Friday, August 30, 2013

To Zambia and Back--A Report from Ralph and Eunice Gault

Selling Bibles in Zambia

Churk-churk-trlllll. A raucous bird call from the tree just over our tent roused me from sleep. I open one eye and notice a faint glow of early dawn on the walls of our tent. As I become more wide awake, the cacophony of many bird calls increases. Some are sweet, thrush-like notes, others more nearly resemble noises of road machinery. And there are very many songs---a new day on the banks of the great Zambezi River in Zambia. It was a privilege for my wife and me to travel to Zambia during parts of July and August 2013 to help the Bible distribution team of "Bibles 4 the Nations," a project pioneered and continued for sixteen years by HIM missionaries Pieter and Hester Marais.

Our flight arrived at Johannesburg rather early in the morning where Glenn and Stephanie Gault and their two little girls met us. By 9:00 A. M. we were on our way north through scenic South Africa where winter had given way sufficiently for peach orchards to begin to bloom.

We did a lot of traveling in Glenn's van with the small trailer following. Through South Africa, Botswana, and Zambia, and a return that included a little of Namibia also, a journey of 5550 kilometers, a distance equal to going from Vancouver, WA to Miami, FL! In the van rode four adults, two small happy travelers, snacks, water bottles, and about thirteen suitcases, satchels, tubs, and a well-equipped tool box. In the covered trailer there were two tents, six folding chairs or stools, a folding table, a cooking utensil box, and large food box, a container of emergency repair supplies, twenty liters of clean water, and eighty liters of extra diesel fuel---everything needed for a month in the "bush." Most of our traveling days began at earliest dawn and ended after nightfall where we set up camp, cooked, and ate by the light of LED headlamps. At the end of the fourth long day we arrived at Chipata in eastern Zambia where we met Marais and their three other team members.

We had English and Chewa/Nyanja Bibles to sell. (The nation of Zambia has twenty-seven major language groups and seventy-three dialects!) The Bibles are sold (not free) for two reasons: People place value on goods that cost them something, and, most importantly, the missionaries must pay for the Bibles with limited funds. The price charged for a Bible is roughly equal to $6.00. This is a price subsidized by your gifts. The same Bible purchased at an African bookstore would cost up to three times more.

We parked beside a busy main street in the city, set up our folding table, displayed our Bibles with a sign hand-lettered on the bottom of an empty Bible case reading "Bibles K30" (30 Kwachas of Zambian money). I counted 128 pedestrians and bicycles passing our stand in one period of ten minutes. Sometimes sales would lag for many minutes at a stretch; other times people would be lined up to see and buy a Bible. Team members manned two stands in different parts of the city while others took a backpack of Bibles and walked through the markets and streets. On our best day more than 600 Bibles sold and probably 400 more could have been sold if we had not run out of the two versions most in demand.

After we sold nearly all our stock at Chipata, we returned to Choma in southern Zambia where we again met Marais with a new shipment of more Bibles including Tonga Bibles, a language used around Choma.

Soon these Bibles, too, were sold out. Our teams moved to a camping place on the bank of the Zambezi River to await a shipment coming by truck from far away Cape Town. Before that shipment arrived we had to return to catch our flight back to United States. The rest of the team stayed on. On our return we spent half a day touring Victoria Falls. It easily deserves its rating as one of the Seven Wonders of the Natural World. We also spent a full day at Chobe Game Park. Although not so well known, Chobe rivals Africa's most famed game parks. At Chobe and along the regular highways we saw enormous numbers of elephants, giraffes, Cape buffalo, impala, hippopotami, baboons, as well as many kudu, crocodiles, zebra, warthogs, waterbucks, steenbok, and even a few rare sables. Our camping places were visited by bush babies, mongooses, and vervet monkeys as well as numerous species of interesting or beautiful birds.

After thirty-one days of sleeping on the ground on sleeping pads and cooking with charcoal, we finally slept on a thing called a "bed." We count our expedition to Zambia as one of the greatest privileges of our lifetimes.

Please pray for Bibles and funds to continue this ongoing work, and that the Bibles distributed will bear heavenly fruit.

--Ralph and Eunice Gault

Friday, August 23, 2013

To Zambia and Back--Transportation

From the 11th of July until the 14th of August we were away from home helping to sell Bibles in Zambia.  Over the next week or so, I am planning to put several posts on our blog to tell you more about our trip.  Today I'm focusing on transportation--where we went, how we got there, and how Zambians get around. 

Please pray for Pieter and Hester Marais and their team as they are still in Zambia.  They were planning to travel from Choma to Livingstone today.

The van and trailer that took us and our things to Zambia

We traveled from Lesotho to Johannesburg where we spent the night.  Early the next morning we picked up my (Glenn's) parents at O.R. Tambo airport.  From there we traveled north to Grobler's Bridge and crossed into Botswana.  We spent the second night at Camp Itumela (a campground) in Palapye.  The third day we made it to Kasane, Botswana where we stayed at Thebe River Lodge.  (The owners of this lodge have been so kind to provide us with lovely camping facilities including showers, etc. at a very reasonable price for a number of years.)

Crossing into Zambia is quite a challenge.  First you have to take the ferry across the Zambezi river.  Then there is immigration, buying visas, customs, exchanging money, temporarily importing the vehicle and trailer into Zamiba, paying a ridiculous fee for "carbon tax", council levy, short-term vehicle insurance, etc, etc.  The process takes a couple hours even on a good day!  In spite of starting early, it was late morning before we got on the road to Lusaka.
Crossing the Zambezi on a ferry

We slept just outside of Lusaka that night on a farm that has a side business of providing camping and little cottages for travelers (or is the farm the side the business???).  From Lusaka, we traveled the long road east through the mountains and down into the tropical lowlands where Chipata is.

We pretty much followed the same route back home except for a detour west to the town of Katima Molilu, Namibia.  You can scroll around the Google map below to follow our route to Chipata.

View Larger Map

Now you know how we got to Chipata.  So how do people get around in Zambia?

Walking is the most common way of getting around
Zambia.  It is always amazing to see the
massive loads the ladies can carry on their heads!
As you can see in the following pictures, bicycles
are a very important way of getting around,
especially in the Eastern Province.

Yes, that's a goat!

For loads that are too heavy for a bike, these
homemade wheelbarrows are just right.  
I have seen more than 500lbs of cement
on one of these.  Imagine trying to balance that!
We saw a few ox and donkey carts.  
Donkey carts are more common in Botswana.
When it comes to transportation, things don't
always go right.  The results of a mishap can
be disastrous as you can see from this
billboard advertising insurance.  Is this why
Zambia requires all foreign vehicles to buy
short-term insurance???
We saw some horrific truck accidents along the way!

Thank you so much for your prayers and financial support!  May the Lord bless you!

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Lesotho Update

Dear Praying Friends,

Here is a a little prayer and praise update.
  • Our greatest praise is for the success of the Bible Trip.  Our family and my parents helped Pieter and Hester Marais and their team sell 5600 Bibles in the Eastern and Southern provinces of Zambia.  God was so faithful in protecting us, leading us to people who really needed Bibles, keeping our vehicle running, and everything else.  We also really enjoyed being with my folks!  Thank you, Lord!  Please continue to pray for the Marais' and their team.  After we had to leave to bring my parents back to the airport in South Africa, another shipment of English Bibles finally arrived.  These Bibles are in very short supply even though they are a required textbook for all school children.  Pray that the lives of young people will be changed by this greatest Textbook ever!  Stephanie and I would especially like to praise the Lord for supplying the financial needs of this very long journey.  We want to express our gratitude to each person who contributed.
  • Join us in praising the Lord for the wonderful revival that is going on in Lesotho at Matukeng and Ha Motheho.  More than twenty (maybe even thirty) people have gotten saved in these two congregations since the beginning of the year.  
  • Me Manthabi's younger brother Stephen was involved in a serious car accident last week.  Praise the Lord  that he was not more seriously injured.  He sustained a concussion but seems to be recovering well.  Other than that, he was only scratched and bruised.  
  • Pastor Bokang of Manyatseng, South Africa reports new people in the church there!
  • Please continue to pray for some very serious situations in the church in Lesotho.  Satan has come in like a flood to destroy.  Pray that his plans will be defeated.
  • Pastor Khobatha, one of the students in our Bible School, is in the hospital and very sick.  Please pray for God's healing touch!
  • Please join Rev. Mlambo in praying for revival at Mauersnek, South Africa.  
Glenn, Stephanie, Kaitlyn, and Kristell Gault
Hope International Missions

Jesus Passed By

This morning in church at Matukeng, I noticed that Jesus passed by our village.  Drunkards have been made sober.  The demon possessed have been set free.  Husbands and wives are talking to one another again.  Drug abusers are no longer addicted.  Bitter, angry people have learned to forgive.  Children are responding to the message of total surrender to Christ.

Jesus has walked among us!  Lives have been changed!

This morning, we officially welcomed these nine people who have gotten saved in the past three months into our fellowship at Matukeng.  (Four others could not be present because they work or study far away.)  Please pray for these brand new believers.  Also pray for Rev. Kali and his wife (below) as they disciple them.

Back from Zambia

We are back in Lesotho after the Bible trip.  Thank you so much for your prayers!  God was so good to us.  Please continue to pray for Uncle Piet and Aunt Hester as they are still in Zambia.  They were finally able to get another 1500 Bibles.  They are selling these in Choma, Monze, Livingstone, and other towns in the Southern Province.  These Bibles are in great need because they are a required textbook in all schools.  Please pray that young people's lives will be changed by the Word!

I will try to put a report of the trip (or maybe more than one) here on our blog over the next few days.  Stay tuned!
"I must work the works of Him who sent Me while it is day; the night is coming when no one can work. (John 9:4 [NKJV])

Friday, August 2, 2013


Thank you so much for praying for us as we have been ministering in Zambia.  Here are a few pictures:
We saw lots of elephants in Botswana on our way to Zambia.

Passing out tracts in Chipata

Selling Bibles.  So far we have sold around 5000.

Glenn preached at Pastor Samson's church.

Wynand and Andrea of Mama Rula's Lodge were so kind to us!