Hello everyone! I hope and pray that all is going well with you. I apologize that it has been so long since i blogged, but i just wasn't in a good writing groove as of late. Things on the farm have been going well aside from the three occasions that elephants have come through destroying maize fields, gardens and guava trees that have been here for years! That's one thing that you just have to deal with...shaking a stick at those creatures isn't the wisest thing to do! We have a work team here right now from Hatteras Island, NC that has come to serve and love the Zambians in any way they can. Their pastor, Billy Rutledge and I went for a 3 day trip this past weekend that was a blast. Billy and I have quickly bonded and share a lot of the same passions and have been "raised up" by a lot of the same heroes of the faith (Keith Green, A.W. Tozer, etc.) We started our trip to Lusaka (roughly a 5 hour drive) and had a shopping spree for the school kids. We bought soccer spikes, balls, jerseys, flip charts, atlas', notebooks, water paints, etc. The next day we woke up and headed to a village called Siachatema where Rev. Mwikissa (our 88 year old bible school professor) lives. We had an awesome traditional meal prepared by his wife and then they toured us around their place to show us all of the fields his wife (77 years old) had plowed, planted, and cultivated! It was unbelievable. She had several acres of land filled with the healthiest maize I have seen in Zambia. She smiled with her 3 remaining teeth showing and said "God has been good to me." What a humbling experience. Rev. Mwikissa went on to tell me that the six ladies that we had prayed for about 2 months back (5 with hearing disorders and 1 who couldn't walk) all gave testimonies the day after we prayed that they had been completely healed!! The lady who couldn't walk has joined all of the women's ministries and now leads the group of women who dance and sing every morning at church (i got to witness this with my own eyes). We serve a miracle working God. We serve a God who is alive and real...it's not just some hobby and I'm not in this for something to do...i believe in Jesus Christ and that He came to show us the better way...a way of faith and love...of laying our lives down for one another and I tell you that though there is trial and suffering for those who follow Christ, there is fullness of peace and joy! We spent the night in the bush and Billy preached in church the next morning. Afterwards we had lunch together and then we set out for Sons of Thunder farm. I stayed up late last night pondering what it means to follow Christ. Realizing that His call is not simply to say you believe and feel good about going to heaven, but to LAY DOWN YOUR LIFE for a God who has pursued us though we run from Him and opened His arms for all who will turn from their own ways and surrender to Jesus Christ...i am a nobody...full of pride and worldly passions, but God in His mercy and love has redeemed me and given me desires that I never had...it is the highest priviledge of our (Jessi and I) lives to be able to serve God and our brothers and sisters here in Africa...we aren't here because we are better than, but because we are less than these Zambians. They are able to continue loving God through hunger, sickness, no shelter, walking miles for water and yet in the States we stop believing God loves us if we don't get the big promotion...I am so aware of my shortcomings, but more aware of God's ability that He gives all who call on the name of Jesus Christ! Even now I am in tears that we would all humble ourselves and allow the cross to have its full effect on us so that we could rise and say with Paul, "I have been crucified with Christ and it is no longer I who live but Christ who lives in me. The life I now live in this body, I live by faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave Himself for me." Galatians 2:20
I truly love all of you and Jessi and I are both looking forward to seeing you soon and encouraging each other to fight the good fight and run this race to the finish.