Favorite Memories

Having arrived back in Africa with Flying Mission Zambia after my 3 months in the states, I wanted to take a few minutes and just sit back and remember what God has done and some of my favorite memories so far.

 

Flying with and observing the doctors at work.

These doctors give up some of their weekends to fly with us out to rural villages to perform surgeries on people who would never make it to the big city for medical care.  I have really enjoyed the trips I have done with them and knowing that on each weekend we fly them to a rural part of Zambia 15-25 lives are made better because they can have the surgical procedure they desperately need.  I have also really enjoyed the fact that I can go and watch them at work, the operating room is much more accessible here in rural Zambia and I have enjoyed observing them.

Getting started on a little guy with Club Foot.

Getting started on a little guy with Club Foot.

Flying with the Zambia Wildlife Authority.

We have gotten the opportunity to fly with the Zambia Wildlife Authority several times to do aerial survey work in the national parks.  It is great for us to build relationships with them and to help with conservation efforts here in Zambia.  We get to see lots of cool things as well!

These was my ZAWA crew with our Airforce representative.

These was my ZAWA crew with our Airforce representative.

 

This is a sampling of the lines we flew throughout the park. Our GPS was recording it all.

This is a sampling of the lines we flew throughout the park. Our GPS was recording it all.

 

Saturday morning Bible Study

Almost every Saturday morning 5-15 young men come to my house to do a bible study for about an hour.  We have been slowly working our way through the main points of the whole Bible.  We are currently finishing Acts, and maybe will finish the study by early next year!  It has been rewarding to build some relationships with some of the boys and I hope to continue to deepen them the longer I stay.

Saturday Mornings on my back porch.

Saturday Mornings on my back porch.

 

My Cat Setting herself on Fire

My cat Randy always keeps me on my toes, and provides plenty of entertainment in my life.  She enjoys chasing a laser pointer all over my house and leaping up walls chasing after it, brings me plenty of still living mice, birds, and lizards just in case I’m hungry for a late night snack, and is always happy to see me (unless I haven’t brought any food for her or am going to lock her in the house).  A few weeks ago she topped it all though… burning candles to see at night is a normal thing with so many power cuts, and well cats are curious.  Needless to say she got too close to one and part of her fluffy backside went up in flames!  She quickly left the room after her fur and the candle went out, leaving us with the overpowering odor of burning hair.  Good thing she has 9 lives.

 

Notice the Brown area below the black fur. That was what was left of the fire.

Notice the Brown area below the black fur. That was what was left of the fire.

 

Joining with the Mwembeshi Village church to construct their building! 

The church is almost finished!  We have come such a long way and it has been rewarding to join with the congregation in raising money, and also worshiping with them on many Sunday mornings.  Check out the pictures in order over the last 2 1/2 years.

The church foundation, waiting for the slab!

The church foundation, waiting for the slab!

 

The new concrete slab for the church!

The new concrete slab for the church!

 

The walls are going up at the Church!

The walls are going up at the Church!

 

The ring beam has been set, just a few more layers of blocks and the church will be ready for the roof!

The ring beam has been set, just a few more layers of blocks and the church will be ready for the roof!

 

Almost done with the exterior of the building!

Almost done with the exterior of the building!

 

The roofing sheets have gone on! Just a few final touches remain.

The roofing sheets have gone on! Just a few final touches remain.

Well these are just a few memories that came to mind of what has happened in my time in Africa so far.  Hope you enjoyed them.  I am looking forward to many more as I continue to serve here in Zambia with Flying Mission.

Pictures are worth a 1000 words.

My house!!

My house!!

Just before I had to start bailing water out of the boat so we could stay afloat!!

Just before I had to start bailing water out of the boat so we could stay afloat!!

Local on the Zambezi!

Local on the Zambezi!

Sunset on the Zambezi River!

Sunset on the Zambezi River!

Up close and personal!

Up close and personal!

Lovely view before sunset.

Lovely view before sunset.

The beautiful "common bee eater"

The beautiful “common bee eater”

My (semi) sea worthy vessel on Lake Tanganyika.

My (semi) sea worthy vessel on Lake Tanganyika.

Hungry hungry hippos...

Hungry hungry hippos…

Almost looks like paradise!

Almost looks like paradise!

Zimbabwe off in the distance.  Can you see the bungee jumper?

Zimbabwe off in the distance. Can you see the bungee jumper?

Avionics upgrade on one of our airplanes!  It's gonna be nice.

Avionics upgrade on one of our airplanes! It’s gonna be nice.

The walls are going up at the Church!

The walls are going up at the Church!

My tools finally arrived!!!!  Yay!!

My tools finally arrived!!!! Yay!!

My cousins the Weaver birds!

My cousins the Weaver birds!

We got a nice welcome from the choir at the local baptist church when we arrived in Solwezi.

We got a nice welcome from the choir at the local baptist church when we arrived in Solwezi.

Fresh Fish!!

Fresh Fish!!

My little Gecko friend.

My little Gecko friend.

Mongu Harbor, anyone want some fresh fish??

Mongu Harbor, anyone want some fresh fish??

I learned a ton in my cultural orientation class!

I learned a ton in my cultural orientation class!

My living room!

My living room!

Driving in Lusaka is always exciting.  Driving in Lusaka is always exciting.

I often get stuck in heavy traffic.

I often get stuck in heavy traffic.

Swimming hole just off the Zambezi River.  No Crocodiles because it has rapids on both sides.

Swimming hole just off the Zambezi River. No Crocodiles because it has rapids on both sides.

Winter in Africa

Hello Friends and greetings from

chilly Zambia!

“Winter” has taken over in Zambia, and while it’s nothing near what I am used to from Ohio, it’s interesting to live in a house with no central heating or insulation.  When the temperature outside dips into the 40’s at night, the temperature inside quickly follows, and it makes for some chilly evenings and mornings!  However, the sun comes out almost everyday and warms things back up, so that is a nice difference from winter in Ohio!  Since my last letter I have gotten my official Zambian Commercial Pilot’s License and have been able to see much of the country from the air, including Victoria Falls which is included in the pictures!  It has been very fulfilling and gratifying to finally be doing what I felt called to so long ago, and I praise the Lord for sustaining and leading me to this point!

There have also been some challenges that have come along as well, and the greatest so far has been my need for reliable ground transportation.  The truck that I bought has continued cause problems and it even seems that whomever sent this truck to Africa intentionally made it to look good on the surface, but to be made up of worn out and bad parts underneath.  It’s also frustrating because I went through what seemed to be reputable sources to obtain it but still ended up in this spot, and while I have attempted to deal with the company, they have been unwilling to help.   It’s interesting really, and I think it illustrates one of the problems that Africa as a whole is facing.  Those that have interest in Africa for non “mission” reasons seem to mostly see it as a place to be used for their own personal gain.  Things that are substandard for “western” countries are sent to Africa where they are accepted because it’s the best they can get.  Certainly much of the aid is good and helpful, but it seems like the more Africa can stand on it’s own, the better off it will be (but I’ve only been here 5 months, so we’ll see what I think after a few years 🙂 ).  All that to say, I’ve decided to try to sell this truck to someone who might be better equipped deal with it, but because I’m going to be honest about the problems that it has, I probably won’t be able to get get back out of it what I have invested in.

SME (Share my Experience)

On to more enjoyable topics… Last time I left you wondering if I was “fit” enough to drive.  The good news is now that we knew what hours the hospital was open for examinations, we went back right at the opening time and 3 of us got exams passed in less than 30 mins!!  So I guess it’s really all about having the right information to do what needs to be done.  I’ll spare you the rest of the details on transferring my US driving license to a Zambian one, but three more trips to RTSA buildings and a 60 days of waiting for them to print and laminate my card (and you thought 45 mins at the BMV was bad…) and I have a official Zambian driving license!
This month though I want to share a little bit more about my “African Family” and the work that they are doing on building their church.  When I stayed with them, it was obvious that their current church building was too small for the congregation and not a good space at all.  I had been given some extra money from a few of you to use to bless some African’s however I felt led.  The church wanted so badly to begin building, but the concrete slab is the most expensive part and they didn’t have enough to lay it first.  They were considering building the walls and leaving the floor dirt, but I didn’t want them to have a church with a dirt floor!!  So I was able to step in and help!  With the money donated plus a little extra I had we were able to come up with enough to lay the slab!  The church is excited to have a floor and the walls will soon be going up.  They have enough blocks for the walls to go up about half way, and will continue to raise money until it’s all done!  It’s been a blessing to me to be used by the Lord to bless them with the floor they may never have had for their church!

If you have any questions or comments please email me, I’ll be happy to answer them and give you even more information on what life is like here in Zambia!

God’s Blessings on you all,

Jonathan

Want to see more pictures?  Check out my facebook page HERE (you don’t need to be a member to see the pictures).

The church foundation, waiting for the slab!

The church foundation, waiting for the slab!

The new concrete slab for the church!

The new concrete slab for the church!

Victoria Falls from the Air!!

Victoria Falls from the Air!!

Settling in Lusaka

Mwembeshi

Greetings from Zambia!

After an enjoyable two weeks living in a Zambian Village, I am settling into living in Lusaka, Zambia.

My village time was truly a blessing.  James and Elosia Shampande took me in for two weeks and allowed me to live with them and 5 of their kids on their farm in Mwembeshi, Zambia.  The Shampande’s have 7 kids total, but two are grown and married and live in the city.  James is a pastor at a local church in the village, but also farms his land with the help of his family.  They were very open and hospitable, and allowed me to see what life is like, and to ask any questions that I wanted.  I learned many things about Zambian culture, Nyanja (one of the many Zambian languages), and even a few things about farming.  🙂  Among other things I harvested beans, helped plow a field, and climbed inside a water tank to try to stop it from leaking!  We also visited other members of the church in the village, took a trip to a neighboring town called Mumbwa, went to James’s church, and visited a neighboring village church that he helped to plant.  I ate nshima (a cornmeal paste) and assorted side dishes with my hands, for almost every meal, and slept in a mud brick hut with a thatched roof.  My time in the village was very enjoyable, and the Shampande’s have told me that they will be my African family and I am welcome anytime!

A few interesting things about current village living… they have electricity, cell phones, a freezer, and even a TV!!  Life is certainly not plush or easy, but it is interesting to see how modern things are working their way even into the African bush.

I am scheduled to finish my cultural orientation this week, and begin my flight orientation next week.  I have learned much so far, but I know there are still many things to learn!  I am excited to start flying and seeing more of the Zambian countryside.  The rainy season is ending so it will be nice to see things before they turn brown during the dry season!

I am still looking for a quality vehicle at a reasonable price so that is a major prayer concern!!  I will be housesitting for another missionary who is on furlough for the next 2 1/2 months, and she is also letting my drive her car until I find my own, so that is a major blessing!

Thank you to all of those who have been praying and thinking about me!  I appreciate all of the comments and emails, even if I do not respond to them very quickly!  The internet here is very slow and expensive, but hey, at least I can connect and communicate!  I have uploaded some pictures to Facebook from my village stay and you can see them by clicking HERE.  Even if you do not have Facebook you can see the content on my page!

Praises For:

  • A safe, healthy, and enjoyable time in the Zambian Village!
  • Having a temporary house to live in and car to drive while I find my own.
  • The many new things I have learned thus far about Zambia and it’s people!
  • The many ways the Lord is blessing me in this transition.

Prayers For:

  • Finding a good vehicle at a reasonable price!! (Yes I’m still looking!)
  • Continued focus on God during the transition.
  • Safety as I begin flying, and wisdom as I begin writing my tests and transferring my licenses over to Zambia.

Send me Mail!!!!
Jonathan Weaver
Postnet #197, P/Bag E891
Lusaka, Zambia

Mud brick hut with a thatched roof!

Mud brick hut with a thatched roof!

My African Family!

My African Family!