God is Working!
2 weeks have gone by already. All I can say… God is good!
Having gone on multiple mission trips, I honestly didn’t know what to expect. The moment we arrived to Rafiki Village it felt surreal. I couldn’t believe we finally arrived after long days of preparation and anticipation.
Our first encounter with the kids was at dinner. I had the privilege to sit with some of the older and middle-aged girls. I don’t know if they have ever seen an African American woman so the stares were quite glaring. Their curiosity led to some great table topics from: What part of Africa are you from? How did your family get to America? What grade are you in (because I look so young)? Their questions after within 1 hour of being there drew me into their hearts already.
Each day we had the opportunity to teach devotions. This part has definitely been a highlight of the trip so far. Before coming on this trip I had been in an interesting place with my relationship with God. Even though some of the topics seemed simple such as Prayer, Discipline, Focus, the Gospel, just to name a few, it was what I needed. The simplicity of each word challenged me in my own walk with Christ. A lot of times as Christians, we make following Christ so complicated. God was able to show me himself in some of the simplest ways. It was exactly what I needed. Who knew the devotional plans we created for the kids were going to speak to me the loudest.
Each day we also had the opportunity to coach different sports. They enjoyed basketball and futball of course, but one sport that surprised us all was volleyball. A sport I am not good at and barely know any of the proper techniques. They were so good at it. Coaching volleyball is not the easiest, especially if your knowledge of the game is little to none. Despite the fact my volleyball coaching was a little questionable, they truly enjoyed the game and made it enjoyable for me. Their competitive attitudes and talent made what I thought was going to be a dreading experience one of the best since I’ve been here.
Each kid here as their own personality and adds value to this place in their own way. They have taught me so much already; Dances, songs, their native language, and I am still learning! 2 weeks have gone by and these kids have a special place in my heart already. Can’t wait for the experiences of week 3.
- Danielle Pierce
| My experience in a Nutshell |
The crazy thing is months ago I wasn’t even planning on applying for this opportunity. Things happened, I applied and next thing you know I was accepted to go on a mission trip with my MOAM. I was definitely excited about being able to do things I truly of a passion for: traveling, spreading the Gospel, and participating in sports (coaching or playing). What better opportunity can you ask for? For the time being, I had so many other things going on in life, therefore my excitement for the opportunity was kind of pushed under the rug,. If I’m being honest, the closer and closer the trip got, the less excited I became. I felt the timing of the trip was very inconvenient to everything that was happening in my life at the moment. Anxiety kicked my butt. How was going to take care of things back home when I am all the way over seas, for THREE weeks!!!! Well, God moved in those three weeks and my life will never be the same.
Zambia was the definition of Zesty; lively, spirited enjoyment. From the moment we arrived we experienced the lively Zambian culture. The hour drive from the airport to Rafiki Village was our first glance of Africa. Everyone seemed to have high spirits and so much joy with whatever they were doing in the moment. Whether it was kids playing, women working, kids walking to school, or women planting; whatever took place, everyone seemed to be in a content place.
One of my favorite experiences was church. The worship was so pure and exciting. Their passion for Jesus and worship is something I’ll never forget. Being in a free environment where people are dancing and singing made my heart full. My experience here in Zambia will always be a reminder God is using people from all nations and to enjoy the simple things in life.
The precious time spent in their cottages doing evening Devos was also a highlight. Every night we spent time with one cottage, which included 8 to 10 kids and one mama. Those nights consisted of singing hymns and a short devotional. It was crazy to believe I was across the world, with kids from a different background, from a different nation and we are worshiping the SAME God. In those moments, I felt God‘s presence the most. If I ever doubted if there was a God, I knew in those moments God was REAL!
Every moment I had with the kids whether it was teaching Devos, coaching sports, playing soccer, watching movies or eating Schima (Their favorite food that is served with every meal) I wanted to take ALL IN. I knew it was going to be hard to get another opportunity to be with them, so I had to soak it all in.
The last day was pretty rough. Harder then I expected or anticipated. I wanted to pack at least 5 of them in my suitcase and do life with them forever. It hurt knowing doing life with them was not an option. The relationships built were so genuine but yet gone in a blink. Just like that, three weeks had gone. As we were saying goodbye, their tears made me feel as if we were letting them down, or somehow teasing them in a sense. We come for three weeks, have a blast, build relationships, cry together, laugh together, and then that’s it? Never see them again? How is that fair to them? But I had to remind myself that the seeds we planted would hopefully last a lifetime. God is still in control. Not only did we impact their lives, but ours were also impacted. I always joked with them about coming to visit America. Of course, the older ones promised they were going to come and find me once they arrived. I’m praying we will soon be able to cross paths again.
Zambia will always be in my heart! Forever thankful!