The Zambia Mission Team just returned home from our trip to serve Family Legacy in Lusaka, Zambia where Danny Lightner and his family now serve. Before we left, we collected books to take with us to fill one of the Family Legacy school libraries. Thanks to your generosity, we collected over 1,000 books! Thank you! Pastor Danny and his family are doing very well and they send their love, hugs and greetings.
This is the first mission trip I have ever been on. I have never flown across the ocean and visited other countries and had no idea what to expect. What I experienced was both eye-opening and rewarding. Eye-opening in that I saw and experienced things I have never seen before – other countries as we flew over them, jet lag, driving on the opposite side of the road, new culture and landscapes – but the thing that affected me the most was when we took a tour of the slum areas of Lusaka and saw third world extreme poverty. I’ve heard about it and even seen pictures, but nothing could prepare me for the actual experience. I had no idea how to process what I had just seen – there are no words, really. This grandmother’s heart broke for the children who called this home.
The trip was also very rewarding in that we were able to accomplish all that we had set out to do. We were able to set up a library at one of the schools where there had not been a library before. There are 23 Family Legacy schools around Lusaka, but only 6 have a library. When we arrived at the school, the children all assembled in the common area outside and provided a program for us, quoting their verse for the year, school rules, singing their national anthem, a skit about books and several special choirs singing for us. I’m not sure who was blessed more! They were extremely grateful.
We conducted an afternoon VBS for the children of Chelstone – the intake home where the children first come until they have a home they can go to in the Tree of Life Village. This has got to be one of the hardest jobs, being a mamma at Chelstone. Some of the children do not know how to use the bathroom, eat with utensils, and most of the children come there sick, malnourished, and even some already suffering with the aids virus. Barbara Hammel wrote a beautiful poem for the mammas of Chelstone. I’ve included it at the end.
The children will learn English at school, but for now, we mostly had to communicate through interpreters. However, we found that hugs and laughter are universal languages that everyone understands!
One of my most rewarding experiences was on the last day that we were there. The ladies on the team went to Chelstone to serve the mommas there by washing their feet. We then proceeded to pamper them a little by massaging their feet and calves with lotion and painting their toenails. I have never been part of a foot washing before and was not exactly sure how I should feel about it or what my response would be, but as my knees hit the floor and I began to wash Mamma Dorothy’s feet, I was the one who felt honored. She felt the same way and the bond between us was complete. In God’s upside-down kingdom, the more you bless others, the more you are blessed. The more you give, the more you receive. This concept was evidenced over and over again throughout the week. I don’t know who was blessed more!
Of course, when you go on a mission trip, they always set aside a day to have fun. We were able to go with the Lightner family to Chaminuka on a mini-safari. We got to see giraffes, elephants, antelopes, zebras, warthogs, cape buffaloes and many other animals on safari, but the best thing for me was when I got to walk a cheetah on a leash and pet it – amazing!
We saw God meet our needs on this trip and the needs of those we went to serve. The people and sights of Zambia will live long in my heart and my heart is full!
One of the best definitions I’ve ever heard for the meaning of character is this: Character is “who you are when no one is looking.” Some people’s character may be considered strong and others incredibly weak but we all have a measure of it. It’s those quality traits within a single person that initiate discipline, vision, endurance, respectfulness, mercy, and etc. Although character traits are revealed to self and unto others by one’s display of certain qualities, it’s not merited upon any kind of accomplishment nor is calculated upon how others perceive you. Our character is the essence that makes up the one unique you. No two of us are alike.continue reading
The Zambia Mission Team just returned home from our trip to serve Family Legacy in Lusaka, Zambia where Danny Lightner and his family now serve. Before we left, we collected books to take with us to fill one of the Family Legacy school libraries. Thanks to your generosity, we collected over 1,000 books! Thank you! Pastor Danny and his family are doing very well and they send their love, hugs and greetings.continue reading