A Weekend in the Bush {Part 2}

{continuing from yesterday click HERE for Part 1}

Day 2

This day was my favorite…

Friday morning came all too quickly to our tired selves as we languidly rolled out of bed; excited for the day ahead, but sincerely wishing we could sleep longer.
We were soon at the conference where we greeted friends and gathered around the breakfast table. During breakfast, Madam Chisupa (the bishop’s wife) asked me to play and sing a song to begin the morning sessions.

As we all gathered in the conference area, Pastor Aaron opened with beautiful Zambian music. Then, feeling a bit nervous, I grabbed my guitar and played “Lord I Need You” by Matt Maher. Mom held the microphone for me and sang along with a high harmony. I glanced over at my dad once and he was crying. I didn’t look at him anymore to keep from tearing up myself… Lol. Blessing and Sibo (two of the Mwamba brothers) told me later they could tell I was a bit nervous and unprepared. Haha! But at least God isn’t interested in my voice being flawless. 😉

After I finished singing, I quickly went to join the Sunday school class to teach them. I soon learned that rather than walking to the nearby area they had yesterday, the entire Sunday school team had walked 2 miles away to a football (soccer) field!

A group consisting of my brothers, my friend Victoria, myself, and little Grace (who held my hand the whole way) set off in the general direction of the field, but with little confidence on how to get there.  We traipsed through the Zambian bush for quite some time, taking a wrong turn once and going a good bit in the wrong direction, but we finally found the field where we met up with the Sunday school.

This session, Alex and I together shared about the fruit of the Spirit with Victoria acting as translator. After we finished, Victoria led in a few different sing-song/dance games with the kids before we walked back to the main area.

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Dad teaching with Pastor Aaron translating

I managed (with Gloria and Grace next to me) to catch the end of Dad’s talk on idolatry which happened to be a great pathway into what I would be speaking on in the afternoon.

After dad finished and everyone was released, we ate lunch and I headed to the kitchen to greet the people there. Being in the kitchen always makes me smile. =)

As I left the kitchen, I was intercepted in my walk by a sweet little boy, perhaps 2 years old, named Timothy who I sat and held for a while as I read through my notes for the afternoon.

After a bit, I joined Deborah and Victoria who were sitting under a shade tree. They were in the middle of a discussion, but I was hoping to have a chance to ask them how I could be praying for them.

However, God’s plans are higher than mine and He knew it wasn’t the time to ask those two that question; but rather a different friend…

Rejoice (the other Mwamba brother) approached me after a few minutes and asked if I could assist him on the guitar. As I stood observing him play, I began visiting with another friend standing there. Out of respect, I’ll refrain from sharing his name.

I’m unsure what prompted me to ask as I wasn’t intending to ask him, but the words, “So, how can I be praying for you?” came out of my mouth.

This friend is rather shy and up to that point, I wouldn’t claim to have known him well. He stuttered a little at my question and struggled saying, “I’m just so shy…I want to tell you…but I’m just failing because I am shy.”

I said, “Well if it’s something too personal or private I understand and I’ll just know to be praying for a personal issue. Just know I’m happy to hear anything you have to say though! My greatest love and passion is to listen to people when they are hurting and help them however I can.”

My friend still seemed utterly conflicted. We were standing where there were many people so I asked, “Are you afraid someone is listening?” He said yes, so I suggested we walk over to a nearby log where no one was at the time (still in the main area; but away from crowds).

As we sat down, he verbally argued with himself for a time before finally sharing a deeply personal struggle. He insightfully even shared why he struggles with the issue and what he knows would help him improve. I then asked if I could pray for him right then. He looked around to see how many people were watching and finally, but hesitantly, said yes. We prayed together and then he said something that absolutely amazed me…

He said, “You know, after your dad was sharing with us yesterday I told myself I would confess this struggle to someone today, but I was failing because I am shy…and then you came and asked how you could pray for me!”

ISN’T GOD INCREDIBLE!?!?!?! I had NO idea he’d made that commitment to himself and I truthfully wasn’t intending to ask him how I could be praying for him! Yet God, in His omniscient nature, knew this friend needed the encouragement and I needed the faith builder.

After we finished our discussion, I quickly found my parents and told them what God had done. Following this, I went back to the main area and noticed my friend Deborah sitting on the log where my other friend and I had just been.

I went and sat next to her and asked how I could be praying for her as well. She shared 3 different things to pray for, one of which I could strongly relate to, and we spent a few minutes in prayer together.

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Me teaching

It wasn’t long before the afternoon sessions began. The plan was for the “youth” (ages 15-30) to remain in the main area where my parents and I would be speaking. Everyone else was separated in other groups with different speakers.

I spoke first following my dad’s introduction and had Pastor Aaron as my translator.

I began with the topic of putting God first in our lives (which is what tied in nicely with my dad’s prior discussion on idolatry). Then I shared about Spiritual gifts and talents, the difference between the two, how everyone possesses both, and how we should seek God to show us our gifts and talents. Then, I came back to the topic of putting God first and explained how we should put God first in our talents and gifts and use them to serve and glorify Him; consequently, strengthening the body of Christ (this tied in nicely with what my mom would be sharing next!). I concluded by saying that I was happy to talk to or pray with anyone who would like me to do so later on.

When I finished, a pastor (who had remained with us) stood and expounded on what I shared. He stressed the importance of seeking the Lord at this stage in our lives as youth. He then said that anyone who would like for me to pray for them, asking God to reveal their gifts and talents, could stand in front and I would pray over them.

This was entirely unexpected. I asked my parents if they’d like to pray as well; but they told me it was what God had laid on my heart and so I should pray.

Fifteen to twenty young people came and stood in front. My heart instantly broke because I wished I could know each name. I said so out loud and Mom quietly reminded me, “God knows Megan”. So I closed my eyes, comforted by what my mom said, and prayed.

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Sibo and Pastor Aaron leading music

After I finished, I sat down and listened to my parents speak. I was greatly encouraged by what both of them had to say. Mom shared about youth in the Bible; focusing specifically on Miriam and David. Then dad shared some encouraging passages of Scripture and spent a great deal of time praying over us all.

When they finished, everyone came together for a short evening session. Pastor Aaron and Sibongile led music to begin. Sibo led a beautiful South African song and did so with such joy and passion it made the song, already a beautiful one, even more beautiful!

When the evening session was complete, everyone dispersed except for a select group to have a session on marriage.

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Victoria (and Gloria)

Outside, I took a walk with Victoria and another friend named Rebecca. We enjoyed some fun time of chatting and laughing.

Upon returning, I stood and chatted with Deborah and Sibo. Sibo left after a time and Deborah and I enjoyed a wonderful conversation. She asked me for advice and we had a very open discussion. For privacy’s sake, I won’t disclose the content; but it was incredible how our discussion tied in beautifully to my conversation prior with the anonymous friend.

Later on, as it was becoming dark, I joined a very interesting and fun Biblical discussion. The participants included two girls, Mulenga and Jane, myself, and the anonymous friend prayed wither earlier.

When I joined the conversation, two of the questions we discussed were: “Is it wrong to judge others?”  and “How do we as Christians balance sharing the gospel with others, yet not associating too much in the wrong crowd so as to fall in ourselves?”

The subject then turned to discussing spiritual gifts and talents and we each went around sharing what ours were. During all our discussion, God began to show me my anonymous friend possesses the spiritual gift of discernment. When it was his turn to share, he said something to confirm my thoughts and I said, “You know what? I think I know your spiritual gift!” When I said “discernment” it’s as if a light clicked and he realized it was true. He started thinking out loud telling how he processes things and how he determines the character of a person. It was extremely neat to watch him!

Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to stay and enjoy more conversation as I was soon informed we were leaving for the night.

The next day, our last, would be a day one of passionate joys and fun, sad goodbyes, and deep reflection…

{to be concluded tomorrow, September 3rd}

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