Monday, November 24, 2008

forty-eight days in counting...

It feels a bit like deja vu to be counting down like this again... But, it is our life as the "take to Zambia" pile begins to grow in my office and we find ourselves speaking more, setting up get togethers and sharing about ministry with our supporters.

I preached last Sunday at Oikos Fellowship in Bellingham, sharing a bit about Zambia and more about how God completely rocked my world in Zambia. I called it a "preachimony." It was fun to have some former students from Crossroads there as well. The pastor, Pete Williamson, will be coming over to Zambia in April to teach at a pastors conference. I am super excited to have him come out and see what God is doing in Zambia as well as be able to teach and preach to my pastor friends. I am sure that he will find out as I did, that you will learn a lot more from them than you could ever teach them. I covet this experience for every pastor...

And then tonight we got together with a few of our Bellingham faithful supporters and friends to share about our first nine months in Zambia and what the next two years hold for us. (In case you haven't heard, we are going back for an additional two year term. What life will look like after that is unknown to us right now but thankfully God knows...)

This weekend we head to Spokane/Idaho area to see family and friends and share with two churches there. We will be back in Bellevue the following week meeting with more friends and supporters.

I will preaching at Northview Community Church on December 7 in Abbotsford, Canada where my good buddy Jeff Bucknam is the lead pastor.

It is amazing how fast the time has gone by here in the U.S. The family is healthy and excited to get back to Zambia. But, the time here in the states has been very good for our family. And not just for our family, but God is putting us in touch with families and college students who are interested in joining us in Zambia. That is exciting.

Thank you for your prayers for us as we come into our final month of our furlough. Thank you for your support of us this past six months.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Africa in Bellingham

It has been really cool to be home during the month of November in Bellingham. Our church, Northlake Community Church, has been doing what we call "The Micah Project." In order to help reach both the community we live in as well as the world we need to love, we have embarked on an adventure as a church body.

This Micah project consists of four things:

We are having a three week food drive to stock our food pantry for about needy families in our community.

We are raising money for caregiver kits through Worldvision to send to Zambia. They are small kits that help trained caregivers the medicine and the training to hep those suffering with HIV/AIDS in various villages.

We are doing a sustenence diet for a week, which consists of rice, beans, an apple and some oatmeal, to better empathize with the hungry and option-less in the majority third world.

And, we are doing a World Vision Experience tour at Western Washington University where you walk through a life of a young child in an African village.

It has been a joy to be a part of helping plan it and think through the different scenarios because of our experiences in Africa. I had a chance to preach today as well. You can hear it online at sometime later this week.

I am encouraged by our church and its hunger to love not just with words, but with action and in truth, to love orphan and the widow, and to open their heart to the heart ache that awaits them.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Sunday, November 02, 2008

A trip to Portland

We were in Portland this weekend visiting friends and family that support us in Africa... We saw Stephanie's Aunt and Uncle on Friday night and then spent a couple nights at the Knifongs. We went to Mt Hood Community Church church this morning with them. We saw the Schwartz family at church as well... John and I were roommates in college. He just had his sixth kid. The Knifongs have five. We only have four:)

We had a chance to share about Africa during their weekly shared meal after the service, showing a video as well as answering questions. As for the picture above, Stephanie and the girls sang Takwaba (their favorite African worship song) and the other picture is a game that our kids were playing with the Knifong kids appropiately called "10 days in Africa." We arrived home at around 7:30 pm and the kids were begging to go to bed. I like that when that happens:)