so, last night i got to make dinner for the boiler room community, plus these two wonderful couples, missionaries in town for a handful of days. their company is such a delight. we sat around the table telling funny stories and laughing a great deal, and then we got to hear a bit more in depth about the contents of their hearts and work. i just want you to meet them.
dan and regina, who are on a brief furlough from their home in zambia, and whom i have met but twice now, bless my heart and expand my dreams, as i watch them so steadily and faithfully go about undertaking the impossible, with a high degree of humility and trust. they’ve been at it a bit over a year now: the establishment of a christian community on the banks of the zambezei river in zambia, where they are developing orphan homes, agricultural programs, and simple-church planting among the villages. they’re using a model from All Nations‘ CPX program. i’m so excited by this fresh way of kingdom-building that empowers and frees people in nations so paralyzed by a long history of western support that has inadvertently communicated to them that they are not sufficient on their own. dan and regina are not there to be depended on or glorified, but to make themselves increasingly disposable. and that seems so right to me.
missy and jeremiah were here, too, in town from minneapolis, where they’ve been plugging along at degrees in social work and social science so that they can take it back to africa with them and better navigate the systems that be as advocates for justice, and specifically the orphan. these two have spent the bulk of their 5 years of marriage on the mission field in one way or another, and while at CPX in south africa, they connected with dan and regina. after spending this past summer in zambia with them, they are planning to return there in June and stay for a few years. missy and jeremiah are so utterly genuine, so at ease with themselves and most people, and they always leave me feeling edified and loved, even after the briefest encounters.
and sarah, who is my dear friend and our housemate, is going to join them all there in the new year. she’ll be building connections between this community in zambia and the CPX students in south africa, as well as facilitating the times when short-terms teams come to volunteer from the states, so that those groups are truly well-utilized in building up the sustainable structures of church that are just taking wings there in the villages. i suspect she’ll also document it all beautifully, in a way that celebrates and calls out the beauty God has put even in the darkest corners of that nation, using her cameras. it’s a giant yes in my spirit that she should go to be there, even if it means i don’t get to see her for quite a long time (which is a very real loss to me).
God has ways that are splendid. even in the connections between these friends whose heart brings them to africa and us here in the boiler room and at crossroads. He has been raising up in the hearts of many people at crossroads a concern for and dedication to the orphaned. this group calls themselves Abba’s Answer, and more and more people are stepping up to become foster parents to some of the thousands of kids in the system right here in kent county. others are meeting regularly to intercede for the orphans in africa. and here in stockbridge, we’re shuffling along in our attempts to incarnate the life and love of Jesus to people who are considered, by many standards, to be the “least” and to see the kingdom unfold in this place. there is so much similarity in the DNA between this undertaking in Zambia and the work God’s given us here… it’s uncanny. and it seems significant to us all. i think that we all feel less alone for being able to meet with one another, honestly sharing struggles and joys, and praying for one another.
what a gift to know these friends, and to be able to bless them and pray for them and partner with them. i get a glimpse of God’s heart through these sweet times with our spiritual family.
note: missy, jeremiah, and sarah are in need of prayer and financial supporters to send them well-equipped into the place that awaits them. if you get that little nudge to be one of those people for them, i can get you in touch with them! and trust me, their hearts are good, their methods sound… they are such a worthy investment.