Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Blessings from Above, Part II

It was a real blessing to have Matt join us in Zambia, as a pastor and as a friend. He jumped right in, built bridges into the lives of the Zambians and blessed us real good.

The best thing a visiting pastor can teach is how to teach. And that is what Matt did. He taught them a form of preaching using the stories from the Bible. Simple. Transferable. Brilliant.

One of things Matt said he wanted to do here is get to know our kids. It didn't take JoJo long to warm up. The kids absolutely loved his stories.

On Wednesday he taught the pastors. On Thursday, after his long 10 day ministry trip to Kenya, I decided it was time for some relaxation. However, our plans were derailed a 1.5 hour bit as we had to fix my first flat tire in four years here in Zambia. Because of the angle of my jack, I couldn't get the tire up high enough. Thankfully, someone came along who had a big jack.

It is winter here. The morning was cold. The afternoon was perfect. We went on a safari first thing.

And we saw a 20 ft python coming out of a whole. It was surreal to say the least.

We saw elephants.

Hyenas (thankfully behind bars)

And this Lion here who I think would have eaten us if he wasn't behind a bar. He actually did charge the fence and scare us pretty good. It was feeding day and I think he was hungry.

It was a perfect afternoon, hanging by the pool and relaxing.

Gotta love the snooker table.

On Friday morning, we visited the pastors houses and picked them up to take them to a pastor's conference in Kalikiliki. We picked up Patson, Peter, Alfred and Joseph so Matt could see their houses in the compounds as well as save them a trip. We went to Pastor Jere's church to teach the pastors from that compound on preaching. Matt opened it up sharing about how to teach using story, and then I taught on preaching. And then, the plan was for Patson, Peter, Joseph and Alfred to all share 10 minutes on each of the preaching points that I introduced. Can you say highlight of my year? The point of them sharing was to show how these points in preaching affect their preaching. Now, they spoke in Nyanga but it didn't matter. They were animated, they were passionate and they spoke with conviction and knowledge of the subject. They answered questions, and worked together as an amazing team. It was what you always hope will happen, in that the teachees become the teachers and do such a better job than the teacher could ever do. I am done. Seriously. Now the plan is to help facilitate a pastor's conference where I don't say a thing. It was honestly one of the most pure, amazing things I have witnessed since I have been here.

After the conference, Matt spoke again at the ACTION Pastor's college. He took the next step, demonstrating how to lead a small group in the story teaching.

Friday was July 15, and as it turned out, Matt's 39th birthday. We celebrated with Dessert Pizza and some Stephanie homemade famous pizza.

And here he is talking with Julie, his beloved wife, on skype, a few minutes before he left for the airport. I am still blown away by technology.

It was a great three days. I blinked and it was over. The beauty of great friendships with history is that even when you haven't hung out in 12 or so years, that you just pick up where you left off, except with a couple of wives and a bunch of kids:)

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