How does one feel after rapidly leaving a culture that had become home for
So far, we don't have words to describe it. It is a balance of a heart overflowing with gratitude for the
gift of having such an experience and the pain of being pulled away from those you love. Ultimately it is a step of faith
in what is left behind, what is, and what is yet to come for all of us.
The most important thing to say is THANK YOU!
Some of you have been on this journey with us since the beginning in 1999 when Marci took her first short-term trip to Zambia.
She immediately knew it was where she was meant to be. Thank you to every single person who supported us, prayed for us, cared
for us, and loved us from afar. We simply could not have served for all these years without the amazing support of you in
our lives! You truly made a difference in hundreds of lives...including these boys.
Our exit did not
go according to plan thanks to COVID-19. It became apparent that remaining would mean sitting in our house possibly for months
on end and being unable to do any ministry. Meetings had already been banned and the ministry was to be closed in one week.
With a few permit renewals looming, a final call from the US Embassy to get back, the CWO board saying "come", and
only one flight available to us, we had 24 hours to pack up 18 years of our life and go. The goodbyes were both brief and
excruciating with Nephews, staff, and very dear friends.
We were on a flight to South Africa where there was confusion
over luggage tags and we had to make a literal run for the gate. In the air to Abu Dhabi, UAE we were struck by lightening
twice. We later landed at JFK airport in NY and it was absolutely barren. It was surreal and it seemed the airports were quickly
closing behind us.
We then took a late flight to Phoenix where we were greeted, at a distance, by our
niece and nephew. Their sign brought some levity to a very stressful 52 hour journey. We love them for it!
They tossed us keys to a car and we drove to our "quarantine house" where we remained until April 6. It
was a great house offering therapeutic yard work in the sun, time for reading and puzzles, and for processing. What a gift
this house has been to us! Currently, due to a "shelter in place" mandate in both Arizona and Colorado, we are staying
with Bill's mom to keep her company and assist her. It is a special time we are all grateful for!
Thanks to applications
like Whatsapp and Messenger, we are able to stay in contact with many of our Nephews in Zambia. Ten years ago we could not
have continued such a connection after leaving Zambia. We are grateful for the ability to remain a family and share in each
Christian World Outreach has agreed to continue receiving donations specifically for the education of
the Nephews in Zambia throughout 2020. For those desiring to support them, updates will be produced by Pethias twice a year
to let you know how the boys are doing and how many are staying in school. We are truly grateful for this provision!
We are grateful for every gift provided by you, our partner!
Funds may continue to be sent throughout 2020 to help
with the Zambian boy's (Nephew's) school needs.
The board of CWO has graciously agreed to provide us with 5 months
of severance or "reintegration" support. Returning to a culture we no longer know is hard, but processing the loss
and "survivors guilt" of a life left behind is even harder. We will need time before seeking gainful employment,
so your support is greatly appreciated until September. We plan to send updates in June and September. Thank you!
deductible donations can be mailed to:
CWO, P.O. Box 2716, Centennial, CO 80161 (memo: Zambia) OR click on DONATE below
and enter a donation with a type of "Zambia General". Thank you!
Marci & Team
Praise for the privilege of being Christ's hands and feet in Zambia for
Praise for Christian World Outreach enabling us to serve in Zambia all these years.
Praise for our health,
a great quarantine home, and the ability to "shelter in place" with Bill's mom.
Pray for those we love in Zambia who are beginning to face COVID-19. May the Lord protect them!
Pray for the country
leadership of Zambia - may they be granted wisdom and be transparent.
Pray for the CWO leadership in Zimbabwe, Burkina
Faso, and Haiti and they seek to minister in the face of COVID-19.