God's Guidance on the Roads
We thanked the Lord that everything went well at the border crossing from Namibia into Zambia. A lot of Moringa trees, which is very rich in nutrients, are grown in Zambia. They sell it in all kinds of health products like tea. We stopped at Ngonye falls. A local kindly took us to the best view, it was beautiful! Seeing God’s hand in creation was so humbling and continually grows us in faith.
Late that night we arrived at the “backpackers” lodge. We found out they do not host people anymore for the safety of the children in their orphanage. The guard called for someone to help us. We realized we’re at a mission station when two assemblies of God’s missionaries gave us tent-houses to stay in. The hosts’ sons are friends with Daniels’ family in South Africa. We thanked God for giving us that place to overnight.
The road we took to Kabwe was extremely rough. The trailer broke a bit and we lost a few things along the way, including Abrie’s toolbox and fishing rod. The sugar jar broke (even though there were two cloths and a plastic bag tied around it) so sugar and glass got a bit scattered throughout the trailer. Our team was tired at this time, the Zambian heat, not much sleep, a bad road and the mess with the trailer took its toll. We took courage from knowing this: “God will provide for all the work He wants us to do.”
Bibles - The Best Gift
We slept over at old friends of Frontline. Here we prepared padkos for the next day and cleaned out the trailor. The jar of honey and all 18 eggs miraculously made it! Since this point we completed the whole mission without sugar. The lady made delicious melktert. We polished it off because when again will we have melktert on a mission? We had a short but great time with our hosts, it was good to have fellowship and hear about the work they’re doing.
The next morning we were able to get the trailer welded. Then we picked up Bibles in African languages from Operation Mobilization. George Verwer generously sponsored them for us.
We drove up to the North of Zambia. Our hosts have a wonderful place, upon arrival we first enjoyed a cup of very good coffee and melktart! The lady said it’s answered prayers that we came. Her husband would not have been able to talk on all the topics they assigned to him for the conference, since he has different meetings in other places where he must be. He did not know what he was going to do, then they received the call from Abrie “and it was an answered prayer”.
At the conference everyone was introduced. In Mbemba language they often switch “L” and “R”, so Talita was pronounced Taritah and my name Arieska. The conference was held in a valley with a small river but with a dry African landscape and cloudless blue sky. All the women wore colourful chitengis. The African people sang praise and worship songs, it was beautiful.
The pastor called and asked if we eat Shima. We guessed he meant mieliepap so we just said “Yes we like it very much” and will eat anything they give us. Lunch was served in a smallish tent with a school bench. Three and sometimes four people sat on each side, we just fitted. They washed our hands and opened the bowls of shima (maize meal porridge), capentas (small dried fish), cabbage relish and rice. We were hungry and digged in, literally, with our hands into the pap! The pastor taught us how to make a spoon with my shima. Everything was good, even the fish.
Then the pastor took us for a walk over the river and a bit into the forest, he gave us Mpundo, it looks like Marula fruits but is orange and more floury. At the street market we bought a lot of delicious real tiny sweet bananas.
What is the Church?
Abrie and Daniel started giving lectures on “What is the Church?”, pointing out that the Church is the Bride of Christ. Tobie was the cameraman. Talita and I split up, each got a translator and a group of children. My translator and I had a group of ten to fifteen year olds. They were very eager to hear the Bible stories and enjoyed acting it out. All of them liked singing, especially the marching song! They do not say Romans 6:23 but “L”omans.
Our host gave me and Talita each a chitengi, we wore it with pride and the locals loved it. Then during one of the lessons mine fell of, I just tucked it back into my skirt and continued the lesson. During lunch one pastor told us that women are seen as immoral when they loose their chitengis, I told him mine fell off that morning and he gave me a rather shocked look!
Children's Ministry and Bonding
My translator was very helpful and it was a blessing to get to know him, he translated everything with so much excitement. He said the way we do the Bible stories with the children will help them remember it because they do not only hear it, but also when they act it out they get to imagine how it really was. A lot of them knew the Bible stories already but still they loved acting it out. During free times we got to talk with the people and had some deep conversations, getting to know a few of them well. One girl invited me into her hut everyday were we sat and ate cookies. She dreams of becoming a nurse one day. We had a good time but realized that the Mbala area do needs our prayers. The church leaders are not always sincere and so many people have a misunderstanding of what the church should look like. Especially about the gifts of the Spirit. I had a long conversation with a man (the worship leader) who was very set on the idea that the church MUST allow him to prophesy whenever he has a dream. Our host asked for prayers for wisdom and strength, especially when he works with all the so-called “prophets”. After three days, it was sad to greet the people we bonded with over this time.
Our hosts gave us the Pineapple Story to listen to on the roads. It gave us a few great laughs along the way and we learned so much from it, especially about surrendering to and trusting in God.