Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Chrismas from The Warners and Fallsview Bible Baptist Chuch

Phase 1 of the building project

Friday, December 11, 2009

December 2009 Prayer Letter

December 2009

Dear Praying Friends,

Merry Christmas from Africa! The Christmas season in this part of the world is quite different from what we are accustomed to in America. For starters, the weather is decidedly “un-Christmaslike.” While we have absolutely no chance for a “white Christmas” (though you will still hear the beloved Christmas carol echoing through our home), we are all but assured a “wet Christmas.” December is when our rainy season just begins to pick up steam, both literally and figuratively. The days are incredibly hot and humid with relief coming only with the heavy downpours every other day or so. Not all the differences of the season are as unwelcome. For example, because of the stark lack of possessions of the average Zambian, there is also a noticeable lack of materialism. The highlight of the Christmas season for most is spending time with family and friends and perhaps a special meal. We as a church hope to incorporate both as we plan a Christmas Fellowship during the week before Christmas. People are extremely receptive to the spiritual significance and Biblical foundation for the holiday, as most Zambians have no expectation of receiving Christmas gifts. Please pray as we take the opportunity of this worldwide holiday to point people to Jesus—the ONLY reason for the season!

Even as the rains descend and the holidays approach, the day-to-day work of the ministry of Fallsview Bible Baptist Church continues. With the building program, teaching and preaching schedules, and soul-winning and visitation times, Preetika and I are keeping ourselves rather busy. We are nearing completion of the first building on our church property, a two-roomed storehouse that will hold our building materials and house a watchman during the next stages of building. For pictures and additional updates on our ministry here in Zambia, please keep up with us on our new website:

In closing, I would like to request that you make a few items, which are described in further detail on our website, a matter of prayer. First, pray that the LORD would provide a larger vehicle for carrying people to church and building materials to the future home of our church. And, second, please pray for God’s provision as we undertake this building project.

Thank you sincerely for your thoughts, prayers, and sacrificial giving to support us in Zambia. May God richly bless you each with His peace and joy during this special time of the year.

In His service,

Justin & Preetika Warner

Friday, November 20, 2009

The Hard Way is the Only Way

Zambians often do things the “hard way” (in my American opinion). To them, it is the way they have always done it, and it is the only way that they know. For example, we recently had a 30 – 40 foot dead tree in our yard cut down. It was done with no safety lines or even a ladder! Oh yeah, and not with a chainsaw, but an ax. The man who did it has been in this line of work for 25 years and was able to do the entire job without hitting the phone or power lines which were precariously close. I personally had a hard time watching him swinging an ax while standing on dead limbs more than two stories high. Despite doing it the hard way, the end result was the same even if it did take a bit longer (3 days). Speaking of doing things the hard way, all of the wood from those trees will be used as firewood to cook “the hard way” during various church functions over the next couple years or so.

Nowhere is the hard way of doing things in Zambia more evident than during our church building process. Building here is hard on workers, vehicles, and patience. To watch many of our members working hand-in-hand with the builders on our church site is truly a sight to behold. We have mixed both cement and concrete by hand using shovels and molded blocks, which is truly back-breaking work. The concrete floor slab was poured using wheelbarrows pushed (and pulled with a rope) by two men. No cement trucks here! My vehicle also has been working hard during these building days. It has been used for carrying anything and everything from workers to cement blocks to building sand and gravel to lumber and tools. It was recently out-of-commission for a few days when it had a broken spring sustained while ferrying, among other things, a half-ton of cement to the site. Finally this building program is teaching us patience out of necessity. For example, we have had to pay about 3.5 Million Kwacha (about $750) to have city water connected to our property. After making the payment, we dug the trench and laid the pipe to our plot. We then waited (mostly patiently) for the city to turn the water on. As of this writing, it has been 3 weeks, and we are still buying water from one of our neighbors as the city has not yet connected us.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Around Livingstone

October is our hottest month of the year. Over 100 degrees everyday. Even with the intense heat and little rain, the flowers and trees are in full bloom.

Over 700 bricks (and counting)molded the past two weeks

Future home of Fallsview Bible Baptist Church

Friday, October 16, 2009

Fallsview Bible Baptist Church -July 2009

Zambian Bus Ministry

There is a saying among missionaries in Zambia regarding capacity when transporting Zambians. “There’s always room for one more.” That thought reminds me of our philosophy while in the bus ministry during Bible College. I still remember as a bus captain putting 85 people on a 65-passenger bus. Also I will never forget the strange look on the bus driver’s face when he told me (in all seriousness) that we would have to shift some of the people from the left side to the right side of the bus because he could feel it swaying underneath him. We were fortunate to be able to unload the excess passengers on another passing bus not long after.

Since the LORD has used many of the experiences of Bible College to equip for future ministry, it is little surprise that those days in the bus ministry were part of the preparation. Nearly every Sunday, lately, in Zambia I have felt the unnerving swaying of my vehicle beneath me. We typically cram 25 – 30 people on to my pick-up truck in addition to filling up a rented minivan with 25 + people. The rest of our attendees form our “walk-in” crowd. This week, on my vehicle, we needed to sit a couple of people on the roof rack among the benches and other church materials we carry with us each week. Preetika and I commented that we had finally disproven the saying “There’s always room for one more” as it appeared there wasn’t. Though this may seem like a headache to many, these types of “adventures” are a blessing to us and certainly keep the LORD’S work from being dull. We do, however, hope to alleviate some of the stress on both the vehicle and the angels guarding the safety of the “bus riders” by finding a somewhat larger vehicle to add to our fleet.

Please pray for God’s provision of a more suitable “bus”. I can’t tell you how much I miss those 65-passenger buses! But since those are not to be found around here, we will settle for some kind of open-bed truck which, Lord-willing, we will again test the limits of there always being room for one more!

Friday, October 9, 2009

October 2009 Prayer Letter

October 2009

Dear Praying Friends,

As most of you reading this letter are moving into the fall and a cooler season, we here in the Southern Hemisphere are just entering our hottest time of the year. The hot weather will eventually give way to the relief of the rains. This will be a welcome change from the heat but will introduce new challenges to overcome. As we make preparations to meet these challenges, we continue to see the people of the Fallsview Bible Baptist Church grow spiritually. In addition to averaging11-12 people coming out for Saturday soul winning and visitation, we have been able to start a few children’s Bible Clubs with support and advice for the ministry coming from a recent visitor, “Uncle” Jerry Purtell. Also, we have recently been able to divide into several Sunday school classes, with a few of the classes being required to meet “village-style” (outside under a tree). While this works quite well most of the year in Zambia, we are currently gathering tarpaulins and tents in the event of a rainy Sunday.

Over these past few months, we have begun to suspect that our church attendance has nearly reached its ceiling at our current facilities, as we have been consistently accommodating 110–125 people. We have been able to handle adult-service crowds greater than the size of our rented classroom by having some sit outside, gathered around the windows and doorway during the preaching. This practice may be negated somewhat once the rains arrive.

These and other factors have caused us to refocus our prayers and energy towards our building program. We have purchased and cleared the land and are waiting for the blueprints to be approved. In the meantime we are endeavoring to get a handle on the materials and money needed and are soon to begin molding cement blocks for the project. (Yes, the blocks, numbering in the tens of thousands, will all be made by hand—from the mixing of the cement to the putting the cement in molds to the watering and curing process. It reminds me of another African building project when the Israelites were in bondage in Egypt.) Please keep our ministry and this project especially in your prayers. We are sure that once this building is complete, it will directly affect the number of souls that are saved and people who are encouraged in the Word of God. The building will comfortably hold between 350 and 400 Americans, which equates to nearly 1,000 Zambians! “Personal space” is a concept lost in the translation. Thank you for truly being interested in what the LORD is doing on mission fields around the world.

In His service,

Justin & Preetika Warner

Victoria Falls

Victoria Falls during the dry season - July 2009