One Year Later…

I didn’t plan to take an entire year between last post and this one, but a lot has happened (to put it mildly) and apparently the blog took a back seat. Way, way to the back. I’m not really sure how to sum up the past 12 months, but I would like to share a recent family picture in front of our home on the campus of Justo Mwale University in Lusaka, Zambia. We’ve been in country for almost 9 months, and in this house for about 5.

Thank you to all of you that have prayed for us, written to us, called over voice or video despite the many hours of time zone differences to sort out, and generally just kept up with us as best you could over these months. We miss family and friends, desperately some days, but we are also being given more family and friends here in Zambia. The two most recent sermons at our church here in Lusaka taught us more about Jesus as the Vine and how we are grafted into Him for our good, and His glory. There was a beautiful reminder to us that God’s family is not confined to the situation and experiences we grew up with, and we count it a privilege, as well as a mandate, to live as branches of Jesus wherever we are. We are curious and excited to see how God will work in us and through us, and we pray that we may bear fruit as we remain in Him. I hope to share some stories and pictures along the way.

“Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing. John 15:5 NLT

“For God is working in [us], giving [us] the desire and the power to do what pleases him.” Philippians 2:13 NLT


2 thoughts on “One Year Later…

  1. Jody thanks so much for posting, enjoyed the photo of your family in front of your new home. We pray it is feeling more like home all the time. I thank you too for sharing how you so miss friends but God is also giving friends and a church family. We cannot realize what you and Ryan and family experience except thru your blog sharing and then we can pray more specifically. 🙏 so thanks again.

    I (Gloria) started going to water aerobics around the first of the year and have recently seen Evan a couple times as he lifeguards us – probably a little boring and sometimes humorous I imagine. The water exercise is good for my back as arthritis makes me stiff and slow.

    It was also good to read the newsletter about your work at the seminary Ryan, praying for you and the students.

    We have been blessed to be able to attend the grandchildrens’ sports and this weekend Marion County fair projects. Our garden is doing well and we are waiting for tomatoes to ripen.

    The love and grace of our Lord Jesus be with you

    Gloria & Ken Van Zee


  2. Dear Friends in Christ.  How lovely to hear from you. Also to realize
    that the vines which Jesus plants are curiously different from those one
    which we grow into initially in one’s  home country and then into the
    one into which Jesus transplants us.  How many years do you expect to be
    living in Zambia?  Are some of the kids in university or still in
    secondary school? An international school? Is everyone learning the
    local language? It would be great if you could all learn it. I do look
    forward to more photos and stories.  Will try to keep you in my my
    prayers.  How many years do you expect to be there?   Thinking of you. 
    In faith friendship   Ute Gerbrandt   613-633-3762


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