My Dusty Road

One Girl's Adventures Into Rural Lands

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August Ministry Update

Ministry, Arrivals, & Check Engine Lights

August felt like the doors have finally opened! This month we’ve spent more time in Simwatachela than the rest of the year combined. Praise God! We were welcomed back by our friends in each of the 5 villages reached this month with great excitement. Each place had testimonies to share of what God has been doing in this season. 

The other day we were able to minister in Chalinga Village. The men and women took a break from working on building a dam to join us for a time in the Word. Abigail, Bernard and I took the time share about their value to God and what Jesus accomplished on the cross for us. We were so excited to pray with 10 people to receive Christ that day! 

This month has also opened the doors for our AMT students to arrive! Our May class had been canceled due to Covid, but travel to Zambia opened just in time for the August class to run. So we combined the students from both into our largest class ever. 50 students arrived on our property and it’s finally feeling like a normal year! They will be heading out for their first expedition to the Mukuni Chiefdom, which is the sector I previously worked in and is now led by Pastor Winter, one of our Zambian Sector Managers. The team will be here for 3 months learning every skill needed to aid in reaching the nations.

After replacing the faulty sensor on my truck, we believed that the problems were finally over. We were wrong. The check engine light continued to return with the same sensor codes, as well as the code for the computer (a new problem). Fighting discouragement, we began researching what the problem could be. It seemed like either the computer was failing or there was a wiring issue. The other night one of my good friends worked on my truck and found some problems with the wiring. We’re hoping this has solved the issues and will know after a test trip to the Mukuni Chiefdom tomorrow (joining AMT for a couple days). Praise God for amazing, talented friends!!

I’m praying for all of you, your families, and the nations. Please feel free to reach out to chat, pray together, and to encourage each other. 

Thank you for your continued prayers and support. It means a lot to me and is making a difference in the lives of the people we are reaching in Zambia! 

Blessings,
Laura

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July Ministry Update

Delayed Progress

Last month I shared about our open door to resume ministry in Simwatachela. And boy were we ready to jump back in! All that was needed was the one sensor for my truck and then we were back on the road.

I’d been waiting on the sensor to arrive from South Africa for weeks, due to delays with Covid-19. And it finally arrived! I pulled the truck into our workshop, grabbed the new part and looked at the pedal, where the sensor is that needs to be replaced. My heart dropped, it wasn’t the same part. After calling the Toyota shop here in Livingstone, I confirmed that I had been given the wrong part number and would have to wait for the correct sensor to come in.

I had my moment of discouragement but pushed through and made a plan. Armed with the correct part number, I placed another order and a friend in South Africa picked up the correct part (after we triple checked this time!).

I’m so happy to say that the correct sensor has finally arrived! This week the truck is having the sensor replaced and new shock absorbers fitted! Then we’ll hopefully be back at 100% and on the road!

While waiting on the part to arrive, I jumped into helping serve on the base.  We’re working hard to prepare for the arrival of more of our missionaries returning to the field, as well as our AMT students for August. We’re expecting 60 students to arrive at the end of August for our 3 month Advanced Mission Training program!

I was also able to finish the Bible School program that I’ve been working on! I’ve been enrolled in the program since joining Overland but haven’t been very committed to finishing. Thankfully I utilized this season and am happy to say that I now have a Diploma in Christian Ministry. 

Reuben and Bernard, two of our Zambian missionaries, made a trip out to Simwatachela for a Farming God’s Way training. It was held in a new area that we want to start ministry in as there’s been a huge need for the Gospel, especially with the youth. The training was cut short due to a funeral but was a great introduction. 19 people joined for the training and are eager to learn more when our team returns next month.

“This training wasn’t just about farming but about how God provides in many ways. Proverbs 3 talks about not leaning on our own understanding, which we shared a lot about. God’s ways are not our ways, even in farming. Those who attended thought at first that God only cares about certain areas of life, so they would rely on ancestral worship for the rest. But after this training they’ve learned that God cares about every part and has provided His provision in every area of life.” Bernard, Sector Missionary


Please keep standing with us in faith that Covid-19 cases here in Zambia, and worldwide, will cease. There’s been increasing cases here and we’re walking this season out in faith and wisdom.


“Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10

I’m praying for all of you, your families, and the nations. Please feel free to reach out to chat, pray together, and to encourage each other. 

Thank you for your continued prayers and support. It means a lot to me and is making a difference in the lives of the people we are reaching in Zambia! 

Blessings,
Laura

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June Ministry Update

Return to Simwatachela

As we sat down at  Chief Simwatachela’s home, he immediately said “You’re joining me on the 25th.” “Sure!” I answered without hesitation or even knowing what we would be doing. When a chief gives an invitation, you take it!

On the 25th, Abigail, Bernard, and I found ourselves in Siamafumba Village, joining all 348 headmen from every village in the entire chiefdom. This meeting is held every year by the Chief, but this year was unique. Many leaders from the district and council joined together to share about the program they’ve been implementing into the area, as well as hearing about needs from within the communities. 

We had the honor of starting off the morning with an introduction to Overland Missions and a message on unity in the Body of Christ. It is a rare thing to see denominations working together, even seeing each other as brothers and sisters in Christ. So our message that morning focused on how God sees us as His children, according to our faith in the Lord. When we step out in unity, every area of life will be affected. Not just in our churches, but in every part of our communities, chiefdom, and nation. 

The theme of unity carried throughout the messages of every guest speaker. Bornwell, one of our leaders and headman of his village, confirmed it was the word that was needed for the meeting. He shared that “this was a heavy word but a word that everyone needed to hear. Unity is what is needed in our area.” 

This was an incredible start to our season post-quarantine. The Chief has given permission for our normal ministry to resume with some minimal restrictions and conditions. Already we’re making plans for the revival meetings to resume, Farming God’s Way trainings, and identifying new areas to eventually reach. 

Next month will have us back in the villages every week as we usually are during this time of year. Please continue to pray for Zambia that Covid-19 will disappear, borders open, and life return to normal. We have staff trying to return, expedition teams planned for early August, and our Advanced Missions Training class for late August. We are standing in faith for the way to be opened for all of this to happen. Please stand with us!

I’m praying for all of you, your families, and the nations. Please feel free to reach out to chat, pray together, and to encourage each other.

Thank you for your continued prayers and support. It means a lot to me and is making a difference in the lives of the people we are reaching in Zambia! 

Blessings,
Laura

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May Ministry Update

A Slow Opening

At the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, the reports we received was to expect the continent of Africa to be hit hard. It’s our joy to report that the case, while many in several countries, have not been nearly as bad as predicted! Zambia’s cases increase but the deaths from this virus are nearly nonexistent. Praise God!

President Lungu has started opening businesses, restaurants, and churches again. While there are still restrictions in place (mask in public, no nonessential meetings, no groups of more than 10 people gathered together, only exam grade students allowed to begin classes) it’s a step towards a return to normal. Or as President Lungu says, “the new normal.” 

What does this mean for our team in Zambia? Ministry has begun on a restricted basis. Our team is limited to day trip to nearby villages, focusing mainly on visiting people at their homes and taking proper health precautions. As the government of Zambia makes adjustments, so will we. 

While I haven’t been back to Simwatachela due to waiting for part for my truck, I was able to join some of our team in Musokotwane. It’s a chiefdom I’m well acquainted with even from when I used to lead our expedition teams during my first five years on staff with Overland. It’s an area that transitioned to full Zambian leadership several years ago and we have thew chance to bring encouragement and vision to some of the leaders.

The men and women on this team have been doing such an amazing job and the testimonies were incredible! Areas that once relied on witchcraft are now meeting together regularly for the sake of the Gospel. Group of children numbering into the hundreds are being raised up knowing the Truth and who they are in Christ.

We spent a lot of time developing vision and strategy with the team to keep pushing forward with the Gospel. It was wonderful to see their excitement and passion for this next season of ministry.

A Look at June

This next month has a lot of potential for getting back to a normal schedule. My truck parts have finally arrived and will be worked on this week. Once it’s all good to go, Abigail, Bernard and I plan non meeting with Chief Simwatachela. We want to discuss with him about opportunities for ministry and how this pandemic has affected the chiefdom. 

As soon as more restrictions are lifted, we’ll begin meeting for bible studies and camping in the villages during the week. Until then, we can reach a few places within a day trip and will make that our focus until things change.

Over the Past Weeks…

I’ve seen many posts online saying that 2020 is a waste. We’ve experienced a pandemic and terrible injustices in the taking of innocent lives. But God hasn’t written off this year and neither should we. I truly believe we will look back at this year and see how God has moved in incredible ways. Let us continue to pray in full faith for a radical move of the Lord in every nation, and that the Holy Spirit will move in ways that have yet to ever been seen! 


“After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could count, from every nation and all tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, and palm branches were in their hands; and they cry out with a loud voice, saying, ‘Salvation to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.'” Rev 7:9-10

I’m praying for all of you, your families, and the nations. Please feel free to reach out to chat, pray together, and to encourage each other.

Thank you for your continued prayers and support. It means a lot to me and is making a difference in the lives of the people we are reaching in Zambia! 

Blessings,
Laura

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April Ministry Update


Living The Quarantine Life

For the past month our entire team worldwide has been in quarantine. For some this had also been mandated by the country they’re in. For us in Zambia, we make a stricter course of action to the Covid-19 pandemic then the government recommended. Restricted to our base, only essential trips to town were taken and our Zambian base staff were put on a paid leave.

So our team here picked up the workload of keeping the base running. None of us can say that quarantine was boring! We found ourselves working on different projects each day. We laid gravel down on paths, started clearing an area for a basketball court that’s currently in progress, took care of the landscaping and gardens, and whatever other tasks came along. I even learned how to work on our internet system when we were struggling with it! New skills being acquired during this season!

We’ve also spent time together in the Word as a team, as well as individually. Together we’ve been meeting about twice a week to go through a Bible study program which has led to amazing discussions and perspectives shared from everyone. I’ve also been working on my Bible school program and am excited to see how close I’m finally to finishing!

My sector team and I have been in touch with our friends in Simwatachela, taking time to check on families and share encouragement. It’s been great to hear that everyone is well and excited for when we can join them in their villages!

This season is definitely not what we pictured. Our expedition teams have been delayed until August. Our AMT class for May has also been merged with the August class. What should be the start of our busy season is much quieter than anticipated but God is doing amazing things. We know the loss we see in the natural God will not just restore, but His provision will overflow in every area of need! 

“Fear not, O land;
Be glad and rejoice,
For the Lord has done marvelous things!
Do not be afraid, you beasts of the field;
For the open pastures are springing up,
And the tree bears its fruit;
The fig tree and the vine yield their strength.
Be glad then, you children of Zion,
And rejoice in the Lord your God;
For He has given you the former rain faithfully,
And He will cause the rain to come down for you—
The former rain,
And the latter rain in the first month.
The threshing floors shall be full of wheat,
And the vats shall overflow with new wine and oil.

“So I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten,
The crawling locust,
The consuming locust,
And the chewing locust,
My great army which I sent among you.
You shall eat in plenty and be satisfied,
And praise the name of the Lord your God,
Who has dealt wondrously with you;
And My people shall never be put to shame.
Then you shall know that I am in the midst of Israel:
I am the Lord your God
And there is no other.
My people shall never be put to shame.”

Joel 2:21-27

We serve an amazing God who constantly proves His faithfulness over and over. We will continue to see His faithfulness in every season of our lives!

What’s Next?

Things have begun easing up a bit here in Zambia. Testing has increased so we’re currently seeing the number of cases on the rise. Praise God that the number of deaths from Covid-19 is very low! 

Our team globally is now operating on a country to country restriction. Following Zambia’s mandate, masks are being worn in public. We aren’t allowed to hold any public meetings yet but can visit people individually. The President of Zambia is reviewing restrictions every two weeks so we’ll know what the next step is here soon.

Our leadership here has also put in some other restrictions. Ministry in the rural villages has been restricted to day trips in close areas. Simwatachela is quite a far drive so my reach there continues to be limited. The truck is also waiting on a couple of parts so hopefully by the time it’s fully running again, things will have continued to improve in the country.

We’re continuing the work here on the base to prepare for the day the borders open and the base fills. We still don’t know when that will be but we continue to walk in faith that it will be soon!

I’m praying for all of you, your families, and the nations. Please feel free to reach out to chat, pray together, and to encourage each other. 

Thank you for your continued prayers and support. It means a lot to me and is making a difference in the lives of the people we are reaching in Zambia! 


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