The team experienced quite a few adventures today as we visited various homes in the George complex area. The students have been so excited to venture into the market, learn to cook traditional Zambian food, and learn more about our Brothers and Sisters here. As an added bonus, a student from each group volunteered to write about their experiences. Enjoy!
Nancy and Dorkas – Written by Christy, Claire, and Drew
We left Grace Christian Centre with Dorkas, a young high school student at the school. The first place we went was the market. It was packed with rows and rows of stands where people sold meat, produce, clothes, chickens, and all other kinds of food. It was hectic, crowded and we got many strange looks and shouts of “Americans! Americans!” After burying the ingredients for the meal, we headed to Dorkas’ home. There we met the rest of her family: Her lovely mother, Nancy, little sister Grace, and little brother, Emmanuel. They were an overwhelmingly welcome bunch and although it took a while for us to warm up to each other, we eventually became fast friends. It started out with a game we made up called bottle cap football (or soccer as we say in America). We started out by flicking a bottle cap into goals that we made with our fingers, which slowly turned into a competitive game of finger football. As we did this, we talked and occasionally dropped into the kitchen to help prepare our meal. We made a traditional dish called N’shima. N’shima is a Zambian dish that most families eat at least two times a day. Its purpose is not flavor, but to simply fill the belly for as long as possible. Its texture is thicker than almost anything we’ve ever had and is made with only two ingredients: water and maize meal (or corn meal). Nancy also showed us how she prepares steak and bone and a traditional sauce used to give the N’shima some flavor. Chicken is easier to come by and less expensive, so it was very touching to us that they served us steak. The meal overall was delicious and we agreed that it was the best we’ve tasted in Zambia yet! We were expecting to have the whole family join us for this meal, but the mother humbly expressed that she was fasting. Later when we sat down after lunch, Joy asked why she was fasting and if we could pray for her. This strong woman told us that she was fasting to ask God to help her lost family – especially siblings who are struggling that need to find Christ. It was our honor to pray for her and her family. Right after we prayed, Nancy and Dorkas told us some of her favorite things about Jesus. This led to Dorkas leading us in the song, “Majesty.” She had such a beautiful voice! This built into more music and entertainment through song and dance. Their simple but beautiful three room house was full of the sounds of our small dance party. Daniel’s dance moves were definitely a highlight of the visit. It was an amazing experience – one that we will never forget. We took a final picture with them and left with full tummies and happy hearts.
The Banda’s House – Written by Carly
When we arrived, Toko put us right to work and got us washing the okra and the spinach, cutting the watermelon, and peeling the potatoes – all of which we had just bought at the market. The power had just gone out when we arrived, so we had to boil the N’shima and fry the sweet potatoes on hot coals. Toko began telling us about the college that she goes to in India and how in her first few weeks there, she got very sick and lost a lot of weight. Caleb, Katie, and I also played with Ebeneza, who is 5. She’s the most energetic person I know who can dance for five minutes straight and sing the alphabet while somehow adding three L’s into it. The Banda sisters were very humble and welcoming. They made sure we were comfortable but also made sure we were able to help with lunch preparation. All three of the sisters, Toko (20), Sibo (14), and Ebeneza, all have such big hearts for God and were so joyful the whole time we were there. For lunch, we ate watermelon, sweet potatoes, fried okra, n’shima (corn meal and water), and visachi (lumanda and ground nuts). In the end, it was a great experience that really got us thinking about the every day life of a Zambian.
Elizabeth’s House – Written by Ivana
The day I was anticipating most finally came. We were off to experience a day in the life in the George complex. After picking out our very own live chicken (which we named Chickira) at the market, we were graciously welcomed into the home of Elizabeth and her daughters. As we were talking about her life and experiences, Elizabeth told us, “Life can be hard, but we enjoy it.” Her happy spirit along with the great attitudes of her daughters was so enlightening because even though we saw they had little, their happiness was abundant. As we prepared the meals side by side, Lily (daughter of Elizabeth – 19) told me that she had been preparing meals for her family since the age of 14, when she left childhood and became a young woman. It’s so strange for me to see how on our side of the world, people barely know how to cook in their college years, but here in Zambia, they start learning so young. While we were cooking, a neighbor stopped by to say hello to us all and she appeared to be very close with the family. Justin inquired, “Are neighbors over here close? Is it normal to be friends with each other?” Elizabeth met this question by saying that if she needed salt, she would ask a neighbor and if a neighbor needed food, she would give them a plate. I can only assume that this is exactly what Jesus would have wanted among humanity – love and support for each other. The wonderful day was full of laughs, love, and learning as we helped prepare a meal with our family in Christ across the globe.
Memory’s House – Written by Colby
Maddie and Colby went to a youth in the church named Memory’s house. On the bus on the way to her house, we asked her about her family and she told us about her mom – Elizabeth, dad – Andrew, five siblings- Calvin (22), Abigail (13), Wise-Man (11), Blessing (11), Purity (9), and Hope (8 months). They had her cousin and a few neighbors at their house to help us cook the food also. She had a beautiful orange house with a water pump out back. She said it was helpful that her water was a couple feet from their house and the market was in short walking distance. Memory told us that her family was born in the church and she told us one of her favorite Bible verses was in Ecclesiastes and it reminds her that God has a plan. She loves fashion, so her room is full of clothes and interesting skirts. Every night, Memory’s family has dinner together and prays together but they are not able to have breakfast together because of their busy schedules. On the back porch, they have three coal burning stoves that we cooked many different foods in – including N’shima, rice, sausage, and many tiny fish. It was so amazing to be a part of Memory’s family for the day. She has such an awesome heart for God and never stops smiling. It was so cool to see what a Christian family in Zambia does throughout the day. We were very blessed to experience such happiness that has been fueled by God’s love.
Once we arrived back at the church, we were able to eat together, then re-arrange seating inside of the church for another heart filling and eye opening experience. Reverend Banda arranged a huge group of students and teachers from the area to come in and learn more about dreams. He asked three questions – 1. What is your dream, and how does your country help you get there? 2. What do you love about your country? 3. What do you hate about your country?
In the time that we answered these questions, we came to realize that we are all quite alike. We are all inspired and called to make a difference in the lives of those around us. Reverend Banda put it so well when he said that our dreams are not for us. We were not born for us – we were born for others. After answering question three, we began a discussion about how we can begin to change the things that we don’t like about our countries – because so often the thing that irritates you most is just the thing you can change. It was such an inspiring time!
Coming out of this, the realization that our trip is more than half over settled in on the team and our new friends. This was our last full day at Grace Christian Centre – many bittersweet exchanges happened as we headed out. It is amazing to notice how quickly we can bond and make new friends!
We are looking forward to our last few hours at Grace Christian tomorrow, where we will meet with the Bandas and some students before heading off on our fun day adventure – a safari at a game park!!
In the meantime, we are continuing our evening tradition of group games, and maybe adding in a few of our newly learned dance moves from Daniel. 🙂