It’s hard to believe, but our winter is over! I know most of you have been experiencing summer in the USA, but here in Zambia it has been winter. It’s been cold and dry. Now the temperatures are starting to heat up and we are all looking forward to some rain since it’s been 4 months without it.
Even though it’s been cold here, the ministries have been keeping us running and all warmed up. We started May with construction on a sister church in the Solwezi area. That’s about a 3-4 hour drive from the New Life Center. We had a wonderful team from Ft. Myers, Florida come and actually participate in building the structure. It was a great time of work, relationship building, and doing ministry with the kids of the church and surrounding community.
Our tutoring program for grades 8 through 12 continues year round at the New Life Center (NLC), but really becomes intense during the months of May through July. Because there are very few holidays during those months we are able to get a lot accomplished in an uninterrupted time frame. We were working with about 90 students daily when we started in May. As the months went by and the work got more and more difficult we ended July with about 70 students per day. Those students that remain faithful to coming to the extra tutoring lessons will be the ones who actually pass their exams at the end of the year. Grade 9 and grade 12 students took their mock exams the first week of August to get an idea of what the final exam will be like. We are anxious to have them return the first week of September so we can have a couple more months of lessons with them before their final exams in November. Please continue to keep them in prayer as they prepare for these difficult exams.
Along the same line of education, we had Cathy and Rick Hatcher here with us for almost 3 months. Cathy is starting a new program of training local people in our churches to become pre-school teachers. We have a vision to start pre-schools in our new church structures in the various communities in Zambia. She had about 18 people attend the first training session. It was a learning experience for her as well as for those that participated. Both Cathy and Rick did follow up site visits to see how the trained teachers were implementing what they had learned. Rick was also kept busy with various carpentry, welding, and building projects for both the new pre-school teacher project and the NLC. They were both such a great blessing and help to many.
We also held a quick Kids Bible Camp here at the NLC for the 5 local churches in the Nkana district. We had about 120 kids here for 2 days of fun, Bible stories, crafts, outdoor activities, and worship. It is always a joy to see how these kids soak up the love that we shower upon them in the time we have together. They truly are a joy to work with and hold a special place in the Kingdom of God and our hearts.
Two weeks later we received another work team from Clearwater, Florida. After a few days at the NLC helping with painting the Mission House we all took off on a road trip to Mumbeji to do ministry with one of our newer Sister Churches. We had a fantastic ministry time with the children, youth, men and women. This was the first time we were able to work with all members of the church at the same time and it was definitely a great success. It’s so hard to put into words the joy that we all felt being involved in ministry with our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. Hopefully you can see a bit of it in the pictures.
Two weeks later we hosted the annual Youth Camp here at the NLC. There were around 300 young people here for 5 days and it was great to see the spiritual growth of many of them. Along with several of our Zambian church leaders as speakers we also received 2 young guys from Orlando, Florida. Seth Williams was one of the speakers and also did Chalk Art Ministry as part of his sermons. Aaren George helped in leading the worship time through music and singing. It was a great time for all of us and we know that many lives were touched and changed by the workings of God’s Holy Spirit in their lives.
Finally, it is with mixed feelings that we announce that Rev. Charles Mulemena will be leaving both the position of Director of the New Life Center and Zambia next month. He has accepted a position with the United Methodist Global Ministries in Brazil and will be moving there in the near future with his family. While we celebrate with him and his family for new ministry opportunities we will also miss having their smiling faces, presence and powerful ministry leadership with us. We wish them all of God’s best for their future and look forward to seeing where He leads them.
Thank you for all of your continued prayers and support for the ministries that are happening here in Zambia. You play an important role in everything that we say and do here. We always count it a joy and privilege when you can personally come out and experience all that your time, efforts, and money do to grow and encourage the family of God.
Your servants in Christ,
Sandy and Delbert Groves