How to start? Our phone has been restored after 8 weeks. We have been using Mazabuka Girls School’s internet lab for correspondence purposes. Our line has been having problems since November when construction down town damaged the main line serving our part of town. My complaints were turned into a thank you when I was told that I was the only one with service in my part of town. Well even this needed to come to an end when they decided to fix the line, which started 8 weeks ago and now we have an excellent line with a 40 to 48 bps speed.
One of the highlights of the past few months was our Valentine ’s Day dinner which we held at our house. We had 32 couples over from the church. Joan had 3 widows from church help her with the cooking and we had 3 young men smartly dressed to do the serving. I was pretty free to move around and chat with people. The highlight of the evening was when one of the men gave his wife a gift, her first gift from him after 15 years of marriage. He was inspired when I gave my wife candy and flowers for our anniversary. It was a great evening with two wives (including the wife who got the gift) deciding to finally join their new convert husbands in our church.
We had Pastor and Dianne Robinson from Wickenburg over for some special ministry. We started with a special night for young people with a special handout of the 10 rules of dating. Rule # 1: Do Not Fornicate. Rules #2 through #10: Refer to Rule #1. We had over 500 young people attend, that’s how many dating rules I printed up and we needed more. We had some music, watched a powerful HIV film called “In Your Face” and then we divided up with Pastor Robinson with the young men and Dianne with the young ladies. It was a great night. They preached our regular services and then we had all of our baby churches in for a combination men and women’s meetings. It was a great night of ministry with the questions asked in the men’s meeting some of the best I have ever heard asked at a men’s meeting. It almost was a disaster. Abraham, our Muslim hardware dealer, had bought some cows and was most anxious to hear Pastor Robinson’s advice about keeping them. He drove us out to where the cows were. Pastor Robinson gave him advice and we took the scenic route back to the road. The scenic route ended in a marsh and we continued on by foot. We reached a house and a tractor was dispatched to retrieve the truck and we were given a ride to church. We got there just in time. Great fellowship, great ministry and Pastor Robinson received something that is akin to the medal of honor for missionaries: a bout of malaria that panicked the medical community of Wickenburg.
Our next big event was the showing of our play “James Tembo, Detective”. I was not involved in the play this year. This was our third time putting it on in the last 4 years. We have presented the play in the major cities throughout Zambia. The actors and the director did a great job. The play was watched by a full house that included our friends Jim and Karen Bardin who were visiting us from Wickenburg. We had taken them to a place called Antelope Park in Zimbabwe. Antelope park specializes in raising lions in captivity and then releasing them in an enclosed area in Kafue National Park and then their offspring be released into the greater area of the park. So we walked with the lions, watching them stalk a herd of zebras with the lead male zebra fending off the 3 18 month old lions. The girls swam with the elephants are as they described it drowned with the elephants. We went on a horseback ride that was more excitement than we were used to so Audra and myself returned in the afternoon for more adventure galloping through the bush. It was the first time I have galloped on a horse since I was a kid and Audra could hardly believe she was being allowed to gallop around this park full of wildlife. When we returned that afternoon our leader asked us if we wanted to see animals. We answered no. He smiled and said “Then let’s ride” and that is what we did. By the time we finished the muscles around my stomach and back were so overworked that when he called us for the last gallop in I just walked my horse in. For Audra and I it was a dream come true, galloping full speed through the bush, something I probably will never repeat again, but it was great.
That’s it for now. I have been preaching at the baby churches with one more to go. We are showing film every weekend at one of the churches. We have a scouting expedition to Siavonga to see about planting another church. Life goes on. This weekend will be the last two outdoor films as our winter has started.