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

Leaving

It’s thursday morning and we’re about to leave! More good news- Hillary and Levison from the market were baptized, along with Janet from the lodge. We’ll be back in the States on Friday at about 11 am local! See you soon!

Sunday Update

Lots has happened since the last time we got to post. Some good news, some not.

First, the good news. Friday, we spent all day in the Market having studies. We had promised everyone all week long that we would come back and spend all day there. We studied for about two hours, working through different questions with people, and were about to leave for lunch when two more men came up to us to study (Lennox and Aaron). Lennox left, and Boyson joined us. We asked what they wanted to study. Aaron just told us that he wanted to know “What must i do to be saved?” He went on to tell us that he grew up in the Roman Catholic Church and had never taken baptism from them, because he realized that some things they did (like praying to Mary) just weren’t right. He didn’t want to go with a group like that, so he just quit attending worship anywhere. We studied for a while and looked at several different passages until he told us that he wanted to be baptized. We asked when…and he said “I am very ready!” We had studied how it is a burial in Romans 6, and Boyson chimed in afterwards to say that he wanted to be baptized as well. We took a taxi to the lodge, found clothes to change into, and hiked up to the Central Church of Christ. The baptistery was empty–so we got a good hour or so to study with them while it filled! Bennett (one who was baptized exactly a week prior) came with us, and had prayers with them too. It was a really wonderful day!

Today, Aaron and Bennett came to church with us (along with Victoria, Melody, Jennifer, and Charity and others). After church, Bennett was very excited about the possibility of preaching one day. He’s going to work on a lesson in the next day or two and deliver it in the marketplace on Tuesday.

Tuesday, we will get to study with the youth group. Sanderson asked us to spend a day with them to help them since they are the next generation of the church. We are going to work on studying teaching and some things like that, we think!

After the Market on Friday, Bennett brought us to his house. We walked about 20 minutes to Marumba to meet his mother, grandmother, and brother. It was wonderful to sit down and study with them and see their humble home. It makes you grateful to have electricity at night–more than just a candle lighting your entire home, but the view of the stars without light pollution made it all worthwhile! It was wonderful.

On a sad note, things have not gone so well with the family that was so sick. On Tuesday, the mother and one of the youngest went to the hospital. The child is doing some better, but the mother took a serious turn and passed away on Wednesday. The burial was on Saturday. The church was saddened, of course, but knows that doors were opened by their kindness. The family couldn’t even provide for a coffin, so the church helped out in many ways. Social workers have seen the children and are making plans so that they will be taken care of.

Our last few days look liike they will be good ones.  Tomorrow has Bible studies from about 9:30-18:30. Tuesday will be more follow ups, and a couple of hours with the youth.

We can’t wait for reliable water and bug free bedding. We miss the group here–and the church here REALLY misses the group. Sanderson read the Thank You card that the group left at service today and the congregation was appreciative.

See you Friday!

Matthew & Leslie

Wednesday

Things are still going well. Yesterday, we had a good study with Bennett going through Ephesians 4 and then again in the armor of God. We studied with Ernset in the Market, too. He wasn’t as interested in studying, but we spent about 1.5 hours being frustrated. We looked for Lucumbe, but were not able to get in touch with her, and we hope to catch her today.

Victoria came by yesterday–but she missed us. Today we’ll be studying with her at 3. We came for a morning study with Christabell today, but she got called in for work. This afternoon we hope to meet Jennifer, Victoria, and Lucumbe. Everyone has been asking how the rest of the group is doing and if they’re back safely. We keep telling them that we assume that we would have heard if they weren’t! :-)

Well, all for now. Take care!

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 

The Group Just Left

Hello from Zambia! It is Monday at 2:11 PM. We just got back from taking the group to the airport. No major security issues. Their flight leaves at 3:10–we’ll probably hear it. Livingstone International doesn’t get much jet traffic so it will be pretty obvoius. Leslie and I are excited about our last week and a half here. We have more  Bible studies and things to do than we know what to do with.

It was good to see the baptisms. Yesterday, I preached at Livingstone Central. They are all so eager to hear and so very encouraging. I met the director of an orphanage. Leslie and I are planning to go there this Wednesday and work with the kids for a little while.

So much has gone on since the last time I posted-I don’t even know where to begin. Many in our group have just gone to the markets in the afternoon and brought a Bible–and found that people flock to them for study. I think we’ve had two baptisms that way already. Leslie and I are planning to spend quite a bit of time there in follow up. It is frustrating to go tot he market. Many of the people are terribly poor–some are not. After we preached in Mukuni Village the other day, several responded and four or five were baptized. After the baptisms, we went to the market…and it seemed like everyone who responded said, “Come to my shop, I was the one who repented!” I bought from one guy that I had talked to for a couple of days, and I did not want to buy anything else. I had a t-shirt in my bag so I gave it to his friend that I had studied with as a gift. I told him that since I could not purchase from him, I wanted him to have something. He was very disappointed and said, “You have no kwachas for me too?”

Most of the people are really amazing, though. Almost the entire youth group from Riverside came to see our group off this morning. Two of the ladies that we have been studying with, Victoria and Petronella, walked to the lodge this morning just to see us off and sing with us before we left. They stayed with us about an hour. It is really exciting to get to continue to study with them.

Well, that should probably be it for now. We have study to do! Thanks, and keep praying for us and the church in Zambia!

God bless!
Matthew

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