Wednesday, January 21, 2009

What's Jack up to?

You might be wondering, “What’s Jack been up to?” So I thought I would give a few short notes on some different things that have been going on. First though, here's a picture of some of the workers. From the left it's Gilbert, Henry, Goodson, Ackson, and Julius. You can also see Barnwell further back between the last two guys. They are holding up some new tools we got them.
Last week it was raining a lot one morning, so we delayed the beginning of the work day. There are two workers that come to our “house” and we give them a ride to the job site every morning. We had extra time, so I invited them in from the rain. We started talking about different things, and we ended up talking about school, since the new semester is starting up. Along the way, one of them mentioned Religious Education class, where they learn about the Bible (Zambia is a Christian nation if you didn’t know that). Can you imagine that in America? It seems like people freak out if you even say the word Bible in a public school, but it’s normal to teach about it here. From that we launched into a discussion about what it means to be a Christian, and similar topics…it was great, we talked for about two hours. They are both Catholic, although I’m unsure at this point of how similar Catholicism is here compared to America, but I plan on going to Church with them some time. I also look forward to future conversations with them, which they are extremely open to.
Also last week, we had some guests over for dinner…two workers plus one’s wife. I had asked them to teach me how to make Nshima (the staple food here). It was a great evening of sharing about each other’s cultures, talking a little about Christianity, having fun eating and just fellowshipping with each other. Plus, now I know how to make Nshima, which is very easy. So that was a great time.
On Sunday, we drove about an hour and a half to a church in the “bush.” I was asked to preach somewhat unexpectedly…I have to admit, I was a little nervous. I first shared briefly my background and testimony of how I came to faith in Christ, along with what the Gospel is. Then I talked about what God’s unfailing love is, what it means to us, and how amazing it is. I concluded with what our response can and should be to His love (Matthew 22:36-38), and what it means to love Him with EVERYTHING we are in all that we do. After I taught and prayed, Novice spoke for a minute in Bemba. I’m guessing he was inviting them to trust in Christ, because four people (all adults) gave their lives to Christ that morning...pretty awesome! And as usual, I thoroughly enjoyed the worship…I love the way they sing here.
So those are a few cool things that have been happening lately. I also got to meet Chalwe, the orphan that Brookside has put in school for the first time in his life. We went and purchased some things he needed, and I can’t wait to hang out with him more. The next couple of days, Novice and I will be distributing food to orphans in three locations in and around Serenje. Novice also asked me to preach on God’s grace to those we're distributing to. So it should be an exciting weekend. Construction on the buildings is coming along well, and we are beginning a short Bible Study time in the mornings with the workers soon, so that will be great too.
PRAYER REQUESTS: For Chalwe as he starts first grade, he’s 10 or 11 years old, I hope he fits in and isn’t intimidated, and I hope he will be able to excel…for the orphans that we’ll be feeding in the next few days, that they would be provided with more than just physical needs, and that they would be loved…for me as I prepare what I’m going to say tomorrow on the topic of grace…and for the morning Bible Study with the workers, that it would be beneficial and relevant to them. Thanks!
Special Tribe Note: Hey guys! I miss you even more than I’m ganna miss the Super Bowl next Sunday (and that’s a lot!). I hope you’re inviting people to the Super Bowl party, I met one of my favorite people in the world at the Super Bowl party last year, and its always tons of fun. I mean, what’s more to like…football…food…friends…games…food…craziness! Anyways, you know that I love you all and miss you, I pray that you’ll make the most of Tribe every week!

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