I just spent a week in Ndola, Zambia. If one just drives through some of the poorer communities, as we did, you are filled with guilt, compassion, and sorrow. We in America think we know how fortunate we are, but until you see firsthand how others on the same planet live you really don’t know the depth of our fortune.
This trip wasn’t just to drive through their communities, but to get out and to walk among them. To talk, to listen, to build relationships that encourage, and to make sure their hope continues. We were careful not to promise them resources that would be a strain to sustain, for that would be helping that hurts. The perfect plan to change someone else’s living conditions is to find ways to get those that live there to come up with the plans that will change their lives, change their communities.
Building those relationships started out slow, but by mid-week bonds were beginning to form. Smiles begin showing up on faces that on day one were not there. It was strange being in a community where you were the first mazunga, “white” person some of the kids had ever seen. I have recently learned there are three things that crosses any boundary; love, laughter and God.
By the end of our week some tears were shed as we celebrated God together and said our goodbyes. A lot had been accomplished as we visited each church of the seven in Fubuku. As we led a bible study in spiritual gifts, as we “tried” to stucco a mill house, and as we moved most of the 3000 concrete blocks into positions so those who did know what they were doing could put them in place. As we did some home visits to those who were HIV positive, or the widow who was raising 10 orphans on her own. This group of God believing, God fearing Zambians find ways to survive, not just
every month, but every day.
We feel our goal of building relationships was accomplished. We even gave them a picture of a person from my church section with their name, so they could pray for them. Then likewise we took their pictures holding up the photo of the one they selected. The response to this was overwhelming. They stood in a line, some for 30 minutes waiting for their turn to be photographed.
Yes, there is a lot wrong with the picture of their lives, their schools, or lack of, but today their hope is stronger than ever as they now know there are disciples of Christ who live 8252 miles away, who are praying for them, love them, and who believe in them.
If you haven’t seen it yet check out the short video of our trip: