Category Archives: Bethlehem Team 2014

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.

Update: From the Land of Snow, Ice Cream, Lattes, and More

We are finally emerging from the “Great Holiday Silence” to say, “Hi!”

img_4042We have been back in the States for seven weeks now. We survived the busyness of Christmas as we traveled to and fro between MN and WI. But the “busyness” consisted of seeing family and friends, eating delicious food, sipping lattes, discovering the strange concept of “winter,” playing with new toys and old pianos, loading up on ice cream and Christmas cookies, driving on wonderful roads, and more. So, in other words, we haven’t been roughing it.

Since Christmas, we have spent some time resting and seeing more wonderful people, including a quick trip to see our former director in Zambia and his family, Tim and Andrea Hilty. Our “tour” of visiting supporting churches kicked off last weekend in Janesville, WI, and now this coming weekend will find us in Marshfield, WI. Thanks to my parents for watching Charlie and Sam, so we can actually interact with people at these churches! Apart from the churches, we have been able to speak at a small group from our church in Minneapolis (Bethlehem), and tonight we speak on “ministering among the poor” at a missions fellowship through Bethlehem.

And next week, we head to California to see friends, former teammates, and supporters, who we have not seen for a very long time! It has been so great to connect with so many people in the short time that we have been back.

A couple prayer requests:

-While back, we are trying to raise money to buy a second vehicle. As most missionaries have discovered in Zambia, it’s really hard to live as a family, where roads are rough and transportation is poor, with just one vehicle. The truck we are purchasing is not as expensive as our other vehicle, but we are still hoping to raise about $6,000 for that. Click here to donate and put “truck” in the “Comments About This Donation” box. Thanks!

-Also, God has been so gracious to raise and sustain our monthly support over the last six years of being in Zambia – we praise him for that! But circumstances change for people, and prices change in Zambia, and we are finding ourselves a little short monthly. Would you pray that God would raise that through new ministry partners? Click here to donate.

-Lastly, pray that God would give us all the rest that we need while we are back. Charlie is homesick for Zambia, his dog, his aunties and uncles, and the sun. We want to help our little “third culture kid” to enjoy his time in America well and find joy wherever we are.

Thank you!!! We hope to see many of you in the next couple months before we return to Zambia!

Home Assignment Starts in One Week

Well, we are down to the final seven days before we leave Zambia for our third Home Assignment of our almost six years that we have been back in Zambia. We have been busy trying to get done everything we need to get done before we go. Thankfully, two of the biggest things, like getting our work permits and Zambian Driver’s licenses renewed were able to get done and with over a week to spare!

img_3803Our Christmas Tree this year. Even though it won’t be up very long, we decided to put it up for the boys. They were both thrilled, and Sam is generally pretty thrilled by it each and every morning.

Now, we just need to get our house ready and packed for one of our Zambian colleagues and his family who will be staying here while we are gone, and we ourselves also need to pack for the States. We are trying to dig out all of our winter stuff here to bring back to a Midwest that is getting pretty cold compared to a Lusaka that is in the upper 70’s and rainy. We also look forward forward to this Saturday as we welcome back the Huckabys from their six month home assignment and say goodbye to Tracy and Karen Singleton as they head back to the States after 9 years of ministry with ACTION Zambia working with pastors and leaders.

Every Home Assignment makes me feel extremely blessed. Blessed by Teammates and National Workers here who take up responsibilities as we leave and those right now back in the States who are getting vans ready for us to use, digging out winter clothes from storage lockers, and preparing places in their homes for us to stay in and the list could go on and on. We are so very blessed by everyone on both sides of the Ocean that do so much for our little family to travel back, speak, connect with family, friends and supporters and, hopefully, also get some rest, which we feel like we could really use.

We would greatly appreciate your prayers as we travel back starting next Wednesday at 9:30pm Lusaka time – prayers for safety and also for our kids that they would travel well from Lusaka to Dubai and then on to Chicago.

Thank you so much for your love and support and we look forward to seeing so many of you very soon!!

Sam and Charlie getting ready for America…

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Thankful for Bethlehem

DSC_3611 copyIn our last post, we shared about how the team from Bethlehem Baptist served many Zambians for 6 full days as they taught about basic hospice/home-care techniques and how God’s sovereign goodness relates to suffering. With seemingly endless energy, the team turned around the next day to put on a 3-day retreat for the ACTION Zambia team.

This past Sunday, 11 Bethlehem team members, 6 ACTION Zambia national workers, 11 ACTION Zambia missionaries, and 10 missionary kids caravanned down and around the hills of the southern Rift Valley (including hairpin turns around barreling semis, coach buses, monkeys, pedestrians, and jackknifed semi-trailers) to our destination: Gwabi River Lodge.

We each settled into our chalets. I was greeted by a small lizard that fell on my arm when I was drying my hands on the towel in our bathroom and then a small scorpion hiding under the towel folded up on my bed…where I had just changed Charlie into his swimming gear! Thankfully, that was the extent of our nature surprises for the retreat. But we were met with other surprises over the 3 days.

Half of the Bethlehem team taught and encouraged the adults from God’s Word about persevering in ministry and suffering, and the other half served the kids with lessons and games and crafts all revolving around Psalm 23. This was Charlie’s first real experience in a Sunday School/Bible Club setting, and he was fairly skeptical – something about being left with great and trustworthy adults, doing fun organized activities with other kids, and eating Goldfish crackers and fruit snacks was very frightening for him. But among all his missionary kid friends, he found 1 safe friend by the last day. “Auntie” Beth, his fellow strong-willed, red-headed auntie, became the person he retreated to during these sessions when he was feeling unsure. She put up with his crying and kicking and fears and, in the end, gained his trust. What an amazing, unexpected, humbling, overwhelming picture of Christ’s service to us!

And if that wasn’t enough, God met us in such personal and poignant ways through the adult teaching time. I think we all came away so encouraged to hang on to Christ as our hope and to persevere and be faithful in the ministry that God has called us to.

The Bethlehem team treated us all to a boat cruise on the Kafue and Zambezi Rivers. It was Charlie’s first “safari,” which he mostly slept through. And he ended up being more excited by the dogs back at the lodge than the elephants, hippo, and crocodile that we saw.

As we packed up our vehicles and headed back to Lusaka, our hearts were full to overflowing. Thank you, BBC, for serving us so tirelessly and sacrificially! You were a powerful expression of Christ to us in so many ways.

CROSS Project/Bethlehem Baptist Hospice Seminar Update

To say that having the folks from Bethlehem Baptist Church (our home and sending church) short-term team here is and has been a blessing, would be an understatement. We have loved having them here and have been SO blessed and encouraged by each of them!!

Their trip is almost done, and they will be flying out tomorrow night. But I wanted to give you an update on the first part of their trip, which consisted of six days of training in basic hospice techniques for six different churches that have gone through the CROSS Project curriculum over the last two years.

81 former CROSS Project students learned about:

  • Hand washing and Sanitation: how to properly dispose of wastes
  • Wound care: very basic without access to any fancy dressings
  • Giving a bed-bath and making an occupied bed
  • Positioning someone in bed and safe transfers/walking
  • Nutrition and hydration: before someone is actively dying
  • Pain management, shortness of breath, and dying process

Based on some of the comments that we heard from many of the students, they found the information to be very applicable to their lives and living situations. Many people in Lusaka’s poor communities as well as outside in the rural areas have to care for the sick and dying due to lack of good health care facilities. But many of them have don’t have the skills and have never been taught how to do this in the most safe, healthy, and helpful way.

These were some of the comments I heard: “We thought we were helping people, but we were only hurting them and ourselves in how we were taking care of them.” “My boss died of a bed sore, because we didn’t move him for over two weeks after he was injured on the job – we didn’t know we were suppose to reposition him.” One lady commented at the hand washing and sanitation station about the difficult situation she and her family are in – “We are seven families against one pit latrine where I live.”

Please pray that God would plant and help people remember what they have learned from these workshops and that God would be glorified as these 81 former students seek to help people physically, share the gospel, and share this important information with others!

Bethlehem has also been blogging about their trip – you can find it here!

Below are some pictures of BBC in action.