Recent Posts from the Mumena Team

Friday, June 11, 2010

Team Newsletter: March – May 2010

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Below is a copy of the text from the newsletter:

Harvest time is a joyful time of year in Zambia. The farmers finally have enough food to sell their surplus and buy some extras which they often do without (like soap and sugar). Living close to creation constantly reminds us who is truly in control.

April Servant-Hood Seminar – Rick Love

In April, we invited 20 men to come and continue learning the Word of God. We had three classes for one month. First, Garry Montgomery came from America to teach about servant leadership. Second, Brian and Rick taught the book of Acts. Finally, each student took his turn to practice teaching a section from Acts.

Each of the leaders continues to grow in his commitment to God and serving others in his community.

Kandemba House Church – Leonard Mujala

This little congregation is located just near the airport in Solwezi and meets in the home of Mr. & Mrs. Nyevuka. The Nyevukas used to walk a long distance to the Messenger congregation and finally thought of starting a congregation in their home with two other families. They live in a large compound and will have many people nearby with which to share the gospel. The Messenger congregation where John Maseka preaches is fully supporting this new church plant within Solwezi.

On its first Sunday meeting, two people came forward to be baptized and one restored! Twenty two people assembled together on their first Sunday which has caused them to begin looking around for a possible room for rent or perhaps a plot of land on which to build. I visited the other congregations in town to encourage them to be visiting this new congregation. Solwezi is a mining town that is growing in population. English is well spoken there. We hope to have a major distribution of World Bible School material in Solwezi later this year. I know that you will join me in prayer that God will give a great harvest!

Matenda! – Brian Davis

Each year the rains threaten to wash away our 2 mile dirt road from the paved highway to our village where we live. Three years ago, Leonard Mujala mentioned a word in KiiKaonde that might help in the road’s annual repair: matenda. The meaning of this word exists in numerous cultures here in Africa and most language groups have a single word for this idea. I haven’t found a single word for this concept in English. Perhaps the closest phrase that we have is “a barn raising”.

The idea is that the community pulls together in a volunteer effort to accomplish a task that will bless the whole community. During the last two years, we have had from 10 to 15 community volunteers come out to work together with us on the road. This year we had around 30 volunteers! We are prayerful that this indicates a willingness of the community to perceive us as part of the community rather than as a foreign aid agency. This has been a perception problem that we have been wrestling against since we began.

The acceptance of the road being a community responsibility and believing that they can help themselves with the help of God is a big step in the process of overcoming “a poverty of being” that is well entrenched in our people group. As Chief Mumena recently shared with me, “The Kaonde are a noble people with many talents. They just need to re-find themselves again.” The word matenda may be a language key that helps them to do just that!

We are on Facebook

In trying to communicate with as many people as possible, we have a team page on Facebook. Become a fan to keep updated with everything that is happening in Mumena.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Team Newsletter: February 2010

Read our Team Newsletter

Below is a copy of the text from the newsletter:

February is a hard time for the farmers in Zambia. Most of them have eaten all their stored maize (corn), so they are left searching for something to replace their staple food.

Appropriate Technology – Rick

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Building a compost pile

 

One of the major problems that causes starvation and malnutrition in Zambia is dependency on maize.

Everybody grows maize even though it is the most expensive crop to grow and has the lowest price when it is time to sell. That doesn’t make any sense, but people cannot risk change because they fear their family might starve. Before changing, they have to see something that works better.

Since I live among farmers, it is important for me to relate to their struggles. So, I started a garden this year. However, I want to introduce simple and cheap technology that can drastically improve gardening. This is called Appropriate Technology.

A rope pump is an example of that. For about $40 (which is cheaper than one bag of fertilizer), a rope pump can be made that can pump water from up to 150 feet. This can be put on any type of well (like a traditional hand dug well).

This simple pump can enable anybody to make a garden near their village (It also has the bonus of providing water for drinking, cooking, and bathing). The people can see the benefit, make the well and pump themselves, and pay for everything without any help.

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A local youth testing the rope pump

 

As we are teaching the Kaonde we must be the salt in their community that causes them to thank God for our presence, which Jesus spoke about in Matthew 5. Even here people want to see your love in action before they trust your words.

Hopefully, by showing them a way to feed their own families on earth, they will also understand that God wants to give them spiritual food.

 

Rick & Karen Love

Standing? – Brian

It is quite a contrast between the snowy United States and the balmy Central African tropics! We arrived back from our furlough after a leisurely 9 hour lay-over in London. This actually worked to our advantage as we have experienced less jet lag than usual. As we have gotten back into the swing of things here, we were trembling as we wondered what we would find.

You never know what you are going to come back to. For instance my gardener decided to “skip” work for the three months prior to our arrival. Thus the garden was ruined. Thankfully our new grocery store was still in business, but our gardener is now un-employed. The much greater test is whether the new churches “skip” worship for the missionary’s furlough.

While delivering this year’s invitations to our April Bible School, we have seen time and time again young churches who are focused on being faithful and who – in some cases – are even growing numerically. This is an important test of each missionary’s work. The rains have been harsher than usual this year with many villages being flooded out and several houses collapsing. Thus we have been prevented from visiting our outlying congregations as of yet, but we hope to pass the test as the roads begin to become passable.

“The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock.”
Matthew 7:25 NIV

Pray that our outlying young churches stand on the Rock!

 

Brian & Sondra Davis

We are now on Facebook

In trying to communicate with as many people as possible, we now have a team page on Facebook. Become a fan to keep updated with everything that is happening in Mumena.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Love Letters (News): January 2010

View Love Newsletter January 2010

Above is the link to the newsletter in PDF format for printing and easy reading. You can also download it and print it out from there.

Below is a copy of the text from the newsletter:

The rainy season is an uneventful time in rural Zambia. It seems like time stops as everyone gets into a busy routine of working in the fields and seeking shelter when the rain comes. This slow-paced, down-to-earth lifestyle allows deep relationships to grow between everyone in the community.

Accountability Group – Rick

The Accountability Group building a house for an elderly man who had no shelter Among the young men who come to the Bible studies, many of them have had difficulty changing their lives. Lying, getting drunk, and sleeping around are the norm here among young people. These young men that want to change don’t know how to stop. We started an accountability group in December where everyone would have to speak openly about their mistakes. By confessing our sins to those we trust, we learn to stop lying. By speaking about drinking and sleeping around, we see how it destroys our lives. Rather than inviting each other to go drink or “chase women”, we spend time together doing good. Some of the men are finally starting to change their lives and reputations in the community. Hopefully, after many years, these men will become the future leaders of the church and leaders in their communities.

Women’s Bible Study – Karen

In January, we began a ladies’ bible study. My three closest Zambian friends are meeting so far. We have been going through the book of Romans as well as looking through the scriptures on how to live as Godly women should. Women here are silent and have been taught from infancy to keep quiet about ones thoughts and emotions. One question that has surfaced on more than one occasion is: “Karen we don’t know how to love. Many of us mamas do not love our children. Also, our husbands, our neighbors, and others in our villages don’t know. How do we love our children?”

How do I answer that? We have been studying for a few weeks now, and already, I am seeing changes in some of the women and an openness that is encouraging. There is still much ground to cover, but they have taken steps in the right direction. Please pray for these beautiful ladies and their families.

Sam & Ellie Rodriguez’s Survey Trip – Rick

Sam and Ellie visited from Cedar Hill in January. They came because they are considering joining the team next year to continue the work that Don and Rita Boyd have been doing. We enjoyed their visit and their involvement with the Bible studies while they were here. They saw the reality that they would possibly be coming back to live here in the next year. If God continues to bless those plans we look forward to having them as part of our team-family.

Christmas – Karen

Christmas dawned full of sunshine and eager little Loves longingly staring at the stockings hung with care (ducked taped to the window sill) and presents under the Christmas tree. At first we thought we’d have a quiet little Christmas in the bush since our team mates were out on furlough or spending the holiday with old friends until Rick surprised us with a nice Christmas gift. After peaking in our stockings, ripping open our presents, and enjoying fruit salad, hot cinnamon rolls, and hot cocoa for breakfast, Rick packed up the family and drove us to a nice restaurant in Solwezi. We enjoyed Christmas dinner (chicken instead of turkey) and more ‘Zambianized’ cooking which was delicious. While there, the kids enjoyed pony and horse rides, a blow-up jumping castle, a blow up water slide, and even Santa was there. Matthew and Lydia enjoyed seeing Santa though Matthew, our sweet little four year old, said in the car, “Santa is pretend, but God is real.” He’s on the right track of where his heart should be. It was a lovely family day that we will remember and treasure.

Matthew’s School – Rick

Matthew started Kindergarten when Sam and Ellie arrived with his schools books. We are using a Home School curriculum called Sonlight. The school mainly consists of reading interesting stories together and then discussing them together. So far, he really enjoys it. He is free to go at whatever pace he wants in each subject. In this way, he is engaged in the subject with understanding and enjoyment rather than slugging through boring subjects with confusion. No surprise, his favorite subject is Math and we will have to get the 1st grade Math book soon.

 

May God bless you and your family,

Rick and Karen Love