Monday, December 17, 2012

ACTION Zambia Christmas Party Outreach at Ciyanjano

This year for our Christmas party we got to work with some new groups of kids from nearby Ciyanjano. We had an orphanage bring about 45 kids and community school brought about 30 kids both from the Chunga/Zingalume area. We had a great craft  - the kids made crowns, adding color and stickers and we talked about the birth of our King. The kids played on jumping castles and our playpark. We cooked up about 20 chickens and ton of nshima. A choir from the United Church of Zambia congregation came and sang some Christmas songs and our dear friend Warren also led worship with drums and guitar. A group of girls from the orphanage also had some Christmas songs they had worked on and number of kids from the community school shared memory verses. Our ACTION International missionary care team was visiting so pastor John Reed gave a gospel message featuring a naughty monkey, a sly snake and hungry croc. It was a really great day and the weather was fabulous - especially considering it rained cats and dogs for the next two days. Thanks to everyone who made this Christmas party possible and pray that the kids who heard the gospel and celebrated the birth of the King with us will grow to know and serve that King!
working on crowns

georgie passes out stickers

this girl was very pleased with her crown!

looking sharp

UCZ choir (amazing!)

tyler cooking up the nkuku

jumping castle madness!

gift bags!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

ACTION Zambia Team Retreat

This year the entire AZ team headed north for a retreat at Nsobe Game Camp. It was a great time of fellowship, prayer, worship, and encouragement. The Tychicus team came and cared for the AZ kids so that the adults could have sessions with ACTION International missionary care crew, John and Georgie Reed. We also had free time for game drives, canoeing, napping, walks in the woods and swimming in the pool. We had such a good time and loved the Tychicus team and our time with the Reeds. For me I think the best part was just being at Nsobe - it was the closest thing to the PNW I've seen in 2.5 years. The area is heavily wooded with trails for walking or biking and there is a nice little lake for fishing and canoeing. With the rainy weather and cool evenings it felt like we could have been at Lake Padden (except for all the monkeys of course). To see more pics go to our facebook .

Ablution Block (Phase 2)!

This weekend we had Horizons Zambia here running a camp for over 100 children orphaned by the HIV/AIDS epidemic. They had a great time despite a little rain and few army ants. But boy did they wish that our new toilet block was already finished!! But the good news is that we're already moving on to stage two of our project and the walls started going up this week! We'll be finishing the wall phase in January and then working on roofing and electric. More good news is that we think we have finally found a good plumber. This has been a major problem and a huge prayer request so keep praying that our plumber we've chosen is the best choice for the job.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Happy 5th Birthday Joy!

We're having a two day celebration of Joy this weekend. She's finally turned 5 (going on 13)! Tricia and I were working with our short term team here at Ciyanjano to host a hospice seminar and so we were a bit busy. But in the morning Joy got to open her presents including a new bike from her grandma and grandpa! They got to eat sugary cereal (bubblegum cherrios), I helped her ride her bike out on the road and then we played Hungry Hungry Hippos (from Mimi and Papa) and then I went to work. For dinner she requested fish and cake - so that's what we had! Today we're going to Kalimba farm to see the crocs and swim and she got to invite a friend. I think she's had a really great b-day!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Tychicus Team Teaches Hospice Care at Ciyanjano

Late on Monday night we picked up the Tychicus team from KK International and got them settled in at Ciyanjano. After a day of prep and orientation they got to work with ACTION Zambia's CROSS team. We invited a number of churches that have participated in the CROSS Project curriculum (Click here to find out more about CROSS) to come and get additional caregiver training for those churches that work with people with HIV in their communities. Check out the pictures to see what they were teaching about.
John teaches about sanitation

Kristin teaches on wound care

our dark hut for glowing germ handwashing

Mary demonstrates good handwashing techniques

Tim and Derek teach about repositioning a bed-bound person

Carissa teaches about glove use and blood-borne pathogens

trying on the gloves

at the stations

Tricia cooks big lunches

John and Eta talk about prayer and bible reading

serving up lunch!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thanksgiving (Zambian Style)

Just another normal Thanksgiving afternoon. The wind is roaring, pulling dust from the townships up into the air and creating a brownout near George compound. Thunderheads stack and the temperature hits at 92 degrees. A few drops hit the windshield as I swerve around a stalled minibus with no brake lights. A kid runs along the roadside rolling a large hoop. Garbage smolders in the drainage ditches as people try to finish up their burning before the rains come and make the heaps of trash to soggy to burn. Old ladies wearing bright chitenges wrapped around their waists and floral print blouses from the seventies chop with wood-handled hoes at the earth, making rows for the maize they will plant as soon as we get our first real rain, a few brief showers and towering black clouds, aren't enough to start planting yet. We're on our way to our teammates house for an old-fashion American style Thanksgiving. Karen and Tracy hosted the whole team and thanks to a box from friends in the States, the Dearths had some of the necessary staples for the meal. At the Singletons, the power was out and after a prayer of thanksgiving and asking for power, the Lord provided and ovens and fans came back to life and dinner was shortly served. It was quite a feast with all the usual fixin's. The best part was just spending time with our team. When we were asked to share what we most thankful for this year, many of our teammates agreed - we are so thankful for our current team. It's small but we're tight. And we really feel the love, which is so important when you're celebrating holidays away from your usual friends and family. We feasted and had a great time of fellowship and encouragement and it felt like we were home. Thank you Lord for our team, our family away from "home." God has been so faithful this year and we have much to be thankful for!

wind blows dust and some scattered drops on the drive across town

dust and trash blows through freshly hoed fields

tricia fills her plate and tyler gets started

kids table!

singing hymns of thanksgiving

the men sweat it our in the kitchen doing unending stacks of dishes
as Karen says, "No man was ever shot doing the dishes!"