We have always said that Zambia runs on a calendar, not a clock. Now, with the lock downs that we are experiencing, time is running even more slowly! While certain things are closing down here, other things are opening back up. This week I was able to begin pushing some more paperwork through our City Council. They had been closed for 2 weeks, and it was nice to be able to see a bit of progress.
We are still able to witness when we go out. We have some very nice church brochures that we had printed. They are tri-fold, so it is easy to hand them to folks without getting too close. We are not worried about getting too close to the Zambians but as you can imagine, many people are very nervous about accepting anything from a stranger.
Our church brochure has a very good plan of salvation inside, and also a map to the church location and our contact number. Zambia is still Zambia and it is a wonderful feeling to have the majority of your tracts and brochures happily received and then to see folks stop what they are doing to read through them.
During this time of slow down and lock down we are doing our best to keep in contact with our church members and the people with whom we minister.
Jill and I recently visited some of our church folk to check on their welfare. Here in Zambia, like the rest of the world, a lot of people are out of work and that means no salaries. Most folks here do not have any savings cushion to help with the sudden cessation of income. We had heard a report that some of the widows who attend our church did not have enough food or charcoal in their home. (Charcoal is important because it is the main method of cooking for the majority of Zambians.) We loaded up our van with food and charcoal and made some deliveries from the Lord to these homes.
Now more than ever we are communicating with our church members by texting. It is cheaper than a call and sometimes easier to express a clear thought.
Here are some recent text messages that I thought that you would enjoy reading.
Jill and I are doing fine. We enjoy each other’s company. In the mornings, about 45 minutes before sunrise, we go out to walk and exercise together. There is minimal traffic then and I love looking at the beautiful Zambian sunrises over the African trees. Today was very clear and in addition to the everyday display of stars and constellations we saw a satellite pass over.
This morning Jill gave me a haircut. Jill has been cutting my hair for the last 20 years and she does an excellent job. This month we will celebrate 25 years of marriage. We are happy together, serving the Lord where He has placed us, but we do miss our children and family in the United States.
Last week we had tickets to fly to the United States to see Andrea graduate from nursing school. This had been planned since last November, and it was a trip that we had all been anticipating. In February it became obvious that no one was going anywhere and we resigned ourselves to the fact that we would miss the graduation. On April 25, the day that we were to begin our journey to the US, I found a note on my daily calendar from Anna wishing us a safe trip. She had snuck into my office during Christmas vacation and left little notes for me to find throughout the new year. She made my day.
Although our plans are not working out the way that we had hoped or planned, we know that everything is working out exactly as the Lord has planned, and that is good enough for us. Our prayer is that His Will is accomplished here on earth as it is in Heaven and if that means us missing a graduation and time with our girls, then that is fine. May the Lord be magnified!
This week Andrea had her “Pinning Ceremony”. The Pinning Ceremony is when a graduating nursing student receives her nursing pin in the college auditorium and their parents come forward and affix the pin to their lapel. It is usually held the day before the student’s graduation. The nursing students look forward to it for all 4 years of their studies.
Allison will be graduated from Maranatha Baptist University on May 7th, and Andrea will be graduated from Pensacola Christian College on May 8th. Both will be virtual graduation services. We praise the Lord for His great provision that has allowed our children the opportunity to receive quality college educations in a Christian environment.
Thank you for your prayers for us here in Zambia. We continue to do our best to represent you and our Lord even during this time of lockdown. Please remember to pray for the Zambians. What we go through is nothing compared to what they must endure. (Power continues to be off for 10 – 12 hours a day!) We are also praying for you.