Sunday, March 20, 2011

We Have Arrived!

Mulishani from Serenje, Zambia! This is Amy Kieser writing for the team. We arrived safely in Lusaka (the capital city) late Thursday night. Friday morning was spent shopping for supplies and making a trip to the airport to retrieve our lone lost duffel bag. (Those of you who have traveled to Zambia before know that losing only one is actually pretty good!) We made the six hour trek to Serenje via the Hope Center van, with John Alford providing capable (if a bit nerve wracking, at times) chauffeur duties. Our friend, Marjorie Milambo made the trip with us, and we have delighted in knowing her better and been blessed by her warmth and presence. She fits in so well with the team that we have made her an honorary “Brooksider.” We arrived after 9 pm (Zambia time) exhausted but excited for what lay ahead.

We met the Hope Children’s Center orphans on Friday. A few of the orphans were unable to come, as there is currently an outbreak of measles in the region. (This would be prayer request number one.) We had the opportunity to introduce ourselves, play with the children, figure their shirt sizes, and take their pictures so that you all can see their beautiful faces. After that, the team made its traditional trip to Kundalilla Falls, a nearby and very beautiful waterfall. (Zambia has a number of falls, and they are all at the peak of their force, as the rainy season is just winding down.)

Today (Sunday) was truly a red letter day. We had the opportunity to worship with two churches. First we visited Teta, the church on which Brooksiders put a new roof last summer. We also gave each of the 23 orphans 50 kilograms of corn, a bag of dried fish, and a warm blanket for the coming winter. As Navice Kalunga said in each of the services, the children need not fear the cold this winter because they have a warm blanket. Next we journeyed to Kamena where we made the same distribution to 107 orphans. Along with the 68 orphans in Serenje, the Hope Children’s Center is serving nearly 200 orphans in this region of Zambia. Please be in prayer for these precious children. We also worshipped in song and prayed for the orphans at both churches. There is no way to describe worship in these churches. Believe me when I tell you it is majestically ineffable.

The gratitude expressed by these churches was both humbling and gratifying. God is working in a mighty way in Zambia, and Brookside is privileged to be a part of it. This work is very close to the heart of God. (Check out James 1:27 as one of many examples.) What a joy to know that our church is part of something so near and dear to the heart of God!

Finally, please pray for us as a team. We have bonded well and are looking forward to our week of ministry to the pastors, their wives, as well as to the orphans. Pray that we will be the hands and feet of Jesus this week, and that we will convey Jesus’ love for everyone to whom we minister.

Highlights from today:
- Hearing “Bringing in the Sheaves” sung in Bemba by the congregation at Kamena. That is a hymn I remember singing in my childhood church. (Amy)
- Learning to juggle. (Chelsea)
- Playing Frisbee with the children. (Luke)
- Talking to Savior (the pastor at Kamena) and hearing how he gave his life to Christ and how God called him into ministry. (Jack)
- Experiencing my first African meal (nshima!) and holding a ten day old baby. (Carrie)
- NSHIMA! And spending time with Navice in the truck to and from the churches. (Tim)
- Touring the house of Pastor Henry at Teta, and riding in the back of the truck with new Zambian friends to and from the churches. (Nathan)
- Giving the children blankets. (Marjorie)
- Watching the orphans at Kamena receive their food and blanket, and knowing Brookside is able to provide that for the kids. (John)

The church at Teta with its new roof!

Hope Center children playing a rousing game of Duck Duck Chicken!

The team and friends in front of Kamena church!

Navice preaching at Kamena. All the children you see are orphans.

The Hope Children's Center orphans.

A little girl at Kamena sitting on her corn while holding her blanket and fish.

We've discovered that Nathan is something of a "kid magnet!"

1 comment:

  1. Yay! So glad you are sharing your progress. Love it! Praying for you all. Give those kids some extra love for me. ~Molly