Welcome friends, old and new, known and unknown! It has been my desire to share with you how the Lord is working in my life as I serve the Lord on the mission field of Kabwe, Zambia. There is an old black and white movie called The African Queen. It is about a boat that travels down river. This blog is not about a boat. It is however, about my travels on the mission field of Kabwe, Zambia. By the way, did you know that my name means queen. For many years I have been burdened for souls in Africa. That is why some of my friends call me African Queen.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Happy Birthday to them!

The week before Christmas, 
Londiwe and I were invited to my very first Zulu birthday party.
The party was for Nobhle (the first girl that Londiwe led to the Lord).

We arrived early and got to talk with the family and help with the decorations.

Then, the children started to arrive.

When I left my house that morning,
 I grabbed an illustrated book for children about the birth of Christ. 
 I thought, maybe I will get to show it to someone as a tool to witness to them.  

Little did I know what the God had planned.

As children arrived, I had a chance to talk with some of them.
This area, where Nobuhle lives is called Protea.

There are many people there, that we have not yet reached with the Gospel.
It is about an hour walk to our church from Protea.

It is always amazing to see how the Lord works things out.
Usually at a party the kids are so busy doing activities,
but at this party, the activities had not yet arrived, 
so the children all gathered and sat with nothing to do.

What a perfect opportunity to share the Gospel with a captive audience!

I pulled out the book I brought, along with my Bible.

We asked the children if they would like to hear about 
the greatest birthday ever - the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Their faces were gleaming with excitement.

As we read from Luke 2 and showed the picture book, 
I could see that God's Word was speaking to the heart of these children.

Near the end of my lesson, I explained that you can have 2 birthdays-
1) the day you were physically born 
2) the day you put your trust in Jesus as Saviour
(you are born into the family of God).

When we finished out Bible lesson,
7 children responded to the invitation.

4 of those children prayed to receive Christ as Saviour that day.

small children with Nobuhle (middle)
We praise the Lord for Nobuhle, 
the opportunity to share the Gospel with these children,
and for the 4 who were saved!

I am currently having a discipleship class for those children
 every Wednesday in Protea.

Please continue to pray for the area of Protea 
and for these children to grow in the Lord.

More party pictures:

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Death is Part of Life - Part 1

Death is a normal part of life here in South Africa.
Not a month goes by when we don't have 
at least one or all of the weekends of the month 
filled with night vigils and funerals.
Zulu tradition: the deceased person's clothes laid out
and a candle lit beside it.

1 To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
2 A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; 
(see end of post for the rest of the passage)

Since I have come to South Africa,
a big part of my ministry has been visitation. 
A select group of people that I visit
are some of the gogos from our church.

I go to be a blessing to them through
 the singing of hymns and the sharing of Scripture.
Every time I leave their homes, I too am blessed.

Visiting with Gogo Zondi
Most of these gogos have nothing.

I was taken back one day when we walked
way down in the valley to visit Gogo Zondi.

Gogo Zondi
She was 103 years old and a joy to be with.
After one of our visits to see her,
she handed me some money.

She said that I must give it to Pastor Don for the church.
(It was 20 rand which is equal to about $2.50.)

Many of the Zulus have the attitude that we should give to them, but here was a lady who had nothing,
but was willing to give to the Lord’s work.

Shortly after that visit, Gogo Zondi passed away.

How I love the area that she lived in.
 This part of Embo is called iBah. 
I always say that if the Lord allows,
I would like to one day live here with the people.

iBah, where Gogo Zondi lived
(See the funeral tent at her home on the side of the hill).
 The long walk to gogo’s house was not the same anymore.
We would no longer be going to see our dear friend.
As we laid her body to rest that day,
I looked around at the many people who were able to come to her funeral to hear the Gospel.

Gogo Zondi's funeral, where she was buried.
There are so many people in iBah who still need to turn from their traditional ancestor worship,
to trusting in the One True and Living God.

Another lady from our church who recently passed away was also from that area.

My dear friend Nelly is without a doubt in Heaven today.
Lodiwe and I would visit her frequently
during her boubts of illness. 
Sadly, two days before Christmas
the Lord took her home to be with Him.
As we mourn her loss,
we also celebrate her love for her Savior. 

During one of our visits to see her, she asked if she could tell us what the Lord had been teaching her lately. 
She opened her Bible to Psalm 23
and read the first few verses :
1.The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
2  He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: He leadeth me beside the still waters.
3  He restoreth my soul: He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.
4  Yes, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for Thou art with me; Thy rod and Thy staff they comforteth me. ~Psalm 23:1-4

Nelly was comforted that she knew the Lord was always with her, even through the valley of the shadow of death.

After one of our Sunday services at church,
a few weeks after that visit,
she came up to me and was praising the Lord about the spiritual growth that she had seen in Londiwe.
 It was such a blessing to hear her say, “Londiwe is no longer a girl she has matured as a woman of God”.
I can’t wait to introduce you to Nelly in Heaven!

My grandma, Anna Mae  Leiphart
As most of you know, my grandmother passed away in November.  It was a difficult time, especially for my mom.  I had a hard time encouraging her from so far away.  Hearing her cry as we talked on the phone about all that transpired during that time, tugged at my heart. 
We praise the Lord that 8 people
 received Christ at her funeral.

The Lord also used her death in another way.
One of the young Zulu woman that I have started discipling is Sindi (pronounced  Seen-dee). 
Her gogo passed away a week after mine.

Sindi's home is the first door on the left.
When I went to share some encouraging words from the Bible with the family, what I said to them meant a lot more because I had also recently suffered the same loss
(but I was not able to be at my “gogo’s” funeral). 
I was however, able to be at Sindi’s gogo’s funeral.

~   ~   ~   ~   ~  ~
I have been working on this post since November.
As I am getting ready to publish this,
 I just found out that my Grandma Frey
has just passed away.
I am praising the Lord for her life and all that she has taught me.
My grandmother, Helen Sarah Frey
(this was taken the day before I left for South Africa)
After my grandfather passed away,
"Gram" lived with my parents.
If you walked by her room in the morning, 
you would see her sitting in her chair reading her Bible.
I will always cherish this memory of her.

~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

I began this post with the following passage.  
No matter what "season of life"  you are in,
remember the very last verse -
"He will make everything beautiful in His time".

(see the beginning of this post for the start of this passage)
3  A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
4  A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
5  A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
6  A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
7  A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
8  A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.
9  What profit has he that worketh in that wherein he laboreth?
10  I have seen the travail, which God has given to the sons of men to be exercised in it.
11 ¶  He has made every thing beautiful in His time:…

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Visiting a Zulu Farm

The week before Christmas, I had the opportunity to travel with the Kilmers to take our Zulu pastor and his wife home to see his mama.
We traveled out to “countryside” 
(that is what they call the country),

passing many sugar cane fields along the way.

Pastor Bheki grew up here on this farm.

His mam cooks in this traditional Zulu kitchen.

 She makes everything over a fire.

Our season is  Summer now, 
so it can get very hot cooking in this kitchen.

Karen and I helped cut some butternut and carrots
 for our noon meal.

If you have ever cut uncooked butternut, 
you know it is not an easy task.

It was especially hard to cut with such big knives 
that they gave us.

After we finished the preparations for the meal, Karen and I walked down to a river near their home.
You can see how the amount of rain we were having during rainy season washed out their bridge.

That day, the locals were working on clearing the brush to the right so that they could drive through the shallow 
part of the water to the other side.  Many people were going without bread because of the bridge being washed out.
Bread is the main staple in a Zulu person’s diet.

Gogo Nzama (Pastor Bheki's mama & neices)

Pastor Bheki's brother & friend

Before lunch, we got to snap a picture of Zandile (Pastor Bheki’s wife) as she was cooking.

I also had a chance to talk a little 
with Mama Nzama (Bheki’s mom).

You can see from the pictures that Pastor Bheki
 gets his smile from his mama.

We sat inside Mama Nzama’s living room and ate a delicouse Zulu meal – chicken curry, rice, coleslaw, & butternut squash.  I love their food!

While we ate, Pastor Bheki told us more about his family.

After our meal, everyone gathered 
to hear a message from Pastor Don.  

Most of Pastor Bheki’s family are still unsaved. 
Please continue to pray for them 
and for him and Zandile 
as they minister  at our church in Embo.