Category Archives: Prayer

It Ain’t Easy Bein’ Green

No, I’m not talking about Kermit the Frog or saving the planet. I’m talking about the complex, hard-to-describe, beautiful, sometimes sad life that our kids know. 

It comes under the category of TCK, formerly known as MK…Third Culture Kid or Missionary Kid. 

TCKs have been integrally shaped by 2 or more cultures to the point that they can’t be defined by either one. They are some sort of conglomeration of the cultures. 

Charlie has been missing Zambia a lot lately. And even though we are 7 months into this transitioning-back-to-America business, I pulled out the activities workbook of Looming Transitions by Amy Young to find a fresh platform for talking about this “new” life with Charlie (and Sam). 

And I made some play dough. Then we got to work. 

Yellow play dough is Charlie in Zambia. Let’s talk about Zambia. What did you love? 

Sun, Castro our dog, working with Uncle Charles, my friends, riding my bike…

Blue play dough is Charlie in America. Let’s talk about our life here in America. What do you love?

Grandparents, cousins, aunts and uncles, sleepovers, going on the boat, fishing, school, being able to look out the window at the cars that drive by…

You can mix the yellow and blue together now. What happens?

It makes green!

Mixing the yellow and the blue involves kneading and smashing and squashing. Each person has their own way of mixing the yellow and green together. Sometimes it happens slower for one person than for someone else. 

Sam got right to work mixing them. Charlie was more mindful.

The process of becoming green doesn’t always feel good. That’s the sadness and loneliness you feel sometimes. 

But it makes you into a very special person. 

If you think of it, we appreciate continued prayer as we walk this transitioning road and help our kids navigate the emotions of it all. It ain’t easy bein’ green!

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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.

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!

New ACTION Zambia Deputy Directors

AZ logo BEST transA week ago, our ACTION Zambia Board of Trustees, approved my recommendation for Kelly Huckaby and Pastor John Chitambo to both become our new AZ Deputy Directors. I have known and worked with both Kelly and John for almost six years and am very blessed to have them both now helping out in a greater leadership capacity within AZ. They will also both continue on in their roles at Camp Ciyanjano for Kelly and the CROSS Project for John.

We would all greatly appreciate your prayers as we lead this team forward and seek to glorify God by strengthening the local church, especially among the urban poor, here in Zambia through the various ministries of AZ. Also, special thanks and appreciation to Tracy Singleton for serving as AZ Deputy Director for many years up until the end of 2015.

Both Pastor John and Kelly, besides many other qualities, are two of the funniest people I have had the privilege of knowing. In that spirit, below is our newest (and only) album cover. We don’t plan on releasing any music, just the album cover.

img_9e82e1c13fa6-1

 

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!