Team Zambia has returned from Livingstone to the Lusaka area. We have been without a reliable internet connection for much of our time here in Africa and apologize for our lack of blog posts.
On Monday we loaded up our small SUV for our 6 hour drive to Livingstone, Zambia, on the southern border with the country of Zimbabwe. The city is one of the most famous in all of Africa and named after David Livingstone. It boasts one of the 7 Natural Wonders of the World, Mosi-Oa-Tunya, aka Victoria Falls.
As is often the case in countries that are not quite as schedule oriented as the US, our 6 hour ride began late, and was conveniently interrupted by a faulty bearing on our vehicle. This allowed us to stretch our legs for about two and half hours while we pulled our vehicle into Last Hope Auto (after limping the vehicle 10 km AND picking up a stranger who had run out of gas). We arrived in Livingstone at 11 pm to meet with our host pastor, get situated in our lodge, and we still made it to dinner.
Tuesday morning was set aside for a pastoral seminar with 11 attendees. There was no child evangelism sessions planned for the afternoon so we had the opportunity to put our tourist shoes on and check out Victoria Falls, the world's largest waterfall. Needless to say, we all stood in wonder at its majesty.
The next morning we taught child evangelism lessons at two schools, reaching over 130 children.
- Overcoming the language barrier while teaching children on these Mission Helper Trips can be a challenge. Here in Zambia, the official language is English, so we have actually been able to teach a few lessons without using a translator. Although it is the official language, English is the second language (and sometimes 3rd or even 4th) for the people here in Zambia. Here in Lusaka the common language is Nyanja. In Livingstone, Ntonga. In Kitwe, Bemba. (note: these are 3 separate languages, not 3 different dialects of the same language) For the groups in East Africa, they have undoubtedly heard the word "mzungu" (usually said by a child pointing a finger and yelling to their friends), which is roughly translated to mean "white person" (wazungus is the plural form). We have learned from experience that the word is not confined only to the Swahili language spoken in East Africa, but crosses many African languages, including Nyanja, Ntonga, and Bemba, and we are wazungus here as well. That being said, a soccer ball (football to the rest of the world) transcends the language barrier quite well.
Today was another travel day, with lodging in the Lusaka area before we travel another 4+ hours tomorrow to meet with Missionary Ude for a pastoral conference and more child evangelism lessons.
It has been a humbling experience for our team to be able to share the truth of God's saving love and see one of the wonders of His creation along the way.