In the past few days, we’ve hosted a WOW Christmas party and mobile clinic in the Kabunene community, visited the gardens and learned to cook village chicken with the Sasamukeni widows (complete with peanut butter made from scratch), visited the Twafwane community to help with the construction of a school, and conducted home-based care visits in the Katondo, Shamabanse and Mukobeko communities.
In each community there is much need, but we see God changing hearts and giving hope to communities. At a few of the communities we visited, Susan shared from the Word and gave an invitation for people to accept, believe and follow Jesus, their Lord and Savior. Many people stood up. Our prayer is that God would continue to transform lives of the people, for His glory. The physical provisions are temporary, but having a relationship with God is eternal.
The home-based care visits (as Chris mentioned in the last post), have been a life-changing experience for all of us. We’ve had the opportunity to share from God’s Word, to pray, sing songs and provide some food and basic necessity items for the sick and terminally ill patients we’ve met. A number of patients have come to accept Christ as their Lord and Savior as well, praise God!
On Saturday morning, we were in Mukobeko and my group met a 68 year old man named Justin with cancer in his foot. He lived alone, in a one bedroom home (the size of a small bathroom in North America) and had no family as they’d all passed away. He owned three dishes and one 10L jug (for carrying water). Walking from his home to the outhouse (about 10-15m away) was painful due to his foot pain. Even in the midst of his pain, he was praising God and happy to share about knowing Jesus. We sang him a Bemba song and Barbie (our team member) encouraged him with words and Bible verses and prayed over him. The man seemingly had so little but yet had absolute joy and confidence in God and His Word, which is really all you need. We were blessed by the encounter.
Each of the team members have their own stories of their home-based care visits. This was just one of many. Some were particularly heartbreaking and sad. Please keep the home-based care volunteer workers and patients in your prayers.
We have been reminded daily that it is GOD who gives strength to the weak and weary. We as a team of 12 can only do so much. Each day, we go out and serve, then return drained (emotionally, spiritually, physically, mentally). However, God is showing us the things that break His heart, the needs in each community and the ongoing transformation HE is doing through the power of HIS story, the gospel. He has given us new strength and energy for each day. Susan shared 2 Corinthians 12 often (with us and with the communities) and it has been a source of encouragement:
“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” (2 Corinthians 12:9-10)
It is hard to believe our journey here in Zambia is half complete. On Sunday, we attended Pastor Eric’s church – the Christian Care Centre. We were asked to bring out our “dancing shoes (or sandals)” for the occasion, ready to get up and give the utmost praise to our awesome awesome God. Susan spoke on the Armour of God (in Ephesians) and Pastor Eric shared about “Your Path to Destiny”. The messages were powerful. We danced, sang, listened to the Word, shared communion…and four hours passed in the blink of an eye. I suppose when we’re in heaven worshipping one day, that’s how it will be… time will not matter, we would just worship and praise God forever.
Please pray for our team. A number of people have been hit with colds – please pray for extra strength and energy as we complete the final leg of the mission trip.
Thanks for reading. See you all soon.