27 December 2011

A Whirlwind Couple of Months

Post-Graduation Festivities
Time has flown since our last update. We packed many events into our last month of classes, and then we scrambled to get everything together to come back to the States.

School wound down after a great semester. Papers and tests, quizzes and assignments made for a truck load of grading at the end of the semester. Jenny and I were up late one night grading Hebrew exams. I was thankful for nabbing a wife from the Biblical Languages major at Northland! The students were well-rewarded for a semester full of tough work, good writing, and hard thinking.

Jenny, Sarah, Kevin, Jamin in Zimbabwe
Right after the semester ended, we fit in a quick trip to Livingstone to see Victoria Falls, one of the seven natural wonders of the world. We traveled by bus with the Shermans and had a great time enjoying the Zambian countryside. The Falls themselves had not built to their full strength, but they were still big and beautiful. The day we were there we also crossed briefly into the country of Zimbabwe, which shares the Falls with Zambia.

Leadership Conference proved a fitting end to a great year in Zambia. We were able to hear a well-known Zambian preacher from Lusaka, Conrad Mbewe. I taught a workshop related to evangelism and apologetics. The theme of the conference was "The Great Commission Is Our Command." It was exciting to see God working among Zambians to reach Africa and the world for the sake of Christ's name.

One of my primary responsibilities during the Leadership Conference was heading up the Admissions responsibilities for the college. The conference started on Monday, and interest began with a trickle of interviews. By the end of the week there seemed to be a torrent, and I was spending most of my time gathering information, conducting admissions interviews, and discussing questions and issues with college admin. I relished the opportunity to be involved in a process that will doubtless have a profound effect on the lives of these men and likely affect the next generation of believers in Zambia as well. Who knows what the next weeks of the Lord's direction will bring about? Pray for Kevin Sherman as he takes over these responsibilities and follows up with potential students. We desire God's will for these men; please pray that the Lord of the harvest would use us to send out laborers!

Jonas Investigates Christmas Legos
After Leadership conference, we had about 10 days to pack everything to get ready to go. God answered many of your prayers by smoothing out the process for us to get a few boxes and tubs of stuff to Kenya. The Huffstutlers, our missionary partners in Kenya, will be keeping the books and toys and household items for us while we prepare to return to Kenya next year. We're thankful to the Kenyan college students for their willingness to help in getting our belongings to the proper place.

We were grateful on our return trip for help from Rachel Johnson. She is a missionary who has been working at CABC alongside us in the capacity of administrative assistant. She generously scheduled her flights back to the States to coincide with our flights so that she could help with our kids. We were hugely grateful for the help! We stopped overnight in London where the Lord had provided a very nice hotel near the airport for a very affordable price. Other than what would be naturally expected of children making that kind of trip, everything proceeded agreeably. Praise the Lord for a safe and smooth journey!

Josiah Enjoys Christmas Dinner
Two days after arriving in Detroit, I had to be up early for a flight to the Southwest where waited the vehicle God has provided for our final leg of deputation. I drove the Chrysler Town & Country back up from El Paso, Texas, in time to be back in Michigan for the Sunday evening Christmas concert at Intercity Baptist. The vehicle has no major issues at all, and the mileage is quite low: What a blessing! This vehicle was a specific matter of prayer that we brought before the Lord as a family, and God provided! I am also grateful to the Lord for keeping me safe with the long hours on the road.

That Wednesday we left Michigan to spend Christmas and New Year's with Jenny's family. We had a great time of celebration on Christmas day, both at New Testament Baptist Church and with family. We miss our friends in Zambia, but we're also glad for a time to enjoy church and family here.

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