So many people only dream of getting to travel to distant lands to share the Good News of Jesus Christ. Our family is overwhelmed by the blessings that God has poured out to enable us to take a trip to Africa to visit family and to see the way God is using them to share the Gospel. In our own small way, we were able to contribute to the advancement of the Gospel by bringing them supplies, encouragement and joining them in their ministry for a few weeks.
Our crew was kindly brought to the airport by Priscilla’s sister Rebekah as well as pastor Shrader. We brought ten suitcases of special supplies for John and Esther Shrader and their family. Special things that they have a hard time finding or getting over there.
Once we got on the airplane, our children were able to settle in and get ready for the long travel. The plane was very comfortable and it was not very full, so we were blessed to spread out and have plenty of room.
This little girl was happy to lay flat and we were glad that she could get some rest.
David and Nathan Keller enjoyed traveling out of the United States for their first time.
After 19 and a half hours in one airplane, were glad to finally reach Ethiopia for an overnight that we provided through the airline.
We were so happy to land in Zambia. A place where Priscilla’s sister and her family have lived for nearly six years.
The reunion was sweet. Several of the children were not even born the last time both of our whole families were together.
Ministry is not a job that you do, but a life of giving, caring, loving and serving. There are no posted hours of operation, but each opportunity that the Lord brings across our path. We are so grateful for John’s alertness and sensitivity to the leading of the Holy Spirit in knowing when to take time to minister to those he comes in contact with. These luggage porters were grateful for the books of John and Romans that he gave each of them and for the time John took to explain the study resources that went with it.
Esther and the children prepared everything so nicely for our arrival.
The beds were beautifully draped with the mosquitoes netting. Even with windows and doors with screens, these little creatures still try to find their way into the home, so the netting was helpful for our stay.
Mealtimes were special times for fellowship.
The very evening we arrived, we made in time for a youth meeting which was in preparation for the outreach we did the next day with a special community back-to-school event for children.
The children were so grateful for the special pencils, erasers, pencil sharpeners and little treats to eat.
David was privileged to share several messages with various groups during our time in Zambia. We were amazed at their attentiveness. This particular church is accustomed to messages that are well over an hour long. The freedom to share was something so special.
Priscilla enjoyed some times of teaching and sharing with the ladies. Sometimes it was simply spending time together that meant a lot to these sweet mommas.
Our children really enjoyed getting to know the young people that they met as well as spending time with their cousins.
Nathan and David enjoyed getting to know some of the young men of the church who are growing and developing as leaders in the church.
Phillip and cousins Our kids love playing in the dirt Enjoying ice cream Half the Keller children Girls Bible study Davia and her bed complete with netting A special story with every person we met. Rubber band tricks
On Sunday, we had a special baptismal service followed by dinner on the grounds. Priscilla helped the ladies of the church and learned how they make their local staple–Nshima. It is basically a very thick cornmeal porridge.
In addition to the local staple, they had some various other dishes that we ate. On the upper right is beans. Following clockwise, the next is some cabbage followed by fried caterpillars and finally some fried minnows. The last two are local favorites.
Here is a bag of the dried caterpillars before they were fried. They actually have become a favorite of Priscilla’s sister Esther.
We were very pleased with how brave our children were to try new things. They did quite well with the food overall. For the most part, we at American foods, but when we were with the Zambians, we ate their foods.
David enjoyed working with some of the guys to put together some special music. They really enjoyed singing together. In fact, when they went out on some ministry and tract distribution, they did some singing as well. Check it out below:
With all of the very memorable moments, one that is burned into our minds is the tremendous openness the people have to talking about the Word of God. While superstition and many false teachers have infiltrated much of the nation, God’s Word is something that is eternal and the basis for unshakable faith. Vacation
While there, we enjoyed a spectacular time on a vacation with the Shraders. They were so gracious and sacrificially generous to treat us to some amazing experiences.
I think we left part of our heart in Africa, not only with our family there, but also the brothers and sisters in Christ that we met and had sweet fellowship with during our short stay. One of our children asked, “Can we live here and not go home?”