Zambia or Bust!


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Many of you probably received this letter in the mail, but in case you didn’t, read on! :)

Greetings to you all! We are writing you because we are bursting with excitement over an incredible thing God is doing in our hearts and lives and we want to share it with you!

Last year we prayed about going to Africa on a mission trip serving children who have been orphaned as a result of the AIDS epidemic. God told us, “This is right, but not right now.” This past year we have prayed asking God what His desire for us is in the summer of 2006. We feel the resounding answer has been, “GO!” God is calling us to minister to AIDS orphans in Zambia this summer and has put so much excitement and passion into us for His children and His work there. We are going with an organization called Family Legacy Missions International (FLMI), and we will be doing Camp LIFE June 15th-27th. You can visit their website at www.legacymissions.org. We know there are some incredible things God wants to do in the lives of His children there, and we desire to offer ourselves completely to Him to be used for those purposes. We would like to invite you to take part in this journey with us – by supporting our mission through prayer, and if you feel led, financially as well.

I (Laura) was given a very real and powerful vision while praying in December over this ministry. God showed me face after face of little Zambian orphans, and I knew they were the faces of the children Brian and I will meet this summer. The sight of their faces left me weeping, and I was reminded how individually God loves and cares for each one of us. That simple truth blows my mind. We were originally motivated by heartbreaking statistics such as those found in the accompanying newsletter—like the fact that 1 in 3 children in Zambia have lost at least one parent to AIDS. But seeing those faces moved them from an abstract group of numbers that need help to very real individual children. Children who desperately need to know love, tender care, and their worth. We feel God has been preparing us through our current jobs to be a part of providing these things to those very deserving little ones!

One thing that we really love about FMLI is that we have seen how they are very discipleship-minded. We will be a part of (and you, as well, as part of our support team!) sharing the Good News with these orphans, and then investing in their lives (through FMLI’s year-round work with the orphans) as they become not just believers in Christ, but followers of Him as well. We are driven by three very strong hopes. First, that each one of the kids God brings into our lives this summer would feel special because people have come from very far away to love on them; and through that, they might understand how Christ also found them so special that He would go to the greatest lengths imaginable for them. Second, we hope that they have such a spectacular week that for a short time, they could be able to just be kids and forget about the things they don’t have and discover one awesome thing that they do have – a heavenly Father, who loves them immensely and is with them always. Finally, we hope that as they grow into Zambia’s adults with a personal and strong relationship with God, that it would have a transformative effect on their entire generation, their children and their country, so that they all can know God and know Him as their Father!

The thought of you all joining us in prayer over this trip is exciting! How awesome will this chorus of voices sound as we pray for these precious children? The children of Africa have been referred to time and again as “the forgotten children”—but we will not forget them!

The cost of this mission trip for us together comes to $7,000.00. This amount includes the cost of producing “camp” for 5,000 orphans over six weeks this summer—facility rentals, transportation, food, activity supplies, a new shirt for the orphans (most of whom have never owned a “new” anything!), and a team of Zambian workers. Individually speaking, for each missionary that goes, FLMI is able to bring 50 more orphans to camp! The cost also includes travel and lodging expenses for us. We know this is a huge amount of money, and trusting that God will provide is a huge (and sweet) walk of Faith. The first half of the money is due at the end of February, and the total is due at the end of April. We’d really appreciate your prayerfully considering joining us on this mission trip through financial support.

We also have a DVD that FMLI has created from the last few summers, and we are going to try to put some videos up here so you can see the camp! We love you each and pray for God’s love and grace to fill you in abundance!

If you have questions about the trip you can leave a comment here on the blog or e-mail us at lrhea@irvingbible.org or rheab@cfbisd.edu.

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3 thoughts on “Zambia or Bust!”

  1. Can I go too????? Many best wishes in this endeavor. I know how much this program will mean to so many precioius children who need your love and need to know that people care. And I’d love to participate! Mom

  2. so many things to say

    1) dont tempt me in a crease off

    2) this is awesome! you guys are finally going to go overseas! i got the letter, and my check will be in the mail.

    3) so…have a house…done with overseas…car with extra cargo space…do yall know what i’m getting at? hmmmmm???

  3. Shailen is referring to a comment I made on his blog about the iron that his parents got him for his birthday. Yes, you read that correctly.

    We’ve got a link to him over on the right under Amigos. Shailen Ji’s blog is hilarious…as evidenced by this gem…

    “a guilty pleasure of mine is “my super sweet 16″ on MTV. these girls are straight up bitches. i mean seriously, if my daughter ever acts like the way some of these kids do, i will slap them until my hand hurts and then slap her for making my hand hurt. and by slap i mean be very disappointed in my parenting abilities.”

    that’s solid gold, baby.

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