We are the Davis'

Monday, January 30, 2012


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 time, I thought perhaps I was suppose to be “doing a good deed” for Megan. What I later realized was I was the one who was being taught by Megan and by my mother. I had been the recipient of the good deed.
Mike refers to the idea of "waiting" in his book. I have been thinking about this idea of waiting this morning. Waiting is something that our American culture struggles with—we’ve got to learn how to wait, to practice waiting. As I look to see the fingerprints of God here in Zambia, in the Kaonde tribe, I notice that waiting is a God-given trait that they have accomplished. These people could wait all day long...and more.  I have lived here for over a year now and am still shocked every day by how they can wait. They don’t have vehicles so they don’t mind waiting all day long for a taxi or for a truck to drive by that may or may not give them a ride. They don’t mind waiting to start church for an hour or two if they know their family members are still on the way. They don’t mind waiting on food to be prepared- every meal they eat takes about 1 ½ hours to prepare. So why is it that they can have the patience to wait and I can’t? I think of the verse in Romans, “Who hopes for what they already have? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.” This is a gift that can go unseen, but it speaks to those who may have little possessions but have much to hope for. In Mumena, Zambia there is a lot of waiting going on. I tell Jeremy over and over, I think what I have learned most (out of a very long list of things) has been the baby steps of learning patience and the art of waiting. Nothing happens fast here. We have had a broken truck for the past 6 months and guess what...it is still broken. It is a minor problem that could be fixed in the states within one visit to Toyota, but not here. Even when Jeremy and I went to the capital city which is suppose to be modern, the power went off on us in a movie theater, our first chance to see a movie in a long, long time. It didn’t come back on for several hours. I leaned over and told Jeremy, “if we were in the states, people would be extremely mad right now.”
I am thankful that God has me practicing patience, has me stopping to wait. After 4 pm here each day, everyone goes home to their huts in the bush. All of the lights go off, and there is nothing left to do. Sometimes you are just waiting for the night to be over and for day to begin again. So drastically different from my life at home. But wow, the blessings that have come from that nothingness at night. I have spent more time with my husband than I ever had. I believe God has something to teach me through the Kaonde people, just as he had something to teach me through the life of Megan Cope. These people that I live in community with hold the secret to waiting. They are waiting for something better. If they do know the Lord, I’ll tell you they are minute-by-minute waiting on Him. What else is there for them here? This world is not their home. There is the anticipation for something better.

“I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits, and in his word I put my hope. I wait for the Lord more than watchmen wait for the morning.” Psalm 130:5-6

A few pictures of my flowers, planted back in November. You have to find a hobby here. This has been one of mine, and oh the joy that came in waiting! They are finally here and blooming!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

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 leadership within the congregation and struggling with extreme mental poverty. In the coming months, the seed that had been planted within the church was growing. Two of the leaders were able to come to our month long seminar for all church leaders. At the seminar last April, the oldest church leader present and one of the Mushingashi leaders, Ezron, stood up and said he was convicted. He looked around at his 40 other Kaonde brothers and said, "We have got to start relying on God. We cannot rely on the mzungu (white person) anymore. We are not beggars." From there, things changed at Mushingashi. They felt a sense of ownership and excitement. We have been joining them in weekly Bible studies for one year now, and there are about 4 men and 4 women who are there every time. Now, one year later, they have their church built, with their own sweat and tears. Yesterday at our Bible study we finally felt ready to go down the road, even more into the bush, to a new place which is hoping to hear the gospel. In two weeks, Jeremy and I will go with the Mushingashi church on a journey to preach the good news to a new people. What joy it is to see a church ready to take the word to a new place and start up a Bible study in a village that could eventually turn in to its own church. I was feeling overwhelmed yesterday, as I sat surrounded by my brothers and sisters. Thinking back over the year, I looked around the room at the beautiful, dedicated sons and daughters of a King. One year ago, we were unsure if the church in Mushingashi would last, and now they are going out to help form new churches. The Lord is faithful.

Mushingashi's church hut
Ezron sweeping the floor, preparing for Bible study
the faithful women

Saturday, January 14, 2012

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. Enjoy!

Team Work, by Brian Davis
“… 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 and ahing”, I thought that I had better check it out.  To my surprise a King Baboon Tarantula was perched high up on the boys’ bathroom wall.  Now we had a problem.
Surrounded by able bodied apprentices, I felt a bit put upon when they looked to me, the mentor, for the proper response.  Theologically believing that all arachnids are a direct result of the fall of man, I was none too happy about having to demonstrate my superior missionary skills in this particular situation.  Add to this that our “Ag apprentice” (Jason) is also a firm believer in the un-holiness of all spiders, and my back-up troops were thinning.  Taking my favorite fly swatter (steel reinforced with leather covering), Jason helped me up on to the bath room counter top… after which he promptly left the room.  As Sondra mentored Erin on how to give lots of advice from the adjoining room, I approached within striking distance of the tarantula.  Striking it with all of my force, I managed to send the thing flying across the room towards Sondra and Erin.  (Enter Jeremy with his high school football ethic kicking-in.)  Grabbing a 5 gallon bucket, Jeremy managed to catch the beast on the fly – and in one fluid movement, dumped it into the commode.
I don’t remember who flushed – God bless them – as I was struggling with a series of shiver spasms.  Whitney, bless her heart, was desperately trying to suppress her gag reflex.  And as Sondra and Erin struggled with their feelings of “If he had done it correctly, it would NOT have come flying towards us!”, I thought to myself, “What a team!”

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

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 when it came time for the church to reflect on what they are thankful for. They each take a moment to stand up from the small log they are using for a seat to share how God has blessed them in the past year. It is humbling when you watch the oldest mama in the church quietly stand in her place and speak to the group about her blessings. She is well in to her 80s, walks two miles to church every morning and has outlived most of her children. Yet she is thankful for family and for a God that she is faithful to every Sunday. It was a pretty amazing moment.
After service, it was time to eat. The pictures can tell the rest of the story. There are thankful, happy people all over the world. God is working, even in places where we might feel a bit uncomfortable with the living conditions or where poverty strikes hard. Thank you for praying for our Zambian brothers and sisters. Happy New Year!
Here's my sweet snoring boy, Neva.
Nshema and beans!!

Washing hands for lunch.
Good friends