Blessings uncountable

Blessings abound in 2023

Blessings to you dear friends!

I can hardly believe that we are at the end of 2023! This year has gone by so fast and much of it feels like a blur but we want to take pause to reflect on all that the Lord has done for us this year. We have so many blessings, we can hardly keep count.

Michael and Renee Watson
Michael (where is your beard?!) and Renée at the SLC in April 2023

First Christmas in Zambia

It was such a blessing to spend Christmas here on the SIM base in Lusaka with fellow missionaries. On Christmas Eve we sat around a bonfire and as neighbours were shooting off fireworks we sang Christmas carols and shared gifts with each other. And on Christmas Day we spend the day at Pazuri animal park where we had a picnic for lunch. It was such a lovely day.

Our Christmas in Zambia
Christmas fireworks
Animals at Pazuri on Christmas Day
Our Christmas Day picnic

“Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.”
Psalm 34:8

Blessings of SIM family

Last week at our weekly SIM prayer meeting we were encouraged to count our blessings and see what God has done. This exhortation had my mind running trails over the past year to remember all that God has done. For this reason we thought that “BLESSINGS OF 2023” would be a fitting theme for this end-of-the-year newsletter.

As I walked out of the prayer meeting I thanked God for our SIM family. Having joined SIM at the end of last year after so much hurt and pain we had no idea what to expect from this new mission organisation but our expectations were exceeded by far. In SIM we have found a safe community of missionaries who love and care for one another and who have taken time to mentor and love us throughout this year. We have shared our hearts and our lives with them through tears and laughter. They have modelled servanthood, prayerfulness and leadership to us and we are better people for it. 

Eating Ethiopian food with SIM family
We love our SIM family here in Lusaka ❤️
SIM family
Counting our Blessings at a Thanksgiving meal

Blessings of Home and Hospitality​

Our home here on the SIM base has been a sanctuary for us and a comfortable and safe space for us to live and work. It has been a wonderful facility for ministry and to build relationships with others through hospitality. We are so thankful to God for this beautiful home and the neighbours that comes with it.

We've hosted our church for fellowship meals at our home

Furniture, but no money to buy it

We moved into the lovely SIM house conveniently furnished by SIM with short-term housing furniture which we had the option to purchase or replace with furniture of our own. Although we still had our furniture in Cape Town, the cost of moving all that to Zambia would be about the same as purchasing the short-term housing furniture here. In reality we didn’t have the money for either of those options. Not knowing how we were going to solve this dilemma we carried it to the Lord in prayer. It was rather difficult to leave it with the Lord because our anxious hearts often picked it up again and worried but God had it all under control.

Amazing Provision to buy furniture

Just a few weeks ago a dear friend contacted us to let us know that the Lord had led them to give a significant sum of money that they had been saving for some time. The amount was more than enough to cover the expenses of the furniture and other outstanding bills related to the vehicle importation. Praise the Lord for his wonderful provision of our every need!

“And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.”
Philippians 4:19

Transport Blessings

That brings me to the next blessing that we are thanking God for: Transportation. We now have a beautiful mission vehicle which the Lord has provided for us. What a journey this has been! 

Abe finally home from the panelbeater

We started this year at SIM without a vehicle but the Lord has provided for us from the beginning. At first God provided a vehicle that belonged to another missionary couple who were still in Canada. The Bauman’s were generous enough to loan us their vehicle until they arrived in Zambia. In the same week that the Bauman’s arrived in Zambia, another vehicle was made available to us on loan from Flying Mission. These loaned vehicles have served us very well in our ministry but has also cost quite a bit making travel expensive ($0.43/km). The Lunsfords also let us use their vehicle earlier this year to collect our belongings from Chavuma.

Toyota Noah on loan from Flying Mission
Toyota Noah on loan from Flying Mission
Toyota Harrier loaned to us by the Baumans
Isuzu Truck loaned to us by the Lunsfords

We now have our own mission vehicle which we have named ‘Abraham’ or ‘Abe’ for short. Abe’s journey has been quite a story and if you haven’t been following you are welcome to read all about it on our blogs. Everything from the fundraising, to the purchase, transportation and repair of Abe has been an exciting journey of faith and we are so grateful to God for our transportation this year.

Abe's journey banner image
Abe had a tough journey

Blessings in Ministry

The next item on the list of blessings is the ministry we are a part of here in Lusaka. We praise God for the growth of Christ Church Lusaka throughout this year. It is only when you take a step back that you can truly appreciate the progress that has been made. The year started out with the church meeting in a small classroom at the University of Zambia but we are now meeting in a conference room at the Golden Peacock Hotel. Our new church venue has given us a more accessible and consistent meeting place where we can see fellowship and growth.

Our church used to meet in a lecture room
Ministry: Glenn preaching
We now meet in a comfortable venue

Children are a Blessing

The contract signed with Golden Peacock for 2024 has allowed us a second room for Children’s Ministry on Sundays. This is a big and exciting step, seeing that we only started with Children’s Ministry earlier this year. We are so excited to see God using the Children’s Ministry to grow this church.

Renée teaching the kid's slot
The kids love the worksheets

God has also opened the door for further training in Children’s work this year. In September, Paul Ngoma, Felix Mulenga and I (Renée) started a three-year online training in Children’s Ministry through ‘Growing Young Disciples’(GYD). This training was made available to us through Martin Morrison and will equip us better to serve God through ministry to children and youth. We are so blessed by this opportunity and the investment that has been made into this ministry here in Lusaka.

Online GYD training session - Renée, Felix, and Paul

Trained and Equipped

While we are talking about training, I would also like to thank God for the opportunities I had this year to attend training modules in women’s discipleship with Entrust. I would never have had these opportunities if it weren’t for our neighbours here at SIM. Ramonda introduced me to Entrust early in this year and I have already completed two of the four modules. I am excited about the new skills I have learnt and can’t wait to learn more.

We have also been able to complete 3 modules of the GWC Explore course with the four men who have been ear-marked for leadership at Christ Church Lusaka. I personally benefited from the Explore course training because I joined the classes that Michael did with them and was able to complete all three modules.

Church & Growth

This year has also seen the start of membership classes and growth groups at Christ Church Lusaka. We have noticed a growth in the spiritual maturity and sense of community and fellowship among the church members and we could attribute it to the growth groups that have been taking place weekly. We have personally benefitted greatly from the weekly growth group meetings as well as the one-on-one meetings with some members to read the bible together. These practices were modelled for us in our home church back in Cape Town and we can testify to the rich benefits in our own lives. This is the reason why we continue these practices and model it to the church here in Zambia.

Blessings of Friendship

We are also thankful for the relationships that we have been growing and developing with people here in Lusaka. At the beginning of the year when we were leaving for Zambia I was anxious that I would be lonely during such a sensitive time of healing. God saw my fears and he gave us relationships that have turned into friendships. We thank God for the blessing of friendships.

the lord is good

“And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another.”
Hebrews 10:24-25

Speaking of friendships, another blessing that we experienced this year is the visit from our friends in South Africa in November. Words can’t fully describe what this meant to us. I think it was the fellowship that we enjoyed, but more than that it was to share our lives here in Zambia with our church family from back home. To have people visit who know us and love us spend time with us and give us opportunity to show them a glimpse of our lives here. It brought so much joy and refreshment to our souls.

Airport pickup - the lord is good

Ordained for Service

The reason for their visit was another item for praise: Michael’s Ordination as a presbyter. This was a very special moment for all of us as Michael stood there in front of many witnesses and acknowledged his calling and duty for service in God’s Kingdom. The weight of the responsibility was almost tangible as the bishop reminded us of the roles and responsibilities of a presbyter. We praised God together with our friends that had come from near and far to witness this moment, knowing that it was only God who has made this happen. God was the one who brought Michael to salvation and called him to His service. It was God who carried him through studies, curacy and now into cross-border ministry. God is so good!

Kitten Cuddles

This list would not be complete without a mention of our beautiful kittens born miraculously from our spayed cat Lucy. It was unexpected and could be seen as an inconvenience by some but it has been a wonderful blessing! This experience has brought so much joy and healing into our lives that we can only see God’s hand in it.


We glorify God for the work that He has done in our lives this year. God has helped us grow in forgiveness and love. God planted us here in Lusaka amongst a very loving community which has facilitated our healing and growth. We are so grateful for the healing that God has brought into our lives and for the family of believers that have been a part of our lives this year

You are a Blessing!!!

Thank you so much for your partnership with us this year. Thank you for reading our newsletters, for responding, for keeping in touch and for praying for us. We thank you also for your financial support with which you have sustained us in the mission field to which God has called us. We are so grateful for you. Thank you for being a blessing to us.

Lots of love, 

Michael & Renée

If you want to read our previous newsletters you can find them all here: