Hey everyone, it’s Rena. Today was a great day! We drove Glenda (our bus) to a school called Damakiso. It was tucked away and surrounded by makeshift homes and shacks. When we got there, we split into two groups, one to go with the older kids (5th-9th grades) and the other to go to another campus with the younger kids. I went with the younger kids, but I have heard that many of our team had very deep conversations with the older kids.
As for the little ones, most of us started the day with some fun games and songs with our small groups of children. After only two days, I have learned many new games and songs. Some games they play are the same as ours, just with different words. After breaking the ice and laughing together, Lauren, Christina and I decided to explain how Jesus died on the cross for our sins and why accepting Him as our savior is the only way to heaven. To do this, we used the bridge analogy. Having the first jump from one line in the dirt to another that were close together. Then drawing a line much further away and asking if they could make that jump. All the wide eyed kids shook their heads staring at the giant space in front of them. Then, we explained how we can not get from where we are to where God is through anything we do, but only through Jesus Christ. We then drew a line in the dirt connecting the two lines for them to walk across to represent Jesus being the only way. It was amazing to see how their faces lit up, and they understood what we were saying.
The children at this school were very blessed, because some of the teachers at the school are Christian and tell them about Jesus. Not only that, but some of the children have memorized verses - even the very youngest ones!
After teaching them some of our songs, and learning some more of theirs, it was time to head to a field that was between the two campuses to join with the rest of our team and students. At the field, Tim lead us all in some fun worship songs, and the kids had a blast. We bounced around and sang during the song “Undignified” and the kids loved it. Following the skit, Ben and Sarah shared their testimonies - and they both did a great job explaining how their lives had been turned around by God’s great love. By this point, it was not only the 250 kids from the school who had gathered, but it was the many kids from the village who don’t go to the school who were intrigued by the group of visitors.
Following the testimonies and music, our team presented a drama which was beautiful. Everyone did a great job. Even better, many of the kids really understood the skit and asked great questions about it.
After our gathering was done, the field was cleared and the boys played soccer against the village team. By this point, my little ones had to go home so I connected with a group of older girls and I learned how to play netball! Overall, it was another great day of ministry.
My favorite thing about Zambia and the people here is their genuine joy and love. They love each other and all of us so much. As soon as you wave to anybody, on the streets or in the schools, their faces light up and they wave back. It is so different from the the looks you would receive if you randomly waved at a stranger back home. Also - when our bus Glenda stop and we start to file off, all the children are crowded around wanting to shake your hand or give you fist bumps. They are so welcoming and loving - I LOVE IT!
Well - gotta go! Oh - and one more thing, Jack sprained his ankle bad on the pot hole filled soccer field, so please pray for him. A quick shout out to mom, dad, Sophia, Maria, Niko, Marina, Yaya, Theia Olga, Theia Marina, Nora, and Mike, I love you all and miss you! Thank you everyone for your prayers and support - can’t wait to continue to see the things that God will accomplish on this trip.