Tuesday, July 31, 2012


As I sat in church this past Sunday, I have to admit I was uncomfortable. We meet in a shelter with low walls and the wind was blowing hard. It was COLD. I sat on the edge of the concrete bench, trying to touch as little of it as possible, shivering. I tried to keep my mouth closed because my teeth already felt caked with dirt. I tried to listen to my husband deliver a Sunday School lesson. I was uncomfortable. I started to think about all of the other churches meeting that morning. Some sat in America in plush pews but with broken hearts...others probably gathered under a tree in Uganda, with their bellies empty and no shetler over their head as they sang praises to God. And then there were those who probably didn't carry a Bible to church. Intead, they dress in "normal" clothes and pretend to attend a party at their friends' house. These believers gather and cringe when they hear footsteps outside, wondering if this will be the day their illegal church is discovered. God softly spoke to my heart. Actually, God softfly rebuked my heart! I realized then what a privilege it is to gather together all over the world on Sunday mornings with believers and to be a part of Christ's church. Even with dirty teeth. ;)

Saturday, July 28, 2012

The Bus is Here!!

Last Fall, when we were on furlough in the USA, we started a fundraiser for a 29 passenger bus for the orphanage. In a couple of short months, many of you donated and we were able to reach our goal of $30,000! We ordered the bus from Japan. It is an older model but has low mileage because it was a hotel shuttle bus for years. We are very pleased with it and look forward to taking many field trips in the coming years! THANK YOU to everyone who donated!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

A new life for Joseph!

5 year old Joseph arrived at New Day today! Joseph is a double orphan from Isoka, Zambia (where my sister lives!) He was living with his grandmother about 4 hours from New Day. He arrived today, a bit overwhelmed, but we are so excited to get to see his first smile and watch him become a part of the New Day family! Thank you Jesus for Joseph! Mulenga does a good job of making the boys feel at home when they arrive!
Ben & Phillip took Joseph to the Lukondo house to see his new room!
Margaret quickly tried on Joseph's new shoes - they fit! :)

Clanton, Alabama Team

We have had a great time with Christy, Sonya, & Mandy this week! They made t-shirts with all of the staff and kids, helped teach school, helped corral kids on a field trip, attended Bible study, played tons of puzzles and games with the kids, and helped us sort all of the donated clothes for orphans!
Surrounded by mountains of kids' clothes!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Goodbye Nick! :(

It's hard to describe the amazingness of Nick Smith! A few months ago, we were contacted by another missionary who had a distant relative wanting to come and volunteer at an orphanage. We had never met Nick, but we got to know him through emails and decided we would give a long-term volunteer a try.....and we are so glad we did! Nick gave up 6 weeks of his summer to pour himself into the lives of the New Day family. He spent much more time with the Zambians than he did with the Americans. Even when he did eat with us, he usually rushed back to the other side of the orphanage so he could tell the kids good night. He cooked American food for the kitchen, like hot dogs and homemade potato chips. He wiped away tears and bandaged owies. He rushed pregnant women to the hospital to have babies on 2 different occasions, and he has the biggest heart of any 19 year old boy we have ever seen. He is a stellar athlete and by far the best kickball player we have, but during kickball games we would have to remind him it was his turn to kick because between kicks he was sitting on the grass with 3-4 kids climbing all over him. He made it a point to learn the name of every worker at New Day, even the day workers he may only see once a week. He joined a local soccer team and bonded with the other players, most of whom do not know Jesus. Nick became a part of our family here and we are so grateful for his sacrifice. He will forever be in the hearts of everyone here at New Day, and Nick..we will make sure the kids NEVER forget you! Nick and all of the New Day kids
Nick looking at Cambree's card - it said "Nick heart Cambree. I love you. You love me." She ADORES Nick and will miss him so much!!
Nick and Cynthia
We gave Nick a Zambian chess set as a going away present :)
Nick also bonded with all of our New Day staffers
Nick was often seen with a guitar in his hands!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

New Day Field Trip!!

Busy times at New Day! We currently have 3 friends from Clanton, Alabama visiting for a week! Mandie, Christy, and Sonya have all been to Zambia over 4 times each so it doesn't feel like a volunteer team as much as it just feels like having some friends visit! Yesterday we took our first field trip at New Day! We all dressed in our new blue shirts and headed about 20 miles away to the Mbawofa Agriculture Show. It was similar to a county fair in the USA with dancing, ceremonies, sports, and booths. The neatest part was that they gave New Day a spot in the program, and our children performed The Redeemer Drama, an evangelistic play, and then Michelle shared the Gospel! Afterwards, several people came up to Elizabeth with potential orphans for New Day, so we will be busy with orphan visits in the coming weeks! Please pray for wisdom for Elizabeth and others going on these visits! Enjoy the pics! Big Girl Axer :)
Ben was so proud to carry Nick's backpack around all day :)
Blu getting some Christina love :)
These were the grass booths set up to sell local grown items! So neat!
We were so shocked to come upon one booth that was decorated with some of the windsocks made at last week's VBS!! Apparently the seller's children had attended and she thought it made a good booth decoration :)
Cason and Mrs. Sonya, one of our friends visiting from Clanton, Alabama this week!
This was the group painted with spears who danced to greet the chief. Wes then drove the chief in his truck to the ceremony.
Another one of our Clanton friends, Mandie, with Christina
The group walking to a soccer match.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Pictures and Birthdays! :)

New Day Kids in their new tshirts from LifeSpring Church!
The entire New Day crew! :)
We had to get a silly face picture!
Birthday time! Machila turns 8 on July 17th!
And Christina turned 4 on July 9th!
Christina loved her play shoes, necklaces, cell phone, and purse!
Look at this! Joyce recently did a sewing class with one of our teams (Dee Kohler) and she made this adorable dress for Christina for her birthday!!! :)
Christina's first introduction to the birthday water pouring!
Me getting some Axer love :)

Friday, July 13, 2012

"Martha" Arrives & Darbi Gets Some Culture! :)

The following is my email back to our families from today - I thought it might make an interesting blog post! :) Hey ya'll! It is 7:30pm and we are sitting here in the dark - lately power is out 2 hours every Monday and Friday nights. We could get used to that if they would keep it on a schedule! Today was an unusual day!! We left at 8am for Choma with Debbie & Nick. We first stopped at a huge dairy farm about 40 minutes from here. They are white farmers who produce 2,000 liters of milk each day! The milk company, Parmalat, sends a milk truck every day for their milk! Anyway, they are so nice and had agreed to sell a cow to us. They have TONS of land and it is absolutely GORGEOUS - probably the prettiest place I"ve seen in Zambia!! So we dropped off one puppy and Debbie & Nick to figure out the cow details and we headed to Choma with plans to arrive back for lunch. Choma was normal, except at Spar! It is the 5th anniversary of Spar in Choma, so they were doing all these promotions, so as we checked out with 3 huge baskets, they stop us and ask us to copy our receipts and pop two balloons to win prizes.. So we each win a tshirt and have to take pictures with our shirts with the whole Spar staff - it was chaos!! So anyway we arrive back at the farm for our meal. She told us it would be a cold lunch. Mike's father came to Zambia from England in the 20's, and Jill's grandfather was a farmer here, so they are both truly Zambian. Anyway, so we first sit down in the veranda for pre-dinner drinks. (Water and juice, though they offered gin & tonic!) Then they said once we were all settled with drinks, we went in for the meal. The table was formally set and I was so nervous!! I was definitely very aware of my table manners! (Blu never once used his napkin!) We had cold meatloaf, salad, boiled potatoes, beetroot, and homemade bread. It was so good! There were two bowls on the table, and I asked what one was. Jill looked at me funny and said "mayonnaise..." I looked at my plate and couldn't figure out what mayonnaise could be for, so I look in the other bowl and she says "That's green tomato chutney." Aha, I think! Something for my salad! So I put in on my salad and Mike looks a little funny at my plate. I start eating and finally Mike says "Do you eat chutney??" We said "No..." And he said "Oh..well we usually put it on our meat." LOL Oops!! I was so embarrassed, but honestly it tasted good on both! :) As we finished our meal, she brought out dessert. It was an apple and tomato crumble with fresh cream from their cows on top! It was good! We were all feeling very full when she said "Ok now it's time for cheese and crackers!" She brought out a big tray of salty crackers with homemade cream cheese and a cheddar type of cheese. It was here that Debbie used the wrong knife for the cheese and it was her turn to be embarrassed! The meal was over at that point, but we were told we needed to go back to the veranda for tea and coffee! So we head out there and have some delicious fancy tea (chamomille and lavender for me!) with more fresh cream! Then they bring out the chocolate!! :) The meal began at 12:45 and we finished at 3pm :) I could get used to lunches like that!! After that, Blu & Debbie finished the discussions of the cow, and arranged for transport of "Martha" to New Day. She is a gorgeous cow and should have her calf around September 17. And after that we will have milk and make butter, cheese, etc!! It was truly a GREAT day of new cultural experiences and excitement for New Day to become more self-sufficient! This family was so friendly and invited us to come back with the kids to tour the farm! We ended the night with supper at the Wilcoxes because we got back so late, and now the kids are asleep so we will head back over there for games! Love you all tons! Darbi :)

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Construction Update

School building!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Lifespring Church - Omaha, Nebraska

Lifespring Church is with us this week doing ministry at New Day! There are several things going on. First of all, several team members are helping out in the New Day school by teaching electives! (Today during Skills class, the kids learned how to properly brush their teeth!) Secondly, the team is conducting a Vacation Bible School for the children who live in villages surrounding New Day. Yesterday the morning VBS had 11 kids, while the afternoon VBS had 91 kids!! The kids are so excited and are learningi Bible studies, singing songs, making crafts, and playing games! Finally, Pastor Steve is conducting a Staff Retreat for the New Day staff. This is a wonderful time of refreshment, worship, and Bible study for our very tired staff! (I totally almost fell off of the chair taking this picture!)
Pastor Steve is doing a great job!
Michelle, Mulenga, & Debbie in a small group
Playing music sticks at VBS
It was amazing to see 91 kids share 16 markers!
The kids LOVED the racing game!
Christina helped Cambree during tutorials
Denise and Caedmon hard at work on subtraction

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Coulter Road Baptist Church - Amarillo, Texas

We have had a blast doing ministry with the Amarillo team (yay for Texans!!) at New Day this past week! Robyn, Alice, Tara, & Debra put on two different women's conferences - one at Mapanza Baptist and one at New Day. We had 71 women in attendance and learned about raising children, jealousy, and of course how to receive Jesus into your heart. On the last day, 13 women made this decision to make Jesus their Lord! Bob & Luke spent a lot of time working on....you guessed it...the cheese cave :) They built a door and spent a lot of time driving our tractor! They also helped out a lot with the kids while the women were all in the conference! Another thing this team did was put on two career days for our New Day school! The kids learned about farming (Bob), doctors (Luke), Texas classrooms (Debra & Robyn), and working in an office (Tara & Alice). The kids loved it! Thank you Amarillo team for your sacrifice and for celebrating the 4th with us here at New Day! Dr. Luke at Career Day
Phillip receives a phone call in his office at Career Day
Debra & Priscilla participate in a skit
We had 71 women crammed into our shelter!
Women's meetings are always good for a few laughs, as you can see with Precious, Alice, & Oshinaty! :)
3 days of rest before LifeSpring Church from Bellevue, Nebraska arrives for more minisry! :)