|A lot has happened since the last update. But first, why are we packing up everything and moving to Zambia?
What is the church in Zambia up against?
I’ve been keeping a watchful eye on a facebook page devoted to buying and selling household goods in Zambia. In the midst pictures of refrigerators, stoves, sofas, and iPhones, someone was advertising a “spiritual advisor” who could make pretty much anyone do your bidding. Perhaps you want to turn your spouse’s heart back to you…or maybe you want your spouse dislike you so that they leave, freeing you to find someone else…or probably you could use some extra cash…or maybe someone has taken advantage of you, and you want revenge. Just ask this “spiritual advisor” for direction, and things will begin to go your way. This kind of synchronism is all too common in African culture. The church in Africa needs theological resources to clarify the gospel in the face of this counterfeit.
As I’ve traveled around to various churches in the States, I’ve tried to make one thing clear: there is a thriving church in Africa—praise God—but these churches are up against some though challenges: the prosperity gospel, Islam, and synchronism like I described above. Most African pastors have little theological education because so few opportunities are available to them. As one universal church, we have an opportunity to meet one another’s needs. The church in the West needs to share her wealth of theological resources, even as the church in Africa needs to help the west learn about theology of suffering and faithfulness.
One of the things I appreciate most about the school I am going to serve—Central Africa Baptist College (CABC)—is their partnership with local African pastors. I had lunch with a faithful pastor ministering in Kenya a couple of weeks ago. He graduated from CABC, and he reiterated what I’ve heard time and time again from Zambian churches: Africa needs faithful pastors who are able to handle God’s word. The brothers in Africa are thinking long-term. They aren’t looking for gimmick or short term fixes. They know that faithful pastors trained to handle God’s Word will guard the gospel for generations to come. This resinates with me; I too believe that God grows his church by his Word. We are eager to partner with the churches in Africa through the teaching ministry of CABC. Thank you for your support in helping to make this a reality.
What is new with us?
As I said, a lot has transpired in the last couple of weeks, I have purchased a mini-van for our family. You might have heard me share the vision for us owning a mini-bus. However, the cost of importing such a vehicle went up, and someone told me about a good deal on a van with low milage. This van will get us started, and perhaps God will open the door for a larger vehicle down the road.
We have also initiated a rental contract on a home (See Pictures Below). For the last few months, I’ve been looking at the Facebook page for real-estate in our new city, and for a long time nothing showed up with more than three bedrooms. But last week I saw one with four, so we decided to act quickly. I don’t want to say that we’ve actually “secured housing,” because we haven’t signed the contract yet. But it looks very promising, all thanks to new friends in our new city who have spent quite a bit of time trying to work this out for us. Thanks Ben and Amy.
As I mentioned above, I’m watching the facebook page for appliances and basic furniture. Homes in Zambia require renters to provide all their own appliances. It’s not unusual for expats to return home in December. So I’m hoping to find some good deals. Speaking of renting, we need to get our house on the rental market pronto. My goal is to secure a management company this week. If you know of anyone looking to rent a home in Parkville, please send them our way.
Where are we with support?
We’ve raised about 80% of our monthly support and about 80% of our one-time expenses. I’m encouraged that that this number keeps going up with every update. Thank you for your generous support. However, we are not there yet. We’ve already purchased seven one-way plane tickets, a van, and (almost, we pray) secured a home; so we are committed. We trust that within the next two months, the support will come in. Our church—Imprint Community—is our supporting organization. All donations are made to them to their budget category, “Zambia Educational Support.”
Perhaps you could help connect us with churches or individuals who want to help us help the church in Africa? Perhaps you could help us with monthly donation or a one-time gift?
How can you pray?
- Pray that the rest fo our support comes in.
- Pray that a contract on the rental home we want will be written and agreeable to both parties.
- Pray that the details regarding our home are worked out and we find renters starting February 1st.
- Pray for the ministry of CABC, especially their leadership conference the beginning of next month.
- Our children are excited about our upcoming adventure. Yet, we suspect that over the next few months the reality of us leaving will set it. Pray that we can shepherd our children through many challenges and emotions.