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