Zambia used to be a pastel-colored, oddly-shaped polygon on a map of Africa. It emerged from the page for me in the summer of 2010 and now stands as a three-dimensional, vibrant land with real people with deep faith. Gentle rolling savanas with scattered trees surround the airport and the capital of Lusaka. Mountains rise in the distance, Victoria Falls roar in the south. The lack of call phone towers and power lines leave the landscape unmarked for miles and miles. Exotic (to me) birds and lizards abound. Monkeys hang out in the trees, impala and zebra graze while giraffe munch on tree tops. Buildings now spring up in my mental map. I recall the market with its cinderblock walls and rebar. Colorful chitangas, jewelry, carvings, beadwork, and handbags emerge overflowing the map!
Faces now fill my Texas-sized polygon: Every Orphan’s Hope Director Margaret Harawe’s embrace of orphans and her heart for prayer and transformation; Esther’s catalog knowledge of each MFH child and their needs; our gracious and daredevil bus drivers; Patricia and Victor caring for our every need at the guest house; Bob and Mary in love with the land and people of Zambia and whose greatest desires are to remain within the Lord’s will; the people of Kalinaglinga and surrounding neighborhoods who welcomed our team into their small homes (offering their few chairs to our team member; everything was swept and neat amidst their meager, dimly-lit surroundings), and the children … all of the children. Their faces slideshow in my mind. Our short-term mission changed my life forever.
Rick Habecker says
Your post interested me because I’ve had a friend for a few years who runs a children’s home somewhere outside of Lusaka. It’s the Samaritan’s Children’s Home operated by Pastor John Jere and his wife. As I learned a bit more about Zambia I found it is one of the few nations that has officially declared itself to be a Christian nation. It continues to recuperate from a thirty year nightmare under communist rule that end in the early 1990’s. It lead to a breakdown in the family, the faith and all kinds of other problems like the still persistent illegal drug culture and runaway promiscuity that lead to a rampant HIV and AIDS problem. In the wake of these are the children left behind of parents passed on prematurely. Pastor Jere has taken in hundreds of kids in the decades since. If I am ever blessed with circumstances like you I would like to visit that part of the world to see for myself. Until then I am content that we will meet on the other side of eternity to catch up and thank you for going there when others wouldn’t or couldn’t. Your brother in Christ, Rick Habecker
Sharon R Hoover says
So true…there are challenges in Zambia but the Lord is indeed working! I’ve had the privilege to come to know Zambian believers and He is changing lives all around. It sounds like Pastor Jere is also making a huge impact in the country. I hope you’ll be able to travel across the waters and get to visit. It’s a beautiful place! Thanks for visiting and adding to the conversation on my blog, Rick! Blessings!