Sunday, October 31, 2010

Halloween

First off, Happy Halloween. Today is our wedding anniversary: 11 years! Woo hoo! The Huckateam is still going strong. Thank you, Jesus! I am so grateful for my Kellyboy!

Second off, what better topic for our Halloween blog than the topic that has been on my mind for the past few days... You guessed it: demon possession.

I don't know exactly where I stand on the issues surrounding demon possession, driving out demons, etc. But I can tell you that I came to Zambia already believing that demon possession is real. After working with the soup kitchen downtown for awhile in Bellingham, I would even say that I had probably already seen some cases of demon possession. I had even thought at times that maybe I should pray over certain people so that they would be released, but I didn't have the guts.

In scripture Jesus was always driving out demons. No big, crazy show about it but he would just tell demons to get on their way and people would be restored, and they would go on to be devoted followers of their savior. I think that's awesome and that Christ-followers should be battling it out with evil spirits just like Jesus and his first disciples did.

Which brings me to Thursday at Chainama Mental Hospital. We had a couple of guests join our usual group and they came prepared to do some battle. We started off with singing praise to our God as usual; but, things were getting a lot noisier. Some of the women I felt were behaving a bit wild just to get attention, but I truly believe that there were at least two women there that were demon-possessed. Our two guests prayed over one of these women really powerfully. She was lying flat on the ground on her stomach and was speaking to them as they prayed and it was sketch. Honestly, I had no idea what to do with myself and figured the best thing was to just keep on praising God and praying. Kelly was doing the same.

Anyway, I won't go into all the details but I believe those people really did set that woman free from a demon. She seemed fine afterward except really tired. Please pray for that woman to commit herself to the Lord so that the Holy Spirit will take up residence in her instead of some other new tenant!

Also please pray for Kelly and I as we reflect on our experiences and see how God would have us serve him. I believe that Kelly and I are already praying boldly for him to work. But should our approach to people who are struggling be even more bold? Pray that the Holy Spirit would give us eyes to see reality and give us understanding of what God's will is for us. I don't want to walk into Chainama each week and pray for the women and walk out again leaving women in bondage to evil! Not when we could've released them because of the mighty power of our Lord Jesus Christ!

Seriously people, I want your prayers about this please. And I want your comments. Tell us what are your own experiences or thoughts on this. Feel free to pass along good resources for us to read as well.

And let me just say, that if you are not a follower of Christ and you are reading this, I ask you to please consider Jesus. Bob Dylan said it best... You've got to serve somebody.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Family Dinner

The other night we had Pastor Anderson Jere and his family over for dinner. This was no small undertaking for us. The Jere's have 9 children living with them including various diminutive relatives and orphans. Before dinner we were told by our language tutor that Zambian families would expect us to have soda for drinking while socializing before dinner. So I scrambled around trying to buy a case of "softies," which is tricky cause you need a case of empties to exchange when buying a case of soda. You need to have a case to buy a case, if you don't have a case already, most places can't sell you one... hmmm. I went to pick them up in Kalikiliki compound and all 12 of us piled into the car. Back at our place Tricia was trying to whip up enough food for an army. She made a beet and bean salad, a huge egg and sausage dish, two loaves of bread, nshima, and a tomato/spinach relish - a mix of Zambian food and American food. We have noticed that Zambian kids can be like American kids -they have their favorites and might not like new foods. Everything turned out great. Of course Tricia had never made such a huge batch of nshima before and the bubbling cauldron of boiling hot maize spat lava-like nuggets of fire onto her hands and she finally called the Jere's oldest daughter into the kitchen to give her a hand. It was a fine evening, all the kids played in the front of our place, kicking soccer balls around and playing games. The older folks sat on the porch sipping cold softies and swattin' at mosquitos. A nice night indeed.

Wildlife

chameleon

giant mothgiant beetle

Ciyanjano

delivery day (crushed rock, mattresses, and timber)shoveling rocks

finished chalet
chalet side viewbunks complete

starting the bunk beds sawing and planing the beams for bunks
the nsaka

Lusaka

Kasupe Rd to CiyanjanoJacaranda at Zebra Crossing

Lumumba Rd.
looking into town off of LumumbaLumumba
gravel shack on Mungwi Rd.
gravel trucks
gravel breakers
quarries

Friday, October 29, 2010

Friends & Family 2010







Patson Sakala and family
Alfred Mwanza and wifeLucas in Garden
Peter Zulu and family


lucaslucas & auntie Kathrine

lucas and neighbor (christopher)tricia and christopher
tricia goes crazy on the fringilla trampolines
ameria morales

lucas in his "bigboy" pants




Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Independence and RAIN!

Ask a Zambian about when the rainy season will start and they will invariably say "It can't rain before Oct 24 (Independence Day)!" And it really doesn't rain from sometime in April or May until the last week of October. But this weekend we celebrated Zambian Independence with a braii at some friend's house and sure enough, two days later - RAIN! Now being from the PNW you either love the rain (if you're a weirdo)or hate it. I'm a hater. I have not missed the rain at all. But sure was awesome to get a few minutes of heavy sprinkles. Out at Ciyanjano the wind started whipping the elephant grass all over the place and a huge cloud of dust boiled off the road and blew through the property. The sky got black and then huge drops soaked us. Back at home we had another 4 minutes of rain as well. Just enough to drop the temperature 20 degrees. Thank God for the rains. They will bring a tropical lushness to the city and cooling from the summer heat. But they will also bring mosquitoes (and malaria), mud and cholera. Pray for Lusaka as the rains begin! Even if it takes another month or two for the real rains to start.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Nyanja Scrabble

So last night we thought it would be fun to review our Nyanja vocabulary by playing Scrabble using only Nyanja words. Kelly started off strong with "onetsa" which means "show" as in to show. All I could come up with after that was "nda" which is "I" in the past tense. Then the game pretty much ended because we forgot to take into account the fact that Scrabble is designed with English in mind. Nyanja Scrabble would need about 10 more k's, w's, u's, n's, and maybe a few more y's with about twenty more z's. So if you have ten extra sets of Scrabble letters laying around feel free to send them our way so we can try again!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

A lesson in faithfulness

Something we have loved doing is getting to know the local pastors that work with ACTION Zambia. Every monday we have been visiting these pastors and meeting their families and seeing where they lead church. It's been humbling, amazing, encouraging, and inspiring. First, this is a great opportunity for us to visit the compounds(slums) with a guide. Most of these labyrinthine communities have no road signs and there are no maps; many roads are narrow, and completely impassable in the rainy season. Moving around in the compound without a guide is a good way to get seriously lost and maybe get yourself into some trouble - especially if you are near a strip of taverns.
This week we visited Patson Sakala. He pastors a small church of about 20+ people in N'gombe compound. He also does piece work as a brick layer to earn some income. His life story is amazing and a testament to God's transformative power. His ministry is picture of faithfulness. He essentially takes everything he earns and puts it towards building a school for kids in his community. Kids that would otherwise not go to school because of financial need. His large family (including a number of orphaned kids) lives in a small two room section of a building that he is outfitting as a school and orphanage. His wife teaches 1st through 5th grade. They take every bit of extra money and put it towards helping educate kids in their community, sacrificing physical and material comforts to develop the school. The word that comes to mind is DEVOTION. It's amazing. They have some serious financial needs before the end of the year to finish the roof (to keep the classrooms dry) and dig and build a pit latrine before the rainy season. If you'd like to help, please let me know! And PRAY FOR THE SAKALA FAMILY!

Patson Sakala

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Family Fun Day!!

So Lucas is in the middle of potty-training. We are giving him stickers on a chart for every time he does his business (in the potty). Ten stickers = a treat from the treatbox. Well he filled the whole chart so we planned a family fun day. Now, there are really very few fun things to do in Lusaka. If you want to drive an hour or so to various lodges, game parks, or national parks (where you'll spend a couple hundred dollars) then you can stay busy for a year or so. However, if you are on a limited budget you have these choices: local lodges or large restaurants that may have pools or playgrounds, the zoo, hmmm. That's about it. There is so little to do for families, children and schools that we should have known that in a city of 2+million people the chances of visiting one of the city' s few attractions for a quiet relaxing getaway would be impossible.

We started the morning by driving way out to Adventure City (for you PNWesters, think sketchy Zambian Wild Waves). We arrived at exactly 9 hours (opening time) and discovered bus after bus after bus of high school students lined up to get in. The idea of spending the day with 500 mostly naked, mostly unsupervised teenagers sent us running. We changed directions and headed to the zoo instead (which also has a pool). At Munda Wanga we discovered bus after bus after bus of elementary students. We decided that would better and walked around the grounds. The zoo is pretty weak. But you can get very close to some of the animals (I learned that I can imitate the call of the banded mongoose) and the zoo grounds were pretty quiet. When we headed to the pool and playground area and discovered total mayhem. It was still pretty fun. The kids from all the schools played at one end of the pool and so I felt like we were a fair distance away from the huge amounts of pee that must have been happening in that end of the pool. The crazy, exotic, and rare Mzungus (white people) swimming in a pool with a hundred Zambian kids at a time where a huge attraction - better than the lions and zebras. The parents, teachers, and administrators took lots of pictures of Lucas playing with the kids and posing him with their children. All over Munda Wanga you could here the kids yelling "Luka!" He took it in stride and we had a fun day. But next time we'll pay 5 bucks and swim at one of the local lodges if we need a quiet day.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Perfect 10

Today was a perfect 10 kind of day in Zambia. Even though we had a horrible night with Lucas last night (he was having nightmares all night and I believe it was some weird spiritual attack - please pray for protection for him), we all woke up well and had a very pleasant morning together. Then when auntie Kathryn came Lucas was excited to play with her and said good bye to us without any freaking out. We visited Chainama Mental Ward and sang and prayed with the ladies there. Then Kelly and I visited House of Moses orphanage to take some food over and visit with the babies (they are so beautiful it breaks your heart). And then we had an awesome Nyanja lesson! We are really enjoying working on our Nyanja. Please pray that God would make our minds like crazy sponges that soak up every word. Then we had a super delicious and wonderful time eating fish tacos with our friends, the Allens, who are getting ready to head back to the States for a furlough. Thank you God for a great day!!! Thank you that you strengthen us against discouragement and fatigue!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Chainama Mental Ward

This week we visited Chainama Mental Ward with our teammate, Luke Whitfield, to participate in the program he leads there with the female patients. I use the word program loosely because it is really not very formal. Basically he conducts visits to clinics and other institutions around town on a weekly basis and leads some worship, shares about Jesus, and prays with people. He does this and invites pastors from the compounds (who are part of the ACTION Pastors' College) to help lead these visits. It gives the pastors opportunities to reach out into the community and also practice evangelism. So Chainama is one of his regular stops.

Kelly and I were a little intimidated because we had heard that Chainama was a difficult place to visit because the patients can be overwhelming, the conditions are not what we are used to in the States, you can expect people to be touching you, etc. The men's ward is supposed to be much worse than the women's ward.

Anyway, it was awesome! We gathered with women in a larger room and made a big circle of chairs and when the singing started many of the women just came alive. One thing I have noticed again and again is that you get a bunch of African women singing together and it's going to be good... no ifs ands or buts about it. And this was no different even though one girl was trying to pick Luke's pocket while another girl kept laying in the middle of the floor and all kinds of other distractions abounded. After the worship time Luke shared about how valuable each one of them was in God's eyes (which is not something these women hear very much). And then we went around and prayed individually with women who wanted prayer. Even though there was a real language barrier at times, praying with/for those women was one of the most wonderful moments for me in my time in Zambia. I had no doubt that God was going to answer our prayers for those women and I was so excited that I am able to worship this powerful, loving God who cares about people that others just toss aside.

I (Tricia) have been praying to God to show us if there was any regular service in the community that he would have us do during our orientation. When we were at Chainama I felt God answered that prayer with, "Pano!" This means "Right here on this spot!" Please pray that we would be able to visit Chainama regularly and bring the hope of the gospel to these women, and pray for our teammate, Luke, as he reaches out throughout Lusaka as he assists in building up these pastors.