Pray for us

August/September Prayer Needs

We have started a new E-blast with more update information.  Eventually, all updates will come through that medium, and this will be reserved for more general information and urgent updates.  To sign up for the E-blast, click here.

Personal/Family

Please pray for our housing situation!   

Update:

In August our landlord informed us that they would be selling the house we are renting and our new lease would be cut short.  This was a huge blow!  The landlord's reasons are completely legitimate, and our they have been great in this entire process.  We thank the Lord for that.  Nevertheless, this puts us in quite a bind.

First, we have to find a place (which we appear to have done!).  This is quite difficult for us since ACU is in a part of town where housing is at a premium.  Moreover, finding housing for a family the size of ours (not to mention the need for space to homeschool) makes the task even more difficult.  

Second, renting here is expensive, both in the short term and the overall cost.  As I have noted before, the cost of living in Lusaka is higher than the cost of living in Houston.  One of the reasons for that is housing prices.  Additionally, signing a lease here requires a deposit (usually one month's rent), PLUS THE FIRST THREE MONTH'S RENT!  

Third, this is an international city, so there are very good moving companies here.  The people that moved us in were excellent!  However, they are also very expensive.  

In short, we are about to take a major financial hit!

Please pray for this move.  I have a US/UK tour coming up mid to late October and we are trying to move just prior to my tour.  

Please consider giving a tax-deductible gift to help with the added expenses... this could cost us somewhere in the neighborhood of $8,000.00 to $10,000.00!  

Also, pray for us as we work through the possibility that this will mean putting off our US furlough for at least another year (we were planning to return in December/January).

KBC

Pray for me as I wind down my preaching for the year at KBC (follow the series here)

ACU

Pray for our students as they complete final exams and close out the year (we go from January to October)!

Pray for our faculty and staff as many will be heading out for long-needed furlough, or vacation with family.  

Remember the new E-blast with more specific and detailed information.  If you are interested in receiving that, please click HERE to sign up for Prayer Updates

And, as always, we need, welcome, and appreciate your financial support...

DONATE TO LAUNCH THE MOVE!

You may also mail gifts to us at:

VBM/Launch the Move

8765 Spring Cypress Rd

Suite L, Box 165

Spring, TX 77379

All gifts are tax deductible!

 

July Prayer Needs

Personal/Family

Please continue to pray for our health.   

-Update:

My visits to doctors about my kidney disease (see last month's update) has not yielded anything new.  My kidney function is unchanged.  I am continuing on the new medication and am scheduled to see the nephrologist here in Lusaka at the end of the month to see if there has been any improvement.

Pray for my upcoming US/UK tour (14-28 October) and for my family while I'm away.  We had a change in our schedule and will end up with one more US tour.  Please pray for us as we  1) work to fill up the dates, and 2) have a new booking/event team in place.

Pray for our ministry through our home... God has sent us quite a few people to mentor, and we want to be good stewards of that ministry.  Interestingly enough, this was something we could never have anticipated, but it has been quite fruitful.

Pray for us as we work to raise funds for a family trip back to the US in December.  We wanted to do this annually, but the expense is too great ($15K to $20K) with such a large family.  There is just no 'inexpensive' way to get back.  

KBC

Pray for us as we gear up for the Annual Reformed Conference in August!

Pray for me as I am in the thick of the preaching rotation at KBC (follow the series here)

ACU

Pray for our students as they complete final exams and gear up for the third and last term of the year!

Pray for our faculty as one of our key players has returned to Canada to take care of some medical issues and work on fundraising.

Pray for our staff. God has brought together quite an ensemble here!  Much of the team is very young and inexperienced, so we have a lot of work to do.

Pray for our ongoing training sessions with potential lecturers.  We have begun taking about 40 members of the Reformed Baptist Churches with Masters degrees and above through an eight-session/multi-month process designed to train them to teach their subjects from a biblical worldview perspective.  This is a potential game changer!  

Pray that we come out of this with at least one entire DEPARTMENT!

Pray for our ongoing fundraising efforts

I've started a new E-blast with more specific and detailed information.  If you are interested in receiving that, please click HERE to sign up for Prayer Updates

And, as always, we need, welcome, and appreciate your financial support...

DONATE TO LAUNCH THE MOVE!

You may also mail gifts to us at:

VBM/Launch the Move

8765 Spring Cypress Rd

Suite L, Box 165

Spring, TX 77379

All gifts are tax deductible!

 

June Prayer Needs

PERSONAL/FAMILY

Pray for our health.  The past month has been rough.  We've had a virus running through the house and a few of us have been hit hard!

Pray for Me... the virus hit me hard a couple weeks ago and I ended up getting dehydrated and having to go in for intravenous fluids and antibiotics.  Actually had to have Conrad stand in for me as I was scheduled to preach the evening service at KBC that day.  Unfortunately, things didn't end there as I also ended up having to cancel a preaching trip to Namibia.  Of course, this meant everything went 'public' whether I wanted it to or not.

To make a long story very short, I had a severe allergic reaction.  We thought it was the antibiotics, but it ended up being a medicine I've been on for fifteen years.  The medicine was for my Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) and resultant high blood pressure.  These aren't things I have spoken or written about since they have been under control (Ii was diagnosed in my early thirties), and, to be honest, they have been such a routine part of my life that I really don't think about them.  However, that is no longer the case.

Pray for me as I work with an American internal medicine doctor and a Zambian nephrologist here and coordinate with my GP back in the US to try to get back on top of my kidney/BP issues.  This is very serious... ironically, since we decided to move to Zambia, we have been worried about Bridget's health issues.  We never even thought about mine.  

Pray for my wife!  She has been living with the reality that she is NOT married to Superman, and conversations about dealing with CKD while living in Africa can be a bit daunting.  Nevertheless, God, in his providence, has surrounded us with very competent people and we are humbled by that. 

Pray for my upcoming US tour (8-20 June) and for my family while I'm away. 

Pray for our ministry through our home... God has sent us quite a few people to mentor.

KBC

Pray for us as we gear up for the Annual Reformed Conference in August!

Pray for me as I am in the thick of the preaching rotation at KBC 

ACU

Pray for me as I am back in the saddle teaching courses... I am loving it!

Pray for our faculty as one of our key players is about to return to Canada to take care of some medical issues and work on fundraising.

Pray for our staff. God has brought together quite an ensemble here!  Much of the team is very young and inexperienced so we have a lot of work to do.

Pray for our upcoming training sessions with potential teachers.  We are taking about 40 members of the Reformed Baptist Churches with Masters degrees and above through an eight-session/multi-month process designed to train them to teach their subjects from a biblical worldview perspective.  This is a potential game changer!  My prayer is that we come out of this with an entire DEPARTMENT!

Click HERE to sign up for Prayer Updates

DONATE TO LAUNCH THE MOVE!

Gifts can also be mailed to us at:

VBM/Launch the Move

8765 Spring Cypress Rd

Suite L, Box 165

Spring, TX 77379

All gifts are tax deductible!

 

April Prayer Needs

Personal/Family

Pray for our son, Amos.

Sunday morning two of our children came bursting into our room screaming, "Amos can't breathe!" I rushed upstairs to find him wheezing and gasping for air. Turns out he was having an asthma attack! So, why not just grab his inhaler and take care of it, right? BECAUSE THIS WAS THE FIRST TIME!!!

I was able to use what we had (put some vapor rub on his chest, turned on the kettle to heat up some hot water and drop a few hibiscus crystals in it… put a towel over is head, had him breathe deep, and cried out to the Lord!)

An American Pediatrician we know was able to come to the house and check him out. We got him an inhaler (and some other meds), and things have calmed down quite a bit. But it was a frightening scene.

One of the great fears we live with here is encountering a medical emergency. It’s amazing how much we took for granted before the Lord moved us here! Nevertheless, he is teaching us to rely on him.

Pray for Bridget... it's tough for a mom to be in a situation like this.  

Pray for me as my Zambian preaching schedule picks up.

Pray for my upcoming trips to the US (a one-day event in Rome, GA in May, and a two-week tour in late June).

Praise the Lord! I found a BJJ (Brazilian Jiu Jitsu) Club! I’m back on the mats, and back on track to pursue my next belt (and my next tournament… 2018 European Championships in Lisbon, Portugal!).

KBC

Continue to pray for the family's transition, and for new relationships.

Pray for me as I am in the thick of the preaching rotation at KBC (two Sundays down, eight to go).

Twice in April, July, September, and December, respectively!  Check SermonAudio to listen.

ACU

Pray for our nine new students who will be joining us next term! As noted previously, we lost 22 students after the first term (see February Prayer Needs). The Lord has graciously provided nine new students who will go through a two-week crash course to catch up, then jump in for the next term

Pray for me as I prepare to FINALLY TEACH A COURSE!!! Of course, it is a course I’ve never taught before (BA level course in the behavioral science realm), so my excitement is tempered by my trepidation. Nevertheless, I am excited to finally get in the classroom on a regular basis… this ‘Administrator’ stuff is killin’ me!

Also, please pray for me as, in addition to Dean of Theological Education, Dean of the Seminary, and Professor, I've also been named International Director of Development (tasked with creating and implementing fundraising strategies for Africa, the US, and the UK)... ANOTHER administrative task!  Oh, how the Lord works... 

Pray for our team. We had a rather critical staff desertion recently, then had to expel two students (Yup… if you set standards, they must be enforced), all on the heels of having 22 students yanked!

Pray for our team. We have been and continue to be tried and tested at every turn. Pray that we do not grow weary.

Click HERE to sign up for Prayer Updates

DONATE TO LAUNCH THE MOVE!

Gifts can also be mailed to us at:

VBM/Launch the Move

8765 Spring Cypress Rd

Suite L, Box 165

Spring, TX 77379

All gifts are tax deductible!

 

February Prayer Needs

Personal/Family

Please continue to pray for us as we settle into life and work here.

Also, please continue to pray for us as we are expecting several guests from different parts of the world over the next few months. Some are friends from the US. Others are potential ACU faculty. Others... well, just pray for the people who will be staying in our home over the next few months.

Pray for several personal evangelistic opportunities that have arisen recently.

KBC

Pray for the family's transition, and for new relationships.

Pray for me as I am added to the preaching rotation at KBC (10 Sundays/year... stay posted for dates)

ACU (URGENT!!!)

There is but one prayer request for ACU this month...

We just started the first term of our second year.  We have 4 BA students (should have had eight but the same we're dealing with now cost them their spots), and 25 Scholars Programme students.  However, all of this is scheduled to change at the end of the first term!

20 of our students in the Scholars Programme came to us from a very large orphan care ministry here in Lusaka (10 more had gotten in from another organization, but their ministry could not arrange support/funding).  

We were informed recently that, effective at the end of the first term ALL 20 STUDENTS WILL BE PULLED FROM THE PROGRAM!

This will be devastating for both the students and ACU. 

There are many details I could share.  However, I do not wish to start an 'internet war' with another ministry.  Nor do I wish to share things that are still being 'uncovered' on the ground.  

Please pray for these students.  Their (American) sponsors think they have paid for the entire year! Moreover, they have entered a program that has the potential to impact their lives like nothing else in this area.  For example... last year we had 25 students in the SP... a large number were from this same organization.  Among them:

-None understood the gospel clearly

-Half were members of cultic or heterodox groups (JWs, African neo-Pentecostals, etc.)

-NOT ONE OF THEM PASSED OUR ENTRANCE EXAM!

However, at the end of our gap-year program...

-Most had made credible professions of faith

-Most had renounced aberrant theology/doctrine

-EVERY ONE OF THEM WAS ACCEPTED INTO UNIVERSITY (huge when considering their academic status when they arrived)!

Now we have another crop with almost the exact same makeup of last year's group (there may be one who actually understands the gospel), and they are all going to be yanked!

Pray for these kids...

Pray for us...

Pray for our contingency plans...

Pray for funding to come in that will allow these kids to stay in the program even if their organization yanks their funding (about $30,000.00; that's right! for the cost of one year for one student at an over-priced, quasi-Christian, Liberal Arts school in the US, we can educate 20 kids here...  and that includes breakfast, lunch, and a Kindle!)

Pray that God will raise up churches, businesses, and individuals whose hearts will be pricked by this news

Pray that those responsible for pulling these kids will come to their senses... one of their directors here in Zambia, upon meeting with the kids after a single term last year, said, "I've never seen transformation like this!"  Yet they're pulling 20 kids the very next year!!!

Pray for our relationships with this organization.  We have always recognized the doctrinal distance between us.  However, we have had a good working relationship, nonetheless.  But this has fractured the relationship.  Especially as we hear more and more reports from the students themselves that paint a bleak picture of both the actions and motives of the leader(s).

Pray for our faith... the ACU team has been stretched in the past couple of years.  God has brought us to the brink on a number of occasions, and, while he always provides, it is easy to get discouraged.  Being half way around the world... having walked away from EVERYTHING to commit to this work... for some, having all their children not only out of the house, but now out of Africa... it is easy to begin to long for a 'word from the Lord' that will allow one to just call it quits and go back to America (or Canada, or wherever else we've come from).  

Click HERE to sign up for Prayer Updates

DONATE TO ACU!

(no gifts to VBM or LTM this month... we're directing EVERYTHING to ACU!)

All gifts are tax deductible!

January Prayer Needs

Personal/Family

Please continue to pray for us as we try to remain faithful and hopeful in the midst of several recent trials (see November requests).

Please pray for me as I travel to the US January 16-30 for the first of three annual tours in 2017.  

Pray for several meetings I will have with potential ACU donors as well.

Pray for my family as I am away.

Also, pray for us as we are expecting several guests from different parts of the world over the next few months.  Some are friends from the US.  Others are potential ACU faculty.  Others... well, just pray for the people who will be staying in our home over the next few months.

Pray for me as I conduct family and personal business and pick up supplies to bring back (running out of sriracha!).

Pray for several personal evangelistic opportunities that have arisen recently.

Also, please pray for us as we have lost a great deal of support recently due to a glitch in the links on this page. Many people have notified us of their inability to donate due to incorrect links. We apologize for that and hope you will try again.

KBC

Pray for the family's transition, and for new relationships.

Pray for the upcoming Mission's Conference the first week of February!

ACU

Pray for the start of our term.  The school year was scheduled to start 16 January, but has been postponed to the 23rd.

Also, we lost a professor the Thursday before the start of the term.  I don't have all the details yet, but there are a number of personal issues that will have to be resolved.  Pray for the professor.  Pray for his replacement.  Pray for the students in the course.  Pray for me in my role as Dean as I 

Pray for funding for our three South African Students!  They completed our Scholars Programme (the gap-year program), and all enrolled in the BA,  However, there has been a problem with their funding.  Please pray for our student sponsorship initiative.

Pray for us as the Lord has opened a door for us to have influence in Zambian legislation.  I had the privilege of being part of a working group that evaluated, edited, and amended an Education Act that is going before the Zambian Parliment in February.  It's a long story, but please pray for this open door.

Click HERE to sign up for Prayer Updates

DONATE TO LAUNCH THE MOVE!

Gifts can also be mailed to us at:

VBM/Launch the Move

8765 Spring Cypress Rd

Suite L, Box 165

Spring, TX 77379

All gifts are tax deductible!

 

December Prayer Needs

Personal/Family

Please continue to pray for us as we try to remain faithful and hopeful in the midst of several recent trials (see November requests).

Pray for 'end-of-the-year' giving!  While regular donations are our mainstay, many of the 'extra' things we need/do depend on end-of-the-year gifts.  Here are a few things we would like to be able to do shortly:

  1. Purchase a 'New' Vehicle:  This is a VBM/ACU project (in other words, we will not be able to take it with us when we leave, so we will eventually donate it to ACU).  We would like to buy a Land Rover Defender 110 Wagon (1991-1999; so, it's not exactly a NEW vehicle ;D).  These vehicles seat up to twelve passengers, and are made like TANKS!  They run forever, and through/over anything.  The older models have rear benches that bump the seating capacity up to 11 or 12... this is important for us since we are often driving on bad roads, and our 'bus' (2004 Toyota Hiace) is simply not made for that.  Also, we have had some breakdowns (had to replace a starter on the bus last night!), and with our current second vehicle (1991 Toyota Landcruiser we bought from a junk yard and are restoring... slowly), we are not able to ride together.  Also, when guests come (and want to go to the 'Bush,' we are not able to accommodate them in the Hiace.  Cost... about $15,000.00 to $20,000.00 (more than 1/3 of which is shipping from UK plus Tax/Duty!).  We would then donate, or sell our current 'second' vehicle (the BEAST).
  2. Return Trip/Furlough to the US in Late 2017:  We would like to get our family back to the US late next year.  We need to visit family and supporters, as well as enlist more supporting churches and individuals for both VBM and ACU.  This will involve plane fare, accommodation, etc.  Cost... $10,000.00-$18,000.00 (depending on timing, ticket prices, and other factors).
  3. Purchase a Whole-House Generator:  This is another VBM/ACU project.  Providentially, we are not experiencing the frequency and duration of power outages we were when we first arrived (then it was 8-12 hours of load shedding a day!).  However, we do have occasional outages, and will have more should we move.  This is something we also want to leave when we repatriate as ACU will need it (and more) in the future (we already donated an inverter to the school when we moved to our new location).  Cost... $10,000.00 plus approximately $2,000.00 for delivery and installation.
  4. Purchase Academic Regalia:  As Dean of Theological Education/Dean of the Seminary at ACU, I have stepped into the world of 'Professional Faculty.'  As such, I will be required to put on the full kit a couple of times a year.  Hence, it is time to pony up and purchase quality academic regalia.  Cost... $500.00-$1,000.00 (with shipping)

Most of these are not "must have" items.  However, they are things we need.  We are saving what we can to make these things happen.  Nevertheless, we know that there are people out there who want to invest in what we're doing.  They just don't have any idea what that means. Many have asked for lists like this to have a picture of what's going on and how they can help.  Thus, while it is quite uncomfortable to post a 'needs' list like this... here it is! 

We may do all, some, or none of these things in the coming year.  Nevertheless, these are the largest needs we face.  Please pray, and consider a tax deductible, end-of-the-year gift.  

Also, please pray for us as we have lost a great deal of support recently due to a glitch in the links on this page.  Many people have notified us of their inabiliby to donate due to incorrect links.  We apologize for that, and hope you will try again.

KBC

Please pray for wisdom as I have been asked to become involved more 'formally' in the teaching ministry at KBC.  With VBM tours (still our primary source of income), ACU teaching and administrative duties, home/family responsibilities, and Africa-based requests picking up, it will be tough to manage things here regarding logistics.  

Pray that I can communicate my priorities clearly, and not only have balance, but model that balance:

  1. My time belongs to my family BEFORE it belongs to the church... if I am not taking care of my duties as a husband and father, I am not qualified to do anything in the church (Titus 1; 1 Timothy 3). 
  2. My time belongs to my local church BEFORE it belongs to any other outside entity... this means a) I must not forsake my duties to my local congregation to accommodate requests from outside, and b) the outside events I do should bolster and expand the ministry of my local congregation.  This, of course, requires buy-in from the Elders at KBC.
  3. My time belongs to ACU... ACU is a ministry of the Reformed Baptist Churches of Zambia. As such, my commitment there is an extension and expression of my commitment to the local church.

These priorities will result in an itinerant ministry that a) allows me to travel enough to earn what I must in providing for my family, but not so much that I cannot fulfill my duties to them, b) allows me man the pulpit and minister to the people of my local congregation in a meaningful and substantial way, and c) allows me to fulfill my duties as Dean, and leverage my travels in an effort to raise the profile of, and raise funds for ACU. 

Pray that I am not only able to communicate these priorities effectively but also to pursue and achieve them to God's glory! 

ACU

Pray for our graduation ceremony Saturday, 17 December.

Please continue to pray for our registration process as we look forward to our first full term with BA/BS level students in January!

Pray for our location. The Chisamba location has insufficient water.  We are looking at another location south of Lusaka.  We have also secured a third house across the street from the two we occupy currently.  This will give us another year before we run out of space (2019).

Pray for team members who are currently raising support in an effort to get on the ground!

Pray for our Agriculture Department Chair as he and his wife just found out they are expecting, so they are delaying their arrival in Lusaka another year (which is fine since everyone in the BA/BS program starts off with the same classes for the first two years, but not fine because we want him and his family here NOW! ;D).

Pray for our new fundraising plan!  

Praise God for the Liza Looser and the Cirlot Agency in Jackson, MS and the amazing service they are providing to us (GRATIS) in our fundraising/branding/PR efforts!

Click HERE to sign up for Prayer Updates

DONATE TO LAUNCH THE MOVE!

Gifts can also be mailed to us at:

VBM/Launch the Move

8765 Spring Cypress Rd

Suite L, Box 165

Spring, TX 77379

All gifts are tax deductible!

 

November Prayer Needs

Personal/Family

Please pray for us as we try to remain faithful and hopeful in the midst of several recent trials:

  1. We had a major water crisis in mid-October while I was away on my European tour... several days with NO WATER!
  2. Our landlord finally agreed to a borehole/well.  It ended up a) costing twice as much as we anticipated, and b) being polluted... this led to the added expense of a water filtration system.
  3. We also discovered that our security company (we have 24hr security at our gate) was not paying their guards.  This was a major issue that I addressed with the company.  
  4. We had two of our children's bikes stolen.  Eventually we discovered that it was OUR GUARDS who were stealing from us.
  5. One of the culprits showed up for work drunk on what ended up being his (and the security company's last night)
  6. Hence, we have had to replace our security company (on the spot).
  7. We are now in the process of 'beefing up' security around our home, and trying to reassure our children.
  8. In the midst of these added expenses, our 1st Nov. support check did not arrive until 18 November!  This has caused several consequent issues.
  9. Perhaps the most difficult thing was Bridget's health.  As you may remember, she has Lupus. We have kept the symptoms under control with diet and exercise.  However, she recently had a terrible episode, and was completely incapacitated for a couple of days.  There does not appear to be any major organ involvement, but we are being vigilent and taking every precaution.  

Needless to say, this has been a tough period.  It seems every time we get 'settled,' something happens to knock us off balance.  

Pray that God will grant us peace, and faith.

Pray that God will heal my wife!

Pray that I will have wisdom as I guide my wife and children through these days.  I want to remind them that this is EXACTLY what we signed up for!  God has not forsaken or forgotten us.  He is merely showing us who we really are, and what we really value.  Pray that we see this!

KBC

Please pray for our new local church.  Pray that the Lord will guide our elders as they (and we) try to figure out the best and most appropriate way to plug my gifts into the mix.  Also pray for us as we adjust and adapt.

ACU

Pray for our students as they complete their final term.

Pray for our registration process as we look forward to our first full term with BA/BS level students in January!

Please pray for our team, and especially our Vice Chancellor, Dr. Ken Turnbull and his wife, Lisa.  They, too, have been battered lately.  Along with serious health issues of their own, their home was broken into and ransacked, and their vehicle stolen off of the property while they were away... to recover from some of the stress of recent events!  

There is another issue that has led to the termination of one of our staff members.

We seem to be under attack right now.  Please pray for us.  I have not been able to spend much time at ACU in recent days due to our issues at home.  Unfortunately, Ken has not been able to be present much either.  

Pray that we may rest in this:

“Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.” (1 Corinthians 15:58 ESV)

Click HERE to sign up for Prayer Updates

DONATE TO LAUNCH THE MOVE!

October Prayer Needs

Personal/Family

Praise the Lord for the sale of our house in Houston!

Thank you for partnering with us in prayer for the sale of our house.  Maintaining two households is always a daunting undertaking.  However, this time, we came close to the wire.  On paper, we should not have survived the overwhelming financial strain we were under.  However, the Lord saw us through.  Still, we could not have continued that way for much longer so, once again, the Lord showed up just in the nick of time!

Please continue to pray for the launch of the All New VBM website, complete with an online store!  It should have been done months ago, but we remain hopeful.

Please continue to pray for me as I work to complete my latest book. First, because it is an important project. Second, because it will bring much-needed financial relief.

Also, please pray for our fundraising efforts (see last update).  Another church has signed on to be a part of our support team!  Please pray that others will follow.  We continue to pray that the Lord will add TEN DONOR CHURCHES, and 100 individual donors.

Pray that we are able to communicate the ACU vision, and our place in it, more effectively.

Pray for me as I complete a lengthy European tour (Germany, Holland, Belgium, Sweden, Denmark, Scotland, and England).  The work has been fruitful.  Pray that God will use it.

Transition to Zambia

Pray for us as we have gone from electricity issues to water issues.  As I write this, I am on a European tour, and my family is at home with NO WATER!  This is the third or fourth time they have been in this predicament in the last couple of weeks.  Pray that 1) the Water Council will get their act together, 2) the owner of the house we are renting will agree to dig a bore hole/well, or 3) we will find a place with a more reliable water source and be able to move there.

Pray for us as we look to complete the process of joining Kabwata Baptist Church

GfBC

Continue to pray for our GfBC family as they continue to serve as the center of our support network.  Those churches joining our support network are doing so through GfBC.  We believe this is both prudent and biblical, and are grateful that our sending church is willing to play this role.  We want everything we do to scream, LOCAL CHURCH!

ACU

Pray for our students as they settle in to their final term. 

Pray for our faculty and staff. We are still in need of several key people, and it is very difficult to make that happen in this context where people must raise their own support.

Pray for my friend, (D), who has had to reschedule his visit to Zambia. Pray that God will grab ahold of his heart and call him to Zambia! He would be a much-needed addition... a potential game changer!

Pray for us as we begin the accreditation process for our BA programmes.

Click HERE to sign up for Prayer Updates

DONATE TO LAUNCH THE MOVE!

Urgent Prayer Update

One of the greatest fears facing those who serve the Lord in foreign lands is the prospect of the death of family members while we are away. Today, that fear was realized for my wife Bridget. Today, her father, Donald Frank Wilson, Sr., died in her hometown of Dallas, TX.


By God’s grace, we were able to see him when we were in the US a few weeks ago. We knew then that it would be our last time. His cancer had reached a point beyond which there was any medical help or hope. He was weak, frail, unable to talk, or even swallow. It was difficult to see him like that. It was even more difficult to wrap our minds around the fact that we would never see him again.

Please pray for us.

-Pray for Bridget as she grieves.

-Pray that the Lord will guard her heart from the guilt she will inevitably feel as she is reminded, once again, that she is the only member of her family who does not live in Dallas, and was not there.

-Pray that she will remember her father honestly, but graciously.

-Pray for me as I walk this road with my wife.

-Pray that I will resist the temptation to make light of grief by moving past it too quickly.

-Pray that we will remember that death is always an enemy; never a friend.

-Pray that I will remember that when our Lord comforted friends in the throes of grief over death, he did not do so with trite sayings; instead, he simply wept (Jn. 11:35).

July Prayer Needs

Things have been quite busy here. We have not had a prayer update since April.

Personal/Family

Praise the Lord for 27 years of marriage (June 30th was our Anniversary)!

Pray for a dear friendship that the Lord has been cultivating here.  It is a man who manages one of the finest restaurants in Lusaka (It is AMAZING!).  Bridget and I have frequented the place on many a 'Date Night,' and I have grown quite close with this manager.  He works six days/week and barely gets to see his wife and young daughter.  It has been a joy to encourage and get to know him.  However, we just learned that the restaurant burned to the ground while we were away and I have not been able to find my friend's contact.  Pray that I will get back in touch with him, and that the Lord will use me to minister to him during these difficult days.

Please continue to pray for the sale of our house. 

Also, pray for the launch of the All New VBM website, complete with an online store!

Pray for me as I work to complete my latest book.  First, because it is an important project.  Second, because it will bring much-needed financial relief.

Also, please pray for our fundraising efforts.  When we started, the plan was to minimize our personal fundraising by depending primarily on my quarterly preaching tours and book writing.  Unfortunately, what that did was put us in a position where we basically had to book events based entirely on financial needs/commitments.  None of us wants to see that!  I do not want to have to pass on events because they don't pay enough.  I have always included events in my schedule that were in parts of the world where people could afford to pay little or nothing.  I refuse to lose that.  Hence, VBM has had to become donor based for the first time EVER!  This is a difficult transition, and we are struggling right now.  In part, because I am living in Africa while trying to add donors in the US.  However, there is the added difficulty of churches and people simply not 'getting' what we're doing.  

Pray that the Lord will send us TEN DONOR CHURCHES, and 100 individual donors by month's end.

Pray that we are able to communicate the ACU vision, and our place in it, more effectively.

Praise God for the birth of our first grandchild, Walter Wynn Holmes, born June 6th!  Providentially, I had a preaching tour scheduled that allowed me and Bridget to get there shortly after the birth, and spend some time.  It was quite amazing!  To see pics, check out my Instagram Page.

Transition to Zambia

Pray for our children as they begin to expand their horizons here in Zambia.  Many of the boys are playing soccer.  We have also found a piano teacher, so Elijah and Asher will resume their lessons, and we found a dance/ballet school for Safya!  This is HUGE for a little girl with six brothers in the house!

Also, please pray for us as I begin to accept preaching opportunities here in Zambia.  I'll have to find a balance between ACU, my quarterly International Tours, and preaching opportunities here (which could be endless if we don't set limits).  Pray that we find a good, healthy balance.

Pray for us as we close in on joining a church here.  It has taken much longer than we anticipated due to our extended trip last December (read earlier prayer updates) which kept us from completing our visits to the six main Reformed Baptist Churches here in Lusaka (again, our plan was to spend 2-4 weeks at each church).  We have one more to visit, and we are eager to get settled.

GfBC

Continue to pray for our GfBC family as they adjust to ministry in a new building, a new neighborhood, and a new set of challenges and opportunities.

ACU

Pray for our students as they settle in to their second term.  The first term was a 'rude awakening' for most of them.  They have never experienced anything like this, and it is tough.  

Pray for our faculty and staff.  We are in need of several key people, and it is very difficult to make that happen in this context where people must raise their own support.  

Pray for my friend, (D), who is coming to visit next month.  Pray that God will grab ahold of his heart and call him to Zambia!  He would be a much-needed addition... a potential game changer!

Click HERE to sign up for Prayer Updates

DONATE TO LAUNCH THE MOVE!

April Prayer Needs

Personal/Family

This month's prayer update is late because I wanted to wait until we were back on the ground in Zambia... WE ARE HERE!  Please pray for us as we re-enter our new life here in Zambia.  We were gone much longer than we wanted, or intended to be.  Consequently, our adjustment/adaptation period has been interrupted.  Please pray that we will make up for lost time and hit the ground running.

Please continue to pray for the sale of our house.  It feels like we are dying a slow economic death as we struggle to support two households.  I've seen this happen to families before as they moved to Houston from other parts of the country (or the world), and it is not a pretty thing.  Nevertheless, God is good, and we continue to see his provision.  

Pray for Bridget and the children as they, once again, try to change gears and get back into the rhythm of home education in our new environment.

Please pray for us as we await the birth of our first grandchild in June!  

Transition to Zambia

Please pray for us as we enter the world of high-speed fiberoptic internet!!!  It's been here in Zambia for a while, but not everywhere.  While we were gone, it came to our area.  This is HUGE! Especially as we anticipate Skype calls with the new granchild... this also impacts our work at ACU in amazing ways.

GfBC

Pray for our GfBC family as they adjust to ministry in a new building, a new neighborhood, and a new set of challenges and opportunities.

ACU

ALERT!!!!! WE HAVE STUDENTS!  The first 25 students have started our "Scholars Programme" and we could not be more excited!  

Pray for the ACU team as I have returned to find two old faces gone, and several new faces here.  

Praise the Lord for a GINORMOUS financial gift I received on behalf of ACU the day before our return trip!  We still do not understand all the Lord was doing in extending our recent stay (see earlier prayer updates), but this is one thing he has shown us very clearly.  This donation comes from someone who is committed to making significant contributions to our efforts at ACU!  see more news about it at www.acu-usa.com in the coming days.

Click HERE to sign up for Prayer Updates

DONATE TO LAUNCH THE MOVE!

March Prayer Needs

Personal/Family

Please pray for us as we ride the adoption roller coaster. The baby was born later than expected (March 7th), and there's been a twist... the birthmother decided to parent. In other words, there will be no adoption.  This is bittersweet since 1) We are always happy to see families whole, and want to see birthmothers parent whenever possible, yet 2) We also know that this particular decision is being motivated by reasons that are "less-than-desirable."  Of course, I cannot share much, but what I can say is that our hearts are breaking as we endeavor to trust the Lord, both in terms of not understanding why all of this has happened the way it has, and in terms of our next steps.

Pray for baby and birthmother

Pray for Bridget as her grief will soon be compounded by my extended absence (Russia tour 12-29)

Pray for the Russia tour, and for me as I have to be away during these difficult days

Pray for our children as we try to explain to them why the baby they've been anticipating will not be coming home.

Pray that the Lord will give us wisdom as we talk to others who have been praying, working, hoping, and believing with us through this journey.  Our desire is that God would use even our difficulty to bring glory to himself, and to teach us to depend on him.

There is still an outside chance that this baby will end up with us.  If she does, numerous pieces will have to fall into place in a very short period of time.  Pray that the Lord works all of that out.

Pray that we do not become discouraged.  We've experienced this before, and it is always painful.  It is hard to prepare for a new child to come into the home, then turn on a dime and pray for that same child to flourish somewhere else.  However, that is exactly what we must do.

Pray that this experience does not discourage others from pursuing adoption!  We do not adopt because it is easy; we do it because it is right.  Our adoption in Christ (Rom 8:15, 23; 9:4; Gal 4:5; Eph 1:5) compels us to extend our hands and our heart toward children in need of a home.  This is often a painful process... even when things go according to plan!  

Transition to Zambia

Pray for our family as we pick up the pieces and make our way back to Zambia... empty handed

GfBC

Pray for our GfBC family as they have finally purchased a building! God moved in marvelous ways to make the purchase possible. The location is great. The facilities are great. And it looks like they will be in the building in time for the 10th Anniversary (April 7th)!

ACU

ALERT!!!!! ACU Received it's long-awaited Registration!

Pray for the team as the 'Scholars Programme' starts March 21st!

Click HERE to sign up for Prayer Updates

DONATE TO LAUNCH THE MOVE!

 

February Prayer Needs

As we continue to await the adoption of baby #10, we ask that you review January's prayer needs as well as the following...

Personal/Family

Please continue to pray for us as we extend our stay in the US.  We are staying with a wonderful family from our Conroe church plant.  They have given us the second story of their home, and have proven very gracious hosts!  

Pray for the safe and healthy delivery of our new daughter later this month!

Pray for Bridget and me as we prepare for baby duty... AGAIN!

Pray for the logistics to work out for us to be present as early as possible after the baby's birth

Pray for us as we try to finalize everything we need for our home study.

Pray for God's provision.

Pray for me as I have a number of writing projects due, and have had neither the time nor the resources necessary to finish them.

Praise God for the following:

1) Many of our prayer partners have responded indicating a desire to help financially and otherwise!  We thank God for his provision through his people!  We also want to make it easier for those wishing to donate, so VBM has set up an adoption fund (Donate HERE).

2) We contacted the lawyers who have handled six of our seven previous finalizations, and they contacted the Judge (before whom we have finalized five times).  HE IS WILLING TO WAVE THE SIX MONTH REQUIREMENT FOR FINALIZATION!  That means we will not have to a) stay several more months, or b) return to finalize!  Praise the LORD!

3) My preaching calendar is filling up (see here)!

Transition to Zambia

Pray for our children. We spent three months as nomads in 2015 before settling in Lusaka. Now it looks like we'll spend about that long as nomads in 2016 before the dust settles and we are back in our home in Zambia... which was just beginning to feel like our home before we left!

Pray for our new baby girl as we work (even before she's born) to get her to her new home in Africa!

GfBC

Pray for our GfBC family as they have finally purchased a building!  God moved in marvelous ways to make the purchase possible.  The location is great.  The facilities are great.  And it looks like they will be in the building in time for the 10th Anniversary (April 7th)!

ACU

Continue to pray that God will deliver us from bureaucracy and RED TAPE!

Pray for the team as several transitions take place (more later).

Click HERE to sign up for Prayer Updates

DONATE TO LAUNCH THE MOVE!

 

January Prayer Needs

This month's request is different... We have one major prayer request that will impact all the areas about which we normally ask for prayer! 

As you know, we are back in the US for our annual family visit.  The trip included our family vacation, time with family over the holidays, and my east coast preaching tour.  All of this was to culminate in Bridget's 50th Birthday Celebration in Dallas, TX (her hometown) with all of her family and friends on January 23rd, followed by my last preaching opportunity on the 24th, and our return to Zambia on January 25th.  

Well, all of that is still on schedule... sort of.  Turns out we got a very unexpected call from our adoption agency, and WE'VE BEEN OFFERED ANOTHER BABY!!!!

If you've followed our adoption journey, you know 1) our number was always ten, 2) we currently have nine children, and 3) due to our age and other issues, we thought we were DONE!  There were virtually no scenarios we could think of that would have caused our phone to ring... again.  However, through a series of unlikely events, it appears that God, in his providence, has brought us baby number ten!

The story is absolutely amazing, and we plan to share more details later.  However, for now, just let me say that the baby (a little girl!) is due at the end of February, and our plans (our entire lives) have changed.  

PLEASE PRAY FOR US!

Personal/Family

Pray for us as we extend our stay in the US in order to be here for placement in late February, early March.

Pray for all the things that need to happen in order for us to take the baby back to Zambia with us while we wait for finalization (otherwise, things could get VERY INTERESTING!)

Pray for us as we consider accommodations for the next couple of months.

Pray for us as we, once again, have a last-minute adoption opportunity for which we have not been able to plan (i.e., we've got to come up with about $10-$15K in a very short time, and we have NO IDEA how that's going to happen!).

To that end, pray that I fill up my calendar with preaching opportunities while I'm here (from the end of January to the middle of March, before I leave for my Russian tour).

Pray for all of our affairs in Lusaka that have to be set in order as we extend our stay in the US (I will likely return in February for a week or so to check on things).

Pray for the birthmother (we'll call her 'T').  We have worked with her before (which is the only reason we got this call), and there was NO WAY she should have even been able to get pregnant again!  She is shocked, bewildered, and, most likely, ashamed.  She must feel betrayed and quite confused.  Again, there's much more to the story.  Nevertheless, pray for 'T'.  Pray that God will give us time with her, and that he will use that time for his glory and her good.  This is NEVER just about a baby for us.  We desire to be used by God in the lives of each of our birthmothers.

Praise God with us as we thank him for growing our family!

Praise God with us as we now see why he DID NOT answer us in the affirmative concerning the sale of our house in Houston (it has hurt us financially, but, if it had sold, we would not have residency, and this adoption would not happen!).

And, oh, by the way... Praise God with us as we walk with our daughter, Jasmine, and our son-in-law, Phillip, as they are expecting our first grandbaby in June!!!  

Transition to Zambia

Pray for our children. We spent three months as nomads in 2015 before settling in Lusaka. Now it looks like we'll spend about that long as nomads in 2016 before the dust settles and we are back in our home in Zambia... which was just beginning to feel like our home before we left!

Pray for our new baby girl as we work (even before she's born) to get her to her new home in Africa!

GfBC

Pray for our GfBC family as they are extending hospitality to us during our unexpected stay!

ACU

Continue to pray that God will deliver us from bureaucracy and RED TAPE!

Please pray for me as I continue to work toward raising funds while I'm here in the US

Pray for the team back in Zambia as they continue the work.

Click HERE to sign up for Prayer Updates

DONATE TO LAUNCH THE MOVE!

December Prayer Needs

Personal/Family

Pray for us as we head back to the U.S. for our first return visit as a family (Yes!  God answered our prayers and made a way for us to return!).  It will be part vacation, part family reunion, part ACU fundraising tour, and part VBM preaching tour, capped of with Bridget's 50th Birthday celebration in her hometown, Dallas, TX on January 23rd! 

Continue to pray for Bridget's father as he battles cancer.

Pray for the upcoming US Winter Tour! It will be concentrated on