This week has flown by. Seriously, it feels like it still should be Monday! Its been another good week in Africa.
God seems to continue to surprise and bless me in the most unique ways. While I have not had any "mountain top" experiences, I feel that this experience in Africa is slowly changing me over time. Its like a long hike with a slight incline and a beautiful view. This afternoon I sang worship songs with the children and had the most fun. Its moments like those that are simply perfect.
I preached this past Sunday morning which was a wonderful experience. It was interesting because I only had 3 weeks to understand my congregation and the Zambian context. Services last from 9:30-11:30/12:00 which is long but they seem quick and full of energy. I preached about healing and asking God for healing in our lives - Mark 1:40-43. I hope it was meaningful to everyone. Bernard translated for me so the people that only speak the local language could understand me.
Zambia (and most of Africa as I have been told) is a very relaxed place. If you are told to arrive at 9:30, you can arrive at 10 and still be on time. The same is true with leaders in the church. This past Sunday the youth leaders did not show up and I had to teach the lesson without any prior knowledge.
One of my favorite sayings from the children is "Can I carry this for you?" At first, I wondered why the children always asked to carry my things. But then it hit me, they want to carry my Bible because they dont have one. They want to hold my jacket because they only have one. It reminds me why I am here. I am here for them. I am here to minister to them and show them the love of Christ. In return, they have shown me how joyful life can be with or without material things.
I am so grateful for the amount of prayer, rest, and relaxation I get here. Everyday I lay down for an hour in the middle of the day and either read, watch movies on my laptop, or take a nap. This time has reminded me how important Sabbaths are in life. While this is not a typical "Sabbath" being Sunday - the day of worship and rest. But it is a time of rest for me. I pray for 15 minutes before I relax. It has been the greatest spiritual and emotional journey for me. On Wednesday three American came to tour the Orphanage so I did not get my hour of rest. The rest of the day just felt "off." However, it was good to speak to other Americans for a few minutes since I havent seen one in 4 weeks. I am trying to figure out more Sabbath time in my life once I return in August.
I am still tutoring and teaching...and love it! I have identified the children who need extra help. They bring me their books everyday and we study. I require alot of the children to read out loud to me to help their reading and English skills. I have found they LOVE to read. Most of the children read more than I require everyday. I am so proud of them!
I have started attending the women's meeting at the Church everyday Tuesday and Thursday. It makes me feel like I am back home in the US at my own small group. I lead a Bible Study this past Thursday for the women.
Today I went to the Farmer's Festival. The festival had all the farmers bring their finest crop for selling. I bought 8 oranges and 3 tomatoes for 2 dollars! Yum! I got sunburned...bad! Most of the children had no clue what was wrong with me. I explained to me how my skin type can get burned and that it would be back to normal in a few days.
I have had a headache for the past two days and pray that it goes away soon!
I am sure next week will be another wonderful week! Until then...