Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Back in the saddle

Phew. It's been a crazy journey to get

Just to clear up any confusion, our family is BACK in Zambia. For those who didn't know, we WERE in the States from September to the end of January. It was a blessed time of absolute craziness but also a time of being filled so full of love and support. I especially appreciated how so many kind people poured in to the lives of our children. The 4 oldest are on a fast track to adulthood. Sometimes living overseas can feel isolating and I often feel as if Erik and I, alone, are trying to give them wings. And lots of times I feel like I don't give them enough feathers. Our stateside trip helped them firmly grow some strong flight feathers. Thank you!

I asked each of the kids to sum up our time in the States with 3 descriptive words. Their answers allow their personalities to shine through.
Savannah (14) answered, "booster-upper. Wait is that a word? Kind of? hmmmm....opportunity to make new friends, wait that's more than one word isn't it? And I guess maybe reunification? Since we were able to get back in touch with all our family, friends and supporters."
Jonas (13) without a pause immediately answered "CRAZY" The rest of the interview was spent with me reminding him of all the things he had done and him replying, "oh yeah, I forgot about that." and "oh, that was a lot of fun" He finally finished off with "hunting and cousins".
Claire (12) said nothing when she was first questioned and then finally informed me. "I choose three 'e' words since I like alliteration. Exhausting, Exciting and Excellent."
Larissa (10) got slightly teary eyed when I posed the question to her. "I miss everyone there. Why can't they all be here with us? My first word would be family. And my second word is 'just being there' and I think I would also have to say, FOOD!"
Hiking in Colorado after attending a debriefing and renewal program

We also thank you for your prayers. So many of you approached us and told stories of your intercession on behalf of us and the Lifesong Zambia project. We are humbled. I also appreciate your patience with this whole "blogging" thing. I am not quite a millennial so maybe that's why I don't get the whole social media thing. Or maybe it's because my birth year doesn't even have a generational name. I am generically called "generation Y" because they don't even know what to call me. I feel like the forgotten middle child. Anyway....

Here's what we are up to now that we have hit the ground running.
Erik's role on the farm is currently changing into an advisory role. We have a couple from South Africa who have taken over the daily farm operations. Erik will continue to assist on the farm as needed as he begins to focus more fully on beginning a vocational program. He is currently in the process of creating a new business that will also be funding our training school. Operating the farm for 3 years has been valuable experience as he wades through the Zambian government bureaucracy to get things going.
The vocational school construction is completely finished!

As for the kids and I, we continue to plug away at school. Our current studies include: Astronomy, World History around 1700, survival skills, Rembrandt, Longfellow, and whatever random animals the boys in the compound bring us for the month. The latest was a white-browed coucal that ate 2 live lizards a day. Which actually tied in quite nicely with our survival theme since Jonas had to shoot the lizards with a bow and arrow in just the right place to render them immobile. Valuable life lessons people. Timeless.

We as a couple, continue to seek ways to disciple those we come in contact with. The needs here are so great. Because of the illiteracy rate, few people living near us are able to read the Word for themselves. Sometimes, many false truths are shared in churches and there is no way for these people to check the veracity of different teachings.  Many say they are Christians but have no idea what it means to walk with Christ. Some are still trapped in cultural traditions that are ungodly. There is a huge need for people to learn what the Bible says about daily relational interactions including marriage and parenting. Please continue to pray that God will give us opportunities to share how He has transformed our own lives through the power of His Spirit.

I had the opportunity to talk with a teacher from the school. We were sharing things about our daily lives and talking about the needs of the community around us. She shared with me that as she was taking time to pray with her students she reminded them to pray for their parents. She encouraged them that their parents need Jesus just as much as they do. She then told me that all over the classroom, the students dropped to their knees and began sincerely interceding for their parents. They know from firsthand experience that some things in their culture need to be stopped. Pray for the Zambian people to embrace what is beautiful about their culture and to discard what is dishonoring to our Father as they grow in the knowledge of Him. Pray for the children at Lifesong school as they receive daily Biblical instruction to rise up and become leaders of cultural change. Biblical living transcends culture.
Somebody recently celebrated her 1st year!

Meeting new friends. Lifesong seems to be experiencing a baby boom in 2017!

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