Thursday, June 11, 2015

Past & Future

We want to thank you for your continued and loving support since we retired. As you know we have been returning for 6 months a year to Africa as Volunteers in Mission.

We arrived in Zambia on April --. It was wonderful being met by our Nkonde, our driver through the borders, and our faithful 1998 Toyota pickup. While in Zambia, we were able to obtain our work permit which we had been working on for several months. This now gives us the freedom to work and come and go in Zambia as we need.

The return to Congo was for only two weeks. Rev. Derrell Patterson and Dr. Jimmy Nunn came from the NW Texas Annual Conference in order to launch the strategic plan for the Seminary and University at Mulungwishi. This is a process that will take a number of months. They will have a return visit in August.

We returned to Zambia for the remainder of May and into the first week of June to teach at the Kafakumba Pastors’ School like we did last year. This is similar to our Conference Course of Study with lay pastors coming in for 4 weeks a year over an 8 year period towards ordination. There were some 70 pastors from Zambia and Tanzania. The class discussions were very stimulating in that the students were dealing with real issues that pertained to their ministries.

  • Felix is a first year student. He worked in the tourism industry as a chef and finally as head of food and beverage service at a hotel at Victoria Falls. The Lord has done a real work in his life and he has now moved to northern Zambia where he is being discipled by Dimon, a former student of Kafakumba. 
  • Dimon is the senior pastor of the Solwezi United Methodist Church.  
  • Solwezi is experiencing tremendous growth as a town because of new mines being opened in the area. 
  • Dimon and Felix are taking every advantage to proclaim the love of Jesus Christ in this developing community. Dimon was also at Kafakumba this year as a teacher and interpreter. It is exciting to see those who you have trained now training and mentoring others.
Mulungwishi is our base for the rest of the time. We will continue with the courses that we started last September and October at the Seminary and Women’s School. Lori is also continuing with the nutrition program at the dispensary. This year, Mulungwishi will host Annual Conference the 19th through the 22nd of July. Graduation for the Seminary and University will be on the 25th of July. Dr. Deb Shepherd will be joining the staff for three months (mid-June through mid-September) to help with the development of the strategic plan.

August will have Mulungwishi hosting the Kafakumba Pastors’ School for the month. These will be the Congolese pastors at this session. We estimate some 120 students. Again we will be teaching the pastors and their wives like last year. August will also bring a work team from the New Mexico and NW Texas Annual Conferences to help at the dispensary. The team will include doctors, lab technicians and builders to help us the construction of the new surgery center. We are so grateful for this long standing partnership with these Annual Conferences and churches.

We will be returning to the States at the end of August in order to celebrate our daughter Amber’s wedding to Travis Geer in September. We are looking forward to that event.

Again, we want to thank you for your continued and loving support for us and the Seminary.

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