God is so good!
This summer I had the opportunity to lead the Orphan Angels team to Zambia. Our team partnered up with the two circuit riders running the Motorcycle Sunday School Mission program. On motorcycles we were able to reach over 1,000 people in villages way off the beaten path, sharing the Word of God. Over 300 accepted Christ during the two weeks we were on the circuit.
For many of the team members, the first time they rode a motorcycle was at Boot Camp in Florida. They were trained how to take care of the bikes, practiced riding in sand and over bumps, learned how to start the bike on a hill and how to make turns and drive on the left side of the road. For some, those first few days were difficult. I wish you could have heard some of the stories they shared of their first spill, and how we can be thankful for the tree that was there to keep one rider from riding right into the lake! Looking back it really is amazing to see all the times God kept us safe as we traveled from one Sunday school location to another.
Our team traveled over 400 miles in Zambia this summer!
It was an 8-hour ride just to get from town out into the remote village where we began our ministry. We traveled to the end of the tarmac, then to the end of the dirt road and onto the walking paths. We rode on trails surrounded by 7ft. tall elephant grass, up big hills, around tree branches and roots and turned through winding paths lined with trees. Some days we rode for hours without seeing any huts, people or any signs of civilization. All of the sudden at the end of the path was a small thatch-roofed hut with little benches and a chalkboard. This school in the middle of nowhere was our stop for the night. Taking off our helmets we noticed our faces covered in red dirt, and our black leather jackets and jeans were now a dusty red color. Soon the children began coming out of nowhere, from every direction, eager to greet us with the only English they know, “How are you?” and in response, “I’m fine”. They came because they know that Sunday school classes are held at the school each week.
Motorcycle Sunday School Mission (MSSM)
The circuit riders travel to a total of six locations Wednesday through Sunday to run a four-hour program including Sunday school for children with songs, Bible stories, crafts, phonics, memory verses, quizzing and games. For adults there is a Bible study, Literacy class and Teacher Training classes to train them to run the Sunday school program. Once the riders have established these Sunday schools it is then possible for them to turn it over to the new teachers and set up new locations. MSSM has been able to reach far out into the bush where there are very few Christians and fewer churches. It is so exciting to see children who have never been to church coming each week to attend Sunday school created just for them!
Our team experienced missionary life firsthand!
One word was used to describe our time in Zambia…exhausting! Our daily schedule included packing our duffels, taking down the tents, packing up the kitchen, loading the truck, starting up the twelve motorcycles and traveling to the next location. Then we unloaded the truck, unpacked the kitchen, put up the tents and unpacked our duffels. Water had to be carried a great distance from the well to where we stayed. In the middle of all this we had to find time to cook, eat, run the Sunday school programs and finish the classes with our team.
I used the back of the flatbed truck as my kitchen, storing all the pots and pans in large trash cans and preparing all of the meals on the table in the truck. I had to get down to cook over the charcoal brazier that sat on the ground behind the truck. The evenings went by quickly with trying to eat dinner and clean the dishes before the sun went down at 6pm. As our nightly campfire slowly faded, we walked to our tents by the light of the moon surrounded by millions of beautiful stars.
The circuit riders were such an inspiration to the whole team. When they weren’t traveling or teaching, they were going door-to-door in the villages ministering to the people one family at a time. They even started a church that meets each week in one village. There are always people asking for basic medical supplies such as painkillers, cough syrup, eye drops and antibiotic ointment. The response from the villagers at the presence of the circuit riders was very encouraging. They come for prayer and counseling, or just stop by to visit. At each location the villagers showed their appreciation by bringing gifts of sugar cane, pumpkins, beans and lots of sweet potatoes!
Usually on a team we hope to be a blessing to the people we are going to minister to, but it usually turns out that we are the ones who come away blessed and this summer was no different.
Thank you for your prayers.