Thursday, July 25, 2013

Let's bless these kids... part 1

Okay, you should have the general idea of the Father's Heart home visits by this point, if not, go here or here.

First, I am going to fill you in on some things going on during all of the food drops.

~When a white girl shows up in the compound and starts delivering gifts and food, Zambian's come out of the woodwork! Children create small mobs and follow you around. They are so sweet and curious, they think it is so interesting to have a white person roaming around their neighborhood. Tiny toddlers just learning to walk, kids that forget to put pants on, teenagers hanging with friends, they all come out and look at what is going on. Lots of bare little feet walking through dirt, mud and trash watching and giggling the entire time. Women washing clothes in the ally or cooking dinner on the front step all look to see what you are up to, they smile, wave and stare, then go about what they were previously doing.
~They don't have phones, but they have voices and feet and they spread the word! As soon as I show up in the compound, children start telling other children, they spread the word like wild fire and before I know it, I have kids from all over swarming around. It is amazing to me how quickly they all show up and how children will recognize me from camp!
~The photos of this trip are taken by Brandon, a staff member at Family Legacy, seeing this trip from his perspective in the photos, and actually being there has greatly impacted this experience for me.

First up: Kennedy
   Kennedy is one of the MR and I's sponsored children. He is small, but has a large personality, he is quiet, but can make himself heard, he is so sweet, and I just adore him! I will be posting blogs about each of the boys in a week, so read all about him in a blog to come! For last years info look here.
 When we show up, Kennedy is not home. In Zambia, children start roaming the compound as soon as they learn to walk, or have  a sibling caring them. So, to find Kennedy, we asked three small children to go find him and bring him home.

Sure enough, within 5 minutes, Kennedy is home and looking a little shocked to see me in his house! I had told him I would be by to see him one last time on Saturday, maybe he didn't believe me or understand me, bc he looked so surprised that his "white person" was standing in the main room (which is the dining room, kitchen, living room, and all the children's bedroom).

   Blessing time: I gave Kennedy a new pair of tennis shoes, we put them on his sweet little feet immediately and he was all smiles! I had a backpack for him stuffed with blessings,  I pulled out a soccer ball, new clothes, flip flops, coloring books, colors, pencils, notepads, sunglasses, pillow and a big warm blanket my mom made for him, that backpack was like Mary Poppins case, stuff just kept coming out! He was so happy, he kept hugging me and saying thank you. Then came the food, I told Kennedy that all the backpack blessing were for him, then looked at his Aunt (his caretaker) and said that all of the food was for the family, she wept, she was so grateful, I told her most of what was in the bags, showed her the eggs, bag of mealie meal, and the meat.

She was standing up when I told her all of this and when I finished she fell to the ground on her side and started clapping, then rolled to the other side and clapped, then she stood up and hugged me and said thank you. I wasn't quite sure what had just happened, and no one explained this behavior to me immediately, but I eventually found out that this is an expression of extreme gratitude. Whew, I thought she had fainted and I was pretty sure 911 was not an option! With that, we prayed with Kennedy and his Aunt then left them with all of the blessing and headed to the next home.


Second stop: Chola and Francis
Chola (Rueben) (in the green shirt) and Francis (I love my life shirt) are brothers. MR and I sponsor Chola  and MR's cousin sponsors Francis. As we drove to their house, we saw their Grandmother working at her vegetable stand in the market, we asked her to come home for a bit to visit with us. She joined us and the boys were waiting when we arrived. I had told Chola  on Friday, that I would be by on Saturday, I saw Francis on Thursday and told him the same, so they knew not to go too far! We unloaded all of the food and gifts inside. Chola  had worn one flip flop to camp all week, so I asked an American camper if he would sell me his shoes at the end of the week (he had another pair to wear home), he GAVE me his shoes and I quickly tied them on Chola's precious feet. Oddly, he took them off and put them away, maybe I am crazy and he likes being barefoot, OR my fear is, they are Nike and someone might hurt him for them. I don't know, I have to believe that God is going to watch over Chola and his new blue tennis and that Chola will wear them to keep warm and protect his feet!
 Blessings: Francis and Chola both got pillows and blankets (made by my mom with love and care), backpacks filled with school supplies, soccer balls, toys, deodorant, soap, crayons, and clothes. They were so happy, they just kept taking things out and looking at them. Grandmother seemed equally happy to have all the blessings for the boys.
     Side note: Grandmother to Chola is Mother to Francis, and there are several other children in the house, Francis' twin brother (but they don't look anything alike), a younger brother (who is also sponsored and going to Lifeway with Chola) and a little sister named Gift, and she is just that, a beautiful little Gift! So I don't really know who is brother/nephew/sister/niece and I am not sure that the kids are totally understanding of it all either (I might try to explain this in the Chola (Rueben) blog, but it gets a little complicated...)
   I then showed Grandmother all of the food blessings, she did exactly what Kennedy's Aunt did and fell to the floor, clapped, rolled over and clapped some more! It was about 30 minutes after this episode that someone filled me in on what was going on. I had figured at that point it must be an act of appreciate, but wasn't totally sure! After that, there were big hugs and lots of love!

Francis' twin brother came in, he had about 30 rubber bracelets on his arms, I asked him about them and he gave me two... this is mind blowing to me,
 I am giving them gifts, they are not supposed to be giving me things! I acted like they were made of gold and was very thankful for his generosity!
 At the end of our visit, we all joined hands in a circle and Fanny prayed in their native language. While we are in the house, random children are coming in to see what is going on, so we have collect an addition dozen or so kids in a small space, which could create total chaos with activity and talking and generally kids being kids, but not here, everyone is calm, cool and collected.

As we grabbed hands with our children, Grandmother and the rest of the family to pray, the "add on" children press their sweet hands together in front of their beautiful faces and pray with us. I don't realize this is going on until the end when the "Amen" is much louder and coming from farther than our immediate circle. It made my heart melt, and luckily, I have a picture of them praying behind us.


Stop number 3:Rodrick 
 So Rodrick is sponsored by my lifelong friend Kim. This is one of the "shifted" sponsorships, but I am feeling confident that Rodrick will go to school and this is going to be a good match! Kim had sent gifts with me for her original sponsor child Rabbi, and luckily, the two boys are similar in size and build, so the sweatshirt she sent was perfect for Rodrick! She sent him a warm blanket and a fluffy pillow, coloring books and school supplies in a really cool orange backpack. Rodrick also got a soccer ball, a lot of toys, pencils, colors, stickers and lots of other neat stuff. Kim sent a photo of herself which he loved, he stared at it when I told him who she was and that she wanted to send him to school.
Kim provided a food drop for Rodrick's family, his mother was so thankful. This was by far the smallest house we visited, and after we had the three bags of food, crate of eggs, 50 lb bag of mealie meal, there was not a lot of space for us!
I talked to Rodrick's mother about him going to school, she agreed that he would attend Lifeway, and was so thankful to be able to have a child attending school.

We prayed with the family and then said our goodbyes. As I left, there was a long hug with Rodrick telling him that I was so excited to have found a sponsor for him so quickly and that he would be attending school soon. This was a blessing that no one was expecting that day, so this was very heavy on my heart and I wanted Rodrick to be appreciative and excited about his new opportunity, and he is, and that makes makes my heart smile!

 Number 5: Taurai
   I didn't have this little stinker at camp, so this is the first time I am seeing this kid in one year.

However, I did have a kid in my group that new Taurai and told him I was coming to see him. I wear a bracelet that has my boys names from camp last year stamped on it. I was wearing it the first day of camp and Richard noticed the name Taurai, he told me he was friends with him, and I asked him to say hello for me and let him know I would be by on Saturday to see him. Richard returned to camp the next day so excited to tell me that he went to Taurai, told him I was here and he said, "Taurai says hello and he love you!" LOVE...

   Taurai's sponsor is my cousin Bunny (and her family), and it is a perfect match. Taurai reminds me of Bunny and I's grandfather, Elmo. He (Taurai and Elmo) are characters, always making people laugh, enjoy the company of others and generally happy people. They both love a good story that makes you laugh at the end (in the middle and hopefully at the start as well). So needless to say, when Bunny agreed to sponsor one of my children, this was an obvious pair in my eyes. That being said, I would never in a million years think that I could find anymore similarities to our family in this pair, BUT, I did! Taurai lives with his grandmother, she is exactly like our grandmother, Winkie! No joke folks, she is the Zambian Winkie! Crazy, right?
She is strong, but kind and full of love. She lets Tauria be a character, sits back patiently watching, never taking an eye off this kid. You can tell she treasures him (which is odd in Zambia) she sees his light, and it is a bright one. She has a clean home, with fabric covers for the chair and couch in the main room, as well as a lace "curtain" on the wall. She sat next to me the entire time, smiling, patting my leg when Taurai would pull another gift from his bag with excitement and thanking me continually along the way. I showed Taurai the photo of Bunny and her family, which I am guessing is probably being displayed on the wall of their home at this very moment. I explained our relationship and that Bunny's kids know all about him and that I made them a picture book from our time together last year.
   Taurai was running and leaping into my arms full of gifts and blessings before we actually got to his house! It was awesome, we were so excited to see each other! After we pulled out all of his clothes, shoes, blanket, toys, books, ball, colors, pencils etc, he put on his new sunglasses and started putting on a Taurai show. This kid could make anyone smile, he just has that knack, and I love that so much about him. I showed Grandma all of the food blessings that Bunny had provided them, she was thankful, and in that Grandma way, she hugged me and said thank you multiple times, I felt like I should thank her for Taurai, for loving him and taking such good care of him and letting us be a part of life... it's a grandma thing... We prayed together and then it was time to go.

When we went outside there were lots of little ones waiting to see what was going on. I got to sit down on the front steps and hang out with Taurai, I was telling stories of him from camp in 2012, the way he would slap his knee, laugh from his belly then point and wink at me at the end of his story.
   I could have stayed there for the rest of the day catching up with him.

Sorry this is taking so long, but there are so many things I want to share about these blessing times!  Stay tuned for the wrap up of these stories!!!!

Keep in touch

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Father's Heart take 2

Explaining who gets a visit: 

First, the boys that were added to my group this year live very near the boys we/friends/family sponsor, so they will be there when I deliver food and gifts. Awkward...

Second, since two of my boys from last year denied the program, I have shifted their sponsorship to two new boys, so the three in the Camp group who are not sponsored are going to wonder why they are not getting blessings. It was tricky, there was confusion and I am praying they understand. 

Let me explain how the shifting of sponsorship worked out. 10 boys in my camp group, 3 sponsored by us/my parents (Kennedy, Issaiac, Chola), 2 sponsored by Americans I don't know (Sailas, Richard), 5 unsponsored boys (Haggai, Harrison, Richard, Steven, Rodrick). Let me explain the 5 unsponsored: 
Rodrick, the eldest and surprisingly well spoken/read in English- talented and gifted
Haggai, least educated, but living in (by Zambian standards) a decent home. 
Richard: attending a private school, lives in a decent home, wore different clothes everyday (this is not be judging- it is a sign of wealth in Zambia)
Steven: educated, very faithful, safe and living in a decent home.
Harrison: well- read his story in a blog coming your way soon. What I will say here is that at the time I had to shift the sponsorships, I thought his situation was the worst of the worst and I was going to have to find a new sponsor for him to be moved into the Tree if Life program, which is expensive and I was going to have some serious explaining to do in asking for this level of sponsorship (250/month).

So my thought process was something like this. Rodrick is the oldest and his chances of getting sponsored are less and less as time goes on. He is incredibly smart, but his family can not afford to complete his education. So I shifted him to a sponsor who's original child from last year has decided he wont be going to school.Thank you Kim! 

Haggai can not write his name, he needs a chance to learn, to be educated. He needs some confidence and I am hoping that an education will encourage him to come out his shell. I shifted him to a sponsor who's original child denied our program. Thank you Cindi and Pat!

The thing is, this decision didn't come easy, however, I had peace in knowing Richard is going to school, I will find Steven a sponsor, and at this point was not sure what Harrison's sponsorship level would be, so i was going to take some extra time with his situation. 

This is by far one of my favorite days of this trip, it is also going to be the hardest day of my trip- I will not see my boys again, this is goodbye, this is going to hurt and I have to walk away. 

Father's Heart: take 1

Father's Heart is part of the trip where you visit your kids home. I had planned a father's Heart trip for each of my 6 boys from last year. 

I was going to deliver enough food to feed a family for a month. It is one large garbage bag of meat: whole chicken, dried fish, sausage, and meat pies. Another large garbage bag containing: flour, eggs, cooking oil, bread, etc. and the third large garbage bag containing: soap, detergent, cleaning supplies, etc. ad well as a fifty pound bag if mealie meal (like grits/a staple to their diet) and a crate if eggs. 

I also had gifts for each child. I had been collecting things for 9 months, sponsors had brought me gifts for their boys, my mom had made blankets for our kids, it was a blessing! Everyone had a backpack with school supplies, toys, balls, and new clothes, pillows, blankets, deodorant, soap, toothbrush and toothpaste, and candy(to balance it all out)! 

These gifts were a hit- I think... I honestly think I overwhelmed them, pretty sure they had never received brand new things, or that many at one time! They all just looked at me like they were in complete shock and awe... Maybe I should tone it down next year, but I can't help myself, I want my precious children to have it all! I want them to be blessed beyond belief! 

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Final Friday

This is it- the week is over, camp has come to an end and once again, I didn't get enough pictures, or hugs or high fives or TIME, I just didn't have enough time! 

Fridays at camp are high energy, fast moving, rushed and so bitter sweet. 

We started the day with our last blessing time with Chola. We are probably the most connected out of the three family sponsored kids. He is so sensitive, but tries to be so tough. Blessing time was a lot of tears and conversation about wanting to come home with me. All very hard to handle for both of us. Let's be real here folks- I want him to come home with me as much as I want to stay there with him, but for whatever reason, we are separated by a big ocean. 

After a wrap on that emotional ride, I had to revisit Harrison's story and was called in by the Child Protective Unit of Zambia to evaluate his situation. Long story short, Harrison is a double orphan being raised by an aunt who has 5 children of her own. After spending an hour with CPU I have no idea what will happen with  Harrison, I will let you all know when I find out what they decided. 

Typically I would have been passing out the blessings they received (t shirt, bandana, sweets, blanket) but somehow that had been done for me since I was with Harrison. We hurried to get a few group snaps and it was a wrap. 

This year went a little different than last. Rodrick would not put on his shirt or accept his blessings bc he was adamant that he was not going home. Chola was pouting and wouldn't smile. My oldest boys were being cry babies while the younger ones were having a ball and enjoying our time. It was, to say the least, a struggle! I was frustrated, I couldn't figure out how to be compassionate to the sad ones and playful with the happy ones. By the end, we were all a big hot mess! Rodrick was leaning on a tree in protest, Chola wouldn't leave my side, Lil' Richard was bawling his eyes out so I scooped him up and carried him as far as I could. Steven had become defensive, Kennedy and Issac were cool as a cucumber. Silas is a comedian and was making fun of everyone's dramatics. Big Richard was becoming clingy and trying to scoot Chola out of the way (which was creating a problem btwn the two of them), Harrison was flopping btwn super happy and mocking the criers, and Haggai was still just being his quiet sweet self. 

I was trying to keep it together and managed to do okay until everyone was on the bus. Saying goodbye was a little easier knowing I would be in Chaisa the next day and would see most of them. They were all crying on the bus, I am running in circles around the bus trying to make sure my shorties had all boarded. I can only walk away from this day with minimal tears because I know I will see them tomorrow. 

Community day

It's a favorite if mine, we go into the community where the boys live and disciple to the residents of the compound. It is awesome! When I say we, I mean the boys! They run all over telling anyone who will listen the story of Jesus and our mighty God. It is pretty cool to see kids running up to neighbors and strangers alike preaching the good word. It's like nothing I have ever seen before! My group led 3 people to Christ today, and evangelized to at least 40 people.

We also went to the tree of life today, on Sunday I sat next to Macnab at church, we met again today and he gave me the sweetest gifts! I will make an entire post on this later. It is at the top of the list of the sweetest things anyone has ever done for me! 

This day has blessed me- I have seen the "least of these" encourage believers, lead non believes to The Lord and a child saved, show pure love and joy for his amazing God. 

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Wacky Wednesday!

Have I mentioned I have a broken heart? 
Today I found out that two of my boys from last year are not going to school, this explains why they are not at camp! Robert's mother did not want him to attend Lifeway, I don't know why, but I am trying to get some info. Rabbi, who I worry about so much, stopped going because, as the note reads "uninterested" I am assuming he is working or helping at home and his caretaker thinks he is more of an asset now uneducated than at school and educated to obtain a decent job in the future. I am trying to get the community contact to help me figure it all out, but they move at a different pace in Zambia so I have to wait. 

One of the hardest conversations I have ever had via text, was tellin these boys sponsors they are not in the program! Trying to explain to the sponsor that the child they have grown to love and care about, were not allowed to attend school, and not getting a healthy warm lunch everyday! Zambians are just not totally hip to education, for generations they have not been formally educated and have not been able to see the rewards an education provides. Luckily the sponsors of these children have big hearts and lots of love and have agreed to shift the sponsorship to one of my orphans that were added to my group this year. I will not give up on Robert and Rabbi, I am going to get them into our school, no matter how long it takes- I will not give up on them!

Camp was fun today. It was fast and exhausting and awkward! MR an I sponsor two of the kids in my group- I have been having a rough time with Chola, he has been super sad all week and I haven't been able to figure out why. He only has one flip flop, which probably is the least of his concerns, but it is bothering me! I literally sized up his feet today and found an American man at camp who has a foot close to what I think Chola's is, I have offered to buy his used tennis shoes on Friday night to give to Chola on Saturday morning when I deliver his food drop. A child should not be running around these slums with just one flippy! 

I had a blessing time with Harrison today who told me the saddest story I have had yet. I will post details on each child in a few days. It's a tear jerker- well actually it just pulls your tears out and washes your face in em... Trust me- it's happened to me! 

These boys love to color- hopefully these pics will post for you all! 

It is 11:00 and 6:00 am is creeping up, so I am going to sleep. I promise to blog details soon, I am just totally spent after these days. 

Keep in touch

Tuesday, July 16, 2013


I keep saying how amazing this place is, and it is, I won't deny that. At the same time it is heart breaking and sad and discouraging and just straight up tough! My heart has never felt so fully broken, my mind has never been so conflicted. 

I walked into camp this year thinking it was going  to be easy and all would be right with the world! I thought I would have 5 of my six boys, they would tell me endless stories in perfectly clear English of how they love school and are getting incredible discipleship, and their families have all decided to treat them with pure love and respect for being great students.  In my head, this was going to be a walk in the park- skipping and whistling a joyous toon! 

Well, reality is, it's a little different than that. I only have 3 of my six boys. I am trying so hard to get to know 7 new boys. They are precious, they each now hold a very deep special place in my heart. Just when I thought I couldn't handle anymore, there was room, enough of me to love all of them. 

This day at camp we spend a lot of time doing one on one blessing time with the kids. This is when you find out the scary stuff! Kennedy's mother has died in the last year- he is now a DOUBLE orphan-, Harrison's a double orphan and not feeling the love in the house he stays at, Haggai wants to be in school so that others don't laugh at him, Chola lives with his grandmother and about 7 other family members, rodrick is just is so smart and cant afors to eat much less go to school, and it goes on.  To watch a 10 year old grieve the death of a parent, is heart wrenching. They don't know where their next meal will come from or if anyone will give them a home, and if they do, will they love them? Blessing time is great bc you get one on one time with the kids, you can speak directly to them, have some quality time to let them know you love them and pray for them. Kids in Zambia are not listened to, they don't talk to adults unless they are answering a question. Adults don't look children in the eyes, hug them or worry about their safety and livelyhood, so for us to sit and let them talk about whatever they want is special time. It is when you hear the big beautiful dreams of being Dr or Pilot, and the scary stuff, like witches come in at night, they are beat or the much dreaded answer to my question "who loves you?"... And they say, "no one"... I DO, I LOVE YOU WITH ALL THE HEART I HAVE AND EVERY INCH OF MY BEING, I LOVE YOU, with tears falling and hugs being held tight- I may be the only one that they know loves them, the first time they have heard the words, I LOVE YOU! 

I didn't get through all of the blessing time today, but the ones I did, were amazing, scary, tender, eye opening and in the end, filled with lots of unconditional love and prayer.

Chola is having a rough day today. I don't know what is going on. He isn't talking about it. It's breaking my heart. I just keep giving big hugs, reminding him I have thought of him everyday for an entire year and I will not give up on him, his education or his journey through what is goin on now. 

I don't want to leave- I am already fretting about this. I love these kids. I feel like I am doing something here, making a difference, even if just in one child's life, I feel like I have a meaning here...

I keep hearing the phrase "life more abundantly" I want to give this to these children, and I want it- I want to live a life more abundantly in Love, friendship, faith, patience... I want it all more abundantly... And I want it here- (now if I could just convince the MR...) this is where I feel LOVE- not to be confused with feeling loved and loving- I have that at home. I have told you all before of the ones I love and that love me, but feeling love here is different, maybe bc it is so scarce, you feel it in your heart and every cell of your body in a different way than at home. I want to feel the love of these kids everyday, but mostly, I want them to see my love everyday- to give them an example and show them it is a reality.

Pics are being weird about posting- check out FB or say tuned for when I get home and can use a laptop. 

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Day two 2013

I love Zambia- actually, I just really love Zambian children!

We are having a blast! 5 out of 10 of my kids are sponsored, and go to the same school. 

The other 5 are not in school and I will post their stories for you soon. 

The days have been so long and it doesn't seem like I have enough time for good blogs at night this year. I promise to get you all teary eyed soon! 

Tonight it is 11:30 and the alarm is going to ring in 6 hours, so I must go to sleep.

Don't give up on me, keep in touch!  

Monday, July 8, 2013

Monday 2013

First- I read my post from yesterday- it's late here folks, I am working off my iPhone and if blogger doesn't auto correct (or does incorrectly) I am probably going to miss it... Sorry! I will translate later! 

I have to tell ya, I am lovin' life right now! Woke up this morning to tour Lusaka, Zambia. There are some super fancy parts of this city and there are some big hot messes! Our Embassy here is ridiculously large and on pretty high ground, The President of Zambia lives in a beautiful brick home on a lovely street, there are still 1 child out of every 6 people that are orphans, millions of people are living in extreme poverty, Family Legacy is making an impact and some (not all of) some of the "least of these" are getting a fighting chance at life in Zambia Africa.

We stopped in at Garden (one of many slums of Lusaka) to the nearly renovated school. It was once a bar, now it houses the school for all of the Lifeway Christian Academy students of Garden. 
These kids are so proud! They were also so well behaved and quiet! Grinning from ear to ear to show off there new school! 

They have a program called "One Way" the kids recite this together.
It is adorable! They are so sweet, so appreciative and respectful of this opportunity- it was heart warming to see them in school and so happy! It's a privilege, not a right. It is an opportunity, not a chore. It is a beautiful feeling to see kids so eager to learn! 

After the tour it was off to camp- I have ten boys waiting for me and I want to see my kids!!! I was expecting 5 of my six from last year. I only have 3. One of my boys, Taurai, is attending ( a government school) so he could not get out of class to attended camp. The other two I am tryin to figure out their stays. 

So, there are three, here is the good news, they are attending school! There is a new attendance program in place and if you don't show up 80% of the time, you don't go to camp! Hallelujah they go to school!!! 

I have added 7 boys- that means I will need to add 7 sponsors, so get ready- the begging starts now! ;-)

It is late, I have an early morning so I am going to make the intro quick! They are a big bunch of total boy mess! This is going to be so much fun! They have extreme energy, and a lot to say! Highlights: there is a pastor amongst us, Steven, is a preaching, God loving kid that wants the world to know (he also break dances ((there will be a dance off by week end)), Rodrick is the tallest, and speaks great English, but claims to not be at school, lil Richard is a dancer and sings a lot, Haggai and Harrison are quiet and I can't wait for some one on one to figure them out, Richard is sweet and still trying to understand what camp is all about. Silios is stand offish, but I am determined to crack that shell. Kennedy, Chola, and Isaiac are back, we have some catching up to do and I will keep you posted on how that goes. Their English is getting along really well, we are having conversations in English!!! 

Can you pray for these kids for me? I am prepared as I can be to start our one on one blessing time tomorrow- I am afraid I might get some scary truths, so pray for me to have the wisdom and where with all to handle whatever gets tossed my way, of the boys health and safety and that I can come home and find each of them a sponsor. 
Only 8 in the pic bc this is sort of like herding minnows... Did I say big hot bundle of energy? 

I am out- exhausted, looking forward to a great day tomorrow, hopefully my blogging skills get better, today was overwhelming and I need rest...
Keep in touch!! 

Sunday, July 7, 2013

July 6, 2013

Landed in Zambia at 6:30, one hundred  ten other Americans arrived with me and we are in a mission! 

After coordinating all the bags, 330 checked bags and 220 carry ons later, we boarded busses and headed to our village. This year we are staying at a hotel, its called the Chamba Valley Exotic Hotel... If by exotic we are talking about the 3 spiders (that are no longer with us), the one spider huddled up in the corner, and the other spider that almost held me hostage in the shower then made me want to possibly burn my backpack because he was heading towards my bag ( I talked him out of it- thank The Lord)! So let's just say, not so exotic by my standards, but not bad by mission trip standards! 

We unloaded our bags, and immediately headed off to help Erin with her Father's Heart food drops. We dropped food for 7 of her darling boys from last years camp. They were so joyful to be receiving so may blessings! 

I got a little blessing along the way, I met up with one of our sponsor children, Chola! Big hugs, tears and excitement! What a sufferance a year makes!! He has def grown and his English was fantastic! He is still very sensitive and super protective of me (didn't like te other kiddos getting too much attention)! 
I love this kid! Running around bare footed, with shorts an a t shirt (it's winter here folks, but it didn't seem to phase him. He looks healthy and we will have one more glorious week of camp together starting Monday! 

We wrapped up Erin's food drops around 1:00, headed for food and then began  unpacking our stuff back at the hotel. 4:00, we headed up to the legacy center to have an orientation meeting and dinner. Got home late, unpacked the final bags and heading to bed at 11:00. 

Keep in mind, still posting from my phone, and late at night, so forgive the spelling and grammar! 

Keep in touch! 

Holy Sunday...

I love some church in Zambia! It is loud and proud and beautiful and I for some reason always feel a little more comfortable and blessed by the experience. My sweet new friend, Macnab, drug me to the front to sing and dance- I bringing home some new moves! 

Church was followed by an amazing Mexican lunch, then the market. Once again, I helped out the Zambian economy! 

Then the real excitement of the day was meeting my painter for the next week. I didn't blog about it, but last years partner situation was a struggle for, so I have been praying for a strong, good, faithful man of God to guide my boys... Thank you God, you placed Elijah in my life this week. He is an employee of Family Legacy, he coordinates  all of the food for the Tree if Life and resident homes. He has been a partner at Camp Life for 5 years. Elijah is married to Ida with twin boys who are 1 1/2 years old. He has been preaching at his church and his prayer at the close of our meeting was beautifully heart warming! I am so thankful to God for Elijah, this is going to be an amazing week for my boys and I! 

We are leaving the Legacy Center now, heading to our hotel for the night. I will hopefully be reunited with my boys tomorrow. That's when it will get heavy- lovin my life right now! 

MR- will you consider a little bit harder the idea if moving to Zambia- I am praying for it!!! 

Keep in touch...

Saturday, July 6, 2013

First leg 2013

Independence Day! What a perfect day to head out for the opportunity to bless some beautiful kids, an amazing nation and on a personal journey so dear to my heart. 

Our family came over for a good ol' holiday cookout. Would not have wanted to spend such an important day with any less than my amazing family and dear friends. 

Then after some last minute stuffing  the last few ounces into our bags, and big hugs from everyone- we are off! 

I am not sure why this year I have struggled a little more or in a different way than I did last year, but I have, and I am hoping it is all irrational fears and silly worries that have been twisting me up. MR has had to talk me "down" a few times while tears where spewing and doubt was settling in, my folks have "nudged" me a little more than I wish they had to, and Lemon has reminded me that all I have wanted since the day I got home last year was to be back in Zambia. 

Maybe things have just been unsettled in general for me, maybe, as my MIL has pointed out, my fears and concerns are different than they were last year. I want everyday of my precious kids life to be as great as the days we spent together. Them being kids, having full bellies and surrounded by people who love them. I know it's not the case, and my heart breaks over and over everyday of the year we have been apart that maybe, someone is hungry, someone is in pain, someone lost a parent (or the other parent), somebody was abused, taken advantage of or exploited in some way. My heart breaks daily thinking about these boys and the environment they are living in. And Lord knows if you know me, you know I would bring each of them home and spoil them rotten! BUT, I also agree with Family Legacy, we are raising the future of Zambia, and if my boys are the smallest indication, the future if Zambia is lookin' good!!! I have this amazing Faith that God is working miracles in their lives, through you and I, for these precious lives, to be an amazing force to be reckoned with. We are showing these kids love, and love is what's going to change the mentality and culture of this great nation of beautiful people. 

So I am on the long leg of the trip from London to Zambia. We spent a few hours walking around London today, made our way on the "tube" and got a bite to eat before boarding for this leg. I was pretty sad that they didn't offer the traditional fair of chicken tikka masala for dinner, AND I gave them my "oversized" carry on with my snacks, so I am kind of hungry! Guess God's always teaching us lessons, showing us we are capable of more than we know (yes, that's the lesson I am seeing clear at this moment- I passed on African chicken mystery dinner and hunger is setting in). I also fell asleep as soon as we took off, woke up during one aisle too late to order said dinner and now, oddly, have the energy of a 6 year old on a playground, but with a grumbly belly... I am not a napper- this could be a really long night! 

We land at 6:30 a.m. I won't see the boys till Monday, we will be preparing everything for camp on Sat and Sunday. Hopefully these blogs post as easy this year as last. 

Keep a few prayers going for all of the Americans I am traveling with, the staff that is working so hard to facilitate all this and for the children that will have their lives changed this week from attending camp! 

Keep in touch!