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.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Ladies Christmas Tea

my front door
This year, I had the blessing of hosting our
Ladies Christmas Tea.

Like all good Baptist churches,
our ladies bring some delicious treats.

Ladies gathering for the Tea
Lisa & Thandiwe

We had a wonderful group of ladies who came.
Our time together started out with some chit-chat.

Then Robbin stood in front of the group and said that she wanted to recognize someone for something special.  While she was talking, I got up to get my camera to take a picture of whoever she was going to recognize.

Funny thing is, it was me!
She presented me with roses!!!

Robbin giving the challenge
Then, Auntie Robbin gave us a challenge from the Word of God.

She spoke from Psalm 33:20,21 & Psalm 34:1-11

"Our soul waiteth for the LORD: He is our help and our shield.
 For our heart shall rejoice in Him, because we have trusted in His holy name."
Psalm 33:20,21

After our challenge from God's Word,
we had game time.

We played 2 games-

Finally, came the food.
Everything was delicious!

We each brought a gift and went home with a gift,
a handmade Christmas soap from Auntie Robbin,
and a gift bag with a homemade ornament & hand cream.

We praise the Lord that every woman who attended
has accepted God's free gift of salvation!

Please continue to pray for us as we minister to these and other ladies.
We are asking the Lord to give us wisdom in how to guide them in their spiritual lives, so that they can have a closer walk with the Lord.

Twas the Night Before the Christmas Tea

Twas the night before the Christmas Tea and all through the house,
was singing and laughing coming from happy mouths.
The tea things were gathered with care,
in anticipation of the guests that would be there.
We happily gathered for a meal shared with glee,
then we worked on some treats for the expected company.
Londiwe and Andile played a few games,
while Thandi and I baked for the dames.
We made scones with oranges, and others with Nutella,
then donned cucumber sandwiches with gingerbread fellas.
We made- orange & Nutella scones
 and cucumber sandwiches cut in the shape of gingerbread men
What a wonderful start to this time of year,
to have the ladies bake and help with good cheer!

~It was such a blessing to have these young ladies in my home.  
Some of my Zulu friends don't have a stove or an oven, 
so they don't really know how to bake.  
This was a chance to teach Thandiwe how to bake.

Praising the Lord for these wonderful young woman!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Uyezwa? (Zulu for "Do you understand?) - Learning IsiZulu


Many missionaries go to the mission field and attend a language school or hire a tutor.
After exploring my options and then talking to 
the only missionary I know who is very fluent in Zulu,
I found that the best way for me to become as well trained in the language was to
learn under one of the best professors in IsiZulu in South Africa.

UKZN Howard College, Durban
These classes are provided at Howard College
 (University of Kwa-Zulu Natal/ UKZN) in Durban.

UKZN Howard College, Durban
Four days a week I would drive 45 minutes down to the city to take classes at UKZN.

I would park in this parking lot by the Jamaat Karamat (Muslim place of worship).
It is about a 10 minute walk from there to class.

I have 7 flights of stairs to go up.
Thankfully, the escalators work most of the time.

This is a picture from the top (no escalators down, so we still get good exercise).

I enjoy going to unniversiity.
It is very hard.
 Most of my days are consummed with classes, studying, 
and traveling to or from university, but it is very rewarding.
(My evenings consist of ministry, study of Bible and Zulu,...)
Students at my university are Zulu, Indian, or from all over Africa.
Only a few whites attend this school.

Here are some of my friends from first semester.

It is fun to laugh with each other as we learn the Zulu language.

The classrooms look like this.
Our first semester class was around 60 students.
The second semester was only 6 students.
Most only take one semester because it is a difficult language.

Can you read the above story?
This is what some of our reading looks like.
During the second semester, we are not only learning more grammar 
and how to speak better,
but we are also doing more reading comprehension.

Translation became even more intricate.
Above is one of the excersizes we had to do.

I have already used "translation" in our ministry.
As you see in the above picture,
I work with the KJV and compare what the Zulu translation says 
to see if it is missing anything in translation.
The current Zulu translation is missing alot, because it 
was not translated from the Received Text.
We have to go back and compare the two and then make sure 
the whole verse is properly translated.
This takes time, but at least the Zulu children are learning God's entire Word.

Thank you for praying for my Zulu Language learning.
I am not sure when I will receive my grades for this semester.
Can't believe I have already had one year of Zulu!
Not sure of what will be available for further training next year, but the Lord knows!
Keep praying for our ministry.

Pray that:
- the Lord will provide me with a Zulu young woman in the new area to help me in visitation,
- I will be able to use what I have learned even more in our new ministry at Abambo,
- I will learn more and become more fluent in the Zulu language,
- the Gospel presentation will be clear in Zulu,
-we will be able to start work on a new Zulu translation from the Textus Receptus.

Monday, November 18, 2013

From Christmas Past

While I was home, one of the families from church approached me.
They said they had to apologize, 
because they never sent me the box of things they had for me from last Christmas.
I understood, because I have done that on numerous occasions.  
There always seems to be some excuse for not sending something and then it gets forgotten.
Well, they brought the box of wrapped gifts to church with them 
for me to take home to South Africa.

As I packed my luggage, I was going to open them 
(TSA says not to bring wrapped presents because 
when they search your luggage they will have to open them.)

I said a little prayer as I packed the wrapped presents.
When I arrived home, they were all still wrapped 
in the beautiful paper that the family had chosen just for me!

Instead of opening them right then or waiting for Christmas this year, 
I decided that I would allow myself to open them one at a time. 
It was kind of an incentive to keep me going when I got back.
I held out for a few days and then university came up.  
I was dreading having to return because I was so behind from being in the States.  
That day, I made myself go and found that I did well.  
I was not as far behind as I had thought.

                                                            When I got home, 
I treated myself to opening the first present. 
 I chose a smaller looking one.

Wouldn't you know it was exactly what I needed!!!! 
 It was a watercolor set!

I wanted to start using watercolors with the kids, 
but I was so busy while I was in the States
 that I didn't have time to shop for them 
(only the bare necessities this trip).

I was overjoyed at knowing that 
our Great Father in Heaven, 
who knows our needs before we ask
 had layed it upon this family's heart last Christmas to get me not one, but two watercolor sets for the children.  It is an extra blessing when you see God do 
something almost a year earlier to bless you with now.
     I was reminded of a few years ago when I was in Senegal on a medical mission trip.  We were doing clinical work our in the villages.  Along with our group of 14 came the doctor's father.  He was an older gentleman and wore glasses for reading.  He had no medical experience, but wanted to come along to help his son invest in the eternal lives of the people. 
     One afternoon, while roaming from place to place, he stopped to watch his son consulting with a patient.  This man had walked for miles.  He was one of a few who could read, but was having trouble seeing.  The doctor looked at the man's eyes and saw the problem, but sadly told the man that we did not bring any glasses with us.  How hard it is to look into someone's eyes who have come so far with a hope to be helped, to tell them that you cannot give them the help they need.  
     This made the doctor's father sad too.  He sadly hung his head and then his eyes grew widder.  He realized that tucked away in his shirt pocket were his own glasses.  He was not sure if they would work, but he could try.  After handing his son the glasses, the doctor did some eye exams to see if they were right for this man- and they were!!!   
     We were so excited to know how God had allowed that man to be on THAT trip, standing in THAT room, with glasses in his pocket, for THAT man!  What are the coinsidences?  There are none, it is ONLY GOD!!!!  


Let us not underestimate what God can do.
The Bible says "He goes before us" 
and "knows our needs before we ask".

What truth!!!  Just think, God is already at work on something in your life that has not even happened yet, or that you even know to ask about yet!

He is so faithful to us!

Deuteronomy 31:8 
"And the LORD, He it is that doth go before thee; 
He will be with thee, He will not fail thee, 
neither forsake thee: fear not, neither be dismayed."

Matthew 6:8b
..."for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask Him."

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Spiritual Warfare

The Bible tells us, as Christians, that there will be spiritual warfare in our lives.

Things may come up that are out of our control.  
We may even wonder why circumstances happen.

We can know that God has a purpose for everything 
and that
purpose is that He might be glorified through it.

Trials may even come to strengthen our faith-
Romans 4:20 
" He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; 
but was strong in faith, giving glory to God;"

I find right now that my faith is being strengthened.

This is our church, 
Village Bible Baptist Church 
in Hillcrest, KZN South Africa.

We are a small church.
Our Sunday morning usually looks like this,
but there are only a few faithful families.

You can
1. FACILITIES- while I was in the USA, the building was broken into.

-Praise the Lord, no one was there and that they only took minor things

- Pray for a NEW BUILDING: the rent for the one in the above picture
 has been raised almost 50%.

We do not currently have a facility, 
so we have been meeting in my & other's homes for Sunday AM services.
One of the homes we met for church in.

2. FAMILIES - we have 4 families that come most of the time.

In each face that you see,
there are separate trials that are faced.

Each person is at a differant stage in their spiritual growth.

Each has a battle going on inside between the flesh and the spirit.

You can also pray for their and our safety.

Hillcrest is a big place for crime. 
One of the older couples above had a break-in recently.
The robbers broke into their home,
tied her up and put her in the bathtub,
while they robbed her.
Praise the Lord, she and her husband were unharmed!

You can pray for our Zulu young men.
They have so many temptations that they are faced with each day.
Many Zulus use the "cultural" excuse to sin.
For example - drinking, drugs, immorailty are all permissable in the Zulu culture.

Please pray that these young men will stand strong in the Lord and if they fall, 
that they will be willing to confess their sins to God and walk right.

Also pray for the single ladies in our church.
Many are going through times of discouragement,
loneliness, depression, lies from satan to compromise in order not to be alone.

Busyness takes up the lives of some to fill the gap of loneliness,
but sadly, it is not busyness for the Lord,
but rather more worldliness.

As you know, I have a huge burden for the single woman, because I am one.
I praise God for putting me in a ministry where I can 
encourage others through personal experience.
He has been my very present help & joy!
I can encourage these ladies that He is ALL WE NEED!!!

3. FAITHFULNESS- please pray for the faithfulness of the people.

Not a week goes by when one or more people 
are not at church because of one reason or another.

Satan does his best to keep people from growing.
This is one of the hardest things for a missionary working 
amongst the people here in South Africa.

People do not see the importance of being faithful to church.
We know that they cannot grow in Christ unless
 they are under the preaching and teaching of His Word.
2 Peter 3:18 
"But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. 
To Him be glory both now and for ever. Amen."

Missionaries : Robbin & Jeff Demarest
There is so much unfaithfulness.
It can get frustrating from a missionary's perspective, 
because we are giving our all 
to help them grow in love and obedience to God, 
but yet they don't want to.
"Have they lost their love for God, Do they have a heart of rebellion, Are they really saved?"
these questions have come through my mind.
Robbin & I
After a time of feeling very frustrated and discouraged,
God reminded me that His will for me as a spiritual leader/missionary
is just to do His will - 
love & obey Him in my personal walk,
study His Word,
teach what He asks,
in love confront those who are disobedient to His Word,
lead those who are willing to grow in their spiritual growth,
and leave the convicting & chastening to God.

A few verses of encouragement when going through spiritual warfare-

1Timothy 6:12 
"Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, 
whereunto thou art also called,
 and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses."

Romans 4:20  
"He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief;
 but was strong in faith, giving glory to God;"

2Corinthians 10:4 
"(For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, 
but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;)"

 Ephesians 6:10
 "Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord
and in the power of His might."

Ephesians 6:12 
"For we wrestle not against flesh and blood
but against principalities, against powers, 
against the rulers of the darkness of this world,
 against spiritual wickedness in high places."

My heart's desire is not to have my eyes on people,
but on the One who sent me to South Africa
to do the work He has called me to do.

May we each be Faithful to the one who is the Author & Finisher of our faith.

Hebrews 12:1a&2
"...Let us run with patience the race that is set before us,
 Looking unto Jesus the Author and Finisher of our faith; 
who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross,
 despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God."