AMAZING!  That is how I would describe our services at Calvary Baptist Church of Ndola today.  The Lord’s house was full, and there was a great Spirit that was evident through the singing, special music, and comments and questions during the Sunday School hour.

It has been very warm the last few days in Zambia; but in spite of that, the church was very full.  We had 2 first time visitors and 3 returning visitors from previous weeks.

Zambia during this time of year is simply lovely.  The sky is the most beautiful blue, and the clouds are so iridescent white that they almost glow.  Because it is the rainy season, the grass and trees are complimentary shades of green and the rains have made all the roof tops clean from the dust of the dry season.  Things are blossoming and blooming.  Simply beautiful!

Thank you for your prayers for Allison and me as we returned to Zambia on Valentine’s Day.  The next day was a Saturday, which is when we have our weekly men’s prayer meeting.  Before the meeting I was speaking to one of our members who is an air traffic controller at our airport. He informed me that there was a fault on our plane during descent and landing – the hydraulic system went out.  That fault grounded the plane after we landed and those waiting for their flight to South Africa were stranded until they could send a mechanic up the following day.  We did not notice anything other than turbulence and a very long roll to the end of the runway after landing.  Thanks so much for your prayers for us as we travelled.  They mean so much!

Allison seems to be doing much better.  Believe it or not, the final test (the one we had requested from the gastroenterologist on the very first day we visited his office on Jan 24) was finally done the day before we left South Africa – Feb 13.   All the previous medical tests had negative results, but this test showed something.  The positive test revealed not a disease or an illness, but a structural problem with an organ.  We had very little time to follow up with the doctor since we had to leave the next day.  This problem does not seem to be life threatening, and may be able to be resolved with medicine and a healthy life style.  We are not sure.  

For now, Allison has to learn to live with the pain and nausea.  She is eating better now and is progressively gaining back some of the weight she had lost.  

Allison explained that because of the pain when eating she had thought that by eating she was making her disease or illness worse.  Now that she knows there is no disease or illness she is more encouraged to eat properly even though it will cause discomfort and pain.  These are baby steps forward, and we praise the Lord for His guidance and direction and provision.

Please pray for Zambia.  This is a time of unrest and confusion in our country.  Because of some violent crime, and rumors and panic there are groups of vigilantes roaming the streets after dark looking for criminals.  Sadly, it is very hard to distinguish between the vigilantes and the criminals and the violence is increasing.  Many people have been injured and murdered by the vigilantes.  The government is asking everyone to remain calm and assures the public that they are in control, but the panic seems to be growing.  Even within our church there is confusion and worry.  Please pray for peace and safety in Zambia.

Many people in Zambia are also worried about the outbreak of coronovirus (COVID-19) throughout the world and its possible introduction to Zambia.  Zambia has many immigrants and workers from China, and there are many daily flights coming in with people who have recently been in Asia.  Generally we feel safe because of the heat here and the fact that most meeting places are outside where there is a lot of room and air movement.  However, considering how third world countries struggle with Typhoid, Cholera and other infectious and contagious diseases, if COVID-19 were to start spreading in Africa it could be catastrophic!  Please pray with us for health safety in Zambia.

Allison and I on our way home from South Africa on Valentine’s Day. Perhaps we were a bit over-cautious, but on our small 45 person jet there were two people wearing masks and coughing, and a lot of people without masks with runny noses and sneezing including the lady in the seat in front of us and a man a couple of rows behind us.

Please continue in prayer for our family in the U.S.  In May, Andrea will be graduated from Pensacola Christian College with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, and Allison will be graduated from Maranatha Baptist University with an Associates Degree in Business.  Pray for them and these last few weeks of classes, and for Andrea as she is doing her preceptorship (hands-on training in a hospital).  The summer months will be very busy for Andrea and Allison as they look for an apartment and jobs.

Please also pray for my parents – Joe and Shirley, for their health, as well as Jill’s mom, Mary.  These dear loved ones are high on our prayer list.

Also please pray with us for our friends Cathy and Jerry who are both trying to overcome cancer.

Thank you very much for your friendship and your partnership with our family in the ministry that the Lord has given us.  Your outpouring of love through your prayers and notes of encouragement during  the emergency with Allison was humbling to Jill and me.

Lord bless you.

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