16 February 2011

It Begins

We are so glad to be settled in here in Zambia. My last post had us in London, from there we proceeded to Johannesburg then to Ndola, the closest airport to Kitwe, where we are spending the next year. That trip seemed to have one surprise after another, but we finally made it to Kitwe. Jenny and I are both thankful that we won't have to travel like that again for a long while!

Lori, Phil Hunt's wife, picked us up at the airport. She treated us to a delicious lasagna dinner with her family. Phil Hunt was in the US for Heart Conference, so we wouldn't get to meet him until the next week.

For our first few days in the country, the missionaries decided to house us with one of them so that we could have a chance to gather some life essentials before beginning life on our own here. Tori Barrett was gracious enough to host us for our first few days. She showed us some of the shops in town and introduced us to a few local customs. She also made a cake for Josiah's fifth birthday here, the first Pittsley birthday celebrated in Africa. We could not have imagined a more hospitable welcome.

On our second day here, I had the opportunity to meet the Beamans, missionaries who were moving to the other side of Zambia to plant a church. I was glad to have an opportunity to stretch my muscles and throw my back into helping them move. One good day of manual labor did wonders for my jet lag.

After a few days with Tori, we moved to the guest quarters at Faith Baptist Church in the Riverside area of Kitwe. We will be living here until sometime next week when we will get to our two-bedroom flat. That Sunday we attended services at that church and especially enjoyed the African singing that we had been looking forward to.

Our second week allowed me to spend my days mostly on campus at Central Africa Baptist College. I was able to meet a number of students, begin working on my class notes again, and catch up on email and reading that had piled up while we were traveling. During this week I was able to spend some time to get to know Nathan Washer, the academic dean and registrar at the school. I was encouraged by his drive to forward the mission of training men to accomplish the great commission here in Africa.

Jenny and Jonas had a few stomach problems during the course of this second week, but they seemed to have already cleared up. Mysteries about what normal life looks like here were beginning to be unravelled. For instance, I found a missionary here who was willing to experiment with some clippers and give me a haircut. It turned out well enough, and I'll be back again to give him in a couple of weeks to give him another whack at it, so to speak.

Last week Tony Fox came to present a block class entitled Hermeneutical Survey of the Old and New Testaments. The class was a good introduction to the entire Bible as viewed from the perspective of grammatical-historical-literary hermeneutics, and the pastors and students here loved it. I was able to sit in and enjoy parts of the class while I helped with grading and continued working on my classes for the coming semester.

At the end of the week, Tony Fox and the CABC faculty went to an in-service on a ranch near Nsobe, a town nearby. I was so grateful for the opportunity to get to know my fellow teachers, especially two Zambian nationals who are pursuing their master's degrees via distance programs in the US. Their heart for God and for godly Christian ministry reminds me again that God is raising up a people for his name among all the nations of the earth. This is not an American thing or a Western thing; God's vision for the nations knows no boundaries.

This week classes will begin. I will be teaching both OT Prophets and Apologetics starting Friday. Pray that my final preparations will go well and that in all the busyness, I will depend on Christ's strength to be magnified in my weakness.