Saturday, December 10, 2011

Ciyanjano Christmas Outreach!

Ciyanjano Christmas Outreach!

This year the AZ team was super excited to throw Ciyanjano's first Christmas Party outreach! Christmas parties are a wonderful ministry of ACTION International; kids get to hear about Jesus and have a lot of fun at the same time. It is also a great opportunity for us to work with ACTION pastors who are trying to build up their children's ministries.

We invited two groups of kids plus parents and church leaders (from Makeni area and from Kanyama compound) to Ciyanjano for a full day of fun. The first group arrived a little after 8am, had a snack and played on our newly expanded playground and a rented jumping castle. Then we marched them into our classroom spaces and put them to work decorating their own T-shirts with puffy paint and magic markers. The T-shirts have "GOD LOVES ME" printed on the fronts to remind kids about the first Christmas - they were so excited to decorate their own shirts!!!

Then ACTION Pastors' College graduate, Patson Sakala, and Ciyanjano's foreman, Jailos Sakala led the kids in song and prayer. Pastor Sakala gave a message about Christmas taught from John 3:16. Kids were able to hear about God's amazing love for them and how he sent the first Christmas gift ever- his own son! After the message kids ate hotdogs and played some more.We now have a lot of ideas for next year's Christmas outreaches: first a Christmas in July party and then more in December. Thank you to everyone who contributed to these outreaches!!!!






Monday, December 5, 2011

Mutale's First (fourth) Birthday




Last week we celebrated Mutale's fourth B-day! It was a pretty mellow day. She opened presents from Grandma and Grandpa, Mimi and Papa and her uncle Casey and Auntie Michelle. She loved all her loot! In the afternoon her friends from Ciyanjano came over and took some swings at the piƱata that Tricia made. The kids had a great time trying to hit it while blindfolded. The Zambians thought we were crazy once again. (So wait, you fill it with candy and then break it open with a stick to get the candy out?)

The next morning we left the house bright and early for the second part of her b-day surprise. We took the kids to the airport. We told them that we needed to pick up a "package." It was actually Tricia's mom. She's here for a month-long visit and we didn't tell the kids 'cause we didn't want them to act insane for the weeks before she came. The day she came in we took her to Sugarbush which is an organic farm and leather shop and cafe. It's pretty much the closest thing to Bellingham in all of Zambia. Then we took Mutale to get her ears pierced. She's been soooo excited to get them pierced for her 4th b-day present. But after the first ear was done she was so mad and didn't want to get the other one pierced. Finally she let the guy finish and with much tears we piled back in the car. But later that day she spent a nice long chunk of time admiring herself in the mirror. Overall, some very fun times.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Oh Wait, I Actually LIVE in Africa!

Tricia's mom is arriving in less than two weeks for a month-long visit. We're all super excited and we can't wait for her early morning BA flight to touch down, especially because the kids know that grandma is coming but only in a general sense and we plan on waking them at the crack of dawn (if they haven't already woken us) and taking them to the airport without telling them why. I'm sure they'll figure it out on the way there but at least they'll sleep the week before.
So in light of her upcoming visit, here's what we've been thinking about lately. Zambia has really become home for us in so many ways. The sights, sounds and smells that used to awe, astonish, frighten, or amaze me now just pass by with little notice. In other words Zambia has become our new normal. But with grandma coming we've really been looking around more and trying to imagine seeing it with her eyes. What about all the garbage, the mud or dust depending on the day, the poverty, the traffic, the beauty and vegetation, our zambian children, everything? It's really given me an eye to actually SEE Zambia again. It helps that rainy season is here. In Washington you would never have a day where you wake up to no power, the sun's up with heat and the massive amounts of rain that soaked the earth during last night's storms are creating a steamy, muggy, almost foggy morning. The sound of ten thousand crickets and other bugs whirring and chirping, frogs crrrreeeeeeeeking, our children singing songs in nynjana all morning while working on coloring, or they're picking termites out of dewey grass and putting them in a bucket of water for lunch. The mud road to Ciyanjano gets deep and bright orange and brighter green vegetation starts creeping into everything. It's amazing and beautiful. Suddenly we're having many moments lately where we really see, smell, feel like we're actually living in Africa. And we love it.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Inswa (Annual Return of the Termites!)



Every year, some time after the first rains begin in earnest, millions of fat termites fly out of their nests and begin looking for a mate and ne spot to start the next giant termite mound. The night it begins you can see thousands of them flying around street lamps and house lights. In the morning discarded wings lie in piles under lights and flutter in the breeze. Meanwhile, Zambians are turning over stones and digging in small holes and catching thousands of these little guys. Typically you catch them and drop them into a bucket of water which drowns them and also gets the dirt off them. One year at Ciyanjano our guys were able to catch 50kg of inswa in one morning! Then all you need to do is rinse them really well and toss 'em in hot dry skillet. They get crispy and remind me of something. I can't place the taste. The smell is unmistakeable as the air at Ciyanjano smells of them as they gather. For Zambians there is nothing better than the free fat and protein that can be gathered! With low wages and high cost of living, free food is hard to beat! The kids eat them like crazy and they wanted to save a big bowl of them for when grandma comes. I'm sure she'll love that!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Love-letter to Toyota

I do not intend to start a debate with this blog. I know how guys can argue about trucks.

In high school I dated a guy with a bunch of tough, outdoorsy guy friends and they all loved to talk about their Toyota trucks and how when it came to "braffing" (which was what I think they called driving out on the back mountain roads), Toyota, and only Toyota would do. I always agreed of course because I was a sixteen-year-old girl who didn't care.

Let me tell you though, that now, in the outskirts of Lusaka (and even in the city) I often feel like I am in a crazy Toyota commercial. The roads here are unbelievable and I just don't know what we would do without our Prado!!!

Yesterday afternoon I had the pleasure of taking a family out to get school shoes. We have a grandma who lives next to Ciyanjano in a two-room house where she alone is raising six and supporting one more. One of our supporters offered to help us help this family. So, I picked up the grandma and all the kids and took them to a shoe company that is relatively close to Kasupe.

When we arrived at the shoe place, apocalyptic rain began to pour down, which was so sad because all the family had gotten dressed up in their Sunday's best. Regardless though, we got all the kids fitted with shoes that will last much longer than they will fit these growing kids. We managed to get back in the truck and start off. Since my Nyanja is terrible and their English is very poor, we sang praises to the Lord instead of trying to chat.

Side note: Asking a Zambian if they like to sing is like asking if they like to breathe. The oldest to the youngest, love to sing and can even quite expertly lead a very complicated song with different parts... all the while at least one or two of them can clap along in intricate ways - it is like being in the middle of a professional performance.

So my trusty Toyota moved along in this downpour and I prayed to myself that the Lord would protect so I wouldn't kill this beautiful family with a traffic accident. We are trudging along Kasupe road which is rocks and mud for some of the way, and we come up to a crazy traffic jam. I get out of the truck to find that a huge truck is broken down and completely cutting off both lanes of traffic on our way home (and didn't I mention that it was dumping rain?) And giant piles of dirt for construction are making it impossible to go around the blockage. People were arguing and yelling and getting hot and bothered.

There was nothing to do but turn around and try and figure out another way home. Luckily, Mama Zulu knew a way we could take and we drove all the way back to the main road and made a huge circle to a crazy back road. We ended up on this VERY muddy, VERY bumpy, unbelievable road (think of Romancing the Stone when they are sliding down the muddy hill) and the entire time I really wasn't sure if we would make it. I thought for sure we would get stuck in mud or slide down some hill and end up turned over on our side and I'd be pulling muddy kids out of a window.

But, we made it. Despite my sketchy driving, that Toyota (and God's help!) got us home. And I found myself for the millionth time thanking God for our truck. The rain stopped just as I was pulling up to the house to drop off this whole crew of happy kids, so they were able to head home fairly dry and equipped with sturdy black shoes.

I must say, I thoroughly enjoyed myself. And forgive me for thinking "If only those guys back in high school could see this!"

Thursday, November 10, 2011

translation humiliation

You might wonder if Kelly and I have much trouble communicating with people here in Lusaka - so many of the people speak English, is there really a language barrier? Here are two conversations I had with the two young guys who are helping me with my garden this morning, Gift and Akim:

Me: Since we are not going to need these beds for radishes, I think we'll just plant Kale. Here are the seeds. Can you work on these beds today?
Gift: Yes, no problem.
Me: Do you need to water the beds first to make it easier? I noticed when I watered the beds that it made it much easier to dig. Without water, the dirt is like stone.
Gift (laughing and going toward the hose): Yes. It's easier.
Me (I go to hand him the hose so he can go water the beds he will be digging.): Here is the hose.
Gift: No I don't need that, I will dig first.
Me: But see these two beds here. I watered them first and then dug. It made it much easier to dig. That is what I was talking about before.
Gift: Oh.

Gift went on to dig in the beds without watering them first and I still have no idea if we were understanding each other at all...

Me: Hello! You are back so fast from that other project.
Akim: Yes, I think I will weed the beans now.
Me: Okay. Also, I turned over those two beds there.
Akim (laughing strongly): Yes I saw.
Me: I didn't remove the grass yet but just dug them up.
Akim (laughing): Yes.
Me (smiling): Are you laughing at me? Did I do a bad job on the beds?
Akim: No, no. (laughing more) I will do it.

I left and have no idea what I did wrong on those beds!!! It drives me crazy because I can't see any difference between how I did it and how I see these guys do it but they won't tell me the problem, and often, even if they did explain I wouldn't understand!

Just a little taste of daily challenges with communication. Or maybe this is an example of gardening challenges, I'm not sure which!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Baptisms!!


Our church in Zambia, Rivers of Joy Fellowship, were able to baptize nine believers this week in a small ceremony at the pool of a local lodge. How excited were we to find that two of the kids being baptized gave their testimony that they were saved during one of the first youth camps held at Ciyanjano. What joy we had in hearing that! I can't wait to hear hundreds more stories like these over the years as kids come to hear about Christ and know him as their KING!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Salaula Saturday!






I know I've written a little before about "salaula." When American's give their used clothes to companies like Goodwill or The Arc (Value Village) they can end up being sold all the way in Zambia. So, we decided to give a salaula sale a try as a potential "income-generating project" for Ciyanjano and as a little fun for the community. It costs people 10-20 thousand Kwacha to travel into Lusaka to do some shopping... we figured maybe they'd like to spend that money on trousers and t-shirts instead on mini-bus fare!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

So I've Got That Going For Me

This week I've been meditating on probably the most important fact of my entire life. Here's what I've been thinking...

The Bible says that there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. This means that for people who trust in Jesus and the grace of God for our salvation, we are saved. We won't ever be punished for our sin, because Jesus has already paid for it. He died for it.

When God looks at me, he doesn't see my sin, he's sees his own son's righteousness in me. Did you hear that? When God looks at me, he doesn't see all the many faults and failures of Tricia Huckaby, he sees the righteousness of Jesus Christ covering me.

And here's the clincher. If God has existed always and forever into the past and into the future; and if God has always known me as his child because of his son, Jesus, well then, there has never been a moment, never ever ever ever ever NEVER where God did not totally and completely LOVE me and DELIGHT in me. Are you hearing me? It's amazing. Because of Jesus, there has never been a day where God was not loving me and pouring out his grace on me.

Sometimes I've had days where I was thinking God was looking at me the way it seemed like he looked at the Israelites in the old testament. He'd be looking at them thinking, "Look at these unfaithful people. They don't love me. They don't serve me. I'm outta here." But that is actually NEVER the case. That is why Jesus came. To make sure that God's people were really really safe. Not just a little bit loved. Not just loved if they did everything right. But totally and completely safe and loved no matter what.

So, that has been really blowing my mind. And it has occurred to me how different this world would look if every single person really understood this fact of love and really lived out of that perfect love every day. Wow. That would be heaven.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Happy Birthday Ethel!



What a happy day! We celebrated Ethel's birthday on September 30! This is the birthday we gave her to celebrate that God made Ethel, and also to honor Kelly's brother, Casey, who also has his birthday on that day. Happy Birthday, Casey!!

This was Ethel's very first time celebrating her birthday and of course she was very excited. Grandma and Grandpa and Mimi and Papa and Uncle Casey and Auntie Michelle made it extra special by sending some fun gifts for her. She was also especially excited about the cake and getting to blow out the candles. She is now 6 years old! And somehow, even though just a month ago Lucas was taller than her, she had a growth spurt and is now taller than Lucas, which is quite an achievement.

We love you Ethel! Thank you, God, for Ethel!

Monday, September 26, 2011

I need you more, more than yesterday.

I need you more, more than words can say.

I need you more, I need you more.


More than the air I breathe.

More than the song I sing.

More than the next hot thing.

More than anything.


And Lord as time goes by,

I'll be by your side.

Because I never want to go back

to my old life.


We give you the highest place.

We give you the highest place.

We give you the highest place.

We give you the highest place.


-------


This is a song that we sang at church this morning. Honestly, it takes me awhile even to learn some of the songs in English because the choir's accent can be pretty thick. When I finally realized they were singing "the next hot thing" I got excited because that seemed kind of a unique lyric. When I think of "the next hot thing" I can feel a little superior inside like I don't give into hot trends and stuff like that. But then the Holy Spirit really spoke to me today as we were singing that song. He asked me, what's the next hot thing for you, Tricia?


And I realized that I fall prey to "the next hot thing" in my life all the time. It occurred to me that the way that I pray is an easy way to see what the next hot thing is for me. Right now? The next hot thing is our house project, the fatty garden we're working on, fundraising, preparing for a big personnel meeting… I mean, "the next hot thing" is whatever is occupying my thoughts and really taking over as a priority. The list can get quite long, especially when I contrast my priorities with the last part of the song. "We give you the highest place." Really? Am I really giving Jesus the highest place? No, I confess, most of the time I am not giving Jesus the highest place but a host of other things reign in his place.


All these other things are just fine but they never deserve the highest place.

Please pray that we'll be faithful in giving the Lord the highest place everyday.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Election Day (Don't Kubeba)

PF presidential candidate Michael (King Cobra) Sata

Well today is election day in Zambia. The embassy has advised that we have a week's worth of food, water, and cell phone time and that we stay in unless we have an emergency. We're praying for peace but also being prepared. Elections in the past have led to some riots, mob violence and looting. Please Pray for Peace!! Here's the scoop on the elections as far as I can tell.
The ruling party - Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD) is presided over by President Ruphia Banda. The opposition party is the Patriotic Front led by Sata (see above). As far as I can tell Sata is a more liberal (think Democrat) candidate; he talks a lot about serving the poor and about making sure that extractive industries like copper mining which is non-sustainable, have long term positive impacts for all Zambians, not just extracting companies and countries. These things sound good to me but talk like this worries me in light of Mugabe's rule of Zimbabwe (same party) which has terrorized and murdered foreigners and especially white farmers while not actually improving the situation for the majority of Zimbabweans. The other disconcerting thing about the PF is that they seem to be mostly comprised of rowdy drunken youths hanging out of speeding Hilux pickups shouting "Don't Kubeba!" and inciting violence. Regardless, the PF's "Don't Kubeba" campaign is brilliant. It basically means "Don't Tell." Hense the finger over the mouth pic -shhhhh. The idea is that the MMD is going to be handing out money and gifts like hats, tshirts and chitenges in return for votes and that you should take their money and gifts and then not tell them that your are still secretly voting for the PF. It creates a sense of secret unity among PF voters while stabbing at the MMD. Genius.
Most Zambians I know are voting for Banda (unless they're just not "Kubeba"ing me). They see him as stable and that his policies have kept Zambia out of any major trouble during his years in office and they feel like they can trust things to at least stay as good as they are and not get worse with him continuing in office. They're also impressed by the way the MMD is allowing PF to run an open and popular opposition campaign without terrorizing or disappearing opposition leaders as has happened in the past.
Polls have put PF in the lead but most people I've talked to have said that MMD will win in a landslide. Either way there is sure to be violence. The cadres will certainly be fighting and rioting in town. But there is the possibility of serious instability for a while - if PF wins they might go nuts like when teams win championships and their home town goes burns the city in joy. Or something. If they lose they're gonna cry foul and do the same thing. So pray for peace and that the elections would be clearly fair and that the people of Zambia will accept the results.

Ciyanjano Development Video

My boss asked me to put together a short video of the development work done at Ciyanjano over the las couple of years. Check it out on YouTube! Click here.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Dedication!

Ok, so this is three weeks late. I've got no excuse except that I was just not in the mood to write about the Ciyanjano Dedication. It was amazing and I really feel like it could not have gone better. Our team was just that - a real team working together to pull off a very complicated and large event. Our guests were a great encouragement and I think they had a great time. I was sick with a very sore throat for most of the weekend and the week after but we were able to push through. I really felt God's presence and grace during the whole two day event.

For a great narrative and some pics check here:
http://thesingletonstory.blogspot.com/2011/08/dedicating-ciyanjano.html

for lots more pics, check here

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Warped Pistons, Walking Tours and Tired Feet


Our mechanic lit another cigarette and took a long drag. He tapped the ash off into an ashtray with his oil-stained fingers. He exhaled, "Twelve million; maybe less. And it's gonna take two, three weeks." That was the week before the Ciyanjano dedication. We had a number of guests coming in from the States and about thousand errands to run and our truck had started making a loud knocking sound when I stepped on the gas. How could be be carless for the busiest week of the year? But we changed the oil and drove slowly around town for the next ten days and on the Tuesday after se dropped our last guests back at the airport, I dropped the truck at Baldy's and said goodbye to our freedom for the next three weeks. We learned some things about ourselves during this time.

First, Lusaka is huge, sprawling, traffic infested wasteland. I spend a lot of time sitting behind the wheel. Barely moving, vendors selling car chargers, CDs, faux leather belts, single pairs of high heel shoes, a wrinkled dress shirt move from car to car. It's boring and lonely. I did not miss this at all.

Taking the bus can be a pain. You can wait for an hour for a bus only to have it run out of diesel before you can get a block away. Buses to and from Kasupe can be unpredictable. But there is freedom in not having the responsibility of driving, paying attention to the masses of pedestrians, people pushing wheelbarrows, bikes, and trucks.

Lastly, being broke down gave us permission to stop running around town and really get settled at Ciyanjano. We've been taking long walks around Kasupe, into the bush, out to the huge farming/irrigation project called "SCEME", out to the village. Rural Africa is beautiful. If anything our time stuck at Ciyanjano made me wish that we were even further out in the bush. I don't think Tricia or the kids felt the same way - they got pretty stir-crazy after the first week or so. But I love it out here completely. And it really feels like we're going through a second orientation - diving back into language and cultural learning and building relationships. It's been great being stuck.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Happy Birthday Lucas!

Happy Birthday to our son, Lucas, who turned 4 years old on August 31st. We love you!



Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Matebeto








One of the coolest things about living in Zambia is that we learn about and sometimes even experience unique traditions. Recently I (Tricia) was invited to our teacher, Violet’s, “Matebeto” event. Violet is getting married in October and the Matebeto is part of the families’ marriage traditions. (Violet is in the red shirt on the far left in the group picture.) Now, please remember that there are something like 76 different languages and peoples represented in Zambia and many of these people groups have their own very specific traditions. So not every Zambian will celebrate a Matebeto. Also, I’ve noticed some confusion about this event in Lusaka. Some people say that Matebeto is a Bemba tradition that happens years after a woman has been married and that what Violet was actually celebrating is another event called something like Chilanga Mulilo. I don’t know what is accurate but I am just reporting on my own experience.

I asked Violet about it and here is how she explained it:
"Matebeto is where the bride's family and friends prepare different kinds of dishes for the groom's family; Cilanga Mulilo is where only the bride's family prepare just a few dishes for the groom's family. These ceremonies are performed to show the groom and family what the bride can cook and the kind of food they expect to find or eat when they visit the home. During the ceremony, the bride is kept inside where the elders teach her things about her new home and what is expected of her. These include taking care of her house, looking after her husband, her attitude towards her husband and in-laws, and even her movements (have to change)."

So what was this event all about?! Well, to sum up, this event is a chance for the bride’s family to cook, cook, and cook some more. The women spend all day cooking up their favorite dishes and then they carry the food over to the groom’s family’s house (on their heads) where the food is presented and all of the dishes are explained. From a foreigner’s perspective a Matebeto is a lot of fun though I didn’t understand a lot of the symbolism behind different aspects of the ceremony. The cooking was all taking place in the Sakala family’s backyard which is right on Ciyanjano property; so I just wandered over there around 8:30 in the morning. Many women were already busy cooking on braziers, which are like little outdoor grills that use hot coals. Braziers are what most Zambians cook on.

Anyway, I spent the morning peeling carrots and cassava just trying not to get in the way. I asked questions about the dishes the ladies were preparing; many are different varieties of cooked greens with ground nut (peanut) powder mixed in. Zambians use a lot of tomato and onion to create “soups” which they eat with rice or the main staple food which is “nshima” made from maize porridge into large lumps. They also eat dried fish, a lot of chicken if they can afford it, and other vegetables. The most interesting dish in my eyes was made from roasted pumpkin seeds that were pounded into a paste and then made into little balls which were then boiled in water for a long, long time.

Female relatives and friends came in and out all throughout the morning and early afternoon and the women would take breaks to play drums and perform traditional dances. Zambian ladies love to dance. I resisted for as long as I could but the ladies really will not tolerate a guest just standing by and watching, so I had to give it a shot. Of course it was to the GREAT amusement of all the Zambian women there and the ladies were very encouraging. If you want to make friends with Zambian women, well you’ve just got to shake that booty.
Strangely enough, Violet herself was not outside cooking any of the food. She only came out of the house at specific times to take part in different parts of the ceremony. When I asked what Violet was doing all day people said she was “resting” but I don’t buy it. It sounds like she was learning all the secrets of Zambian womanhood.

At one point she came out of the house on her hands and knees with a woman in front of her and a woman behind, both on their hands and knees. They were all covered in a long piece of citenge fabric, giving them the appearance of a large caterpillar I would say. They crawled along and people threw down money on the ground. They crawled over to a large wood fire where a big nshima pot waited. Violet knelt before the pot and had to add water using a cup that she held with her teeth and then added mealie meal to the pot also using her teeth to hold a plate. I must say it was a bit odd.

One of my favorite parts of the day was when the big pot of nshima was cooking and all the ladies there took turns stirring the nshima. They gave me a turn and I honestly felt very honored. My turn lasted literally three seconds but then everyone congratulated me on doing a fine job. Zambians are very polite!

There were a couple different times during the day where things were done with the mouth instead of with the hands. Especially by one woman who was the family’s representative. She holds a special title and gave a lengthy presentation of the foods as well as marriage advice when finally at the groom’s family’s house.

So let’s get to the main event. After walking down the dusty Kasupe road a bit in our citenge dresses and suits (with all the food!) our group of around 30 ladies turned down to the family’s house and stopped at their gate. The representative from Violet’s family put down a citenge on the ground and then the groom’s family threw money down on the citenge. Our group only moved forward when a satisfactory amount was thrown down. We moved a little further and stopped again waiting for more cash and this continued for quite some time until we were all in the home. Relatives in the groom’s party continued to throw down a little cash as all the dishes were presented and they looked forward to the feast that awaited them.

Then what? Then all of us walked back to the house while the groom and his family enjoyed the banquet that was prepared for them. Some of Violet’s friends and relatives had stayed behind to cook even a little bit more food to feed all of the women who had worked hard all day cooking. Unfortunately I missed out on that celebration because I was hot and tired and had to go check on my own family. All in all it was a very educational day and a nice chance to support Violet and meet some of the ladies that live around Kasupe. I can't help but wonder if I am going to have to throw a Matebeto for one of my own little Bemba girls someday!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Short Term Team, Long Term Commitment






In July we had the pleasure of hosting a short-term missions team from Twin Lakes Church in California. This was a pretty big deal for us because this was the first team visit that Kelly and I were helping to plan and host. As I’m sure many of our readers appreciate, there are a lot of ups and downs to short-term missions but this team in particular is a great example and so we wanted to share a bit with you about it.
The team was made up of four ladies, three of whom had been to Zambia before and two of those worked with ACTION Zambia last year. Kim B., the team leader, has worked with AZ a lot and was able to give her team a lot of guidance before and during the trip.
The Twin Lakes ladies had two primary ministries to work with while here in Lusaka. First, they visited a community school in Kanyama to provide some training and encouragement to the teachers there. Rhonda, one of the team members, is a long-time teacher and prepared a lot of materials and activities. Because she had been part of the same team a year before, she had an idea of what to expect. The team spent two days with these teachers and they were a real encouragement to them. From a ministry perspective there were some pros and cons to this set-up. The big plus is that by returning a second time to work with these teachers, the TL team showed these teachers that they are really valued and respected and they continued to build up these relationships. The big down side of the ministry time was that it was short. The TL team was left feeling that to really make an impact, a team would need to invest a lot more time.
The second ministry area the team participated in was women’s ministry with all of the wives of the pastors with whom ACTION Zambia works in our pastor college. We call them APC wives. Again, this is a ministry area that Kim’s team worked with last year. The TL team spent time visiting some of the APC wives at their homes. Then they came out to Ciyanjano to prepare and present a retreat for all the wives. The retreat was a few days and Kim and her team did all the teaching on topics ranging from Bible study to nutrition.
Because these APC wives had participated in the retreat last year, seeing Kim and Rhonda again was a sweet reunion. I can’t stress enough how much it means to Zambian believers to have short-term missionaries come back again and again. It really convinces them of the love and commitment their brothers and sisters feel.
Of course I can go on and on about how important these ministry areas are and what the TL team experienced here in Lusaka. But I think that what Kelly and I both felt was most memorable about seeing this team do ministry is the love given and returned by the teachers and APC wives with whom the team worked. Especially seeing Kim and Rhonda come back obviously made a big impression on the Zambians they served.
So we just wanted to thank this team and Twin Lakes for sending them and encourage you readers. Perhaps God has not called you into career missions but what about career short-term missions? Over the years we’ve seen many “ordinary” people make a powerful commitment to a particular mission field and then contribute their time, prayer, and resources over many shorter trips. Just one of the many ways that God’s people can help spread the gospel and encourage the Church. If you would like to read more about missions, one book that comes to mind is When Helping Hurts. If you are a John Piper fan you could also check out Don’t Waste Your Life.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Housework (part 1)



So a few months ago we had a bulldozer come through and clear a bunch of brush and move a lot of dirt in varions locations on the property. Best of all, we had them clear the spot for where we'll be building our house. This week our builder and his crew brought in sand, stones, and cement and marked out the dimensions for our slab foundation!! Please be praying that a) we'll see our new plans created and approved by the various authorities b) we'll be able to get a permit that will allow us to begin building without a final approved plan, and c) that we'll see the money we need to actually build the whole thing! We have about $22,000 and that's about 50% of of the total cost.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Good Hair (Again?)



I don't know, maybe Tricia has already written about this but I have to post a little something here. There are a few places that a mzungu (white foreigner) can go in Lusaka with out getting stared at or talked about our have one hundred children chasing you screaming "AZUNGU! HOW ARE YOU?" One of these places is the South African chain grocery store Pick-n-Pay. It's in a nice part of town and while I'm still a minority shopping there is usually stress free. Today Tricia was home with a sick Lucas and took the girls to church and then grocery shopping. Wow. People were watching my every move and I could almost hear their thoughts, "What is that mzungu doing with those little girls?" A lady walking down the aisle pulled on Ethel's hair and said in Nyanja, "Hey, these children look good." I think many Zambians are surprised that we can keep our Zambian girls looking nice and shiny looking. And they're right in a way - when it came to black women's hair I was as ignorant as can be. The only thing that prepared me was watching the Chris Rock documentary "Good Hair." So I don't want to give it away but most Zambian women are walking around with a half a pound of shiny acrylic hair sewn onto their heads. And it's a hundred degrees. The number of women I see in a day with natural hair (even konked, straightened hair) is less that I can't count on one hand. Wigs, weaves, braids, and extensions are IT! So when it came to our girls there was a steep learning curve. But after seeing the insane expense of fake hair and braids, we wanted a natural look. But they cry and fuss when it's time to have their hair brushed. So. Dreadlocks! They are all natural, look great and once they are taking well to the hair, there is not too much maintenance (ie. time & money). So here's their new look.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Party Time! Excellent! Woo Woo Woo!










On Friday we threw a great big celebration party. We have a lot to celebrate out here at Ciyanjano, but in particular we Huckabys wanted to spend the day praising the Lord and thanking him for our completed adoption of Ethel and Mutale. So, we rented a bouncy castle, bought a lot of hotdogs, planned some crafts, recruited some musicians, and brought a bus-full of kids out from House of Martha, the orphanage where Ethel was adopted from. We had probably around 60 kids out here along with a bunch of our friends. It was a beautiful day and full of fun and worship. We serve an awesome God!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Kasupe Play Day




When the wind isn't blowing too hard and we have some free time, we like to go out onto Camp Ciyanjano's football pitch and kick around our giant soccer ball. It only takes about two minutes for about 20 kids to appear out of nowhere and get in on the fun. It's incredible to see how many kids live out here. One of the teachers from the big government school behind Ciyanjano told me there were almost 2000 kids at their school (and I know that there are lots of other small community schools and that lots of kids out here don't go to school at all. Please pray for the children of Kasupe. These kids are beautiful and wonderful little people that live a pretty tough life out here in rural Africa. Pray that they would get education, pray for health and safety, pray against the abundant witchcraft that plagues the village, pray that they would grow into a strong generation of young men and women who love Jesus.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Team House Updates












It started with a paint job and ended with a lovely new flat stone floor. Sometimes you never know what you are getting into here. While we were painting we decided to pull out some of the trim along the floor since it looked a little eaten by termites. Once the (almost entirely eaten) trim was out we noticed that the floor had some major problems, Not the least of these was holes from crumbling pan brick that had become a termite hotel. So out came the floor, in came stones, sand, cement and finally big flat rocks to finish it. Man it came out great! It just needs about 20 layers of Cobra floor polish to look spectacular! And we don't have to worry about th whole thing caving in anymore. Which, is good.