It has been quite busy the past couple months for my family here in Zambia. In fact, my mom had to make an unexpected trip back to West Plains for a month so we were without her until her return at the beginning of October.
With that said, my brothers, Dad, and I back here in Ndola had a bit more responsibility and work to do while she was away. Overall I’d say the month without went better than expected. We worked together well and accomplished everything we needed to with minimal difficulty. However, we were overjoyed when we picked Mom up at the airport and are incredibly excited to have her back home! Personally, I have a new-found appreciation for my mom and everything she does for me and the rest of our family.
Despite her being absent, the rest of my family still went to Wiphan every couple days and spent time with other friends; carrying on life as usual.
From the time we first arrived in Zambia in March until now, I have spent a great deal of time with some students in the hospitality class at Wiphan. This class is geared toward training orphans and/or widows in skills such as catering and running a lodge. The program takes one year to complete, though the last three months of the program are spent interning at different businesses to put their skills into practice before graduating.
Unfortunately for me, this three month process began for my friends at the beginning of October. Some of them have remained in Ndola to intern, but most of them have traveled to other towns meaning I won’t be seeing them until January.
In anticipation of them leaving, my parents and I decided it would be nice to invite these friends over to my house for an afternoon to spend some last-minute time together. My mom was already in Missouri when we had them over, but my dad, brothers, and I had a wonderful time with them!
My friends showed me some Zambian dancing and I taught them some simple line and contra dances. We played a game of futball (soccer) and I introduced them to tacos for lunch. None of them had ever eaten tacos before, but at least most of them liked it. One of my friends, said, “I need to come back again next week and eat this.”
To end our time together, my friend Francis led us all in a Bible study and time of prayer before my Dad and I left to take them home. It was a day which will live on in my memory forever.
Later on in the month, our family attended the monthly Inshila meeting at Wiphan. I spoke in my last article about my time with a young man named Ringson at one of the previous meetings. I shared about all the questions he asked me regarding God, the Bible, and Christian living; and also how he made the decision to give his life to Christ.
This past month, I saw him again and asked him how his month had been. He answered by ecstatically sharing everything the Lord had been teaching him, all the Bible stories he’d been reading, and asking other questions he had about the aforesaid topics.
It was incredibly exciting to me to hear and see evidence of the Holy Spirit’s work in his life over the past month and I look forward to visiting more with him in the future!
My family also had the thrilling experience of watching a professional futball (soccer) game: Chipolopolo (Zambia’s team) vs. Mozambique this week. The enormous stadium (which can seat 40,000 people) is actually located just down the road from our house! Chipolopolo doesn’t play here often, so when they do there is quite the turnout! We had a lot of fun and it made it even better that we won 3-0.
To finish off my article, I thought it might be fun to share a little bit about each of my brothers and what they’ve enjoyed about living here.
Alex, who is 13, really enjoys learning the Bemba language and putting it into practice at home, Wiphan, and anywhere. He also enjoys playing futball, doing gymnastics tricks with our neighbor friends, and spending time with Steve (our gardener). He also has a pretty big following at Wiphan teaching some of the boys some cool tricks.
Jackson, who is almost 11, has enjoyed all the small creatures here. He and his good friend (a missionary’s son from Texas) plan to start a zoo together one day. Jackson has decided to get a head start by turning his room into a zoo which currently consists of chameleons, large blue-headed lizards, tree frogs, tarantulas, and a guinea pig. He also said he loves how friendly the Zambian people are and likes to help them work up the courage to hold chameleons.
Anderson, age 9, is an incredibly good futball player and his skills have only increased while living in Zambia since it’s such a popular sport here. He loves spending time with our neighbor kids and the Wiphan kids and said he doesn’t have one best friend, but loves spending time with them all. Andy also enjoys helping Jackson with his zoo efforts; catching lizards and other harmless critters.
Cameron, age 7, loves to make friends and has a long list of “best friends” here. One of them is a boy named Takundwan who lives next door and comes over to play most weekends. Steve (mentioned above) is also one of Cameron’s best friends; along with one of my good friends in the hospitality class, Charles. All these friends of Cameron’s return his sentiments of being best friends. Cameron also loves spending time with our dogs and has an advanced promise from Jackson to be the security guard and “assistant” at the zoo one day.
Personally, there’s hardly a thing about living in Zambia I don’t love. I sorely miss my family and friends in the U.S., and of course Zambia isn’t a perfect place; but when all is said and done, I’m glad God saw fit to bring me and my family here. My relationship with the Lord has grown immensely since living here. God has taught me so much, but even still, I have a long way to go. I excitedly anticipate future adventures and experiences to share with all of you in West Plains!
To read further about some of these stories or learn more about our family and Wiphan, you can visit my blog: https://meganhensley98.wordpress.com/ our family’s website: http://hensleysforchrist.com/ and Wiphan’s website: http://www.wiphan.org/