Thursday, April 26, 2012

Sophia's True Salvation

Sophia’s True Salvation
Back in December we went to a church pretty deep in the bush.  Chinjala (Hunger) Baptist Church.  This is a new church filled with either newly saved members or just visitors.  Kevin is teaching basic Bible discipleship material to this church on Saturdays.  When my Mom came in December we visited this church on a Sunday and had a wonderful time!  After the message many came forward requesting counseling.  Some wanted to learn more about salvation, some had sin issues and some were struggling with other problems. 
I was able to use an interpreter to speak with a lady name, Sophia Tembo Mbewe.  Mrs. Mbewe told me that Satan had control of her heart. She said she could only do those things that he wanted her to do.  I asked Sophia if she was a Christian.  She said yes so I asked her to tell me about how she became a Christian.  She then told me about her baptism.  I kindly explained to her what the Bible says about true Christianity and the reason for baptism.  I used scripture from Romans to show her the way unto salvation.  I told her that while baptism was a good thing it was for people who want to obey the Lord and show the world they have already become a Christian.  I asked her if she understood the difference now and she said yes.  I then reminded her that in the book of Romans, Ch 10 verse 10 it says, “For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation”.  I wanted her to understand that this was a commitment between her and the Lord.  I recommended she go somewhere quiet and pray, asking Him to forgive her of her sins and become her Lord and Savior.  I told her she could talk to him about anything.  She didn’t waste any time to go over to a tree behind the church and pray. 

However, communication can be a difficult thing between foreigners and nationals.  I prayed for Sophia for days each time I thought of her.  I hoped that she had received true salvation and the forgiveness of sins. It would be awesome to see spiritual growth in her life and to know that Satan no longer had control over her life.  Time passed and we went to several different churches after that visit.  A month or so back we visited that same church but there was no Sophia.  In fact, the whole attendance was down due to rains.  So, I hoped it was the rains that kept her away and continued to pray for her as the Lord brought her to mind.
This past Sunday we visited Chinjala Baptist Church again.  To be honest with you I wasn’t even thinking of Sophia when a woman on the side of the road asked for a ride.  As Kevin pulled over to let her in the truck I noticed it was her!  I asked the Pastor if he could remind me of her name and did he know if she had truly received Christ as her Savior.  He remembered her and said yes and that she was spiritually growing.  Still unsure and wanting to make sure, I prayed about how I could talk to her after service.
When service was over I asked the Pastor to interpret for me so that I could speak with Sophia.  She and I had shared smiles the entire service.  When we sat down with her I told her that I remembered her and had been praying for her. I then asked her if she remembered me. She said yes.  I then asked if she could tell me what happened after church back in December. Then she smiled big and said she became a Christian and has changed. J  I was ecstatic!  I asked her if she had been reading her Bible that we gave her. She said no because she can’t read.  In Zambia (or most third world nations) many people will take anything as a gift, even if they can’t use it.  I asked if there was anyone who could read that might read the Bible to her so that she could know what God expects of her as new Christian. She said her younger brother would be able to do that.  I then asked if she had any questions she wanted to ask about being a Christian. She said she was having problems with speaking harshly to her children. Again, I wanted to shout! And maybe I did…?!  I was very happy to hear that not only did she recognize that there was something wrong with speaking harshly but that she had the courage to say so.  I truly believe THIS is true salvation and the fruit of the Spirit working in her.  I encouraged her to have someone read to her the book of Proverbs.  Proverbs has so much help for speaking harshly to others as well as training our children.  God is so good to have given me an opportunity to help Sophia in her spiritual growth. 
The Pastors wife said she would try to read scripture to Sophia before or after church on Sundays.  I know that God knows her situation and will provide a way for her to grow spiritually if that’s her heart’s desire.  She can also be going to the teachings that Kevin is doing on Saturdays and I will continue to pray for her. She is married but her husband is not a Christian.  Please pray for Mr. and Mrs. Mbewe.  God is faithful and able to do exceeding, abundantly more than we can ask or think.  He is a rewarder of them who diligently seek Him.   With God, nothing shall be impossible. 
I am encouraged by Sophia’s testimony and am reminded of why we are here in Zambia.  Lately our power has been off all day for 3 days a week.  Kevin was sick for 4 weeks straight.  After running as many tests as possible here in Chipata we never found out what was wrong so therefore we couldn’t treat the infection.  Praise the Lord, he is better now.  I’ve been more than usually homesick for family, friends and the comfort of America this pregnancy.  A lot is going on that makes me wonder some days, “Why are we here?  Should we be here?” It’s days like that Sunday that keep us going.  Praying for many more of these days!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Power ON!

A few weeks ago we were told we would have power outages 3 days a week from 6am-6pm anywhere from 1-3 months.  Obviously we weren’t thrilled about this but were happy we had a heads up to plan.  Once the power outages started we were quickly reminded that nothing is set in stone in Zambia. The power would go off in between 5:45am and 6:30am and not come back on until sometime after 6:30pm; sometimes as late as 8:30pm. Then there are the days in between that the power is suppose to be ON but goes off unexpectedly. I want go in to detail of how uncomfortable and inconvenient the past weeks have been but I will say they have been challenging for sure and we are ready for this to be over. 
A few weeks ago we visited friends in Nyimba. Kevin was teaching at a conference nearer to their home than ours. He taught 7 times in 2 days just after recuperating from being sick 4 weeks.  Praise God for his healing touch and motivation!  We were very blessed by this visit.  Kevin was able to teach and we had great fellowship with our friends, the Helgrens.  Analiese had a wonderful time playing with their kids and was worn out from all of the fun. The day we returned we had visitors staying with us for a couple of days as well. They were also a blessing!  They had a little boy that Analiese was able to run around with outside.  We had a big birthday party for her on Monday and had a blast. The next day was much slower because it’s our power off day.  Our guests left that morning for a trip to the country of Malawi.  Because of all that’s been going on we were all a pretty tired. We were so tired that I didn’t mind having no internet, no lights, no hot water, no cooking, no opening the fridge… who cares!
The day was so relaxing.  I thawed out and marinated chicken and mixed up our favorite green beans and onions.  It was a perfect evening to grill.  Around 5:55pm the strangest thing happened.  Our power came back on… early!  It was pretty funny considering this is the day I could care less about power and Kevin had already heated up the grill.  We said, “Thank you, Lord” and went on our way.  I decided to make mashed potatoes with the power we were so graciously given.  Kevin turned on the front porch light and Analiese shouted, “Power ON!”  I can’t tell you the joy it brought for me to hear her get so excited about the power.  It was then that I realized she would appreciate the power so much more because of these outages and living in Zambia.  It’s the little things that get us through these uncomfortable and inconvenient times.  I hope I will remember that sweet voice each day when the power goes off at 6am. J

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Lessons Learned are the Best Blessings!

A couple of weeks back, around noon-time I was planning to prepare left over spaghetti with meat sauce for Kevin and I. It looked to me like there was only enough spaghetti noodles for one and that I would have to be sparing with the sauce.  I knew it wouldn’t take long to heat up water and cook some more noodles.  No biggy!  As I threw the pasta in the boiling water, I overheard Kevin on a phone call.  “Oh, you’re on your way now?”, he said.  After he hung up I asked, “Is someone coming over now?”  After all it was Saturday; which is usually “our” day and it was lunch time… a little heads up would have been wonderful! 
That little Proverbs 31 woman came and sat on my right shoulder while the other one came and sat on my left.  I reasoned with the woman on the right that it was Saturday (our day) and I barely had enough for us.  She reminded me that HER husband’s heart safely trusts in her and he is known in the gates. (Proverbs 31:11, 12, 23)  Then I reasoned with the lady on the left that I would do it for my husband.  He would really appreciate it and so would his friend.
I decided that I would have something different to eat and they could have the spaghetti.  I sure did want that spaghetti! So, I took a look in the pantry and found a jar of spaghetti sauce that I had just bought in the morning.  I was so excited!  I put some more water on to boil and dumped the sauce in with the leftover meat sauce.  I was happy with how things were working out for all of us when TWO visitors walked in the gate…. Agh!  I guess it was back to PB&J for me. Then I prayed, “Oh Lord, please help me!”  I want to have the right attitude and I almost did… but now two more mouths to feed.  And Zambian mouths at that… would they even like spaghetti?!
Then the story of Jesus stretching the five loaves and two fish came to mind.  I looked at the noodles, the sauce and the garlic toast that I had made, went in the fridge and found some greens that I knew the Zambian men would like and pulled out four plates!  I plated the spaghetti with meat sauce, greens and garlic toast; then brought four VERY full plates to the table. To my surprise I was humbled to the core to see leftovers of both sauce and noodles.  Does that story sound familiar?
Our guests (and Kevin) were pleasantly surprised when I said, “Lunch is ready!”  We all were able to sit around the table and have some very good conversation.  I’m always amazed at how it’s the little things that ruffle my feathers and the little things that turn out to be lessons learned and the best blessings.
Overall we had a great time and realized that everything really did work out for good.  The Lord was just answering our prayers.  We want to be used by Him, we want to grow in faith and we want to love our neighbors more. 

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

What's love go to do with it?

Jesus said it this way, "By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.  John 13:35 

I think it would be safe to say that, "By this shall all men know that ye are not my disciples, if ye have not love one to another."

Obviously the words I have bolded, Italics or underlined are the words that stick out to me.  However, let's start with the word know.  In my own words, to know something means, "to have knowledge of the truth".  So, if someone knows that I am a disciple in the way that I love others; I think it's safe to say that they have knowledge of the truth that I am a disciple of Jesus Christ

Now, let's say it another way.  Would someone say that they have knowledge of the truth that I am not a disciple of Jesus Christ, because I have not love for others?

Think on this for a few minutes with me.  Who do you not have love for?  Maybe it would be a good idea if we did a study on "love" after we thought about this and then went back and asked the question again.  1 Corinthians 13 would be a good start!  Chairty is an active love.  But that's another post. ;)

Let's talk about "love one to another".  I'm prone to think like this, so I am going to assume that others might feel the same way.  When I read this verse I immediately want to think of myself as a disciple of Jesus Chirst.  Immediately I justify myself by saying to myself, "Who do I love..?".  I love my husband, my daughter, all of our other family... I love my friend so and so and so and so...". 

While I think that is good, I have to consider the "so and so's" that I may not love. (See 1 Corinthians 13)

Jesus said, "love one to another", not love for certain people.  I truly believe from this verse I can know (have knowlede of the truth) that I am to have love for everyone if I am His disciple.

Jesus also said this, "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever should believeth in him should not perish but have everlasting life." (John 3:16)  If He can love me this way, how can I not love everyone also? 

Romans 5:8 says it this way, "But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us."   Are you getting what I'm getting here???  God commedeth his love toward Savannah, in that while Savannah was yet a sinner, Christ died for Savannah.  Go ahead, put your name in.  It's a very humbling thought isn't it?

It's like a spiritual puzzle and all we have to do to enjoy it is put the pieces together.  We can never enjoy a puzzle while it sits in the box or if we lose some of the pieces.  Right here in my Bible I have ALL the pieces; praise God!  What makes this puzzle different than all other puzzles is that it's beautiful even before it's finished.  You can study God's Word little by little everyday and still enjoy it.  But then again, maybe "it is finished"! ;)

I am enjoying this study on LOVE so much!!  I just can't type the joy that I am feeling in my heart as I see how the puzzle comes together of God's amazing love for us... and I've only studied about 4 verses on love so far! :)

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

A Servant's Faith

I always enjoy the story of Isaac and Rebekah.  Today however, I enjoyed the story of Abraham and his servant!  Genesis 24

The story goes something like this... Abraham wants a wife for his son.  He instructs his servant to go out and find her and bring her back to Isaac to marry.  The servant is perhaps a little aprehensive when he says, "Peradventure the woman will not be willing to follow me unto this land..." Gen 24:5.  In other words, "Perhaps she doesn't want to come back with me and marry Isaac?".  Abraham encourages the servant that the Lord his God will send his angel to go before him....And thou shalt take a wife unto my son from thence." Gen 24:7

How do I apply this to my life I asked myself?

When I read about servants and masters in scripture, I picture employees and employers. I don't work outside the home anymore; however,  I am to follow my husband's lead, as a servant would to his master.

For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the savior of the body.  Ephesians 5:23 

Often times we don't understand just exactly what our "master's" vision is or how it's going to work out.  "Peradventure, I listen to my husband's advice and things don't go as I would like for them to?" :) 

I think one of the lessons we can learn from this story is, Isaac get's the girl!  The servant obeyed his master even if he wasn't so sure of the outcome.  Rebekah is more than willing to go with the servant back to marry Isaac.  In fact, when she saw Isaac  she "lit off her camel"! Gen 24:64  All things worked out for good.  The servant obeyed and God rewarded him for his obedience.

Even more so, I believe this applies to our obedience to the Lord, Jesus Christ.  He is our master and we are His servants.  We don't always understand His direction or the circumstances He has allowed in our lives or direction but we can be sure that without faith, it is impossible please Him. Hebrews 11:6

When I read the story of Abraham's servant I see great faith!  Like Noah, "being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house". Heb 11:7  Like Abraham, who offered up his son Isaac. Heb 11:17 

Hebrews chapter 11 gives us many examples of faith through out history and things that would not have been able to come to pass if it were not for faith: the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Heb 11:1

Abraham's servant sought wise counsel from Abraham, just as any employee would be wise to seek advice from his employer.  After being given instruction he did ask some questions.  I wise servant seeks the wisdom from his master. 

We are having a Bible study on the book of James right now.  This past Sunday we covered verses 5-11.  James 1:5&6 says this, "If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering."
Which brings me back to Genesis 23:12-14.  The servant calls out the Lord for help.  In verse 15 the Lord answers his prayer and the damsel Rebekah appears.  Just as Abraham had told his servant, she offered he and his camels water.  Just as the wise master had said she would do... oh that we would just believe what God says?!  Faith

Servants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh; not with eyeservice, as men pleasers; but in singleness of heart, fearing God: And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men;... Colossians 3:22&23

Abraham and his servant.  What a picture of God's blessings of our faith and obedience to the leaders in our lives and especially our most high leader, Jesus Christ.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011


I am just so amazed at how incredibly interesting my daily reading is right now! Genesis 4-8 was today's chapters. Please read it for yourself today or soon. 

Eve bares a son, Abel.  Then she bares his brother Cain. Eve's first pregnancy was twins!  Ever asked someone the question, do twins run in your family?! ;-)

Then, Cain kills his only brother... the only other son to the first people of the world... just an amazing thought... and I know we use the term "amazing" very flipantly these days but I mean it when I say I am amazed at this... Adam and Eve have 2 sons and one of them kills the other.  What was going on in these parents minds?  These days we say, "I can't believe what this world is coming to..." When in reality, terrible things happened from the very beginning! 

Then Adam, the first man lives to be oh... 930 years old!  Do you think he was tired at all??  Bored??  Just enjoying life... arthritis?  Just some thoughts...

The there is Noah.  God says, "Build an ark Noah.  Go and get a lot of animals, male and female and load them up with your family.  I'm going to flood the whole earth.".  Noah says "Ok".
Just can't imagine how smart he must have been to be able to go out and build an ark.  I can't imagine how skilled he must have been to be able to go out, find those animals, make sure they were the right animals and bring them on board...  I really can't imagine his faith!! Can you?!

Then, can you invision, being on a boat with YOUR whole family while the WHOLE rest of the living creatures and man flooded on earth?  He must have been so humbled and thankful.  Scared and amazed!  I have no idea how he really felt but I've tried putting myself on that ark with my family and it brings butterflies to my stomach.  It warms my heart and makes me cringe all at the same time.  It makes me want to live in a way that pleases the Lord, that's for sure! ;-)

Cute picture!  Not to say that I am oppose to the cartoon look of Bible stories but it does make me think...  Does this picture give any justice to the serious, amazing and REAL event that took place?  I want to share these events with Analiese in a way that she understands that God's Word is incredible AND it's true.

What an amazing God we serve... literally amazing.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011


Kevin has gone to Kitwe to help Damon and Lisa Matacchiera move their family to CHIPATA!  Praise the Lord, they will be here July 29th. They have two daughters, Felecia 5 and Natalie 2 and one baby boy, Joey 4 months.  It's going to be great having them here!

A couple of gals from Lusaka, Amy and Katie were teaching children in a nearby town this weekend.  They had already asked if they could stay with us Sunday night after the seminar.  I asked if they would mind staying Monday night as well to keep Analiese and I company... they agreed!  It was wonderful having people in the house last night... I am not afraid of being here by myself, it's just a weird feeling to be all alone in a big house for the first time.  Well, tonight is going to be interesting though!  We will be here by ourself tonight.  However, I have invited a friend, Marion and her daughter Sarah (9 yrs old) over for supper. Marion is from Zimbabwe but married a man from South Africa.  They live, work and own a nearby guesthouse.  Analiese and Sarah just adore each other.  It will be a lot of fun to have them over for a girl's night!

I think the main reason for my writing this post was to say that the Lord has blessed us abundantly with new friends here in Zambia.  He does hear and answer our prayers of "loneliness".  Although we say we are homesick from time to time, that doesn't mean we have been forsaken or forgotten by the Lord.
If you will notice I have mentioned 3 different people/friendships in this one post!  And it's just a thought for this week alone.

We miss you all back "home" and look forward to the day that we can spend time with you.  No one can replace our family and friends in the States.  However, we really can't complain!  God is good!