We are now into our third day in Zamiba and are overwhelmed at the people and children. Sunday we attended the Grace Church in Kabwe. Four congregations came together as a special celebration of our visit. Each of the churches ministered with songs and dance! Our team kids sang their Zambian Takwaba song and the little children participated with the percussion instruments. The service was 4 hours- we were amazed how quickly the time went and the emotion of the people. Matt preached on how to have courage in difficult times and Jared and Kristen F. shared stories of God's faithfulness to them. They all did a great job!
We are staying at the local hotel- Tuskers (renamed from The Elephant Hotel) and have had hot showers each day. We returned to our hotel Sunday afternoon and then were able to rest, swim in the pool, and also play volleyball with the Moyers. It was quite a game- with Tina cherrypicking her team to be the winners!! Heavy competition that will need a rematch in the next few days!!
Sunday night we went to Kennedy and Sophia's home- co-workers of Dan and Tina. They are originally from Tanzania and prepared an authentic African meal. The children started the evening with handwashing and then we had nshima (the traditional cornmeal based staple of the Zambian diet served with a cabbage based relish), beef stew, chicken, rice, and tea. It was a great time together.
Monday was a full day- we started early with a visit to the orphan care center that is almost completed here in the kabwe area. We visited the church, Bible school, and then the orphanage that has over 180 children. The children are part of local families and come to the center each morning for personal care, breakfast, and schooling. Schooling is provided free to these orphan and impoverished children- unlike the rest of Zambia where the children must pay. The children presented a drama, some Bible verses and great songs. We met many wonderful people who love the Lord.
We visited a market to buy some fabric for skirts for the women. These are great to decrease the dust and dirt on clothing as well as for general clothing. The market was filled with many smells and people- trying to sell some of their items- fish, meat, clothing, fabric, and basic items. It is a very poor area and we have been quite sobered by the poverty.
It is now Monday afternoon- and we are all divided up completing projects as a team. One group is painting at the office in Kabwe, some are fixing computers and helping solve virus problems, sorting and preparing for the kids program in Mufilira, etc. Jean F. is sketching a mural at the office that will be painted- we are excited to see it done!! Kathy K is getting all of her children's material together- we are expecting over 450 kids.
Tonight we will go as families to the homes of the Bible students to share their evening meal. We are looking forward to this time of personal interaction.
Tomorrow (Tuesday) we will leave quite early and travel to a town that is building a church and participate with them in this building. We will also dedicate land for a training center near Ndola with ALARM and then arrive in Mufilira tomorrow night. We will be in this town until Sunday afternoon. Our current plan is to do the 3 day conference and run a children's program and them attend an African wedding on Saturday.
This is a difficult email to write- as our hearts are filled with many emotions. Attempts to write the depth of our feeling are so inadequate, so we have resorted to this itinerary tiype note- knowing that you can fill in the gaps as you know so many of us. We have shared tears and laughs, joy and sorrow, and are amazed at the joy of the people we meet. It is quite humbling- pray for us that we will be able to share the love of the Lord and the joy He gives us. We are filled with many inadequacies- thanks for your prayers.....
Serving together with you-
The Families of Ford, Jacobini, Martins, Kanas, and Reed