**(This post was lost by our server and is being reposted out of chronological order.)**

Monday, March 12th, was Youth Day here in Zambia.  Jill and I love the youth of Calvary Baptist Church of Ndola very much.  Our youth are active and very interested in their relationship with the Lord.  They are moldable and as you teach them you can see the wheels turning in their heads as they consider what they are being taught.  Our youth are the future not only of our church but of our country!

The youth of Calvary Baptist Church of Ndola playing “Monkey in the Middle” at our Youth Day activity. They love this game and like making their seat mate lose and have to be the monkey.

Because of the great spirit of the youth of Calvary Baptist Church and in honor of Youth Day, Jill and I planned a special activity for the youth on that day. (In Zambia most anyone between the ages of 13 and 26 is considered a “youth”.) We had a great day of fun and games and food!  We bought some soda and fried chicken, and Jill made a big pot of macaroni and cheese and Anna made and decorated a huge rice crispie treat.

Playing pictionary on Youth Day.

We started off with singing, then I taught a lesson on the Bible story of Zaccheus and then the games began.  Some of the games are hard to explain because they are uniquely Zambian, but we did have a fun time with Bible Pictionary, Monkey in the Middle, and Let’s Visit the United States.

The youth take turns seeing how long they can keep their hands in icy water. Cold is a new sensation to Zambians and they quickly surrender, but not before making amazing sounds and faces.

“Let’s Visit the United States” is a game that we invented on the fly.  We had our cooler where we were chilling the soda for the meal.  There were 8 x 2L soda bottles that I had covered with ice and then salted down with rock salt to quickly chill the drinks.  Of course the water became super cooled.  For “Let’s Visit the United States” we let the kids challenge each other to see who could keep their hand in the bottom of the cooler, in the icy water for the longest.  Zambians are not used to cold weather, and they kind of “roll their eyes” in doubt when we try to explain just how cold it gets in the winter time.  It was hilarious watching their faces when they plunged their hands into the icy water.  (To help things along we also dropped some ice cubes down the back of their shirts!)  All the Zambian kids loved it!

Today our services at church were fantastic.  To start off, it was a beautiful, clear, and sunny day – a typical Zambian Sunday.   For Sunday School we had over 30 adults show up for the lesson, plus kids.  The lesson was so well-received and there were so many questions and comments that I was unable to finish the lesson and will have to continue it next week.  As a teacher I LOVE participation!

Assistant Pastor Sakala preached in the morning service today.  This is the first time that he has preached since the passing of his wife in July.  Bro. Sakala did an excellent job.  I enjoyed the sermon immensely.  Believe it or not, sometimes I get tired of hearing myself preach.  Bro. Sakala is a gifted speaker and holds the respect of our church.  Everyone enjoys when he preaches.  Unfortunately, he does not feel called into full-time Christian service.  He does a good job filling in when needed.

Monday evening Jill and I were talking about the day and Jill asked me if I had seen the stray puppy in the road on the way to church.  In fact, I had seen the puppy in the middle of traffic.  I had also seen it on Saturday on my way to the church.  It was scrawny and tiny and was on the side of the road almost in traffic eating a scrap of food.  I had also seen it again on Sunday on my way to church.  Jill and I spoke about it for a while and Jill proclaimed that if she saw it again she was going to stop and pick it up and take it to the SPCA (Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals).

The stray puppy at the Ndola SPCA.

Tuesday I got a call from Jill and she started off, “Andy, I am so sorry”, of course, that is never a good phone call to receive.  She went on to say that she had in fact stopped and picked up the puppy and taken him to the SPCA.  Unfortunately, the startled puppy had scratched her neck a bit and then licked her neck.  Rabies is a problem here in Zambia and since the stray had not been vaccinated the vet at the SPCA recommended that Jill immediately start a course of rabies shots.  Jill was apologizing for getting scratched!  I assured her that it was fine, and that I did not mind the cost.  The rabies vaccine is a series of 5 shots given over 3 weeks.  After a few days of observation, the vet was confident that the puppy did not have rabies but since we started the shots with Jill we want to finish them.  I am giving them to Jill on schedule.

The stray puppy was so pitiful.  Tiny, brown, scabby – heartbreaking.  We paid for the boarding at the SPCA and the vet started caring for him.  Someone had docked his tail – poorly – and it was infected and inflamed and painful.  He had cuts on his head from thrown stones and sores all over his body.

The SPCA here is overwhelmed and survives on donations from well wishers and just barely has food for the animals.  Jill started making special food for the puppy and we took it to him each day.  After 4 days the vet said that the puppy would recover much faster in a home instead of the SPCA where it is dingy and loud.  Jill and I talked it over and we brought him to our home.

First thing, we bathed him.  He was so dirty.  He was covered with fleas and ticks.  We had to change the water 3 times because of the filth, and it turns out that the little brown puppy is actually a little yellow puppy.

Jill named him Serendipity.  I call him Dipity or Dipity Dawg, and he has really taken to our family.  He is learning to play and it is so nice to see his full little belly.  He is growing stronger each day.  I guess that he is now part of the family!

Serendipity (Dipity) playing in our front yard. Slowly he is gaining muscle and he is becoming more confident with his new family.

Please pray for Calvary Baptist Church of Ndola.  We have a young married couple in the church who are praying about becoming co-leaders for the Youth.  We firmly believe that the youth are the future.

Please pray that we will see more souls won for Jesus.  You may be surprised to learn that most Zambians are very religious and there are numerous churches in every city to choose from.  Sadly churches that preach the truth are often overlooked for flashy charismatic churches that promise riches with no commitment.  Pray that the Lord will help our church to increase in His time.

Please also continue praying for Jill’s foot.  There is little improvement with the nerve damage.  Lately, she says that it feels like her toe is “sunburnt”.  I am not sure if that is progress or not.  We patiently wait for the Lord’s full healing.

Thank you for your faithful prayers and partnership in ministry.  Together we are making a difference in Zambia.