Monday, June 7, 2010

Greeting From Africa!!!

Greetings Everyone!

I have arrived! Boy, it was a long long long trip! I arrived in South Africa after 17 hours of being in the friendly skies. The plane was full except for the seat next to me! Delta lost my luggage so I only had my carry-on which basically had nothing in it for my over night in South Africa. I stayed with the nicest women named Ruthie. We talked about churches, God, South Africa, and men. J
I took a plane to Zambia on Thursday and was greeted by Bernard and Dru. Bernard is the pastor in charge of the Orphanage. I exchanged money and got settled at Dru’s house for the evening. Dru is a wonderful missionary from the US. She runs a school for children and works very hard for the children of Zambia.

I left the next morning for Zambezi, which is my small village that I am living in. The bus trip took TWO LONG days! It was a bumpy ride and very crowded. It was tiring emotionally and physically. I arrived at the Orphanage around midnight on Saturday night.

At my site there are two primary ministries – the Orphanage and the Bethlehem Parish United Methodist Church. The pastor is in charge of both of these ministries. At the Orphanage there are 35 beautiful children and teenagers. The church (or parish as he calls it) has about 100 every Sunday morning.

I was most impressed with the youth group here, which is mostly members of the Orphanage. I have attended and helped lead the program, but almost the entire program was lead by the youth! One youth lead songs, one youth prayed, one youth did an excellent Bible study, and one youth lead games. Literally the only thing I did was offer words of encouragement, participate in the games, and lead a prayer. The pastor believed in the youth’s leadership and it has paid off! I was most impressed how they listened to one another.

I have LOVED LOVED LOVED meeting all the children and teenagers at the Orphanage. They are so friendly and sweet. I am tutoring every morning and afternoon. I will start my church duties next week which include preaching and teaching. I have worked on math homework, read, and colored together. Today I went to the school to collect a shoe that one of the children left at school. They are beautiful singers and pray the sweetest prayers. I spent the afternoon working on math with Monica, who is an orphan and has lived here for about 2 years. She doe not get a lot of one on one attention because of the large number of children. I hope that her math will continue to improve over time.

There is so much poverty here. It is overwhelming to me to see it at times. Most people live in mud houses that are a single room for an entire family. There diet is only foods they can find. The schools are two rooms and they have very few books – maybe 20 total. The Orphanage cant afford books for the children to read.

The staff at the Orphanage are amazing! They are true saints and do a wonderful job! I am so honored to work with them. They literally work 24/7 for the children. The pastor/director has worked hard educating me about Zambia, the children, and the needs of the community.

I love how most of the Zambian people have gardens. We have three gardens and most of our vegetables come from there. It is a great way to eat for cheap. People don’t use a lot of paper here either so there is not as much waste.

Random Zambia Fact – There aren’t really public restrooms. You have to pay to use the bathroom. Its about 20 cents.

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