Where Have I Been?

I really need to update my blog.

Not only am I extremely behind on keeping all my posts easily accessible, but I’ve also been bad at updating in general. My “About” section needs updated. My title needs some editing….etc. Anyway, I’ll get to that hopefully in the next couple of weeks.

Besides all the monotonous stuff, I need to actually post!

I also have several new ideas floating around in my head about how to move forward with my blog.

But first things first: Updates!

The biggest piece of news- I’m presently not in Zambia and haven’t been for nearly 2 months.

A few months ago my parents felt led back to the states for a season. While they aren’t at all closed off to Zambia again in the future (or any other spot on the globe), they knew God was leading them back to Missouri for a time.

So as difficult as that was in many ways, my parents followed God’s leading and trusted Him as they always do.

(some last moments in Zambia)


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We left Ndola on April 1st and by April 20th our entire family was together in our hometown of West Plains, MO.


I honestly don’t know if this picture was taken as we flew out of Johannesburg or as we were landing in Atlanta, but anyway, it’s part of our journey back to the states. lol!

This transition has been a tough one personally. I prayed for a while about remaining behind in Ndola, but through circumstances as well as God-given peace, I knew I too was supposed to come back to MO for a season.

Truthfully, I returned with a begrudging sense of obedience. This wasn’t what I wanted. I’d developed a life in Zambia. I felt at home there. I’d met the man I’d prayed all my life for. Now I was leaving it all behind. However, God gave me peace about returning with my family; thus, I needed to obey.

The last 2 months have been very tough, but very rewarding. As it often happens, some of the toughest times in our lives bring about the most of growth; and as is always the case, God knows best. I  often have to remind myself of this on the hard days.

I’m sure I’ll be back in Zambia or another part of Africa eventually (more on that in another post), but God knew I needed this season away to refine and renew me in certain areas of my life.

When I felt peace and assurance I was supposed to return to the states, I instantly began praying and exploring different options to fill my time the first few months.


At the airport about to say goodbye. I truly miss him more and more each day!! ='(

I like to stay busy. On top of that, moving back to the states means I’m currently long distance from Valentine (my boyfriend). I knew it’d be hard to cope no matter what; but I also figured staying busy would help somewhat.

Soooo, I made summer plans and I have definitely succeeded with my goal of having a full schedule!

Our first few weeks in the states were busy simply with travel, adjustment, visiting friends and family, settling into our temporary home, and house hunting.

At the beginning of May my family spent a week at one of our favourite places in Missouri, Koinania Valley Ranch. I remained at Koinania a couple extra weeks to work and spend time with the owners who are dear friends of ours.

During my stay there, God brought some unexpected, but beautiful opportunities for gospel sharing and encouraging others in the Lord.


God also brought unexpected, but beautiful convictions on my life and people who challenged and encouraged me as well. I met wonderful new friends and acquaintances and made memories I’m sure I won’t forget. God used those weeks where I was staying in my own little place and working on the ranch to speak to me and work in my heart a great deal.

Following that job, I went on a short trip to St. Louis over Memorial weekend to surprise my best friend for her graduation.


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I had lots of time to bond with many of her immediate and extended family members who are some of the most hospitable and welcoming people I’ve ever met. I was able to spend time with some of her friends and of course her as well.

Thus far, June has consisted of moving houses. We were extremely blessed to stay in the Eagle’s Wings Cottage* for many of our first several weeks here until we were able to find a rental home. Through God’s miraculous provision, we finally found a place to rent.  The last several days have been spent moving and sorting through things as we try to settle into our new home. It’s been so fun to already have many relatives and friends stop by and already have relationships with neighbors. God is so good!

I’ll spend the remainder of June with family and friends before I leave for Summit Ministries in Colorado at the beginning of July.

If you are a young adult (anywhere from 16-25ish) and have never been to Summit, I HIGHLY recommend it! You can read some about my experience there as a student in 2016 HERE.

This year I’m going as a staff member. I’ll be there for four 2 week sessions (so about 2 months in total).

My time at Summit will consist of leading a girls’ small group during each session; being there for them to talk to, to mentor them, and for them come to with any questions. I’ll also have a job on campus (such as washing dishes, cleaning, cooking, etc). I’ll find out my job once I arrive and I’m just PRAYING I’m not put on dish pit!! (just kidding). I’ll be rooming with fellow female staff members and will undoubtedly build many new and exciting friendships.

I’m so excited to see what God is going to do in my life during my time there! I grew so much last time as a student and while I realize I’m going to serve, I also know I’ll be learning and growing as well.

Please pray for me as I prepare to go to Summit and minister to the students there. One of my favourite life comforts is in knowing that God always equips us and gives us the grace we need for the situations He calls us to. So I pray I will be receptive to God working in my heart to prepare me for this season.

That’s all for now! I’ve already started writing some upcoming posts about reentry in to the states, relationships, and more with other potential new ideas in the works. So look for those soon!

God bless!

(other U.S. moments so far)


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*DEFINITELY check Eagle’s Wings Facebook page HERE if you are traveling or have visitors traveling through West Plains who may need a place to stay!


Reflections and Resolutions

     Yesterday, New Year’s Eve, was a pretty big day for me. It was big in an emotional sense. In all honesty, 2017 was one of the hardest years of my life thus far; however, it also contained some of my life’s best moments and memories.

All the emotions of the year weighed heavily on me yesterday and it was one of the toughest days I can ever remember experiencing. I felt burdened by so much and spent a majority of the day in tears or on the edge of tears.

Contrary to my normal self, I felt very introverted. I didn’t speak much and didn’t want to be around people. I just wanted to be alone with God. I read Scripture for hours on end, journaled my thoughts, prayed and prayed, sat in silence and just listened, listened to music and sang, etc..

Despite how hard yesterday was, by the end of the day and the dawning of the new year, I felt revived, refreshed, and ready. I was happy to see 2017 go and I’m so happy to welcome 2018!

As I reflected on 2017, I saw it as a year of extreme challenge and extreme growth. I’m in a tough phase of life in general, let alone when I take into account all the additional changes, challenges, and adventures that have taken place this past year. It was just a hard and confusing time! But as it comes to a close, I look back and see all the beautiful things as well: all the new experiences, adventures, journeys, relationships…all the new lessons. As I look forward at the year ahead, I hope to take those lessons I’ve learned and make 2018 the best year yet; walking through it with a constant attitude of joy and an unceasing closeness with God, facing challenges head on, knowing that I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.

My theme verse for this year (which is boldly plastered on my wall along with all my resolutions and charts) is Galatians 6:9 which says, “Let us not lost heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary.”

I experienced a lot of weariness in 2017. In 2018 I’m determined not to grow weary, but to be diligent in serving the Lord with a joyful and excited heart. I’m determined to be diligent in all tasks; the monotonous and the exciting.

Here’s to 2018! May God use my weak, inadequate self to show his love and greatness.


I’m Back!

I cannot fathom how 8 months have gone by since I last wrote a blog post.

At the 2 month mark I attempted to write an update on every event from the prior two months.

…but my post ended up being novel length before I was half finished.

At the 6 month mark, I attempted to write something, ANYTHING! But I stared at a blank word document trying to figure out where on earth I should start…I never figured it out.

Now here I am…nearly 8 ½ months since my last blog post, I’m about to write one, and I have no idea how this post is going to end up.

I’ve made two resolutions to guide me for this post though:

  • This post is dedicated to sharing what God has taught me the past 8 months.
  • I am not leaving this bench on our veranda (unless it’s to refill my tea glass) until I’ve finished writing this post. I’m going to finish this time!

So here goes…

My past 8 months can be perfectly summarized by the poetic Charles Dickens in his opening lines to A Tale of Two Cities where he writes, It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us,…”*

This season has been one of high highs and low lows; sometimes the next step can be seen clearly and other times, I feel in the midst of thick fog. It’s been a time of humbling discoveries yet encouraging growth.

Through all of this, God has taught me a great deal and that’s what I want to share with all of you.

Slow down, be patient, and wait– I hate waiting. No matter the reason I have to wait (whether legitimate or illegitimate), no matter the length of time (whether 15 minutes in a check-out line or months for God to reveal the next step for my life), I just really despise waiting!
I do everything quickly.
I’m a fast eater.
I’m a fast walker.
I’m a fast driver.
I’m a fast talker.
The list could go on…
Oftentimes, I don’t slow down enough. I don’t just stop, wait, be patient, and enjoy the moment.
However, God has been showing me there is a lot of value to waiting.
Seasons of waiting are actually seasons of opportunity; especially for growth.
I could use those 15 minutes in the grocery line to share the gospel with someone around me or spend time in prayer.
I can use those months I’m waiting to move forward with things in life to grow more spiritually and devote more time to God and His Word.
I can use the time I’m waiting for God’s plan to come to fruition to further my potential in the areas He’s called me.
Without these seasons of waiting in my life, without learning how to be patient, without taking the time to slow down, I would make (and have made) a lot of foolish and immature mistakes.
Whereas, if I utilize these seasons of waiting to grow in the Lord, be teachable, and learn, I’ll be much better off and have fewer missed opportunities than if I am impulsive.
Waiting is beautiful. It’s hard, incredibly hard, but beautiful.

I am not called to please people. I am a huge people-pleaser. I prefer to keep everyone happy and for people to have a positive opinion of me.
Not only does my attempt to please people reveal a deep root of pride in my life; it’s also an impossible goal to strive after.
Scripture has a lot to say about the pit of people pleasing (see Col. 3:23, Prov. 29:25, 1 Thess. 2:4b, Psalm 118:8, Eph. 6:7, and Acts 5:28-29).
Galatians 1:10 even goes so far as to say if we are attempting to please men, we are no longer servants of Christ…ouch.
Not to say we shouldn’t strive to live at peace with those around us. Scripture clearly says we should (see Rom. 12:18); but ultimately, God should direct our steps. It’s important we be sure of God’s will and calling before acting. Then, if we are sure of God’s leading in our lives, what people might think should never hinder us from doing His will.
At this phase in my life, when life decisions start becoming my own, is when my personal loyalty to the Lord is really put to the test. Am I going to willingly, loyally, faithfully, and wholeheartedly serve and commit my life to the Lord? Or am I going to surrender my life to the empty, hopeless goal of pleasing men and ultimately end up empty and lost?
I choose to serve the Lord; wholly and completely. It will have a cost at times; but as the chorus goes “I have counted up the cost, and You are worth it!”.
This is one reason why my next point is so important…

My relationship with God must ALWAYS come first! I know this is cliché and every Christian knows this; but do we really know it?! When times are easy and going great, when life is smooth-sailing, do we still put God first always? Do we only come to Him when we feel like we need Him; or do we recognize we always need Him?
What I have recently observed in myself is that I can sometimes only come to God when I need answers. “God, I have a really tough decision to make here! Can you help me make that decision? What’s the right path?” “God, please give me the words to say right now as I’m helping this person!” “Lord, Your Word is living and active! I’m so confused and broken right now. Please let the Scriptures encourage and help me!”
All those prayers are wonderful and good. Don’t get me wrong, I’m NOT discrediting our need to seek God when we’re struggling!
My point is, how often do I wake up, even when I don’t have a “need” or unanswered question, and pray, “Lord, guide me through each moment of this day. Show me Your plan for my life today. I know these are my plans for the day; but help me to be led by You and be walking in Your spirit through each moment.”
Sadly, I don’t do this very often…
Our walk with God should be a day-by-day, moment-by-moment walk. It’s not an “Uh oh, I’m no longer able to do this by myself…let me run to God for help” relationship. It’s an “I can never do this on my own…God guide me through each moment” relationship.
My personal experience has been that even when life is going great, the road and directions are clear, the minute I make my relationship with the Lord secondary, the road becomes rocky and difficult, and I’m unprepared for the situation.
However, if I’m steadfast in my dedication to God, when obstacles arise and the path becomes rocky (which will happen!), I’ll always be ready.

I’m not as mature as I thought– When I was 14, I was at a cookout and a woman in her mid-20’s asked how old I was. I told her and she looked shocked and said, “Only 14!? Oh my gosh you act like you’re 22!”
However, now that I’m actually entering this scary realm of life called “adulthood”, I’m realizing I’m not nearly as mature as that well-meaning girl (or I) thought.
It’s easy to think I’ve totally got this “life thing” figured out; but I really don’t.
These last few months, with all the newness, decisions, changes, possibilities, opportunities, and uncertainties, I’m learning there is a lot I have left to learn and a whole lot I don’t know. And sometimes even when I “do know”, I fall captive to snares of impatience, people-pleasing, and thinking I can handle things on my own.
I have a long…Long…LONG way to go; which means I need to be teachable and a good listener (areas I could certainly improve). I need to seek wisdom from those around me through observation and inquiry and take to heart what I observe and hear; seeking God ultimately for His will.

As I reflect on the past 8 months, the highs and lows, the best times and worst times, the wisdom and foolishness, the hope and despair, I look back with gratefulness.

Have these months been easy? Not at all. At times they have; but for the most part, they’ve been crazy hard! But without all the struggles, without all the waiting, without all the humbling lessons, I never would’ve grown like I have.

As James 1:2-4 says, “Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” (NASB)**

Thank you all for reading! I hope to write more posts soon.

God Bless,


** “endurance” in this passage is translated as “patience” in the KJV.

Why I’m Passionate About My Country

I don’t post political posts. Ever. I just don’t. I don’t like to debate about opinions especially in this election. However, there is something I’m very passionate about that I want to share with you; and that’s passion itself…


As I woke up Tuesday here in Zambia, my nation was heavy on my heart. It was Election Day in perhaps the most pivotal and scary election in United States history.

I woke up as all my American countrymen were going to bed and a feeling of sickness flooded over me in nervousness and sadness over this election. I wrote this:

I woke up this morning; my nation heavy on my heart…
I’m on the edge of shedding tears because I’m afraid of this election…
I’m afraid of the corrupt state of the leaders of our land from the highest of authorities to the lowest…
I’m afraid because we are slowly letting the foundation of our nation slip away and the results of this election could result in its breaking altogether…
I’m afraid because I don’t trust this election to be fair. Too many people with agendas will do whatever it takes, even to dishonesty, to see the outcome they want…
I’m sick thinking about one day having to raise children in such a place; or at least, in such a place at some point in their lives.
I’m sick thinking about the complete stupidity of many American people ignoring reality and basing opinions on what feels good.
I’m sick thinking about what this election could mean for my country!
I can’t hold in the tears any longer…I can’t hold in the sick feeling in my stomach…
This is serious. This election’s results could bring about the fall of our nation or a civil war.
My heart breaks!! Lord, Your will be done! If it be Your will for our nation to fall, then Your plan is highest. I pray through literal tears that you would restore my homeland I hold so dear. I pray you bring miraculous conviction on hearts and wake up the Christians in our country to stand for You and spread Your truth! Lord, we’re a broken, lost, and hopeless nation…we’re also influential in the eyes of other nations. Let us not take that influence for granted and become a poorer example than we already are.
Lord only you can fix our brokenness, our lost state, and bring hope back in this bleak and seemingly hopeless hour. PLEASE, if it be Your will restore hope!!! I’m scared Lord! I’m scared because I don’t want to see my nation, the place and people I love, fall. Give me peace. Help me to trust You entirely and know You have a plan even if the situation looks bleak… even if the nation falls, You have a plan…
Oh Lord I pray on this day perhaps harder and more passionately than I’ve ever prayed about anything in my life!!! I know I’m not the only one Lord!! Hear our cries God!! But again, let us always say “Not my will; but Thine”.

Later on in the day, someone remarked about my passion for my country wondering how I could be so passionate.

The truth is, I never really felt patriotic before I moved to Zambia. However, since living here, I’ve seen my country from a new perspective: from the outside.
I’ve seen how much the United States influences other nations. In some places, it’s seen as a pinnacle of everything good. Thus, trends set in the U.S. by celebrities or whatever is put on television are quickly adopted by people of other nations.
We’re highly influential! Are we being good influences? I’m beginning to doubt…
I also saw how much I truly represent my country whether I want to or not! My actions reflect on my homeland. If I’m a kind person, people see Americans as generally kind. If I’m lazy, people will think Americans are generally lazy. I’ve seen evidence and heard personal stories of the reality that everyone reflects their nation.
Even if we don’t intend for them to, and even if my one action or the one action of a hot-tempered man don’t accurately reflect all American people, my actions still reflect on the U.S..

With these realizations, among others, I wrote this:

I’d say my feelings are less patriotic and more: “I am American and I can’t change that. How I act represents my country. No matter what, my future children will be at least 1/2 American and their heritage will be to the U.S. I can’t change that for them. Even if I live in Zambia all my life and feel more culturally Zambian; I’m still American, seen as American, and represent the U.S.. So as an American, I’m effected whether indirectly or directly by anything that happens such as a war, an election, etc.. That’s why I’m so passionate about all of this…”

The United States is my homeland. I’m proud to be an American! God made me American! That doesn’t necessarily mean I’m always proud of the decisions of my people.
I’m passionate because I recognize that decisions made now greatly affect my future and the future of all other American people. Should a war break out in the U.S., my brothers, future husband, and potentially future children will be affected by that.

Elections aren’t decisions for just the here and now. They’re decisions for the future! They’re shaping and determining factors in the future of the United States of America! And considering I am American, elections are also shaping and determining factors in my future…

This post isn’t meant for me to give my opinion on the outcome of this election or to support or not support one candidate or another. If you’ve noticed, I haven’t even said who I supported.

My purpose in this is to encourage my peers, and everyone else, to CARE about things like politics and elections! Even if you’re too young to vote, are unable to vote, or really have no say in the matter whatsoever; you have the weapon of prayer!

Guys, I know we’re young. I know it’s “just one more vote”. I know politics is a stressful thing to care about…trust me, when I heard the results I about had a panic attack just from all the stress I’d been holding in…I know politics are confusing and complicated; annoying and frustrating; oftentimes not even fun to discuss. I KNOW that! But this is serious guys!

I want the best for my nation. Just as I reflect my nation by my actions, the actions of my nation reflect on me.
I know God has a plan for my country. Like I said in my prayer above, even if God’s plan is for the U.S. to fall, His ways are highest; but I’m still saddened and broken by that…
My loyalty is first and foremost to the Kingdom of Heaven. One way I show my loyalty to Heaven is by showing my loyalty to my people and painting a positive reflection of my people and hopefully being an example of Christ’s Kingdom through that.

So I encourage you, BE PASSIONATE about things like elections and your heritage! Elections affect you. Your heritage shapes you and sometimes defines you to others.

Let’s pray for positive effects, smooth shaping, and accurate definitions.

God Bless,


Update: Burning power lines, Rats, Ants, Goodbyes, and Other Events

I can’t believe it has been over a month since my last post!

My life has been a rollercoaster this past month, accounting for my absence.

I’m in the process of finishing my final year of high-school (finally!!) which is definitely taking up a majority of my time. Obviously it needs to be done, but it’s hard to be home so much when my heart would much prefer being at Wiphan.

I also had my 18th birthday at the beginning of the month which we celebrated low-key as a family. That is, until I was surprised a few days later with a “babysitting job” that was actually a party for me with many of the ladies from our church! It was such a lovely evening with my mom and all those sweet, thoughtful ladies.

Recently I did spend a great deal of time at Wiphan enjoying last days with the most recent hospitality class, class 12, (click HERE and see mid-section of the page if you’re unsure what this means) before they left for their 3 months of attachments (internships).

Click HERE for a video of singing in class

It’s always hard for me to say goodbye to these students. I spend months bonding relationships with them only to see them leave. Yet what an exciting thing it is too! These men and women have gone through extensive training in catering and hotel and their passion for the Lord by the end is so intense. Their pure joy and excitement for beginning their work is so evident!


My sweet best friends from hospitality class 12; all dressed up to celebrate their last day of class! Miss them so much.

Their last days are always filled with lovely music (you can see a clip above), dancing, laughter, and joyful fellowship as we prepare to part ways…


My first sleepover with Emily!

It’s certainly a bittersweet time for everyone. =)  As of right now, they’ve been gone for a couple weeks. Prayers for them and their time interning would be appreciated!

I had the joy of hosting my first sleepover since being in Zambia a few weeks ago with one of my dear friends, Emily. She’s actually a member of the hospitality class 12. I would certainly describe her as a kindred spirit!

Other recent Wiphan events include a leadership trip to a nearby game park. I wasn’t able to attend this, but my parents said all the leaders had a relaxed and fun-filled time with a great deal of laughter!


Wiphan Nkwazi vs. Wiphan Westbourne football (soccer) match! Photo Creds: Mom

There was also recently a “sports day” held at Wiphan. Wiphan schools have recently developed sports teams and set aside a day for the teams from all three schools to gather together and interact with each other while participating in tournament style sports events. The girls’ teams played netball (somewhat similar to basketball) and the boys played football (aka soccer). I also wasn’t able to attend this event, but mom informed me it was another lovely day!

Lastly, four of the Wiphan leaders, along with my dad, recently attended a leadership conference in the capital city of Lusaka. When they returned, everyone seemed in agreement that their time was productive and one of great growth.

Among our family and life at home, we have recently been dealing with a rat issue in our house which all began in MY closet! UGH! For multiple nights in a row, I could hear the rats scurrying in an overhead cabinet above my main closet. My wonderful dad and brothers took great care of me through this. lol They even used paracord to tie the doors shut.

After a few nights, the rats were no longer in my closet, but one evening my brothers managed to kill one in our homeschool/sitting room!! My dad and I were each gone at the time and I heard quite the story when I came home! The room itself looked as if a tornado had swept through it and the boys shared how the rat jumped off the curtains five feet in the air and how, in the end, Cameron (8) had killed it with a badminton racket.
A few days later, my dad killed a second one in the pantry. Yuck. Yuck. YUCK!
Thankfully since then we haven’t had any more issues with them inside the house.

In the last few days, we’ve acquired an issue with red, killer ants. I’m honestly not sure of their official name, but they travel in large groups killing anything in their path. I read a comment from a friend recently who shared how they took down a full size pig and devoured the whole thing! Needless to say, these ants are not to be trifled with.
A couple mornings ago, before 6am, my brother walked into our kitchen only to discover piles of ants as well as trails of ants all over the floor attacking different roaches and other bugs they’d found. They were even in our sink and had covered the entire drain so that we couldn’t even see it! When the ants were cleared away, a half-dead lizard crawled out of the drain.
I hadn’t slept well at all that night and so didn’t get up in time for all of the action. However, later in the afternoon another trail had found their way into the kitchen and pantry. There were only around 100 that time as opposed to the thousands in the morning.
Since taking care of those two incidents, we haven’t had any more invasions. I hope it stays that way! While it’s nice that they eat all the bugs, I rather not be afraid to step on the floor….haha

We’ve also been having quite an ordeal with electricity lately. We’ve been dealing with the extreme annoyance of inconsistency, but recently when had a scary incident with power.
The electricity had come on two hours earlier than scheduled which isn’t a common occurrence. My parents were gone at the time and most of us were working on our schoolwork when Alex (14) comes to inform me that the power was at low voltage. I didn’t think he was correct considering the washing machine was running fine (which isn’t normal when voltage is low), but he proved right when we heard my dad’s battery backup beeping at an odd frequency and inconsistency- indicating fluctuating voltage.
Fluctuating voltage is dangerous considering it could mean a power surge in which case every appliance hooked to an outlet could blow up!
Alex and I were in the middle of discussing whether or not to turn off power to the house when we suddenly heard a powerful “!KABOOM!” from outside accompanied by seconds of loud firework-like noises: sparkling, crackling, sizzling, etc.
As soon as the KABOOM hit, chaos erupted in our house for the next seconds. It’s quite humorous now, but at the time, it was anything but funny! Alex’s eyes became wide in concern and he ran off to my dad’s office. I instantly ran to the breaker box and started switching everything off shouting at Alex asking if everything was okay. My younger brothers were screaming wondering what was happening and Ba Zenia (she works at our house) was screaming fearfully in Bemba as she ran out the front door. Ba Steve was outside shouting and staring behind the house.
As soon as I switched off all the breakers, everyone congregated outside to ask Ba Steve what had happened. He informed us a spark had ignited on the power pole to the right of our wall and sent a flaming, sizzling, spark down the entire power line all the way to the next pole on our neighbors property. As we were looking at the electric lines, the spark reignited where it had ended and started spewing sparks for a few more seconds.
I called my dad at this point to inform him of the situation and he arrived home just a few minutes later only to casually inform us the grass was on fire…literally he said it like it happened all the time.
Ba Zenia and I were shocked for a moment until he explained that Ba Steve was already taking care of it. haha!
Anyway, praise the Lord we’d switched the breakers in time because who knows what could have blown up! Power came on at normal voltage after only an hour or so (which was surprisingly soon!). We’ve thankfully had no such issues since.

It has been quite an adventurous and eventful month for us here. Between all the different programs with Wiphan, conferences, rodent issues, ant infestations, and electricity surges, I’d say this month has been quite memorable!
I pray some of these recent issues are behind us, but then again, they do make life interesting. 😉
I hope to be more consistent with writing from now on instead of having to play “catch up” on a whole month’s worth of activities in one post. Haha!

Thank you all for reading.
God bless!

A Weekend in the Bush {Part 3}

{continued from Sept. 1st & 2nd . Click HERE for Part2 and HERE for Part 1}

Day 3

Saturday: our final day at the conference…I had such mixed emotions.

We were only there half the day. The morning began with music as it always does. An impromptu group of six young men led a few songs before Bishop and Pastor Aaron took over. After that, we had a short universal session on the basics of leadership.


Time to sing!

To conclude my parents’ time, the church leaders remained behind for a more in depth discussion and the rest of us remained outside. I visited with different friends for a while and helped Rejoice more on the guitar. However, he hardly needed my help as within two days he’d already learned how to pick out a song fairly efficiently. I have never been more impressed with a beginning guitarist!

After a bit, my friend Blessing motioned for me to join him and others who were standing in a circle beneath a tree singing. Blessing was playing the guitar and Deborah, Sibo, and 3 other young men were there as well.

I’ve said this time and again on my blog, but I’ll say it again: I ADORE music in Zambia!! Not to mention, in this particular instance, everyone I was singing with possessed impeccable voices.

We sang multiple songs as a group encouraging each other in our vocal abilities and trading around who sang what harmony. We also took turns soloing and then vocalizing as a group. Sibo and Blessing taught us a song they had written together. It was call and echo and Sibo was so into it as he led he seemed to be in his own little world with his passionate singing!

Singing with this group for a couple hours was certainly one of the highlights of my time. I would’ve happily skipped lunch to continue singing with them. Haha!

Very shortly after eating, we said our goodbyes (which take about as long as greetings) and began our two hour drive back to Ndola.


Snapshot of a prayer group

It was a bittersweet departure for me. I will admit I was excited to get back to a shower, indoor toilet, and to rub aloe vera on my stinging sunburn; but at the same time I was sad to leave life in the bush.

Until recently, I’ve never been someone who anticipated change well; but when something new comes my way I adapt incredibly fast. At the conference, I’d basically blocked out life and jumped full-force into the life at hand.

I’m far, far, FAR from fully understanding or fully living life out in the bush, yet even in two days I learned a great deal. I recognized wrong mindsets and priorities I possessed. I was also prompted to compare my life in the U.S., my life in Ndola, and life in the bush. I’m an analytical person and sometimes it takes time for me to fully process my thoughts.

I honestly can’t say I have all my thoughts together regarding the weekend yet. However, what I do know is God is truly and literally AWE-some! He did a wonderful work in my life and I felt so close to Him during the conference. All the people around me were feeding me spiritually and encouraging me to be in tune with the Lord.

The Holy Spirit worked in many ways and the faith of the people I was with was touchingly admirable.

I’m unsure if I’ll ever return to that beloved place in Kapiri, but if I never do, I can honestly say this past weekend will live on forever in my memory.

Thank you all for reading. ❤

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.


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.


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.


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.


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}