If you’ve never been on a mission trip I highly encourage you to do so, this experience was one of the best of my life! Thank you to everyone who prayed for us and/or gave financially to help make this mission a reality!
A team of seven of us headed out to Zambia on July 10th. After a 15 hour flight we landed in Dubai where we spent the night. It’s now July 12th, after some breakfast we head to the airport for another 7 hours of air travel. Once we arrived we loaded up our bags into a truck and boarded a small bus for a 3 hour ride, half of which was dirt roads, to Project Samuel.
After arriving in the evening we had dinner, unpacked and had team time. Team time ended up being one of my favorite parts of the day. Every morning we read a chapter of the book of Nehemiah and some related verses in The New Testament, we then had some questions to answer about the story the principles it taught and how we could use that in our every day lives. We also did an encouragement exercise where we would encourage another team member with how we saw them that day. Between seven guys we managed to go for at least three hours every night. I learned so much in this time.
Our first full day on site was a Sunday so we divided up and headed out to three different churches. Church in Zambia was incredible, there was no multi-million dollar campus, no PA system, no live band, just hours of singing and worship.
Jason gave a sermon on how we are all ambassadors for Christ, it was truly moving, not only for me but everyone who was there.
Monday after our personal study time and breakfast we broke off into three teams. The team I was apart of was working in the training center all week painting and building a ceiling, this is no easy American drop ceiling this is hundreds of measurements, cuts, and nails, no kit, no instruction manual. We finished up Thursday evening.
Another team worked in what will be the third children’s home doing ceilings as well. The third team worked clearing land. Project Samuel has 250 acres of land, currently utilizing 35 acres of it so there is plenty of land that needs to be cleared!
On Wednesday we only worked until lunch and then went out into a few of the villages to talk to business owners and farmers to invite them to a business conference we were holding on Friday. It was great getting out into the communities and talking with the locals, I even made a couple of new friends.
We had around forty people show up for the business conference where we used Nehemiah’s story to teach business skills that follow scripture. We all presented on a topic. I talked about evaluation, something most people don’t enjoy buy something I love and hopefully I got the point across that evaluating your work doesn’t have to be a bad thing.
Later that night my good friend Jason baptized me. It was unreal and probably the highlight of the trip for me. We had been there almost a week at this point, we walked back into the training center where the ceremony takes place and there is a bat flying around, I hadn’t seen a bat the entire time we where there. If you know me well enough you know I’m a huge Batman fan, so I took this as a sign that God has a great sense of humor.
During the week after we finished working for the day and before dinner we crammed in as much kid time as we could. They love playing soccer, but only let us play with them once, we beat them and they asked us to go cheer for them. We played frisbee, taught them how to play softball, kicked the ball around with some of the younger ones, it was awesome seeing them light up and having such a good time.
We left Saturday afternoon to go back into the city. It was bittersweet, we were all missing our families back home but at the same time the trip was over and there’s still so much work to do, but I guess being a disciple of Christ means His work is never done.
And even in Zambia you can’t escape this song.