I’m sure you have guessed by now that the Outreach Prayer Paper Chain is getting very short. (If you don’t know already, you should know that paper chains are a part of every major or minor event in my life. And I’ve been known to make them for other people’s life events too whether they want them or not.) We’re removing one link a day on which we’ve each written a prayer topic or Scripture to meditate on as we countdown for take-off!
Communication update: We still do not have internet on base. We are currently typing up blogs and emails and then copying and pasting when we are able to go somewhere with internet access. I’m hoping we will have connection on base before we leave so that I’ll be able to answer personal emails, Skype, and be able to connect with each of you before I go. I don’t know if we’ll access to internet while we are there, so if you don’t hear from me for four weeks: Don’t worry. Pray for me.
Our team is getting so excited. Pillow-talk this week in the girls room has been all about Zambia and about the ways that we all feel like we’re just “us” and not really changing, but can see God’s powerful and gracious movement in each other’s lives daily. Last night we got ourselves so excited, we couldn’t even handle the dark anymore. We had to turn the light back on!
We had a really big week this week talking about, walking through and entering new levels of relationships with one another. I’ve been learning so much about myself in encounters and reflections on relationships here. One of the most powerful lessons this week was a message that God has really been imprinting in my heart since I arrived: The power of language.
I’ve started to understand that to an even higher degree the impact language has on our attitudes and how it creates our realities. Lessons I’ve heard time and time again, but become so much more real in a time where I’m surrounded by so many languages and by people coming from so many different flavors of reality. I felt like we got endurance training this week for our 2-month outreach ahead when we add even more languages, realities and life as we know it gets flipped upside down once more.
I want you to know everything I know about our upcoming outreach and the details will follow. But first, I want to ask for your words. Please speak the Truth to one another every day for the next two months while I’m in Zambia and Johannesburg. Speak specifically about what the Bible says God’s plan for the nations is and about what you believe God wants for our team and for those we encounter on this outreach. Say it aloud around the dinner table, in small groups, in church, in the car on the way to school or work, in the line at the grocery store (I dare you!).
Sidenote: I just realized Jimmy Needham’s “Speak” is playing in my earbuds right now. Perfect song to listen to while you read.
Now for a few details so you can know some specific ways to pray.
Instead of a 45 hour bus ride, we’ve found out that it’s actually cheaper (and so much shorter) to fly to Zambia! Woohoo! Our African students will be going on their first plane ride… Pinkie’s going to get loud!
We’ll leave our base EARLY on Tuesday, April 13th for a 5 hour bus ride to Johannesburg where we’ll catch an 11:00am flight that, after one layover, will arrive in Lusaka, Zambia. From Lusaka, we’ll take another bus to Mpulungu where we’re staying on Lake Tanganyika. We’ll all stay in one house (SO EXCITED!) right on the dock of the lake, right next to the boat we’ll take to access communities around the lake.
The ministry is called the Good News Ministry and serves the communities around Lake Tanganyika, one of the Great Lakes of Africa, that cannot be accessed easily by car. The vision of Good News Ministry is to see people living around Lake Tanganyika brought into the Kingdom of God, worshipping Him in Spirit and in truth. Their approach is to impact the people living around Lake Tanganyika with the love of Christ through prayer, evangelism/church-planting, training, and meeting social needs to reach the goal of having a holistic ministry so that the spiritual and physical needs of the people are met.
Lake Tanganyika creates the border between Congo and Tanzania and is populated greatly by undeveloped communities making a living on fishing. ONE PERCENT (that’s 1%, .01, not a lot) are Christian, they have very low literacy levels and cannot live off agriculture as there is no fertile soil nearby.
We will be working with the Good News Ministry for four weeks. Their orphan school is on holiday for the month of April, but is hosting half-day programs so that the children will be able to eat 2 meals/day.
We will spend two weeks eating breakfast and lunch (pap, beans and more pap…MMmmmm) with the children and hosting their morning programs. We’ll work on literacy and homework with the students, paint signs and stencils for the new school building, and host games, crafts and dramas. We’ll be running the entire program from 7am – 12pm.
April 21-26th we will be a part of a youth camp and will be staying on-site with the youth. Other activities we’ll be a part of are teaching adult literacy, prison ministry, children’s and youth ministry, and participating in building a medical boat.
Every morning we’ll be starting our personal quiet time by 5:30am and our day will be action packed until after dinner. Kelly and I are in charge of planning our dinners and going to the market to buy supplies. Any verrry simple recipes that we might be able to cook in Zambia, send ‘em on!
After four weeks in Zambia, we are crossing our fingers and hoping to visit Victoria Falls on our way to outreach in Johannesburg. We could also use prayer for details to align for our 3-week outreach to Jo-burg. I don’t have any details to share because we don’t have them yet. Speak about God’s plans for us in Jo-burg, the capital city of South Africa. I am hoping to be able to update blogs and emails from there.
I hope you’ll be excited with me! Pray for us as we plan dramas, stories and sermons to share. Also, please pray for us to be open to creative ways to share God’s Truth to Bemba-speaking Zambians and multi-lingual South Africans.
I hope to update again before we leave, but if I am unable to, know you will be in my thoughts and prayers as well! We leave on April 13th!
And now for a bonus! My wonderful, wonderful friend Nicci mailed me a memory card on which my team and I loaded all the videos we could make. We sent it back to the States and she loaded up a YouTube account, so you can see a bit more of what our life has looked like here in South Africa. You can go to http://www.youtube.com/CompassionDTSKruger to see us!