Zambia Trip Update #3 July 22, 2013

It was an awesome start to the week today!  We began the day(after breakfast) with a 30 minute walk to the school, enjoying the cool temperatures of the morning.  We met with the teachers for prayer, followed by the morning chapel time with all the children as well. There we received quite the welcome.  After their normal routine, we each introduced ourselves, and then all the teachers joined in a dance/song to officially welcome us…which ended in us dancing with them as well, much to all the students delight!  Now that we have been to this school 3 consecutive years, we have been able to build a great relationship, and it is special to be a part of it.  The teachers and children look forward to this week because they know they’ll play soccer, they know they’ll have fun, but yet they also know that the real reason we are here is because of Jesus’s love and mercy, and it is great to have the responsibility to share our testimonies with them!

With around 130 students in all, we divide the day into 3 sections.  The first group that comes out to the field once chapel wraps up is the pre k and kindergarten group.  As most of these children are 3 or 4, we concentrate mostly on general motor skills like running, jumping and skipping.  We have a blast encouraging them in relay races, and even the teachers get in on the action!  Following some time with the ‘babies’ we then received grades 1-3, which is around 50 children full of energy.  They came running…

We broke them into 4 teams assigned to their coaches for the week.  Their first assignment, a team name.  We had names from Tigers to the Zambian Lions.  After a warm up time, we broke into skill stations, followed by a rousing coach/teacher challenge of Head It/Catch It.  The children love cheering for their team representative(s), and laughter and groaning always follows when someone is eliminated. We taught them this game last year, it seems as their skills improved! Ha.

We got a welcomed break then, a time to drink some water and eat a few snacks we packed in the morning.  It was also a nice time to chat with each other and to get to know our Zambian brothers that have joined us for the day/week.  They are a tremendous blessing to us to say the least.  Grades 4-7 followed break, and in much the same fashion as the previous group we made our teams for the week.  It is fun to see how much more advanced the skills are as the ages get older.  We ended the time together with prayer as the students went back to their classes, and we headed back on our walk home for lunch.

Lunch was amazing to say the least, the ladies really prepare great meals for us!  Following lunch we had a bit of down time for our later afternoon friend soccer match with a local high school boys team.  Some chose to read, others chose to nap, and others chose to help kill a snake(just a cobra, no worries) that was found nearby.  No problem, no one was even close to being harmed, except of course the snake which ended up dead.

So after that excitement it was time to walk to the game.  We were greeted by lots of excited boys, and a few teachers, who would play against us.  The game ended 2-2, but if we are being honest, the other team definitely dominated!  Our team was greatly aided by our Zambian contingent who love to join the PTR squad each year, and of course it’s a challenge to play on a field that looks like none other we’ve ever experienced…not to mention playing with a team that you’ve never played with before!  But it ended with lots of smiles and handshakes, as well as prayer together in the center of the field as the sun fell.  They actually wanted a rematch, so we’ll go back on Wednesday!

We walked home for dinner as the full moon rose above the trees – what a sight in the Zambian bush.  God’s beauty in creation is never far here, that’s for sure.  After dinner, and helping to do dishes, we met team time.  First we discussed what made Jonathan a ‘game changer’ for Christ, as we were equally challenged to be bold for His glory.  Following the lesson, and some singing, we had one of our Zambian brothers share his testimony with us.  We have been blessed to have him with us since the team arrived, and as he returns to his studies tomorrow in a far off part of the country, our team will miss him tremendously for who he is, and for the love of Christ he shines through all he does.

It has been a great day, an encouraging day, and a tiring day!  So we’ll head to bed and do it all over again tomorrow…and we are thankful for that!

Good night for now!  Thank you for praying.

The team

 

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