It has been a long time since I posted. Life gets you busy – you know? I took a trip to Zimbabwe at the end of October through most of the month of November. I had a very busy ministry schedule there. I was back in Zambia for just a couple days before I flew out to the USA. I was in the USA for six months. I went back to get married! I traveled to lots of churches. I got to know my in-laws a bit better – which was nice. Hopefully I will write a little more faithfully now that I am back in Zambia. Just below here I am going to post our latest ministry newsletter. Blessings!
The last number of months have been quite a whirlwind for both of us! Following the second term of Bible School here in Zambia in October, Justin took a three week trip to Zimbabwe to re-connect with old contacts in Harare, and also to connect with new ones both in Harare and Bulawayo. Upon his return to Zambia, Justin was urged to go back to the states as soon as possible- in order to give us time together before our March wedding. He returned home November 23rd. As most of you know, we were engaged on December 3, 2012. We had a very FAST three month engagement and were married on March 9, 2013.
Following our honeymoon, we made some visits to several Zion churches. We visited Scotia, New York; Concord, New Hampshire; Starville, Michigan; Manassas, Virginia; Erie, Pennsylvania. We enjoyed these visits immensely! It was also a wonderful blessing to both of us to be able to attend our FIRST Spring Pastor’s Convention as a married couple in April. It was at this Convention that Zion Ministerial Institute, Zambia, received its official affiliation papers! Before we even realized, our departure date was quickly upon us. We did our best to pack our lives up in a couple of suitcases and flew out of Buffalo on May 14th.
After a slight delay in Dubai, we arrived on May 17th in Lusaka, Zambia. It has been a busy few weeks as we have not only tried to settle in to life together here, but also we have had to prepare for our 4th Bible School term here at Zion Ministerial Institute Zambia. There were a lot of things for Justin to catch up on, as he had been away for the 3rd term of classes- it was great to have Tom Steffy and Andrew Hamilton to fill in for him! So while he has been busy with administration, Alyssa has been busy getting settled and adjusted to life here in Zambia. It is quite a different world for her than Canada, but God’s grace has been sufficient.
We are so thankful for all your prayers concerning Alyssa’s visa situation. We were able to go to immigration and with VERY LITTLE hassle, within a week we had her added onto Justin’s employment permit. We know without a doubt that this was the hand of the Lord moved by the prayers of His people! Thank you!
June 3rd was the first day of classes. Justin taught David and Solomon the first week, and this week he is teaching Psalms 1-50. Something that has been an encouragement to us has been teaching the students some Zion songs. We were able to bring a piano with us, so we spend the first 15 minutes of class learning new songs and worshipping the Lord together. We have sensed a wonderful presence of the Lord in our classroom! It has been so very encouraging to see what God is doing- birthing a knowledge of true worship in the hearts of our students! That is truly a work that only God can do!
We have been blessed with an increase in students this term as well. We have 3 new students in class and also some new distance education students.
We have also been able to visit several local churches. Justin has preached a couple of times. It has been interesting for Alyssa to experience an African church service- very different than what we are used to!
In the month of March, a new school opened up in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe under Ps. Reuben Katuri. Justin is the one overseeing its operation and arranging for Zion teachers to teach classes there. Tom Steffy and Andrew Hamilton each spent 3 weeks there teaching courses for their 1st term. Their 2nd term begins in August. Please also pray for them to catch the vision!
We so appreciate the support of those back home, both financially and spiritually! We cannot do it without your prayers, so please don’t stop! J Thank you, thank you, thank you!
Please pray specifically for:
- Continued grace for Alyssa as she adjusts to life in Zambia
- Continued direction and clarity of vision for the ministry here
- That God would continue to bring us the students he has chosen and birth the vision of Zion in them
- Continued provision for every need
- An abundance of wisdom for both of us
Ps. Justin & Alyssa Steward