Monday, March 16, 2015

March 2015 Prayer Letter

Dear Praying Friends,

Thank you for praying for our family as Elijah and I traveled to Zambia over the last month.  We had a great trip and Preetika enjoyed a refreshing time while we were away. As I write this, both Elijah and I are still slowly getting over jet lag. We are, however, rejoicing in the blessings of the last 3 weeks.

First, Elijah was able to gain the approval to receive US citizenship. This is a tremendous answer to prayer as it will allow us to travel (back to Zambia) once the Lord restores Preetika’s health without restrictions. Elijah did not quite grasp the importance of this and had his heart set on a “green card.” It was all I could do to keep him from asking the officials for a green card instead of complete US citizenship! When we returned to America, his mother had a green card waiting for him!

In addition, Preetika has been greatly encouraged over the last month. Not only did she benefit from some extra time with the Lord lately, but we also received some unexpected direction in regards to her health situation. Two incidents, in particular, have greatly bolstered our spirits. During our days in Zambia, we met a missionary colleague (from another part of Zambia and previously unknown to us). As we chatted about Preetika’s condition, I was surprised to find that this missionary had a medical background and had come across similar symptoms over her more than 20 years in Zambia. She suggested we look into parasites as being a possible cause of Preetika’s problems. We have been recommended to a doctor who specializes in such things here in Southern California. We have an appointment on Wednesday, March 11. In addition to this development, we saw a “minor miracle” (especially for Africa!) in regards to Preetika’s biopsy done in May 2014 in Zambia. As we have mentioned this procedure performed at the beginning of this ordeal, several doctors in America had wondered aloud if the slide from the biopsy might be available to run further tests on. I was quite skeptical that the slide would be able to be found. While in Lusaka, I asked the doctor about the slide. He was also dubious that the lab would have held onto it, but thought it wouldn’t hurt to ask. Two days later I had the slide in my hand. We trust that both of these developments will prove to be a help in getting Preetika well. Please continue to pray for my wife and her health.

It has also been my extreme pleasure to be able to work among the Zambian believers this past month. To be on the field, among the people to whom the LORD has called me is always a tremendous blessing. During the few weeks there, I was privileged to meet a new neighbor of mine named Ernest. He had come to Livingstone from a distant part of Zambia to find work just 2 weeks prior to my arrival. On our second day in Zambia, Elijah and I went out soul winning with some men from our church in the neighborhood near my house. Ernest was so open to hearing the gospel of Christ that he invited us to sit down in his house and share about Jesus with him. He trusted Christ that day and was in church the next Sunday.
A week later he had a man from our church come back and witness to his sister about salvation in Christ Since then, he has attended every service and Bible study held by our church. He is about to begin being discipled and is planning to be baptized soon. (Once the water cooperates… Please pray for the city water at our church. It has been an ongoing problem to get consistent water to our property.) Ernest is hoping to bring his wife and the rest of his children to join him and his seven-year-old son in Livingstone. We are praying that the Lord will allow the entire family to be together and that the hearts of the rest of the family will be open to following Jesus as well.

We are so grateful to you all who have stood with us in support and prayer these last several months. You have encouraged us to trust God’s purpose even when we cannot see it.

February 2015 Prayer Letter

Dear Praying Friends,

I want to start off this quick update by thanking you all for your faithful prayers and support for our family. While the cause for Preetika’s health issues are still undetermined, we are making steady (if not quick) progress. She recently had an EMG and nerve conduction test performed, and we expect the results in a couple of weeks. We praise the LORD that the test was able to be moved up o before I left for Zambia so that I was able to be with Preetika while the test was conducted.

In addition to ongoing prayer for Preetika’s health, we are asking that you pray for Elijah and me as we travel tomorrow to Zambia. We will be in Zambia for three weeks to accomplish two main goals. First, I want to be able to get a feel for how things are going in the ministry. I hope to encourage those who are serving in the ministry to keep on going for the LORD! I also look forward to being able to preach, teach and share Jesus with many Africans while I am there. Secondly, and the reason that Elijah is accompanying me, we must attend an interview at the US embassy concerning Elijah’s US citizenship. We are praying for wisdom and favor in these two endeavors. Over the last several months we have been sending funds for the work in Zambia, but it will be good to be on the ground putting our “shoulder to the plough” in the harvest field.

Finally, I would like to share a story about a mailman named Ariel that I recently met in California. I had the opportunity to talk to him about salvation in Jesus and he claimed that he has lately been seeking for something in his life. Truly that is an answer to prayer as I often pray for the LORD to lead me to people who are seeking. The Bible says in Jeremiah 29: 13, “And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.” Please pray for Ariel that he will keep searching until he understands and trusts in Jesus with all his heart.

Over the next 3 weeks, my wife will be able to be reached on our cell phone (951-376-0510), while I can be reached at


Thanks again for your friendship and support.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

August 2014 Prayer Letter

Thank you to all who have been praying for Preetika during these last few months. God has been good to us. After counseling with our sending pastor as well as several doctors, we have decided our next step is to return to the States to seek further treatment and a diagnosis. The response of the people here in Zambia has been encouraging, and we believe the ministry will continue forward for the cause of Christ in our absence. 

 Pastor Chris Teis, our sending pastor, set up a fundraising campaign to help us meet the expense of traveling to America as well as some additional needs (both medical and ministry). We have been blessed by the outpouring of love and help in response to our need.

 I also want to update you on our recent trip to into Zimbabwe. We were blessed to have Pastor Darrell Hurst and Bro. Donnie Foley from New Zion Baptist Church, as well as Bro. Jeremy Snipes, Taigen Gonzalez, and Charles Newton from Hyles-Anderson College.
They were used of the LORD to greatly encourage the believers in Zambia before heading across the border to Zimbabwe. Bro Snipes and Pastor Hurst had a great impact through their preaching from God's Word. Scores of Zimbabweans made decisions to trust Christ, to win others to him, to plant churches, to cling truly to God's Word, and to disciple others to follow Christ. The three younger men of our team were also a personal blessing to me. Additionally, they were an inspiration to African Youth in both countries during their stay. Our young people were motivated by seeing men near their same age serving the LORD!

 Thanks to all who had been praying for our trip to Zimbabwe. The LORD gave us a better reception than we could have hoped for. God was very evidently involved in bringing this meeting together. One man in particular was instrumental in the conference taking place.  Leonard Mlotshwa had left Zimbabwe for the UK 10 years ago. The LORD had laid it on his heart to find someone who would go to Zimbabwe and help train some believers in his home country. After approaching several people over the years, God finally lead him to cross paths with Pastor Hurst about a year and a half ago.
That meeting lead to this conference in June. As Bro. Leonard planned to make the international trip for the conference, he became sick and it seemed that he may have to miss the conference he had been so looking forward to. Though he grew weaker, he was able to travel to Zimbabwe. When he greeted people at the conference,
he said that he was so glad to be home in Africa - especially to see his 10-year dream come to pass. Little did we know that 2 weeks after the end of the conference, he would leave his home on earth to go Home with the LORD in Heaven. Bro. Leonard had finished his course and possibly his "for such a time as this" moment. I am thankful to have met this man and grateful for his part in directing my eyes and heart
toward the needy and open field of Zimbabwe!

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

May 2014 Prayer and Praise Update

In the past few weeks, we have seen our church reach new heights – literally. Due to the sacrificial love gift of the Broadway Baptist Church, we were able to put part of the roof on the church! It was an exciting step for our church people.
They are encouraged, not only by the roof itself, but by what it represents – that they are loved and remembered by Christian brothers and sisters halfway across the world! Thanks again, Broadway Baptist for being a blessing!

A few weeks ago, while celebrating the Resurrection of Christ, we were able to baptize several new believers. See the picture for some of the young men that followed Christ in believer’s baptism on that day.

In addition, on Easter Sunday, we were honored to remember our Lord in the participation of the Lord’s Supper, for the first time as a church.
After some teaching and explanation concerning the significance of Christ’s sacrifice for us, each believer was eager to take of the elements in remembrance and thanks of their Savior. We look forward to this becoming an important and special time in the life of the Fallsview Bible Baptist Church.
Please keep praying for our work here in Zambia. Also please keep our fast-approaching conference in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe before the Lord. From June 24-26, I will travel to Zimbabwe with several American visitors. We are trusting the Lord to use His Word and His power to make an impact in our neighboring country of Zimbabwe during that meeting!

Sunday, April 6, 2014

April 2014 Prayer Letter with additional pictures

Pastor Chris and Bro. Decision preaching in a village school.
2 Guys from NJ
Pastor Chris preaching at Fallsview Bible Baptist Church

Dear Praying Friends,

                Thank you so much for your prayers and support for us and our work here in Zambia. The LORD has greatly blessed His work in Africa! One of the greatest blessings to us over the last couple of months was a visit from my friend and sending church pastor, Chris Teis. We were greatly blessed by his time and work here. Accompanying him on the trip was Bro. Andrew Garcia, a Christian filmmaker, who is planning to make a short documentary on how God brought Elijah into our lives. The film will appropriately be called Elijah and should be released toward the end of the summer. During their time in Zambia, they shot video and conducted interviews for this film project. We are excited for this film and believe it will be greatly used to bring glory to the LORD! Here is a link to some of the scenic footage Andrew captured during the trip.

                We were also able to do some preaching in a new village area during their trip to Zambia. We spent the night in the bush and preached to several gathered in the village of Nsalali. There were between 30 and 40 who made a profession of faith in Christ and showed interest in seeing a church started in their area. Please pray for us (and specifically for Bro. Decision Siampondo) as we continue to work in this area for the cause of Christ. In addition, this village area has 5 schools that have welcomed us to teach and preach the Bible weekly in the schools. Bro. Decision makes the 40-mile circuit each week on his bicycle. I am praising the LORD for Bro. Decision’s dedication to the work of Christ! 

                During Pastor Chris’ visit, he encouraged us in the starting of a one-on-one discipleship program at the Fallsview Bible Baptist Church. I have already started with one man in our church and am training 5 or 6 of our church leaders to be able to do the same with others. Please keep this exciting and needful ministry in your prayers.

                Finally, we would like to give sincere and heartfelt thanks to the Broadway Baptist Church in Muskegon, Michigan, for their generous love offering, which they gave toward our building project. We are set to begin this week with making some progress on our building. We will do the roofing on the “classroom section” of our church building. Thank you, Broadway Baptist, for helping to push the work of Christ forward in Livingstone!

                Let me also take time to let you know how much we appreciate your kind thoughts, cards, and expressions of love during Preetika’s birthday and our 11th anniversary. You encourage us more than you know!


Sunday, March 30, 2014

December 2013

Dear Praying Friends,

                Merry Christmas from Zambia! Regardless of the hot, humid, and rainy weather, we are enjoying the Christmas season. Preetika and Elijah have worked on baking Christmas cookies and Elijah is learning about giving. He is currently figuring out which of his toys he can give as gifts to his friends. Preetika and I are thrilled to have had Elijah as part of our family these past 3 years. We are amazed, as surely all parents are, at the things he learns and picks up.  I was recently telling Elijah about the wise men who came to worship Jesus, when he confirmed that those wise men had built their house upon a rock. He had been hearing about the wise man and the foolish man (who built his house on the sand) much lately as it was the theme of our recent youth conference.

                Speaking of our youth conference, it was a great success in spite of the wet weather! Being the first ever conference hosted by our church, we were very pleased with how it all went. We had at least 100 youth with dozens of pastors and chaperones who camped with us. As you can see from the pictures, it was truly a Youth “Camp” – Zambian-style. Over the week, we had 5 young people trust Christ with many making decisions to serve the LORD with their lives. I cannot forget how a similar decision at a youth camp set my heart toward serving the LORD as well! My wife worked hard organizing the cooks and menu for the nearly 130 people we had to feed each meal. Have you ever tried cooking over an open fire in the rain? All in all everything worked together to make it a memorable week for the youth. Everybody went home encouraged, full of good food, wet, and blessed. A pretty great youth camp if you ask me!

                Please keep us and all of your missionaries in prayer during the holidays. These are often the most difficult days to be far from home. Also would you continue to pray for two areas of need in our ministry?

·         Our large church vehicle is broken down again- please pray that we can fix it or upgrade It with a more reliable one soon.

·          We are trusting the LORD to make it possible to continue on (and complete) our church building. The next stage is to put on the roofing sheets!

Thanks for all of your thoughts, prayers, and support throughout 2013. You may never know this side of heaven how much it means to us. Once again, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from our home to yours.


Saturday, October 12, 2013

Building Project

We have been working on the second stage of our church building over the last few weeks. We will put up the steel structure. A group of men from our church have been tirelessly working in the extreme heat - 95-105*F every day - with almost no shade!
Please keep our safety in your prayers as all is done by physical labor - no heavy machinery!

Man-power to lift trusses into place...

...with a little help from block and chain pulley

Half a truss up
a little welding
One truss done, six more to go...