Sunday, December 17, 2017

Christmas Outreach in Garden Compound

The kids were shaking out their ears to hear better in case
there was water or mud in their ears.
As a followup from our last blog that highlighted the ministry of ACTION Zambia colleague, teacher, trainer and preacher, Cosmos Tembo, I wanted to report on God's great faithfulness. When we arrived we came around the back of the building to the entrance of the church. They meet in a room that's about 8x10m . It seemed quiet but Abusa Cosmos said there were a lot of kids already waiting inside for us. I was on the side of the building when Tricia popped her head into the room and it sounded like a thousand joyful screaming voices starting at once. There were already at least 200 kids packed in there and another 60 or more on their way. We were able to do our craft before the rain started pouring down and somehow squeezed all the kids into various classrooms, (some as small as 3x3m) for games and big chicken lunch. Uncle Nelvin from Ciyanjano shared about the biggest Christmas gift - Jesus and the free gift of grace and salvation. We sang songs, slipped around in the mud, washed a couple hundred plates in the pouring rain and praised God for this church and the love it has for this community in Garden. Thank you for praying and continue to prayer for the children of Garden to hear the Good News about Jesus!
The Champs were lined up along a slippery hillside at the entrance waiting to introduce themselves.
Feeling a little nervous after hearing that huge roar of the crowd!

Kids working on their Christmas journals
This guy was getting serious with his chicken!!
Auntie Nkumbu and Uncle Jayson try to keep the kids organized
Uncle Jayson and Uncle Shawn
Some smiling faces
Hard at work on her craft...
Adding stickers to her journal - you can never have enough stickers!
Auntie Queen and Izukanji work with a huge group on their craft  

Warrior Team (of cuteness) 

 A little rain never bothered any kids!
smiling in the rain!
Mr Sticker Face
Girl with her craft
High fiving!

Uncle Peter rounds up the crew.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Spotlight on Pastor Cosmos Tembo

Pastor Cosmos Tembo has been part of our staff for years now working with ACTION Zambia's (AZ) Pastor Leaders Development ministry. He underwent training with AZ and went on to become part of our team, passing all that he learned onto other pastors and church leaders. He works hard leading discipleship groups for AZ in the compounds using the D2:7 materials while at the same time doing the very good work of pastoring a church.

Recently I had the privilege of visiting Pastor Tembo's church and hearing him preach. I was very impressed and so pleased to know that he is such a sound, Biblical preacher. My visit was a pleasure, especially because tomorrow we will be conducting a Christmas outreach in partnership with his church and this allowed me to get to know his congregation better. ACTION International fields all over the world do Christmas outreaches each year and we are pumped to partner with Pastor Tembo's church to share the gospel with unchurched kids in his community.

The program will have a craft, a meal, teaching, games and more. Please pray along with us that all the children that come will be good soil for the good news of salvation through Jesus Christ. This is also an event where many of our new Champs will be helping alongside our veteran leaders, so please pray that the new leaders will have a good learning experience and that new and old leaders alike will be effective ministers of the gospel. We want tomorrow to be a blessing to this wonderful Zambian pastor and his congregation!

Monday, December 4, 2017

Farewell Holly Moir

A few years ago Holly Moir joined our team to take over and expand Bible Clubs. It was a huge blessing to me (Tricia) as we had added Mark and Manny to our family and I could not run Bible Clubs anymore. And, it was a HUGE blessing to all the kids in our community. Holly put so much love and energy into preparing wonderful and thoughtful lessons for the kids, and she invested an enormous amount of time into our first group of Champs and our newer group of Champs. Holly persevered through the ups and downs of adapting to a new culture and formed a lot of deep relationships with people around our community and in the city. She has been a key part of a lot of camps, outreaches and trainings and we are going to miss her so much! I know that there are a lot of churches that are providing better children's programs because of Holly's efforts and care.

Due primarily to funding challenges, Holly is returning to the U.S. Her home base is in Bellingham, Washington. She is flying out on the 13th. Please join us in thanking God for her great work here in Lusaka and in praying for smooth travels and transition for her. God bless you, Holly!

At staff meeting at our place we had a nice lunch together and had an extended prayer time for Holly. Of course there were some tears... but also some smiles.

Closing night for Bible Club. It was crazy with around 240 kids and a LOT of ice cream. Some of the kids sang a special song for Holly. And we passed out a lot of Bibles to the 11-13 year olds graduating.

This group of ladies at Holly's farewell tea makes me look freakishly tall. Apparently Holly likes short ladies best! We had a lovely time chatting and eating pastries together. From the Left:  Ndekazi, Judy, Easter, Jenn, Tricia, Yvette, Holly

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Early Christmas with our container arrival!!!

After a long, thoughtful struggle with bringing over a container, our container for Ciyanjano Reading Room finally arrived on Friday! What a relief and a blessing!

Before I go on to describe this upcoming project, I just have to testify to the power of Jesus! I am so thankful that I know and love and worship the God who loves me and listens to my prayers. It is so amazing that God takes notice of the likes of us, and even works on our behalf in this world. I am just absolutely blissful that our container is finally here, but above all else I am constantly astonished and overwhelmed at the goodness of our God through Jesus his son. Amen!

We will be converting the 40ft. container, donated by SimpleBox in Washington, into a small study and reading space. Local students, teachers and pastors will be invited to use the well-stocked library for studying, preparing lessons, or writing sermons and lectures. My goal for 2018 is to hire and train two attendants for the library so that we will be frequently open, and even able to give tutoring help. We also intend to have a weekly story hour for the kindergarten-age children around Ciyanjano.

This is a fun and practical way to encourage reading in our community. We will also have math tutoring and perhaps can add other subjects as well. If you are interested in giving to this project, please email us at We are looking for one-time gifts for adding a patio and picnic tables at the side of the container. And, we are praying for a few monthly sponsors to cover the cost of the attendants' salaries. Please consider giving to this valuable community project!

In addition to all the supplies necessary for setting up the reading room, the container was filled up with shed kits and bicycles for Camp Ciyanjano and for Breath of Heaven Children's Village. Our staff had an early Christmas when they received their "bonuses" of donated bicycles and helmets. It was such a blast, and a moment we have been looking forward to for a long time!

SPECIAL THANKS to everyone who helped with this container project while we were in the States last year. God bless each one of you!!!!

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Our October Life in Photos

While everyone back in the States is drinking pumpkin spice lattes, going to homecoming games in sweaters and kicking the falling leaves, we're sweating it out during the hottest month of the year. It's a dry heat and it cools down a little at night but getting through 98 degree days without without air conditioning. It's too hot in the afternoon to do very much but take a couple of cold showers and work in front of a fan. It's pretty hot for sleeping too. 

Ethel is so good when the kids bring their extra siblings
Things are a little sweaty...

Right now our life is pretty hectic. Tricia works like crazy to keep nine kids organized with breakfasts, lunches, lots of laundry and the afternoons are pretty wild. By the time we pick the kids up from school, do homework, nine baths, dinner, bed-time reading and devotionals the days go by pretty fast. Pray for us. Pray for our kids as they live as missionaries in their own home. And pray for our foster kids the they would know Jesus and that God would give us the patience, grace, love, and perseverance to continue this amazing opportunity.  (continued below)

All the kids in their uniforms - I only took a dozen photos and somehow this is the best one...

The girls are a little easier to photograph!
L to R, Joy, Hellen, Janet, Prudence, Ethel
Seriously, can I get everyone smiling at once? Is that too much to ask?
L to R, Mark, Benson, Emmanuel, Lucas
SOOOOO much laundry!
The kids invent games like marble war. Prudence and Joy are best of friends... when they're not fighting.
Prudence and Joy are best of friends... when they're not fighting.
Janet at the school tour of Kalimba Farms

We are hoping to raise money for two important things for our safety and sanity. One is a vehicle with more than 8 seatbelts. Our backroad drives to school are manageable for for a family of 11 in our Prado (which used to feel so huge!) but it's dangerous for the kids and for keeping our vehicle in good shape. Secondly, for our sanity we're hoping to add on a bathroom and bedroom as we feel like this situation is possible permanent. Eleven people and 2 toilets is a pretty rough time, especially if there is a bug gong through the house. We've had some close calls running to the Ripley Center! Pray that God would provide what we need to support the large family! He is doing a pretty amazing thing with all these kids!