A Picture's Worth 1000 Words!

Just thought I'd share some photos from our recent trip to Zambia, Namibia and England. Enjoy! 

 Sunsets were beautiful in Mongu, Zambia.

Sunsets were beautiful in Mongu, Zambia.

 Evangel Assembly of God Church hosted our Phase 1 Youth Leader Training in Mongu, Zambia.

Evangel Assembly of God Church hosted our Phase 1 Youth Leader Training in Mongu, Zambia.

 In Mongu, we averaged about twenty students at each session. This photo was taken as the students gathered on our first night of training.

In Mongu, we averaged about twenty students at each session. This photo was taken as the students gathered on our first night of training.

 This was our view one afternoon from Evangel Assembly of God Church in Mongu.

This was our view one afternoon from Evangel Assembly of God Church in Mongu.

 We enjoyed worshipping at the Vineyard Church in Mongu where Doug was privileged to preach and Percy taught. Five of these praise team leaders were in our class!

We enjoyed worshipping at the Vineyard Church in Mongu where Doug was privileged to preach and Percy taught. Five of these praise team leaders were in our class!

 This young woman gave a stirring testimony to God's faithfulness during worship at the Vineyard Church. She had just been accepted into nursing school after many attempts over several years. Her song of praise was beautiful!

This young woman gave a stirring testimony to God's faithfulness during worship at the Vineyard Church. She had just been accepted into nursing school after many attempts over several years. Her song of praise was beautiful!

 These joyful kids were playing outside during worship!

These joyful kids were playing outside during worship!

 Pastor Yuyi Mundia of the Mongu Vineyard Church has a deep passion for youth. He was one of our students and is our liaison in Mongu.

Pastor Yuyi Mundia of the Mongu Vineyard Church has a deep passion for youth. He was one of our students and is our liaison in Mongu.

 This gentleman was listening intently to Percy's training on Biblical worship.

This gentleman was listening intently to Percy's training on Biblical worship.

 We ended our Mongu training with a worship celebration for all the youth whose leaders we had trained. Abby preached and it was awesome!

We ended our Mongu training with a worship celebration for all the youth whose leaders we had trained. Abby preached and it was awesome!

 Our Mongu students proudly display their Phase 1 certificates!

Our Mongu students proudly display their Phase 1 certificates!

 From Mongu, we traveled south to Katima Mulilo, Namibia. Our host church was Believers Fellowship, led by Pastor Yumba and his assistant, Pastor Alec. We loved worshipping with them, and Doug was privileged to preach there twice.

From Mongu, we traveled south to Katima Mulilo, Namibia. Our host church was Believers Fellowship, led by Pastor Yumba and his assistant, Pastor Alec. We loved worshipping with them, and Doug was privileged to preach there twice.

 Our students were from three churches and four countries, Namibia, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Nigeria. We met in secondary school classrooms. Pastor Yumba teaches Physics and Chemistry there.

Our students were from three churches and four countries, Namibia, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Nigeria. We met in secondary school classrooms. Pastor Yumba teaches Physics and Chemistry there.

 What a privilege and joy it was to teach such highly motivated and committed students!

What a privilege and joy it was to teach such highly motivated and committed students!

 We had a blackboard (or whiteboard) for every session in Namibia which was a treat.

We had a blackboard (or whiteboard) for every session in Namibia which was a treat.

 Our Namibia class joyfully display their Phase 1 certificates!

Our Namibia class joyfully display their Phase 1 certificates!

 Our Namibia class gifted us with these awesome outfits as a show of their appreciation. They were created by on of our students, a tailor named Royd.

Our Namibia class gifted us with these awesome outfits as a show of their appreciation. They were created by on of our students, a tailor named Royd.

 Cheri Contes and her children, Hannah and Evan, invited us to stop over in wolverhampton, England on our way home. They are fellow missionaries and friends of ours from our home church, Lake Forest. Standing with us is Cheri’s friend, Maame, from Ghana, and a neighborhood friend of Evan’s.

Cheri Contes and her children, Hannah and Evan, invited us to stop over in wolverhampton, England on our way home. They are fellow missionaries and friends of ours from our home church, Lake Forest. Standing with us is Cheri’s friend, Maame, from Ghana, and a neighborhood friend of Evan’s.

 It was our joy to worship with Windmill Church in Wolverhampton, England. We were warmly welcomed and Doug was proivileged to preach there on Sunday morning!

It was our joy to worship with Windmill Church in Wolverhampton, England. We were warmly welcomed and Doug was proivileged to preach there on Sunday morning!

Namibia Roundup!

 Our Namibian students proudly display their Certificates after completing Phase 1 Intensive Training. 

Our Namibian students proudly display their Certificates after completing Phase 1 Intensive Training. 

Where do students from Namibia, Zimbabwe, Zambia and Nigeria come together in one classroom? Why, in Katima Mulilo, Namibia, of course! 

We just completed nine days of training with a great group of students representing these four countries. They were committed, responsive and eager to learn. We were graciously hosted by Pastor Yumba and Believers Fellowship, and were joined by students from two other churches, Rise & Shine, and Loud Cry Ministries.

 We taught in secondary school classrooms and, thankfully, had a good floor fan for all but two of the sessions. 

We taught in secondary school classrooms and, thankfully, had a good floor fan for all but two of the sessions. 

Over the nine days, Abby taught "Discipleship: Being, Becoming and Doing," "The Wounded Healer," and "Family Systems." I taught "Our Common Creation, Common Problem, and Common Solution" (based on Genesis 1-3), and "Understanding the Bible." Percy Muleba added several sessions on "Developing A Biblical View of Worship." 

 Pastor Alec focuses on the Word during one of our small group breakout sessions. 

Pastor Alec focuses on the Word during one of our small group breakout sessions. 

We were also able to give our students copies of the Global Study Bible due to the generosity of Crossway Books via our mission organization, Global Training Network. This Bible uniquely offers articles and footnotes that take into account the Developing World's issues.

 Sue listens attentively to Abby's teaching. 

Sue listens attentively to Abby's teaching. 

During the week, we were hosted for lovely lunches by several of our students, by Joyce (with another student, Sue, and their friend, Agnes), by Chi Chi & Bernard, and by Admire & Memory. These opportunities to get to know our students were fantastic. We can't wait to build on these relationships in our training next August!

We worshipped both Sundays at Believers Fellowship. What a delightful congregation! Doug was privileged to preach both Sundays on "The Fivefold Purpose of the Church" based on Acts 2:42-47 and "The Fivefold Characteristics of the Church" based on John 20:19-23.

 Believers Fellowship gathers here for worship, prayer and study. As you can see, they are in the process of building. 

Believers Fellowship gathers here for worship, prayer and study. As you can see, they are in the process of building. 

We are grateful for the privilege of working with such great people. Thank you for supporting us and for praying for us. Where we go, you go! 

 Our students gifted us with these beautiful custom tailored clothes. One of our students, Royd, is a gifted tailor!

Our students gifted us with these beautiful custom tailored clothes. One of our students, Royd, is a gifted tailor!

Please pray for a good end to our trip, along with safe and uneventful travel. We are already missing our dear friend and GTN colleague, Percy Muleba, and his family!

We fly to the UK tomorrow to visit our friend and fellow missionary, Cheri Contes, and her two great kids, Hannah and Evan. They are helping launch a new church in Wolverhampton where Doug will preach on Sunday! We then fly home next Monday.

 Abby outlines her training on allowing Jesus, the wounded Savior, to use us as his wounded healers. 

Abby outlines her training on allowing Jesus, the wounded Savior, to use us as his wounded healers. 

 L to R: Agnes, Joyce (our chef and host), Sue and Abby. 

L to R: Agnes, Joyce (our chef and host), Sue and Abby. 

 It was a joy to worship at Believers Fellowship! 

It was a joy to worship at Believers Fellowship! 

"No One Ever Comes Here!"

 Our dear friend and GTN colleague, Pastor Percy Muleba, and Pastor Kwalombota Mubita (R) of Evangel Assembly of God Church in Mongu, Zambia. 

Our dear friend and GTN colleague, Pastor Percy Muleba, and Pastor Kwalombota Mubita (R) of Evangel Assembly of God Church in Mongu, Zambia. 

Pastor Mubita introduced himself to me after our celebration service on our last Sunday afternoon in Mongu. He had preached a spirited, direct and timely sermon to the youth who had gathered and I was happy to meet him. We chatted for several minutes before he had to leave, and he had much to say, but it was these words which have stuck with me ever since:

"No one ever comes here. But, you have come!" 

When I asked him what he meant, he explained that the Western Province of Zambia is neglected, that missionaries and mission teams almost always go elsewhere in Zambia. He added that the sort of intensive training we do simply never comes to them. When I reassured him that we had made a three year commitment to the Mongu area, he was delighted. 

As we have traveled and ministered over the last 12 years in Zambia's Western Province, I must say that we have almost never encountered anyone doing the kind of training we do. Sadly, then, I was not surprised to hear his words. 

Earlier in our stay in Mongu, we'd had the privilege of meeting with Bishop Manyando (United Church of Zambia, Western Province). He also decried the lack of sound theological training available to the people of Western Province. It is, in his estimation, a desperate situation. 

 Bishop Manyando (L) with Percy and Doug

Bishop Manyando (L) with Percy and Doug

Our hearts break when we see this need, especially because we meet such amazing individuals on every one of our trips, men and women with the heart and intellect for serious study, men and women who love Jesus and his church, and who lead with such vigor when they are empowered. 

Thank you for enabling us to do what we do. Thank you for coming with us through your support and prayer. We're incredibly grateful! 

 

 

 

Great Start in Mongu

One of the exciting things about training leaders in Zambia is the eagerness of the students. We began our training of about twenty youth leaders in Mongu last evening and it went very well.

Our host, Pastor Yuyi Mundia, has a Kingdom heart and has developed the interdenominational New Vine Youth ministry to reach, equip and send young people to share the Gospel. It is our privilege to encourage him and his ministry this week. 

Our focus this week is God's design for human relationships, especially male-female relationships, and how our relational health affects our worship, our life and ministry within the church, and our mission in the world. 

Please continue praying for our students and for us that the Holy Spirit will bring dynamic transformation to all of us!