Dear pastor and church
Greetings from the beautiful country of Zambia where the Lord has called us to serve him.
By God’s grace we made to Zambia together on the 5th of January after a long trip and much excitement to continue serving the Lord here, especially after being apart as a family for a few months while I was in Zambia during the fall.
The month of January was pretty much a time of transition as we were settling in Zambia again. We have spent time readjusting to life, fixing the house and getting ready for the beginning of the new semester at CABC. We have also encountered some difficulties and trials during this process, but the Lord has been faithful and he has used these circumstances to strengthen our faith and trust in him.
One of the things that we encountered as soon as we got back to Zambia was a cholera outbreak throughout much of the country, primarily in the capital city. Many cases of it were reported and even several deaths. There was much panic in the population that even schools and some churches were closed for some weeks as commanded by the government. Thankfully, the situation is now under control and things seem to be back to normal. We are thankful that God kept us and our friends safe during this time.
Ministry at Central Africa Baptist College
By God’s grace we were able to start regular classes at CABC. In fact, being back in Zambia, and especially at CABC, has enhanced even more our vision and passion to see Christ exalted and preached in every village, town and city across Africa, so we are very thankful to be back serving at the college.
Sadly, however, we had to cancel our annual February block class due to the cholera situation. This class is one of the highlights of our year because we have many leaders and pastors from all of Zambia in attendance, but we do know that the Lord is always in control.
Our semester has started with a good number of new students, including some new international students from countries like South Sudan and for the first time, a student from Angola. God is so good! Also, most of last year’s students have returned to continue their training at CABC. This year I am teaching Doctrines, Poetic Books and a new survey of doctrine class. I am also overseeing a master’s class through our partnership with a University in the US. Therefore, as we continue to serve in this ministry, we ask you to pray for all of us involved in the training of the next generation of servant-leaders in Africa for great commission living, so that the Lord would use us to influence these men and women in the short time we have with them.
We would also like to ask you to pray for the Lord to provide the necessary funds for the normal operation of the college. This year we have a big shortfall, especially with our student body growing, but we trust that the Lord will provide what is needed.
Faith Baptist Church of Mindolo
As most of you know, the Lord allowed us to plant, together with Noah Mukwato, a church in the community of Mindolo. However, as we had communicated earlier, we are no longer involved directly in the ministry of the church. We believe that the Biblical way of church planting is the model of 2 Tim 2:2; therefore, we are no longer part of the church. Nonetheless, our relationship with the church is a very close one. I had the privilege of preaching In Mindolo 2 weeks ago, as well as fellowshipping with the brethren several times.
Last week, we were blessed by the Mindolo brethren as they prepared a meal to fellowship with us and to welcome us back in Zambia. It was very encouraging for us to know that they appreciate us and that they constantly pray for us. They have also promised that when we start the new church, they will come and help us evangelize the community where the church plant will be. That is a work that only the Lord does—new believers sharing the Gospel with others and helping start a new work. Praise be to God!
A New Church Plant
As we have communicated before, our desire is to begin a new church plant before the summer arrives. Our initial goal was to begin the church sometime around the end of March, but it looks like we will end up starting possibly in May; we will keep you posted on the dates though.
However, as church planters, we firmly believe that the work should be fully indigenous (to avoid dependency and other problems, as well as to recognize the authority of the local church), so we are praying and trying to establish a partnership with Faith Baptist Church of Riverside to begin the new work in conjunction with them. The plan is that we would work together as they oversee the work, and once the church is strong enough, our family will move on to plant another church. FBCR is also the church under which the Mindolo church was planted and of which we are also associate members, therefore, they do have much experience in missions as well and a passion to see Christ preached to the lost. Therefore, please pray that the partnership will come to completion and that the Lord would bring many souls to himself for the glory of his name.
Paola has started visiting some orphanages in the city and reconnecting with some of the people she knew in them. She was able to visit the orphanage from which we adopted Asher and bring some gifts that people in America sent for the children. Please pray that Paola would be able to be a blessing to many, as well as to have more gospel-preaching opportunities.
Finally, we would like to ask you to pray for our housing situation. Our current house is very small for our needs and we are currently living among many packed boxes, so we have been looking for a new place. Unfortunately, the price of rent is incredibly high these days, and it is very difficult to find something near the College that we can afford, and those houses which are within our budget are those who need a lot of work. We have been thinking about getting a loan to buy a house, instead of continuing paying so much money in rent. But it is just a though, for now we have decided to save as much as we can so we can buy a house in the near future, so we ask you to pray for the Lord to give us wisdom and to provide for a new place. But especially, pray that we would be patient to trust him joyfully and to rest upon his sovereign will.
- For the new semester at Central Africa Baptist College.
- For our plans to begin a new church plant soon.
- For the Lord to provide a new place for us to live.
- For the Lord to continue growing us in love for him and others, especially for those who do not have Christ.