Thursday, July 29, 2010

we made it

muli shani mukwai!!! (that means hi, how are you in bemba)

our team arrived safely in zambia, africa yesterday afternoon. we had a really long flight from new york to johannesburg, south africa. if it sounds far, it is. 15 hours to be exact. on one airplane. overall the flight wasn't bad, it was just boring. all 4 of us managed to doze in and out and at least get a bit of sleep. we watched movies, listened to music, read books and talked about how excited we were that we were headed back to africa!

once we got to south africa we didn't have much time before our next flight- the one that would take us to zambia! after 15 hours on a plane, 2 hours was nothing. ironically we all slept that whole flight... even better than the first one. i think that was probably out of pure exhaustion.

we made it quickly through immigration and rejoiced as all of our bags found their way to us! our dear friend nyambe was waiting for us when we walked out of the airport. it's always a joyous reunion with him! we ran a few errands and headed to the backpackers lodge where we stay when we're in the capital city. we rested for a bit and then another zambian friend, peter, met up with us and we all went and had pizza. :)

we all crashed around 8pm last night and slept for 12 hours!!! crazy, right? i think our bodies were trying to tell us something! this morning we had breakfast at one of my favorite places in lusaka- Kilimanjaro cafe. they have the best smoothies and coffee drinks. plus the whole place is decorated with african crafts. we hung out there for a few hours and met up with more friends of ours from a local non-profit called joy human development centre. these guys do amazing work for the homeless youth here in lusaka. they have soccer programs for them and teach them about aids & malaria awareness. in 2008 they took a team of young girls to the homeless world cup and they won! this year they'll be back in brazil to defend their title. sadly, one of the founders, james, passed away earlier this year so his brothers john & morgan are left to carry on. it was so heartbreaking to not have james with us but we know where he is and that he would want us all to continue the work he left behind. he's so inspiring and i hope to share with you more ways we can support and encourage their organization!

today we're running a few more errands and then early tomorrow morning we will head up north to kaombe village. it's about an 8-9 hour van ride so pray for us! haha! but we're all excited to get up there and join up with our zambian family. i can't wait to see all the kids and give them lots of hugs!

my heart is full today and i am so happy to be here. it felt like a long road to get here this year but we made it and i know that God has wonderful things in store. thanks for all your love & support!

hopefully i can update you next week if i go to town for supplies and such.

serving Him together,

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

it's that time of year again

well in just a week i will find myself once again on a long plane ride destined for africa. it's hard to believe this will be my 4th year traveling to the country of zambia! i remember my first time and how i had no idea what it would be like and what i should pack and what the people would be like. now i feel like a pro. packing doesn't stress me out. i get to reunite with people i love. i know what to expect and what i'll see. it's just a different perspective now i suppose.

this year feels different for me though. while i'm excited to go and spend a month sleeping in a tent, pooping in a hole, cooking over a fire and being with friends, there is a struggle to really embrace it fully this year. honestly i feel like this is the first year it feels like a sacrifice for me to go. i hope that doesn't sound awful, cause i don't mean for it to. it's just that this year my focus has been on so many things other than africa so now i have to reorient my brain and shift my focus. so much of my focus lately has revolved around getting my house together, helping with a church plant, forming all kinds of new relationships and investing in the lives of people in my community here. the thought of leaving this incredible community of people that i'm surrounded by for a month makes me sad. i know it's only a month but when you get used to living life daily with others you really come to rely on them for support and love and encouragement. thus, the sacrifice.

i know i have to lay down my desires and pick up my cross and follow Him. it's the call that He's put on my life and the responsibility that He has given me for now so i have to be responsible with it. i was praying in my car this morning and i just realized how selfish i am. i've already been looking with anticipation towards the fall and being able to focus myself back here in coatesville again and it's the wrong attitude. i need to be fully present in this moment. when i'm in zambia i need to be fully present there, not distracted by what i want to do when i get home. i want to have my full attention on zambia while i'm there. it's so hard being a human with weaknesses. yeah i know that sounds ridiculous but it's the truth sometimes.

a friend of mine posted this quote on facebook this morning and it really spoke to me.

...Many of the great achievements of the world were accomplished by tired and discouraged men & women who kept on working....

i have no idea who wrote that or where it came from but it's so true. i've gone through a lot of exhaustion and feeling discouraged but i press on!

oh and i know this probably goes against every blog etiquette rule but my brother and i are still in need of some funds for this trip so if you feel so inclined to give that would be a blessing. if not, that's cool, too. i appreciate that you read this and keep up with me (even though i don't write as much as i should)! hopefully i'll be able to update this a few times while i'm away and share with you about what's going on over there. clicking the donate button will connect you to paypal where you can make a tax-deductible donation to hope beyond borders (the non-profit i work for), which will go towards our trip.

thanks so much!!!