From time to time someone will ask, “What is a normal day on the mission field like?”. For each missionary that can be a world of different answers, and it’s impossible for us to explain what one normal day is like. But, I was thinking about it and came up with this idea of what a normal month and one day is like. Bear in mind, our lives touch and involve many other people in one given day, especially overseeing the New Life Center ministries. I will try to explain with pictures and with as few words as possible. We will start with one month and one day ago...
We drove to Ndola and picked up Rick and David from the airport. Rick is no stranger to Zambia. This is his third time here and he stayed at New Life for 5 months in 2007 while Sandy and I were on US home assignment. Rick and David are part of a progressive eight member team from Aloma UMC Florida that will be coming to build a sister church in Mutenda and holding Kid’s Bible Camps here at New Life and two other villages.
Helped Rick and David find and buy the steel to make the structure for the church.
Drove 107 kilometers to put in the concrete foundation pads for the Mutenda church.
Getting the truck stuck twice in two different days at the Mutenda church site.
The arrival of the container from the USA with supplies and “wish list” gifts given by all of you, our supporting partners. We’ve been trying to get this container here for over two years. Unloading the container and putting everything away.
A truck load of printing paper arrived a week later. Getting that off loaded and put into place was an all day event.
Built a new wall and ceiling inside the New Life Press room and started getting some of the printing equipment that has not been working ready for production. Also getting some new equipment we have been waiting on out of these containers. I’m getting excited about this ministry.
Sandy started the pilot ministry “English as a Second Language”. She has been teaching with another Zambian teacher, Mrs. Hannah Mwamulima. They are also teaching math skills. They are working with the students that have been sponsored from community schools in the area by New Life.
Sandy also goes once a week to feed malnourished children with a group of wonderful ladies from the village and the Kitwe area.
Went back to the airport and picked up more of the team members from Aloma UMC.
Cleaned out a storage room so this load of paper can be put away properly. We found a world of items we didn’t know we had. Things given by you years ago that got tucked away and were unseen. There were a bunch of hand-made toys the Aloma team gave out at the Kid’s Bible Camp.
Our water tower tank sprang a leak the day before Kids Bible Camp started. We made the decision to replace it with a bigger one. Having hundreds of people here for conferences and camps we often run out of water. As we took the old one down, possibly to repair, it slipped and fell to the ground....it was a real “humpty-dumpty” moment. SOOO, life got real interesting real fast. ALL HANDS ON DECK. To make a long story short, four days later with very little water on Campus, re-strengthening the water tower base that sits on top of an African “ant hill” that will hold the new tank, the crane came and lifted the new tank in place and the showers began. We went from a 5000 liter water tank to 12500 liters.
The Aloma team started the Kid’s Bible Camp here at the New Life Center. We brought kids from three different villages, Mutenda, Mufulira, and Kawama. The kids had a GREAT time. Many of them had never been away from their family and home village....ever. They even used some of the toys found as we cleaned out the storage room. This was a three day camp, filled with Bible stories and teachings, nightly campfires and singing. The kids loved the bunk-houses.
Another load of 56 PET Bikes was built and left for three different villages. It went all the way to Zimba, a village near Livingstone.
Killed a spiting cobra snake that was trying to find it’s way into our house. Nasty little bugger.
I don’t know if you knew I had surgery on my eye last week. When Pastor Blake was here my right eye went blind for 20-30 minutes while I was driving back from up country. It cleared up and I just thought it was one of those things. However, a missionary couple from Lusaka came for a visit, Dr. Michael and Jannike Seward. We had a few items in the container that arrived for them. He happens to be an eye doctor. I told him about it and he said I needed to come to Lusaka ASAP for him to check it out. It was serious. I had a U-tear in my retina and it was coming detached. He sent me to a eye specialist clinic where it was repaired with laser surgery. I now live with a black spot in my lower left peripheral vision. I go next week for a follow up and also to have my other eye examined as well.
Back to Mutenda and put together the church’s roof structure that the Aloma team welded together. It was a long three days, but a lot of fun seeing God’s hand in everything that was being done.
Somewhere in between all of this, David, from the Aloma UMC team helped us set up the computers that came in the container in the new Computer Training classrooms. He even helped paint the floors. We now have 30 semi-new computers up and running! This ministry helps so many people in so many ways.
The rest of the Aloma UMC team comes in today so we’ll be heading back to the Ndola Airport in a little while. They have two more weeks before heading back to the good old USA.
Then the day they leave from Livingstone we drive to Lusaka to pick up an 11 member Medical Team that will be coming from St. Andrews UMC in Florida. They will be doing health screening on hundreds of kids throughout our CopperBelt mission district. It’s going to be wonderful!!
Life is always a challenge in Africa, but we really thank God that each day belongs to Him and His hands lead the way. We thank God for work teams that are able to come over and lend a loving hand. However, I’m counting on YOU to keep us, the New Life staff and all it’s ministries, and the teams in prayer. You are one of the main reasons God is moving in such a wonderful way in Zambia. We really are in mission together. We love you and thank you for all that you do!