Video Update: A glimpse into my life

Hey friends!

It’s now been about 6 years since I first came to Zambia/Africa.  So much has happened over the years both in my life and through the ministries that I have been involved with.

Sometimes living life as a missionary in a foreign country can be viewed as something ‘out of the ordinary’, or ‘some special calling’….but in reality it’s actually not like that.  We are all called by God to know Him and make Him known, no matter if that is in our home country or somewhere on another continent.

My passion is to empower vulnerable and oppressed women around Africa, so that is what I have committed myself to do.
Even though there are many challenges along the way, I have learnt to love accepting God’s invitation to serve and lead here where He has placed me in Africa.

Now…thanks to the help of a friend, I would love to share this video with you, giving a quick glimpse into what my life is like here in Zambia.

Enjoy —

A day in the life of Larissa

 

May News

God has given each of us one life here on earth to live and to make Him known.  Nearly every day I find myself asking the questions, “Am I doing all that God is asking me to do?  And am I loving Him with my whole being, or just limiting Him to work through certain areas of my life?”  My desire is to give my best for Him, and I trust you also desire the same.

God is on the move and I love that even when we keep trying to tell Him we aren’t good enough, He still chooses to use us in amazing ways.
I have found myself still wrestling with the fact that 4 years ago my life began to change in major ways.  My body is always in pain, it is usually quite weak, and I feel like I’m in a constant mental & emotional battle.  It can actually be so exhausting.

However, the amazing thing is that even though I sometimes feel like I’ve lost so much, God still wants to use me to empower others!  Over these past 2 months I’ve experienced God at work through Tabitha in Zambia & around Africa…in the lives of Ester & Imeldah…& in the community of 4Miles.

Read more here in my May newsletter – May 2019

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Leaders from Mozambique & Zambia helping one another during the Skills Trainer course

November Update

“Prostitution, beer drinking, drunkenness, insults, fighting, uneducated children, malnutrition and witchcraft,” answered Rachel when asked to describe her community called 4Miles.  “Everyone is living without hope.  I feel pity for the children here, all with dirty and ragged clothes, and drunk parents.  When someone gets sick they go to the witchdoctors, not realizing that is not where they can find real healing, truth, and everlasting life.”

Read Rachel’s full story that goes from hopelessness to renewed vision here in my November Update, along with some other exciting news!!

 

July Update

It’s that time again….I’ve got enough things that feel worthy of sharing in a newsletter 🙂

In this update I had the privilege of sharing a bit of my story over these last few months, my experience at the recent Freedom Challenge, some updates from Tabitha in Zambia, and my next steps forward!!

Click here to read on – July 2018

To GOD be the GLORY!

It is with overwhelming thanks and joy in the Lord that I write this testimony for you all to read, in order that God may be glorified.  This story involves myself (the driver), Pharen (left side front passenger), and Brynn (rear right side passenger).

It was Sunday evening, around 5:30pm. We had just left the OM base and were driving back towards Kabwe. It was only about 5 minutes away from the base where we needed to make a right turn, which means crossing a lane of traffic (the steering wheel is on the right side here as we drive on the left hand side of the road).

Before we could turn right, we needed to wait for a few oncoming cars to pass. This process made us to completely slow down. As I looked in my rear view mirror I saw a semi behind me, which was able to also slow down without any problems. The few oncoming cars passed, and I began to turn right.

It was then within an instant that a large bus carrying over 100 passengers came speeding out from behind the semi, completely smashing into our vehicle and plowing us about a hundred meters off the road.

The time it took for our vehicle to stop being crushed by the bus seemed like forever, as we could all recall the thoughts that were going through our minds while it was happening.

Although the impact of the speeding bus hitting our almost stationary vehicle should have totally flattened us or caused us to roll, God did not allow that to happen.

The three of us in my vehicle were all in complete shock, as we were now inside a crushed vehicle, with a bus full of people pushed into us, yet we had no idea where the bus had come from.

We were all conscious and in a fairly level mind, knowing we immediately needed to find all of our valuables and get them together with ourselves out of the vehicle before swarms of people were around us and wanting to take advantage of whatever was in the vehicle.

Everyone in the bus was shouting and crying for us, as they all thought that we were dead. Thankfully Pharen was able to get out of her door right away to kneel down on the ground to shout praises and thanks to God for saving us. This even helped to keep Brynn and I calm as we also got our way out of the vehicle.

We were so humbled and thankful for one of OM Zambia’s leaders, together with a judge, who were the very first to be at our vehicle, help us get out, and then rush us to the hospital before any ambulance or police got to the scene. They were already there at the crash site before we got there, so they became good witnesses to the whole accident.

Although I am so incredibly thankful to God for allowing them to be there ahead of time for us, I am also deeply grieved for them to have had to see and experience the accident the way that they did.
They attended to the whole scene so well, and we just thank God for all that they did for us and are continuing to do to help us work through the aftermath of the whole situation.

It was only later that night, after leaving the hospital and giving statements at the police station that we found out what truly was happening with that big bus.

Its brakes had failed, causing the bus to start to go out of control on the road. It was not able to slow down for the semi truck in front of it, and was also approaching a large curve in the road. The bus driver knew that if he smashed into the semi there would likely not be any survivors inside the bus…he also knew that if he kept going, the bus would eventually start rolling…

We don’t know if he saw my vehicle or not, but as he smashed into us, we became like a shield for everyone inside that bus.

Walking through the halls of the police station late that night was almost a surreal experience for me. Many of the bus passengers were forced to sleep in the station overnight as they waited for another bus to pick them up the next morning to continue carrying them to their final destination.
As I walked past them all, they were all looking at me as if I was just an angel…they were so thankful for the way God used my vehicle as a shield of protection to them…but also how God shielded, protected and carried us inside my vehicle on his wings!

I will never forget that Sunday night…one minute I was together with family, laughing, chatting, drinking coffee together…the next I was in an accident that should have been fatal, yet God completely took control of the whole situation, allowing His name to be glorified in a magnificent way through it all.

All I can say now is PRAISE BE TO JESUS for his loving kindness towards me and my team members here. What a privilege it is to have been given more days on this earth to serve him!!!

He shall cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you shall take refuge: His truth shall be your shield and buckler. You shall not be afraid of the terror by night, nor of the arrow that flies by day…for He shall give His angels charge over you, to keep you in all your ways. In their hands they shall bear you up, lest you dash your foot against a stone.
Psalm 91

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Together we are making a difference!

I am so proud to be working together in Zambia (and beyond) with Pharen,  an amazing Zambian missionary who has dedicated her life to serving God wherever that may be!
As I look back over my past few years in Africa, it is only natural to recognize the ‘Pharen’s’ and the amazing sacrifice they have made to serve their own people!
I believe that on our own we would be successful, but together we have empowered each other to make an even more significant difference in the lives of many people.

Pharen