Thursday, June 30, 2011

A man's best friend(s)

Our neighbors, in the cottage on our property, brought a couple of dogs
with them. They seem to have settled in very nicely. This picture was taken
on OUR mat, on OUR front porch, IN our kitchen. But, it didn't bother us
one bit. We'll see how we feel in a month:)

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Tears that escape

My wife and I had a prayer at the beginning of this year that we would be able to make the most of our last year in Zambia. God is busy answering that prayer. But, he is answering not just with our ministry opportunities, but also by getting a larger picture of what God is doing in Zambia. I wrote a lot about the short term team last week and how they blessed Patson. Yesterday I spent a couple hours with my friend Clay Hughey and the ministry of Family Legacy. They have been putting on camps for vulnerable and orphan children for the last 9 years. I couldn't hold back tears as I saw these young children, singing their hearts out, and Americans getting a taste of ministry and the world. So much of my ministry is to a smaller, deeper level. Both ministries are needed and necessary. But I tell you, knowing so much of the hurt and suffering these kids go through, to watch them enjoy, laugh, sing, dance, and eat for a week, and to engage with leaders who are focused on them is an amazing thing to watch. I have led camps for the last 10 years and I know the power of a camping ministry. But, this took it to a whole new level. Kids in Zambia are neglected and ignored. They are not really seen or given time or respect. This week was all about them. I have never really seen a ministry that was so huge with such a web of ministries and businesses that just boggled my mind. They are really going after it and praise God for how they encourage kids, not just for a week, but with ongoing sponsorships, school educations and drop in centers for the most neglected kids. They have 270 Zambians on staff, doing a variety of ministries. Pray that they would have wisdom in how they staff and that the nationals would get a real heart for the ministry, would be holy in their actions, and lead with integrity.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Because...



...I am living in a former British colony.
...I am friends with a lot of Brits.
...It is brilliant (as my Brit friends like to say.)
...And because this hilarious man is a Brit, himself.

Enjoy! (If you are getting this by email, click here:)

caught yellow-handed

Just had to share this picture of us catching Jo-Jo in the act of helping
herself to some chocolate chips in the freezer. It was quite hilarious
actually as we, Dad and Mom, were walking from the kitchen to the dining
room table to find our little two year old, literally caught in the act, and
she didn't know what to do. She stood there staring at us, I guess waiting
for our reaction. How do you discipline someone so cute? She stood long
enough with the bag in her hand for me to take a picture on my phone.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Helping a brother out...

I invited Dave Jamerson, the pastor of the short term team that is helping
out Patson, to come and share in our pastors class. He brought a very
timely, encouraging message to the pastors. I wish I would have recorded it.
They were deeply moved, being challenged to be fathers that love their
children and live for the next generation. The Traders Point team finished
painting the school/church and it looks amazing. They will be here one more
day for church and then will be heading home, I am sure, challenged,
convicted and changed... Thanks again Traders Point!! You blessed my brother
greatly!!!

How smoking chickens teaches pastors how to prepare to preach


Last Wednesday, I invited a good friend/pastor of our church and a Zambian farmer into our pastor's class to share a bit. I first shared the video below with the pastors to exhort them in their sermon preparation. It is the seven steps of preparing, marinating, and smoking a chicken and then how that relates to the 7 day preparation of preparing a sermon. And then Pastor Chris shared a bit about his journey to pastoring and some of the lessons that he has learned along the way. He also shared about his experience raising sheep and how that relates to some of the Bible Psalms and stories. It was a great encouragement to my pastors to have him share his heart, failures, weaknesses and stories.

Friday, June 24, 2011

10 years in a Week

The last week I have been spending a bit of time with a short term team that is here from Indiana. They have spent the week helping one of our pastors, Patson, to paint his school/church/house (It is indeed all one building.) This group from Traders Point Christian Church (www.tpcc.org) has been working so hard on the building but also loving the young children that are part of Patson's Community School. I spent the evening with this group last night, sharing about our ministry as well as answering their questions about culture and Zambia. I was there for about 2.5 hours enjoying the fellowship and encouragement of this great team as well as some good ‘ole American candy:)

I am so encouraged by their tireless effort and enthusiasm because I know how hard Patson has worked on this school. I asked Patson how long it would have taken him to do what this team has done in a week. I said, "10 years?" He said, "More than 10 years." Seriously. 10 years... You can't put a dollar on 10 years. That is priceless.

It has been fun to know Patson and his sacrifice (like fasting a day so he can buy a few bricks) and know how much he loves these children. AND THEN, to see this team come in and totally BLESS HIM and see the boost this team has given in helping him prepare the building to paint, the financial help and labor they have given him this week in supplies and work, the boost in making the school reputable in the community, the crafts/supplies/materials they have brought and the example to the teachers of how to teach, do chapels, and play games.

It was significant to me because I hope to be able to come back yearly to visit the pastors that we have trained as part of an alumni ministry. These kinds of projects are huge in encouraging pastors and helping them accomplish in a week what would take them 10 years to do. Who knows how it will all work out, but this week was a great encouragement to me of what could happen.

They have been keeping a daily blog if you are interested... This is the link to day 7 of their trip... If you don't want to read the blogs, you can at least read what they wrote about my time with them:

Dinner was wonderful, and we had a really meaningful dialog afterward with Steve Allen from Action Zambia joining us for a few hours. His organization provides a bible school for pastors (of which Patson is a part of the current class of 15 local pastors), an HIV Aids ministry, and a school for teachers. Steve is from the US and he and his family have been in Zambia for the past 4 years. Steve answered dozens of questions that we had about the culture and what we’ve seen so far this week. We appreciate the great work Steve and his team are doing here and for spending the evening with us.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Monday, June 20, 2011

A pure(itan) shot

You have to love this picture of one of our pastors who was reading a
puritan book before class...

Smart and not so Smart Part II

A few weeks ago, I posted this blog, Smart and not so smart.  Well, there is a sequel, fortunately for you and not so fortunately for this guy. Not sure how he got himself (or herself) into this ditch right by the office but I best not get too cocky as these gutters are monsters here in Zambia. One look at the radio and you are swallowed whole; pride, car and all.  Martin was our second preacher as we trek through Romans. He was dressed smart, as they say in Zambia, and preached pretty good as well.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Dancing in church is good

You have to see this video... They were singing a song about how to act in church - No fighting, no pulling each other down, etc... I would love to see more churches spend more time dancing and less time fighting. A great reminder to us all!

I've seen some crazy stuff

And this fits in that category. It is probably hard to see but in my side
mirror, I took a picture from my IPhone of a guy on a bike carrying a couple
25 foot bamboo poles. It looks like he was resting, or just posing for a
picture for me. Made me laugh.

Saddle up them horses

One of the highlights of our girls' time here in Zambia has been weekly
horseback riding lessons with their good friends. We had enough people
together to form our own group lesson, and each week the girls conspire on
what the shirt color of the week will be. This week, pink and blue,
beautifully coordinated for this picture, wouldn't you agree?

Thursday, June 16, 2011

A Visit to the Jungle

Well, it wasn't a jungle, but it was to JoJo. Steph asked, "Did you have fun?" She said, "Yes, I went to the jungle and we sang songs."

JoJo and I spent the morning with three of our pastors at "15 miles" in a rural area just north of Lusaka. This is my second trip in less than a month and the purpose for this trip was to give this young church plant some Bibles because they don’t have a one. This church plant is a direct result of two ACTION International missionaries being here and teaching our pastors about church planting. The light went on, some people were met, and now this church has been born. Thanks Patrick and Paul! Now I know it's a rough job I have over here giving Bibles in their own languages to new churches but someone has to do it. It was, well, pretty amazing. We picked up some Nyanga Bibles, Lenge Bibles, and English Bibles at the Bible society on the way out of town. We also got this thing called a Proclaimer. It is a solar powered, hand cranked audio bible in all languages. Simply amazing. They can hear the word of God spoken in their heart language during their service. AMAZING!!!! I just kept thinking about the $100 or so I spent on Bibles and how easily I spend $100 dollars on so many things and how significant this $100 felt. Bibles. I am still awestruck by the opportunity I had today. Joseph Zulu, Peter’s brother, joined us and preached a fiery sermon. Alfred also came along and preached as well. I also shared a short word. We gave out the Bibles to each person and it was so fun to see them reading them and engaging deeply in the whole morning church service under the tree. I found out later about two things that happened that I couldn’t tell because of the language barrier. One, some people actually committed their lives to Christ today, and others came forward for prayer. Second, Joseph pointed at me at one time during his message. I asked later what he said, and he said, “I told them. It was his responsibility to get us the Bible. He is done with his job. Now it is our responsibility to read the Bibles.”

I had a pretty funny and humbling moment after giving out the Bibles. JoJo who had been playing happily in the car, came over and said, “I have to go PooPoo.” Now, remember, I just finished passing out the Bibles at this historic moment in the life of the church. I said to Jojo, “You have to go or you did go...” I smelled and realized that my newly potty trained daughter had, well, you know, done the deed and now I had to clean it up, in the car, with flies and a church, sort of watching. And it got everywhere, and it was pretty nasty. But, it was perfect, too. I mean they were all shouting and clapping as they talked about receiving Bibles, and I was cleaning up my daughter in the rural “jungle” in the middle of nowhere Africa. It is life. And, it just fit, I guess. Life is messy that way.

The pastors were so excited afterwards. It was so great watching them minister. Joseph, on the way home even said, “I even preached the way you taught (in the preaching class.)” Of course, I didn’t know because I couldn’t understand him. He also said, “I didn’t want to really come. I needed to work and I have malaria, but I just didn’t have peace. I knew I needed to come.” I am glad I came as well. It’s not often you get the chance to give away Bibles to a new church in the middle of nowhere. Pray for this young church in rural Africa that the church may grow strong and that Peter Zulu will be able to continue shepherding this young church from his home in Lusaka.


In this picture I was speaking through Peter as a translator, speaking to the church about how cool this Proclaimer would be for their church.


I was sharing about the importance of the Bible and how it is like food and water to our soul.


JoJo entertaining herself in the car with her new friend.


Joseph preaching it up!


The elder reading out of his newly acquired Bible.


I love this picture of this young lady holding her ESV English Bible


This is probably my favorite picture. I just love JoJo looking intently at the church with her friend by her side and her hands wrapped around her arm.

Praying for the different members to receive Christ and for healing prayers.


Reading his new Chewa Bible.

Alfred preaching!


Church under the tree... Love it!

Singing in Zambia at its best... A picture does quite capture the joy that video does!


Wednesday, June 15, 2011

A lunar eclipse


Wish the picture could do this amazing wonder more justice... All ya'll in the United States didn't get to behold this wonder. But here are a few more pictures gathered off the Internet of what we saw this night.

Picture of the Day

You don’t know how hard it is to get this child to smile at any picture, let alone for me to catch on the Iphone which is like a second or two delay and have her looking so cute with her dolly which she was playing with so sweetly. Just had to share it on the Alive In Africa blog.

Stats cool

I just found the handy dandy stat thing on Blogger. 

Thought you might be interested to know the top all time blogs (since May 2009 when they started keeping track) on Alive In Africa...

 

#1 – Kamryn and her Python exPEErience

#2 – Our 24 hour camping trip with a (not really) hilarious video of JoJo getting sand in her eyes.

#3 – An old blog on the differences between Zambia and America.

 

And here are the top three traffic sources, giving back to them in publicity the people they have given to us!

 

http://robertsinzambia.blogspot.com/

 

http://soaresbrasil08.blogspot.com/

 

http://jandjmcdowell.blogspot.com/

 

So, there it is... Thanks for supporting us all these years!

 

 

 

 

Steve Allen

ACTION Zambia

www.aliveinafrica.com

 

 

Learning

You know, being a missionary in Africa doesn’t mean you are perfect. And sometimes, situations get the best of you.  I blogged a week ago about how I took a stack of flyers that were advertising a witchdoctor and how I was going to burn them (I don’t have the link here because I deleted the post).

 

When you have seen the hurt that witchdoctors have caused and have seen the chaos like I have of a very real spiritual world, I sometimes do and then write about things that I later regret. 

 

A good friend called me out on it yesterday. This friend doesn’t even believe what I believe about God, but he said regarding my justification for what I did, “Doesn't matter where it is (regarding Africa)... If I had posted that I just convinced someone downtown to give me all his pamphlets of "jesus will set me free" brochures, and will use them to light my BBQ, would that be OK as well?” 

 

Though I see a difference between witchdoctor and Jesus, he still had a point.

 

I paused for a moment and then wrote back on the instant messaging, “Hmm... Good point.”  (What I didn’t mention then, what I will now, is that my wife had a similar point that I didn’t bother regarding or give her a chance to explain.) 

 

He then said, “The guy will probably go back to his box and hand out another handful. You can’t change a culture by taking brochures.  You do what you’re doing, from the inside out.” 

 

I wrote back, “I couldn’t have said it better myself. Thanks.” 

 

And that is exactly what we are doing here, trying to do here.  Our Bible school is 3 years with the same 15 guys, going deep, working through the culture with the Word of God, and changing guys, from the inside out. 

 

So, there it is.  An imperfect, passionate experienced missionary still learning... 

 

Steve Allen

ACTION Zambia

www.aliveinafrica.com

 

 

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The preaching begins...

As you probably already know, I am teaching through the book of Romans
during this quarter and the next. I decided early on that I would share the
wealth with my pastors. I picked a different passage in each chapter,
spreading them out over the 16 chapters and the 6 months we will be going
through this book. Though they picked these passages out of a hat randomly,
there is never randomness with God. This was proved true in the first sermon
that Pastor Anderson Jere preached. He preached on the passage from Romans
2:25-29. The taught that neither circumcision (as the Jews claimed) or
going to church or baptism or anything else we DO on earth will save you. It
is only by grace, by faith, through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ that we
can be made right with God. He shared an amazing testimony of his first
church experience where this church claimed they were the only true church.
Not only am I hoping to help these pastors learn how to preach this
extraordinary book, but I am also hoping that they still remember what we
taught them in the preaching class a few quarters back.
My fears were relieved. Pastor Jere preached great.
After each sermon, the pastors are allowed to share their feedback and that
was also encouraging to me as they were able to articulate not only what he
did well, but how the preacher could improve in the preaching model that I
have taught them.
All in all, a good start...


Monday, June 13, 2011

Blast from the Past

I just wanted to apologize to anyone who got a flurry of emails from the past today. I was going back through the blog and found some blogs that for whatever reason never made it past the draft stage. I wanted to publish them just for memories sake. I didn’t think anyone would even see them, let alone that they would be emailed out to you, so please forgive the onslaught of emails you may have received...  If nothing else, enjoy the look back at the memories. As of now, I have published 905 blogs, with the first one debuting way back on November 3, 2006.  Crazy to think that we will be wrapping up this chapter in our lives in Zambia in six months. 

 

 

Steve Allen

ACTION Zambia

www.aliveinafrica.com

 

 

First time for everything

I took one of my pastors to the dentist today because he had a really painful tooth.  It turns out it wasn’t a tooth issue but more of a gum disease issue.  He was given some medicine, mouthwash, more medicine and a follow-up appointment.  It turns out that this was his first trip to the dentist.  He is 44 years old. And, he has never heard of flossing.  He doesn’t think anyone in his compound has ever heard about it.  Another thing to add to my list of things to be thankful for that I never thought I would have to be thankful for: Trips to the dentist and floss.

 

 

Steve Allen

ACTION Zambia

www.aliveinafrica.com

 

 

Love this picture

I am not sure what it is about this picture that I love so much... I love
the tree. I love all five girls playing. I love the sunny skies. I love the
rope swing. I love the African landscape. I loved that daddy/daughter day
with the kids. I guess I do know what I love about this picture.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Guilty of Contravening







Well I am surely making the most of my experiences here in Zambia. I
spent last Sunday morning at the police post and was charged with
contravening while driving. I paid a fine for k270,000 and was late
for church. And yes there is a story to go with it. I had taken my
youngest daughters for a little daddy/daughter/donut date. I had a
few moments before church, so I took a different way back, saw a guy
running because he was late, so I let him jump on the side of my car
(running board for the feet and roof rack for the hands) and I was
going to drop him at the mini bus location. Well, he wanted to go
further than I thought, and after crossing a street, heard some
insistent honking behind me. A police truck passed me and then cut me
off. The guy on the side of the car started running away! He was
tackled and then manhandled and then put in MY CAR, between the two
girls car seats in the back seat, and I was given orders to drive to
the police post in Ngombe. At this point, Rhoda starts bawling and I
was pretty angry. I mean, if you could only see how people hang out of
trucks and cars here, and I was just helping the guy out, well,
yeah... enough said. Anyway, I told him I was driving my kids to my
house to drop them off, and I did. After some Zambian friends tried
talking to the police to let me off, to no avail, and after I had
cooled down, I went to the police post. As you can imagine, I was a
spectacle for all to behold. I was the ONLY white person around. I
gave them my keys and then had to wait for an hour while they filled
out this paper work. It was pretty interesting spending part of the
morning at the police station. The jail was full, people were standing
around, and the police were busy doing their work. Things ended fine.
I had a good chat with the police lieutenant as I paid my fine and I
appreciated and respected them more than I had before. It is a hard
job, being a police for such a difficult society. Police work in
general is hard. It helped me to respect them more. At least these
guys. As I was leaving, he asked me to say prayers for him at church.
I did that morning. I was wrong to put the guy on the side of my
car, even though I didn't realize it was wrong. The guy on the side
of my car? Well, he was released partly I think because I took the
blame. As for my charge of contravening. I confess I had to look it
up in the dicitionary. I went against the rules of driving. Who knew?

Chapter 6 - Remember - Learning to live what we already know

Chapter 6 –
It is kind of depressing, isn't it?

God parts a river, provides bread and water, conquers nations, topples idols and so much more.

God made Himself so clear: obey Me and I will bless you; disobey Me and I will curse you. If ever a people had the motivation to follow God, it was in the Old Testament. He would bless them with every financial and physical benefit if they would just remember his words. They had every reason to remember God and yet they forgot. Was it because God did not do enough? You have to wonder what God needs to do to get his people to remember. Perhaps if this God would just come down as a man, perform some miracles, teach His truths and walk with people, then, just maybe, then they would remember. Well, that is exactly what He did. But, we are not ready to get there just yet.

Let's look at the forerunner, John the Baptist.
Four hundred years is a long time. Right now, the year is 2011. If I were to
subtract 400 years from 2011 we would arrive at the year 1611. What happened
in 1611? I am on the plane as I write so I cannot even check the internet. I
have no idea what happened in 1611.Columbus? Alright, I am back at the
internet. In 1611, the telescope was invented, the King James book was
written, and Shakespeare wrote "The Tempest" in 1611. Truly, that's a long
time ago and it is difficult to remember anything from that time period.
Even the internet is not much help. I wonder if my Great-Great-Great-Great
(times a lot) ancestors would have been able to convey anything to me
regarding my heritage, customs, and culture. I hardly know my relatives from
two generations ago. Just contemplating that makes the whole answered
prophecy of John the Baptist even more amazing. And there, in the midst of
400 years of silence from God, He finally speaks and John the Baptist is
sent to earth to remind everyone that God lives, cares, and is real.

John 3:30–36
"30'He must increase, but I must decrease.'
31He who comes from above is above all. He who is of the earth belongs to
the earth and speaks in an earthly way. He who comes from heaven is above
all.
32He bears witness to what he has seen and heard, yet no one receives his
testimony.
33Whoever receives his testimony sets his seal to this, that God is true.
34For he whom God has sent utters the words of God, for he gives the Spirit
without measure.
35The Father loves the Son and has given all things into his hand.
36Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the
Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him."
Malachi prophesized about a type of Elijah, a forerunner and prophet who
would come to remind people about God. This forerunner and prophet was John
the Baptist.. But this time, God was not going to just do it through
prophets, kings, judges, or priests. He was going to do it through The
Prophet, The Priest, The Judge, and The King: Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
He who has the Son has life. He who does not have the son, does not have life.
That is all you need to remember.

John never lost track of the fact that it was not about him. He said, "He
must increase. I must decrease." And he kept pointing, kept preaching, and
kept speaking about Jesus until he was in prison. He was in prison for
awhile, a long while. He didn't see this one coming and it worked him over
pretty good. And, even though he knew he was pretty special, having heard
the stories of his miracle birth, and learning over time from God about his
forerunner role in this life, circumstances have a way of creating spiritual
amnesia. He knew Jesus was the one, saw a dove come down from Heaven,
received divine revelation about Jesus, even baptized Jesus, and with all of
this, he sent his messengers to find out if Jesus was really the One. Are
you really the one? Did John forget? It seems that way.

Jesus was gracious and sent his messengers back with a spiritual reminder
that He was, indeed, the One. What was the proof that He was the One? "The
blind are seeing, the lame walk, the dead are raised up and happy is he who
doesn't stumble over me. Or, another way to read it, "Happy is he who
remembers me, even while in prison." (Luke 7:22)

Who can blame John for a little doubt? He had been in prison for at least a
year. It would be easy to struggle a bit in a dungeon. He spent most of his
time in a desert eating locusts and honey and never really spent a lot of
time with Jesus or the disciples, for that matter. We cannot fault a man
whose life was an anomaly, from start to finish. But, even John the Baptist,
someone with a miraculous birth, born with the Spirit on Him, who spent many
years in the desert learning from the Spirit, still forgot when he needed to
remember most.

So, back to where we started this chapter. What if God sent a representative
to earth? Would that change anything? We know that God did just that. God
sent his Son, born of a virgin woman, to live on this earth for 33 years. At
the age of 30, Jesus began his public ministry. Jesus picked twelve people
to be his disciples. Then, over the next three years, He taught them, ate
with them, loved them, and revealed to them His ability to do divine
miracles. In fact, He did 35 divine miracles of those three years. His first
miracle was changing water to wine. He then healed a nobelemen's son, cast a
demon out of a man, healed Peter's Mother-in-Law, and caught a bunch of fish
with his tired, discouraged fisherman disciples. Thirty-five times He
healed, casted out demons, fed thousands, walked on water, and much, much
more. And those are just the miracles that are recorded. John says that
there could not be enough books written to contain all that Jesus did and
said during his ministry on earth.

I say all of that because I want to give a little context for what I want to
share next. There were 18 major miracles before Jesus performed the miracle
of feeding 5000 men. Before we move on, consider that 18 is a lot of
miracles. Most people would be satisfied with just one or two bonafide
miracles to encourage or convince them that there is a God. And now, And
here comes an incredible dilemma. You have to assume that most of the men
had wives and maybe a few kids. There must have been 10,000-15,000 people
there. The twentieth miracle was Jesus and Peter walking on water. The
twenty-first was Jesus casting a demon out of a gentile's daughter. Then,
the twenty-second miracle was Jesus feeding 4000 men. We don't know how much
time was between the feedings. I am guessing at least a month because
between the feedings, He went to Tyre and Sidon, traveled along the Sea of
Galilee, and preached and healed in many places in that area. Even if it was
two months, don't you think that seeing over 10,000 people fed from just a
few loaves of bread and with a few fish would make an indelible impression?
Don't you think that you would never need to worry about food because Jesus
would take care of it? And yet, they, too, forgot.

Check out this interaction following the feeding of another 10,000 or so
people:
Mark 8:14–22
"14Now they had forgotten to bring bread, and they had only one loaf with
them in the boat.
15And he cautioned them, saying, 'Watch out; beware of the leaven of the
Pharisees and the leaven of Herod.'
16And they began discussing with one another the fact that they had no
bread.
17And Jesus, aware of this, said to them, 'Why are you discussing the fact
that you have no bread? Do you not yet perceive or understand? Are your
hearts hardened?
18Having eyes do you not see, and having ears do you not hear? And do you
not remember?
19When I broke the five loaves for the five thousand, how many baskets full
of broken pieces did you take up?' They said to him, 'Twelve.'
20'And the seven for the four thousand, how many baskets full of broken
pieces did you take up?' And they said to him, 'Seven.'
21And he said to them, 'Do you not yet understand?'

The disciples were worried about the bread. Their hearts were dull and they
were unsure how they were going to eat. They were too busy kicking
themselves to remember that it really did not matter that they had forgotten
the bread as long as they were with Jesus. The issue truly was and continues
to be that they did not remember what Jesus had done. Even after doing 22
miracles, they still were unable to allow this new reality to infiltrate
their understanding of how life could/should/would work out in their new
world.

The disciples seem to forget a lot during their three years. Despite the
miracles and the amazing teaching, they are called at different times, "Dull
of hearing" and "you of little faith." They forgot again at the Cross and
after the resurrection. There is really only one place where the disciples
do seem to remember something. It is an unusual passage. During the first of
three visits to Jerusalem, Jesus makes a whip of cords and cleanses the
temple of the money changers. After watching this happen, John 2:17 says:
"17His disciples remembered that it was written, 'Zeal for your house will
consume me.'"

But what is strange is that a few verses later, the Jews demand a sign from
Jesus and He does not give them one. In fact, He tells them the sign to give
proof that He has authority to cleanse the temple; He said He would be
raised in three days.

And then, it says:
John 2: 22
"22When therefore he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered that
he had said this, and they believed the Scripture and the word that Jesus
had spoken."
The remembering was written in the future; it seemed to happen after He was
raised from the dead. It seems that something cliqued. It is strange that it
did not clique earlier because He told them many times. The first time He
mentioned it was in this John 2 passage early in His ministry . He told them
again before the Transfiguration (Matthew 16:21-26, Mark 8:31-37, and Luke
9:22-25) and again soon thereafter (Matthew 17:22-23, Mark 9:30-32, Luke
9:43-45). And for the last time in the recorded scripture, He told them
again near the Jordan during His last Perean ministry (Matthew 20:17-19,
Mark 10:32-34, Luke 18:31-34).

I think the reason it cliqued after He was raised and glorified was because
it was concealed to them. For some reason, Jesus exhorted them to remember
and, yet, God concealed it from them. See it for yourself in Luke 9:44–45:
"44'Let these words sink into your ears: The Son of Man is about to be
delivered into the hands of men.' 45But they did not understand this saying,
and it was concealed from them, so that they might not perceive it. And they
were afraid to ask him about this saying."

It all comes together in two verses many chapters later, that seem to help
clarify this idea of how and when remembering comes.
Luke 24:5-12 - 5And as they were frightened and bowed their faces to the
ground, the men said to them, "Why do you seek the living among the dead?
6He is not here, but has risen. Remember how he told you, while he was still
in Galilee, 7that the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful
men and be crucified and on the third day rise." 8And they remembered his
words, 9and returning from the tomb they told all these things to the eleven
and to all the rest. 10Now it was Mary Magdalene and Joanna and Mary the
mother of James and the other women with them who told these things to the
apostles, 11but these words seemed to them an idle tale, and they did not
believe them. 12But Peter rose and ran to the tomb; stooping and looking in,
he saw the linen cloths by themselves; and he went home marveling at what
had happened.

The women remembered after the angels told them, but the disciples, despite
being told four different times, did not remember. Mark 16:14–15 captures
this conversation:
"14Afterward he appeared to the eleven themselves as they were reclining at
table, and he rebuked them for their unbelief and hardness of heart, because
they had not believed those who saw him after he had risen. 15And he said to
them, 'Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole
creation.'"

This shows that remembering is more of a heart issue than a mind issue. And
we are getting close, really close to putting this all together.

A sensory packed morning

The bridge with friends...

One of the houses that Peter fixed up so he could rent for some income generation.

My little Steve is growing up!

Peter's three boys with my four (out of five) girls.

I took the Allen girls (minus Julia who was at a birthday party) to visit my
friend Peter in Garden yesterday. They hadn't seen the bridge since it was
completed and I took some aspirin to Peter for a massive toothache that he
was enduring. The girls were super impressed and it doesn't get old seeing
the bridge assisting the community in a sincerely amazing way. It was
interesting to observe my daughters reaction to this immersion in a
different culture. Rhoda, who knows what she is thinking, as a Zambian,
belonging, and yet very, very far removed. Kamryn and Bradyn had been there
before but it was very a sensory-packed morning as the bridge was packed
with people, the garbage was smoking something really bad, flies swarming
around, people chatting and staring and washing their clothes. After we
visited the bridge/church and then went to his house to see how he is
turning his old church space into rooms for people to rent and thus income,
we went to the brand new Manda Hill. I was wondering if the girls would
notice the contrast and sure enough, Kamryn said as we got out of the car,
"It sure is different to come here after being there, isn't it, Dad?" I
said, "I was wondering if anyone would notice. I am glad you noticed."