Saturday, June 28, 2014

Indian Surprise

I only really had one concern for Africa besides snakes: getting sick.

A month into our trip it happened. Headache, chills, and body aches.

Malaria is big here. A precious friend and team member had nearly died from a case of malaria that went cerebral a few weeks before. So we were taking every precaution.

It would be our first experience with third world clinics. When we got to the clinic we signed in like normal. It was the first time in my life I didn’t actually know what my address was or have a phone number… I just responded with Rapid 14 in Nsongwe. They took my temp, blood pressure, and weight. Then we waited in a waiting room. The doctor was out, but would be back soon.

When the doctor arrived we went into his office. He wrote down my symptoms on a white piece of paper. He thought from my symptoms I either had malaria or typhoid fever. The symptoms are similar for both. His exam table was also in his office. There was PVC pipe that was hung and then a thin sheet to close the exam area off.

The doctor had me get on the examination table and kept saying my stomach was super swollen. I had already told him that it was my “time of the month”- hence the swollen stomach. He kept pushing until it hurt saying, “Your stomach is swollen!” I responded that perhaps I was just fat?

After that we walked to the lab where he pricked my finger for blood. I would get a test for malaria similar to what diabetics use to test their blood sugar, and then he would also put it on a slide to check my blood under the microscope. We waited in the waiting room.

When he came back the doctor brought us back into the office. As it turned out I didn’t have malaria or typhoid fever, praise the Lord! He thought maybe it was just a stomach thing. There was someone who was just sick on base that went to him and the blood samples looked similar with a lot of lymphocytes in our blood. I couldn’t understand everything the doctor was saying because he had a very strong accent. He mentioned something about an indian surprise and injection. I turned around and looked at Joe who nodded. Turns out he was telling us about an antibiotic shot. “Don’t worry”, he said,” we do these all the time in my country!” We paid for our visit, antibiotics, and the shot, but for safety sake Overland wanted us to get my blood tested at the hospital too.

When we got to the hospital we were directed to the lab for the blood work. While they were pricking my finger I noticed other blood samples on the counter. We’re not in Kansas anymore Toto… There were also some seriously sick people who were also waiting in the waiting room for their tests or results. I prayed for their healing and that whatever they had was not contagious. After the blood was tested and put under the microscope, they also saw no malaria! Thank you Jesus!

After that we headed back to the clinic so I could get my “indian surprise”. Guess where they put the shots here in Africa? I’ll give you one guess. Not only did I get a “surprise” but I had to pull my pants down for it too. Very humbling. 

I felt much better after the shot though and by Sunday I was MUCH better! I don’t want to go to the clinic anytime soon, but I’m glad they’re here. I was blessed with friends who drove me to the doctor/hospital, checked on me regularly, and stopped in to pray for me. Not to mention my amazing husband and daughter who took great care of me!

In His Love, 

Thursday, June 26, 2014



We left base camp in Nsongwe and went to Shoprite in Livingstone to grab supplies before we headed into the Sekute Chiefdom. We were super excited and were able to have lunch at our favorite spot. We arrived a little late so we had to get settled really fast and put our stuff up and then took off to the village of Sikabimba to show the Jesus film. We had a local dinner with nshima (maize meal) and rape (similar to collard greens). It was very good! While we waited we were able to hang out with some of the men, women, and children. We sang many songs and even danced. After we were done we went to the spot to show the Jesus film. To make the film screen we used two poles of wood dug into the ground and a string that connected to a white bed sheet. Overland is equipped with some technology that allows for the film to be shown which is really neat (some have never seen a film). The film was awesome! It was in their own language, they speak Tsonga and Toka Leya in this area, so they were able to comprehend it. After the film, Joe was asked to preach to the crowd. Did I mention that it was freezing out? Joe delivered a simple Gospel message and asked for a response. Most of the crowd responded, about 70 people prayed to receive Christ, not everyone did but one is enough. We had set up a bible study in the same place to follow up and share the Word of God the next day. One of the ways that ministry happens and starts is setting up bible studies by way of the Jesus film, this helps people really grow and become a disciple of Christ. The church is lacking in this area but with prayer and Jesus, people shall become disciples as they are poured into. Some of the people, not all, have a desire to know God personally and intimately.

We went back to our village; we are staying in a local built village with huts, kitchen, long drop (This is the bathroom- Kendall calls them long dumps), and other living quarters. It is an amazing area, we were spoiled with beds as well, some had to sleep on the ground but since we had a family, they let us have the more comfortable hut. We must be well slept to do ministry fully. This place even had a shower. (Spoiled) We went to sleep right when we got back because the rest of the week we had three bible studies set up each day for the week with two leaders meeting on Friday. One of the ways that Sector Managers do ministry more efficiently is setting up an offsite living area with the villagers.


We were up early on Tuesday. We had 3 villages to go to for Bible Study. One of our team members suffered from terrible motion sickness. The roads we were driving down were incredibly bumpy and rough. She was on the verge of being sick, so we all just laid hands on her and prayed. When we got to the first village, Siakwaya, our team member stayed in the car. Every bible starts with worship and then we split into ministry teams so we could do men and women’s ministry separately. One of the things to remember was among the men. We had about 15 men, varied in age. Most of it was sharing about how to walk out this life. We talked a lot about forgiveness and spiritual warfare.  A 92-year-old man who walks everywhere came to the bible study, he comes all the time. He forgot last week and was very upset about it, to the point that he wanted us to pray about it for him so he wouldn’t forget. The question came to mind, “How do we feel when we miss time with God??” Is He that important in our life? Most of the bible studies ended in us praying for them and with them as time permitted. In our group we ended up having 35 women that morning! After we got into the car and drove down the road we found that God had healed our team member of her motion sickness! It was awesome! The next bible study was at the village of Sikabimba where we shared the Jesus film at the night before. There were probably thirteen women and children in our group. Our last village of the day, Kambwe, we had bible study under an enormous tree. We had around 15 men and a few younger children. The men in this group are well versed, this is a strong bible study, been going on for 2 years. Most of them are leaders in the area, 2 of the men travel to where ever the bible study is (over 15miles by bike). I preached on following the Holy Spirit and walking out this life in Christ. We talked a lot from Ephesians and Galatians. Questions at this bible study were about forgiveness. A lot of people want to do the right thing but they don’t realize who they really are in Christ. It’s the same in the US. We shared a lot about there standing before God and how to walk their relationship out. We shared a lot with Pastor Enoch, as he is a leader amongst the community, we also live on his land. We had five ladies and then many children. In this village they had just built a new church. That night Pastor Enoch’s wife Judas made us a good dinner of beans and nshima. There was even cooked pigeon! We discussed many things with the Pastor, understanding the area we are in. We also talked about family life, building relationship.


Our first village of the day, Sikokwani, started with everyone playing frisbee with the kids and teaching them how to throw them. They loved it. This bible study we had some questions about how to forgive people who have wronged us? It would seem this is an extremely hard thing to do here just like it is in America. You have to understand that everything here is done in community so if something happens, it affects all, think about your neighborhood, do you know the people around you? If you aren’t part of the community no one helps you- ever. It’s super important here to be a part of the community. What about your churches? Do you make it an effort to talk to someone you don’t know?? Looking at the early church, they were in community to where no one was in need??

We talked with the men about how to walk out the relationship, and what a real relationship looks like. We also talked about the difference between light and darkness. I drew a line in the sand and talked about serving the one true God and not the devil. I asked them about which side they were on and if they were trying to still be in the world. We also talked about what is the job of the corporate body of Christ? We had about 18 men.  In the ladies group there was probably 15 ladies and more children and babies. They shared that there was malaria in their villages, which is surprising since there isn’t much water in Sekute.

After that we went to the next village, Nzwenga, we had probably the same amount of ladies. There was a little girl there that was dressed like Cinderella. It was beautiful. We only had 2 men but they spoke English according to them, was very hard to understand. I felt God lead us to share about prayer and the importance of it. We tied this in to walking out life in the Spirit. They had some questions about Anointing of the Spirit, Baptism (what is right), and church.

The next bible study was in Siambezi. It was off the side of the road instead of being in a village like the rest of our studies. This is where we only had three men but they were all leaders. We talked a lot about marriage here with them as well as being married to the church. God really spoke to one man there because he was very angry (you could feel the heat coming off of him) with a man in his area because he was always getting drunk and causing problems. Remember community living! And He was the Senior Headman which means he oversees many men in charge of their areas. He had asked how we are to forgive people like this. I explained to him that God expected us to forgive regardless and to pray for him and do good to him. (Matthew) We told him that God holds us to a higher standard and we must set the example regardless of what people do. We also talked about how important it was as a leader to set the right example. We tried to help him understand that God has set us apart and we must adhere to the Word so that we set the example of light in a dark world. Here there were close to eight ladies. We had a really good discussion about forgiveness when the ladies asked about it. The ladies were so animated when we were discussing it and how God has called us to be different. After that we headed to Pastor Felix’s house to have dinner. We had chicken (real chicken that was running around earlier in the day), nshima, and relish (sliced cabbage and tomatoes). After dinner we headed out to Mukuni, where we would hold the Jesus film. I’m not kidding, as the film went on there were people coming out of the woodwork! There were probably 200 people there by the time the film was over! We shared the Gospel and probably 100-150 prayed to receive Christ. It was awesome! After the film we put on some music and danced for a while. We would have bible study here the next morning!


Our first bible study was where we held the Jesus film the night before, Mukuni. We had about 7 ladies at our bible study. We did have a few men, since we just watched the film; we talked a lot about Jesus and what it really means to follow him. Not many questions though, people were still wondering about Jesus and who He really was. We had an awesome time of sharing what God has done for all of us. Our next bible study in Manono had a special treat for us. It’s called maheu. It’s a drink made from maize. Kendall did not love it. (We have a video!) I can’t explain exactly what it tastes like other than that you must drink and chew it simultaneously. I’m sure that helps… Zambians love it! Usually the drink is fermented, but they had just made it fresh for us. This is where we had about 60 people total. Preached a lot on light in a dark world. We drew a line in the sand and talked about what side we were on and that we can’t live in both sides for we will hate the 1 master and love the other. Leadership was well represented here and questions were very good. There were probably 30 women there! They were very interested in us and asked questions, which is rare during bible study. We hung out for a while afterwards with all of them! After that we headed back to our village. That night we watched a movie on the wall of one of the huts and had dinner and popcorn. Super fun!

One of the highlights of this whole trip is that Kendall loved our translator and was leading worship in the villages that we went to! It was awesome. Kendall actually shared the Gospel in Manono at one point. (We were really proud parents, tears!)


The guys headed to a leadership meeting while the girls headed to Delevu to meet a headman and his wife. The 2 leadership meetings went well, we shared a lot about forgiveness and choosing to obey God rather than the community or things of this world, remember if you do things apart from community than they will excommunicate you. (lots of ancient spirits and things against God) There were 20 men at the first meeting. We talked about focusing on Christ in all that we do, and never taking our eyes off of Him. It was another turning point and God moved mightily in the hearts during the response time. People were really encouraged, a few questions but mostly some work is to be done in this area. Our translator had called out 2 people here and said that we needed to pray for them and it turns out that they both confessed that some things in there life that needed to change. One man said that he had a dream about fighting with his family and then ended up alone, this happened about 6 months later, he was very emotional which is something you don’t see. The next meeting was with about 11 people, had some time to share the word and encourage them to not lose focus of Jesus. We must stay the course and finish the race, that as people we lose track of Him and start to complain but we must repent and turn the Devil away. The headman’s name was Alfred! It was an awesome time sharing with them! Turns out he is a Christian. He told us a lot about the village and what was going on there. We talked and prayed for the village and all that live there. We were blessed! After that we headed back to base.

In His Love, 
The Hennis Family

Saturday, June 21, 2014

The Chitenge

Lovely people, let me introduce you to the chitenge.

That awesome skirt I’m wearing is actually a piece of fabric to cover from my knees and up. Women of marrying age and higher have to wear these. They use them so your shape can not be seen. Showing this area would be equivalent to women in America walking around without their shirts on and nothing underneath if you catch my drift… Not pretty, and you definitely don’t want to offend anyone. You’re probably not going to share the Gospel that way. Chitenges are our friends. 

What I found as we got out into the bush was that women use them for everything! The “good” chitenges are made from a quality fabric and cost about 30 kwacha. That’s about $5 dollars depending on the current rate of currency.

Mostly, they use them for coverings.

Next, would be baby carriers.

Then, blankets for their kids.

Finally, they use them like purses. Tied end to end and stuffed with whatever they need to carry. 

Plus, they make a great covering when you have to go to the bathroom in the bush. ;)

In His Love,
The Hennis Family

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Meet Tata

This is Tata. Which means Father in Tonga. Tonga is the language people speak here. Side note, our Zambian friend Mary told us that many times in their culture a woman’s father-in-law names your children- all of them.

 From the moment we got to Chipepo and set up camp Tata was here. I think everyone fell in love with this kid.

On our first day of hut-to-hut ministry we met Tata’s family at the first hut we went to. His family thought we were coming to complain about Tata hanging around camp. Obviously, this was not the case. While ministering to them we found out that Tata was deaf from having malaria too many times.

It was a beautiful thing to watch people on the team love on him. Really, that was all he wanted, to hold your hand or receive a hug. Many times I watched them love him like Jesus. Huge bowls of shima, hugs, playing soccer, holding hands, lollipops, running around at the top of our truck, etc. Whenever you saw him he had a huge smile on his face.

God put on my heart the story of Jesus asking Peter if he loved him in John 21:15-17.

Love His sheep.

In His Love,
The Hennis Family

Saturday, June 7, 2014


One of the days we were in Chipepo we went to the funeral of a young boy. Memories from this day will forever be etched in my brain. I wish there was a way to play my memories like a movie real for you.

Funerals in Zambia typically go on for days. Think 4-7. People from all over come and sit at the funerals all day. There is a lot of wailing, literally, which is part of their culture.

When we got there we were split into two groups, men and women. We were next to the room where the grandmother was sitting and singing with the coffin of her grandson. There were many other women in there singing with her. One of the ladies told us while we were in there that they were singing a song about the Lord.

After we came out we were chatting with the older ladies who are called nay-nays. (I may not have spelled that right!) The picture etched in my brain is of all these ladies smoking their tobacco in these huge pipes.

Next, a team went next door to pray with the mother. She wasn’t at the funeral. Apparently, she had been really ill since her son died and they didn’t want her to get worse. As a human being I had love for this woman who lost her child, but as a mother it just takes it to another level. Only Jesus makes that better.

Once we got back, we sat down and not long after that all the men stood up. Then all the women stand up. Men, we would call them pallbearers, came to move the body out of the house for viewing with the casket open before burial. I wanted to look away as we past by, yet found I couldn’t. It’s not something easily forgotten to see a child in a casket.

At the burial site, which was dug that morning by anyone and everyone, Overland Mission’s Leader in Africa, Jake, preached a simple Gospel message to the crowd, this is very different than burial messages in America.

Jesus is the focus of all that we are doing, we express Him in so many different ways, but LOVE being the motivating factor. God loves all people just where they are, He wants all to become part of His family, we don’t push anything on them, we just live like Jesus and share His love.

In His Love,
The Hennis Family