Tuesday, September 30, 2003

Trip to Kizito Baptist Church
as told by stephanie

We started off at 7:11 on Saturday, September 27th. (Well, we were supposed to start off then, Ashley was moving a little slow, and Womba had to dry some things, so it was more like 7:30) We met James and Cindy Strange, and Ivy Lukosu at the Strange's house. We had two trucks filled up with sleeping bags, tents, food, soccer balls, a little bit of everything. Two hours later, and a few stops (one for last minute cokes and last stop at a flushing toilet) we arrived at Kizito Baptist Church in Kabwe, north of Lusaka. We greeted everyone, and went into the church for some words of welcome. Now this church building is probably not what you are imagining. It was mud walls up to about waist high. Then there was a 2 foot gap to the roof. The roof was sharply slanted and made of thatch. All the beams to hold the roof up were trees and branches. The benches were knee high hardened mud mounds. It was actually a very cool and enjoyable church building.

On our way to Kizito Baptist church in Kabwe.

On our way to Kizito in Kabwe…..off the beaten path.

A group of girls sitting outside the church.

After the welcomes, Ashley, Womba, and I went outside to teach the children. We got a reed mat and found the one tree in the area with a few leaves, and set the mat up under that. The tree provided shade to about two people :o) Ashley then told the story of Adam and Eve, and the first sin. Womba translated. After some questions and discussion, we got the balls out of the car, and let the kids play. Definitely the highlight for them. We even taught them two songs in English, Jesus Loves Me, and Making Melody. Then we sat back down for another story that I taught this time. I was going to teach about Jesus feeding the 5000, but I started talking about Jesus' sacrifice on the cross, and decided to tell them about Abraham and his son Isaac, whom God asked him to sacrifice. And then God provided a substitute sacrifice, a lamb. Turns out James was teaching on just that same story, the faith of Abraham, that evening! I didn't even know that ahead of time, God was definitely guiding us all this weekend.

Stephanie teaching the children about Abraham and Isaac while Womba translates.

Here you can see one of the ladies preparing cabbage for our meal.

Then it was time for lunch. Nshima, cabbage, and the absolute toughest chicken you have ever eaten. I couldn't even get the meat to come off the bone. You just had to suck on it. That is what we call, bush chicken. After lunch it was my turn to teach the youth and adults on True Love Waits. There were about 6 old men there. And I am talking OLD. Like they were missing teeth. It was a bit initmidating teaching True Love Waits to such a mixed crowd. The reason I also taught it to the adults was so that the leaders of the church would know what kinds of things we should be talking about, and teaching our youth. The True Love Waits message can also applied to married couples, in that they remain faithful to their husband or wife. The teaching went well, and I believe was well received. Ivy translated for me, since Womba was even more intimidated by the old people than I was.


After that teaching we had a bit of time to set up our tents. The three ring circus as we were fondly calling it :o) All the kids were lined up watching us. Making comments like, "Three houses from a bag!" We finally got all three set up, and Ashley, Womba, and I hung out in our tent for a little bit of time away from 50 eyes staring at us. Then we had dinner. Nshima, cabbage, chicken, and fried dried fish. Well, the nshima and cabbage was real good ;o)

James and Cindy Strange putting up one of the tents.

Ivy, Cindy’s interpreter, supervising the tent set-up.

See, I helped set the tents up too!

Steph playing a game of chiato with the kids.

Here I am playing a favorite game of the kids. It consists of me chasing them while trying to tickle them. I think they could play this for hours if I were willing.

After dinner we had another teaching session that James led. The teaching was quite interesting, but literally 3/4 of the church fell asleep! Dead asleep. Even the acting pastor of the church who was sitting up front fell asleep. We finished up a little after nine, took a girl's trip to the squatty-potty, and headed to our tents. Well, we spent a little time looking at all the stars. It is just so amazing that there are so many, when you can only see so few some places. In the tents I snuck a Twix bar and got ready for bed. And at that time, the singing began. They built a huge fire, and the old men gathered grass to sleep around the fire. The church choir sang and sang and sang. How long did they sing, you may ask? They sang until 3 am! That's right, all those people who were so sleepy in church, stayed up until 3 in the morning, singing. I fell asleep sometime in there, sooner than most of our crew I believe. Even worse than the 3 am quiet time, was the 5 am wake up call. Yep, all those old men got up at 5 am and started talking (loudly to each other, I think they must be losing their hearing) and laughing. There were about 3 feet from our tent. It was quite cool that night, and Womba gets up at 5 am and opens the window in our tent. "Womba, what in the world are you doing!?" asks Ashley. Womba said she was making sure she didn't oversleep! Hahaha, not really a good reason. I think Womba was still asleep cause that was the most ridiculous thing when there is all that noise outside the tent.

Womba taking care of her “mwana’s”. During the trip I seemed to have been given the name mwana (baby) or mwanawanga (my baby). Womba calls me this often and Ivy started to pick up on it as well.

Womba fixed me up all nice with a head wrap made from Stephanie’s chitenge. Although, she was tying it just a bit too tight! How do I look?

Anyway, we finally just bite the bullet and get up. All of us except Ashley that is. I guess she decided if she just stayed in her sleeping bag, somehow she would fall back asleep despite all the noise and commotion. We had tea and cookies. Got the balls out so the kids could play, took down the tents, packed up the cars. Even got the bubbles out to play with till those ran out. Finally at 9, we began sunday school. Sunday school is really more like the first preaching, since it is just everyone together. Ivy taught sunday school, and part of the way through people started nodding off again. Now Ivy doesn't take this nonsense. She was speaking in Bemba, but for 10 minutes she 'taught them a lesson'. And that lesson is don't stay up till 3 am when you have church the next day. It is rude, stupid, you can't think straight, and you will miss the whole point of the weekend. It was kinda funny, and I couldn't even understand a word she said! Then James preached. We finished church around 11. Then had lunch. Nshima, beans, chicken. We went to the cars, and Ashley was going to start up the truck to get the air running, but the truck wouldn't start! Luckily, the connections to the battery were just loose, so it didn't take too much work to fix those.

It took us 2 hours to make it back home.

Thursday, September 11, 2003

This is the first thing I saw when I woke up and walked out of my room the other morning. I have no idea how he got up there.

So goes another month.........

Let me first start off by saying that I typed out a prayer letter/update not long ago and sent it out to everyone. A few days went by and I was actually a little sad because only 2 people had responded to it. But as it turns out, the internet was to blame. A couple of days ago I got an email stating that my prayer letter was not sent to nearly everyone on my list. All of the addresses that failed to deliver were hotmail addresses…so if you have a hotmail account, sorry.

Last month we took Stephanie's brother to see the falls and to go on a game drive. We were very disappointed near the end because we had not seen the elephants. As we are driving out we look out our window and see these guys. Talk about feeling a little intimidated!!

Me and Steph

Linus and Chikulu. Aren't our kitties cute!

A boy from Shantumbu.

This week I began many new ministries. On Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays I will be teaching CBS in a new area. It is just a few kilometers past State Lodge Baptist Church (where I taught last time). Viniya is helping me again by translating. To get to our location, I have to drive through a farm, and in one stretch of the drive I have to drive through a herd of cows. When I went on Monday I was laughing hysterically at the situation. I was creeping on along and honking my horn to get the cows to move. It was a wonderful time to have a camera handy (and wouldn’t you know I did not have one). Actually the place I am teaching is behind Veniya’s home in a building that used to be a chicken house but has been converted into a church. On Tuesdays I am teaching a religious education class to six 8th graders at a new school in town. I am hoping this little stint will answer a question of mine, “Do I want to be a teacher when I get back?” And on Thursdays I am teaching a Bible club at Lusaka International Community School (LICS). I went there today and had a great time! Helen Neely is helping me. The kids at that school are too adorable! I am excited to see what the Lord will do there. Today was our first day and we only had 4 signed up to attend. When the children were leaving for their activities, there were 3 of the cutest boys (about 1st grade) left standing quietly in a line looking lost and scared to death. They had signed up to play board games but board games got cancelled due to little interest. So the man in charge of activities told the boys to come to Bible club (I think it is only because we were standing right there…but we’ll take ‘em however we can get ‘em!). Lucky us! So our attendance ended up being 7 children.

Bible club @ LICS. We were coloring our pictures of creation.

A couple of weeks ago I had my wallet stolen along with my passport and bank card. I have to admit that I was a little upset with the situation. I was pick-pocketed (and I think I know exactly when it happened). We were at a craft market that we go to on the last Saturday of the month. It is a good thing Stephanie was there with all her smarts. I could not really think straight or focus. So she took me to a police station to file a report. Surprisingly, the whole police ordeal was relatively painless. Praise the Lord!

Last month Steph and I helped with a volunteer group who came through to work in orphanages. This is a picture of the big event we would throw for the kids at the end of the week. It was like a field day. The children seemed to really enjoy themselves. There were about 5 orphanges on this Friday.

At the beginning of the month we said goodbye to our friend and fellow journeyman, Tommy Knighten. His term was up and he was headed back to his home of Shreveport, La. He even went to Tech. Too bad we had to go to Africa to meet each other. We all miss ole Tommy, but we probably do not miss him as much as Stephanie. You see, Stephanie and Tommy are what you call “getting’ hitched”. Yep, that’s right, friends, Stephanie and Tommy are engaged and will be getting married in May 2004. Stephanie will finish her term here on October 9, and go back home to Richmond, Va. I’ll be sad when Steph leaves but I will also be happy for her as she returns home and prepares for the future.

This was early in the morning. I was helping Tommy cook breakfast for Stephanie.

This is the lion that lives in our backyard. He is somewhat domestic, he only scratches and doesn't bite. Okay, so maybe he lives at the zoo and not in our yard.

For all of you who are familiar with The Commission magazine, the August 2003 edition features Zambia. Now I did not make the cut for the article, but Stephanie’s ankles did! They appear in the corner of a picture. The article focuses on the HIV/AIDS crisis in Africa, specifically Zambia. If you are unable to obtain of copy of it for yourself, you can read it online at www.tconline.com (although I am not sure if it is up yet).

Me and Stephanie eating lunch during our most recent trip out to Shantumbu. We are sharing nshima and rape (like collard greens). Actually Steph is pulling the weight of the team and taking up my slack. The last time we came to Shantumbu I got incredibly sick...so i could not bring myself to eat here again, at least not without having flashbacks of that miserable night spent hanging over the toilet. So i was just taking my nshima and rolling it around and pretending.

The Baptist Mission of Zambia now has a website (thanks to mastermind Tommy Knighten). So you can get to know our different teams and check out everything that is going on in the different areas of Zambia. My team is the Greater Lusaka Area Team (GLAT). The address is www.bmoz.org . The site is brand new so there might not be much information up yet but keep checking it!

Sleeping beauties. Sweet baby Linus! He is definitely a cuddler.
update coming soon...