Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Day 18-21

*This is me and my first African shirt.

Day 18 (Sunday, Jan 25)
-I went to church at Shampande, and then walked to there again for an Evangelism class in the afternoon. Next was homework.

Day 19 (Monday, Jan 26)
-Today, I mostly just did coursework except the morning when I walked to town. I bought a pretty sweet Zambia chitenge.

Day 20 (Tuesday, Jan 27)
-I loved this day! Melinda and I went with the Reach4Life team to Livingstone. We got to talk to 4 high schools that had the program going, and then we went to Victoria Falls. It was amazing!

Day 21 (Wednesday, Jan 28)
-We had devos today, class, and now I'm gonna do homework.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Day 10- 17

Ok, so we've obviously done a ton in the past week, but I'll try and sum it up to the best of my ability :)

Day 10 (Saturday Jan 17)
-We listened to a presentation from a man named Dr. Sibalwa from the University of Zambia in Lusaka on Community Development. It was REALLY interesting. After that, I think I just did reading and classwork the rest of the day until we said goodbye to Papa J that night (Jeff Johnson).

Day 11 (Sunday Jan 18)
-Today I went to church at my new church home Shampande for the first time. It was awesome, just like Mochipapa. The worship and prayer here is so passionate. I love it! I'm not sure what happened today, but I probably did coursework and relaxed most of the time.

Day 12 (Monday Jan 19)
-This day was tough, but wonderful (which is most days honestly). We went to visit people who have HIV/AIDS. My group went to see Joyce and Edgar. Joyce was very quite and shy, but had a very beautiful smile. We believe she is suffering from depression because she lost a baby a few years ago and her family lives close to her, but not with her. Also her husband never comes to see her. Basically, he just takes care of the two children. Next was Edgar. Edgar has a faith that can move mountains and in my mind has. He has AIDS, lost his child, and his wife left him because he got sick. Many times one spouse when runaway when they find out the other is sick and/or has HIV/AIDS. Despite all his pain, suffering, and loss Edgar still loves God with all his heart. And when he was asked if there was anything we could do for him, he just said he wanted a Bible so that he could read God's Word. We didn't have any, but trust me it works out :) After all this, I think we had debriefing and then did more schoolwork.

Day 13 (Tuesday Jan 20)
-This is another Trust Assessment day. We travelled to the Pemba zone to do them. My group (Bratch, Leah, Melinda, Margie, and myself) went to Jembo. They were an older Trust that is doing well, but need some revitalization. Next we had lunch at the Pemba Wesleyan Bible College, where Mike and Cindy Helvie will be serving. It was a great and humbling place. The students bring their whole families to live on the campus while they learn, and they plant maize (what's used to make nshima) to help support themselves. After this, we headed back towards Choma, but stopped at another trust that I can't remember the name of. They were doing very well raising layers (chickens that lay eggs :). This day was even better than usual because there was a TON of flooding, and we got to ride in the land cruisers that have the air intake up high towards the roof so basically we could go through almost anything we came across. The water at times was almost up to the windows! I'll try to get a pic of it up soon.

Day 14 (Wednesday Jan 21)
-Today we just had class and I think we did coursework after that. O yea, but to start of the day we had devotion with the WHIZ staff.

On the way back from class though, I saw Edgar from Monday. He asked me if I remembered him, and I said yes. Then I asked him if he still needed a Bible, he said yes. So I went into our house and Audrey gave me her extra to give him :) As I was giving him the Bible, three guys walking by stopped and said they needed Bibles. So Brittany and I walked with one of them down to WHIZ to see if we could get them some. Moreen gave us three of the few they have, and we gave them to the man. He was very happy. Bibles here are a tremendous need!

Day 15 (Thursday Jan 22)
-Another amazing day... We all went to visit the village of Nakabanga. It was a rough ride, but fun ride as always. Today was different than most though because when we got to the village we were greated and had a ceremony/introduction type thing. Then we helped construct a piggery, and I played soccer with Ethan and the kids. Next we ate lunch. It consisted of NSHIMA, chicken, this cabbage and onion stuff, and goat. Of course, it was all great!

Now comes the hard part. We went to see a 7 yr old girl named Miriam who has tuberculosis and might have AIDS. She was so beautiful, but looked so sad. It broke my heart. I felt so helpless. We did give her and her mother supplies to make enough nshima for about a month or so :) After this, we said goodbye to Nakabanga and took off to see another family. This lady was named Win. She lost a baby, her husband died, and she was now struggling to support her two children. When asked if there was anything we could do, she said she needed food. And it just so happened we had brought a bunch of supplies to make nshima as a gift. So she was happy and we were too! Finally, we headed back to Choma. On the way, I talked to our bus drivers Kaumba and Kaunda. They're awesome! The assistant pastor of Shampande that works for WHIZ and just so happened to be with us today. His name's Francois, and he needed a Bible with a concordance to teach and preach from. So I gave him mine :) I'm still amazed at how thankful he was.

Day 16 (Friday Jan 23)
-Today we had class, worked over at the construction site for a few hours and then fellowshipped with the WHIZ staff. We played volleyball and soccer. Next we did coursework. Also today was sort of the birth of our concrete idea about Bibles, and we spent most of the day talking about it.

*Basically, the people here need Bibles!
So, we (the Team Leader group- Brandon, Nick, Audrey, Charlotte, and myself) are planning to have a Bible offering at IWU and College Wesleyan (maybe College Wes could incorporate this into their Mission week in early Feb). There are tons of Bibles in America that we have, but don't use. So why not send them where they're needed and will be used? We need a few dollars with each Bible so that we can buy Tonga Bibles once the English ones get here (they speak English and Tonga here). Our plan on how to get them shipped is ask each person who is coming here for a trip from the church or school to donate one of there two allowed 50 lb bags of luggage. They can fill one bag with Bibles and bring them over. The short term teams coming between now and December are... professors from school in February (Bill Millard, Steve Conrad, Karen Hoffman, Rob Dawson), May-Term medical student group, World Impact team, College Wesleyan group, and next Fall's semester abroad here. That's a lot of Bibles that people could bring here!

Day 17 (Saturday Jan 24)
-Today so far, I've been to town and typed this. In town I bought a chitenge to have my lil sis Shemiah a dress made for her birthday :) I miss her soooo much! I think the rest of today will be spent doing classwork and maybe a little relaxing.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Missing Days

There's been a ton going on and the internet's been down, so I promise to have this updated soon :) Please pray for Africa.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Day 9

-January 16, 2009
We met for class today and discussed the syllabus. During the afternoon, I went with The Deal and we help at the new WHIZ building site. David Watters ("The Manzi" which means water in Tonga) put me to work with two Zambians named Richard and Simon. They taught me some Tonga as we worked.
Mubuka Buti?= How are you?
Dakatal= I'm tired.
Mutolo Mukua= lazy white person
Ndele Kabotu= I'm ok.
Twalumba= Thank you
Then some of us guys played soccer with the kids for at least an hour, had dinner, and finally debriefed for the day.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Day 8

Today we went to the Zimba province to carry out the Trust Assessments. My group went to Dunka with Kaseba. He's really cool! The Dunka people were very accepting and helpful with our assessment. We could tell they're extremely thankful to World Hope for helping them develop their trust and program. They work very hard and are really proud of the piggery they have and are growing through reproduction that we unfortunately got to see. ha We also got to sing and dance with the people as we were waiting on our bus to pick us up from our location that was very deep in the bush. After that wonderful experience, we went back to the main town of Zimba itself and prayed with the awesome American single missionary there named Joan Wallace who runs the Zimba Wesleyan Mission station and works at the hospital there.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Day 7

-January 14, 2009
This morning I decided to climb to mango trees on our compound and pick fresh mangos for our breakfast. I didn’t know that unripe mango sap will leave itchy blisters on your skin. Needless to say, I currently have one on my arm and two on my side. Ha, what an idiot (as Josh would say). After my glorious display of cultural “competence,” we went to have devotions with the WHIZ Staff in the new WHIZ building that’s still being constructed. It was really cool and educational. I discovered that we Christians in America have a lot yet to learn about prayer from our African brothers and sisters. Zambians sing to God, then lift specific praises to God, then sing again, and finally pray (ask for requests from God). And when they pray, they really pray! Most pray aloud for every personal requests mentioned.

Next I sent some e-mails, had some lunch, and we all went to town. Town was great, and I was many chitenge materials I would like to have shirts made out of, but I also saw a great deal of poverty. These people are all so beautiful and happy despite their bleak situations. After town, we went back home. I wasn’t here a half hour before my soccer buddies climbed up in the trees outside the wall and were waving for me come to play soccer with them. Of course, I did and it was a blast. I feel so much love for them already, but I don’t really know how I can help them while being sensitive to the culture and possible consequences of doing so. Please pray for them, Zambia, the WHIZ Staff, our team, and just Africa in general.

Day 6

-January 13, 2009
Today we had training with Chimuka about the Community Orphan Trust Assessment we’ll be conducting. Basically, we’ll go into the villages where WHIZ works and evaluate how the programs are running. WHIZ wants us to do this so that there is no bias in the assessment.

After that, we had a session on poverty with Jeff Johnson and then came one of the best, but hardest things thus far… playing soccer with the kids. It was great and really fun, but I feel a strong connection with them now. After the game was over, a few of them walked me home: Hastin, Shepherd, Kushoma, & Ernest. They’re very poor kids who live in Mwapona compound which is supported by the Mochipapa Community Orphan Trust. Jeff told me a Trust only reduces the need of a village by 30%, but that’s definitely better than nothing and is many times the difference between life and death for a lot of people.

Honestly, I couldn’t help, but cry before I went to sleep. When we asked Jeff what we could do about all the issues in Africa, He said pray and tell The Church to finish the work they started concerning AIDS. We believe that this coming generation of African children will be the defining point in dealing with this pandemic. They will either gain control over AIDS or it will slowly wipe out most of Sub-Saharan Africa. Only The Church can decide whether it will be our greatest triumph in loving people or our most dismal failure.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Day 5

-January 12, 2009
Well, I’m technically writing this on the morning of the 13th, but it’s cool because it’s concerning the 12th :)

So “today,” we went to Mochipapa Church for an orientation and to meet the World Hope International Zambia (WHIZ) staff. It was really fun and interesting. The people I remember are Elvin, Richman, Clayson, Raphael, Clesha, Henry, and Chimuka. After the first part of the orientation, we ALL ate lunch together and then some of our team played with the kids around the Wesleyan Mission where WHIZ is based and Mochipapa Church is. Once lunch was over, we had the second half of the orientation for the day and took a tour of the WHIZ campus. Next we walked home, had some good conversation about various topics, ate dinner, had devotionals, and went to bed.

Everything’s been wonderful so far! God is definitely in this place because the true LOVE here for God and each other is spectacular!

Day 4

-January 11, 2009
We’re now in Choma! We arrived last night around 7:30 or so. Dinner consisted of rice, green beans, bread, bean sauce, and NSHIMA! It was great, especially with some honey which Bratch and I also ate for breakfast.

I can’t even begin to describe church this morning, but I’ll try. So basically, we to a Wesleyan church of about 300 called Mochipapa. It’s just right down the road. Our time there was so moving. The people “cheered” for us when we were introduced. We sang in Tonga, clapped, danced, listened about Faith in Sunday School, and then heard a wonderful message on forgiveness no matter what your past. After, we shook EVERYONE’S hand and some of us played with the kids. Next we had lunch, met the day watchman named Gordon, and took naps. Then it was basically orientation the rest of the day.

The people here are all so beautiful and accepting. I’m already starting to fall in love with them. We also me our friend and cook Mrs. Bota and leader Moreen today. They’re both amazing people!

Day 3

We haven't had the internet til now. Blogs will usually come a few days at a time :)

-January 10, 2009
The trip has been AWESOME so far! I think we're officially on day 3 now. Flying here was long, but amazing. We're in Johannesburg, South Africa now staying at a hotel that overlooks the city. It’s not even possible to describe the beauty of God’s creation that I’ve now seen and will see. Yesterday while flying over the breathtaking Alps of Italy, I got a real sense of the might and majesty of our LORD. I could just picture Him forming the snow covered towers of rock and earth with his powerful yet tender fingertips. God is good!

So far, I’ve met a girl named Alexandria from Virginia who’s going to the Sudan with an environmentalist organization, guy travelling with and from Calvin College to Nairobi, Kenya, and lady from Denmark who grew up in Africa and actually taught Kenneth Kuanda’s son. He was the man who led Zambia to gain its independence and then was their first President, I think. Concerning just our IWU group, it’s great! I already love everyone. We have an amazing team! Already we’ve seen or heard about some of our different individual gifts and passions. God definitely hand chose this group.

We should arrive in Choma this evening. I can’t wait!!!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Day 1-2

*This is of us in Amsterdam.

Alright, so here's the thing... We're here like oober early at the Ft. Wayne International Airport, and they've got wifi so I figured I'd blog it up for a lil bit w/Bratch and The Deal (Brandon Clark). We leave in like an hour for Detroit then off to Amsterdam during the night. We'll leave for Johannesburg, South Africa tomorrow morning. Next it's an over night there and off to Livingstone, Zambia the next morning. Then an awesome bus or van ride to Choma!... Basically, we're hoping to be there by Saturday night.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009


I'm leaving for Zambia tomorrow morning. I'll be taking classes and doing Missions work there with World Hope International... I haven't decided if I will update this daily or not, but it should be fairly current the whole time I'm there... I can't wait to be with my Zambian brothers and sisters and share Christ's LOVE!!!