“Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.” Isaiah 41:10
Eric and I want to thank you for the prayers and support you have sacrificially given! As some of you may have heard, before going to Florida and entering into Boot Camp, there were some complications with my pregnancy. Two days before driving a truck and trailer to Florida with “The Lesson” in it, we spent a Sunday afternoon in the emergency room, not knowing the outcome of the little life growing inside. Eric and I spent much time in prayer as there was a 50/50 chance the little one would survive. In faith, believing that God had all things under control, we made the journey to Florida and soon after that entered into Boot Camp. There were many opinions on whether we should return to Zambia or stay in Florida until the baby was delivered, but we knew that God had called us; He had not given us a burden, but a blessing. We trusted the Lord that He would give us the strength we needed to get through each difficult situation, and that He would lift us up.
Leading a motorcycle team is not the easiest team to lead because you travel to different locations every day. Nonetheless, our team members were up for the challenge and did a great job ministering to the orphans. When our camp site changed, I prayed for safety as I jumped on the back of Eric’s motorbike to get to the next destination. We always traveled with a truck behind, but the roads were so bad and bumpy, it was better on a motorbike. I praise the Lord we never fell. This summer we saw over 300 people come to know the Lord as their personal Savior. The hearts of the team members were touched as they ministered to such poverty stricken children and adults. God challenged the hearts of many of the teenagers and they went home with a different outlook on life.
This summer Eric would travel with the team members to the daily destinations where the ministry would take place. He was always in the back in case one of the bikes broke down or had a flat tire. Often times, he was the interpreter as the teens shared songs, puppets, the lesson and testimonies. I would often remain behind, cooking the meals. The team would leave around nine in the morning and return around five, so it was my job to have supper prepared. Cooking on a brazier is a little different than a stove – it takes several hours.
Coming back to the base in Ndola was another challenge. For the first time we saw our house and knew that it was not going to be a quick transition. For about two weeks we stayed with my brother and sister-in-law as we fixed up our new house. The first morning we started working we were welcomed by a flood that started in the bathroom. Apparently, the bathroom sink and toilet were not working properly; they needed to be replaced and the plumbing had to be re-done. Again we prayed for strength and patience as we anxiously anticipated having a place of our own.
God is so good and has been so gracious to us! We are now settled into our home and are so thankful for all of our wedding gifts! Our stove, refrigerator, kitchen cabinet, couches, table and chairs, bed, bedroom wardrobe, TV…the list goes on and on. For three years I wasn’t able to cook on my own and I had no fridge to keep anything cold. We are truly blessed.
Work in the ministry started right away as soon as we left our summer team. While Eric was working on the house, I was typing reports, printing new Sunday School lessons for all 34 Sunday Schools, gathering and packing crayons, chalk, colored pencils, scissors, etc. We also held a meeting with all the Motorcycle Sunday School Mission (MSSM) circuit riders discussing the changes that were going to take place in the ministry.
Until an intern is available at the end of the school year, the two remaining staff circuit riders are trying to find friends in the bush who are willing to go around on the circuit with them. Please pray for each circuit here in Zambia as each circuit rider has lost his partner and is a bit discouraged. It’s not easy to travel around in the rural areas without a consistent person to stand by you when difficult situations arise.
Despite the changes that are taking place in the ministry, God is moving and doing a mighty work in many people’s lives. I want to share a story with you from one of our Sunday schools in Mibila.
Gloria Kaunda, age 17, grew up as an orphan with no father or mother. At a young age she was forced to stop school because of a lack of funding to provide for her school fees. At age 14, Gloria was sexually abused by her uncle and got pregnant. As a result her aunt chased her from the home. She became homeless and she decided to abort the child. Life got worse for Gloria. She moved to the streets and lived on the streets for two years. She then decided to go back and visit her grandmother. Late last year was the beginning of her salvation. Gloria never wanted anything to do with God. All she knew was that God was not merciful or loving. How could He let these things happen to her? One day in February, Gloria decided to come to see what happens at the MSSM meetings. She attended the Sunday school class and the Holy Spirit started working on her heart. Two weeks later she accepted Jesus as her personal Savior, but she thought she was too sinful to be forgiven of all her sins. God is so faithful. The girl was introduced to a local church and she continued to come for Sunday School, particularly to the adult classes for counseling. Today Gloria is a praise leader in her local church. She has continued to attend Sunday school and the literacy classes have helped Gloria to know how to read and write. Even though Gloria could not attend school, God provided a school through the MSSM program. Gloria said, “Without God, she would have died.” She thanks God for bringing her life out of the streets, where she was living a reckless life. She said she believes God is able to do more in her life. Where would Gloria be today if it wasn’t for the ministry of MSSM and the sponsors who support this ministry? Thank you Teen Missions and supporters who through your faithful giving are allowing God to change these individual lives.
AT THE MISSION BASE
Here at the base Eric and I have very different responsibilities. I continue to work in the office doing secretarial work for MSSM while Eric works outside doing various jobs on the base. He helps the staff take care of the chickens, the pigs, the gardens, etc. His role has changed dramatically from being a circuit rider and he deeply desires the opportunity to share the Gospel of Christ on a regular basis. We pray the Lord will open doors for witnessing and evangelism.
This year in December there will be another big transition in our lives. Baby Kabwata is due on December 19th. We have found a nice clinic with an Australian doctor who is willing to do the delivery. There are a few anxieties as the care and procedures are much different from the States. But again, God reminds me to “Fear thou not, for I am with thee…” Eric and I trust our Heavenly Father for a safe, quick delivery with no complications.
In closing we want to thank you for giving to the Lord! Your generosity is overwhelming. You have been such a blessing to us and we are so grateful and thankful.
In Christ, Eric and Jillian Kabwata
* Spiritual growth * Outreach opportunities
* Good health * Smooth delivery with no difficulties