Tuesday, July 28, 2009
Thursday, July 23, 2009
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
Sunday, July 19, 2009
Friday, July 17, 2009
Monday, July 13, 2009
Sunday, July 12, 2009
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.
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
Sunday, July 05, 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 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!
Thursday, July 02, 2009
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!