We are the Davis'

Friday, July 29, 2011

2011 Family Album

Just a small glimpse into the summer campaign and my family being here. It was an amazing campaign group and extra special for me because my Mom, Scott and my brother-in-law Caleb were here! Here are some fun photos of family in Zambia!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Congo Refugees in Motion!

Saturday was spent with the Congolese at Road 68 church in the refugee camp. Sondra, Ellie, Erin and I spent the day with about 15 women helping them work through how to teach their children. For these women, it is difficult being new Christians to plan and teach lessons for Sunday school. We showed them four different ways you can teach your children at home and the children at church and then had them practice with us. It was so much fun, and they had great attitudes. Sondra spent some time going over the theology behind why we teach our children. Then I spent some time showing the women how they could teach using their hands and facial expressions to get their point across. We practiced all together with the story of the wise man and the foolish man. I would say a line of the story, and then they were to create a motion with their hands and face to go with the story. The point is to create motions that the teacher has the children do as well as she teaches the story. Below are pictures of the women creating motions and working together to tell the story in a way that will hold their children's interest. Erin and Ellie also showed techniques in teaching. Hopefully, this was an encouraging, refreshing day for these women who work hard to keep their families and church body running. While the ladies learned, the men of the church kept the kids and cooked lunch for the women! It was a very rare act of kindness that shows much maturity on their part. Great day with the Congolese!
This lady came up to volunteer to lead the group in new motions.
One of the women who gave us an example of a new story being acted out. She did so great! Brave woman.
The whole group! -Whitney

Friday, July 15, 2011

Mumena News

Lots of exciting things will be happening here in Kaondeland in the next couple of weeks. This Saturday, Sondra, Erin, Ellie and I are headed out to Maheba refugee camp to work with the women from one of the church plants there. We will be focusing on the why and how to teach your children the Bible. The women have been asking for advice on teaching Bible stories and how to do this with the limited resources that they have. Most of the refugees at Maheba are from the Congo or Angola. Both of these people groups have very large, outgoing personalities. They are great to be around! It will be a great day spent with them.<br />
This coming Monday, we have the U.S. Ambassador for Zambia coming to see what kind of agricultural work we are doing here. We were quite stunned to receive the email asking for this day to be set up. Ambassador Storella was appointed to come here by President Obama and previously served as the Ambassador for Iraq.  We are excited to meet him. Jason and Rick have some new ag projects developing with the teachers here that we are excited to show off.<br />
Also, this Monday through Thursday, we have an American missionary couple, who serve in Swaziland, coming to conduct a marriage seminar. We have about 10 Kaonde couples who will be coming to the classes, and we also get to sit in on this and learn more about teaching Zambians about marriage and family. This couple is traveling all through Africa to conduct these seminars, and we are blessed to have them come to our area. The topic of marriage and family needs to be studied and worked through immensely in Zambia. <br />
We’ll let you know how all of this goes. Thank you for your prayers! 

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Volleyball, July 4th and Kayonge

 The beginning of this week was a 2-day school holiday, so the Mumena B school hosted a sports tournament. This means the school building is a huge slumber party for 250+ kids. Yesterday, the tournament ended early, and the school teachers wanted Jason, Erin, Jeremy, the interns and I to play them in a game of volleyball. I was originally really excited about this idea, until I found out we were going to have to play with a soccer ball in place of an actual volleyball. We all suffered through the pain of using a soccer ball and played for two hours out on the school field. I really loved it, and we are scheduled for our next match this Saturday.

On Monday, our team celebrated the holiday by having an evening cook out. The 4th of July, being all about America, can make everyone a bit homesick so we ate lots of food, sang the national anthem and then lit corn cobs on fire that created the words "Happy Fourth!" Two girls that are working here in the peace core a few miles from us even came to celebrate. It was a great evening, even without hot dogs, fireworks and apple pie!

This past Sunday, Jeremy and I went to visit one of the main churches we work with named Kayonge. It was the best Sunday we have had there yet. Normally, Kayonge has been meeting in a school building. Their church building has been built of bricks for some years now, but still lacks a roof. This particular Sunday, the school where we meet was also having a sports day, so it forced us to use the roofless, lonely church building. As we sat on small stools, all huddled together, one of the church leaders began sharing some of the history of the Kayonge church and the hurt and abandonment the church members had been feeling. The two Zambian men who had started Kayonge church ended up leaving the church, giving out a terrible message, and therefore left only a small group of people remaining faithful to the Kayonge church. Most of this story we already knew, but this man couldn't help but get emotional because we were faced with once again meeting in this building that remained vacant and unfinished. Kayonge has been working to save money for iron sheets to build the roof, and they are so close to being ready. They will probably finish their church building next month-a huge victory!! Now, Kayonge consists of about five church leading men, four women and lots of children. One of the women is the wife to one of the church leaders who abandoned the church and his family. She was sitting in this church with us on Sunday, not knowing where her husband now lives. She is left with five children, one of which is not even one year old yet, but she remains faithful to the church. Jeremy and I were so touched and blessed by this small group of struggling Christians working to not give up their faith. Jeremy couldn't help but think of the story in Nehemiah of rebuilding the walls in Jerusalem and gave that message. He spoke of coming out of exile, not giving up and making the goal to rebuild. We left that morning feeling humbled and thankful for what the Lord had shown us through the Kayonge church that day.

Friday, July 1, 2011

A Ten-Minute Bike Ride on Zamtime!

For those of you that have ever been to a place where time is only a theory and not for practical life, you may relate to this story. For those that have been to Mumena and have walked the trails through the bush, you will also find this to be a bit funny. I was out in a village the other day visiting a friend. From there, I was due at a Bible study in a neighboring village. I was on bike and knew my way on the main path to get to the next village. It would have been an easy 30-minute ride. However, my friend informed me that there was a short cut through the bush that would cut my ride time by 20 minutes. Giving me more time to visit. As a good American, I was excited to know of a way to reduce my travel time and decided I would take this 10-minute trail. After hearing the directions, and feeling like it would be a very easy ride, I broke my rule of never traveling through the bush without a Zambian and ventured off to my next appointment. Needless to say, I shouldn’t have. Bush trails are extremely confusing and sometimes even hard to find. There may have been a trail that only took ten-minutes to travel on, but I certainly wasn’t on that one. I was riding full speed through the thick bush trail for thirty minutes when all of the sudden my trail ended and I had no idea where I was. On top of that, it was close to sun down and I had no flashlight, only half a bottle of water, and a vivid imagination of what goes on in the African bush after dark. Not a winning combination. So I immediately turned around and found the closest trail that looked the best and started riding hard thinking that eventually this trail will lead to civilization. After another 45 minutes of riding, I was blessed with a token of hope—an Officer packet (a small pouch sold locally containing a shot of alcohol). No this was not for consummation, but it was a sign that I was close to the village I needed to be at. As I followed the trail of liqueur packets, I finally got to my destination an hour and a half later. I missed the Bible study and barely made it out of the bush before dark. Lessons learned: 10 minutes = 1 ½ hours; never navigate the bush trails alone! -Jeremy