Friday, January 26, 2018

Short Term Teams in a Time of Cholera

So if you have seen some of the photos and news links I've put up on Facebook, you know that Lusaka has had a serious problem with cholera this year. Now, it's only a few thousand cases and less than a hundred deaths and that's not really an epidemic but that could be due to the government's heavy handed approach to dealing with cholera. Their efforts have included closing churches (including sending in paramilitary troops to break up Sunday services with teargas. They've closed schools and markets and and there has been a massive effort to clean up the city. The unfortunate consequences (besides our kids having a very long school break and making us crazy) have included thousands of marketeers losing their shops and farmers losing their markets. It also meant we had to cancel our short term team Crossroads Church from Rowlett, Texas. However, things are always in a state of flux here (like they announced that schools could open we took our kids to class only to find the government had changed their minds about the school in the community our kids attend) so we un-cancelled our team and it's been a great time getting to know them and spend time visiting the ministries of ACTION Zambia! They brought filters and created 250 bucket filters for water filtration - each filter can purify a million gallon of water! They visited churches and homes of pastors connected to ACTION Zambia and attended a graduation of a large group from the CROSS project - AZ's course on HIV and the gospel and the church's role in Gender Based Violence.
At Emmasdale Church of God in Chaisa with Bishop Mark Mwale
Abusa (Pastor) Daniel Preaches the Good News with one of the Champs translating.
Jenn Ott teaches pastors how to use the water filters.
Andy Ott makes the pastors promise to give away the filters with the good news of Jesus.
Pastors learning how to use the water filter buckets.
Pastors from the training representatives from 6 different compounds 
Pastor Thole and family with their bucket filters at their home in Matero
Lisa, Kevin and DeWayne with Pastor Thole and Pastor John Chitambo
Pastor Alfred Mwanza and family at home in Garden East.
Pastor Peter Zulu telling of his conversion and call to ministry
Lisa, Kevin and DeWayne listen to Pastor Zulu
Pastor Peter and Kevin
Pastors John and Peter
CROSS Graduation at Faith Tabernacle
One of the graduates.

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Finishing 2017 with Camp!!

Camp Ciyanjano finished 2017 by hosting a group from a local children's village for a super fun camp. It was a great time to reconnect with experienced Champs leaders and to welcome new Champs and get them warmed up. The leaders did a great job getting to know the kids and running a wide variety of lessons and activities.

The Champs planned a lot of fun games that the kids really enjoyed.

Aunty Josephine is expecting her second child and is a little slower than the other Champs, but still came by to visit all of us and support the leaders.

All of the team building activities were a huge hit with the campers and leaders alike.

The Crocodile Shuffle is a real challenge, even for the leaders.
The Spiderweb activity was a lot of fun. Leaders noticed that the girls had a harder time with this challenge, while the boys had a harder time with the Crocodile Shuffle.

Really happy to work with a great group of young people who love Jesus and love kids!

Auntie Nkumbu giving her lesson on conflict resolution.

Leaders having fun with dress-up costumes to add a little more color to the games.

The campers were glad to have so many leaders around to interact with.

We really had a great time with this group, and even though Kelly is the AZ Director now, we plan to stay involved in the camp ministry at Ciyanjano. We love sharing the gospel with kids and building them up in their faith!

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Christmas Outreach in Garden Compound

The kids were shaking out their ears to hear better in case
there was water or mud in their ears.
As a followup from our last blog that highlighted the ministry of ACTION Zambia colleague, teacher, trainer and preacher, Cosmos Tembo, I wanted to report on God's great faithfulness. When we arrived we came around the back of the building to the entrance of the church. They meet in a room that's about 8x10m . It seemed quiet but Abusa Cosmos said there were a lot of kids already waiting inside for us. I was on the side of the building when Tricia popped her head into the room and it sounded like a thousand joyful screaming voices starting at once. There were already at least 200 kids packed in there and another 60 or more on their way. We were able to do our craft before the rain started pouring down and somehow squeezed all the kids into various classrooms, (some as small as 3x3m) for games and big chicken lunch. Uncle Nelvin from Ciyanjano shared about the biggest Christmas gift - Jesus and the free gift of grace and salvation. We sang songs, slipped around in the mud, washed a couple hundred plates in the pouring rain and praised God for this church and the love it has for this community in Garden. Thank you for praying and continue to prayer for the children of Garden to hear the Good News about Jesus!
The Champs were lined up along a slippery hillside at the entrance waiting to introduce themselves.
Feeling a little nervous after hearing that huge roar of the crowd!

Kids working on their Christmas journals
This guy was getting serious with his chicken!!
Auntie Nkumbu and Uncle Jayson try to keep the kids organized
Uncle Jayson and Uncle Shawn
Some smiling faces
Hard at work on her craft...
Adding stickers to her journal - you can never have enough stickers!
Auntie Queen and Izukanji work with a huge group on their craft  

Warrior Team (of cuteness) 

 A little rain never bothered any kids!
smiling in the rain!
Mr Sticker Face
Girl with her craft
High fiving!

Uncle Peter rounds up the crew.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Spotlight on Pastor Cosmos Tembo

Pastor Cosmos Tembo has been part of our staff for years now working with ACTION Zambia's (AZ) Pastor Leaders Development ministry. He underwent training with AZ and went on to become part of our team, passing all that he learned onto other pastors and church leaders. He works hard leading discipleship groups for AZ in the compounds using the D2:7 materials while at the same time doing the very good work of pastoring a church.

Recently I had the privilege of visiting Pastor Tembo's church and hearing him preach. I was very impressed and so pleased to know that he is such a sound, Biblical preacher. My visit was a pleasure, especially because tomorrow we will be conducting a Christmas outreach in partnership with his church and this allowed me to get to know his congregation better. ACTION International fields all over the world do Christmas outreaches each year and we are pumped to partner with Pastor Tembo's church to share the gospel with unchurched kids in his community.

The program will have a craft, a meal, teaching, games and more. Please pray along with us that all the children that come will be good soil for the good news of salvation through Jesus Christ. This is also an event where many of our new Champs will be helping alongside our veteran leaders, so please pray that the new leaders will have a good learning experience and that new and old leaders alike will be effective ministers of the gospel. We want tomorrow to be a blessing to this wonderful Zambian pastor and his congregation!