Recent Posts from the Mumena Team

Monday, September 3, 2012

2012 Annual Youth Conference Report

This year we had our first provincial youth meeting. About 150 youth
came from four different areas of the North-Western province of
Zambia. The Mumena congregations hosted the event here. We met for
four days and had many activities. It went great and everyone was very
glad to meet other Christians.
As a note, youth here means "young person" and includes anyone under
35 years. With the "young people", about 20 "old people" came to help
supervise and cook.
We sang, had many Bible lessons, had a session on purity (separating
the men and women), and had simple group competitions. During "Bible
Search" a person from each team raced to see who could turn to a
specific verse and read it first. During "Bible Quiz" each team would
take turns answering random Bible questions. They also played sports
during free time.
The youth enjoyed spending time with each other. The lessons
encouraged them to stay faithful to God. The Bible competitions
challenged them to be more serious in Bible study. The singing and
other activities established some strong relationships in which they
will remember that they are not alone.
We look forward to other meetings in the future.

IMG_5052
The Bible Search competition

IMG_5049
Youth from four areas of North-Western Zambia

IMG_5001
Resting after hauling water

IMG_5072
Waiting for the baptisms

IMG_5079
One of the four who were baptized

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

2012 Campaign

We had a great campaign this year. We had 13 visitors from the US who stayed for about 10 days in June-July. We focused on three activities working side by side with the Zambian Christians: Evangelism, Village Education, and Medical.
 

Evangelism

We worked with two local congregations to visit their families and neighbors for three days each. In the morning, we trained in how to build relationships and teach someone about Christ. Then in the afternoon, we formed groups – the Zambian Christians paired up with their American brothers. The groups then went out visiting family and friends: introducing them to the basic message of Jesus and giving them a chance to ask questions about God. During the night, we set up a projector and watched the Jesus film in Kiikaonde outside the church building.
This effort went great and afterwards Shadrack, one of the church leaders, said that it was a great encouragement for him and wanted to thank everyone for their work.
 

Village Education

Six Campaigners came to work with home education in the villages. We trained five families in how they as parents can teach their children at home. In the mornings, we trained the parents with their children. Then, in the afternoons, those parents taught other parents in the community to do the same.
IMG_4630
James teaching his daughter to trace her name
IMG_4625
Phythias demonstrating how to teach the children how to write their names

We focused on three core subjects: Reading Comprehension using the Bible, Writing, and Arithmetic. For each subject, we taught many activities that progress in difficulty. For example, with writing, we showed them three activities that lead the child to write his own name:
  • First, the parent would write the name in the sand, and the child would trace over it.
  • Second, the parent would write the name, and the child would copy it below.
  • Third, the child would write his name without seeing it first.
All the activities used local resources from the village: charcoal, corn cobs, sticks, etc. This made it natural to spread the teaching to other villages.
For reading comprehension, we showed the parents a simple method for teaching Bible stories:
  • First, summarize the Bible story
  • Second, read it from the Bible
  • Third, help the children act it out as a skit
  • Fourth, ask comprehension questions
This turned out to be a great way to teach the Bible for both children and adults. Everyone saw how these activities could be used for evangelism while providing a great service to the community. They combine preschool, grade school, adult education, and Bible lessons into a fun hour or two. This is a great draw for both children and adults who want to improve their English or Math or want to help their own children.
We will continue to train other parents in all the congregations and follow up to train in additional activities. Also, we have begun to demonstrate how each congregation can do these activities for evangelism.
 

Medical

Two campaigners spent each day building relationships with the nurses at the local clinic. They learned how the nurses deal with the common ailments in this environment and also how to work in this culture. The nurses appreciated their new friends. The time together gave them a joyful memory to remember as they continue their daily work.
At the end of the week, everyone went to the clinic to help with the medical clinic day. We worked together with the clinic nurses and two local Dentists from Solwezi. We gave out reading glasses and directed the lines for the dentists and nurses. Again, the local church leaders were at the forefront of everything. The work was done in the name of Jesus and his church. In this way, the clinic day demonstrated to many that God does care for them and works through His family.
We four families greatly appreciate everyone who came to visit and work alongside us and the local Christians.
May God make you fruitful as you serve Him,
Rick & Karen Love
Along with the rest of the team:
Sam & Ellie Rodriguez
Jeremy & Whitney Davis
Jason & Erin Davis

Monday, August 13, 2012

Congregation Report - The Church at Kayonge

This weekend, we started our new schedule. Karen & I will be shifting around all the church plants to focus on training. Sam & Ellie Rodriguez will focus on working with the church plants that require more attention.

The training we want to provide is actually for the entire body of Christians. It is a way to work outside of the traditional "church service" into a more family oriented meeting. The idea came from this year's campaign. We had an educational campaign where we trained five different families in home school activities. One of the activities was a Bible story time that included acting out the story as a skit.

The activities were so interesting to both children and parents that we immediately saw the value of using them with the regular church meetings. They are an effective evangelistic tool. They combine fun social games with important learning of life skills with the learning of God's word. Its a great example of our team strategy to wholly affect the spirit, mind, and body as God created man.

This weekend we started our first meeting where we are trying to show the church how to combine these into the traditional service. Saturday, we introduced some of the activities. Then Sunday, during Bible study we acted out the text using both children and adults. This was combined with summarizing the story, reading the scripture, and asking questions about it. After this, we had our main service. One difference that I noticed was that the children were still attentive during the main service. Normally, they leave during the Bible study and continue playing outside until service is over. However, since they were engaged during the Bible study, they continued to feel like a part during the rest of the service.

When our service was over, it was time to prepare for a fellowship meal. While waiting, we played many educational games with the children. Games designed to teach English, Writing, and Arithmetic. One of the favorite games is "Teacher Says." This is the same as "Simon Says." It is an excellent game for teaching many English words and both children and adults enjoy playing it.

Another important activity is writing. We don't use pencils and paper. Instead, we use sticks, charcoal, and dirt. For the young children, we teach them to trace their names. For the older children, we advise them on how to improve their penmanship. It is amazing to see how quickly a child can learn when given proper attention. I asked a seven year old girl named Anna to help demonstrate the name writing activity. She could already write her name, but it was in all uppercase and the size of the letters were inconsistent and not straight. I wrote her name properly and asked her to copy it on the line below. I pointed out the lowercase letters, how they were half as tall as the first letter, and how they were all straight and the same height with each other. She understood and copied her name fixing mistakes on her own as she went. Then, I made a new line in a different place and asked her to write her name again. This time, it looked great. In five minutes, she went from writing her name at a preschool level to a 2nd grade level.

All the adults were very excited to see the impact that they could have on their own children. They have always been told that education is for the schools. However, as the church brings education about spiritual truth, it also enables our earthly lives to be completely transformed. Children and other adults were coming to see what we were doing. These simple activities are a great way to show others that we care.

This training will help the church provide a great service in the community. This is a great example of how the family of Christ acts as the light on the hill. These good works will help many and give them a chance to hear the story of Jesus that will give them eternal life. May God bless the men and women as they serve the community around them.

- Rick Love

Saturday, April 14, 2012

God’s Wonderful Ministry

After working among the Mumena chieftaincy for four years, I have tried, failed, and succeeded in many different attempts of serving God here. However, that experience and time creates a wonderful view of what God is doing.

When I first arrived, I wanted to find all the problems in the community and solve them. However, it didn’t take long to realize I couldn’t do it. I could neither see what the problems really were nor do anything to change reality.

Now, as I have become a part of the community, I have a very different perspective. I can see the reality of life here. In some ways the people are very rich: Socially, both in their extended families and in their community they have very strong relationships. However, in some ways they have true poverty: single parenthood and divorce are rampant.

The only thing I have ever seen make any real difference is when a person allows God to transform his or her life:

  • I’ve seen drunks and abusive husbands stop drinking and lead their families to Jesus.
  • I’ve seen “the local bum” who was a joke in the community change to become the elected headman of the entire community.
  • I’ve seen cowards who were afraid of shadows stand up to evil happening in their villages.
  • I’ve seen a depressed angry old man become a joyful and respected elder in the village.
  • I’ve seen young afraid mothers decide to give their children a better life.

No amount of “aid” or development can make those changes in a person’s life. This is God’s ministry: “For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves.” (Colossians 1:13 NIV).

What do I see God doing now?

Now, I have seen some great plans come together that will have a powerful effect on many people:

April Servanthood Seminar

We just finished the 1st week of the April Servanthood Seminar. Thirty-five men who are some of the active leaders and teachers of their congregations have come to continue their training. They each attend 4 classes during 4 weeks to help them become better servant-leaders and teachers of God’s word. This is not like a typical Bible school. Each man has paid his own way and the group can continue using this model to teach each other in the future, even if we outsiders are not involved. This is the fourth year for the seminar and the most impressive as we see the men take charge of all the small things that need to be done.

Audio Bibles

After many years of prayer for this need, God has made a way for it to happen. The Bible Society of Zambia has developed audio bibles for most of the major Zambian languages. They have a program that provides “Proclaimers” to groups who commit to using it seriously. A “Proclaimer” is basically a solar powered audio player with a big speaker.

We have met with the Bible Society and soon we will start training all of the Christians to use Audio Bibles. They will be forming groups of at least 20 people which will include Christians, their family, and their neighbors. They will commit to listen to the entire New Testament over the next year. We plan to begin with between 20-40 groups.

Because literacy is very low, 99% of people (including Christians) have not even read through a single Gospel about Jesus. However, now they will have a tool available to listen to the entire Bible.

I am very excited about this and see it as one of the most important accomplishments that we have helped bring here. This will allow thousands of people to hear God’s word clearly without literacy problems creating confusion.

Home Teaching

This year, we are going to start training Christian parents in how to help train and educate their children. We have always taught the parents that this is important, but they have come back saying, “We don’t know how.” Of course they teach their children how to farm and live in the village, but the relationship doesn’t often go beyond this.

The modern society has pushed most parents to believe that they are unable to teach their children. They are told that education must be done by the professional teachers at the public schools. The problem with this is that the public schools are not working. Failure rates reach 100% most of the time. It is a very difficult problem to overcome with 100 students per teacher.

We can’t do anything to solve the system. However, as a home-school parent I know the power of teaching at home. The Zambian farmers don’t have the time or resources to teach their children full time, but they can make a huge difference. The most successful students have parents who help them with their homework and practice basic skills at home. This is where we want to help the parents.

The parents have skills that they can give their children already. It all comes down to the fundamentals: reading, writing, and arithmetic. It’s interesting that these skills which are a foundation of education are often forgotten here. I have met many high school graduates who cannot add simple numbers.

However, we can help the parents make a difference. By teaching the parents to play simple math games, reading to their children, asking comprehension questions, and spending time showing their children that they love them, we can help transform their lives.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Church Report–Lunsala

Lunsala is doing their best to be a faithful church in spite of loosing some members to denominationalism.  Even though they are only a few, they continue to come to worship on Sundays and Bible study on Tuesdays.

They have finished all the brick work and the walls of their new building. They are now preparing to build the trusses for the roof. Once that is finished they plan to put on the iron sheets. Please pray for these people that they will not lose heart.

- Sam & Ellie

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Congregation Report–Sandañombe Preaching Point

Some who want to know the truth at Sandañombe

On Monday afternoon December 27, 2011, we were finishing a Bible study at Kanda-kanda when we were approached by a kind and friendly man named Lufwaiya.  As we continued to talk, we invited him to the next week's Bible study but he replied that he was just passing by on his way home to Sandañombe.  Then he pleaded with us to come to his village (10k farther) and do a Bible study there with his family and friends.

Since then we have been involved in this new preaching point on Thursdays and it is going very well.  The number of people varies from ten to fifteen adults and many children.

During our visits with him and his wife, we have learned he is a group leader in his village and is well respected in the community.  Please join us in prayer that this work will endure the many months of Bible study it takes to plant a New Testament church there.

- Sam & Ellie

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Team Blog Summary–January 2012

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

Team


Congregation Report - Mumbezhi Church of Christ
This year we have tried to stress the need for each congregation to grow via evangelism. In a land where truth is relative and ecumenicalism is embraced as “right”, evangelism pushes people out of their comfort zone. Thus accepting this great work of the church is a challenge for our young church plants. The Mumbezhi congregation is actually outside of the Mumena Chieftaincy and is pretty far out in the bush. The majority are from different tribes, Lunda and a few Congolese. Mumbezhi, however, has…
 

Brian & Sondra Davis


MISSIONARY JOURNEY: Erin Davis
“but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord .”  Joshua 24:15  KJV                   In a land ruled by fear of the dead members of one’s own family, one of the first tasks of the missionary is to help establish Christian homes.  Erin has a passion for helping families along the journey of becoming more Christ-like day by day.  Conversion to the Lordship of Christ is just the first step.  Letting Christ permeate our most private relationships and thoughts is a lifelong…

MISSIONARY JOURNEY: Apprenticeship Team Work
“… neither shall ye defile yourselves with any manner of creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.”  Leviticus 11:44  KJV Our apprenticeship team work skills were put to the test recently when Whitney came from our boys room and mentioned that she had just seen the largest wall spider in her life.  As the old missionary, I condescendingly told her that “wall spiders are our friends”.  That is missionary speak for “Whitney, get a grip.”  However, when Noah & Bryson began “ooing…
 

Jeremy & Whitney Davis


Waiting
I've been reading Mike Cope's book, Megan's Secrets . Mike Cope was the preacher for my church growing up and his wife was a mentor of mine. The book is about the life and death of their mentally disabled daughter and what she taught Mike about life. I have enjoyed remembering Megan, who was just a couple years older than me. I remember one time when my mom wanted me, as a 7 year old at the time, to understand God better, so she took me to stop by and visit Megan. I didn't understand it at the…

Growing in the Bush
       As I am feeling a bit sentimental about passing up our one year mark in Zambia, I thought today I would share a bit about our experience with the Mushingashi church. It's hard to believe we have already lived here throughout a full year. When we arrived in Zambia last January, our team divided out church plants that we would all work with. One of the churches Jeremy and I were assigned was Mushingashi. They were struggling and needed encouragement- strung out in the bush and isolated, poor…
Guest Post!
I haven't been the best blogger since the new year, but there are reasons for that. Jeremy and I were stuck in Lusaka, Zambia's capital city, last week with some truck problems with Toyota. So, I will be catching up this week. However, I wanted to share Brian Davis' post he wrote for our team blog last week. Brian is my husband's uncle and our mentor since we have arrived on the field. He has been a missionary in Africa for many, many years. This blog post is just too good not to share.…

Zambian New Years
New Years is the Kaonde tribe's most important holiday of the year. Jeremy and I spent New Years day celebrating with Konkwa church. We woke up early to begin our bicycle ride to Konkwa to join them in their worship service. The church service was encouraging for Jeremy and I. At the end of the four hour service, everyone was still very attentive. My favorite part, besides my sweet friend's baby that fell asleep in my arms for two hours and who's snore was the loudest part of the service, was…
 

Jason & Erin Davis


Sunday Encouragement and Monday Kiddos
Sunday Encouragment: Yesterday we witnessed a wonderful testimony by one of the church leaders from the Kampande church. Aaron was preaching about the blessings that come with being in the Light and focused on the blessing of not having to live in fear of witchcraft, as many here do. He told us that his wife was having health problems recently so his mother-in-law advised for their family to move because she believed there were too many witches in the area and that is why Aaron's wife was having health…

1st First Year Reflection
A year ago Jason, Jeremy, Whitney, Sam, Ellie, and I all stepped off a plane into a foreign country with a new culture and language much different than our own to begin our two year apprentiships with Jason's uncle Brian and his wife Sondra. Our first year as apprentices has given us the freedom to learn about the culture, build relationships, and explore how our gifts can best be used to serve the Lord through our work with the Kanode people. Although this year has been filled with new and at times…

Fun in Livingstone!
Jason and I have spent the last few days with my parents in Livingstone. It was such a great trip filled with lots of fun and good family time. We went on a day safari at Chobe Naitonal Park, visited Victoria Falls (always seems as amazing as the first time I saw it), and went rafting on the Zambezi River. Mom and Dad left this morning to head back to Texas and Jason and I will head back to Mumena tomorrow morning. What a blessing it was to see my parents for a couple weeks. They were such troopers, it was…

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Love Family–Looking for Homeschool Teachers

We are looking for potential home school teachers to come and help us teach our children. Please, spread the word and share this with anyone who might be interested in coming to Mumena and living here for a period (3 months – 9 months).
Lydia
All the information and an interest form is at this page on our family blog: http://lovefamilymissions.blogspot.com/p/home-school-teacher-for-our-children.html

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Congregation Report–The Church at Kankuwa


100_0164
The Christians at Kankuwa are excited about following Jesus and bringing others to Him.
For the past month, we have been practicing personal evangelism. During the weekly Bible study on Tuesday, each person takes a turn reading and leading a discussion as if he was teaching his family and friends in the village. They enjoy these practice sessions because it makes them see that each Christian has the ability to bring others to Christ. The men are learning how to teach other men and the women how to teach other women. Those who can read are willing to help those who can’t so they can both work together to reach others.
This is an exciting time to see how God is working through them. I have been working with Kankuwa for over three years. Through that time I have seen them grow from young Christians with much confusion, to soldiers of Christ who are willing to take a strong stand for Biblical truth.
For example, during the Bible study yesterday, I had little need to say much. As I was listening to them discuss the scriptures, I had a few different important thoughts to contribute. However, before I had a chance to say anything, one of them would make the same point.
I enjoy the encouragement and love that comes from brothers and sisters who are all trying to follow Christ together.
- Rick & Karen Love

Monday, January 16, 2012

Team Blog Summary – December 2011

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




Brian & Sondra Davis


MISSIONARY JOURNEY: Jason Davis, apprentice
  “and all the people came early in the morning to hear him at the temple.”  Luke 21:38  NIV                   An apprentice has to choose a mentor.  (I am always humbled when someone puts that level of trust in my hands.)  Apprentices also get to choose when they will accept mentoring.  Jason has a habit of showing up early in the morning.  This impresses me to no end!  Not only does he understand the finer points of coffee consumption, but frankly, my mind works better in…

MISSIONARY JOURNEY: Mentoring
“What you have heard me teach publicly you should teach to others. Share these teachings with people you can trust. Then they will be able to teach others these same things.”  2 Timothy 2:2 ERV                   One of the great joys of missionary life is when one gets the opportunity to mentor an apprentice over a 2 year period.  I was fortunate to have this experience in my formation as a young missionary and have endeavored to return the favor.  Prior to this year, I have…

MISSIONARY JOURNEY: Servant hood Leadership
“…and whosoever would be first among you, shall be servant of all.”  Mark 10:44 ASV                 Every once in a while, a missionary gets to see the fruit.  While at a women’s Bible school training seminar among the Congolese refugees, we witnessed Congolese church leaders cooking and preparing a meal for the ladies of the congregation.  They had built their little grass kitchen, prepared a traditional meal, and even washed all of the dishes.  After the seminar, I asked the…



Rick & Karen Love


Needed: Home School Teacher

We just put up some information about our need for a home school teacher for our children. You might be interested or know someone else who could do this. Please see the following page for more information: Home School Teacher for Our Children

Pigs, Prayer, Praise, and Power
Our growing family is healthy and growing well. Caleb now has two and a half teeth and I call him our little snagle tooth. Even with teeth coming in for the most part he's a very contented little boy. Emily is well also. She's our little pink, poofy dress, wedding veil (piece of old mosquito net), princess shoes, singing, little darling. She loves to put layer upon layer upon layer of skirts (in the middle of our hot season) to make her dresses as big as possible. But under all those layers of…



Jeremy & Whitney Davis

Christmas or “Kimishish” in KiKaonde
We are two weeks shy of having lived in Zambia for one year.That is so hard to believe. Part of me feels like we just got here and anotherpart of me feels like I can’t even remember what carpet looks like or what DietCoke tastes like. Anyways, this post is not about our one year mark, that willcome later. Jeremy and I have been married for three years now, and wehave only been home for one Christmas so far in our marriage. Our Jamaican honeymoonfell on Christmas and now our third Christmas together…

Three Years
Three years ago today, I became Mrs. Jeremy Davis! It has been an incredible three years. I am blessed and so thankful. How do you put in to words what your marriage means to you? I don't know, but these three years have been the years I've loved the most and grown the most. We are blessed.

Fields and Christmas
After the day I had yesterday I am so grateful for a God that is so much bigger than me. I am thankful for his hand which is stretched out over those I cannot reach and over things I simply do not and will not understand. I am thankful that he is with my 91 year old grandmother as she fights back pains in Rome, GA and is having to take an unexpected 30 day stint in a live-in rehab to heal. I miss her and wish I could sit with and listen to her stories to pass the time, but God is there. On the opposite end…

Sunday Blessings
Yesterday we had a full and rewarding day. Jason, Erin,Jeremy and I all set off for the refugee camp for church. We were going toworship at Rd. 68 church because one of Jeremy and Jason’s close friends hadjust lost his baby. Very tragic situation, but all too common in Zambia. The service was great as usual. Rd. 68 church of Christ isone of the oldest churches we have worked with, and they are all Congolese.They get VERY involved in worship: loud clapping like you’ve never heard beforeand singing…



Jason & Erin Davis

Mini Update
It has been quite a while since we have given an update. We have been very busy lately having fun with my visiting parents and holiday festivities. Here a few pictures from the past few weeks! We have been having some beautiful sunsets!  Ellie hosted a missionary ladies tea time a few days before Christmas. She made each of us our own little gingerbread dolls that had different hair colors. We had to go around to each doll to find our where we were sitting based on the doll that looked like us! So…

Newsletter!!
After several days of technical difficulties we were finally able to send out a new newsletter! Here it is...click on an image of a page then right click and choose "view image." That will open the image to a widow where you will automatically have the magnifying glass as your cursor. Use the magnifying glass tool to zoom in and read the articles. I hope that isn't too confusing. If it is, comment on the bottom with your email address so we can add you to our email list! Happy Holidays from…

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Congregation Report - Mumbezhi Church of Christ


This year we have tried to stress the need for each congregation to grow via evangelism. In a land where truth is relative and ecumenicalism is embraced as “right”, evangelism pushes people out of their comfort zone. Thus accepting this great work of the church is a challenge for our young church plants.

The Mumbezhi congregation is actually outside of the Mumena Chieftaincy and is pretty far out in the bush. The majority are from different tribes, Lunda and a few Congolese. Mumbezhi, however, has been excited about evangelism. After teaching about the Gospel for several months, one Sunday when we arrived the congregation announced that 11 people wanted to put on Jesus in baptism. What a joy!

 We pray that all of our young churches will grow in this value and skill.
- Brian & Sondra