Tuesday, December 30, 2008

New Road to Hope

Last week, Wednesday, the council came and put in our new road. This is a big deal in Africa. It is easier to move mountains than to get the government to do anything. So this is the new road leading into the site. Now we can work on getting the power company to get the power poles installed. Before they refused because they didn't know where to run the poles.
Today was a very dry day, great for building. We laid our first slab and have prepared two more. I am overwhelmed with the amount that is still remaining to do. Please pray that the right help will come with amazing efficiency.

Christmas in Zambia

Christmas was ok. Not really a big deal made it is here in the rural area. We went to a 3 hour service at a local church here. I guess they don't mind sitting on a small plank for 3 hours, but I was numb after the first hour.
After Church we made dinner and relaxed for the afternoon. Friday, we set up the room next door for Jack, the new arrival, and James, another guy coming back with Randy in January.
Saturday morning we set off in the van with a cooler full of food and a few essentials and headed North. We weren't really sure where we were going to end up, but we had some ideas. We were going to drive and sleep in the van and have a good old fashion adventure.
We ended up visiting a large estate set up by an Englishmen in the early 1900's He didn't like the way the English treated the Blacks so he tried to set up a "utopia" community. It was very neat to see old English architecture in the middle of Africa. The property also has some hot springs where we made home for the night. There was a small lodge near the springs with lush gardens and a few small chalets near the riverside. They were fully booked, but when we told them that we were going to sleep in the van, they offered us a spare room they had for a very low price. The hot springs were AMAZING. No sulfur smell, hot water, jungle like vegetation all around. We sat for hours soaking in the calming waters. It was just like my hot tub at home. Kinda.
On the way home we Stopped at Kundulila Falls, the same falls I visited s few weeks ago, only it was a lot different this time, with all of the rain we have had, they were much more violent than before, it was still fun to swim under them. We bought some car tire tubes to float on.
All in all it was a good relaxing weekend. There is a lot to see in Zambia, it was good to get out and see more of it. This week is another big week. We will start manufacturing trusses for our buildings. We also have a lot of dirt to move to backfill our foundations. Please pray that the rains will hold off. Also, pray for those that heard the Gospel on Christmas, and that we could help them in their walk with the Lord.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Coconuts in Bethlehem?

So Zambians have an uncanny gift to transform something perfectly normal to into something horribly gaudy. Especially when attempting to make something "nice".
We came to Lusaka today because Randy is flying home tomorrow. Things are a bit different here than the rest of the country. I didn't remember there being palm trees in the Christmas story. the funny thing is that there aren't palm trees in Zambia either (except electric ones).
Being back here seeing the Christmas lights and hearing Christmas music have made it kinda real that I won't be home next week. Kinda a bummer. Today, as i sat in traffic, amidst the honks, smoking tailpipes and all around craziness, I sort of escaped reality and started singing Christmas songs. Then I had to get bank into reality so I didn't wreck. But it was good to be away for a few frames of life. Perhaps I'm starting to loose it? I don't know.
43 days down, and still no nshima. Those of you that have not been here don't know what Im talking about. those of you that have.....do.
This morning it started raining, it hasn't stopped.
We left the guys working while we came to Lusaka, hopefully that was a good idea.
No sign of the Rat for a while, hopefully we are in the clear.
Tomorrow, a new guy from Omaha is coming. He'll help us our wit the building. His name is jack and is from Brookside church in Omaha.
That's all for now.

Preacher Zack

The Men have been working very hard. On friday Randy and I had discussed providing lunch for the men, just as a good gesture. Many of the men do not eat over their noon break. We had a large load of cement to unload, a large load of lumber to unload and a lot of concrete to mix. It was a good day to provide lunch. At my morning address I told them that we would be doing Lunch together. You would have thought they had all been given the day off. They all cheered, jumped up and down. Huge smiles, old me giving me two thumbs up! I expected them to be happy, but the response I got was really fun. And all for about $25 to feed 40 men.

The picture above I took this morning of a 2 yr old boy who has been coming over to our house, opens the door and comes in. He speaks no english. His mother lives at the hotel next door. He is really cute and funny.

Today we went to Mukishi, a town about an hour away. There was a new church that Pastor Navice and his team had started. They had asked me to preach so I reluctantly did. I told an old Bemeba (their "tribe") and parralled it to the story of the Bible and Christ coming to save. It could have been better, but I got through it. When I was done, Navice asked for those who have givn their lives to Christ for the first time today to stand up. Of the 66 present, 11 stood up. It was good to know that my God has used me to bring his message to these people.

Big week this week. Randy leaves friday. We have a lot to do. Thanks for reading.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Hope Children's Center in the Omaha Herald

We just received this email note from our partners in Zambia at Brookside Church in Omaha:

"The Omaha World Herald did a pretty nice spread on the Hope Center today. Thought you might want to see it. It was nearly a full page on the front ofthe LIVING section. You can view it online - see link below."

Here's the online link.http://www.omaha.com/index.php?u_page=3940&u_sid=10506548

Friday, December 5, 2008


We have made a lot of progress this week. The place looks a lot different than it did Monday morning. We stared monday with about 6 guys, we gained some each day and had almost 40 men working on friday. Key men continue to imerge in the group, it is very incouraging. The shop and bathouse footings are done, the footings for the big building are almost dug, and will be poured tuesday. The rains held off until about 3:00 friday afternoon. then the heavens opened and it poured. We are hoping to have a restful weekend, but it will not happen. As we look forward to Monday, there are a lot of things to get ready for. It is a bit overwhelming having 40 sets of eyes waiting for a greeting, a job assigment, instruction first thing in the morning. We want to be prepared. the licture is from last weekend, The cheif of police, John, and his new glasses that I brought from the US. He was like a kid a christmas when I presented him with his new glasses.

Monday, December 1, 2008


Things have been going very well here in Zambia. We spent the weekend laying out the site for buildings, and continuing to get out "home" set up. Sunday was a much needed relaxing day after church. We spent the day napping and reading. Today, Monday, We started digging the footings for the first building. we didn't have as much help as expected, but we made due. I didn't want o recruit too heavy, because I was afraid we would have an army show up. We also hired a supervisor today. His name is Godfrey, he is a fifty something guy who has a lot of building training and experience. He is a contractor, but he will be serving as a supervisor for our project. He is very affordable, and grateful for the work. We are pleased to have him. I was also able to easily get loads of sand and stone brought to the site for building. All in all is was a good "first" day of building. tomorrow we expect a large crew. Things should begin to move fast. Thanks for all of your prayers.