Monday, December 28, 2009
God has been opening my eyes to how I view myself, and the pressure Kelly and I have felt this year to behave a certain way because we are on deputation with ACTION to leave for Zambia as missionaries.
For instance, when we spend time with friends or family everyone seems to feel like they have to pick up the tab for us every single time, or buy us more expensive gifts than they normally would. Because we are fundraising for Zambia, people are trying to help by taking care of expenses for us whenever they can. Now don't get me wrong - I think this is awesome! And of course, in a lot of ways, it really does help us move closer to our goal because we can put money that Kelly makes working at the Cheerful into our Zambia fund. If the Lord is moving people to be generous, that is wonderful. But at the same time I feel awkward about it because I don't want people doing things like that because they just feel obligated.
Also it is awkward because Kelly and I are always obsessing about money now in a way we never did before. Kelly and I have always tried to treat our money as the LORD's money. We have tried to keep our expenses low and have tried to give in the past as the Lord led us. We both love being able to use money to bless people. But this year, because we have been trying to put as much money as we can towards our Zambia fund or towards training, it has made spending money a lot more complicated. Now if we want to give toward a cause or buy a special gift or treat a friend to dinner we agonize over it or over-analyze it... and honestly, it takes all the fun out of it!
Christmas this year was complicated because my love language is definitely PRESENTS. I love giving presents! And I love getting presents! Maybe it seems superficial but it is the truth. And I love treating a friend to coffee or breakfast occassionally. But instead of just choosing special gifts for people and making a few special things, Kelly and I wasted a lot of time and energy worrying about money, and more to the point, what people might think if we spent money on gifts. It's so strange to be thinking, "Is this person going to feel I'm being irresponsible if I buy them this gift? Will they think I should be putting every cent towards our Zambia fund instead?"
Anyway, God gave me a lot of insight and peace about this issue as we celebrated Christ's birth with friends and family. We attended Cornwall Church's 3pm service on Christmas Eve and had a lot of quality time with people. I also had a lot of time to read while we were house-sitting for our friends, the Rudolphs, and I was able to enjoy Dangerous Wonder, Jews for Jesus, and Personality Plus, all of which I would recommend to anyone interested in thinking about what it means to BE YOURSELF to the glory of God.
I'm sure that this will be an ongoing struggle for Kelly and I as we continue to gather supporters for ministry in Zambia and we would appreciate your prayers for us. We always want to be authentic and not give into weird insecurities or expectations about some kind of mysterious missionary image. I welcome your comments as well, if you have thoughts for me on this.
We had hoped to leave for Zambia in January but we still need monthly supporters. I am now praying to leave by the end of April and Kelly and I are both very excited that 2010 will be THE YEAR WE MOVED TO ZAMBIA!!!! God bless you all! And Happy New Year!
Sunday, November 29, 2009
Saturday, November 14, 2009
Sunday, November 1, 2009
Happy Halloween everyone! Yesterday was our 10-year wedding anniversary. Hard to believe! But thanks to our merciful and generous Savior, Kelly and I are still together and improving with age. Seriously... thank you, Jesus!
Saturday, October 31, 2009
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Well, for all (two) of you Huckablog followers, we have safely arrived in Palmer Lake, CO @ Mission Training International. We spent the last week on the road from Oakland, Ca - where we visited with Tricia's brother, went to the beach, saw a lot of sea lions at Fisherman's Wharf, and checked out an emergency room, Luke stepped off a curb while I was holding his hand and it dislocated his elbow. Easy fix, and he was a trooper. We traveled through some of the most boring country (central Nevada), stayed with the cousin of a friend in Salt Lake (thanks Steve & Matthew), and drove through some of the most beautiful country (I-70 through Colorado). We arrived at MTI safely on Monday afternoon with two minutes to spare before our orientation started. That Monday it was in the mid-70's and clear and sunny, by Tuesday it was cool and foggy, and by Wednesday morning there was 3" of snow on the ground and 30 mph winds. Big change.
Sunday, October 11, 2009
Monday, October 5, 2009
Sunday, September 27, 2009
Monday, September 21, 2009
Hello, dear Friends!
Many people have been asking us how our support-raising is going and what our next steps are. Here is a quick update.
First, our support-raising is going well and many people have given generously over these last months.
Thank you so much! Every bit counts!
* We have 22% of our outgoing expenses raised.
* We have 9 sponsors who have pledged 10% of our monthly budget. If you would like more information about becoming a monthly sponsor, please contact us.
We must reach 100% before we can leave for Zambia and we are excited to see how God will fill that need.
Second, we will be traveling along the west coast in October to network, as well as visit friends and family. Then, it’s off to Mission Training International in Colorado for three weeks of valuable pre-field training for our family.
Please pray that God will use this time of traveling and training to continue to prepare us for our ministry in Lusaka, Zambia. God bless you!
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
Saturday, September 5, 2009
Friday, August 21, 2009
Special thanks to Dustin and Susan Rudolph for throwing a super fun and swanky fundraiser for our Zambia fund. Everyone dressed up in their best white gear and hats (my personal faves were Jordan Levien for the guys and Jess Flegel for the girls!)
Saturday, August 1, 2009
Friday, June 19, 2009
Saturday, May 23, 2009
This Thursday we are hosting "Zambia night" at our church, Oikos Fellowship on Gladstone in the York Neighborhoodl. If you'd like to hear more about our pastor's recent trip to Zambia (pictures included) as well as learn about the Huckabys' upcoming mission, we'd like to invite you to join us this next Thursday evening from 6-8 at the church. Food and drinks will be provided.
Monday, May 11, 2009
Well, we made it through! A week of sleeping in the same room as a sick baby, waking up too early, massive amounts of information, hours of bum-numbing sitting, and lots of time with wonderful people. What a week. It was a real blessing to spend time with great brothers and sisters serving street children and pastors all over the world. At the end of the week we were officially accepted into ACTION and now we're ready to start some training and a whole lot of fundraising! Wow - we're missionaries!! We'll soon be sending more information your way.
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
First of all, things are going smoothly more or less. I keep feeling like there is so much more that I could be doing to prepare... reading particular books or learning Nyanja, but then daily life happens or the sun comes out (and it's actually come out a few times lately!! Yeah!!!)
It boils down to this: Our paperwork is done and once we are through our orientation, I have a feeling I'll be looking at a lengthy and in-depth To-Do List. We will have an enormous amount of fund-raising to do and we'll have a training strategy to put into action. Right now I am praying and that's probably the best kind of preparation. And, I'm trying to keep myself involved by digging into our Bible study, the ladies' study, and meeting regularly with a new accountability partner and my counselor. I've been working on my testimony to share at orientation as well.
I'm a little nervous about orientation, but very pumped about everything. And we're having a great time. It will be awesome to share about orientation and I'm so looking forward to that. Please please please be praying for us. It means the world to us!!!
Sunday, April 12, 2009
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
I haven't been updating my blog as often as I would like. Things are a little busy here in the 'ham. We're almost at the month mark living with the Barons. Things are going great but it can be a little crazy with the eight of us around the kitchen table. I definitely have less free time to blog or read. Not to mention the applications for Action that we're working on. They are huge and time consuming and some of the questions are pretty hard to answer. Sometimes you just want to give the easy Chrish answer and move on - but that's would miss the point. So you can be praying that we can get through the 20+ pages and that our references get their forms back in time and for a little sunshine up here in the great white north.
Saturday, March 7, 2009
One of the things that Action Zambia does in Lusaka is work with the community schools in the compounds (slums). In Lusaka, the school system is under enormous pressure due to high enrollment and a derth of teachers. Last year the universities in Zambia graduated 1000 teachers from their education programs; 2000 teachers died, most from HIV related illnesses. In order to give some education to the children, many churches have opened schools or support schools. AZ gives support and training to some of the teachers in these schools. Check out this article on a similar situation in the country of Mali.
Tuesday, March 3, 2009
- Total Population 11.7 million
- Estimated adult HIV prevalence rate in Zambia 17%
- Estimated number of people (all ages) living with HIV 1.2 million
- Life expectancy at birth (years) 41
- Total number of orphans 1.2 million
- Number of orphans due to HIV 710,000
- Population below US$1 a day, 1995-2005 64%
Monday, March 2, 2009
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
Monday, February 23, 2009
I'm sneaking in to Kelly's blog to leave some of my own impressions for all of you thoughtful dears who are keeping up with us Huckaby's.
Our trip to Zambia could not have been better. Many of you have been helping Kelly and I pray for clarity about what God would have us do. I am an action-oriented person so it is hard for me to wait on the Lord at times and not just jump right in to what I think is best. But, while I tried to stay as open as possible to all options, I could not escape the feeling that I had already been to Lusaka before. Everything felt so familiar and I seemed strangely at home wherever we went. It's not that I could imagine exactly what it would be like for us to move there - of course it's impossible to know all that would entail. BUT, it is impossible to imagine NOT moving there.
At the end of the week we were to meet with members of the Board of Directors and I was very aware that this was an important interview. I felt so sure that my place was in Lusaka but I wanted to know for certain that it wasn't just me and some kind of weird emotional response I was having... I began to pray that if God did not want us to pursue this opportunity that the members of the Board would have some kind of problem with us... that they would have a different perspective and be able to clearly see that we were not a good match.
After a long and lovely conversation the three Board members told us they felt very clearly that we were being called to Zambia and that they would be praying for us. It was such an awesome confirmation! I feel so excited about Action Zambia's programs and I can't wait to see how we will fit in to the picture.
It has been a bitter-sweet homecoming because we have amazing friends and family, a supportive and wonderful church home, and a phenomenal community. Not to mention this cute little basement we're living in... wink. Please, please don't let me ever take all that for granted. But believe it or not, I already feel like I have a second family in Zambia. The Action Zambia team is fantastic. I really can't stress enough how much we loved each person (and all their kids!). And I have so much respect for what they are all doing. And I think most importantly I am so HOT for what God is doing in Lusaka. He is powerful. He is loving. And his Spirit is alive and working!!!!!
So here I am and I feel like I am smak-dab in the palm of God's hand. I am loving the Baron's house and settling back in. I am loving being home. But, I am loving being home in light of all that lays before us. I have no idea exactly how this is all going to work out and that's fine. All we can do is be obedient about pursuing what we think God wants for us and we'll leave the results to him.
I feel like God is pouring his grace out on the Huckaby's in a major way. How is it even possible that we have such a great God???!!!! He is our ROCK and our protector.
I also want to send out a big THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU to all our wonderful hosts in Zambia for making our trip so grand and to ALL of our beautiful friends and family who have been calling us and praying for us and sending us encouraging emails. I have to tell you people, I think Kelly and I have to be the luckiest people in the history of the entire world. I'm totally serious people.
That's all for now, but check out my sweet braids and the ensuing fro.
Thursday, February 19, 2009
Friday, February 13, 2009
On Thur we went into Kanyama compound to see the community school and orphanage AZ works with. In Lusaka, there has been a major collapse of the public school system, due to "brain drain" (the flight of educated people to better-paying countries) and HIV (last year 1000 new teachers graduated; 2000 died - mostly from HIV/AIDS). So in the compounds, the local churches have opened schools to provide basic education. AZ provides both physical and technical support to a number of these schools. The kids are amazing! They chase you around everywhere wanting to shake your hand (all Zambians excel in complicated handshaking) and and say "How are you doing?" In case you haven't noticed the Zambian children are BEAUTIFUL!
Yesterday we found out about finances and got estimates and budgets for how much support we will need to raise and how all the money is spent. The numbers are astronomical, but God is bigger. Everything in Lusaka costs the same or much more than they do in the states. With no industry, all items are imported from South Africa and China. Rent here is higher than in Bellingham and all consumer goods cost more. Contrast this with the fact that the average Zambian makes $1-$2 a day. It's crazy.
Today we meet with the Zambian board of directors of AZ. They make the decision to invite us here and then we would start the next steps. Please pray for discernment for the board and for us as we finish out our final day here.
In case you're wondering - if Lucas was already here, we'd never come home.
Thanks for praying,
Thursday, February 12, 2009
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
So far our trip has been amazing! We were front-loaded with a lot of easy stuff and were eased into the realities of Lusaka. Sunday and Monday at Ciyanjano (the farm), and then the Hiltys, which is in a beautiful neighborhood with many Zambians, a school and an orphanage, and a few muzungus (white people). On Tuesday we drove out into the countryside and went to a day-lodge safari place and saw lions and zebras and Tricia rode an elephant!
I feel like yesterday our real trip started. We went to a compound (the Zambian word for slum) called Kabwata. We were in the "middle class" section of the neighborhood which look similar to the worst projects in urban America. We met with John and Eta, the Zambians who run the CROSS program now. What a huge blessing. Please pray for them as they teach the Zambian church to love and care for those with HIV/AIDS.
Soon I'll be posting more about what we learned yesterday, but now we're about to leave for a day of adventure. Please pray for us today. We are going to the heart of the compounds today. I have not even began to explain what we have seen so far, but let me tell you this: when we drove through the edge of a few compounds yesterday I felt the deepest fear I have felt in my life. I thought that if Tim stopped the car and told me to get out, I would have begged him to keep driving until I was back home. That's where we're headed today. But I know that I can do all things through the God who strengthens me. And there is this - whenever I feel discouraged or afraid here, I meet a Zambian believer. They are amazing! What a blessing to Christianity in a totally new context. They are the most gracious and friendly people I have met.
Thanks for your prayer and support.
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
Thanks for all the prayer and care -