Monday, May 30, 2011

Conference begins

We just realized that today is a holiday there. Hope you all enjoy your day off.

The conference started this morning. As usual with "African time", everyone was a little late. We have learned to make allowances for that in our schedule. Our host spoke to them several times about being on time tomorrow. We have noticed that as Africans become more cosmopolitan, they are intent on being more efficient and punctual.

We had a full house, a great group. Sometimes we have some pastors who come without their wives, but our host had limited registration to couples. So, we had couples and they sat together without being asked to do that.

Ed taught on the priorities of the pastor and we included a case study of "Pastor John" who was so involved in ministry that he neglected his wife. Many of them admitted to being a "Pastor John."

I caused quite an uproar when I was teaching about the fall in the garden from Genesis 3. This happens every time we teach it in Africa. We show them that Adam was the one whom God held accountable for the first sin. One older pastor argued that point. I read the passage again. He continued to argue about it. I asked one of the other pastors to read the passage. They all agreed that it was true. After we were finished and had a time of discussion, the pastor brought it back up again. So, we read Romans 5. He became convinced.

After the discussion time, we had a time that they could testify about what God was saying to them. One of the older pastors stood up and talked about how much God was speaking to him about the need to continue to grow and learn about Him and about marriage and family. He said that those are areas that he can grow all of his life.

We were very encouraged by all of their responses. We also got to see a few people who attended our conference here five years ago. It's always fun to renew those relationships.

Thanks again for all of you prayers.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

In Ndola, Zambia

We had good flights to Africa. We arrived late on Friday night in Nairobi. We slept a few hours and got up to go to Ndola.

After arriving in Ndola, our hosts brought us to our hotel. All of the ALARM staff was here to meet us. Charles, the director, also had his 4 children here here. Two of the girls had bouquets of flowers for us.

Charles knows on the asst managers here, a Christian man. They upgraded our room to a suite (we use that term loosely). The best part of that is that we have two bathrooms. The rooms are adequate. I would describe our hotel room as an old, unmaintained Motel 6. We have internet here but I think the signal is too weak to pick up in our room. We have to go to the lobby to pick it up and even then, it doesn't always work. We tried earlier to get on but couldn't.

We were very tired when we got here. After everyone left, we were able to rest for a good while. We are still adjusting to the time change. We both woke up about 3:00 am this morning and not able to go back to sleep.

They filled all the spots for the conference a week ago, with more wanting to come. We gave them the okay to add 10 more couples. They were very encouraged because of the people who remembered us from 2006 and thought we had such good teaching. We are anxious to meet some of them again and see what God has done.

Ed preached today at Charles' church, The House of Prayer. It's an international church with a lot of Asian Indians. It was very interesting. The pastor is from India and many of the congregation, but they also have Africans and some ex-pats from different countries.

Ed had a very good response to his message. He taught on giving Jesus our gift of worship. They do their services in English, so he didn't have to have an interpreter. So, his message was shorter than he had planned and was able to add some good illustrations. When we use interpreters, the message doubles in length.

We are always encouraged by their praise time, they are very heartfelt in their worship. Because of the international membership, their worship was not as demonstrative as most African worship experiences. But we really enjoyed it.

We are looking forward to beginning the conference tomorrow!

Will write more when we can connect again to the internet.
Thanks for your prayers. Love, Donna and Ed