Home Sweet Home

Home at last! We miss Zambia–and have already had a wonderful time looking at pictures and seeing our families again. Both of our parents met us at the airport…we’ve enjoyed spicy mexican food again….and taken American Showers! I hope to put up a mission report and upload my pictures in a few days. I’ve heard that Gavin has already made a lot of work on the DVD–and I can’t wait to see it. Thanks for your prayers, and thanks to God for a safe arrival back.

We’re really looking forward to hearing from our friends in Zambia. We went to the Market one last time on Thursday morning. Aaron announced that he had some good news for us, right before we left. He wanted to tell us that he had told the good news to his sister, a roman catholic, and that she was considering being baptized, but she wanted a day to make up her mind. He was excited because she might want to be baptized that night as soon as he knocked off at the market. Her name is Denya, and he asked that we keep her in our prayers.

We studied some of the verses that explain how leadership works in the church–and how you don’t have to have any special position or title to baptize someone. He was really excited about the chance of getting to baptize his sister.

Bennett also chipped in with a question. He told us that he is really looking forward to studying with his old friends. He was worried, though, and asked us what he should do. He said that they knew that he used to smoke marijuana and drink–and how could he help them to change, too. We studied passages like Romans 6 and Colossians 2 and 3 so he could help them with repentance.

Things are great–I can’t wait to hear more updates!

Matthew

Hi!!

—-Original Message Follows—-
From: “Leslie A Tiensvold”
Subject: Hi!!
Date: Mon, 29 May 2006 07:42:30 -0500

Hi everyone!! It seems every time I come into town to send an email, the power is out!! The power is not reliable here at all, but it works out ok. Normally if the power is out there are more people in the streets to talk to. The rest of the group left this morning. We have our work cut out for us. We have a very long list of people to continue studying with. Especially a couple of new Christians whom we want to strengthen before we leave. There have been seven baptisms so far! God has done great things. I love studying with so many people who just want to open their Bible with us and read God’s word. Saturday, Matthew and I went to a ladies house to study with her. On the way to her house we ran into a couple who I had talked and studied with earlier. The husband had not been to church in years but went last Sunday after some encouragement and study. So we stopped and talked to them and then talked with their neighbors. They all followed us to Jennifers house to join in on her study. When Jennifer was not home, we all went to the ladies house and studied on her porch. We found out that they too were Christians and the guy who had not been to church in a while could not read. So we studied with them a little from Acts 2 and about walking in the light, finishing the race ect. and showed him how he has been blessed with a neighbor who can read. They are now planning on studying together every lunchtime. They seemed really excited and we wrote a list of scriptures to help them as they study together. It is moments like that which make all the hard work and the good it does evident. To see people like Bennet who was Baptized last week who just seems to get it and can not wait to learn more, to seeing Christians really beginning to understand the importance of encouraging one another to walk daily in Christ. I love seeing that and I love the people. I wish it were as easy to set up Bible studies in America! I wish it were this easy to talk about Jesus! We starting studying with the cook this morning. We studied creation, the godhead and the existance of satan. All of this was new to him! He just wants as much of God’s word as we can give him.

I know I miss worshipping in English only and it will get tougher now with the rest of the group gone and our nightly devos in English no longer. We are planning on continuing studying with the ladies at the front desk and they love learning english songs, so at least we will sing a little! :) They are really wonderful people!

Well, I just wanted to tell you all I love you and can’t wait to talk to you again!!

Love,
Les 

Last Day

—-Original Message Follows—-
From: Aarek Farmer
Subject: Last Day
Date: Sun, 28 May 2006 23:35:40 -0700 (PDT)

Today is our last day in Livingstone.  We leave for the airport today at 12:45 to fly out at 3:10.  Last night the Riverside members came and gave us a ‘farewell party’ which means they sang alot for us and the children quoted memory verses.

Words can’t describe how amazing this trip has been.  On Friday night we had another baptism.  I never imagined having this big of an impact on the people here.  One of the members last night told me that Christians throughout Livingstone have been encouraged and want to make a change to start doorknocking more on their own, because they see the impact we have made in the areas around here.

I want to give you another reason to be proud of the people you know on this trip. Every member on this team sacrificed the money they were going to spend on a boat ride on the Queen Victoria which takes you to see the sunset on the Zambezi River. Everyone wants to put their money to better use.  After seeing the need for Bibles, they decided that they want to take that money and use it to buy Bibles and have the church distribute them.  The Zambians were amazed that a group of young people were willing to do that.  We will take the money and probably buy Bibles in the states and mail them back here.  I was so pround when the suggestion came up.  We will also use the money to for other needs that the churches in Livingstone have.

Pray for us as we leave today.  Leslie, Happy, and Angie will stay behind for a longer period of time.  They will do followups on those we have already studied with.

We are looking forward to being back in America but will miss it so much here.  Thank you for putting up with my lack of grammar knowledge and poor spelling habits.  When time is money here, that was the last thing on my mind.

We will see you in a few days.
In HIm,
Aarek

God is Amazing!!!!

—-Original Message Follows—-
From: Aarek Farmer
Subject: God is Amazing!!!!
Date: Fri, 26 May 2006 08:59:22 -0700 (PDT)

So we had one baptism last week.

We went to Mukuni VIllage the last few days and had a gospel meeting and we baptized 4 there after we drove for ever to find enough water to do it.  Then our prayers were answered today for a young man, Bennett from the Market that we have been studying with since we have been here was baptized only minutes ago.  Today has been a great day.  We are all wore out…but it was great to hear that Kevin made it back so thank you for your prayers  We have two more full days here.  We will leave for the airport on Monday and be back on Tuesday.  Kevin had delays coming back or hopefully we wont’ have that problem.

Each night we have had reflection devotionals and we have all learned so much on this trip. Be proud of the friends and family that you know on this trip.  They have truely been a pleasure to work with.  Thank you for what you have done to help them along the way up to this point.  We came here expecting to encourage and we have baptized 6 already and the trip is not over.

Kevin we love you and miss you.  Thank you for all you did while you were here.  This computer is terrible sorry for the errors and the errors in all my eamils time is money on this thing, hope you understand.  Today was the first day that I believe that everyone is truely looking forward to coming back to the states so that we can make changes in our own lives when it comes to talking to those that we love that have not been baptized.

We love you.  Well see you on Tuesday or soon after.
in Him,
Aarek

4 days left….

—-Original Message Follows—-
From: Aarek Farmer
Subject: 4 days left….
Date: Wed, 24 May 2006 05:16:55 -0700 (PDT)

Things are going well here as usual.  Kevin left today.  He went to the airport packed and ready yesterday and then we realized he was a day early.  He should be in the air on his way to Johanesburg as I write.  We finished up the VBS today at Sunset Academy School. We had two days of it during the morning.  (Just Heard Jud and LeAnn have a new Baby….congrats.)  Tomorrow we have a Gospel Meeting at Mukuni Village.  It will last through Friday.  We have been doorknocking today again.  We split up into groups.  You should be proud of the people you know on this trip.  Whenever we have free time they want to door knock.  Today Jess and I had a Bible study with a lady from the gas station.  People are so willing here.  I know I have stated that before but it is true.

We have alot to be thankful for….as we have mentioned before the purpose of this trip will not be measured in baptisms but all of the seeds that we God has allowed us to plant.  Hopefully when we leave the Christians here will be able to take over.  We have been told many times how encouraged the churches are here and that is a big relief.

Continue to pray for us, pray for Kevin as he flies home and pray for the souls that we come in contact with here.  We love you all.

Things are going well.

In Him,
Aarek

one week to go….

—-Original Message Follows—-
From: Aarek Farmer
Subject: one week to go….
Date: Mon, 22 May 2006 06:12:56 -0700 (PDT)

The gospel meeting is over…..today we were going to go to the village to do another gospel meeting but there was a funeral in the village so we had to postpone.  Everyday we have doorknocked and had personal bible studies. It has been amazing.  Yesterday we went on a safari in the afternoon. We saw elephants, zebras, giraffs, warthogs, but no rhinos.  The sunset was amazing. I bet our team has about 3 million pictures total.  Kevin leaves tomorrow for home to attend his sisters wedding, be sure to pray for him as he leaves.  He leaves Tuesday at 1:00 ish.  Thank you so much for your prayers, the rest of the week we will be invovled in more doorknockng, a vbs, and a gospel meeting hopefully.  On Sunday all of us guys will go to a different congregation to preach.  We are all looking forward to that.  Things are still good…no one is sick and all is well. We will see you in a week. 

In Him,
Aarek

Hello from Zambia!!

From: “Leslie Tiensvold”
Subject: Hello from Zambia!!
Date: Fri, 19 May 2006 09:10:48 -0500

     Hello!! I wanted to let you all know we safely arrived in Zambia Monday morning. It has been an incredible experience so far. They are so much more receptive than in New Zealand or in the states. I think I have only been turned away from three or four homes. Every door we go to, they run and get benches or random objects for us to sit down. Then they simply say tell me why you are here and about the word. Some have no knowledge of Christ or how to get to heaven. It feels incredible to talk and teach about the salvation that we truly are blessed with. One woman was baptized yesterday before the Gospel meeting. Matthew’s group is working with a woman who is as the refer to her, “good soil with miracle grow mixed in!”.
     It is incredible and God has blessed our work so far. I am really learning every day.
     We saw Victoria falls the first day we were here. Loved it! Think Niagra times 5 or 10! Beautiful. If ever a way to begin a campiagn… with such wonders of His creation. Mom- you would love bartering!! You get to talk them down on their prices! It is fun!!! Overwhelming at times because they all take you and lead you to their stuff, working against each other for our time and money. But still fun!
     We have a ladies day tomorrow and the last day of the Gospel meeting as well. VBS is next week.
     Well, I wanted to say hello! I am at an internet cafe and I don’t know when the next time I may get the chance to come again. Matthew says hello and is at a Bible study right now so he could not say so himself, but rather sends a cheerful hello. His group is coming to the gospel meeting a little later.
     Well, I hope all is going well in the states!
I love you all!!
Leslie

Friday in Africa…..

From: Aarek Farmer
Subject: Friday in Africa…..
Date: Fri, 19 May 2006 06:35:39 -0700 (PDT)

Sorry I was unable to write to you yesterday.  It was a crazy day but it was amazing.  We started the Gospel meeting yesterday because they had double booked us for the town hall we were meeting in so yesterday was the first day for it.  We had tons of people there.  Gavin and Happy spoke after a Zambian Preacher…but before that was even more amazing.  The door knocking and bible studies here have been out of this world. People here are thirsting for the Word so much.  They invite you in and study for 30 minutes to an hour reguardless of the denomination they are from.  They are so open and receptive.  Boo, Tarah, and I studyied with a lady yesterday and she was baptized yesterday afternoon.  Many more are on the verge of Baptism.  We haven’t scheduled this many studies but our group just wants to keep on doing them.  There is a group out now studying this afternoon and another will take place tonight.  It is amazing.  Tomorrow the girls are going to an all womens retreat and I believe Leslie and Amanda will be speaking.  The guys will be door knocking again.  Tonight, Brazier and Boo are speaking.  Tomorrow Kevin and Tristan.  Sunday I will preach at Riverside and then we will see what God has in store for us next week.  Things are going amazing here.  The churches are united.  They work togethere.  There is no contention.  Can you imagine a place were every church works together without the petty disputes that we have in America?  Don’t get me wrong, America is amazing, but we have alot to learn from these people.  Today I studied with a ladiy with AIDS who thought she was being punished from God.  The study was great.  She had never even heard of Jesus or Baptism until today and she said she was pentacostal.  These people don’t have Bibles so that is very discouraging.  Continue to pray for us.

   For you parents, you will be happy to know that everyone is alive.  Kevin, Gavin, Braizer, Jessica and myself bungi jumped off the 2nd highest bungi in the world on the bridge between Zimbabwe and Zambia.  It was about 11 stories tall. Words dont’ describe it but we got it all on video.  That should be the last crazy thing we do while we are here unless we happen to come across elephant rides in the Zambezi.  Thank you for all your support.  We love you very much and will see you soon.

   In Him,
   Aarek

2nd day…..

From: Aarek Farmer
Subject: 2nd day…..
Date: Wed, 17 May 2006 06:17:08 -0700 (PDT)

Yesterday we spend the day at Vicotoria falls, getting use to the culture, and experiencing our first vehicle breakdown.  It went great though.  Our team is so flexible that it seemed like no big deal.  We just ate lunch early.  This morning and afternoon we spend the day door knocking in the area behind where we are staying.  We had some great Bible studies and we look for a large crowd tonight at the first night of our Gospel meeting.  It starts in a couple of hours and goes for 3 nights.  Two of us are speaking each night along with another Local person preaching.  Tomor we will coninute door knocking in another area of town.  We weren’t going to go out again and door knock this afternoon but our group wanted to which really impressed the people here that we have a team that is so willing to work.  The food is great…at least I think so…others might say otherwise.  No one has malria or any other kind of stomach or bowel problems yet, which is awesome.  Kevin and I came into town today to exchange a little more money…that side of things is going well.  We have nothing to complain about only thanksgivng for allowing us to come.  This trip has been amazing.  The people here are so encouraged by our coming.  The churches are really uniting here and we hope to have a large Crowd….everyone says high, and Mrs. Faires…Julie wants you to look at the itinerary again to know for sure when we will be back.  It is the 30th I believe I can’t remember.  Thank you all for your prayers and support.  We love you.
In Him,
Aarek

We made it…….to Africa that is.

From: Aarek Farmer
Subject: We made it…….to Africa that is.
Date: Mon, 15 May 2006 07:48:12 -0700 (PDT)

This is going to be the most amazing trip ever.  There were no problems at all getting here.  The travel arrangements this time round were amazing…no long waits in airports, no long drives, it was awesome.  We arrived at 2:00pm and the family welcomed us at the airport.  We got through customs, got our bags, (only one didn’t show up—it was a backpack with socks and underwear—so no problems there.  Many of the church ladies welcomed us as we arrived to the lodge and sang for us for about 30 mintues.  There were already tears in peoples eyes.  Tomor we are going to learn about the customs and our schedule for the week.  They seemed very prepared for our arrival which was a big relief.   They are getting food in town now to cook for us.  We will start the Gospel Meeting on Wed.  Thank you so much for your prayers.  We will do our best to keep in touch.  Spread the word that we made it here safely with no problems, we have beds, food, a tub and awesome host family that will take good care of us.  Keep us in your prayers, and definately pray for those people that we come in contact with here.
   We love you all.

   In Him,
   Aarek