We are at our second Rescue Unit here in the bush, and we have been here for about four days. The team has been enjoying this location even more than the first, with the open area to play with the orphans and a nice fire to come around as a team in the mornings and evenings.
We had our day of foot washing on Thursday and the team did a great job! They really have a system between each other and they know how to keep things going in an orderly fashion. Praise the Lord for His peace and joy that has been present during our foot washing time here at the Phelps Rescue Unit. The first unit in Kansoka was difficult because the children were getting greedy with each other and impatient for their turn. But here in Mibende they just enjoy having the “mzungus” here to play games with.
With only three weeks left together, the team has been saying a lot of, “I don’t want to go home, I just want to stay here in Zambia!” And a few are already making plans to visit each other during their spring break! What a huge blessing it has been to have this special team. They are very unique and fun to lead. They have been a blessing in many different ways, and are teaching me more than I thought I would learn this summer. They have so much energy although we are all equally exhausted, but they just keep going serving the people here in Zambia and playing the same games with the children over and over with a smile on their faces the entire time. The Lord has truly been sustaining us through our ministry here.
Yesterday, we were able to take a walk deeper into the bush here and visit a few nearby villages. We met a couple of teachers from the local school and shared encouragement with a woman and her children. Seeing and feeling the lives of these people here is such a different experience; we are here only temporarily, but this is how these people live, hauling water from the well numerous times a day, hoping and praying that there might be a next meal, wearing the same clothes day after day. Yet, we are able to come and bring them hope. Real, true, life-giving hope that gives their lives a purpose for eternity. Wow! It is so fulfilling for us! And I believe this is what this team is going to miss the most about our time here in Zambia this summer.
This Sunday morning, we were able to worship and be a part of the church service at the Rescue Unit. The team did a presentation and Caleb McAndrew shared part of his testimony and what God has done in his life so far through this trip. We performed a drama, and shared a few songs with the church. Melody Dove was able to share on temptation and how we are not trapped in our temptation, but we have a way out through Jesus Christ, and He is an understanding Savior because He has been tempted in every way that we are (Hebrews 4:14-16). Praise the Lord! If it did not impact anyone else who was listening, it definitely hit home for me.
Lord willing, we will do a presentation at the nearby school on Tuesday or Wednesday, and we will pack up and be leaving for our third and final rescue unit on Thursday, July 9th. Please continue to pray for the team as a whole, they are learning a lot about loving each other especially when things get difficult and you are tired of loving. 🙂 Pray for energy as the team in general fights fatigue. And please pray that we would stay warm as we might not have much fire wood at our last Rescue Unit!
We celebrated the 4th by singing the national anthem in the morning after devotions, and killing four chickens and preparing them and frying them for dinner, along with peach cobbler and mashed potatoes. We had a celebration before bed time with glow sticks and a bonfire. It was a fun way to spend our Independence Day away from home and we definitely made our own memories as a family here.
Thank you so much again for your support and prayers and thoughts for us here so far away from family and friends. We are so thankful for you and please know that you are thought of often and prayed for each day. You are missed dearly!
We praise God and give Him all the glory for all the growth that is happening in the team and through the team here in Zambia. Blessings to you!