Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Kathi, George, and Jason

Sara has been bringing home kids from the orphanage to spend the afternoons with us.  Today we had Kathi, George, and Jason.  They kept us laughing with their antics.

Sara leaves tomorrow to return to the US.  The month she has been here flew by much too quickly.  Sigh.  I guess I'll never get used to the goodbyes.  


Here's the scene in our living room tonight (and for the past several nights).  We are all huddling around the fire to keep warm!  This has been the coldest winter we have experienced since we moved to Zambia.  David's impressive fire-building skills have been put to good use since this is the only way we have to heat the house!  Shown are David, Michele Broadway, Sara, and Mark Broadway.   

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Medical Mission Report

I have been having a terrible time trying to post to the blog.  Last night and this morning I had no luck at all.  Maybe this time. . .

Darrell Conway is one of our ZMM team members and is the head of the spiritual counseling department where David and I work.  He sent out the report below and I thought it provided a good summary of the medical mission this year.  Here is what Darrell had to say:

No report for so long seems inappropriate; however, the circumstances of the Zambia Medical Mission severely limit our ability to communicate with the outside world.  We only have electricity at Namwianga Mission, and we always begin our days before sunrise and work in preparation for the village outreaches all during the day.  We travel by bus, truck, and 4x4 vehicles to the villages in the area where we set up a medical clinic and treat people for medical, dental, optical, and spiritual problems. With a team of more than 105 people we create quite a stir in the area where we are working!

Thousands come every day.  Many come for treatments and many more just come to see what all the excitement is about.  We have opportunities to preach to them all at various times of the day, and we invite them all to come over to an area we set aside to have small group Bible studies.  We sometimes study one on one and often with three to five in a group.  This is a very effective method.  Our presence and our free medical care help demonstrate our love for them and our desire to follow Jesus by “having compassion on all the people.”  This year there were 99 people who died to their old way of life and were united in Christ through baptism to walk in a new life!  All these people were identified by name and placed in contact with a church leader in the congregation nearest to their village.  Each new Christian was given a new Tonga Bible, and then hundreds more Bibles were distributed to all the Church of Christ congregations in the areas we visited this year.  It is truly amazing to see the eyes of those receiving Bibles as they fill with tears of joy and gratitude.

A great big THANK YOU to all who were so generous this year in giving funds to help purchase Bibles!  I truly wish all of you could be present to witness a Bible presentation.  My words are not adequate to describe the sense of overwhelming emotions these Zambians feel when they see a Bible and realize that it now is entrusted into their care and given for their use.  Many of them have said that the Bible is their most prized possession.  They value it above any other thing that they may have in this life. Giving out ‘Tonga Bibles should and must continue.  I really am convinced that this is one of the most important components of the entire Zambian Mission effort. All parts are important to be sure, but Bibles are surely an essential part of the spiritual efforts we put forth in Zambia.

This year was truly a great success.

16,532 people were ministered to in the name of Jesus

The message of salvation in Christ was taught and preached to all.

Ninety nine souls received the message and were baptized.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009


Elia is shown in the new wheelchair she received at the Kanchindu medical mission clinic.  An organization in California donated 100 of these chairs for Zambia.  They are designed for rural areas--sturdy, easy to assemble with simple tools, and each comes complete with a pump.  Elia is a widow with two young children. She earns money for basic necessities by making flower crafts from candy wrappers.  Her new wheelchair gives her additional freedom and mobility.  

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Update - July 19

"The program has changed."  That's a phrase we have heard many times since we moved to Zambia, and one that now has a familiar ring in our day to day activities.   It certainly is true of my "program" for this year's medical mission.  I finally started feeling human again on Friday, which meant I could have gone out with the team on Saturday for the next round of clinics.  But Sara got sick again.  She came home on Thursday night running fever and was totally miserable all day on Friday.  So I stayed home with her while the rest of the group left Saturday.  

It feels strange to be missing out on all the hectic activity of the medical mission, but Sara and I have enjoyed having some quiet time to be together.  We've watched movies, played games, and done lots and lots of talking.  Today (Sunday) she is feeling much better, so we went to church this morning here on the mission.  David called from Kanchindu this afternoon, and we decided he would drive home to spend the night tonight and then we'll all go back to Kanchindu for the last two days of the clinics.  That's the program for now.  We shall see . . .  

Saturday morning one of the young men staying with us woke up sick with a stomach virus.  He was pretty miserable, but he and Dr. Neese decided he would go on out with the group and hope for the best.  He rode in the back of our pickup on a mattress for the trip to Kanchindu.  

One of our other houseguests remarked about our "sick" atmosphere:  "Staying here is  like living in a petri dish!"  

Friday, July 17, 2009

Update - July 17

I ended up getting sick the night before we were to leave for the first set of clinics.  Dr. Neese told me to stay home, so that's what I did.  I spent four days in bed with fever and congestion.   By Thursday night when the rest of the team arrived back at Namwianga I was feeling better and was able to be up and around on Friday.  

David and others reported that the clinics went well.  There were 59 baptisms at Simalundu and Kapau.  

Sponsorship Reception

Friday was a "Free Day" here at Namwianga in between trips to the bush for the clinics.  Medicines and supplies have to be restocked and packed, and everyone needs a little time to rest up before another grueling four days.  

Several team members are sponsors for students at Namwianga, so Friday afternoon we hosted a reception so that sponsors could meet and get to know their sponsored students.   

Monday, July 13, 2009

Zambia Medical Mission Web Site

The team is heading out for Simalundu in a couple of hours.  You can follow the adventure at www.zambiamedicalmission.com.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

People at My Door - Linda

A few years ago I studied the Bible with this lady during the medical mission at Kanyanga. She later named her baby after me. Every year she brings little Linda by to see me. There's an older brother named David too.

The Market Is Open

The living room has become quite a gathering spot. Besides the evening card game of Arkansas Rummy for anyone interested, we also have a market set up to sell tote bags and chitenges. My wonderful neighbor Mrs. Moono sews the bags to put her sons through college. A portion of every sale goes into the needy student sponsorship fund.

Update - 12 July, 2009

The entire medical mission team arrived yesterday. As usual, there were some unexpected complications.

Let me back up to the nurses who arrived on Friday. All American nurses have to be interviewed by the Zambian nursing authorities in Lusaka before they can work on the medical mission. Their flights on South African Airways were scheduled to arrive in Lusaka on Thursday evening, and the appointments for their interviews were on Friday morning.

BUT South African Airways had a computer failure in the US and the delay caused our nurses to be late arriving in Johannesburg, thus missing the connecting flight to Lusaka on Thursday. The airline put them up in a hotel in Johannesburg and got them out in two flights on Friday. The Friday morning flight got them into Lusaka in plenty of time, but many government offices in Lusaka close early on Friday, so there was great concern that the nurses on the afternoon flight might not be able to be interviewed. Elizabeth Halale, our wonderful liaison with the nursing council, explained the situation and the interviewers graciously agreed to conduct the Friday afternoon interviews. Whew! One major crisis averted.

The rest of the American team arrived in Livingstone on Saturday. The plan was to transport them to Namwianga on two very nice, rented Coaster buses, and the plan almost worked. Unfortunately, one of the buses broke down! Blame it on bad fuel, says the driver, as there was water in the fuel line. The big yellow bus from Namwianga had to make the trip down to Livingstone and bring back those who were on the crippled bus. The good news is that everyone arrived in time for dinner and got settled in on Saturday night.

At our house we have Kelsey Smith, Teri Heger, and Jackson Heger (all from Brentwood Christian School in Austin), plus Toni Lindsey, Ryan Maxwell, Mark and Michele Broadway, and Sara. And Jason. He is still sick with fever, cough, and congestion, so I couldn't send him home just yet.

Today we will finish up last-minute preparations for the medical mission. Tonight there is a pot luck dinner with the community, and tomorrow we will head out for the first clinic at Simalundu.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Update - July 11, 2009

It's been a very busy week!  Here are the highlights.

Sara has been going to Eric's House every morning and working with the toddlers--eight two-year-old boys plus George and Jason.  Almost every day she brings one or two home with her for the afternoon.  Tuesday was the day for George and Jason, and we had quite a time with them!  There is a big dirt pile in front of the new house next door, so the boys attacked that like a Six Flags ride.  It was hilarious watching them climb up and slide down.  

Wednesday Sara brought home a sick little guy who needed some TLC.  She and Kevin spent the whole afternoon on the couch where he was content to be held and read to.  

Thursday was Gary's day.  Gary, or "Gare Bear" as he is affectionately known, is the most active of the entire bunch, and there was very little sitting on the couch with Gary!  We took him into Kalomo with us for some chitenge shopping at the market.  

Friday we had Jason with us, and he was sick.  He had a high fever in the afternoon and evening and slept most of the time.  Dr. Allen Neese, a pediatrician, came by for a house call and checked him out.  We've got him on antibiotics now and plan to keep him here until he gets better.  

You can click on the link at the left to see Sara's blog where she has posted lots of pictures of the little guys.  

Wednesday evening we had a belated Fourth of July celebration with the Americans on the early team.  We headed out to Jordan Rock for a wiener roast and s'mores.  After we ate we sang patriotic songs around the fire as the sun went down.  Better than fireworks!

At our house this week we've had Sara, Mark and Michele Broadway, and Ryan Maxwell.  Last night two of the American nurses, Ellen and Toni, moved in.  Today the entire ZMM team arrives, so we will have a house full.  Already the guest room beds have been moved to other houses and replaced with bunk beds.  The hallway is lined with luggage and boxes.  

It has been VERY cold this week.  We've had a fire in the fireplace every night.  Most nights we've also had a spirited card game of Arkansas Rummy around the table. 

Today and Sunday will be filled with last-minute preparations for the medical mission.  We leave on Monday for Simalundu.  

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Update- July 5, 2009

This week's big excitement was the arrival of our daughter Sara on Thursday.  We took Jason and George to Livingstone with us to meet her at the airport.  The language lessons that the Harding speech pathology group taught at the orphanages really helped these two little guys with their vocabularies.  They are both now obsessed with naming colors, so the entire two-hour trip was filled with, "Nana, look!  Orange truck!"  or "Look, David!  Blue sign!"  They named every animal they saw and kept us quite entertained.  

Jason still remembers Sara from her time at the orphanage in 2007 and always stops in front of her picture to point at her and say, "Sara!"  And when George is around, Jason usually says, "My Sara!"  They were both glad to see her, and George was even willing to pose with her and a group of traditional dancers outside the airport.  

Jason was worn out after all the excitement and fell asleep in the back seat on the way home--wearing Sara's eye mask from the plane.

In a case of unfortunate timing, we had some painting done in the house on Thursday and Friday. The paint fumes were horrible, so we had to open all the windows and turn on the fans--on the coldest days we've had yet! We all piled on layers of clothes, and David tried to keep a fire going in the fireplace each evening. Tonight the smell is almost gone, and we have the windows closed again.

The annual Namwianga Lectureship started on Friday night and runs through Monday. Usually we manage to do some sort of American celebration here on the 4th of July. Yesterday we didn't manage anything remotely American or festive. David spoke both at the morning and evening sessions of the lectureship, I spoke at the women's session in the afternoon, and we went to a funeral in the middle part of the day. Sara was recovering from jet lag and a sore throat, so she stayed home and rested.   Maybe next year!

 Tomorrow the early team for Zambia Medical Mission arrives, and we'll have four new residents at our house.  The usual furniture in the guest rooms is going out tomorrow and will be replaced by bunk beds.  We're looking forward to lots of activity and fellowship the next few weeks.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Interior Scenes

This is one of the church pews in the Sichikwalula church building.  Count your blessings as you sit in your padded, comfortable pew next Sunday.
Women in the bush find ways to add beauty to their surroundings.  A resourceful crafter made these flowers out of candy wrappers and arranged them in a plastic drink carton to decorate the table inside the church building. Lovely!

The People at My Door - Justin

Justin Shaputu is in his final year at George Benson Christian College and is training to be an English teacher.  This term he is stationed at the remote village of Siamafumba for his student teaching.  In addition to his teaching duties, Justin has been working to organize an outreach team.  He has trained 11 of his pupils to go to neighboring congregations to teach and preach. None of the pupils had Bibles, however, so Justin came by to get a stack of English Bibles for them to use.  It is a joy to see the students like Justin making a difference wherever they are.