17 July 2019

Last day in Zambia

Hello from Lusaka!

Yesterday we made the 10-hour trip back from Livingstone and God granted us safe travel once again. The drive gave us another chance to observe the gorgeous Zambian countryside before we head back towards home tomorrow.
Today was set aside for resting, packing, and picking up our last few souvenirs from a nearby curio market. 

The past two weeks have been filled with so many blessings and eye-opening experiences; God definitely fulfilled what He had purposed through the 2019 mission helper trip. While it's exciting to see kids' faces light up when they hear the Gospel or ask questions about the Bible, it is even more uplifting to know that God is working in the hearts of the children we reached and that He gave us the words He wanted us to say while here. 


16 July 2019

Our Last Teaching Day

July 16 - Tanzania

Today we had our last teaching day. We went out to a small orphanage nearby and taught 15 children. The children were excited to see us when we came and listened intently to our lessons.

When we finished our lessons a few of the children danced and sang for us. Then we handed out gifts of charms, candy, pens, and some clothes.

When it was time for us to leave, everyone waved goodbye with bright smiles on their faces. Those smiling faces will for sure be a lasting memory in our minds and we will be thinking of these children often.

- Valerie Barthels

14 July 2019

Our Father Who Art in Heaven

Hello from Livingstone, Zambia!

Yesterday Pastor Joel gave a seminar to area pastors and others who came to listen. He went through the parts of the Lord's Prayer and what each petition means. The pastors were eager to ask questions and gain insight in order to better serve their congregations.

Today we had church here in Livingstone. Pastor Joel gave a sermon on The Rich Man and Poor Lazarus. We joined in joyful noise as we sang hymns we know and listened to vernacular worship music as well.

We got another look at Victoria Falls today. Someone back home graciously sent money for the group to enjoy a helicopter ride over the Zambezi and Falls. It was beautiful! We saw again a clear example of the intelligence of our Creator.

"For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse." (Romans 1:20)

Tomorrow is our last teaching day, and we are sad to see this Mission Trip coming to an end. Many thanks to all who made this possible for us!

-Dannie Gamble

13 July 2019

Today We Build

July 13

Hello from Arusha, Tanzania.

Today we headed out to a building project that is going on for one of the local churches. The current church building is starting to fall apart so they created a foundation nearby and started laying down the cement bricks today. We assisted by moving the bricks closer to where they needed to be. Then we brought sand over in a wheel barrow to be mixed with cement.

We may have been helping with the building a church today but on Monday we will be back there to teach our lessons to help build up the faith of the local children. For a building is just a building if it lacks the truth of God's word.

Matthew 7:24
"Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock"

-Valerie Barthels

Travel Day for Team TZ

July 12

Team Tanzania

Today was a travel day! Fred helped us load up the van in Korogwe and we began the 8hr trip to Arusha. The scenery was very pretty and we passed through many towns. It reminded me of why we came here. The living conditions are not the best here in Tanzania and most people spend their entire day working and outside. We could pack our bags with food and aid but that does nothing for their soul. We come to proclaim Gods saving word. We know the grace of God is of far greater importance than the material items needed in this life. Below are some photos of the schools and churches we have had the privilege of visiting so far! It is truly an amazing experience to see each kids face light up as we ask them questions, sing songs, and share the word of God. We will spend the next 6 days helping build a church and teaching our lessons to the congregations near Arusha. 

Photo with Pastor Michael Gondwe and Children. 

Pictured are some children listening in on our lesson at a school in Korogwe. 

My Maasai Friends! 

- Abigail Stelter

12 July 2019

Victoria Falls

Hello all!

Today we got to visit Victoria Falls! We spent a few hours hiking along the paths there, bumping into several baboons on the way. They were quite entertaining to watch, especially one of the babies drinking water out of an old Coke bottle. At one point a large group of them made loud screeching noises and charged two of us, leaving a cloud of dust behind. We survived the "attack."

As fun as the baboons were to watch, the falls were even more breathtaking. Gazing up at the powerful streams and feeling the cool mist rising was an amazing experience. It's no wonder that "God saw that it was good" when He created Victoria Falls a few thousand years ago.

Right before we left, we ran into the same school that we taught yesterday. The teachers and students were happy to see us again, and they seemed to be enjoying their field trip. We also enjoyed our field trip and look forward to teaching more children soon.

 - Henry

July 11- Zambia

Today we had opportunity to visit 3 schools in Livingstone and teach about 300 kids. Sereal, a French man from our hostel, came along with us after becoming interested in our work. He was heard saying to some students later, "it's been a great experience, thank you for letting me visit."

When we'd finished at all of today's schools, a couple of the local pastors took us through a wild elephant habitat and to a lookout at the top of one of the oldest trees in Zambia. 

Hard to believe we have less than a week left in Africa! 

See you soon, 

11 July 2019

Scripture Alone

Today we taught in Korogwe at a public school. We started with around 80 kids but others started pouring in as news spread that there were people from America around. We didn't get an accurate head count but our estimate was around 250 kids. As you can see from the pictures, there was quite a crowd! Many of the children were Muslim. 

One thing I have noticed about Tanzania is that Christianity is very prevalent here. However, it is a brand of Christianity that compromises the Word of God. Prosperity gospel-if you do good things, Jesus will give you blessings and make you successful-is everywhere. True Christianity, centered on Christ's redemptive work, is hard to find. As a result, many people in Tanzania do not have that certain hope found in the pages of Scripture. What they have is the fallible word of man. 

While it may be hard to find the truth of God's Word here in Tanzania, it can be found. It can be found in CLC-TZ churches and in the hearts of the pastors and lay people we work with.  And my prayer is that it will be found in the  hearts of the children we teach. 

Please keep these children in your prayers that they may continue to learn the truths found only in the Word of God so that they may have the certain hope of salvation through faith alone in God alone! 

- Josh Ohlmann 

Team Zambia // 7-10-19

Hello from Livingstone, Zambia!
   Yesterday was a big travel day for us. Before we left our driver said to Pastor Ibrahim, "Man of God, pray for us." One of many things I have appreciated while we've been here is how often we pray together. 10 hours in the van got us to our hostel in Livingstone by evening.
   Today we taught at 4 schools. I love to see how the children love singing praises. My favorite is their version of 'Jesus Loves Me' The teacher sings 'Jesus Loves Me' and the children reply 'YES I KNOW' very enthusiasticly.
   Unfortunately we only reached 4 of the 6 schools we hoped to today, but we plan to return to one of those we missed tomorrow.
   We continue to pray for the Lord's aid in teaching the Word to these children. Pray that the Holy Spirit plants faith in their hearts and grows their understanding of the Word and their love for their Savior.
      -Dannie Gamble

10 July 2019

A Joyful Goodbye

Greetings from Tanzania!

Today we started our morning with a delicious breakfast provided by a congregation in Korogwe. Following that we headed out to teach a small group of preschoolers. They seemed to really enjoy all of our presentations and pictures. One was even playing with some of cutout characters from my lesson. Then we got back on the road to head to a school where we taught 70+ teenagers who found our lessons to be very fun despite the fact we were prepared for teaching younger children. Then we took a break for lunch where we received another very delicious meal from the congregation. Then we all, including some members of the congregation, piled into the van to go to one last location. It was a very packed van with 13 of us piled inside a 10 person van but we made it to the last location safe and sound. Here we taught close to 50 more very well behaved children. We ended our lessons with them by singing "Here is The Cross" as well as a few songs in Swahili. Then all the kids waved goodbye as we drove away.

We ended our day back with the Korogwe congregation who wanted to say goodbye. They presented us with songs of praise through their incredible singing voices. Their musical abilities are surely a gift from God that they joyfully use to praise His name. As they were singing one of their hymns, they presented us with gifts of fabric that they made for us to wear. We asured them that these gifts would always remind us of them and their wonderful singing. Then Pastor Ohlmann said a prayer for the congregation and gave them God's blessing before we headed back to our hotel for the night. It was a very busy day but one I'm sure none of us will forget.

-Valerie Barthels

Team TZ Blog Post - July 7

(I wrote this a couple days ago when we  didn't have internet to get it posted.)

Sunday, July 7 
Team Tanzania
We are settling in our tents for the night after a long day of traveling, worship, and teaching! This morning we left Moshi and attended church with Pastor Malyi. As we arrived we were greeted with singing and treated to coffee before the service. The service was full of singing praises to the Lord! Pastor Todd also delivered a very nice sermon. It addressed raising Lazarus from the dead and how, through the power of the Gospel spoken by Jesus, Martha put her trust into the Lord even before a miracle was performed. We are reminded to believe by faith and not by sight. The Mission Helpers joined in and sang some English hymns, we also sang God Loves me Dearly in Swahili "Mungu Ni Pendo" that the congregation really enjoyed! 

We were given a delicious meal before heading off to the Pare' district. It was a bit of a drive through sandy and winding roads. When we finally arrived at  Neema's house all the children ran out to great us. 

We pitched our tents before it got dark and then began our lessons. The Children listened very carefully and even honestly answered our question. As Noah taught how the deciples were scared of a terrible storm the children added they were scared of elephants and lions as well. We handed out gifts and sang even more until it was too dark to continue. Neema was very kind and invited us to dinner and tea before we returned to our tents for the night. 

Another busy day packed with worship for the Lord! We will camp out in the Pare district for two nights and will continue more teaching to the Ruvu Maasai children in the morning. Please continue to pray for safe travels and good health not only for the Mission helpers but also for all the children who travel to hear us teach.

Abigail Stelter 

09 July 2019

Last day in Lusaka... For now

Good evening from Team Zambia! Our last day in Lusaka (until we return on the 16th) was a busy one as we traveled to four schools and an orphanage, teaching more than 500 children over the course of about 8 hours. For some of the larger schools we divided them into groups and split up into teaching teams of two. The students seemed as happy to listen to us as we were to teach them.

When teaching so many children about such important things, it can be easy to get nervous, especially considering the fact that many of the children rarely have opportunities to hear God's Word taught in it's truth and purity. That's when it is reassuring to remember that the power is not in my own words, preparation, or wisdom. Rather, the Holy Spirit working through the Gospel of Christ is "the power of God unto salvation."

The children had lots of good questions for us, especially at the last school. It is good to see them searching the Scriptures for answers at such a young age, knowing that the Scriptures are able to make them wise for salvation through faith in Christ.

Your prayers for the children of Zambia and Tanzania are requested and appreciated as we continue to teach them the Word of Truth. Also don't forget to pray for all of the children in India that we were unable to reach this year.

- Henry

07 July 2019

"I praise You my King, You are worthy to be praised" — Team Zambia 7/7/19

   Sunday worship was held at one of the schools we taught at earlier this week. Pastor Fleischer gave a sermon focusing on prayer and "Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us."
   Pastor Ibrahim mixed in hymns in English, Swahili, and local languages Bemba and Nyanja. It was really special to worship with the members of the church here in Lusaka, despite language and culture.
   Some of the young people from the congregation led a few songs. One of which especially was impressed on our minds throughout the day — "I praise You my King, You are worthy to be praised"

-Dannie Gamble

06 July 2019

Picture this— July 6th in Zambia

Hello from Lusaka! Today Team Zambia headed out of the city to teach about 80 kids in a remote village church. On arrival, the children greeted us with songs of praise as we walked through the door. 
They all listened attentively to our lessons and enthusiastically took picture after picture with us once we stepped outside. 
One of the adults present, Rafael, took us up the side of a mountain nearby and showed us the extraordinary views of Zambia. 
It amazes me every time I see these kids' faith light up their eyes and hear them shout answers found only in God's Word. 
We are all so blessed to be spending these weeks in this beautiful country with these incredible people! 

Thank God for not blessing the rains down in Africa!

Hello from Tanzania!

Today is is our third full day here in Tanzania and it was spent teaching 50 kids in Msitu Wa Tembo. It was only an hour long journey that took us through a dry riverbed that could not have been crossed in wet conditions. The kids were incredible at listening and paying close attention to the lessons we taught. I thank God for the confidence He gives me to be able to stand in front of so many people and proclaim His Word. Like how Peter doubted Jesus in the "Jesus Walks on Water" story Valerie is teaching, I had my doubts about being able to speak in front of so many people. I put my trust in the Lord and He enabled me to relax and share His Truth. I'm looking forward to teaching countless new faces as our trip progresses! 


p.s. the food here is amazing!

July 5 - Zambia

Greetings from Team Zambia!

Today we were given the privilege of visiting two more schools in the Lusaka area to bring them the Word of God. Over 150 children and several adults were able to hear the good news that we brought.

So far we've had great health, weather, and food, and we rejoice that we are able to bring a much greater message. The good news of who Jesus is and what He has done for this world full of sinners is something we should all be excited to share!

Please continue to pray for these opportunities to spread the Gospel and take comfort in God's promise that His Word shall not return empty, but accomplish what He pleases.

 - Henry

04 July 2019

Team Zambia

  July 4th is usually filled with the excitement of firework shows. This July 4th was met with a very different kind of excitement for us.
  Our first full day here in Zambia was spent teaching kids in Lusaka. We went to 3 schools with approximately 100 kids each, some as young as 3 years old. It was incredible to see how excited the kids were that we were there and how willing many of them were to listen.
  We taught the kids about what Christ gives them and distributed little trinkets with images and Bible Passages on them. The kids were so thankful for everything.
  The kids ran up and hugged us before we left, crowding around us. To see the love they have for even strangers was a good reminder of the love we should have for everyone.

From Lusaka,
Dannie Gamble

28 June 2019

Leaving Soon...

The 2019 CLC Mission Helpers to East Africa are counting down the days until their July 2nd departure. This trip will allow nine CLC volunteers the opportunity and privilege of proclaiming God's saving word to more many children in Tanzania and Zambia. Some of these children will be members of CLC affiliated congregations, but most of them will not. For many of the the children this will be first time they have heard a clear and Biblical presentation of the Good News of Jesus Christ as the one who died and rose from the dead for their sins!

A Dala Dala
waiting for more passengers in Tanzania
The nine Mission Helpers will divide into two teams and travel separately to their destinations. The two teams will fly together from Chicago to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. From there they will split up and fly to Kilimanjaro, Tanzania and Lusaka, Zambia. Buses, Dala Dalas, and rented vehicles will take them to a variety cities, towns, and villages where they will proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ. 

Team Tanzania
Todd Ohlmann (St. Louis, MO)
Josh Ohlmann (Sleepy Eye, MN)
Noah Ohlmann (St. Louis, MO)
Abi Stelter (Mankato, MN)
Valerie Barthels (Austin, MN)

Team Zambia
Joel Fleischer (Sioux Falls, SD)
Henry Lau (Eau Claire, WI)
Katherine Reim (Eau Claire, WI)
Dani Gamble (Inver Grove Heights, MN)

Please pray that the Lord would give an abundance of wisdom, love, compassion, patience, and safety to the Mission Helpers and to those they go to serve as the Gospel is proclaimed to many children in several villages throughout Tanzania, and Zambia. Pray also for the pastors and church leaders who have spent much time and effort preparing for this Gospel outreach opportunity.