Recent Posts from the Mumena Team

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

A National Geographic Moment by Noah & Bryson Davis



(As you read this, hum to yourself the National Geographic song… it makes for a more exciting experience.)
Today we were bored.  It was hot and all of our friends were in school.  But then an idea popped into our heads: let’s go on a safari and catch the wild antlion of Central Africa.  So we set out to find the bug.  They make holes in the sand and wait for ants to fall in.  Then they stick their heads out and pull the ant under devouring him in a horrible way.  We found a whopper which we named, Harold, and put him in a jar of dirt.  It wasn’t long before he had made himself a hole.  We gave him some ants, so he should be happy for awhile.


God Bless,
Noah & Bryson   

MISSIONARY JOURNEY: A New Journey

              

While sitting around the camp fire and watching the sun set, forty leaders of the church sang a farewell to me, Noah, and Bryson.  I have known that our new journey is soon to begin, but after some 17 years in Africa, it is a bit surreal.  Christ’s mission, however, is not just a matter for a far away, unknown land; rather, it is a way of life for those of us in His Kingdom.  Sondra, Noah, Bryson, and I are looking forward to serving in that way of life in our new role in the ministry of missions & evangelism at the Hillcrest church of Christ in Abilene, Texas.  We are being privileged the opportunity to continue assisting in the works that mean so much to us both abroad and at home, and for that we are so thankful. 
                Over the next few months, I hope to use the “Missionary Journey” to let you catch a glimpse into the ups and downs of a missionary’s reverse culture shock.  One of the blessings, however, of a return home is the great opportunity to see our loved ones face to face once again!

I will come to you: for I trust to see you in my journey”  Romans 15:24   KJV


Because of Christ,
Brian, Sondra, Noah, & Bryson

Friday, March 2, 2012

MISSIONARY JOURNEY: Sam Rodriguez

“But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry.”  2 Timothy 4:5  NIV  
                Sam Rodriguez is experiencing what happens to a missionary apprentice when one combines the gift of prayer with the heart of evangelizing:  preaching points!  Preaching points are groups of people who invite a missionary to present the Word of God to them on a weekly basis.  Out of preaching points grow our church plants.  Sam has discovered that there are no guarantees in regards to preaching points.  Sometimes people show-up; sometimes they don’t.  Some people reject the Word; some put on Jesus in baptism.  Regardless, the duties must be discharged!

“But the Lord stood at my side and gave me strength, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed…”  2 Timothy 4:17  NIV

Because of Christ,
Brian, Sondra, Noah, & Bryson


Pictured above:  apprentice Sam Rodriguez.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

MISSIONARY JOURNEY: Ellie Rodriguez

"Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of heaven."  Matthew 19:14  NKJV
      Ellie has a heart big enough for every child she meets!  And she sets up Bible studies with most of those.  One of the big missionary skills that Ellie is mastering is that missionaries have to work through the hands of Christian adults in order for our works to be indigenous and sustainable.  Add to this challenge the low level of literacy among our women of the Kaonde tribe, and one sees how difficult this task can be.  A lack of literacy causes women to fear using the Bible; many would prefer Ellie to just teach the classes for the children.  But Ellie has to use tough love to insist that the women of the church plants “stir up their gifts” and learn to teach their own children.  Missionaries have to work ourselves out of a job.  The gratifying aspect of this approach is twofold:
1.       We will be able to reach another dark corner of the world with the light of the Gospel.
2.       Long after we are gone, those we have trained will still be teaching the words of Jesus in their village!
Taking the long view,
Brian, Sondra, Noah, & Bryson


Pictured above:  Ellie teaching ladies how to teach their own children from the Bible.

MISSIONARY JOURNEY: Whitney Davis


If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; from now on you know Him, and have seen Him."   John 14:7  NASB


                The first time I became aware of Whitney’s gifting in communication was with the myriad of communiqu├ęs that we had to process for the U.S. Ambassador to Zambia as he visited Mumena Christian Outreach Center.  Among the Kaonde, communication hinges on relationships.  As Christians, our communication with the Divine hinges on our covenant relationship with our Savior.  It is always amazing to watch Whitney using her communication skills as she forms relationships with the lowliest to the greatest.  Whitney has a gift for using those relationships for the missionary skill of introducing people to Jesus!
    
Building eternal relationships,
Brian, Sondra, Noah, & Bryson


Pictured above:  Whitney greeting the U.S. Ambassador to Zambia.



MISSIONARY JOURNEY: Jeremy Davis

“And his disciples asked him, saying, What might this parable be?”  Luke 8:9  KJV

               One of the skills of a missionary that must be taught to an apprentice is “how to ask the right questions”.  Jeremy is certainly gifted with this quality.  I don’t believe that I have ever had so many books open at the same time - in order to answer Jeremy’s questions - as I have had over the last 11 months.  Come to think of it, I don’t think that I have ever had as many of the books in my library on loan at one time as I have this year with Jeremy around!  This insatiable desire to “know” is only matched by Jeremy’s passion to teach.  And because he asks the right questions of the people in the village, Jeremy is mastering the missionary skill of “contextualization”… the finding of the right words in the local language and culture to communicate the Biblical meaning of a passage of scripture.
    
“For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.”  Luke 11:10 NIV
Trying to keep up,
Brian, Sondra, Noah, & Bryson


Pictured above:  Jeremy teaching in our annual Bible college for church leaders.



Wednesday, January 11, 2012

MISSIONARY JOURNEY: Erin Davis

“but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord .”  Joshua 24:15  KJV

 

                In a land ruled by fear of the dead members of one’s own family, one of the first tasks of the missionary is to help establish Christian homes.  Erin has a passion for helping families along the journey of becoming more Christ-like day by day.  Conversion to the Lordship of Christ is just the first step.  Letting Christ permeate our most private relationships and thoughts is a lifelong process.  One of the missionary skills Erin has been studying is how to challenge a “pagan worldview” (how a culture in the world views reality) with the worldview of the culture of God.  This is a particularly difficult skill to become comfortable with because we as missionaries have to hold up our own cultural worldview to God’s way of seeing reality in order to help another culture do the same.  This skill is important because if a person isn’t thinking within the parameters of what God says is real, a person will be hard pressed to make a faith decision concerning those divine realities.  What all missionaries ultimately discover is that it is just as painful for a missionary to go through this as it is for a lost person to go through it.

 

“And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free."  John 8:32  NKJV

 

It is absolutely worth it, though!

Brian, Sondra, Noah, & Bryson

 

 

Pictured above:  Erin teaching ladies about the first family.