Recent Posts from the Mumena Team

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Don & Rita Boyd Newsletter: May 2008

Greetings to All,

As everyone knows it has been a long time since our last report and we are sorry for that.  We arrived back in Zambia on the third of April after three and a half months in the States for Don's recovery from his tractor accident.  We are very blessed to still have him with us and in good health.  We know that people all around the world were praying for him and we know that God heard those prayers and answered them in a wonderful way.

 

We are happy to be back at Mumena and the people we love and the things we love doing.  The people here carried on our Bible studies and other duties very well while we were gone and for that we are thankful.  The welcome back that we received when we arrived home was great, with many gifts given in love and appreciation.  We were given 3 chickens, 2 reed mats, some potatoes, eggs, pumpkin and maybe other things that I can't recall at present.  We knew before that we were loved by many here and all those gifts certainly proved it.  

 

It is good to be back with Sondra and her family, we really missed them (especially those sweet boys).  We had intended to go home for a furlough this year, but not quite as soon as we did.  We are sorry we did not get to see too many of our friends that we had hoped to see on our time in the States.  Lord willing, the next time home we will get a chance to see more of you. Right now we are very busy trying to take care of seven who have just arrived from the States on the 16th of this month.  There are well drilling and agriculture people who have come to share their knowledge with the people of Mumena.  Our main job is to see that they are housed, fed and generally looking after their welfare.  They tell us we are doing a good job, so I guess we are. 

 

Don and I went to Lusaka a couple of weeks ago and picked up the Love family who is here as part of our team now.  We also have Phil Sullivan who arrived as part of the 7, but will be here for 5 months working with our team.  His wife Paula was supposed to come with him but her mother is not well so she had to remain behind, at least for awhile.  They will be spending about half their time in Zambia and the other half in the States.  We are happy they have decided to come and be a part of our team, at least half time.  Our rains have stopped and the cool weather has arrived and we are enjoying this weather right now.  It is sure a nice change from all the snow, ice and cold weather we experienced while in Missouri.  It was good to be with our families back there for awhile, but we were ready to get back to Zambia.

 

The Lord continues to bless our efforts here and we can see growth in the new Christians, for which we are thankful.  Please continue to pray for us and the work the Lord has so graciously allowed us to come back to.  Many people has told Don "The Lord was not finished with you just yet, he still has work for you to do". We believe that and are trying our best to do just that.  May God bless and keep all of you in His tender care. 

 

Love in Christ, Don & Rita

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Love Letters (News) - You Can't Take it With You

We are in our new home and everything is great. Matthew and Lydia enjoy their new friends and playing outside in our large yard. After living in an apartment where we had little outside environment, this is a great blessing. Bart Bruington has built a brick fence around about half an acre behind our house where the children can freely play. The other children enjoy playing with Matthew and Lydia and so for the first time we don't have to constantly keep our eyes on them. The yard is safer than any environment in the States.

The other missionaries prepared our house for us before we arrived. Our house was full of furniture and our cupboards were full of dishes. In Lusaka, we stocked up on groceries (which are often not available at Solwezi the nearest town), so we are ready to learn how to cook and eat here. So far, because we cannot eat fast food or go to a restaurant, our meals are actually much healthier and taste better than what we were eating in the States. We have had eggs, omelettes, banana bread, homemade white bread, tuna salad sandwiches, potato soup, roast, any other excellent dishes. Also, we are all aware of the amount of time involved in purchasing and preparing food here, so we are much more thankful for the food. Because of this, the food tastes much better than the best American restaurant.

There has really only been one problem, which in some ways has turned out to be a blessing. While we were traveling to Solwezi in the truck, the topper on the truck came open and nobody noticed. At some point a bag fell out and we were not able to find it. Out of all the bags that fell out, this was the one in which I put everything that I considered very important or irreplaceble.

Just to give you an idea of what I lost:
My Bible and Karen's Bible
My Laptop computer with all my files
An external hard drive which contained all the digital pictures of our children and the backup to all my files
(Just to emphasize the point, my laptop is my main tool for communication with my family and friends, storing and viewing family pictures, Bible Study, lesson preparation, language learning, financial management, and other things)
My MP3 player with all my music, audio recordings of Matthew and Lydia, and major tool for language learning
All my notes for Zambia, including language, etc.
Every important document for our family:
Passports (except mine which I had in my pocket)
Social Security Cards
Wedding Certificate
Birth Certificates
Medical records of immunizations
Other expensive items (which can be replaced):
All our Wii games
All our computer software discs

To sum it up, every item that I considered a "treasure" was in that bag. Now it is gone. Now, I have no treasure on this earth. My only remaining treasures are my family and friends, whom I hope to see in heaven.

"I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in my that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful."
John 15:1-2

If God sees it fit, I will try to replace the items which were lost. I now have a completely new perspective for them. Instead of "idols" which I cherish and depended on, they have become tools which I can use to serve God. Whatever the situation, I will use whatever tool God has made available, instead of relying on things which will always fail.

So remember not to build up treasures on heaven which will be a great loss.

May God bless you with great heavenly treasures,
Rick Love

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Davis Missionary Journey: Answers? I'm still trying to figure out the questions...

Communicating cross-culturally has a lot to do with what “gear” people are thinking in…  I think – and thus teach – in what is often referred to as a “high religion” gear:  the meaning of life, what is true, who is God, etc.  But much of the world thinks in “low religion” gear:  how does something work for me, how do I do this, etc.  I recently encountered this communication challenge after teaching in a Restoration Seminar concerning God’s power versus “the powers”.  My aim was to restore the understanding of my audience to the understanding of spiritual powers as being personal with only two sources:  God or Satan.  The corollary resulting from this is the understanding that man cannot manipulate spiritual powers; rather, he can only enter into a submissive relationship with one of these powers.  In defining the power of God, we read from Psalms 45:6:

“Your throne, O God, is forever and ever;

A scepter of righteousness is the scepter of Your kingdom.”

NKJV

 

“God, your throne will last forever.

Your justice is a sign of your power to rule.”

Holy Bible: Easy-to-Read Version, Revised Edition, copyright © 1987, 1999, 2005 World Bible Translation Center. All rights reserved.

 

The symbol of a scepter is common within the Chieftaincy of Mumena and has the same meaning as the Biblical symbol as described in the Easy to Read Version.  So I was expecting the topic to be well received.

 

After my lesson, I was surprised to find that the majority of people attending were not at all happy with my class.  My first reaction was, “Well, it’s true; deal with it.”  But “truth” in this case begged the question.  THE question was:  “Fine, the power of God is righteousness; BUT… HOW DO WE USE THAT?!”  (That is actually a very good Bible question.)  Their reaction, however, was as if I had shown them a compelling drama; stopped half way through; given them a “to be continued” sign… but with no time and date.

 

Hustling to develop the second lesson,

Brian, Sondra, Noah, & Bryson

 

BrainTeaching

Pictured:  teaching answers at a Restoration Seminar AFTER which I discovered the questions.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Love Letters (Technical): Preparing to Live in Africa

In order to live in Zambia as a missionary, one must obtain a work permit. This process is not very simple. It seemed every week we received an email telling us another document was required. So, I decided I would document the process for any other missionaries so that they might avoid any potential problems.

 

Documents that might be needed to obtain a Work Permit or to do other business in a foreign country:

  • Passports for everyone in your family.
  • Copy of all passports.
  • Extra Passport pictures for the work permit (at least 2).
  • Proof of Education: Copy of High School, College Diploma, or Transcript
  • Resume: A simple resume that documents any relevant education or experience.
  • Letter of Invitation: An invitation written from somebody in the foreign country inviting you to come work in the country.
  • Letter from "Employer": The Zambia work permit application required a letter from an employer in Zambia. If you are going into a country where the church is officially recognized, then you can probably get something from someone among the official leadership. If you are going to a country where there is no one to represent your employer, you will probably be able to process the work permit as if you were self employed.
  • Letter of Intent: A letter ideally written from your supporting congregation that describes the purposes of working in the foreign country.
  • Guarantee of Financial Support: A letter written from your supporting congregation that guarantees they will support your financial needs.
  • Police Clearance: A Certified Document that proves that you have no criminal background. I obtained this at the Dallas County Court House and had to get two separate documents for felonies and misdemeanors. I'm not sure whether the second is required, but I got it just in case.
  • International Driver's Permit: This will allow you to drive in some countries (when present with your US license). It can be obtained at any AAA Insurance office.
  • Letter of Recommendation from your Bank: A letter from your bank that recommends to a foreign bank that you are a good customer. This will allow you to more easily open foreign bank accounts. 
  • Marriage License: This might be required to prove you are married to your spouse.
  • Birth Certificates for family members: These might be required to prove your relationship to your children.

 

Process for obtaining Work Permit in Zambia:

  1. Come to Zambia.
  2. Upon arrival you must purchase a visitors Visa for each member of the family when going through Immigration Control at the airport ($135 for 3 years).
  3. Take all the required documents to the Ministry of Immigration in Lusaka along with the application fee (at the time it is K500,000 which is about $150)
  4. At this point, your Visa (in your passport) will be noted that your work permit is being processed.
  5. Wait 3 weeks.
  6. Go back to the Ministry of Immigration in Lusaka to see if your permit is ready. If not ready go to the previous step.

Hopefully, this will be educational and useful for someone.

 

May God bless you with patience and peace if you attempt to enter a foreign country as a Missionary :-)

Rick Love

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Love Letters (News): TIA (This is Africa)

As I will be sure to learn more in the near future, everything is different in Africa. Most obvious is that everything occurs on a different time scale. For example, an appointment for 9AM on Friday in Africa translates to "Maybe in the morning on Friday, or Saturday, or some day in the future."

Well, this concept of time is now becoming common in the aviation industry. Many flights are canceled now because of fuel costs in the US. All flights are full and there is no redundancy if something goes wrong (like a mechanical failure which grounds a plane). This past Friday (May 2nd), we got to experience this: After boarding the plane there was a software problem with the plane's navigation system. After re-booting the plane's computer twice it still didn't work (no surprise there, I hope the plane's operating system is a little more stable than windows 95 and won't "magically" fix itself by re-booting). Anyway, our flight was canceled and the airline had no way of handling 120 extra passengers. After waiting in a line for 5 hours, I was able to get the same exact schedule on Monday (May 5th) 3 days later.

Anyway, I took the whole experience as good practice for Africa. Ironically, it actually worked out quite well:

  • We were still in Dallas when this occurred instead of being stuck in some unfamiliar place.
  • We intended to give our cell phone to the people who took us to the airport in order to be mailed back to my parents. We forgot to hand the cell phone off and therefore had it with us (which was indeed a great blessing). We were able to update everyone on the situation and spend some of the time waiting by talking with friends and family.
  • Karen and I had only been able to get 3 hours of sleep the night before because of all the last minute loose strings to finish. With the extra three days (or actually two since one had been spent in line at the airport), we were able to get some rest having already tied all the loose strings. We have been able to enjoy our time with our friends and family instead of running around everywhere with endless errands.

Hopefully, the second attempt will go even smoother.

Rick Love

 

TIA: This is Aviation

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Davis Zambia News - April, 2008

Greetings from Mumena, Zambia,

Hope this month finds all of you well.  We Davis’s are all fine on this side of the world.  The month has passed quickly and lots has happened.

Two seminars were hosted by our team in April.  The first one was another leadership development seminar on “Teaching Christ and Him Crucified”.  These seminars continue to be welcomed and well attended by church leaders from the Kaonde congregations.  The second seminar was specifically requested by one congregation.  It was a family seminar to help them learn how to have more Godly families.  It was taught and attended by both men and women.

Noah and Bryson continue to enjoy their long days in the sun having fun in the African bush.  Lately they have been spending much time climbing trees and riding donkeys with their friends.  Tomorrow they will be helping, Savannah, one of the other missionary kids, celebrate her birthday by going swimming in town.  Noah received some good news this month.  We found out that the container has been delayed and instead of arriving in May it will not arrive until June.  Since our school books are on that container that means school will be delayed as well.  I think Noah is the only one who thought the container delay was good news.  Please pray the container does get here before our scheduled summer activities.  There are lots of needed supplies coming to make those events successful.

I have been able to have some good visits and practice my Kikaonde this month.  I’ve spent a few mornings with Josephine, a Christian woman who lives in Konkwa, a village just a few kilometers from us.  She and some other women have helped me learn some vocabulary.  One day she also fed me some delicious fried sweet potato chips.  Not only have I worked on Kikaonde but I also have learned some interesting cultural lessons.  One lesson is in how they describe familial relationships (older brother, younger sister, etc.).  The other lesson came when Josephine’s husband came to tell me that one of the ladies who is normally present for our visits wouldn’t be there for our next visit.  I asked if it was o.k. with Josephine if I came any way and I thought he told me yes, but it was my decision.  I told him I would show up as planned.  But when I arrived the door was locked and no one was at home.  On looking back at it I think he was trying to tell me in a polite way that Josephine wouldn’t be home and that I shouldn’t come.  Learning the cultural cues can be just as important as learning the actual language.

We are one month closer to being ready for our summer volunteers.  Last week Brian and I made a trip to Chingola, which is 2 ½ hrs. away, in order to shop for food and supplies.  We had three carts of stuff and it was a bit embarrassing when we checked out.  People starred at us and the cashier asked us lots of questions.

Next week our new team mates, the Loves, will arrive in Mumena.  That’s the beginning of three months of people coming and going.  But I’ll talk more about that next month.

Some of you have mentioned that I should change the way I send out our newsletter so that you don’t get the long list of recipients.  I think I’ve now learned how to do so.  Let me know if I didn’t get it right.  Sorry for the inconvenience in the past.  Please keep our family and ministry in your prayers.  May you be blessed this month.

Brian, Sondra, Noah, & Bryson

Davis Zambia News: April 2008

Greetings from Mumena, Zambia,
Hope this month finds all of you well.  We Davis’s are all fine on this side of the world.  The month has passed quickly and lots has happened.

 

Two seminars were hosted by our team in April.  The first one was another leadership development seminar on “Teaching Christ and Him Crucified”.  These seminars continue to be welcomed and well attended by church leaders from the Kaonde congregations.  The second seminar was specifically requested by one congregation.  It was a family seminar to help them learn how to have more Godly families.  It was taught and attended by both men and women.

 

Noah and Bryson continue to enjoy their long days in the sun having fun in the African bush.  Lately they have been spending much time climbing trees and riding donkeys with their friends.  Tomorrow they will be helping, Savannah, one of the other missionary kids, celebrate her birthday by going swimming in town.  Noah received some good news this month.  We found out that the container has been delayed and instead of arriving in May it will not arrive until June.  Since our school books are on that container that means school will be delayed as well.  I think Noah is the only one who thought the container delay was good news.  Please pray the container does get here before our scheduled summer activities.  There are lots of needed supplies coming to make those events successful.

 

I have been able to have some good visits and practice my Kikaonde this month.  I’ve spent a few mornings with Josephine, a Christian woman who lives in Konkwa, a village just a few kilometers from us.  She and some other women have helped me learn some vocabulary.  One day she also fed me some delicious fried sweet potato chips.  Not only have I worked on Kikaonde but I also have learned some interesting cultural lessons.  One lesson is in how they describe familial relationships (older brother, younger sister, etc.).  The other lesson came when Josephine’s husband came to tell me that one of the ladies who is normally present for our visits wouldn’t be there for our next visit.  I asked if it was o.k. with Josephine if I came any way and I thought he told me yes, but it was my decision.  I told him I would show up as planned.  But when I arrived the door was locked and no one was at home.  On looking back at it I think he was trying to tell me in a polite way that Josephine wouldn’t be home and that I shouldn’t come.  Learning the cultural cues can be just as important as learning the actual language.

 

We are one month closer to being ready for our summer volunteers.  Last week Brian and I made a trip to Chingola, which is 2 ½ hrs. away, in order to shop for food and supplies.  We had three carts of stuff and it was a bit embarrassing when we checked out.  People starred at us and the cashier asked us lots of questions.

 

Next week our new team mates, the Loves, will arrive in Mumena.  That’s the beginning of three months of people coming and going.  But I’ll talk more about that next month.

 

Please keep our family and ministry in your prayers.  May you be blessed this month.

Brian, Sondra, Noah, & Bryson