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Sunday, September 19, 2010

Just when I thought I finished school...

I've been in Zambia for almost three weeks now but I've only just finished the first week of actual class because of the AMT orientation and the expedition. It's been quite the week and I'm glad for the rest and the change of pace that the weekend brings.

This week we finished three of the units of the overall course. In the mornings we had a theology course using the book "The Bible in the Light of Our Redemption" by E.W. Kenyon and it involved reading several chapters, thoroughly answering the questions in the book, and taking in-class quizzes every day on what we studied. Just when I thought my days of homework were behind me I've got to dive back in. We covered a lot of material out of the book and had some excellent class discussions and my knowledge and understanding of Scripture were definitely improved as a result. In the afternoons we had two of the less academically strenuous units, GPS navigation and bush cooking. GPS navigation covered the use of handheld GPS units that are used to mark the locations of remote villages and track the unmarked dirt roads (and sometimes goat paths) that our trucks use to reach them. Bush cooking sounds just like the name implies: you get to a campsite, start a fire, and cook over it for everyone in your group while making sure that you're using all the food groups and making it taste good. We covered everything that goes into planning and preparing meals for an entire expedition team and our "final exam" was to cook dinner for the entire base.

Saturday is our day off so I went down to the warehouse and got some welding projects finished and today has also been very refreshing. I went out for breakfast at a nearby hotel with two buddies and then we went to church in the village right near the base. It's lead by a local pastor that has worked with Overland for several years and I always enjoy going there.

We've got new class units coming up this week and more homework to do but we're going to Chobe National Park in Botswana next weekend for a safari so I've got something to look forward to.


The GPS coordinates of where I'm sitting are 17°58'41.98"S 25°53'8.24"E. Copy and paste into Google maps or Google Earth and take a look. We got Google to take a better image of the area so you can see individual tents, the main center, the warehouse, and footpaths of the base. You can then look me up on Yahoo messenger at and message me when you get the location.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Trucks, Goats, and God

The team and I just got back from doing ministry in some villages way out in the middle of nowhere for the last week. A good shower never felt so good.

I and 6 other Americans arrived here at the base in Zambia on Wednesday, September 1, and the whole AMT class went out to the villages on Saturday to do ministry in the Simwatechela Kingdom here in Zambia. The local people had gathered from all over the region for our large worship and preaching meetings and we also got to do hut-to-hut evangelism and encouragement, share meals together, and hold question and answer discussions around the fire. It was like nothing I've ever done before so I was kind of nervous sometimes but it was really cool so see what God did with our time there. We had people give their lives to Christ, we prayed over people for healings, and we sang and danced in worship with them around a big fire to the beat of African drums. I learned a lot about the Zambian people and about my team, and about what ministry in this part of the world looks like.

I'll give you a brief introduction to the team members that I'll be spending almost all my time with in the next three months. From the States we have Sharon, Rachel, Jackie, Regina and Wes, Trae, and Jared. From Zimbabwe we have Mordecai. There is also another couple from South Africa with their 3 kids that I have yet to meet. The arrived while the rest of us were out on expedition. We have members as young as 18 and as old as 42 and it's looking like a pretty solid group of people. Our instructors are JD and Laura and we'll have a couple more people on the base who will be helping with the course and going out on expedition with us.

So far I've already learned a lot and it looks like we're going to continue to be busy with class work as well as our daily chores around the base. I'm guessing it will continue to be a time of amazing learning and growth full of challenge and hard work. I'm just not excited about the reports of 120 degree weather coming up in October. Hopefully the rumors are exaggerated.