Thanks for your recent prayers for our family and for the Lord’s Work here in Zambia. We intended to post a ministry update last week, but unfortunately, Jill and I were both under the weather and the update was delayed to this week.
We do appreciate your prayers though (A LOT!). It means so much to us when you pray for us even when you don’t hear from us. Especially when you don’t hear from us actually, because that usually means there is something going on for which we really need your prayer.
In the week before our youth camp we were rushing to get the new church floor sealed properly. Sealing the floor meant applying a varnish-type covering multiple times. Using a paint roller, Jill and I carefully applied the sealer four times over 4 consecutive days onto the concrete floor. The church floor is just over 1600 square feet and that took us over 3 hours each day. We were happy to do the work. It was exciting to see the change in the floor. The problem was ventilation. Currently, it is the windy/dry season in Zambia which means that there is a lot of dust in the air. To protect the floor Jill and I closed the windows and doors into the church while we applied the sealer. The fumes were very strong and we did not have protective ventilator masks. At the end of each day we felt a bit sick, but the fresh air outside helped a lot. By the end of the fourth day we were both coughing quite a bit and having strong headaches.
I visited a young 6 year old boy with sickle cell anemia in the local children’s hospital just a couple of days after the floor was finished. It was a good visit in the ICU. I prayed with the parents, but that night I really started coughing and I came down with a fever. I held out until Sunday, but finally had to go to the emergency clinic where I was diagnosed with double pneumonia. The doctor said that I probably caught the pneumonia at the children’s hospital because it is a well-known source of many illnesses.
Our youth camp started the next day on Monday and although I was very sick I still did my best to participate. Our main speaker – Bro. Adam Rich, from Kabwe, did a great job in taking up my slack, as my voice was quite weak and I had no energy. Then on Tuesday, Jill also came down with a fever and lost her voice. Jill never wavered though. Even with a fever and her voice gone she took care of so many responsibilities including organizing the meals, the games, the craft, and all the song services plus so much more. She was a rock.
Needless to say, in the end, camp was a blessing and a challenge. With 35 campers and counsellors it was a busy week. One young man came forward for assurance of his salvation and many many decisions were made to serve the Lord to the best of their ability. Bro. Rich’s messages were convicting and right on point to our young people.
Although overall the teen camp was a great success, there were some disappointments too. Satan always tries to get his foot in, and discourage and set back folks. Please pray with us that the decisions that were made will “stick” and that there will be an encouraging spirit in our young folks.
This is now the second week after camp and Jill and I still have our deep coughs. They are slowly getting better but we are praying that the Lord will heal us completely. We would appreciate your prayers with us for this.
The Lord has blessed the last few Sundays with good attendance and visitors at Calvary Baptist Church of Ndola. We would appreciate your continued prayers. We are going through a church discipline issue and it is quite a challenge. Personally, I feel exhausted and worn out after each counseling session. We know that it is right and necessary, and that in the end the Lord will be glorified, but at the present it is very hard. Sin in the camp is such a destructive force.
Thank you for your prayers for our kids in the US. We were hoping that the extreme measures we took to get Allison to a good gastroenterologist would help but it seems that Allison is really not doing much better. The antibiotic medicines for her SIBO, and the pain medicine for her cramps were helping for a while, but the abdominal pain after eating is still there. There is one more course of new antibiotics, plus a repeat of the first one that she can try, but we were hopeful for more progress at this point. She is still having quite a struggle to get the calories and nutrients that she needs with her low FODMAP diet, but we are praising the Lord and asking Him to heal Allison. Please pray with us that this last course of antibiotics will knock out the SIBO and put her on the right path for good health.
Anna injured her foot on Friday – we thought that she broke it, but the x-ray was negative, but she is still in a boot and on crutches for a while. I can’t imagine trying to scoot between classes with a full book bag and a boot and crutches.
Again, thank you very much for your prayers. They are so necessary. When I was physically sick, I really suffered with discouragement and confusion. It was a hard and dark time. I am doing better now. I praise the Lord for individuals like you and supporting churches who are faithful to pray for their missionaries regularly, and to pray even harder when there seems to be nothing to pray for. Your ministry of prayer is vital.