A few weeks ago we had our missionary friend, KR (name withheld for security reasons), with us, and he blessed us with a report of God’s work among the Afar in northeastern Ethiopia. It’s been ten years now since we launched our first “Advent Conspiracy” and partnered with KR to see a camel watering center built for an Afar clan that was greatly in need of fresh water...and the gospel. And the beautiful story that flowed from that watering center was one of God calling upwards of 400 Afar over the last decade to now be followers of Jesus. What a joy it has been for every one of us who has had the privilege of being a part of that story!
Every year since we have continued to be a part of a special Christmas Advent giving project, continuing the tradition of “conspiring” to subvert our Christmas self-preoccupation with gracious giving to care for others who are in great need. And every year the blessing has been to see how God has taken our Christmas gift and multiplied it many times over to meet real needs and to plant seeds of hope and salvation that are bringing blessing to others for years to come.
Last year the central point of our advent giving focus was on Susu village in Zambia, partnering with Elizabeth’s Library International to drill a fresh water well in that community. Because there was no fresh water source nearby (the village well had collapsed), villagers walked for hours to collect water from the closest source of water, but even that source was a muddy hole. Children suffered the most with resulting poor health and many missed too many days from their classes in the local school. But with the gift from our last year’s advent project a well was dug in January, fresh water began to immediately flow and the village is now thriving.
Today, Susu has three new garden projects that are providing food and economic support for local widows and children. With the restoration of a clean water source, the government then responded by building a small village medical clinic. Attendance at the local elementary school dramatically increased as healthy kids could once again take part. A library building was built and recently opened that now resources three local elementary schools. Adult literacy classes have been started with the expressed desire by parents to be able to read the Bible to their children. A pastoral reference section of the library now provides a study center for the pastors of several local churches. The list of blessings for this community goes on, and local residents see much of it flowing from the newly drilled well. And we got to be a part through our giving – what a blessing!
So, once again this year, we are prayerfully tackling another advent conspiracy. And once again our primary focal point will be to partner with Elizabeth’s Library International, this time to spearhead two projects in the Dambashava region of Zimbabwe. A second focal point will be to provide funds for a sister church in Chico, CA to provide assistance to victims of the Butte County “Camp Fire.”
Space is too limited here to detail the specifics of these projects (see the fact sheet inside), but in broad brush overview our elders are proposing: (1) a pastor’s book project that will provide a study Bible and a one volume commentary for 20 pastors in two remote village areas accessible from Dambashava ($3300.), (2) Support for two girls (Jocelyn and Rose) through the rest of this school year, the girls orphaned when their mother, Tellmore, and their siblings were killed in a car accident last year ($4200.), and (3) a goal of $5000. for “Camp Fire” victim assistance provided through Life Spring Church in Chico.
Please check out the project specifics inside this newsletter and then prayerfully think about how you might want to be personally involved. When I consider what God has given in the Gift of His Son to make me His child, I get excited about the opportunity to now be a channel of His blessing to others. If God has put that same dream on your heart, then join me in this year’s Advent Conspiracy.
For the joy of seeing Christ’s kingdom extended,
Advent Conspiracy Projects, 2018
Elizabeth’s Library International – Zimbabwe (Lana Lynn, Director)
Pastor’s Book Project – $3300.
10 pastors in remote Zambezi Valley - $1000. for books, $600. for fuel.
10 pastors in Kotwa near Moz. Border - $1000. for books, $400. for fuel.
3 book sets for Dambashava Library - $300. (library building was completed November, 2018 and 3000 books were moved in from storage in Harare, no tables or furniture yet - $550. donated toward bookcases)
Prices include 1 study Bible and 1 African Bible Commentary per pastor + shipping and transportation costs.
Note: The Dambashava Library is the first of its kind in Zimbabwe and will be used by 12 elementary schools from surrounding communities. It will also provide a study center with reference materials for several local pastors.
Financial Support for Tellmore’s Surviving Children - $4200.
Jocelyn (16) is in boarding school in Harare through June, ‘19; fees - $2150. Rose (3) lives with local widow and her 4 yr old in Tellmore’s apartment ($2050. to provide for preschool with food through June, ‘19, when Jocelyn will return to support herself and her younger sister).
Butte County “Camp Fire” Victim Assistance - $5000.
Two of our NextGen churches in Chico, CA The Orchard Church and Life Spring Church, are assisting affected families. We are partnering with Life Spring Church whose pastor is coordinating relief efforts by Chico community churches.