From 2005-2008 I travelled to Africa 5 times to volunteer with orphanages in Zambia, Kenya, and South Africa.
Here’s excerpt form my trip to Zambia in 2006:
Zambia 2006 Adventure
As I passed thru London (Seeing Kevin Nah in his new apartment along with Pastor Kevin Singleton on his way to South Africa), I met with one of our ENCM ministers (Ashley Dunbar) who was returning from Zambia. She helped plant a church with the associate pastor (Pastor Joseph Simaubi) in the city and asked that I spend some time with him, the campus students, and his congregation. My friends worked during the day so I used the daytime to spend with the Pastor and his leaders. And so started the vacation…
I had no idea what that would entail, but below is an excerpt of an email I sent to my peers at work about what happened from the Thursday I arrived to the following Wednesday:
…I’ve been pretty busy – showing some Africans how to use a computer, how good administration can enhance your organization, teaching them how to design things in Microsoft Word, how to type, how to build win-win relationships with local businesses, how to get excited about a vision, how to motivate people, the list goes on and on…Their nation is changing and beginning to embrace technology. Their currency increased in value about 30% at the beginning of the year. It’s made a difference.
My over all goal was to equip some of these guys to do things after I leave, and put the relationships in place with local business to help them. Today I have to solidfy those relationships. It’s no good them relying on me, and I think I’ve come up with a working system so they will be able to do things themselves in their church.
On Thursday Pastor Joseph took me to see Operation Mercy, a work his church does in the Shanty Towns. He finds families in need with the assistance of a ground administrator and distributes goods to help them. He keeps a strict accounting of what family recieves what goods and also logs his activities in a case file style book that the family maintains which has entries from different organizations including World Vision. We saw a child who was born premature, a man with cancer, and some other cases. I laid hands (carefully) on the premature child and prayed with the man with cancer.
I also ended up the surprise guest speaker that night (as in it was a surprise to me) at their first campus meeting at UNZA (University of Zambia). I thought it would be an informal party but it was pretty much the real deal. I did not have any message prepared and the 4 or 5 I normally preach were not culturally relevant but God did show up and I spoke a little about purpose and what happens when you find your purpose. (and thus I joined Lynette Lewis and Jeff McCall as international speakers…got my scout badge that night…)
They also did a Q&A (talk about thinking on your feet) and asked me all kinds of questions from my experience as a babysitter (I spoke about loving your children, rewarding positive behavior), to how to come alongside teenagers (mentorship), to how to deal with temptation on campus (setting your boundaries ahead of time, finding strength in each other, encouraging each other every day, etc).
Anotherwards I was really patchworking things when I was standing up there…Kinda like one of those testimony-sermons that you’re never quite sure ever really started or ended.
I finished on Friday with a meeting with Rev. John Jere and his wife as he shared his vision for the continent.
So that’s that. For me personally I think I learned more about myself and what God has shown me is fulfilling work for me. I also learned I’m “not all that” but that God’s all that and can take even the little I know and multiply it to lift up an entire church. Go figure…