Posts Tagged Zambia

Zambia #6 "Termite wings in the hall"

Termite wings in the hall

Tamara and I are super busy….but I have said that before. Maybe I should share with you our schedule.


6:10 Bell rings
6:50 Morning Worship begins
7:05 Breakfast
7:45 Work begins
11:45 Leave work to clean up for lunch
12:05 lunch
16:45 Work day ends
16:45 Supper
18:30 Bethel family Watchtower study
19:45 home


same but Book study at 18:00


same but School and Service meeting

One Saturday a month you are asked to work.

They leave enough time in-between everything so that you don’t feel that you cant do everything, but I can say that after a few weeks you really look forward to a Saturday.
You can turn in a request and get your Saturday or Sunday food uncooked…you are probably wondering why would you want to do that? Three words; BBQ


This is a few of the IV’s in our building. Tamara made rice-crispy treats and others brought some other stuff. Was a nice break.

I thought that I would send a few more pictures of our Kingdom hall and inside it.



On the weekend we traveled to a farmers market kinda place and looked around at all the crafts that the locals produce. We found these two Brothers that wanted to send their greetings to the American Brothers and Sisters. They painted wall hangings. Tamara bought a few of them as they only cost 20,000 Kwatcha (4 bucks) each.

This morning we woke up to a neat surprise. A termite colony decided to enter the building and do something that left thousands and thousands of wings piled up in the hall way like drifts of snow. Never saw them but was nice of them to drop by.

Today, Tamara and I worked on one interior wall and found out that the corner was not straight. After 5 hours of working on it we had to pull it all down. Made for a frustrating day, but unlike being at home working secularly, we still enjoyed the work. I think of my Father-in-Law and a Brother in our hall, working on Quick (or slow) builds and the scripture 1 Corinthians 15:58 comes to mind. “Become steadfast, unmovable always having plenty to do in the work of the Lord, Knowing that your labor is not in vain in connection with the Lord.” Even though this particular assignment is new and exciting, we often think of all our friends and family back home and all the work you are doing. Keep up the good work Guys!
We are starting to miss you….just a bit now.

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Zambia #5 "Mulishani"

Mulishani….means Greetings friend in Chibemba

Thanks for writing us. It is so nice to get letters from the people you love when your away and in a foreign place. Hope all is well with you guys ( as much as can be ) and that your joy of serving Jehovah is stronger and healthier than our bodies. We are doing good, still getting used to the schedule. Little time is left for much else other than spiritual things and work..but that is a good thing. Feels like we are at the start of the New World. The entire family is working together, resources are limited and the focus of everything we do is directed toward the advancement of Jehovah name and his Kingdom. What a great time. Physically we are near our limit but that could be because of the altitude.

The work is quite different than back in the states. The tools are poor quality, the materials are of even lower quality but we are only around IV’s and Bethelites and everything we do is for Jehovah, which makes it a joy.

Tonight, I played ping pong with another IV brother from the UK and then we walked out into the soccer field behind the Bethel buildings. We watched the sun set over the zebras and gazelles.


Last Sunday, Tamara and I walked home from the Kingdom hall, about six kilometers, and preached on the way back. I was able to start a bible study and we talked and reasoned from the Bible with almost everyone we met. At one house we stopped and read a chapter out of the My Book of Bible stories to a bunch of children that were eating lunch. This is a picture of the Brother that was with us.


Also here is a picture of Tamara. (equal opportunity photos)


After going in service we can understand why the Society is putting so much money and effort to expand the translation offices here in Zambia. The Zambian people in general have a great love for the Bible and are able to see the need to worship God in the way he wants. The problem now is that there is minimal Bible and Bible-based literature in their native language. Even the English literature is hard to come by, there are no Reasoning books/ song books/Require brochure in the country. South Africa branch ships them up in large semi-trucks but they are gone in just a few hours. The Zambia translation offices are still working on the Bible for the main native language, cheBemba, here in Zambia. We are learning a few words.


The Kingdom halls are simple, have tin roofs and most have wood benches with backs. When there is electricity the simple sound systems work great even when the building is packed out. On the day I took this photo we had 168 in attendance. This is a picture of the kingdom hall closest to the Bethel. Starting Thursday we will be going to a new hall 35 minute drive away. A couple that have been here a long time invited us to go with them.

Our cloths are getting thinner and thinner as the laundry uses lye and other harsh chemicals to wash our cloths…plus the heavy lime from the plaster. Soon we will need to head into town and buy a few more shirts and such. In fact, on Saturday Tamara, a Bethelite we work with and I will take the local bus into town. We plan to preach on the way and try to find the local markets and interesting places around the capital city, Lusaka. I guess not many foreigners do that kinda thing around here.

One thing encouraging I would like to share with you before I head out.

In 1992, there were 365,828 who attended the Lord’s Evening Meal in Zambia, 1 in every 23 of the population!
Well, need to study for meeting and hit the sack.

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Zambia #4 "Bug Pizza"

Bug Pizza

Hello everyone,
We got to go to our first meeting on Thursday night. It was a few miles from the Branch. The Hall was made out of concrete walls and a tin roof with wood benches. The English they speak is takes a about 1/4 a second to decode but we are grasping most everything.
The food here is great. We are feed every morning at 6:50 AM, lunch is at noon and dinner at 5 or so. The morning breakfast has a spiritual part to it. Every morning we consider a scripture from the Examining the Scriptures book. The a panel of 4 Brothers or Sisters read their prepared comments on it also. Then there is a prayer and we eat. The tables seat 10 people with one Brother being the table head. The menu is great. Some of the local dishes we have had are cabbage cooked in peanut butter, corn porridge and some stews. There is also chicken, hamburgers and such, just depends on the menu for the day. One thing that is taking me a bit to get used to is that since the Bethels all over the world are supported by voluntary donations, there is a huge focus on using resources to the maximum possible. You are expected to eat everything you put on your plate. That takes a bit of practice for most Americans.
Last night we went to a brothers room, he was having a few over. He made Termite pizza. The locals really like to eat termites and he made a pizza with them. The was interesting looking. I tried one of the termites and it tasted (kinda) like pork rinds.


One strange thing here is the prevalence of death. Everyone has had family members die of cancer, malaria and other diseases. I would say that half of the 200 brothers have grown up in families with out one or two parents. A few days ago a brother here just found out that his sister had died from Malaria. There are even 8 cases of Malaria here in the Bethel. According to the World Health Organization, malaria is prevalent in over 100 countries. Each year, between 400 million and 600 million cases of malaria are diagnosed, and 1.5 million to 2.7 million people die of the disease. In recent years, malaria has become more difficult to control and treat because malaria parasites have become resistant to drugs, and mosquitoes that transmit the disease have become resistant to insecticides. Most of the deaths are from the very young and very old. There is no drug that will prevent you from getting Malaria but you can use a chemotherapy drug, Chloroquine that is a synthetic chemical similar to quinine. That way when you get the disease you cure yourself right away. Other than that you just have to wait for the symptoms to occur and then take the drugs. The latter is the plan Tamara and I are taking. We have had most every other shot for third world disease you can get like Yellow fever (mandatory to enter another country if you have spent time in Zambia) and Typhoid.

We were moved out of the super nice room we had and into temporary (called D-block) housing. It is on site but is very basic. The rooms don’t have a bathroom or air conditioners but do have a sink and refrigerator. After a few days we found that we are very happy in this simple room.
We hope to go in Service this weekend. We hear that almost everyone you meet will talk to you. Zambians in general are very polite, affectionate and have and have great respect for the Bible. Zambia is one of the only countries in this part of the world that has never had a war or internal power struggle.
Well, I am very tired and need to head to bed. Still getting used to working at 4000ft elevation and in the heat. Here is a picture of the project building. We are working on the outside doing the plastering.


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Zambia #3 "Tamara the Super Plasterer!"

Tamara the Super Plasterer!

hee hee, not really.
Hello Everyone,
We received our assignments and both of us work on the plastering crew. This was not a sure thing as a few of the wives of the tradesman have been put in different departments like the kitchen or housekeeping. It would not have  mattered to me, but I am glad to be with Christopher alot of the time. :)
I thought I would only be working as a go-for, tending, clean-up person. But the first day I was put on floating, for those that don’t know (like me a few days ago 😉 floating is part of the finish work on the wall. You take a tool shaped like a trowel but made of wood and you rub it on the wall with some pressure to smooth out all the bumps. It can be hard work if the wall is too dry, which many times it got that way because I am slow. :) Even with using some of the tools of plastering I was sure I could never actually spread. ( apply the plaster to the wall) I have been around plastering my whole life having a dad that does it, and I have never even tried to ‘do’ it. Yesterday I scratched a wall! (applied the first coat of plaster to the wall). The scratch coat does not need to be perfect or pretty, so they let just about anyone do it. 😉 It was very fun though, like frosting a huge cake all day.
I am enjoying the work and the privilege we have been given.


The Zambians are very nice a friendly.

One of the young men I was working with named Martin asks me questions about what things mean in America and what things are and such.

He was a little concerned about one word. He asked me what does Gromit mean? He had to spell it out on the mud board to make sure I understood his accent. :)
I kinda laughed a little and told him that it meant two things kinda. Then proceeded to tell him about Wallace and Gromit. And that those are some of my favorite movies.
I even have a stuffed Gromit. He said ‘Oh so Gromit is the name of dog.’
He had a neck tie with Wallace and Gromit and it said “More cheese Gromit” and people asked him what Gromit meant and he didnt know. So they were telling him he shouldn’t wear it cause it could mean something bad. I told him I didn’t think anyone could be offended by Wallace and Gromit. And that we had the movies with us if he wanted to come over and watch them. He said he would very much like that, so he came over the next night and watched the first one. :)
That is all from me today.
Hope all are doing well. Feel free to write anytime, letters from home are a great encouragement!



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Zambia #2 "Mostest Happiest"

Mostest happiest

Our flight from Seattle to London then London to Lusaka, Zambia took 28 hours, counting 6 hour lay over in London. We left on Thursday and arrived on Saturday morning.

As we approached Lusaka our plane flew lower and I could see the area around the small capital city, it was dry and partitioned off into large farming fields. We are arriving at the end of the 8 month dry season, that means it should start raining soon. At the Airport we were met by two brothers, Nanad is a German and will be my Overseer in the Plastering department, the other brother was Numld, a Kenyan that works in the legal, (he is half of that department) department. They were happy to see us and rushed us off to the bethel.

As I said the city is small, about the a quarter of the size downtown Portland. The Bethel is about 15 miles out of town on a old large farm. They only use half or so of the area for the Bethel so the surrounding area around the bethel is left wild. As we drove in Tamara and I watched a large herd of Antelope being chased by 3 young Zebras.

The Bethel its self is made up of 5 large buildings, all four stories tall. The grounds around the buildings are large and extremely well cared for.

We were put in a Guest room till we get assigned a permanent room. The room is super; it has a bathroom, small kitchen area with a mini fridge and oven. The large main room just has enough space for a couch, a desk and a bed. In total maybe 500 sq feet. We are on the third floor and our windows over look the herd of antelope that live just outside the Bethel wall.

Nanad helps us get all situated and gives us a large envelope with our names on it. This is our introduction package, it is has information on how to integrate us with the Bethel family; from laundry service data and housekeeping schedule to dress and meal instructions. I will share more with ya on that later; don’t want to make my letters a chore to read.

On Sunday we were invited to come to the Ministerial Training School Graduation. This was the 29th class to graduate in Zambia. I got to talk to just a few of the 23 young brothers, they sure did radiate excitement and zeal.


Many of the congregations in this area of the world only one or two elders and a few ministerial servants. Other congregations have vast territories where the good news is not extensively preached. Hence, there is a great need for qualified men not only to take the lead in the evangelizing work but also to shepherd the flock and teach the congregations. The aim of the Ministerial Training School is to training brothers for these responsibilities. Many of the young brothers were from neighboring counties like Namibia and Malawi.

Although the Ministerial Training School is an extension of the Watchtower Bible School of Gilead, which trains missionaries for foreign service, its curriculum is unique. During the eight week school, the students undertake an intensive study of the Bible. They carefully consider a wide range of Bible teachings, including counsel on shepherding responsibilities and guidelines for handing problems in Christian living. They also learn what the Scriptures teach about administrative, judicial and organizational matters. They also receive specialized training in public speaking.

One young brother, Abraham was from Malawi. He came from a 15 person family made up of 3 regular pioneers, 1 elder and 1 ministerial servant all are in the truth. He joked that his family is a small congregation in its self. He had a great job as a foreman on a construction crew. When he asked his boss for time off to attend the School his boss refused to let him go and even offered him a promotion. When asked about how he felt about making the sacrifice to be a part of the school he responded; “I am the most happiest person on the earth!”

Tomorrow we will start a two day orientation schedule that will include a Branch tour, Infirmary registrations, room care and laundry duty. On Wednesday we should get our assignments which will probably be in the Plastering department. They are adding on a additional four story building. All the walls of this building inside and out need to be plastered.


Of the 350 people at the Bethel, 200 are temporary construction works like Tamara and I. They come from all areas of the world including Germany, Canada, Ireland and neighboring African countries. We also met a couple our age from S. Carolina.

We are both feeling good if not tired from the long journey. I would share more about the travel here but want to keep this letter on a positive note.

As I write this the rain has started. Lightning like I have not seen before and rain in sheets. When I say the rain has started, I mean that this is the first rain of the season. But no worries, the rain should stop sometime in April.


Hope all is well with you guys and even though we don’t miss you yet, we think and talk about you.

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