Ken and Karen Buckner have been full-time missionaries in Livingstone, Zambia, since 2012. They felt the call to ministry on their first mission trip there in 2008. Karen is a Myrtle Beach native, and Ken is originally from Tennessee.
Within one mile of Victoria Falls, one of the seven natural wonders of the world, the Buckners, with the help of a team of Zambian natives, reach out to the people of Livingstone preaching God’s Word. Through Come Go With Us, the ministry they founded and have put their heart in for the last 11 years, they focus on reaching children for Christ through their Saturday morning Good News Club and equipping Zambian ministers to better lead their churches. They also work through mission teams who assist them with these endeavors as well as going into the bush to teach men, women, and children about Christ.
In Livingstone, the Buckner’s compound is in the middle of the “elephant corridor”, a natural passageway for the elephants traveling to the river. When a local man was killed by a stampeding elephant in the area, parents became fearful and would no longer allow their children to come from the neighboring village on foot to the Good News Club each Saturday morning. So, they began to transport the kids on their flatbed truck. It has become a logistical nightmare every week to pick up and take home up to 700 children. Ken and Karen are in need of a bus to help with transportation.
After Frances Gregory from Loris went to Zambia last summer on a mission trip with her church, North Conway Baptist in Conway, she came back with the grand idea of a banquet, with proceeds going toward the purchase of the bus. And she got the ball rolling.
On Feb. 22, a banquet was held in Loris, at the Center for Health and Fitness auditorium, to benefit Come Go With Us in their purchase of a bus, through the efforts of members of the board of CGWU as well as dedicated volunteers. Two hundred people were present to hear Ken and Karen’s story, see pictures of the work they are doing, and take part in a Silent and Live Auction, in addition to enjoying a wonderful dinner provided by Copper Pines. Lawrence Chewning, author of The Anchor Holds, provided entertainment. Representatives from Loris Middle School Jr. Beta Club assisted with replenishing ice and water glasses. Ken, who was a professional photographer by trade prior to his call to Come Go With Us, had a number of beautiful canvas wildlife photos on display and for sale during the event. Dale Shelley conducted the live auction. Auction items for both live and silent auction were generously donated by businesses and individuals in Loris, Conway, Myrtle Beach, other areas in South Carolina and from as far away as Tennessee. Thank you to all who donated.
As a result of this banquet and generous donations from churches and individuals, the Buckners have now raised approximately $20,000 toward the purchase of a bus, and an acceptable used bus was found to meet their needs. They have put down a deposit toward that purchase.
Please remember the work that Ken and Karen and Come Go With Us ministries is doing in Zambia in your prayers, as they return following their furlough in the United States.
You can learn more about their organization or donate at comegowithus.org