Greetings to all of you in the name of Jesus Christ! We apologize for the LONG delay in posting anything new, but this has been one of our toughest months to date. As many of you had probably been told, Jessi, Sunda and I were planning on coming home at the beginning of May to visit home for a few months. It was going to be a time of updating our churches and supporters as to what we are doing here in Zambia as well as a time to show off our daughter to anxiously awaiting grandparents and family!
After many trips to Lusaka and a lot of fees we had finally secured Sunda’s passport (in her current name since the adoption is not yet finalized) and we made our trip to the US embassy where we had been previously assured that getting her a tourist visa was our best option. Upon arrival, all of those hopes came crashing down when the US embassy denied Sunda a tourist visa due to Jessi and I being volunteers and not owning enough in Zambia to ensure we would return with Sunda (since the adoption is not finished). This was very hard news for us (not to mention the grandparents), but what could we do. It wasn’t tragic news because we weren’t being separated from Sunda, but our plans were definitely changed.
In this month’s upcoming Sons of Thunder newsletter there will be an article updating our future plans in Zambia. After much prayer and contemplation with several close friends and family, we have decided to transfer our work under a new ministry here in Zambia called Overland Missions. Though the reasons are many, our greatest is that our heart is to get out into the bush and disciple followers of Jesus Christ. Overland Missions sole purpose is to reach unreached people groups all over the world with the gospel of Jesus Christ. They have a base just outside of Livingstone (one hour from our present location) and they have been mobilizing teams in unreached areas all over the world for ten years now. While Sons of Thunder is doing a tremendous job with the orphanage, school, clinic and the families on the farm, we were having a difficult time building a new outreach program when there is a fully developed one just down the road with Overland Missions.
Sons of Thunder has given us their blessing in this transfer and understand why we have decided to move. With that said, I’m sure many of you supporting us would like to know a bit more about Overland Missions and our particular assignment with them. The following is Overland Missions mission statement:
Overland Missions is a missions organization committed to empowering the third world indigenous church and bringing the gospel to the uttermost parts of the earth. Through expedition-style missions we lead teams into locations that would otherwise remain neglected or unreached (a condition usually caused only by an area's lack of accessibility). Based in Cape Canaveral, Florida, Overland Missions' motto is, "Any Road, any Load, any Time". We believe this statement to be indicative of our commitment and our approach to meet the needs of the third world. We utilize the best equipment technology has to offer, the expertise of over 15 years of reconnaissance experience, and the revelation of the New Creation purchased by the blood of Jesus Christ. Overland mobilizes young adults into more than 30 nations. We take God at His word and believe by faith to see the book of Acts continued in the earth today. We claim every nation, every island, every tribe, and every soul within our jurisdiction to reach, teach and empower with the Gospel.
Jessi and I have made a five year commitment with Overland Missions here in Zambia to oversee the discipleship of the Masokatwane chiefdom; a large area in the southern province of Zambia that is in great need of outreach, discipleship and evangelism. Our focus will be to establish relationships with every pastor in every denomination of this chiefdom in order to disciple and strengthen the foundations of those churches. Virtually nothing will change in the vision we have previously shared with you, which is to live with the people in order to reveal Jesus Christ to them through any and all means.
Overland offers an advanced missions training that will better equip us to thrive and survive out in the bush. The training offers courses in the bible, diesel mechanics, welding, GPRS navigation, off-road techniques, cultural understandings, and many other areas. As I am sure many of you may want to know more, please visit Overland’s website at www.overlandmissions.com . It is a very informative website that should answer most of your questions. I (Jacob) will also be traveling home on May 22nd through June 10th in order to meet with as many of you as possible and hopefully share at a few churches.
Overland Missions has set up a personal account for Jessi and I so the same process will work for those who have been supporting us. We are asking all of our supporters to please begin sending your support checks to Overland Missions beginning in April at the following address:
PO Box 566, Cape Canaveral, FL 32920
Please DO NOT put our names on the memo like before, but write our following 4 digit account Code on the check or envelope: #3027. Make the check out to Overland Missions. You will begin to receive a newsletter from Jessi and I beginning in May that will keep you updated with all of our endeavors here in Zambia.
If any of you have questions or would like to know more before sending to Overland then you can also send your support checks to my parents, Norm and Jeannie, who will deposit directly into our account as well. Their address is 290 Northview Rd. Wellsburg, WV 26070. In this event, simply make the checks out to Jacob Schwertfeger.
Jessi and I cannot stress to you how indebted we are for the continued support you have shown. We have been stretched beyond all seemingly capable limits this year in some ways, but it is because of you that we are able to remain. You must know and believe that you are enabling the gospel to reach the ends of the earth. THANK YOU!
We would also really love to begin an e-mail correspondence with all of you to better know how to pray for you and to better know you. Our e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org. We are asking that you would write us an e-mail with your name so that we can keep in touch in a more one-on-one way.
Jessi and I will begin our Advanced Missions Training at Overland Missions base in Zambia on May 3rd and it will carry us through to August. During that time we will also be planning and preparing for the beginning of our work in the Masokatwane chiefdom. Please keep these things in prayer as well as the finalizing of the adoption (the government has banned all adoptions temporarily).
With all of that said I hope and pray that you take serious time today to celebrate and contemplate the fact that Jesus Christ laid down His life so that you could enjoy eternal fellowship with God. Man can’t hold him down, nails can’t hold him down, death can’t hold him down. Jesus is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. He is worthy of us losing our lives to glorify Him in all things!
We love you all and look forward to seeing you in the States with our little one in God’s time!
Jacob, Jessi and Sunda