Praise God for His continued faithfulness to LHI through you and others who pray for and support this ministry. At the heart of the ministry of LHI are the 33 children we currently provide complete care for. Children we can only care for because of God’s provision through sponsors and donors like yourself. May God bless you for your part in caring for the children of LHI.
We look forward to the day we will provide care for many more children as well as providing spiritual, educational and medical care to our neighbors. That day seems to be coming into view as God has provides the resources to expand the ministry of LHI and develop our property.
While the children are the heart of this ministry, the scope is much greater as God uses LHI to provide employment for many others: housemothers, drivers, laborers, construction workers, etc. How exciting it is to see God multiply our work in unforeseen and unexpected ways.
The following update provides a thorough look at what God has done in and through LHI in 2015. Please celebrate and praise God with us.
Again, we cannot thank you enough for your part in the ministry of LHI.
God bless you,
Often we take things for granted. We say; “things just happen”, or “wasn’t that a coincidence”. But nothing just happens or is coincidental in God’s world … all things are providential. They happen according to His will and timing.
From the outset of our involvement with LHI, Trina and I wanted to quickly build the campus but, God had other plans. When things come to fruition quickly we are prone to think it was a result of our ingenuity, our creativity, our strength our talent or maybe our great planning and strategy. Our pride is exalted and God gets little or no credit.
But LHI didn’t get built right away. In fact, it’s been 15 years since Trina’s first trip and 10 years since mine and 8 years since the official formation of LHI. In that time God has ordained that Trina and I read several books – books that we neither researched nor discovered on our own but, rather books that were given to us by others. One such person even told us that he was at a seminar and the title just spoke to him so, he bought it to give to us. And through the years we have read them all and each one has been a stepping stone, a building block in how to do God’s work, God’s way in first or third world countries. So now, we come to the end of 2015 and looking back we clearly see how God has guided, provided, and selected what, when, who and how things have been and will be accomplished.
Last year, I told you that LHI had received a pledge of $1,000,000 to build the campus and yet we were unable to move the building forward. You see, treasure by itself is unable to accomplish much if it is not coupled with talent and time. We needed the right ingredients in the right proportions to execute God’s plan and once again God’s plans are according to His timing.
This past year, God brought forth Jamie and Kathy Flowers. A husband and wife team upon whose heart God had placed the love of the Zambian people and the passion to make disciples of all nations. A couple who were willing to accept the daunting challenge of raising 100% of their support so that they could come alongside the LHI family. Jamie has accepted the role of Director of Ministry Operations, which encompasses everything and anything I need help with; while Kathy is shouldering the task of maintaining sponsorship of all the LHI children and housemothers. By the way, Jamie and Kathy are still in need of additional sponsors. You can contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
In mid-summer, LHI added Tom Crabill to the LHI Board as Director with responsibility for Construction. As some of you may know, Tom owns his own commercial construction company. Then in late summer, OakPointe orchestrated a weekend event entitled, Engage. The purpose of Engage was to expose the OPC congregation to various opportunities offered through OPC to engage and serve others. As a result of that event, Larry Trumbore came forward. Larry is a quasi-retired exec with multiple talents and global experience willing to devote the time required to see the building through to completion. We are so blessed to have Larry join the LHI team working alongside Tom and Steve Schneemann, LHI’s architectural Lead.
Concluding comments related to construction, in October Larry joined Kim Cooke and myself on his first trip to Zambia. While there, God brought forth two additional Zambia based companies to partner with LHI, Diligence and Dolomite, block making and redi-mix cement companies, respectively. These two companies are willing to utilize the cement from Lafarge and the aggregate from Ndola Line, two other partners donating their commodities to LHI. With Larry and these two additional companies the stage is set to expedite the construction of the LHI campus in a two-year timeframe. Praise be to God!
Today’s world is highly connected as we know from the News. Zambia is no exception. As China has cooled down, so has Zambia, which was exporting large amounts of Copper to China. As a result, the Zambian local currency (Kwacha) has devalued against all major world currencies, placing a hardship on all Zambians because just about everything is imported. Consequently, it now takes more Kwacha to buy imported goods. The annualized devaluation has amounted to 72%. If that were not enough, electricity came into short supply forcing rolling blackouts throughout the country forcing LHI to buy battery/converters for the children’s houses and a diesel generator for the land to protect our coffee crop which needs electricity to run the well pumps to water the plants.
In addition, LHI lost two close Zambian friends in 2015. Mr. Shadrack Chupa, a member of Word of Life Church (our family church while in Zambia) went to be with the Lord in December. Shadrack was our great friend and our interpreter whenever we were asked to deliver the sermon, which is every time we are in Zambia. He died of an infection in his knee that subsequently spread throughout his entire system. This is a complication that would have never happened in the USA. Health, another thing we take for granted in the USA. Shadrack leaves behind a wife and three young children. Then just last week, Mr. Fred Phiri, a long time CRU associate died. Fred was involved in a traffic accident some ten years ago that left him paralyzed from the chest down but, nothing could deter Fred from ministry. He founded “Life on Wheels” which has supplied thousands of wheel chairs to disabled Africans. Fred leaves behind his wife Catherine and three grown children. Please be in prayer for the families of these two Men of God.
Lastly, LHI is asking for prayers of recovery for Melody, one of our housemothers. Melody has undergone her second surgery in the last five years for the removal of ovarian cysts, and for Mr. Chris Musonda, Zambian Country Director for CRU. Chris was diagnosed last summer, following the OPC summer mission trip, with tuberculosis of the spine, something that I and maybe you didn’t even know was possible. I always associate tuberculosis as a pulmonary disease. Here in the USA, we take access to medical facilities and procedures as matter-of-fact. In Africa those facilities and procedures are not available and people die from infections that a simple antibiotic could arrest. Please pray for your African brothers and sisters in Christ.
Our Summer Mission Trip: LHI led a group of 18 with the primary focus of Housemother’s Training, a Performing Arts Camp and construction work on the LHI land.
Kathy Flowers and Trina took the lead on Housemothers Training with support from Shay Dembicki, Melanie Beaudoin and Sarah Barker. Our seven housemothers were taught “The Five Love Languages” and engaged in a women’s Bible study looking at Jesus through the eyes of Mary Magdalene. The housemother’s training has been a great success the last few years in developing our housemothers into better care givers while developing closer bonds of trust with the American women.
The Performing Arts contingent led by Kim and Kathy Cooke with support from the whole Mission team pulled together a great show which consisted of worship and ballet dances along with scenes from Les Miserables and Fiddler on the Roof. We conducted 3 performances: one at Seeds of Hope orphanage for approximately 125 children and their staff, the second performance was to a packed house of students at Simba International school and the third performance was an evening show for the general public. Without a doubt the Arts touch people and transcend culture.
On Sunday morning before church we conducted a baptismal ceremony where 22 American and Zambian youth demonstrated their acceptance of Jesus as their Lord and Savior. Strengthening the Zambian youth spiritually and morally was also an important element of our trip. Kim Cooke and Jamie Flowers took the lead with the boys and Kathy Cooke and Kathy Flowers championed the girls and taught the plus 10 year olds “Passport to Purity” (P2P) a Family Life curriculum. It was an inspiring time for the kids talking about peer pressure “running with the herd”, and moral decision-making based on God’s plan and not the world’s.
Jamie Flowers and Davies Chipoya, our LHI Zambian Director, took an unplanned challenge to present the Gospel to our neighbors on the LHI land. Approximately 70 people (men, women and children) watched the Jesus Film under the stars and about 50 of them expressed their faith in Christ for the first time.
Jamie took the young men on the team to the land to layout our next building and while there the local children captured the hearts of our young men who were persuaded to build soccer nets out of sticks and twine, then two of our guys bought the local kids team jerseys.
Our Children’s Achievements: 2015 marked the first graduating class from Mapanza private school. Congratulations to Dalitso, Joseph, Victoria, Maureen and Angelita. All graduated with honors. Ackson finished high school and is awaiting his final grades for college placement. And although Marvin and Emmanuel have moved out of the LHI home and are now living with their guardians, they were approved to retake their high school senior year and LHI is continuing to support them. Aaron finalized his class work and received his electrical trade school diploma. Venus has started his second year at the International School of Accounting in Lusaka and is doing exceptionally well. Davies’ three older children are also doing well. Womba, the oldest daughter, is in her third year of college studying to be a teacher. Enduwa is in his second year of med school and Wana, Davies’ second son, is attending the National High School Academy in Lusaka. 2015 also marked the official establishment of the Education Endowment Fund with a large donation that originated from the annual LHI golf outing.
Our First Coffee Crop: Our second year harvest was large enough to justify exporting. A total gross weight of 4,672 lbs. arrived just before Christmas but due to the Holidays and FDA red tape, the coffee didn’t reach the roaster until January 5th. Our commercial webpage is in the final stages of being launched and we expect to kick-off serving coffee at OPC Novi, OPC Milford and Bell Creek yet this January. Stay tuned for more information on how you can get home delivery and be ready for the launch of livinghopecoffee.com.
Building Bonds of Trust: Trina has been going to Zambia every year since 2001 and has been working with the housemothers since 2003. But in the last three years a major breakthrough has occurred. New levels of trust, relationships and friendships have bloomed. The Zambian women who previously never shared anything about their personal lives have opened up. They want to know about USA culture and in turn they are sharing their stories and lives. As a result, Trina, Kathy Flowers and other US women are hosting women to women “get-togethers” at Word of Life Church in Ndola with upwards of 40 Zambian women. Praise God!
Opening Balance 1/1/15: $101,393
Closing Balance 12/31/15: $201,827
Get involved in 2016 by serving in Zambia or helping provide the support necessary to maintain the work of LHI.
Ndola Mission Trips
June 17th thru July 2nd
July 29th thru August 13th
Men’s Mentoring / Construction / Housemothers Training
Children’s Arts Camp (music, dance, visual)
Fund Raising Events
Golf Outing tbd
Detroit/Windsor International Marathon – October 16th