One of my goals in life was achieved this past March as I ventured out on my very first mission trip. I use the word “first” to imply that this would be a beginning of many trips in the future. God willing.
All my fellow experienced missionaries explained to me beforehand that this trip would be life-transforming. I am here to confirm they were exactly right. Walking into this I thought I was going to help the poor; I come out of it now realizing how truly poor I am. My heart broke in half when I arrived to our first church community and the beautiful little children came rushing up to us, chasing the van. Once we got out of the van they were cheering and jumping up and down. I don’t think my own nieces and nephews are that happy to see me. The children rushed up to us so excited to see complete strangers. They said “hello” “how are you” and “what’s your name”. The children came up to us and held our hands as we walked over to the church. My heart broke when I saw their innocence, their complete joy for life and community, their faith in God and free spirit. They are living life rich of love, faith, community and spirit. I quickly realized how I am living life poor in spirit. I wake up first thing in the morning thinking about what I don’t have and how I am going to achieve the things I don’t have. These beautiful children wake up every morning happy and excited for the simple moment in front of them. I felt the conviction in my heart. God was breaking my heart to show me He has a better way for me to live my life.
Here I am coming to Zambia thinking I am here to help others, the truth is I came and others showed me a better way of life.
We spent our first few days serving “Church of God”. We painted the church and helped lay bricks for new restrooms for the school. We also got to experience an amazing mid-week service at Church of God; the most lively church service I ever experienced.
This community suffering from poverty only having a life expectancy of 45 doesn’t sit well in my heart. It’s a problem that can’t be resolved overnight. One thing I learned from this whole experience is that short term mission trips are not sustainable. It is only through a long term partnership will a solution come to pass. Our church has built long term partnerships with churches all over the world. Here in Zambia we met with a handful of churches and pastors to see how we can build partnerships.
As a part of our church’s 40th anniversary this past October, our senior Pastor Bill Hybels cast the vision of using our Year-End Fund to be a blessing to other churches around the world. Willowcreek will infuse resources into building 40 churches for our global partners in need. Learn more about our partners and how you can give click here .
We were priviledged enough to visit one of the 40 churches. The church is pastored by Josephina. I was so moved by pastor Josephina story. She is a female pastor in Zambia which is unheard of. When she told her story about the struggle of being a women in leadership, I could relate to her story. She also shared a personal story about her marriage that hit so close to home for me. I am so proud of her for following God and persevering despite circumstances. I can’t wait to see how her story will be revealed in the future.
I am so grateful for this experience, my mind is swimming in global perspective and ideas that relate to the purpose of my life. I hope to share more amazing life transforming trips with you. God willing. Please keep the communities of Zambia in your prayers, that God would continue to work in their communities to make a sustainable long lasting solution.
Love in Abundance,