favorite people, Uncle Charles, our gardener, and Auntie Petronella, our house-helper. 

Hi everyone,

Here (click here) is our latest newsletter with a major update about us inside, and below are some updated prayer requests. Thank you so much for your prayers and support!!

  • Please pray for traveling mercies and sweet goodbyes, as we leave for the USA on August 22nd.
  • Please pray for us and our kids, as we adjust back to the USA and a new role in ACTION.
  • Please pray for Charlie, as he starts Kindergarten in September!
  • Please continue to pray for ACTION Zambia and the vital ministries that AZ does!
  • ACTION Zambia needs long-term couples/families to come and help with AZ’s Children in Crisis ministries; to train and disciple pastors in our Pastoral and Leadership Development (PLD) Department; and to help with maintenance and grounds management at Camp Ciyanjano. Please, contact Kelly Huckaby, if God may be leading in you that direction!
  • Please pray for us as a family, as well as for all the families of ACTION Zambia, that God would supply all of our needs in Christ Jesus.

Latest Newsletter and Prayer Requests

(Sam playing at Papa and Nana’s house in MN)

Hi everyone,

Here (click here) is our latest newsletter, and below are some updated prayer requests. Thank you so much for your prayers and support!

Prayer Requests

  • Pray that God would supply several more supporters to partner with us, as we seek to strengthen Christ’s Church. Click here to donate.
  • Pray for traveling mercies and fruitful connections, as we travel in Michigan and Indiana the next week and half and speak at two different churches.
  • Please pray for donations for our ACTION Zambia Discipleship classes. We have wonderful Zambian facilitators who spend significant time discipling aspiring church leaders to know and apply God’s Word. Would you consider giving to help this valuable ministry continue and flourish? Any amount is so appreciated! Click here to donate.
  • Please pray for donations for the Faith Tabernacle Church HIV Children’s Feeding Program. This is another extremely important ministry, which provides HIV positive children with nutritious meals, Gospel teaching, games, and basic education. Click here to donate and put “Faith Tabernacle” in the “Comments About this Donation” box.
  • AZ needs help! ACTION Zambia needs long-term couples/families to come and lead our Children in Crisis ministries; to train and disciple pastors in our Pastoral and Leadership Development (PLD) Department; and to help with maintenance and grounds management at Camp CiyanjanoPlease, contact Derek, if God may be leading in you that direction!
  • Please pray for us as a family, as well as for all the families of ACTION Zambia, that God would supply all of our physical and spiritual needs in Christ Jesus.

There and Back Again in 39 Days

Sorry (again) for our lack of posting any blogs lately. Our July and early August have flow by (literally) as we made our way back to the States and Canada and back to Zambia again in 39 days. God was so gracious to us and to our boys with all the travel! We were really worried how the boys would do and how we, as parents, would do. It seemed pretty crazy to take a three year old and a 9 month old on a 24,676 mile (just flight miles, not including driving miles!), 39 day trip to North America and back again. But they did so well on the flights, minus one incident on the way back to Zambia that we’ll share about in a later blog, and they really enjoyed seeing all the friends and family that we got to spend some time with.

Our primary reason for heading back to North America for the month of July and early August was for me (Derek) to attend the International Council Meetings for Action International Ministries that I need to attend since becoming the ACTION Zambia Country Director this past February. Those meetings went really well, and I enjoyed the fellowship with the other country directors and some of the members of their country boards.

Right after the IC meetings concluded, the ACTION 40th Jubilee Celebrations kicked off. We really enjoyed the rest of the Jubilee celebration time as well. The worship times, fellowship, and conference speakers and subjects were a blessing to us. I think the biggest highlight for us, as far as the Jubilee, was just spending time with other ACTION folks and hearing their stories and experiences and what God is doing in their part of the world.

We are very thankful to God for ACTION and to be a part of it. We are typically not an organization that gets together that often (like, never) worldwide, so it was a real blessing to celebrate God’s faithfulness these past 40 years to ACTION with almost 200 other ACTION missionaries from around the world!

After our 11 days in Canada, we headed back to the USA and took a few weeks to see family and friends. This time was crazy busy, but we really enjoyed spending time and connecting with everyone.

Below are some pictures of our time. Thanks so much for praying for us and for all your love and support!