I have been in Africa for four weeks now and am loving it! My Africa Trek team is amazing, nine people from nine different countries!
The first week in Zambia we spent doing training to prepare for the outreach. You could call it "inreach". We got to know each other on the team by telling life stories, studying the Bible, learning how to listen to God's voice, and more. I really enjoyed the deep teaching and growing closer as a team.
The next week we moved to an OM ministry in Ndola and did all sorts of outreach. That included going into towns and villages and going door to door, getting to know people, sharing the gospel, and praying. One day we went to a Muslim Somalian refugee market and ministered there. We also did a lot of children's ministry there on the base where we stayed. Lots of spontaneous games and Bible stories (while their favorite thing was to touch my hair!). I wish we could have done more to help there at the Ndola ministry, there is very few staff there, half of which are living off of savings with no support. The ministry has so much potential with over 300 kinds coming there every day for extra lessons or just to play. The children's ministry is only one of the many ministries they have there.
Our last week in Zambia we worked with a ministry called Nsansa village community development. They work with street kids, from ages 6 and up, rescuing them and giving them a home there at the base and an education and counseling. Right now there is about 60 boys at the Nsansa base and still many more on the streets that they are reaching out to. I loved spending time with the boys, getting to know them, helping them do their laundry, encouraging them, and hearing their stories. They have hearts of gold.
A few nights we went out into the streets to work with the kids there. We put on a little program for them, played games, sang and gave a message. We then broke into smaller groups and talked and prayed with the kids. It was very difficult emotionally to see the lives these kids live and how poor their mental health was along with their physical health. A lot of that has to do with the fact that most of them are addicted to drugs, especially "Bostick". All night you would see the young kids holding their bottles with a little bit of glue in them getting more and more high as the night went on. I left each night discouraged, but I realized how much work this ministry is doing when I compared the boys already rescued to the boys on the streets. It was so good to be able to help this ministry in what ever ways they needed and I was inspired by the work they are doing.
That was the end of my first month on the Africa Trek! It has been better than I even imagined, but of course there have been challenges. My favorite part has been the intimacy with God. He has been teaching me so much about himself and about me, opening up things that I've never thought about before. It's such a blessing to be in situations where there is nothing else to depend on but God. That's where you have to trust Him and end up going deeper than ever before. The next update will be about or stay in Malawi.
Please continue praying for me and my team! Pray for safety, spiritually and physically. For good health and energy. Pray that we would be lead by the Holy Spirit and continue to be effective in our ministry and that our focus would stay on God. Lastly, for continued unity for our team.
Thank you for thinking of me and for your prayers! I will try to send more updates soon.