What I’ll Miss…

Hey guys. Sorry about the long gap since my last post. What am I going to write about today? Music! Beautiful, sweet, Zambian hymns and praise songs! Music is one tool we can use to glorify our Master. Actually, the Bible says EVERYTHING we do, we should do to God’s glory. But I’m going to stay on the topic of music….

God has given each person a certain set of “passions”; things they are passionate about; things that make their heart swell with joy and love. For me, one of those passions is music. I’m a lover of almost all genres and all decades of music. Certain songs just make my heart want to burst with emotion! Zambian rooted praise and worship songs (whether English, Bemba, Nyanja, etc.) are a whole genre that make my heart smile, sing, and almost burst when I listen to, or sing along with them.

IMG_3050

A few of the neighbor girls singing for us the first time they came to play!

One reason Zambian music holds such a passionate place in my heart is because Zambians are incredibly passionate about music. When they sing, it’s with an incredible passion! To them, we “musungus” sing rather “passively” in general (not all of course). When we sing, are we singing as loud as we possibly can? Are we feeling it when we sing? Are we completely engulfed in our own world and not caring one iota about what others are thinking?

IMG_0298

Singing in hospitality! My friend Evans is in the yellow.

Everywhere I go, there is music involved! Everywhere I go, the people are praising the Lord in song; whether it be a church service, a classroom, walking through a village, or just hanging out having free-time. With music being such a part of culture and such a part of my personal self, singing with my friends here is probably my most favorite thing EVER!

IMG_0047

The ladies in the choir at Pastor Aaron’s church…Oh the passion with which these ladies sing!!! ❤

Did I mention that when we sing upbeat praise songs it turns into somewhat of a dance party? But you know what’s beautiful? They dance as a way of expressing themselves to worship the Lord. Dancing and singing go hand-in-hand here…

IMG_0287

Dancing and singing in the classroom at Wiphan Mapalo!!

Did I also mention the incredible musical talent Zambians have? They can clap, stomp, and step to a beat in such a way that it takes me FOREVER to catch on to. They pick up harmonies no problem and every one of them, 6 years old or 60 can stay on key. I’ve heard some of the most phenomenal voices I’ve EVER heard while living here! I have certain videos and recordings I play over and OVER just to hear certain voices.

IMG_0297

My mom snapped this great pic of Gasper singing during hospitality class one day!

One of my favorite memories concerning music while here was a Sunday afternoon when I spent 4 hours singing, dancing, and playing guitar and piano with some of my young adult/teen friends. We had all that free time, and music is what we chose to do. I will NEVER forget that day! I learned some Bemba songs and relearned a few English ones in Bemba…One of my friends was switching off with me on piano and guitar duties and we were showing each other different techniques…Ahh the memories! ❤

IMG_0595

My Sunday afternoon singing companions! =D

IMG_0561

And two more of the friends that Sunday afternoon… =)

Another favorite memory is singing with my hospitality friends. They sing every day to begin class. Last time I was there for singing, we sang for about an hour and a half. I was sitting between two of my friends, Gasper and Brenda. We started out singing slower songs in our seats, but Brenda, Gasper, and I were swaying and dancing (as the beat picked up) in our seats! Soon, Madam Getrude (teacher) said, “Everyone stand!” We all cheered as we stood and arranged ourselves in a horseshoe shape. She started a song; we picked out a step to match the beat, clapped along, and sang. During the song different people could be heard shouting out “Yes Lord!” or “Efyo!” or just shouting out of feeling. One could look around the room and see certain people dancing or others raising their hands with their eyes closed while tears streamed down their faces. What I love is that no one focuses on their neighbor or what their neighbor my think of them. They simply worship the Lord however they are led.

IMG_1339

Kneeling and closing our eyes while we prayed to the Lord in song!

After we spent some time standing and singing, Madam had us all kneel right where we were. We sang one “worshipping chorus” which, in English, says, “Just take me as I am. Lord Jesus Christ, who died for me, just take me as I am”. Madam Getrude had us close our eyes as we sang this song in two languages to our savior. After we sang this song, we sang another similar chorus in Bemba and prayed together. Oh how close I feel to the Lord during these times! ❤ I could sing with these friends ALL DAY LONG!

IMG_1338

Madam Getrude also kneeling in prayer and song while she led her class!

So, if you were wondering what my favorite thing about Zambia is thus far, or if you’re wondering what I’ll miss most when I return to the states, here’s your answer: besides the wonderful new friends I’ve made, the music and singing, without a doubt, are my favorite things and what I will miss the most when I’m not here!

IMG_1340

Edward lifting his voice to the Lord!

God created a beautiful thing when he created music! ❤

Advertisements

Smiles and Umunandi (Friends)! <3

Okay, so this isn’t my normal, lengthy, wordy blog post! 😉 I haven’t had anything happen lately to warrant writing a full post, so instead, I have a few short events to write about… =D

IMG_1027

From left: Selah, Mary, Violet (partially hidden), Eluvis (beaded hair, and Lakunda (painting Eluvis’ toes)

These are most of the neighbor girls!! If I haven’t mentioned this already, we have a lot of kids who stay on our road. They come over and play once or twice a week and we spend a lot of evenings together outside our gate just before it gets dark!

This particular day, I thought it might be fun to spread out an icitenge, bring out a couple bottles of nail polish and paint the girls’ toenails! They seemed to have lots of fun!! I brought out a pink and a blue. They ended up using both colors on every one of their toes. 😉 I helped them do some, but some of them wanted to do it themselves…It was a really nice, fun, bonding time with the girls! Looking forward to more similar experiences!

IMG_1031

Violet wanted to do them herself. 😉

IMG_1001

Me and the adorable Vincent!

GUYS!!! This little boy is just TOO CUTE!!! Vincent was here on a visit from Lusaka (capital city of ZA) staying with the kids across the road. We had them over to play the other day, and he came along.

Now, some kids are scared to of “musungus” (white people) to the point of tears! Some seem a bit amazed by how different we look and want to touch us, sit in our laps, etc. The last scenario (as portrayed by the picture) is the case with little Vincent!

I was outside with all of my friends, and admittedly hadn’t really noticed him. That is, until I felt a ball hit my leg, and turn to see his smiling face waiting for me to kick it back. I smiled and returned the ball and he started giggling. It was SOO ADORABLE! This started a trend of him following me around the whole yard kicking the ball to me and giggling each time I returned it. He is seriously the giggliest little Zambian child I’ve met so far!

He not only kicked the ball to me, but insisted on holding my hand or being carried everywhere after a while! One of my friends said, “Wow..This kid really likes you!’

Once, I went to sit down on the grass and not a minute later did Vincent come and plop down in my lap just giggling away!

I’m gonna miss this boy…..Come back for a visit soon! ❤

IMG_0737

Matthews on the left, and Douglas on the right!

IMG_0744

From Left: Douglas, Matthews, and Clement.

Here are some pictures of some of the Wiphan kids I spend a lot of time with! I’ve talked about some of the others in previous posts, but I don’t think I’ve mentioned these kids before. All of these friends love to visit, ask questions, learn new games or tricks, teach me Bemba, etc. Some of them don’t have as extensive of an English vocabulary as others, but Douglas is usually pretty good at translating or teaching me what they are saying.

IMG_0751

Precious on the left, Mike photobombing, and me… 🙂

IMG_0766

The side profile of Immanuel, Bornface behind on the left, and Douglas behind on the right.

I’ve enjoyed teaching the boys in the pictures random tricks such as: when standing with one side of your body flat against a wall, you can’t lift the opposite foot; if you stand in a doorway and push on the frame of the door with your arms (as if you are trying to push it down, like Samson and the pillars) as hard as you can for a minute, then walk out, your arms will raise on their own. There are others, but I’m not quite sure how to explain them (nor am I sure I did a good job of explaining these… =P). We also enjoyed an arm-wrestling competition one day…! I won a couple rounds, but yeah…these boys are strong! They won a majority of the time… 😉

Precious also likes to join in these things with the boys, but we also enjoy just sitting, arms around each other, and talking about school, family, etc.

So thankful for these friends! God has given me!! ❤