This blogging thing in Zambia is hard because there is so much to share and yet I know that I share a lot and have a long blog, then you will not read it. But if I do a short blog, then I leave out important parts. And, if I space it out and do it over multiple days, then I forget what it is that I experienced. So, I don't know what to do.
I think I will just start and see where it goes. In no order, here goes me:
- This morning I took one of my guards home, Daka. He has a wife, two kids and he rents a small house in the Garden compound. He works from 5pm to 7 am, goes home, sleeps, wakes up at 12:00pm and eats. He goes to construction school from 1pm-4pm and then works again from 5pm to 7am... He works two weeks of nights and then gets a weeks off from work. I met his two kids and wife in their little two room house.
- On the way there, I saw a person carrying two water jugs, one in each arm. And then I saw a woman, waiting for cars to pass before she carried her water jug. I saw different ladies with water jugs on their heads. And my appreciation and contentment in our water situation hit an all-time high. Most of the houses (I want to say all) in the compound do not have running water or a toilet. They share water and they share toilets. And so to get your water you need to wait in line, carry it a long distance, and then build a fire to boil it, if you actually do boil it. Yesterday in the school, we watched as a teacher taught her fourth grade class about water-borne diseases in the water. Please, do me a favor. Go to your faucet, turn it on and drink some water. You are among one of the precious few in the whole world that can do it.
- I am preaching on Sunday and so because time is busy, I took a previous sermon and used it. But looking at a sermon in the context of the culture of Africa destroyed my sermon. Words, illustrations, thoughts, assumptions - goodbye. I asked a Zambian friend yesterday about how to preach to Zambians. He gave me some good thoughts, but especially in using the native tongue... Whenever you speak a word of Nyanga, they always follow what is next. So, here are a few words... Mwauka Bwanji is "good morning". (I am opening with this one:) Then Dzikomo Kutilandila! -(thank you for welcoming us.) I am teaching on the parable of the sower, and so I got a few more key words... Mau a Mulungu (the word of God)... Since fruit is a bit important in this parable from Mark 4, I have two phrases:
No dzipatso is chaipa! (no fruit is bad)Lots of dzipatso is chabwino! )(Lots of fruit is good!) I appreciate your prayers for my first Zambian sermon. It is supposed to be 95 degrees on Sunday in a small, hot, ventilation free enclave... Please also pray for my kids!
- We went to a grand opening of a new library. It was for a street kids drop in centre, but apparently it was a bigger deal than I thought it would be. The first Republican president of Zambia was there, the US ambassador, and many high government officials. They read a letter from Barbara Bush. We got there at 9:00am but it started at 10:30am.... Zambian Time!!!
- We went to the home of our House Helper, Miriam, yesterday. She lives in a two room house with her two kids and brother. Her husband died four years ago. I just can't really put it into words what it is like to consider walking in her shoes. She had no table, no chairs, no refrigerator, but she was so proud of her home.
- We went to the four community schools that ACTION Zambia helps support and encourage. We have two national workers who work with the schools full time. ACTION provides a feeding program for the schools and helps train the teachers. It is an amazing thing to visit these schools, to see the difference these schools are making in the community and in families whose kids would not be able to go to school otherwise. These students are learning about Jesus and the ABC's, health and the dangers of the world they live in. Awesome! We also visited an orphanage which has three kids as of now. On of the pictures above is of Stephanie holding the little baby "Chi-Chi". He has water on the brain. He was a sweetheart. They will get more when some social service scandals work themselves out.