Saturday, August 29, 2009

Zambia 2009 - #11

Jimmie has returned safely! He was very weary from 42 hours of travel without any sleep - he was unable to catch a nap on the plane this time due to some screaming kids - but he is home and adjusting to the time change. He will be posting a report and pictures soon.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Zambia 2009 - #10

Jimmie surprised me with a call yesterday afternoon to let me know that everything was ready for them to depart today. He had already given the big, final test and was pleased that everyone in the classes passed - although there were a few that just squeaked by.

The first leg of their trip home is now completed -
Livingstone, Zambia to Johannesburg, South Africa.

It always seems to me like they are starting off in the wrong direction since they next fly up to London

. . . but there are no easy routes to get to Zambia.

He and Ron landed safely in Johannesburg this morning where they have a 7 hour layover before the London flight.
7 hours is a miserably long time to sit around an airport, even if this one does look very modern.

Please remember Jimmie and Ron in your prayers as they travel. They are scheduled to reach home tomorrow night - a very late night for Ron who has to fly on to Tennessee after reaching Atlanta.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Zambia 2009 - #9

Jimmie tried to call me over the weekend and missed me, so I was very happy to talk to him this morning - even if it was before the sun came up. He gave me a quick report on the Gospel meeting at Siamafumba. As usual, it was very well attended with 1,950 people there representing 68 different congregations. Wow! I'm wondering how the guys could even talk loud enough to be heard by that many, but apparently they did looking at the responses:
  • 40 put on Christ in baptism
  • 205 were restored
  • 43 asked for prayers of the congregation

Jimmie continues to teach 3 hours each day at the school in Livingstone, but the big final test will be Wednesday. He'll have to grade it quickly because Thursday he starts the long trek home.

I asked Jimmie if anything interesting happened at Siamafumba and he immediately said there was a mouse story - but would wait until he gets back to tell me. Ugh. I may not want to hear this one.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Zambia 2009 - #8

Today Jimmie & Ron planned to drive the 4 - 6 hours to Siamafumba for another 3-day bush meeting. Ron goes here every year and Jimmie has been with him before, but it has been several years. Jimmie's previous trips here were definitely what you would call "roughing it".

Jimmie used to take a tent from home to have somewhere to sleep since Siamafumba was just a crossroads for some bush footpaths. There was no town or facilities of any type.

Water had to be toted there in buckets. All food and supplies had to be carried in to feed the more than 2,000 people who usually arrive on foot for the meeting.

Now they have built a school here, Siamafumba School of Biblical Studies. These pictures are from Ron's 2007 trip, but as you can see the school building (the tin roof shown in the distance) is about the only thing there still. The other structures you see are made of brush and contructed just for the meeting.
They are used for a variety of reasons, from sleeping to cooking, so they make a quick and easy shelter. But unwelcome critters often come with the brush, so I'm glad that Jimmie & Ron will be able to sleep in the school building this year.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Zambia 2009 - #7

Jimmie called early this morning. He admitted to being especially tired - and sounded it - but was also very pleased with the weekend overall. The roads to Misika (he changed the spelling he had told me earlier) were better than expected so the drive there only took 4 hours. And the Gospel meeting out in the bush apparently went quite well. There were 991 present representing 43 different congregations - and this was the "little" meeting! Of these:
  • 11 lost souls were baptized
  • 71 erring Christians were restored
  • 42 brethren asked for prayer

Jimmie had already taught classes this morning when he called, so I hope he was able to rest some before his next round of teaching tonight.

On the other hand, my weekend was quite different from Jimmie's. I got to spend some extra time with our grandson, Cole, and see his reaction to his very first amusement park.

He loved every minute of it!

From roller coasters this grandma declined to ride

to playing in the mists to cool the hot, August day - Cole had an absolute blast.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Zambia 2009 - #6

Today is Jimmie's birthday - and I actually got to give him birthday greetings since he called before I or the sun were up this morning. I was pretty fuzzy at the crack of dawn even if it was time for the alarm to buzz, but I do recall that he gave me a couple tidbits of news:
  • Everything is going well except for the fact that Ron Gilbert broke his toe. Ouch!
  • So far they have purchased 19 bicycles and are looking for one more to buy.
  • They are driving to Matika on Friday to hold a 3-day Gospel meeting over the weekend. Jimmie did not know the distance in miles, but said due to the condition of the roads they expect the drive to take 5 - 6 hours. I could not find Matika on a Zambian map so it is defintely not a large town.

I also reported some good news to Jimmie. We have a new brother in Christ at New Hope Road. Alex, a young man from Ghana, had been visiting for a few months and I remember how surprised he was the first day when Jimmie spoke to him in Twi. Jimmie was very pleased to hear that Alex had obeyed the Gospel.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Zambia 2009 - #5

Jimmie called from Livingstone just minutes ago. It had to be a short conversation due to the expense, but I did learn a little about his stay so far.
  • The local money changers were short on cash when Jimmie & Ron Gilbert arrived in Livingstone, so they were not able to get any local currency until yesterday, Friday.
  • The largest bill in the Zambian Kwacha is 50,000 which is about $10 US. Jimmie said he needed a plastic bag to hold the money. Just the cash for the bicycles would be quite a wad!
  • Jimmie & Ron began teaching at the Zambia School of Biblical Studies immediately. They arrived Wednesday afternoon and their classes started Thursday.
  • The school has taken a classroom and converted it to guest quarters for visiting teachers, so Jimmie & Ron have their own small apartment on the grounds rather than bunking in the dorm with the students.
  • Jimmie had been to the Internet Cafe but found it closed. Disappointing because he said that he has taken some great pictures already.

As soon as Jimmie got off the phone they were going to drive out to the Henson Farm. Lloyd & Pearl Henson are American missionaries who have been living and working in Livingstone since 1969. Their farm was the original home for ZSOBS when it was moved from Botswana to Zambia in 1996 and where the school was located on Jimmie's previous trips to teach there. I know he will enjoy getting to visit with them again today.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Zambia 2009 - #4

Jimmie will be teaching at the Zambia School for Biblical Studies while in Livingstone.
They have their own website - -if you want to read about it.
They claim that you can see the mist from Vic Falls from the grounds, but I don't know how close they actually are.
The last time Jimmie taught at this school it was located on the Henson Farm. It has since moved into town so I snagged some pictures to share.

One of their classrooms.
The school library.

School dorm room.

Since Jimmie is also living at the school I assume he will be staying in a room like this.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Zambia 2009 - #3

First, I need to correct yesterday's entry. Livingstone is obviously on the northern banks of the Zambezi River - thanks Wikipedia! I had heard it wasn't alway acurate but I was rushing to get to Bible class and took their word for it. Still, a quick look at the map later had me going, "Wait a minute . . ."

I also completely forgot to tell you that Jimmie called briefly to tell me that he had arrived safely and was doing well. I knew his plane had gotten there - 40 hours after we left our house on Monday - but it is always nice to have it confirmed that he was acually ON the plane. There is no Internet access at the school and he learned that the local Internet Cafe is unreliable - sometimes it's open and sometimes it's not. He will have to purchase a USA phone card before he can call home again, so I won't be hearing from him as much as his last trips to Malawi. Bummer. Being able to keep in touch daily via email really spoiled me. Still, when I do hear from him I will pass along any news.

In the meantime, I've been doing some research. Jimmie has been to Livingstone before, but it was several years ago and he didn't take any pictures of the town so I did a little online searching out of curiosity. I found dramatically different scenes.

Along the banks of the Zambezi River are the luxury hotels for the tourists.

Jimmie certainly is not staying in one of these!

The Zambezi is 1,600 miles long but this particular stretch has produced what is sometimes called one of the natural wonders of the world - Victoria Falls.

At 5,500 feet wide and 355 feet deep it is the largest water fall in the world - more than twice as large as Niagara Falls.

The photo I found of the town is not quite as picturesque. Back 100 years ago Livingstone was the capital city of Northern Rhodesia. Now it is a distribution center for agriculture and timber - and, of course, the closest town to Vic Falls.

Here some curio sellers are waiting for the tourists to arrive.

See anything you like?

While this looks more like a local market.

English is the official language in Zambia, but Bantu is the local language.

I also checked the local weather today and was surprised. Since this is winter in the Southern Hemisphere I was expecting cooler temperatures, but the high today in Livingstone was 87 degrees. The low tonight will drop to the high 50s, so not bad at all.

- Linda

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Zambia 2009 - #2

Map of ZambiaImage via Wikipedia

Jimmie arrived at his destination of Livingstone, Zambia this morning.

Livingstone is in Southern Zambia, about 6 miles south of the Zambezi River, close to the border of Zimbabwe. It was named for the missionary David Livingstone, the first European to explore the area in 1855. Today it has a population of around 100,000.

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Monday, August 3, 2009

Zambia 2009 - #1

Jimmie is on his way!

With 3 large duffle bags, a large suitcase and a carryon - close to 250 pounds of baggage - it's a good thing our Taurus has a big trunk.

small airplanes at Atlanta Hartsfield Jackson ...Image via Wikipedia

We left the house this afternoon about 3 to make the hour trek to the airport before the evening rush hour started, stopped for a late lunch/early supper, and then I dropped Jimmie off at the Hartsfield-Jackson Airport on the south side of Atlanta. He met up with his campaign partner, Ron Gilbert, at the gate since Ron flew in from Nashville

By the time Jimmie reaches Livingstone, Zambia on Wednesday he will have been traveling for more than 40 hours.