Since my last writing, Wiphan and my family here in Ndola, Zambia, have enjoyed the company of a teacher team from Georgia. They came for a week to be an encouragement and to instruct Wiphan’s teachers.
We had the opportunity to join them, along with two of Wiphan’s staff, for a walk through the village of Nkwazi; the location of one of the three Wiphan schools. We recognized many faces as Wiphan students.
During our walk a couple of teachers from Georgia were afforded the opportunity to meet their sponsored child. The scene which ensued was truly beautiful! One of the women had her arm around the little girl her family sponsored as she knelt down to show the girl pictures of her family. As the woman spoke, other children began to crowd around her to listen and see. Soon, she had so many children around her she was hardly visible. I was teary eyed, and I was only an onlooker.
As I was observing the scene of Nkwazi around me, my eye landed on a three-walled outdoor kitchen made entirely of cardboard and brush and stood maybe four feet in height. I noticed nearly every orange, clay-brick home had a piece of cloth for a door. Women were outside washing clothes in buckets of water and hanging them out to dry.
Children were running around playing and laughing. Men were building fires for the women to cook on. People of all ages were walking by with full buckets of various items on their heads; as they’d meet someone along the way, they would stop and greet each other with radiant smiles and continue on their way together. It was overwhelming to take it all in! What stood out to me were the smiles on nearly every face and the beautifully displayed sense of community among the people.
As we journeyed on through Nkwazi, many of the village children, including some Wiphan students, grabbed our hands and joined us as we walked.
We began our walk a group of around 15 people. As we neared Wiphan’s gate, concluding our walk, I turned back to see an additional 20 kids had followed us.
HIGHLIGHT OF MY WALK
One of the children who joined us was a sweet little friend of mine named Mike. He’s a second-grade Wiphan student whose little face always stands out to me. He held my hand from the time he found us during the walk until I told him it was time for us to leave. Just before we left the strap on my sandal came undone. Before I had the chance to fix it, Mike held my foot in his hand, strapped my sandal and placed my foot gently back on the ground. My heart just melted. That was definitely a highlight of my walk that day.
Later on in the week, a conference was taking place at Wiphan Nkwazi. All the teachers from Wiphan and from Georgia were there, along with my parents and a few others. Mamma Monica and Mamma Jackie (the cooks at two of Wiphan’s schools) were also there preparing lunch for everyone, so I offered to help. On this day, they were preparing 10 chickens and a few sides. Our next two hours were spent butchering those 10 delivered to Wiphan alive and clucking, and preparing them to eat. Not quite how I imagined the day would play out originally, but I was happy to help. I’m thankful I had butchered chickens a few times before.
FREQUENT LACK OF ELECTRICITY
Another recent event worth recounting is our frequent lack of electricity. Nearly every other day we have no electricity. It’s currently a countrywide problem caused by low water levels. It will continue until the rainy season begins; sometime in October or November. One day it was off 14 hours straight. When the electricity is off we also lose water very quickly. In fact, the only part of the house with any water when the power is off is the kitchen sink. Since no electricity equals very little water for us, we are sure to constantly have bathtubs full of an extra supply as a precaution. We have also learned how to quickly adjust to cooking on charcoal, and we have become pretty speedy at lighting candles. It’s proved to be quite the adventure, but a fun one nonetheless!
As I look back on the past month, the one thing which stands out to me is God’s goodness. He knew exactly where I needed to be at this point in my life: here in Ndola, Zambia. I feel as if I’m in my element, so to speak. I doubted it even as a possibility before moving that I would be content here; which is why I say God is good. Every time I doubt, he proves over and over again He is good and knows what is best for my life. I look forward to what he has in store for my future.