Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Zambia Sunday in Livingstone - Ulrika

This Sunday we spent the morning at church.  Pastor Ibrahim's service at the CLC church in Livingstone, Zambia, included hymns, Bible readings, and a  sermon from Pastor Tom.  We had many things to thank God for and spent some time thanking Him for our fruitful time here in Zambia. We also made some more requests for the current congregation, the children, and the other people that we met and who heard God's Word through our gatherings.  

We enjoyed fellowship after church, having met many of the children on Saturday.  There are too many great photos and moments to post and recount them all, but let it suffice to say that it was a beautiful and rejuvenating morning.

After returning to the hostel we rested before enjoying an evening meal out at team favourite, the Hungry Lion 🦁 .  For those who are not familiar with the Hungry Lion chain, it is sort of like KFC, with variants of fried chicken as the basis for various fast food meals.  The coating on the chicken is not very thick or greasy, and it is all quite affordable.  We have eaten there a few times on this trip in different locations and the consistency is quite good. It is a winner for this team.  

Thank you all for your ongoing prayers as we near the end of this trip.  The CLC locations/partners and church members in Zambia all need prayers; each for their own reasons, but all to better serve the Lord.

Monday, July 22, 2024

Teaching at clc Zambia and visiting Victoria falls Saturday - Fletcher



Greetings from Livingston 

Today we visited the clc church in Livingstone where pastor Ibrahim preaches. We taught 107 kids from the neighborhood! afterwards we played with the kids and gave them a new soccer ball.


We then traveled to Victoria falls. The best word to describe them is "wow". Being able to witness such a beautiful part of gods creation was such a huge blessing… even the baboons that were on the bridges were amazing to see in person.



We ended the night eating at the Zambezi cafe where we tried crocodile bites! 


In Christ, Fletcher Hughes

Tanzania Sunday - Jeff

We had a great service at Pastor Robert's home congregation. Pastor Robert teaches during the week at the seminary and travels out on the weekends to his congregation. It was great to see his family as well as many of his brothers and sisters and parents who live in the village.

In the evening, I had a nice walk and ride with Pastor Naumann to pick up some supplies and prep the car for a few long days of travel. The team has a drive out to a nomadic congregation and the following two days we are traveling south 10 hours to meet a more remote congregation. Is the Lord has truly blessed this trip.  It's hard to believe we head back Thursday. 

Sunday, July 21, 2024

Iganga, Uganda -Kaylee Koenig

We spent a nice couple of days in Iganga with Pastor Daniel and his congregation. A group, from the church, came with us to all the schools we taught there. We were able to get to know them better and all of us sitting up front were able to hear the boys in the back being loud, as usual, which gave us some good laughs. We all had a lot of fun and were very thankful for the amount of time we were able to spend with our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ, but we all wish the time wasn't so short.


Saturday morning we were able to visit the source of the Nile in Jinja, Uganda. We went on a boat tour which was in a wooden boat very close to the water. When we would hit the waves, I would always think the water would come in and flood the boat because of how close we were. The boat tour took us to see the point that they say is the start of the Nile. We were able to see lots of birds and one very big lizard. After the tour, we were able to do some souvenir shopping at the shops there and also back in the city before heading back to Iganga.


When we got back to Iganga, we stopped at the orphanage that is run by Pastor Daniel and his wife. We were given a tour and the children sang us a song. I am so glad that Pastor Daniel and his wife were able to create that place for the kids to call their home and I know they are all thankful to be there as well. 


Sunday morning we were able to attend a short service in Iganga before leaving. They welcomed us with their singing. Pastor Daniel thanked us for coming and Pastor Gurath did the sermon. We all were able to thank the congregation for having us and then said our goodbyes.


Only a couple days left before we head back to the US. We are going back to Kenya tomorrow evening and start our journey back to Nairobi before our flight Thursday night. We will be arriving back in the States Friday afternoon where we all will be going our separate ways. I thank God everyday that I am able to go on these trips to meet our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ in Africa and share the good news with them. I hope this is not my last trip. Please continue to keep us in your prayers as we travel these next couple of days and finish up.


"And He said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature."

‭‭Mark‬ ‭16‬:‭15‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

The kids at the orphanage 

Starting point of the Nile


Adventures in Uganda - Sam Radermacher

Yes, Team Kenya/Uganda is, in fact, still alive. Due to slow internet since we've entered Uganda, our blog posts have been rather limited. That being said, there are so many stories to tell!

The largest difference I've noticed between Kenya and Uganda is how much more densely populated Uganda is, while back in Kenya, things seemed more spread out overall. They no longer speak Swahili very much here, but have two local dialects (besides English).

Upon first arriving, we quickly met up with Pastor Daniel, who has since been traveling with us to all the schools and churches in the Iganga area. We typically have been teaching at 2-3 schools per day, with anywhere from 50 to about 100 children each. At one particular public school, Pastor Gurath estimates that our lessons reached the ears of over 500 children at once!

Several of the adult and young men and women from Pastor Daniel's congregation, Grace Harvest Church, rode with us to assist translating, and to simply hear the Gospel message again and again. It has been such a joy to get to know them, we've shared many laughs and memories in our short days together. Whenever we'd hit a large bump or pothole in the road while driving, a young man named Brian would promptly say, "We are in Uganda now!"

Our sightseeing day (Saturday) took us on a riverboat cruise on Lake Victoria all the way down to the source of the Nile River. Elinor and Catherine in particular enjoyed seeing all the exotic birds on the river bank, while Kaylee was fascinated by a big lizard swimming in the water.

We also had the opportunity to visit the orphanage run by Pastor Daniel and his wife. This visit deserves a blog post to itself. The children sang a beautiful song for us and gave us a tour. One of the boys even made an amazingly accurate scale model of the facilities. It was so humbling to see how the LORD has used Daniel's family and the support from the CLC's Kinship program to provide such a sustainable home for all those sweet, orphaned children.

It was tough to say goodbye to everyone as we make our way back to Kenya tomorrow evening (after teaching one more time in Uganda). We are so thankful to our gracious LORD who has given us this time here, and we pray that He continue to bless and keep the Ugandan Christians safe, healthy, and faithful. Until next time!


The wonderful children living at the orphanage.


On the Nile River!

Saturday, July 20, 2024

Tanzania Saturday - Jeff

Saturday was a full day.  Two churches, one half way up Kilimanjaro.  Lunch at Pastor Mtika's. A drive up to the entrance of Kilimanjaro National Park, and a stop in at an engagement party.  I was also able to drive back from Moshi. First time driving in Africa.  Reminded me of driving in Scotland with a lot less rules. lol

Today's two churches had great singing. The congratulations really poor their hearts into the music of worshipping their Savior. Its hard to believe the trip is entering its final week. It goes so fast.  The Lord has really blessed the time.

Busy Day - Tanzania

Just got back from a very busy day. We started out from an overnight stay at the YMCA in Moshi and made our way to a local congregation in Himo. They had a nice altar set up with flowers and everyone was waiting for us. There were 24 kids and about 14 adults. We presented two stories and sang some songs. I always enjoy giving them their necklaces and helping them put them on and seeing the joy it brings them. 

Between our two congregation visits we were taken to the pastor's home and served a meal of fresh fruit, eggs and soda/water. 

The second congregation was in Mrungu where there were about 30 children. These children sang so beautifully, it made my heart happy.  We gave two presentations and joined in songs and had fun taking pictures. 

It's been wonderful worshipping with our like-minded fellow Christians. Their enthusiasm for the Word is contagious. I want to bottle it and bring it home with me.

We had a long drive back to Naumann's home with a traffic jam near their home that delayed us. 

Amy Tester



Tanzania Friday - Jeff

Friday was a later start for us.  A few of us went to a local hotel where I met with a local Tanzanian businessman who knows a number of our CLC members. Hours flew by as I got insight into how things are done in East Africa. Culture, politics, business, were some od the topics. It was an eye-opening conversation.  

Later that afternoon we made our way toward Mount Kilimanjaro to stay at the local YMCA in Moshi. We were able to visit a congregation that some of the CLC members helped build their church.  Ended the night at the YMCA with some great discussions. Was another good day.

Jollyboys Backpackers Pictures - Noah

Friday, July 19, 2024

First Day Teaching in Livingstone - Noah

Greetings once again from Zambia!
After a travel day from Lusaka to Livingstone yesterday, we started our teaching today. Happy Dollies was the first school we taught at with 30 kids in attendance. We then walked over to Eliflo Pre and Primary school where we were able to teach 110 children. We then hurried over to Simjemma school to teach the 100 children there at 11 am since the children only have a half day on Fridays.
The children were all very active today and answered our questions well. All of us are getting quite comfortable with our lessons as we have taught them just short of 25 times now. We found that we have taught just shy of 1500 children, with a few days a teaching to go. The fields are ripe for harvest. Praise be to God!

We are staying at Jollyboys Backpackers here in town. It's a very nice place with a pool, (Fletcher and I have made use of it, we have been the only ones brave enough to dare go into the water) and a "conversation-pit". Our rooms are little A-frame thatched cabins with two beds. They are pretty cute and let good airflow throughout the night.

In Christ,
Noah Sydow

Visiting Christians and making connections - Sam Radermacher

(Note: this was meant to be posted on Wednesday, but we've had slow internet since).

One of the greatest blessings (along with teaching all the wonderful kids, of course) is having the chance to meet with the local members at the churches here in Africa. We have already met so many wonderful Christians who remain unwavering and dedicated in their mission to serve Christ. It is truly a blessing to make these once-in-a-lifetime connections that will last beyond this life, into eternity in heaven.

We were invited to the home of Pastor Samson Otieno, who continues to faithfully serve his congregation despite many earthly setbacks. As his physical eyesight and youth have faded, his zeal for the Gospel remains as strong as ever. I am reminded of Job's words of confidence that, at the last day, our very bodies shall be made new and we will see God "with our OWN eyes," and not the eyes of some other body. Oh "how my heart yearns within me!" Pastor Samson finished our visit by singing some beautiful Swahili hymns for us, leaving us all encouraged and thankful for our uplifting visit. 

We also had the pleasure of visiting the home of Mama Anna Segala. She gave us a tour of her farm and garden, and we learned the inspiring story of how the Lutheran church in Mois Bridge began about 15 years ago. Anna had been visiting her son in Phoenix, AZ when she decided to attend Holy Cross Lutheran Church, looking for a welcoming, confessional group of Christians who preached God's Word faithfully. She brought that saving Word back home to Kenya where the rest is history. Just looking around at the congregation and facilities, it is obvious how the LORD has worked through her and her family to further the work of the kingdom these past years. 

As we make our way into Uganda, please keep us in your prayers! We are so thankful for the wonderful fellowship we have, both back home and abroad, as we carry out the work of our Savior, Jesus!

"Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit," Matthew‬ ‭28‬:‭19‬.


Zambia Thursday - Bus from Lusaka to Livingstone - Ulrika

Mwachoma bwanji (Good evening greeting)  
Ndachoma bwino (Evening response)

The above phrases in Nyanja are useful in this part of Zambia.  Pastor Ibrahim introduces u to few phrases as we go.

Today we rose early and took the 7am bus to Livingstone.  It is about an 8-9 hour trip, and we made good time, arriving just after 3pm.  

It was exciting to see the landscape slowly change from red savanna to more green and gold slightly rolling hills and many more trees.  We saw baobab trees and more cattle, goats, and working dogs.

Once we arrived at our hostel we were delighted to learn that dinner is included for tonight.  It was a vegetable pasta dish that was a new experience for some in our group, and I am quite proud that everyone gave it a try, even if they usually don't care for that type of food.  

I feel like this hostel is quite a treat as it has very nice, clean setup, and it fosters a very friendly atmosphere.  It is helping us to rest up and prepare for the next days of teaching.  Tomorrow will likely be a half day as schools here let out early on Fridays.

Thank you all for your continued prayers, especially for the children and families that we encounter.  We pray that they grow in faith and knowledge of God's Love.

Thursday, July 18, 2024

From Gary Peters in TZ

          After 9 days in Tanzania, one of my biggest impressions is the joy of worshipping with other believers. I don't know their language but we know the same savior Jesus. They gather to hear God's word just like we do. They sing and pray to our God.            
            Another big impression is how much people here live outside: walking, cooking, talking, shopping, playing. Many houses and shops have open doors. The people are about and are looking at each other, not at a phone. They are mostly friendly and trusting. That's very refreshing. 
         There are many children and they are attentive and obedient most of the time. You can see a four year old child unattended but they are being watched by the neighborhood and they are safe. 
           I come here from half a world away.  But Jesus loves these people and sends us to bring good news. All have sinned, but Jesus died for all. They have the same needs, worries, and emotions as me. Jesus helps us connect deeper than words or cultures, a communion of saints made into one family in Jesus. What a gift to experience that.

Tanzania Thursday - Jeff

Was another wonderful day.  Started out with a morning at the seminary where I was allowed to sit in on homiletics class. I enjoyed hearing the students preach and the discussion that followed. A joy to be a part of it.

From there we presented at an orphanage to a number of students.  The were so warm and inviting. Hearing them sing is so much fun.

Then I spent some time with Elisha checking out some projects he is working on before heading to a traditional Tanzanian dinner at pastor Jeremiah's house with the family. I laughed so hard I was crying.  What a privilege to fellowship with the group tonight. So thankful for our time here.

Tanzania Wednesday- Jeff

We had an awesome day.  We woke up at the monastery for breakfast and headed out to our first stop in Mbulumbulu.  22 kids and 14 adults. I believe we are getting more comfortable singing the Swahili hymns.  Was a blessing to sing and worship with them. 

 

Afterward, we headed back to the house.  We had a coffee stop and had some really fun conversations with Elisha and Pastor Jeremiah about the roles of laymen in congregations. I see correlations around the world.  As a layman, I see so many challenges with apathy.  It’s not that people aren’t willing to work, they just aren’t sure what they should do.  It seems that a great place to start is working on alignment within a congregation to get everyone on the same page with a vision.  Then work the vision as a group trusting the Lord to guide the journey.  So often we get stuck waiting for someone to tell us what to do or to do the work for us.  As you can imagine, it was a lively conversation.  How much fun. 

 

This previous conversation ties to one of my hopes learning more about the mission board work around the world.  How I, as a layman, can impact congregations regardless of where they are.  Elisha and I spent several hours talking about the local congregation and his own business. As a layman, and someone who works with business owners for a living, this was a lot of fun for me.  We are hoping to spend more time on this trip working on the plans for both.