Here we are in May already…WOW! We hope your year has been filled with lots of great memories and health! We have been very busy holding conferences, building sister churches and church benches, building and distributing PET handicap tricycles, working on our plans for the new Livingstone center, and we have much more planned for the year.
We want to bring some of the highlights to your attention. Let me remind you, as well, that you can follow these events as they happen on FaceBook. We really encourage you to join. These posts are loaded with pictures and videos!! We have two main pages…
First… we just held the 2019 Holy Spirit Encounter here at NLC. This was, once again, a very special time for our pastors and leaders of the Zambia UMC Conference. We had a number of speakers from Zambia; Rev. Kenneth Kalichi, Rev. Robert Kilembo, Chaplain Beatrice Soko, Rev. Delbert Groves as well as Rev. Scott George, along with his wife Tammi and daughter Alison, from PineCastle UMC, Orlando, Florida. This was the 5th time for Pastor Scott to join us. Our time together was simply outstanding! The words of faith and encouragement to the leadership of our growing Zambia United Methodist Church is always so very important for those that are pioneering the way! It refreshes all of us to keep going in our work for the Lord Jesus Christ.
Second… We held our first “Creative Church” conference the week before the HSE. Emily Padilla, who is on staff here at NLC, has been planning this for years and finally was able to make it a reality. It was a very special time of exploring new ways to incorporate our creative skills into worship and faith. It was enjoyed by all who participated!! It has been requested to do the same type of conference next year as well!
We have also been traveling and visiting our different Sister Churches. We’ve really enjoyed seeing, first hand, how God is using each church and the way they are impacting their communities. We are even building two new churches this year!! We praise God for the way different churches in the States have helped in getting these church buildings started. We now have 22 completed Sister Churches!
On Mother’s Day, we traveled to IBENGA Holy Spirit UMC. This is a Sister Church that Heritage UMC in Clearwater, Florida helped build a few years ago and it has really grown. After holding an evangelism event there last year for the men, women and children we saw a big need for church benches for the congregation. A gift of funds was sent and we made the church benches and were able to deliver them on Mother's Day! It was a very special time. They asked me to preach so I got a bunch of special hugs from all the mom’s because of the powerful message to the men on “Husbands, love your wives as Christ loves the church”…ha! It really was a great time!
We have a few work teams coming out between now and the end of August. We could use your prayers as people travel over. All the preparations, by all of us, can be stressful and yet exciting at the same time. Our team this month is from Ocala First UMC from Florida. This is a great bunch of people and we are looking forward to their time here. It’s the first time coming for some of them. I like watching them the most. They always ask the most interesting questions! Ocala First UMC has built two Sister Churches over the years. They also have played an active role in helping with our education outreach to young students. We thank God for their love for others!
May God continue to bless each one of you for your faithfulness to helping others in Zambia. We love and appreciate each one of you!
Delbert & Sandy