June 23rd – Day 7
It is hard to believe our workweek is drawing to a close. Yesterday was a tough day as we realized how much we would like to do for our little church family and the realization that our mission was a one week project to do the specific work we were called to do. With a recalibration, we reminded ourselves that we only have to obey the next step that God puts in front of us, and we need to trust God to do the rest – thanks to Brian’s devotion today. We know that we will not fully see the results of the seeds that were planted this week, but knowing that we are doing God’s bidding we can have trust and FAITH that God will use the work of our hands that he orchastrated, just exactly as he intended.
The men hit the ground running with their painting, and they were able to meet their goal to finish painting the worship center before the prayer service tonight, and even got some color started on the outside of the building!! Of course with the painting crew moving into the school, there was much reorganization to be done to move the children to one of the other rooms, and we are really proud of the team for demonstrating our flexibility this week with our sometimes minute by minute improvisation! We are also so pleased that Ron had a chance to pour into the men of the church by discipling in prayer, conversations and bible study throughout the day and well into the evening, gaining commitment from them to continue to study together once we are gone. A much needed ministry based on the culture of Zambia!
The children’s ministry focused on the story of David and Goliath today. We had a WONDERFUL skit that was so realistic – Goliath scared a little boy who wouldn’t stop crying until Ron came back in to show he is really a great big softy!
Our women working with the children continue to amaze us with their dedication and love that supercedes the trying classroom conditions! From the start of the day until we send the children home, there is teaching, cooking/feeding, day care, drying tears, and managing the chaos! Tina and Jennifer did a great job of organzing our storage room supplies – WOW! What a difference!! Thank you again to the church for all of the supplies that were donated and part of the 14 bags of supplies we carried over here!
In addition to helping out with the children’s ministry, our Kym has become quite the pioneer woman – sitting right along the Zambian women cooking over an open fire, washing dishes at the well, trying the local fare – including giant avacados and okra, and taking charge of the outdoor kitchen activities directing the young men to bring water and empty tubs. The ladies actually wrapped Kym in a traditional skirt, a real sign of honor!
We provided two bible studies to the women today – Brenda taught on the story of Hannah and giving your dreams to God, and Cathy taught the story of David and Goliath (how cool to tie to the children’s story time), and the concept of courage based on our faith in God, and as Christians, not seeing how big our “giants” (problems) are, but rather telling our problems how big our GOD is!
The women are hungry for God’s word and copy down each word of our outlines which we post for them following our bible studies. We’ve formed so many friendships and care deeply about the women of Zambia!
Brenda has become our very own “Mary Poppins” with her carpet bag full of just about everything. If anyone asks whether someone has something, Brenda will typically have it! Thank you for taking such good care of us with hand sanitizer snacks, meds, TP, and countless other items many of us did not even think to bring!
Similar to Tuesday, we had the opportunity to end our evening at the church by attending a wonderful prayer service in our newly painted worship center. What a difference from the Tuesday service! In addition to the wonderful music and prayer time, our Pastor Dave gave a wonderful message from I Peter – emphasizing the hardships he faced and the message we can learn from Peter – including that as Christians we have the hope of heaven – something that can never be taken away from us! How appropriate for our fellow Zambian Christians!
By the time we finished our good-byes, it was nearly 5:30 PM – so we kept the pace up on the walk home, flanked by Patson, David and Stephen (from the church) and a flock of children. The happy joyful faces of the children are a stark contrast to the conditions of the community which just continues to humble us and helps us to understand Patson’s calling to minister to the children.
Dinner was wonderful, and we had a really meaningful dialog afterward with Steve Allen from Action Zambia joining us for a few hours. His organization provides a bible school for pastors (of which Patson is a part of the current class of 15 local pastors), an HIV Aids ministry, and a school for teachers. Steve is from the US and he and his family have been in Zambia for the past 4 years. Steve answered dozens of questions that we had about the culture and what we’ve seen so far this week. We appreciate the great work Steve and his team are doing here and for spending the evening with us.
Our tired team is off to bed in preparation for our last work-day at the church/orphanage/school. Please continue to pray for the team’s strength, safetly, and health (physical, mental and spiritual) as well as the minds and the hearts of those whose lives God is touching through us!
God is good – All the time! All the time – God is good!