Hello Prayer Fam,
It has very suddenly become rainy season -a.k.a. frizzy hair/flooded veranda season- here in Zambia. This means that it’s not only very hot, but also very humid (at least 75% most days).
It feels weird to say that the school year has officially come to a close…didn’t It just start?! We ended the year with a program for the students and their guardians where each class presented a song and dance. We also had a nativity play, academic and character prizes, a parents vs. teachers netball game, and lots of delicious food. It was a sweet celebration to end the year on, and makes me excited for the year to come.
Now that the work has slowed down, I love getting to look back on this year and remember how God has equipped and provided for the Lake T team, the school, and me. I began the school year trailed by self-doubt. Why would God call me here? How can I teach these kids when they don’t understand me? I have no idea what I’m doing. And even though I still kind of feel like I have no idea what I’m doing, God has proven over and over again that He knows exactly what He’s doing. And there is seriously great comfort in knowing that. He brought me up from a place of surrendering my own inadequacies to being confident in His promise to work through me. He even placed me in a leadership role, can you believe that?!
This year has also taught me a lot about culture. It’s so much more than food, language, and a dress code. There are many cultural intricacies engrained into the mindset of people (especially up at the lake where life is much more traditional than in bigger cities) that affect every day interactions and decisions. There are positives and negatives to every culture, and I’m learning to appreciate all the good things in the midst of new challenges. For example, when people say that relational and task-oriented cultures function differently, they aren’t kidding. When I was preparing for missions I always heard, “the culture is different there so it’ll take time to get used to things.” This is very true, but takes on a whole different light when you’re actually living daily life in a foreign culture. It makes me very grateful that the Gospel is always relevant, and can break down barriers that I wouldn’t be able to touch on my own.
Over the holiday month I’ll have more time to process everything I’ve learned as well as thank God for everything He’s done in me and around me this year. I encourage you also to think about what God has done in your life this past year, and rejoice in His love and provision.
I expect that some of my students will be visiting me over the holiday month as well. Some of the boys like to come over to play games and football, all while listening to Christmas music. But, I want the times that they visit me to be more than just fun and games; I want them to know Jesus. Pray with me that when they’re coming to my house they will really be coming closer to the Kingdom of God, and that they will have a genuine desire to know Jesus. Also pray that God would prompt the ones who need to come to me to actually come. The kids here aren’t used to just going and visiting their teachers unannounced (especially over holiday), so ask God to lead them to my door.
Please also pray…
-that God would give wisdom as I transition into becoming a school leader. There are a lot of cultural differences that will make it difficult, so pray that God would go before me and continue to prepare the way.
-that our team would have a new field leader soon. One that has a heart for Lake T and a pure motivation for taking on the role.
-that God would renew our team over the break and draw us closer to Himself.
-and again, that God would bless my time with students over the holiday month. Pray that God would truly be glorified.
Thanks so much for being a part of this year with me. I can’t believe it’s almost over, and I’m so blessed to have your support and prayers. Sometimes I pause and think, “I couldn’t even be here if it wasn’t for the generosity of God’s people.” Know that He is using you in mighty ways here in Zambia and in my own heart.
Have a truly blessed Christmas,
P.S. If you speak Bemba in front of a crowd of students and guardians they will still laugh at you even if you say everything correctly.