Tuesday, January 21, 2014

I don't know why you say goodbye; I say hello!

So here is a weird part of our weird life that you may never have thought of before... the “goodbyes” don’t end when we leave the States. 

Just today I was thinking about how our life here in Zambia is just saturated with goodbyes. In fact, one of our family mottos has become, “It’s hard to say goodbye, and that’s okay.” Since we’ve been back over the past coupla months we’ve already had a number of ministry guests come and go. We love hosting people!!!! but it can be hard saying goodbye all the time.

We try to think about it as getting to say “hello” a lot too and sometimes that’s very true. Like today, we had almost our whole staff at staff meeting today. It’s not just ministry guests that come and go, but even our own teammates. Just recently we welcomed back Tracy and Karen Singleton who were in the States on their furlough. They work with Action Zambia’s pastors’ college (ACTION Pastors’ College or APC for short). It was super exciting to see them again and we are looking forward to working with them again. Between our furlough and theirs, it had been ten months since we were together on the field! Crazy!

Now that they are back, we have just a short time before parts of our team will be missing again. This is just a constant part of life here. At any given time, some of the folks you love are in the States on furlough. Soon, Tyler Dingman who works at Ciyanjano will be on his furlough, and very soon after he leaves our directors Tim and Andrea Hilty will be leaving too. Needless to say our ACTION Zambia team can feel very short-handed at times. Later in the year our friends, Derek and Kristin Dearth who run the CROSS project which is our HIV program, will also be heading back for furlough. At least Tyler and the Hiltys will be back before the Dearths leave....

Anyway, it’s complicated!!!! It’s just one aspect of ministry that can be kind of crazy here as we look at our schedule of ministry for this year. Please pray for our team that we can maintain the unity we enjoy as well as continue Christ-centered and effective ministry throughout 2014 no matter to whom we might be waving hello or goodbye.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Lay Your Katundu Down

Last Sunday our pastor told a story about a woman walking along with a very heavy katundu. A "katundu" is a burden carried on top of the head. Her load was so very heavy and she had a long way to travel. A couple in a motorcar pulled over alongside her in a large van and offered her a lift. She gladly accepted the ride.

The woman carefully climbed into the van with her katundu on her head. And even though there was plenty of room in the van, she did not lay her katundu down but just sat there with the heavy load still perched right on top. The driver of the motorcar urged her to put her katundu down... ai... there is plenty of room. But the woman said, no no, it's fine... you have already been so good as to give me a ride that I should carry my own load so as not to abuse your kindness.

The driver and other passenger were offended. They had offered her a relaxing ride with plenty of room for her to lay her great burden down... but she wouldn't truly accept all they had given her.

Many times we Christians are like this woman. We thank Jesus Christ for dying for our sins and we accept the freedom he gives us... but only so much. We continue to carry our heavy burdens on our own even though Christ is more than strong enough to carry them for us. Whether it is the burden of our sins or the burden or our worries or the burden of our future - it doesn't matter - Christ can carry it all and he has offered to do so. Lay your katundu down!

    Matthew 11:28
    Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.