Recent Posts from the Mumena Team

Monday, December 12, 2011

Team Blog Summary–November 2011

Here is a summary of our team’s blogs for November. Click on a title to go to the full article.

 

Team

Congregation Report - Kayonge Church of Christ

The Kayonge church suffered a terrible split a year ago. Two of their church leaders gave themselves over to sin and left and took others with them. Now, there are three men leading a small group of women and children. The church has been working really hard to finish their building. For the past eight months they had been meeting in the local school, but now they meet in the church building with an almost finished roof. The church of Kayonge is committed and willing to suffer persecution for Christ…

Congregation Report - Mushingashi Church of Christ

A church of about 15 adults mostly 50 year old and above, Mushingashi is a light in the middle of darkness. They have faithful members that day after day challenge the drunken atmosphere that surrounds them. One of the recent highlights for them was the conversion of a Pentecostal leader who has a strong influence in this community. Lwendo came to worship one Sunday stating that, because of the longstanding relationship and Bible teaching he had encountered with these Christians, he was ready to join a…

Congregation Report - Mutanda Church of Christ and Kanda-kanda Preaching Point

The Mutanda church is partnering with us at Kanda-kanda, our new preaching point. We have been having Bible studies there for over four months now. About two months ago, a man named Aaron was dying from tuberculosis, so we had some personal Bible studies with him. He wanted to become a Christian so he was baptized becoming the first Christian there. Since then he has been recovering from the tuberculosis and always attends the group Bible study. Then, three weeks ago, we started studying about obeying the…  

 

Rick & Karen Love

Love Family Blog

We decided to start our family blog back up and separate it from the team blog. This will give a space to put our family news up that may not be relevant to our work as missionaries.

Raining in Zambia

Greetings from a very wet Zambia. The rainy season is now in full force. Everything is starting to turn into a beautiful deep green and flowers are blooming every where. We're doing ok. The power has been out for some time though and I hope it comes on soon. Also, our back-up solar on our house has stopped working properly. The solar batteries have gotten too old. This having to use candle light at night isn't always the most ideal way of having fun. (Batteries for flash lights are very expensive…  

 

Jeremy & Whitney Davis

Mumena in November

I am happy to inform you that we are back in Kaonde land, Mumena. We had a huge thunderstorm to welcome us back as we were going to sleep Wednesday night. Jeremy and I have a tin roof, so when the rain gets hard enough we literally have to yell at each other to communicate. It is pretty funny. I loved getting back and seeing the sweet faces that we have been working with. I have a friend, Mesa, who is 17 or 18 years old and has an 18 month old baby. She spends each day hauling water for her family since she…

New Season

The rains are definitely here. The past few days it has rained constantly, especially at night, which I love. It always makes me think of my momma and grandmother, hearing the rain hit so hard on our roof—they always enjoyed listening to rainstorms under a tin sheet porch. Who knew that one day that would be what my roof is made of. Here are some pictures showing some of the perks of the rainy season. Since the ground is still really tough, we will wait until the end of the month to plant and garden, so I…

Quick Update

Just wanted to show a few pictures today. I am so proud of my husband and how he handles his work and passion in Zambia. I am a blessed woman. Here he is teaching some Congolese "youth" about serving and teaching the church. There are seven men who came early this week from the Maheba Refugee Camp, just 45 minutes away from us. They have been working with Brian, Jason and Jeremy (the 3 Davis men) on preparing lessons and learning how to use their Bibles to teach. These men are still considered…

Rainy Season Adventures

Last week, we had a seminar for 6 young Congolese men training them how to be preachers. I won’t write much about that experience, but you can see Jason and Erin’s blog as they tell more. However, one thing that happened proved to be very memorable. The last day they were here, we took them out to a Bible study in Mushingashi that go to every week. They were going to get a chance to practice preaching for this small congregation. So we all loaded up in the truck and headed off for the 40minute…

Happy Thanksgiving!

We had a great Thanksgiving in Mumena with our team and our special guest, Chief Mumena! All of the ladies had previously met to divide up who cooks what, and we ended up with a very, VERY good meal. I was feeling especially thankful that day for our Chief who is so supportive of our team. I was so glad he came to share in our tradition. I was also so thankful for our families many, many miles away and our amazing supporters back home. We are so blessed! We had the honor of being responsible for cooking…

Jason & Erin Davis

Shiny and Smooth Mud Floor

Yesterday morning I ventured off a few miles toward the roadside on my little blue bicycle to spend some time with the sweet ladies from the congregation Jason and I work the closest with, Kampande. The Kampande church is such a wonderful and faithful group of believers. They recently put a new roof on their church building with iron sheets. Their old one was made of grass which was not completely leak proof during the rainy season. They are so excited about their new roof and have much reason to be…

Give Thanks Unceasingly

"...for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength." -Philippians 4:11-13 Content, peaceful, thankful. These three words could be described as emotions, adjectives, and gifts. You can't have one without the other. Can you be…

The Heart of a Preacher, First Blooms, and Birthday Wishes!

It has been a great week so far. Sunday Jason and I visited the Rd. 68 congregation at the Maheba Refugee Settlement so we could transport a few young men back to Mumena for a preaching seminar Jason, Jeremy, and Brian have been teaching the past three days. I have sat in on a couple of Jason's classes and really enjoyed watching him strive to inspire these men while teaching about the "heart of a preacher." Jason has taught on the topics of love, humility, and lastly this morning, service. …

Insta-Mumena Part II

Although I have put intagramming on the back burner a bit the past couple of weeks I do have a couple of photos and one horrific story to tell: Welcome to our front yard: Lake front living; it's quite luxurious! Care packages: My sister and brother-in-law are some of the world's greatest care package givers. They always manage to fit more in one box than I thought possible and send wonderful goodies. Maeci does have an advantage above many when it comes to care packages because she sent them…

Thanksgiving in Mumena

We had a great first thanksgiving meal in Mumena yesterday. So much to be thankful for! Here are a few pictures! Turkeys at the grocery store here cost over $50 so we had home grown turkeys to eat! The turkey roasting team The Davis Families Chief Mumena stopped by to take part in the yummy food Lydia Love The Chief's yellow bug! Caleb and Emily Love. I think Caleb was wondering where all the turkey went. It was a new experience being away from family on Thanksgiving but…

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Congregation Report - Mutanda Church of Christ and Kanda-kanda Preaching Point

The Mutanda church is partnering with us at Kanda-kanda, our new preaching point.  We have been having Bible studies there for over four months now.

About two months ago, a man named Aaron was dying from tuberculosis, so we had some personal Bible studies with him. He wanted to become a Christian so he was baptized becoming the first Christian there. Since then he has been recovering from the tuberculosis and always attends the group Bible study. Then, three weeks ago, we started studying about obeying the gospel in the group study. After Bible study there was one person who was baptized.  We repeated the study the next week and two more were baptized: One, the head man of the village, Mr. Kanda-kanda Pupe.

Now we have started a study of the church from the book of Acts.  They want to begin meeting on Sundays and we encouraged them to do so, all on their own.  Please keep these new babes in Christ and the work at Kanda-kanda in your prayers.

The Mutanda church has nearly finished the remodeling of their building. They have worked very hard to finish before there is too much rain. Even though they are busy, they have been faithful to help with planting a new congregation at Kanda-kanda. Thank God for these faithful Christians.

- Sam & Ellie

Monday, November 21, 2011

Congregation Report - Mushingashi Church of Christ


A church of about 15 adults mostly 50 year old and above, Mushingashi is a light in the middle of darkness. They have faithful members that day after day challenge the drunken atmosphere that surrounds them.

One of the recent highlights for them was the conversion of a Pentecostal leader who has a strong influence in this community. Lwendo came to worship one Sunday stating that, because of the longstanding relationship and Bible teaching he had encountered with these Christians, he was ready to join a family that was committed to following Christ and his word rather than the words of men at his previous church home.

Lwendo is a young and vibrant person with a heart to seek God’s kingdom. He is in a slave-like situation where he was convinced that if he worked, for free, for the “apostle” of the Pentecostal church that he was serving God. Consequently, this “apostle” doesn’t even allow Lwendo time to go to Bible study. He works him like a slave and is the richest person in the area. Lwendo has finally seen the lies through the persistence and outreach of the Christians in Mushingashi.

Pray for this church to continue to grow as it faces new persecutions as a local Pentecostal church has just lost their most vibrant leader.
- Jeremy & Whitney Davis

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Congregation Report - Kayonge Church of Christ

The Kayonge church suffered a terrible split a year ago. Two of their church leaders gave themselves over to sin and left and took others with them.
Now, there are three men leading a small group of women and children. The church has been working really hard to finish their building. For the past eight months they had been meeting in the local school, but now they meet in the church building with an almost finished roof.
The church of Kayonge is committed and willing to suffer persecution for Christ. The five faithful women that attend are learning to teach their children in Sunday Bible class. The men are learning how to be more involved leaders and are gifted in teaching. They are self-supporting and are learning more and more about what real evangelism means. Whenever a visitor shows up for Sunday worship, the church leaders follow up with them for a weekly Bible study.
Please pray for strength for this faithful congregation.
- Jeremy & Whitney Davis

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Cultural Insights: Respect & Hospitality

Last post, I explained a very evil tradition: The Flying Coffin. This time, I will explain a wonderful cultural value: Showing Respect and Hospitality.

Some traditions show the very image of God shining in a people group. The way the Kaonde people show respect and hospitality to each other is amazing.

Respect is key to all relationships among the Kaonde. They always greet others with a warm greeting. Even strangers great each other with a quick acknowledgement. Failing to acknowledge somebody immediately causes that person to ask, "Why is he mad at me? What have I done to offend him?"

We missionaries often fail to show proper respect. In our culture, it is not very important anymore. We are too busy to greet every person we encounter throughout the day, even if we do know them. Unless we have something to say, we often don't say anything at all. Instead we quickly go to our office, our car, our private place, to do our own thing.

Living among the Kaonde community, I have learned how to sincerely greet and acknowledge others. Also, I have learned what real hospitality is like. Here if a visitor comes to the house, the household stops what they are doing. They say welcome (and mean it) and quickly get a seat for the guest. After he or she is seated, they then give all attention and start a conversation. It is even slightly offensive to ask, "Can I help you?" or "Do you need anything?" because it seems like the guest is unwanted or being rushed. Getting straight to business is equivalent to saying, "You are not important to me, I just want to know what you can offer me."

Obviously, we have made many mistakes while we live here. I have rushed by people without noticing they are there. Later, they have said to me, "Why didn't you greet me?" I apologize and tell them I am still learning how to give respect since we foreigners are not very good at that. They are very gracious and do not take it personally. When that happens, it is a quick reminder that I am not focusing on what is important.

God has made us a family of his children. The relationships we have are far more important than any busy-ness. Obviously, there are times to rush (like in a medical emergency). However, every day life is not supposed to go by in such a rush that we don't have time to show that we actually care about others around us.

Next time you go to work, school, or even in a restaurant, take time to say hi to those you encounter. This is a great lesson we westerners can learn from the "3rd world" who put priority on personal relationships. We may have most of the money, technology, and food, but if we forget to develop relationships, we are very poor indeed. It won't take much time to greet others warmly, but it will make a huge impact on our life.

I am thankful to learn some good life lessons from the Kaonde even as I try to teach them God's word.
- Rick Love

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Cultural Insights: The Flying Coffin

Some traditions are just plain evil, like the Flying Coffin tradition of the Kaonde people.

Let me try to describe it from the traditional Kaonde point of view:
The flying coffin is a ceremony to destroy the evil witch who has caused the person (in the coffin) to die. This is done to bring peace back to the community before the witch can kill another person. The men who carry the coffin will take a herbal drug that will put them into a trance. This will allow the ancestral spirits to guide them to find the witch. During the funeral, they will start carrying the coffin. The spirits will guide the coffin and even make it hover over their arms to the witch's house. Then the witch will be accused and beaten to death, thus eliminating the threat to the peace of the community. Sometimes if this ceremony is not performed, the coffin will come back up out of the ground after it has been buried. Then it will fly to the witch and bring a curse to that witch or beat the witch to death itself.

Obviously, I have some problems with this perspective. Let me give my perspective:
Revenge belongs to God! He is the only one capable of judging and forgiving a person through Jesus Christ. The flying coffin is an attempt to seek revenge against an unknown enemy. However, it is based on the assumption that all physical consequences are a result of other humans bringing evil into the community. The ancestral spirits which the people trust to guide them to the "witch" are actually demonic spirits seeking to destroy an innocent person. The men carrying the coffin are acting as Satan's servants bringing murder to the community (thus they are the very witches they want to destroy). During the ceremony, I am sure Satan finds it quite humorous to see these men murder innocent people in the name of restoring peace. This is a demonic and abominable tradition which must be boldly spoken against by the Kaonde Christians.

The flying coffin is illegal and punishable as murder according to the Zambian law. However, the police cannot do much without the support of traditional leaders like the local chief. In some chieftancies, the chief has helped to punish the men who have done the flying coffin. In those places, the tradition is reduced and the men are most likely to allow the offending "witch" to pay a large fine instead of being beaten to death. However, in many places innocent people still die each month because of this evil tradition.

For example, about a month ago, a man was beaten to death in a nearby village. However, the family went to the police claiming their father was innocent (this is a good change, because in the past the family would ofter turn against their own family member and join in accusing him). The traditional leadership was very angry that this happened and the men were arrested. From what I understand, they are expected to be put in prison for 5 to 10 years.

Please pray that Christians will stand strongly against this practice and spread the message that God will judge according to his just ways. God has put governments into place to give criminals a fair trial where evidence is considered and the truth is attempted to be found. This is not perfect as human judges and criminal justice systems still make mistakes. However, it is far better than revenge killings. In revenge killings everything is led by pure anger and hatred and no sense of justice or truth is accomplished. God has taught clearly that revenge does not accomplish anything good - Romans 12:19

- Rick Love

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Congregation Report - Road 68 Church of Christ


One Sunday morning in the Congolese refugee congregation at Road 68, Brother Kazadi preached on how King Solomon determined who was the true loving parent of a certain child in question. Kazadi concluded his lesson with a passage from Romans 9:8…
“This means that it is not the children of the flesh who are the children of God, but the children of the promise are reckoned as descendants.” RSV
Kazadi pointed out how our Heavenly King has determined our parentage even in a world of violence and brokenness. As a result, we have both safety and belonging regardless of what Satan has done to our families here on earth. Bro. Kazadi’s lesson was all the more poignant knowing that his wife had passed away only a couple of months earlier. Kazadi continues to care for his 9 children now as a single parent and has begun children’s Bible school classes for the elementary children at the Road 68 congregation.
“For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.” Romans 8:14 KJV
Rejoicing in belonging and safety,
Brian, Sondra, Noah, & Bryson

Monday, October 3, 2011

Congregation Report - Kyongozhi Church of Christ



We have enjoyed visiting the Kyongozhi church of Christ over the past months. They are very small congregation but are working hard to push forward with making bricks for a more substantial structure to meet in. They are sending four women to the Ladies seminar this weekend which are very excited about. Visiting there with Brian and Sondra has been a great learning experience as we observe their interaction with a maturing church plant. Since we will not be able to visit them during the rainy season due to road conditions we hope to spend a few more Sunday's with them before November.
-Jason & Erin Davis

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Christian Chronicle Article

We were just told about an article in the Christian Chronicle about our work here.

Read it here:

Article in Christian Chronicle


- Rick & Karen Love

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Restarting Blog

Just a quick note for everyone: The Mumena Missions blog has been redesigned and we will be using it regularly again to send out news about the work here at Mumena.

God has blessed us to see Him working in many ways here.

Remember to visit our Facebook page for the latest activities:
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Mumena-Missions/289990056262