Monday, December 28, 2009

The Missionary Image

Merry Christmas everyone! This has been quite a year for the Huckaby family, and the holidays in particular have been very impactful and very busy for us.

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


In case you didn't see our Facebook and Email Update on Zamfest - it was a great success! Thanks to God and all our generous supporters at Oikos. Thank You, Thank You, Thank You!!
We also starting to sign up bible studies and small groups for informational desserts. These give us opportunities to share specifics about our ministry, experience, Zambia, and our needs. Please consider inviting us to your small group! We are also setting up personal, one-on-one meetings with folks that would like more information. Please feel free to contact us if you are interested in meeting with us. or call me @ 360-739-2484. We can make also make arrangements to travel to your area if you are not local. We are more than happy to answer any questions! Thanks and Happy Thanksgiving!!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Hellos and Goodbyes

Hello Bellingham, Goodbye road. We arrived today at the Huckabarons after 6 weeks on the road. Our training ended last Friday and we've been making our way home ever since. Leaving MTI was rough. I'll post more about this later, but it is amazing how close we felt to many of our fellow future missionaries. Leaving was very tearful but good. It was sad to think that many of the folks we came to know at MTI, we may never see again. Thankfully, there will be a few great folks headed to locations near Zambia and God-willing we'll see them in Africa someday down the road. Our trip back took us through Fort Collins (thanks Jon and Heather!), Rock Springs, WY (and Evanston, WY where we attended a nice little Presbyterian church who welcomed us like family), Paul, ID (thanks Jeremy & Nichole!), Baker City, OR, and Yakima, WA (time with the Martinsons and Sorensons --Yeah!). Thanks again to all the folks who welcomed us into their homes and churches and families. It was a HUGE BLESSING. Now it's time to settle in and get to work. Zamfest 2009 is next week, we've got bills to pay, people to call and desserts and bible study meetings to set up. We'll be calling you soon.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

10-year Wedding Anniversary

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!

Kelly and I were not Christians when we got married. Our ceremony was about 5 minutes long and honestly, not all that special. So, for our anniversary we decided to renew our vows with God at the center of the ceremony. We asked our new friend Ian, who is a retired Anglican priest, to do a little something for us. Some folks from our training came to celebrate with us and Ian prepared a very nice, worshipful ceremony. I was nervous for some reason, but Kelly and I both enjoyed it and were so happy for the opportunity to honor God and each other.

Here are some of the closing prayers, which I thought were very beautiful:

Eternal God, creator and preserver of all life, author of salvation, and giver of grace, look with favor upon the world you have made, and for which your Son gave his life, and especially upon Kelly and Tricia whom you have made one flesh in Holy Matrimony.

Give them wisdom and devotion in the ordering of their common life, that each may be to the other a strength in need, a counselor in perplexity, a comfort in sorrow, and a companion in joy.

Grant that their wills may be so knit together in your will, and their spirits in your Spirit, that they may grow in love and peace with you and one another all the days of their life.

Give them grace, when they hurt each other, to recognize and acknowledge their fault, and to seek each other's forgiveness and yours.

Make their life together a sign of Christ's love to this sinful and broken world, that unity may overcome estrangement, forgiveness heal guilt, and joy conquer despair.

We give you thanks for Lucas; the gift and heritage of children, the grace to bring them up to know you, to love you, and to serve you.

Give them such fulfillment of their mutual affection that they may reach out in love and concern for others.

Most gracious God, Father of all, we give you thanks for your tender love in sending Jesus Christ to come among us, to be born of a human mother, and to make the way of the cross to be the way of life.

We thank you, also, for consecrating the union of man and woman in his Name.

By the power of your Holy Spirit, pour out the abundance of your blessing on Kelly and Tricia. Defend them from every enemy. Lead them into all peace. Let their love for each other be a seal upon their hearts, a mantle on their shoulders, and a crown upon their foreheads.

Bless them in their work and in their companionship; in their sleeping and in their waking; in their joys and in their sorrows; in their life and in their death. Finally, in your mercy, bring them to your heavenly rest; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, forever and ever. Amen.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Missionaries in Training

Today was a very special day for us and we will post an update about that soon. BUT, this week of training at MTI was really intense and I wanted to write a little bit about what we are doing here for those of you who are interested, before I forget.

This week we went over a number of topics including conflict resolution and our conflict styles (Tricia - that's me - is a SHARK, and Kelly is a TURTLE... big surprise). We also covered adversity and God's plan for our trials and difficulties as well as how we handle stress.

Lots of heavy topics but one of the craziest experiences of the week was a hostage simulation we went through. Basically our large group was separated into two smaller groups and each group was placed in a makeshift shelter. We were given a scenario and we were supposed to try to "be ourselves" as the scenario played out. The scenario became more and more intense as the group was presented with an opportunity for a few people to escape and then that opportunity was rejected because we wanted to give the other team (who we were in contact with by radio) the chance to send a group to the rescue helicopter.

Then all of a sudden our group was captured and the "enemy" soldier really started to rough up our group. He said that we could choose three of our group to be traded to our government in exchange for three of their military leaders that were being held. There were a few of us there that were young moms so the group said to take us. But when we were removed from the shelter shots started firing and it appeared we were being executed.

I'm going to stop here to say that even though this was just a simulation, I was having a very strong emotional reaction to all that was happening. I had kept my cool pretty well until I was chosen to leave the group. Even though they were trying to help me, I really didn't want to leave the group behind. The "enemy soldier" had me lie down on the cement floor and cover my head. I could no longer see what was happening to anyone else in my group. When shots were fired I seriously lost it! I was totally weeping and having a hard time getting back in control. Snot was streaming down and I got a bloody nose. I could not escape the thoughts that even though this was not real, violence like this simulation is happening all over the world all the time. I was completely overwhelmed by these thoughts and felt so convicted about the fact that I do NOT pray enough for our brothers and sisters in Christ who are being persecuted.

Anyway, it was wild. I really was not expecting a simulation to affect me so deeply. It gave me a lot to think about in terms of how I handle stress, ha ha ha. When the simulation was over I was a mess and a few people in our group came and prayed with me as we all tried to pull ourselves together. I felt relieved and embarrassed and exhausted.

Obviously I will think of that experience again down the road. I want to be more faithful in praying for those that are facing violence around the world and this is good motivation. I'm sure I will have more thoughts as I process this experience but I just wanted to give you all a bit of an insight into the training we are going through. While this simulation is by far the heaviest of the activities we have done here, all of the training has been valuable and for the most part, quite serious. I am so grateful for all that we are learning here. Thank you for your prayers!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Donate Now

Planning a one-time gift for the holidays? Looking to do some tax-deductible yearend giving? Want to support our work at Ciyanjano? You can give a one time gift for Christmas or school fees or car repair or to help us get back to America for our home assignment next year, or you can become a committed monthly supporter for as little as $5 a month? Click here now!.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

At MTI in Palmer Lake

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.

So far, we have settled into a routine here between classes, meals, and family time. So far the training is great. One of the best things, though is this:
One of the trainers said - "You are now among your tribe, your people group. These people understand support-raising, traveling and sleeping on couches and speaking at churches and bible studies." This is so true - I have felt a little out of place in the world over the last six months. We're not quite here or there and often feel that no-one in the world and most people in the Church have no idea what you're going through. Being around these people is a blessing.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

week one - road trip

Well. We are all surviving and having a very nice time with our friends and family along the way. Had a lovely visit with our very old friends the Collmers in Vancouver, WA. A short day of driving to Grant's Pass, OR hotel offered a needed swim and a chance to catch up on sleep - we all went to sleep around 7:45. In the morning we took a long walk around the little town, got coffee and hit the road. We drove into Whitmore, CA the long and scenic route (oops, thanks Google maps) and stayed with new friends in a pretty little cabin in the piney woods of the California foothills. Had a chance to meet their pastor and his family and had a great dinner and time of conversation & fellowship. In the crisp fall morning, we picked Arkansas Black apples and fed them to the horses. We hit the road a little late but after an EXTREMELY scenic route (thanks again Google) we arrived at camp Koinonia, low on gas and energy. The road over the mountain from CA-17 to Koinonia was like a joke. 15 miles, one lane, no lines, switchbacks on switchbacks, large patches of the road had been washed away in previous mudslides. But beautiful. Koinonia was terrific, the people were all very insightful and helpful and we stayed in another woodsy cabin in the forest with the Breuningers. Saw the beach at Capitola (by the sea) and checked out Santa Cruz. Today we were in Morgan Hill, CA staying with some ex-ACTION Zambia missionaries and visiting with their pastor and going to church. A great day and topped with a greasy bag full of fries and burgers from the In & Out Burger. Delicious! Thanks to all of our great hosts. Please continue to pray for our support raising, and especially, for safe travel and good sleep.

Monday, October 5, 2009

ACTION Zambia Website Gets Facelift

Hey folks,
Please check out the updated and beautified website for ACTION Zambia. Lots of more info, pictures and news. Plus there is a new page all about Ciyanjano Centre where we will be living and working in Zambia. We're on our first full day on the path to MTI in Palmer Lake, CO. and it couldn't be a more beautiful fall say with old friends we love. Pray for safe drives and quiet nights.
Mutsale bwino.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Yard Sales are a BLAST!!!

Hello fine people!
Just wanted to say two things:

1. Our yard sale and craft sale (and bake sale!) yesterday was SO much fun and so awesome and hugely successful by my estimation. God is so incredibly gracious to us and the sale raised $1,000 for our Zambia fund!!! I'm not kidding!

2. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU! to all of the generous people from Oikos and beyond who donated tons of great stuff to this sale to make it worthwhile. And a special thank you to the folks who got down and dirty helping me set out tables and all the STUFF that we had to sell. You guys are the best and I have had to choke back the tears over and over again to see how all of you love us and care for us, but more than that, how you love the Lord! Thank you!

Tricia Huckaby

Monday, September 21, 2009

Postcard Update

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

ACTION Zambia Ministries Overview

Hi Huckablog followers. We have so much going on right now it's amazing. We're preparing for our 6+week road trip to Palmer Lake, CO for our 3-week cross cultural living training at MTI. We're hoping to see many friends and some family along the way. We're plugging away on our Perspectives coursework on missions. We're also super excited that our pastor, Pete and two other guys from our church are headed to Lusaka, Zambia next month to see AZ's ministries and do some re-con for a future Oikos short-term team. So, starting next week I'll be posting overviews of AZ's various ministries. Stay tuned.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Yard Sale & Craft Sale - Sept. 26th

Stop by our upcoming Yard Sale and Craft Sale at Oikos Fellowship on Gladstone in the York Neighborhood. All proceeds will go to our Zambia Fund and you will definitely find some wonderful treasures at great prices.
Saturday, September 26th from 9am to 5pm.
See you there!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Croquet ZAMBIA a BIG Hit!!!

The Results Are In!
Aaron Spots took first place in round 2.
Kristen Gilfillan, Chris Higbee, and Geoff Baron all get gift certificates for winning their rounds.
Mitch Rosenberg, Jordan Levien, Lisa Rollins, and Ryan Burke all get prizes for best shots. Best Dressed is still being voted on because of the fierce competition!

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!)

Everyone had a great time playing croquet and eating yummy bisquits. And of course the kids had a blast at the playground while the sun kept us all warm and tan.

THANK YOU to everyone who turned out for this event - we raised over $1000!!!!! Praise God!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Croquet Tournament Fundraiser

Croquet Tournament for Zambia Fund
Sunday, August 16
3:00pm at Birchwood Park in north Bellingham

$20/entry, rules/style to be determined by host. Please invite others. The more the merrier, the sweeter the pot, the fiercer the competition. E-mail for more details.
Come on out!! It's going to be loads of fun and a great way to add to our Zambia fund!

Friday, June 19, 2009

First Newsletter!

Hi Friends and Family! Hopefully you have recieved the Huckaby Family's first news/prayerletter in the mail today. We are super exctied about how they turned out and are deeply indebted to some lovely friends from Oikos that helped us pack, address, lick, and stamp almost two hundred letters. THANKS! We are busy working on putting together all the materials we need to get our work visas in Zambia (thanks Megan!), working up a proto-budget, researching all the traning requirements and even relaxing a little. We are currently housesitting and caring for some chickens and a large garden for some friends. It's so quiet!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Pizza Fundraiser... YUM!

Help the Huckaby’s go to Zambia! BUY PIZZA!
Buy any item from Pizza’zza in Fairhaven on Wednesday, June 24th 
& tell them it’s for the Huckaby’s 
& Pizza’zza donates 15% of the sales to us!
It’s an easy and delicious way to support the Huckaby’s 
and a great local business!
Don’t let the location fool you – they’re in Yorky's Market Gas
Station in Fairhaven next to Haggen.
Best pizza in town!!!
1501 12th Street

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Zambia Night this Thursday at Oikos Fellowship

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.

Thank you, Jesus, for your faithfulness. And thank you to all of our family and friends for deeply appreciated prayers!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Getting Ready for Orientation May 4-8

So! Here we are, counting down our time to orientation. This is Tricia Huckaby with a couple notes about what's on my mind.

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


So, we made it through our applications for Action!! Praise God, it took some serious thinking, reading and writing but we made it through. And man are we sick of talking about ourselves. But not to worry, we are also at the beginning of our paperwork that will move us towards be able to adopt during our time in Zambia. So it's time to talk a lot about ourselves again. And with an upcoming homestudy for the adoption process and our varied interviews and meetings with counselors and such, we will continue to allow our lives to be picked apart and put under the scrutiny of dozens of people. Please pray for this process!! We have orientation from May 4-8th.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

life in Bellingham

 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

Community Schools in Lusaka

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. 

Here are some pictures from one of the schools we visited in the Kabwata compound.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Some Numbers about Zambia

These numbers are from UNICEF (2005)
  • 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%
This is A LOT of information to really process. Spend a minute really thinking about what these numbers mean to the people of Zambia. The number of orphans is always what blows me away the most - More than 10% of the population is made up of orphans! For you Bellinghamers - that's 16 times the population of Belligham!! If that doesn't break your heart, I don't know what can. Pray for healing and help. Pray for change.

One small and important step

Just thought you should know that I received an email last night from the director of Action Zambia. The Zambian board of directors met and officially recommended us for AZ. Now on to the 20+page Action International application. Pray for patience and perseverance.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Poverty and Child Labor in Lusaka

The unemployment level in Zambia is about 50% (of course this is mostly an imaginary number - considering the type of work available, the high amount of under-employment, and the ability to get accurate numbers with a rapidly growing urban population) Check out Steve Allen's blog for some stories on jobs in Zambia (link on the right). Basically people will do anything. We saw people selling hats, grapes, machetes, cellphone chargers, newspapers, and single pairs of highheels or a pair of sweatpants. We saw people riding old-school single-speed bikes loaded with hundreds of pounds of charcol made in the villages and transported to sell in the slums. We saw people selling milkcartons full of thick, highpower corn beer called shake-shake. We also saw people sitting in tarp or cloth covered lean-tos breaking large rocks into gravel and dust. This is a story on the rock breakers.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Notes from Tricia

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

home? at last with the Huckabarons

Well, 30+hours of flights and layovers and we're finally back in Bellingham. I have much more to write about our trip and that will be forthcoming. However, right now we're busy getting settled into our new home. Feeling jet-lagged and crazy, maybe a little exhausted and sad to be home, but excited to be with Lucas again, we moved into our friend's basement. When we made the decision to go on the mission field, we wanted to start saving money for the upcoming costs (which are astronomical) and Tricia started praying for a basement - somewhere we could sleep for cheap and show people that we were willing to give sacrificially to make a move to Africa. A week later our friends from church (the Barons) invited us to move into their home while we save and prepare for Africa. Amazing that this family of five was so faithful as to move us into their 2 bedroom house and become a family of eight! Please pray for this transition and for the Barons! I need some sleep.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Last day in Lusaka

So today is our last day here in Lusaka. I feel like we have been gone for a very long time, marked by a deep disconnection with home; when I met an American here that was working on an adoption in the city, I felt like I should ask him about what was happening back in the states. It was funny because he felt the same way although neither of us had been in country for more than a 9 days. For the past two days we have been running around and getting a feel for what it would be like to live and serve here.

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,
the Huckabys

Thursday, February 12, 2009

these pictures are: streets and slums of Lusaka; Tricia on an elephant; Kathrine, Gift, and Ireen

these pictures are: Cyanjano Centre (where we would live), a Zambian license plate, and our hike through the villages near Cyanjano.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Midpoint in Lusaka

We've been in the city for the last three nights staying with Tim and Andrea Hilty and their two beautiful children, Ireen and Ian. Tim is the director of Action Zambia (AZ) and both were heavily involved in developing the HIV/AIDS education and care-giving program called C.R.O.S.S. (Churches Ready to Overcome Stigma and Silence). They are absolutely wonderful people and great hosts. I can't really say enough about their honesty, thoughtfulness, and desire to serve the poorest of the poor in urban Lusaka - to the glory of God. We have been having so much fun just talking and sharing our stories, experiences and faith. Today we move to the Allen's house and I feel very sad to leave the Hilty's.

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.
-the Huckabys

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

muli bwanzi from Zambia!

Greetings from Lusaka. Tricia and I arrived safely in Lusaka on Sunday morning (after a 12 hour overnight layover in Nairobi) and have been running ever since. On Sunday night we stayed out at the farm and met the guards and their families who work and live there. Elizebeth and Leah made a huge Zambian meal and we all ate together at a huge table along with all the kids. We nshima which is like cornmeal dumplings along with a variety of "relish" which is what they call stewed veggies. I ate chicken for the second time in ten years! After the meal we had a bonfire and made smores and the Zambians sang worship songs and played the drums around the fire until the moon was high in the sky -it was so bright you hardly look directly at it. We also had a chance to walk around the property and through the village nearby. We met lots of people and everyone was super friendly and we were excited to meet the people here. Hopefully I'll be able to post some pictures and more info soon.
Thanks for all the prayer and care -
the Huckabys

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Greetings One and All

Howdy from the Huckaby family. This is possibly the beginning of some serious blogging. I've tried in the past to review random books, write short travelogues, and to journal about my faith or sometimes my lack thereof. But due to our current situation in life, it is time to break out the blog and get the word out. It seems the Huckaby family may be moving to Lusaka... Zambia. For years, Tricia and I have been tossing around the idea of becoming missionaries. We assumed it would be somewhere in Latin America (I knew the language and the history, they have nice beaches). in the spring of '08 we we both began to feel the call to really work towards missions,specifically Africa. After months of praying and researching we had the opportunity to hear an old acquaintance speak at our church.  Steve Allen and his wife Stephanie and their three daughters have been living in Zambia for two years and working through Action Zambia. At the end of his message, our pastor asked that if people felt called to learn more about their ministry that we should talk to him after the service. Tricia and I both felt excited and nervous and we waited as patiently as we could to speak to Steve. He told us about a project they were working on outside the capital of Zambia. Ciyanjano Centre is a 17 acre farm that they are developing into a retreat center. They are looking for two families to live on the farm, work the land, co-ordinate trainings for local pastors, and develop relationships with the local people. We're going to check it out next month. Please be praying for a safe trip and for God to clearly direct our path. Thanks for your support and we'll keep you updated.