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...

October 2013 Prayer Letter

The past month of July has been a whirlwind of activity. While seemingly running in several different directions at the same time, we believe that we have recently seen some important foundations laid for the cause of Christ, both in existing ministries as well as in envisioned future ministries.
Village Meeting

Typical Village Life
 Recently we’ve had two very productive and blessed meetings which bode well for some new church- planting opportunities. First, a group of men from our church took a journey to an area we had never been before. We were able to have a meeting with Chief Siachitema about preaching the Gospel in his villages. We presented him with a Bible and were graciously welcomed to begin a Gospel work among his people. Please keep this open door in prayer, as we plan to survey some of the villages of that chieftainship in August or September.

Pastor Donga greeting our Bible study
The second meeting was with Eliot Donga, a pastor from Zimbabwe. As we mentioned in our most recent prayer letter, we have been trusting the LORD to open obvious doors concerning our involvement in preaching and training believers in our neighboring nation of Zimbabwe. With that aim in mind, we received Pastor Donga and his adult son Andrew as visitors in our church and Bible Institute for a few days. As we got to know these men and see their heart for serving the LORD, we noticed a kinship of spirit and agreement of purpose with these servants of God. We look forward to seeing the LORD continue to guide us as we plan to make the six-hour trip to their area of Zimbabwe in the coming months in preparation for a Biblical Training Conference during June 2014.

 In addition to the new opportunities, we are pleased with a few developments in our existing ministry. In July Preetika started a Ladies’ Bible Study, which meets on Thursday afternoons. The meeting has been an encouragement not only to the ladies themselves but also to my wife, as she sees their hunger for learning the Word of God. One lady named Christabel, who cannot read, was able to say her memory verse. Her husband, a student in our Bible institute, had read the verses over and over again to teach them to her. Stories like this remind us of the great need to personally bring God's Word to those who would not or could not read and understand it for themselves. We ask your prayers for this needful ministry to the women.

Ladies' Bible study
                Also in the coming weeks, we look forward to continuing work on our church building. The LORD has provided us with materials and equipment to move into the next stage of our building project. We are now able to put up the steel structure and framing work. Once completed, we will be about halfway to having a fully enclosed church building, leaving us with the need to install the roofing sheets and build the walls. We are confident that this building will prove to be an important tool used by the LORD to bring many Africans unto Jesus, as well as train them to serve Him!

 Finally, would you make one other area of our ministry a matter of your prayers? The last six weeks or so, our ministry has really been hampered by the lack of reliability with our vehicles. We use three vehicles in the ministry, including my personal vehicle. For a couple of weeks, all three were broken-down at the same time. This made many activities in our church a struggle just to get people to the right places. Our "fleet" is aging, and rare is the week when at least one of our vehicles is not out of commission. (As I write this, two of them are not moving as they await needed repairs.) Our newest (but worst-conditioned) vehicle is a 1994 minivan. Our best vehicle (usually, but not lately) is my '92 pickup truck, while our most useful is a 1989 open-bed truck. The constant drain on our funds to keep them maintained and repaired to a reliable and safe level has been a burden sometimes. Thank the LORD that He has always provided what has been necessary to keep them running! Pray that He will continue to do so and also that He would provide the means to upgrade a couple of our vehicles.

 Thank you always for your continued and faithful prayers for our family and ministry in Zambia!