Friday, September 15, 2017

Gender-Based Violence in Zambia

You may not realize that spousal abuse (and gender-based violence) is one of the biggest problems communities deal with here in Lusaka and all around Zambia. Whether in the city's compounds or out in villages, people are very often drinking and very often abusing their family members or neighbors.

We try to be a voice of reason and love in our community, but certainly our patience runs very thin with this issue. We try to be respectful of cultural differences, but this is an accepted part of this culture that is sinful and hateful.

On Sunday Kelly was supposed to be preaching at our teammate's church. The family was dressed and ready to go when a woman arrived at our gate covered in blood. It is quite a complicated situation and we always find that if you dig into family and community dynamics both sides of every story are always pretty messed up. Everyone is busy sinning against everyone else. However, that never gives anyone the right to start throwing punches, branches, or bricks.

What Kelly found at the hospital where he took the woman to have stitches and get a medical report done so she could file a complaint was even more discouraging... disturbing... terrifying. The emergency room was packed with people with a broad range of serious injuries, and all of them the result of violence over the weekend. Another woman was there because she had been beaten by her husband, and she died there as Kelly and Nelvin (one of our Ciyanjano staff) waited with our neighbor to be seen. There were a doctor and nurse only, serving this hellish waiting room. Oh, and there was one person working at mopping blood all around the floor.

This experience was a good reminder of why the CROSS project is so important in this community. Andy and Jen Ott, John Chitambo, and Eta Imusiku visit churches teaching about a Christlike approach to HIV/AIDS and they now also teach on Gender-Based Violence. The curriculum is very well done and SO necessary. Please pray for our CROSS staff as they seek to build up the Zambian church in this, and pray for our whole team as we shine our lights for Jesus in this violent culture.
UCZ Leadership and the CROSS team with Nelson and Linda Reed 
Graduate from CROSS receiving his certificate and Bible

Graduation for CROSS at Chilnje UCZ

Monday, September 4, 2017

Another Day in the Life

People are always asking what our life looks like here on the outskirts of Lusaka, and every day is quite different. Here is a look at Sunday!

After a windy night of branches and owls scraping the roof and barking dogs around the Kasupe neighborhood, we were up at 6am to the sounds of slamming bathroom doors and whistles in the campground. Kelly and I both tried to start the day with Bible reading and prayer time, while dealing with interruptions from the kids.

6:30am we heard a knock at our gate. A young lady brought her 3-year old sister to see us for some first aid. The little girl's foot was burned in the fire so Tricia cleaned it really well and wrapped it in bandages. It's not that we have special training... just things that others around here don't have:  soap, clean water and towels, bandages, antibiotic ointment, etc...

7am gave the kids breakfast while we hear another knock with a man who needs medicine for a chronic eye problem. Also, he's looking for piece work (just like everyone else around here...)

Tried to get ready for church while at the same time getting our five kids ready for church. For some reason kids require about 24 reminders to do the same things they do every day. You can imagine I prayed for patience quite a few times...

I (Tricia) had made a too-quick promise for us to visit a church where one of the kids' former teachers is a leader, so we were making good on that promise.

We spent 3 hours at the church service where we were warmly received, but unfortunately strongly disagree with the doctrine and methods. We pray we can encourage the leaders in the church to consider more training and turn away from "health and wealth gospel, prophecy and calling down fire on witches" to the truth about our wonderful suffering savior, Jesus Christ.

Totally exhausted and hungry we made it home for a quick lunch and some quiet time before heading over to the Sakala house to visit their new twin girls! (I stayed home to prepare a massive dinner.) Very exciting to have these new babies at Ciyanjano.

At 16hours we were joined by the 4 kids from the Kakoshi family that will be staying with us Sunday to Friday during this school term. Our kids along with Janet, Ben, Prudence, and Hellen bathed and packed up supplies and snacks for their first day at a new school:  Breath of Heaven Academy. Mark and Manny will be homeschooling this term, while the other 7 will attend BOHA.

Dinner and clean-up is quite a process around our house, but it is getting smoother all the time as the kids get better at helping out. We all sat around our two tables and enjoyed green beans, potatoes, and Hungarian sausages (along with a lot of bizarre conversation). Then reading time and teeth brushing, prayer, and bedtime where we sing to all the kids... I know they are quite big, but it is a tradition for us to sing to them before bed so we still do it!

I (Tricia) am such an early bird and I love to sleep so much that by 20hours I was in bed and asleep while Kelly stayed up and watched a show on the computer. Then, as he does every night at 22hours, Kelly got Mark out of bed to take medicine and then got Manny out of bed to use the toilet... and then he called it a day. Only to be woken up by Manny wanting to crawl in bed with us at 03:45 because he was feeling sick - it could be the 2-pence coin he swallowed the night before. He was in bed with Kelly while I dozed on the couch and Manny took the opportunity to wet our bed. And then the day really started! To say we could use your prayer is an understatement...

Monday, August 21, 2017

Mr. Director Installed

We have had a busy term break so far in August, especially enjoying hosting guests, Dave & Kim Breuninger from Koinonia, and now Nelson & Linda Reed from ACTION USA. It's been really encouraging seeing friends as we say goodbye to Derek & Kristin Dearth this week and also celebrate Kelly's installation as Director. Please continue to pray for our ACTION Zambia team as we bump along this transition.

Here are a few pictures from Kelly's installation at our house on Saturday.

Here are pix of Dave & Kim with our Champs alumni along with our new Champs for this year. They had a fun lunch together and encouraged the Champs in camping ministry. Stay posted for a few more pix from this month...

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

7 Years in Zambia!

Yesterday we celebrated 7 years in Zambia. We thank God for sustaining us as a family and in ministry! He has brought us quite far over these years. I just had to post a few highlights....

Adding Ethel and Joy to our family was quite an adventure. They are definitely the sugar and spice in the Huckaby tribe. We have enjoyed a lot of "firsts" with them, but a special highlight was when they became American citizens and we knew we were finally, totally, completely official on both sides of the ocean. It's also been a highlight to see the way Lucas has grown up over the years alongside his Zambian sisters and brothers.
This is a picture of when they were getting tired of us taking pictures...

Oh boy! Here come the boys! Adding Mark and Manny to our family was a highlight. Oh brothers...
I think Manny's face in this picture is just priceless... That's his silly intimidating face.

Bible Clubs has definitely been a huge highlight. We really love serving kids from around the city with different events and camps; but, serving the kids in our own community has been really special.
Wednesday Bible Club was a fairly small affair a few years ago. Now we are serving almost 100 kids on Wednesday night alone.

Starting up the Champs discipleship group for youth has also been a highlight. We love working with Zambian pastors and their wives, and church leaders of all sorts, but we have especially enjoyed working with youths and encouraging them in their faith and in their service to kids.
This is a picture of some team-building activities with our first group of Champs. We are now on the first term with our second group of Champs, while 6 of our first group now serve as ministry leaders at Ciyanjano weekly.
We are so proud of them! And excited to see how God will lead the new Champs as well.

It would be impossible to list all of the highlights over these years. Here are just a few things, though, that stood out to me as I thought about our 7-year anniversary. I hope you will join us in thanking the Lord for all his faithfulness to us, and in asking Him to give us another great 7 years ahead!

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

What changes when you have nine kids in the house?

Okay folks. We have said over and over again that 5 kids is enough. And it is. Seriously, five is enough. So (despite the pix of kids that flood Kelly's Facebook page) we aren't adopting more kids. But, recently we decided to take in four siblings that we have known through our Wednesday Bible Club for many years. These kids have family in our community and they spend the weekend with them. But from Sunday afternoon to Friday afternoon, we are feeding them and helping them with homework, telling them to brush their teeth, etc. It turns out that a lot actually changes from 5 kids to 9 kids, especially with teenagers in the house:

1.  The toilets are not clean... ever.
2.  There is always something on the floor that doesn't belong there. Sometimes it's dirty underpants.
3.  The toothpaste lid is never on and sometimes it's on the floor next to the toilet.
4.  The really big pot is always on the stovetop and sometimes the crockpot is on, too.
5.  Books are not really in piles or rows anymore.
6.  I can hear a song playing on repeat really loudly, even though the person is wearing headphones.
7. When someone is hurt and starts crying, I can't tell which kid it is anymore.
8.  Laundry is not a chore; it's a way of life.
9.  Our 8-seater Toyota seems like a Mini Cooper.
10.  Someone is always injured or sick, or pretending to be injured or sick.

I actually could go on and on, but it would just get either too personal or too depressing... just kidding! It's great. We love the kids. Pillow-fighting has become beyond epic in this house. Please pray that the walls don't fall down around us. And please pray that Kelly and I can be very shiny lights for Jesus, even in our pajamas at 5:30 in the morning...

It is a lot more difficult to get a good picture of the "whole" family now. Here is an out-take!

Monday, March 27, 2017

Prayer for 2017

Now that first term is wrapping up soon, we have a very solid ministry schedule going at Ciyanjano and we have been able to get a good idea of what programs will look like for the rest of the year. Please pray along with us:

Monday:  Kelly leads men's Bible study. Tricia leads ladies' Bible study at our home. Please pray that our staff and visitors would be regular participants and gain a deeper understanding of God's Word and a deeper love for the Word. Pray that we would be good leaders and that the Holy Spirit would work powerfully.

Tuesday:  ACTION Zambia Staff meetings every other week. Holly leads Tuesday Bible Club with Alum Champs Happy, Rogers, Abraham, Josephine, and Judy. Please pray for God's will to be done in AZ ministries and especially at Ciyanjano. Pray for strong faith for the Tuesday kids.

Wednesday:  Kelly and Holly lead children's ministry meetings and devotionals with our leaders. Holly and leaders get it done at Wednesday Bible Club. Please pray for God to continue to bless our leaders and all the Wednesday kids. Pray that Bible Club kids can be lights for Jesus in this community.

Thursday:  Kelly leads new Champs group in the morning along with Holly, Josephine and Happy. Pray that God would take these Champs deeper into his Word and love. Also pray that these new Champs would be sensitive to the Lord's calling - are they being called into children's ministry? Our children's leaders the lead our Teen Bible studies Thursday evening. Please pray for this large group of teen boys and even larger group of teen girls to make sincere commitments to Jesus and learn what it means to have a close relationship to Christ. Also pray that they would pursue holiness and be witnesses to this community.

Friday:  Usually different church groups arrive for retreats or camps. Please pray that each and every camp that comes to Ciyanjano would be preaching and teaching the true word of God only! And that all worship and teaching would be glorifying to God. Pray for people to come to know Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour. Pray that Ciyanjano would be a peaceful and comfortable place for them.

Friday is also a day where our children's ministry leaders do home visits to kids and teens from the clubs. Please pray that these visits would be a blessing to kids and their families.

Saturday:  Football club meets for football and devotions. Pray for blessing on the leaders and that this would be an effective outreach. Pray that all the boys would come to know the Lord as their personal Saviour.  

Sunday:  Often camps are leaving on Sundays. Please pray that people can bring new life and truth from God's Word into their daily lives each day. Pray that people are refreshed and committed to God's will for their lives. Also pray for our staff to enjoy a Sabbath rest and to be ready for this new week. And please continue to pray for the safety of our staff here at Ciyanjano and around the city.

Thank you so much for your prayers! In April during the school break we will also be having a number of extra programs, including opportunities for Bible Club kids and Bible study teens to go out into the community in teams to share the gospel. Please pray that they would really shine for the Lord and that many people would hear the good news that Jesus has paid the price for our sins and defeated death for our sakes. Amen!

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Roast or Boast

Today is Kelly Huckaby's birthday! Because Kelly has such a great sense of humor, I (Tricia) often tease  or "roast" him instead of boasting. He is an easy target. But today as I thought about Kelly, well, I just HAVE to take some time to boast in the Lord and to boast about what the Lord has done in my husband over these years.

When Kelly and I were married, he was definitely a "good" guy. But since making the decision to give his life to Jesus Christ in 2002, I have had a front row seat in watching the Lord transform him from a pretty "good" guy into a godly man. I just have to praise God and thank him for his great mercy in bringing Kelly to himself about a year after he saved me. I just can't imagine the life we would have led if Kelly had never come to the Lord. Thank you, Jesus! You are so merciful and kind!

Kelly amazes me in the way he cares for vulnerable people, especially children. He is really full of compassion and a ready desire to serve people. I watch him daily set aside his own wants to help others... people who really do need a helping hand.

Kelly is also a wonderful and thoughtful teacher and shepherd. I love the way he pours himself into discipling the young people around Ciyanjano, and the way he has truly loved our staff. He invests himself without fear of not having enough time, love, money, or whatever. He is trusting in our Lord.

He is a safe person for anyone to talk with no matter their background, current situation, religious beliefs, political standing, whatever... He really is just such a super wonderful person!!! I know you guys agree, right?!

Anyway, I could go on and on and on... Happy Birthday, Kelly! May the Lord continue to build you up in knowledge, faith, character, and action. You are such a blessing to us all and especially ME!!!!!