Saturday, April 30, 2005

Brick by Brick

The bricks that are now being stacked to form the walls of our house in Zambia are made right at Namwianga Mission. On one of our summer visits we spent a few hours watching the brick-making process. The clay for the bricks is dug out of centuries-old termite mounds. It is mixed with water the old-fashioned way as the barefoot workers stomp around in mud puddles! The brick mud is then poured into wooden molds. When the bricks come out of the molds they are laid in rows to dry in the sun. The gray sun-dried bricks are then stacked to form a box-shaped oven. The outside of the brick oven is coated with mud and a fire is built on the inside. During the firing process,the bricks turn red.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Endings & Beginnnings

Linda and I hear this statement quite often these days, “Oh, this is your last _______.” The blank is filled with various “last events” such as Thanksgiving, Christmas, Teacher Appreciation Picnic, and most recently, Church Family Retreat. People around Brentwood Oaks Church joke and call us “short timers.” Our church bulletin reminds us each week how many days are left until we depart Austin for Namwianga Mission, our new home and our new ministry. This week's issue posts 50 days from Sunday (May 1).

Some months ago I read a statement by John Piper, Minnesota preacher and author. He observed, “Endings are for gratitude, beginnings are for faith.” I like to think about his statement more than “Oh, this is your last . . .” God has brought all of us to this “ending” and there are so many things for which we are thankful. He also takes us all by the hands leading us into the future and a new beginning. Beginnings with God always require of us faith and courage.

What a journey it has been, what a journey it will be. God behind us and God before us. Join with us in remembering, “Endings are for gratitude, beginnings are for faith.”


Occasionally in our BLOG we’ll answer frequently asked questions. One FAQ is “What will you be doing in Zambia?”

At Namwianga Mission, Christian education is a high priority. Three schools operate on the mission site just outside of Kalomo, a busy little town on the Lusaka to Livingstone highway. Children can start in elementary school (basic school) and progress on through to college at Namwianga. Students receive a private Christian education at the basic school, secondary school, and college. We will be teaching at the college named after the late George Benson. At George Benson Christian College students are prepared to be secondary teachers in the core areas of English, Math, and Religious Education. A few students receive training in business skills for employment as secretaries in the business world. GBCC has an enrollment of around 130 students. Those receiving secondary teaching certificates upon graduation are guaranteed teaching jobs by the Zambia government. The students seek teaching assignments in rural schools where teachers are in high demand. The rural (bush) areas are on the edges of the Kingdom of God where people are open to hearing the good news about Jesus Christ. George Benson graduates go to these remote places to teach AND establish kingdom outposts. They are teachers / church planters.  

Linda and I will be assisting these Zambians in their church-planting mission. I will help equip them by teaching various Bible courses and ministry courses. Linda will teach English and education courses. She also plans to develop literacy courses for adults. We will spend most weekends with the students as they go to plant new churches and follow up on newly planted churches. In addition to these activities, we will develop Bible knowledge and ministry related correspondence courses and workshops for the church leaders in the newly planted churches. 

God continues to bless this method of increasing the boundaries of His Kingdom in Zambia. We will join hands with Him and our students in this mission. We invite you to join us by praying for us.


Monday, April 25, 2005

Traveling Light

We just returned from the annual Brentwood Oaks family retreat. This was our 20th retreat, and, as we were reminded many times this weekend, our last for awhile. I tried to treasure every breathtaking view, every conversation with dear friends, every moment of exhortation, every song shared with our church family. I can't help but think about all the retreats in the past that I have taken for granted, just knowing that next year there would be another to enjoy. One of the lessons I am learning from this time of life is to treasure every experience that God blesses us with.

A question that I answered over and over this weekend was, "What have you done with your stuff?" My quick answer was, "We got rid of most of it!" We sold our house in February and had just three weeks to move out. We sold some of our furniture, gave away a few pieces, and placed some with good friends who agreed to "furniture sit" for us. We have a small storage unit that has boxes of things we think we'll need when we come back. But most of our "stuff" we gave away or just got rid of. This process was much easier than I thought it would be. I even confess to some enjoyment at watching years of collected memorabilia go into the trash. After all, now that this stuff is gone, I don't have to figure out how to display it, scrapbook it, or store it!

Now we are living in the home of some friends who are letting us house sit while they travel for a few months. We only have our clothes and a few boxes of photos and business papers that we still have to sort through. I am finding this a very freeing experience. There is no temptation to buy new things, no desire to decorate, no need to collect more items that will eventually have to be dusted. It frees my mind to think about other things. Maybe that's a another lesson I needed to learn--the one Jesus taught when he said not to lay up treasures here on earth. Linda

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Kalomo River at Namwianga Mission

A beautiful spot on the Kalomo River running through Namwianga Mission. This picture was taken during the dry season on July 4, 2004.

David & Linda at Kalomo River, Zambia

Posted by: dgregersen53
David & Linda at Kalomo River, Zambia
The Kalomo River runs through the 7,000 acre Namwianga Mission. It is a beautiful spot. We saw crocodile tracks in the sand on the banks of the river. Some calves who have come to drink water from the river have been eaten by the crocs. No swimming here!

Our house in Zambia

Posted by: dgregersen53
Our house in Zambia
Construction on our house began in November 2004. We hope it will be finished by the time we arrive at Namwianga Mission on June 24, 2005. The house is constructed of handmade bricks fired in a handmade kiln. There is no wood used in the construction because of termites. All the interior walls will be brick and covered with a concrete glaze to make them smooth. The house will have three bedrooms, two bathrooms, kitchen, dining area, livingroom, fireplace for heating the house, and a covered veranda along the front.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

"Blog Savvy"

Today I am trying to become familiar with this blogging thing. I hope to learn how to put some pictures on the blog site. But first I will refer you to an interesting link about "nshima" the basic food for Zambians. Read about the food we will be eating in Zambia. All you want to know about "nshima" (pronounced "she mah") is at this link:



David,Linda, Sara, & John

Leaving Texas for Zambia

We are about to embark on a new adventure with God. On June 20 we will leave Austin, Tx after over twenty years of ministry with the Brentwood Oaks Church. We will be sent as one of their missionary families to Kalomo, Zambia the home of Namwianga Mission to teach for the next five years at George Benson Christian College. We will assist the graduates of this college in planting churches throughout Zambia. We are excited about this new form of ministry. Zambia is one of the places where God is at work. We have been called to join Him in that work. We will leave behind a 23 year old daughter, Sara. She teaches middle school math in Tulsa, OK. John, 20 will stay in Austin working at an apartment complex in nearby Cedar Park. We will also leave behind many close friends in the church community in Austin, Texas, and around the USA. Pray for us as we make the transition from Austin to Zambia.
David & Linda