Report from call in by leader to TMI Zambia base:
Sat: The team has had an awesome time at Luswishi with Mike and Queen Monze, the Facilitators at this Rescue Unit. We have been warmly welcomed here. We have seen so much happening during our stay. All at one time one day, we saw women sewing on machines, men grinding maize, women pounding ground nuts, and the distribution of clothes which the team helped with. Everywhere you looked, something was going on at this place. We mentioned how organized things seemed to be going at this unit. The comments by the girls on our team was that, “Well there is a lady at this place, that is why it is organized, referring to Queen, Mike’s wife.” That brought smiles.
The team is having a really good time. Yesterday we did a presentation and left a filter for three villages. (families) Last night we showed the Jesus Film. There were 12 to 15 who came forward to give their lives to the Lord. We went to church today for a 3 hour service. We did another presentation at the service. It was a 20 minute walk to church. On the way back we saw bush fire that was very close. We were concerned about it not jumping the pathway to our place. I and one other staff man set back fires so that the fire would meet ours and not come any closer to our camp or to the Rescue Unit. That was successful and we are all fine. We have really enjoyed our stay here at Luswishi. The team loves Queen who has been so good to us. She is making an African meal for us tonight which is the first time for us to taste the local Zambian food. Some team members have tried to carry water on their head like the local people do but have not been very successful. Tomorrow we will travel to our last stop, Mukema Rescue Unit. We will get in touch again when we are able. (The phone ran out of battery during this call so this is where we will close for now.)
More Team Members Comments:
Zambia is really a beautiful place. The people are welcoming and friendly. Although the needs are great, you can sense God moving here. The orphans are eager for love and attention. They will fight each other to hold your hand or be in a picture with you. One of the most difficult things has been to see the poverty to this extent. It breaks my heart to see little children in tattered dresses and no shoes carrying babies on their backs. It is hard to see their bloated tummies and then stop for a lunch break. One of the things God has been teaching me through this experience is how faithful He is to love us. His constant love and presence has blown me away. As difficult as it is to see these orphans and know their painful circumstances, I know that my God is unchanging. I know He is faithful to these orphans just as He is faithful to me. My love for these orphans and my ability to help only goes so far, but I take comfort knowing that my God’s love and help goes farther.
We arrived in Lusaka after a long flight and stayed the night in a church. The cool weather was a welcome relief from the heat in Florida. In the morning we took a 5 hour ride in the Teen Missions bus to Ndola where we met staff members and the BMW students and worked with them. After getting all of our equipment and provisions for the journey ahead, we piled into the truck for a 6 hour drive to our first Rescue Unit. The road was very dusty and full of pot holes. We then turned off the main dirt road and turned onto a narrow road leading to the Rescue Unit. It was dark. We had to unload the truck with flashlights and set up our tents. In the time we have been here, we have distributed clothes, gone to a local church, picked corn, and went to a soccer field with the children. We look forward to doing lots more in the coming days.
It’s rare to find such and encouraging and open environment such as this one. I have never been happier with a group of fun loving people as the ones found in Zambia Water Filters Team. Our group consists of talented young teenagers whom have come from different walks of like. It hasn’t hit me until now that God planned each and every one of our appearances at TMI. Every single one of us divinely appointed. One verse that perfectly describes our group is found in Ephesians 4:16. “From Him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.” God has miraculously conjured up a group of brilliant young minds; we all click, we all share similar stories, and we all understand each other in ways we never would be able to with our peers back home.
These past few weeks have been amazing. Seeing and meeting all these Christian people who love God and want to serve him. On arrival day I heard all these rules and I was like woah, why do we need all these rules? Are they even necessary? After a week or so I see now why they placed all those rules on us. Being in Zambia is some what of a culture shock. The city looks similar to North America. Further out, its completely different. I see all these orphans running around with without shoes. It’s really sad to see, but it’s interesting how happy they still are. They have nothing, but they’re still happy. Yesterday we handed out clothes to the orphans. Just the looks on their faces are unforgetable. They were so happy to have a shirt that is even too big. It just makes me think how rich and selfish we are and still we are not content. God’s love is all we need. Back home there are so many distractions that keep us from looking to God. There is somewhat of a language barrier between us and the orphans, but we still play with them and can show God’s love in the way we act toward these orphans.
(Watch for more team member reports soon)