Heading into the Bush!

Today, Abby and I head to Mwandi and Sesheke, and then tomorrow into the bush to train in three villages, Nangweshi, Kalongola and Moyo. We're excited!

Our time in Livingstone has been a bit rough. We've had trouble sleeping and I'm still not fully recovered from an infection. Still, last night we slept much better, so we're grateful.  

We'll likely be offline the next couple of weeks, but check back just in case. :) 

 Please pray for our health, safe travels, life-changing training and, most importantly, our relationships, new and old. Thank so much for your love and support. You are in our prayers! 

Zambia Calling Again!

 Our Lilonga 2017 Class

Our Lilonga 2017 Class

It's been about seven weeks since our dear friend and colleague, Percy Muleba, returned to Zambia after a twelve week visit. His time here was extremely successful because it allowed him to renew old friendships, make new ones and build the support team he needed. God is good!

On June 5th, Abby and I return to Zambia for one month. We'll renew old friendships in Livingstone, Sesheke, Lilonga, Nangweshi and Mongu. And, we'll make new friends in Kalongola and Moyo. As always, we'll be traveling and training with our dear friend, Percy Muleba. We're looking forward to seeing him again.

Over the last few months, we've redacted our training manual, adding new material and streamlining the old. Our dear friend, Cyndie Howard, proofed it for us which was no small task, given its length. Thanks, Cyndie!

One of the exciting aspects of this trip is that two very experienced Pastors, Sikute and Lewis, will be joining us for a couple of weeks to experience and observe our training, and to discuss the possibility of future work together. We will welcome their suggestions and insight. They're wonderful men and we're blessed by their interest in our work.

Our schedule, tentatively, looks like this:

     June 5: Depart for Zambia

     June 7: Arrive in Livingstone

     June 11-15: Nangweshi

     June 16-17: Mongu

     June 18-22: Kalongola

     June 23-24: Mongu

     June 25-29: Moyo

     June 30-July 2: Lilonga (briefly) and Livingstone

     July 3: Depart for home

     July 4: Arrive home

We want to thank those of you who are on our Mission Team. We couldn't do this without your partnership! And, as always, we're grateful for all of you who are interested in our mission and pray for us.

We are in special need of prayer as we prepare to leave. I'm recovering slowly from an infection and Abby is fighting a sinus infection. We're both on antibiotics.

We covet prayers for safe and uneventful travel while we're away, good relationships old and new, transformative training experiences for our students, and strength and health for Abby, Percy and me. Thanks, friends!

"We mustn't drive drunk!" Percy Muleba

 Percy Muleba saw snow for the first time at the Grand Canyon!

Percy Muleba saw snow for the first time at the Grand Canyon!

A year or two ago, my dear Zambian friend, Percy Muleba, and I were talking on the phone about all the amazing ways the Lord was at work in our mission efforts. Things were just flowing, slowly and smoothly, like the Zambezi River.

I commented, "We just have to stay on our raft in the middle of the river and let the Lord take us where he wants us to go." To which Percy replied, "Yes, we mustn't drive drunk!"

Puzzled, I asked for an explanation. Percy said, "We're drunk in the Spirit right now and when you're drunk in the Spirit, it's better to get into the back seat and let the Lord drive."


So why do I bring this up now? It's because ever since Percy arrived in the U.S. on February 2nd, it's been another one of those times when we simply mustn't "drive drunk." Things are flowing, and the Lord's leading and timing are leaving us stunned and amazed.

 Percy enjoyed time in Phoenix with GTN President Paul Madson and his wife, Lisa.

Percy enjoyed time in Phoenix with GTN President Paul Madson and his wife, Lisa.

The purpose of Percy's trip was to: 1) interview with the Global Training Network (GTN) board during GTN's annual leadership gathering in Phoenix on February 17th ; 2) visit Liberty University to learn more about their Worship Leader courses of study; 3) raise financial support from new ministry partners for his Zambian mission.

Percy's interview with GTN went great. President Paul Madson had visited Percy in Zambia last September and spent three days with him there. The board's interview built on that and was characterized by the Christ-centered, relational and practical approach Abby & I have so appreciated over the years we've been on staff with GTN.

 Percy is now Senior Staff with GTN!

Percy is now Senior Staff with GTN!

Most importantly, the board offered Percy a Senior Staff position with GTN and he became the first fully indigenous member of GTN's staff!

Wes Tuttle, the Worship Pastor at River Oaks Community Church (EPC in Clemmons, NC graciously arranged a visit to Liberty University (LU) for Percy. Wes had been one of the people the Lord used in the mid-90's to launch LU's Masters and Doctoral programs in Worship Leadership in partnership with Integrity Music. In addition, Wes had served as the Director of Integrity Music's international worship leader training prior to coming to River Oaks.

Wes had set up a meeting for Percy with Dr. Vernon M. Whaley, the dean of LU's School of music. Dr. Whaley was so encouraging and visionary. He warmly welcomed us, reviewed the courses of study, and then offered Percy the opportunity to study for his M.A. in Ethnomusicology and then go on to the Doctor of Worship Studies. He explained that both degrees can be done online! He then handed Percy an application which Percy filled out. His admission is currently in process!

 We enjoyed a fantastic mini-concert by LU Praise!

We enjoyed a fantastic mini-concert by LU Praise!

Dr. Whaley then arranged a tour of the amazing new Center for Music & Worship led by a great guy, Tim Williamson. After that, we were treated to a mini concert by LU Praise, a 25-member gospel concert choir that serves as an official representative team for Liberty University's Center for Music & Worship.

Percy's efforts to build a stronger mission support team are underway and have begun well. He has met or is scheduled to meet with several churches: Oak Island EPC; Lake Forest EPC; Centre EPC; Bethlehem EPC; First Presbyterian (Mooresville); Lighthouse EPC; and others. He has received commitments from churches and individuals for about half his 2018 budget. We are praying for more!

If you'd like to join his team, you can do so by sending support to him through GTN. You can mail a check (see below) or phone GTN at 623-217-3867 to use a credit card or set up a bank draft. (Percy's staff page will be up at GTN (www.GlobalTrainingNetwork.org) in a week or two for online giving.

Make check payable to: Global Training Network (Memo: Percy Muleba - #50212)                  Mail check to: Global Training Network, P O Box 6507, Peoria, AZ  85385

Many other things have flowed well, also...

Percy has been blessed medically by the unbelievable generosity of Dr. Kimberly Christman (Dentist), Dr. Christopher Mills (Optometrist) and Dr. Steve Ferguson (Internist) and their awesome teams. Dr. Ferguson prescribed an inhaler to help Percy with the reactive asthma he's been unknowingly dealing with since recovering from tuberculosis in 2012, and it's made an amazing difference with Percy's stamina and singing voice!

Percy was warmly welcomed to Steve & Lisa Hunter's community group where he taught on biblical worship. Steve and Lisa also graciously hosted Percy and us for a long, lingering lunch following worship at Lake Forest one Sunday.

 Percy has enjoyed hanging out with Andy Muhich, the Missions Pastor at Lake Forest Church.

Percy has enjoyed hanging out with Andy Muhich, the Missions Pastor at Lake Forest Church.

Our own Callan & Grimes community group welcomed Percy back - he had visited in 2015 - with open arms and welcomed his mission report with enthusiasm.

Last, but certainly not least, Percy has enjoyed reconnecting with many old friends and making new friends, as well.

What's upcoming?

Percy is preaching at Lighthouse EPC in Mooresville on March 18th.

Lake Forest Church (LFC) will be hosting a GoLunch for Percy following worship on March 25th at 12:30pm where he will share his vision. Prior to the lunch, during both morning services, Percy will sing with the praise team and be interviewed by Harrison Gillming, the Director of Worship Arts at LFC.

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO ATTEND THE LFC LUNCH on March 25th, please click on RSVP!

 Harrison Gillming, the Worship Arts Director at Lake Forest Church, will interview Percy at both Huntersville campus worship services (9:30 and 11:05am) on March 25th.

Harrison Gillming, the Worship Arts Director at Lake Forest Church, will interview Percy at both Huntersville campus worship services (9:30 and 11:05am) on March 25th.

Westminster EPC in Burlington is hosting Percy at a mission dinner on March 25th.

Percy will fly to Colorado (April 12-27) to spend a couple of weeks with old friends and mission partners, Eric and Jan deNeve.

On April 29th, Percy will be the featured speaker at Fifth Sunday Fellowship sponsored by United Faith Alliance in Statesville. It will be held at First Baptist Church, Statesville.

Percy returns to Zambia on May 3rd.

We are so grateful to the Lord and all our mission partners for making Percy's visit such a success so far. Please pray that the last half of Percy's visit is as full of God sightings as the first half!