Our First Weeks in Zambia
The first day we were here, we went to the school. Immediately we were flooded with children, asking how we were and what our names are, and shaking our hands and giving us fist bumps. Apparently fist bumps are the trend now at the school😂 Then Aaron introduced us to the teachers: Charles, Florence, Fridah, Stephan, Margaret, Evelyn, and Mathews. They’re all really great to be around, and they’ve given so much of their time and energy in serving the Lord! Last weekend we actually had the opportunity to give them a little vacation/retreat…but more on that next time😉
After that, Aaron showed us around the school. It’s amazing to see the progress they’ve made since the last time we were here, with the help of many of your generous donations! They’ve dug an 80 meter well, built TWO more school buildings as well as sturdy metal desks, and started a garden at the school. Matthew 19:26 states it well: “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”
It happened to be their day for PE…so as soon as we had seen everything, the teachers gathered everyone (including us!) into a circle and spread apart as far as we could while holding hands. Then they sang a bunch of songs (some in Bemba, and some in English…the English ones were sooo cute!!) One of the funniest songs was about the body, kind of like a Bemba version of “Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes”, and another really cute one was “God is Good for Me!”
Then they played a game where they would run around the inside of the circle while everyone was singing in Bemba, stopping periodically and doing a little dance. Then when they stopped at someone that person would be the next to do it. Halfway through, one of the children mischievously stopped at Savannah, and she was rather amusing to watch😂 Unfortunately, we didn’t get it on video! And then after the games, different children danced for us in the middle of the circle. It’s hard to describe a Zambian dance, but I’ll just say that it consists of really fascinating, jerky movements of the waist, while keeping the remainder of the body very steady. So since they danced for us, we told them we’d clog for them. We haven’t gotten the chance yet, but it’s coming!
Eventually we returned to Aaron’s house, exhausted. We struggled a lot with jet leg those first few days, so we ended up taking naps after getting back. Maybe that explains our slight insanity that night…we’re going to put it in a video sometime😂
After that first day, we started getting into a routine. (Broken only by a couple late movie nights😉) Daddy would wake up early, have his quiet time preparing for the school devotional, then he would wake us up and ideally we’d get up and have our quiet times. Then, in a perfect world, we’d eat breakfast and be at the school by 7:30. Clearly, we do not live in a perfect world, because that has never happened yet…the second day we didn’t even get to the school until 8:30 or 9! 😂 But I can assure you that we’ve gotten better.
Once school is about to start, the children sing the Zambian national anthem and that song “God is Good for Me”, and they say the Lord’s Prayer. After that, Daddy teaches Bible time for about an hour. He’s been teaching through Answer in Genesis’ “7 Cs of History” VBS, trying to give the children a firm foundation in the Bible. The language barrier has been a bit difficult for him, but he’s started to get into a rhythm, usually with the teacher Margaret translating for him. He also showed them some clips from an Answers in Genesis movie about Creation, which they seemed to enjoy!
And then things got interesting. Florence asked Savannah and Anna to teach classes on the spot! Thankfully they were simple classes, but the Zambian method of teaching is vastly different from the homeschooling we’re used to! So no, we didn’t get to see them try to teach together😢😂 They’re both doing well though; Savannah is teaching the alphabet and numbers to preschoolers, and Anna’s been teaching math and writing to first graders. But then a couple days in, Margaret asked me to teach. Me??? I’m not a teacher!!!!! But I agreed, as long as I could watch and help her first. So I semi-taught a Zambian “literacy” class to second, third, and fourth graders. It was interesting, to say the least…there were 50 kids in my class! But thankfully they were older, so it wasn’t the end of the world😂
One of the big projects for this trip is to capture enough professional footage of the school to create some short videos and tell stories of how God is at work here. So while Savannah, Anna, and sometimes myself teach, Matthew and Daddy have been filming a lot of professional video of the children learning and playing. And the kids love it! Though they don’t always sit still and let them get the shots😂 Later last week, they also flew our drone around the school. They LOVED that!!! They kept chasing it, trying to jump and touch it, laughing and screaming! But he did also get some really cool footage of the school and of the children playing soccer. If you want to see it, you should really watch the video😉
So we’ve basically just been going to the school, teaching, and filming every morning, then every afternoon we come back to Aaron’s house and (usually) rest. It’s been really nice, and we’re all enjoying ourselves. Please pray that we’d use our remaining two weeks here wisely, that we’d minister in love to all the children at the school, and that the Holy Spirit would draw us closer to Him through this trip.
Thank you for all your prayers and support!