The Lord’s house was full today!  The Lord gave us a beautiful day – sunny, cool in the morning, and He blessed us with a full auditorium.  I was blessed by the number of folks who came to attend Sunday School.  Normally, we just use one side of the auditorium for this class, but today we used both sides.  It was a blessing and an encouragement to me.

In our preaching service we had some returning visitors and plenty of members.  Of course, if we could get all of our members to come at one time, instead of alternating Sundays, we would be standing room only!

Thank you for your prayers for Calvary Baptist Church of Ndola and for our family.  Your prayers really are an encouragement to us.

This week I had to travel to Lusaka, the capital of Zambia which is about 160 miles from Ndola.  The Lord blessed and I had safety in travel and success (I think) in the government offices that I visited.  Thank you for your prayers.

Last night was a night of celebration in our town of Ndola.  Zambia’s Independence Day is on October 24, and this comes very close to the Indian celebration of Diwali.  So last night there was a fireworks display at the stadium on the edge of town, near our home.  I sat out in the backyard watching the fireworks and trying to calm and soothe our dogs as they barked at the noise, and I thought what a blessing it is to live at a time of peace.  During my time in the Army I experienced artillery shelling which is much like fireworks except close to the ground, and oh so very deadly.  

Jill and I have missionary acquaintances who have experienced actual shelling in their cities and near their homes.  We are blessed to serve in peaceful Zambia.

The Lord is so good to us.  We live in a time of peace and freedom.  Most all of us have access to abundant clean water and sanitation facilities.  There is usually food enough for our families.  As a matter of fact, I read an interesting article this week that said that on average, each American throws away 103 pounds of food per year. We simply buy too much, or lose it in the fridge, and then have to toss it when it goes bad.  What wealth and abundance to be able to throw away food!  

The most awesome blessing is that we have the Word of God in our heart language.  Most of us have two or more Bibles in our home.  How many Christians through past centuries would have loved to have had their own copy of God’s Word?

On our phones we have access to basically the entire knowledge of the world.  Articles, sermons, news – all at our fingertips.  E.O. Wilson said “We are drowning in information, while starving for wisdom”.  How true and how sad.

We certainly live in an amazing moment in history.  What a blessed time to be alive – so many unique opportunities.  What a blessed time to serve our Savior!

Thank you for your prayers for Allison.  There is not much improvement in her health but we are seeing stabilization and that is encouraging.  She is enrolling at Maranatha Baptist University in their online department and hopes to start classes at the end of this month.  We are working out all the details now.  One of the tricky details will be getting her textbooks here to Zambia.  Thank you for your continued prayers.

Our other children are doing well.  Anna had a birthday this week and is now 19.  This week was midterms where Anna and Andrea attend college and so they are mentally and emotionally worn out and exhausted.  Judah is doing well at his school.  We praise the Lord for the way that He watches over the children that He has loaned to us.

Between Sunday School and the morning service, the church children love to play in the church yard. Here are some little girls playing one of their little girl games.

In closing, I wanted to share with you some of the notes that we received this year after our teen camp.  This is something that you had a very important part of – through your prayers.  I hope that these notes encourage you as they encouraged Jill and me.

> Thank you for everything.  I really enjoyed the preaching.  You really moved me from my heart to the head.

> People say one person cannot make a difference in the world but we all know that is not true.  Your presence in our lives has made a lot of difference.  Thank you for all you have done.

> Thank you very much for everything.  I’m grateful and I will forever be.

> Thank you, we had so much fun.

> Thank you very much for the camp.  We really enjoyed.  God bless you so much.

> Thank you for all your love and support during camp time.  Thank you for all the nice food especially that chili mac and the nice cake.  Thank you for inviting Pastor Rich to preach the gospel on running our Christian race with patience.  I really learned a lot.

> I want to appreciate everything you have done and are still doing for the church.  Your sermons are always thoughtful and well delivered.  The youth camps are always exciting and the care that you show to individual members really lets every member feel that they are special to you.  I know that you don’t do what you do to earn praises of men, but I still want you to know that I have watched you change the lives of people and I am proud to call you my pastor and my sweet Bana Judah.

(In Zambia it is traditional for women to be called by the name of their first-born.  Jill is known as Bana Judah – simply mother of Judah)

> Thank you pastor and Bana Judah for camp.  I learned a lot.

> It is because of you pastor and Mrs. Schultz that our mother got saved and for that we will forever be grateful.  We are who we are today because of your rich and great teachings.  We can never thank you enough.

> Thank you so, so, so, so much for helping me learn about Jesus and how wonderful he is.  He has really changed my life in many ways.  Jesus has helped me to cope with alot and I know that if I didn’t have him I’d still be lost.  Thank you so much for coming to Ndola, Zambia to start a church.

This is a comparison of the Victoria Falls (7th natural wonder of the world) in its current capacity – top left – and what it normally looks like when it is full. During dry season (now) it is usually reduced, but this is extreme!

These photos show the mighty Victoria Falls reduced to a trickle.  When full, over 2,000,000 gallons of water flows over the Falls every second.  Severe drought in Botswana, and lack of rain in Zambia has caused the Falls to almost dry up.  This is very bad because the Falls feed directly into the reservoir at Lake Kariba.  The Kariba Dam provides the majority of the electricity for Zambia (and Zimbabwe).  Last week the electricity supply to our house was off 10 – 13 hours EACH DAY.  Praise the Lord for solar panels!