Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Lots of updates

It is after 10 o'clock here - and we leave for our debrief at 7 AM tomorrow... judging by the condition of many of the rooms... there are some who will not be going to bed tonight.  What an incredible time of ministry we have had.  Over the next few days we will share some final thoughts and give some pictures of the experiences we have had.  Hope you all enjoy... 


Hello Zambia blog readers! This is a trip update as told by Daniel Czaplicki. Today was our last day of ministry, and I wanted to share my experience with you all. Before I left I asked many of you to pray for the times I would be witnessing to the Zambians, and I have to tell you, your prayers worked incredibly. After a few days of visiting schools we went to the University of Zambia to do door to door evangelism. I was extremely nervous and excited, so as we were walking up to the first dorm I just asked God to give me strength and to speak through me: “It is God who arms me with my strength, and makes my way perfect.” Psalms 18:32. Our campus crusade staff member, Victor, Spencer, and I spoke with about 10 rooms/groups of students and all but 2 prayed to receive Christ. I got the opportunity to take the lead in several of the conversations, and it was incredible how God spoke through me. I had absolutely no idea what I was going to say but as soon as I started speaking, the words just came to my head, as if God put them there. From that day on God blessed me with so many opportunities to share the gospel, and I was ready for each one. The next day when I spoke to a group of boys at the school we visited, and I shared my testimony with them. Just when I thought they weren’t listening, one asked, “This Jesus Christ, how can he become my personal Savior?” When I heard this I was ecstatic. I gathered as many people as I could around and explained what being a Christian meant, and prayed to accept Christ with them. Every day I had an opportunity like that, and God spoke through me to lead them to Christ. Even when I got the chance to share my testimony in front of an entire school, I just felt God speaking through me. Thank you so much for all your prayers, they have been such a blessing and have played a huge part in this trip.

P.S. Mom and Dad, if you are reading this please comment on the blog. I would like to hear from you. If not, comment and say why you aren’t reading the blog.



Hey all! It’s Clare. So we’ve been in Zambia for about a week and a half now and I’ve loved every minute! Even the multiple times our power or water didn’t work. Or one time our bathroom was flooded for days (best youth pastor award goes to Jack for cleaning it up). It’s been such a wonderful experience bonding with friends as well as spending time with Zambians. It’s such a blessing to have the opportunity to come to Africa and get to know these people. My favorite moments have been the simple cries. There are many children who frown when we first see them. However, a smile and wave from us seems to turn their frowns into joyful smiles. It’s such an incredible feeling to know that a simple smile can change someone’s day. These moments have helped me to realize why God put me on this team; to spread joy and love. I’ve loved playing with the kids and being a light to the people here. They encourage me with their genuine kindness and hospitality. Oh, how I wish America modeled life after the Zambians.

Although I’ve loved these past 10 days and look forward to the debrief, I can’t wait to come home and see my family and friends. Zambia has had a large impact on my life and I couldn’t be more thankful for the opportunity to have come here. See you soon!

Special hello to Shelbs Greg, Courtney Janigian, the Vogels, Lauren, and other friends who have read the blog. Miss you mommy, dad, Colin, Steve, and friends at home. Love you all!



Muli Bwanji from Katherine

As our last day of ministry comes to a close, I want to share what has impacted me the past two weeks. In short – the Zambian people. Never in my life have I experienced such a joyful, open and beautiful way of life. In their worship they overflow with praise for Jesus and in their prayers they shout with such a passion I am close to tears. From Day 1, they were open to hear. In the universities and the small villages in the bush individuals welcomed us into their lives open to hear our stories and excited to share theirs.

However, above all what has left an impression on me is the Zambian children. Today I watched as the street kids crawled under a barbed fence in order to get remotely close to our team as we shared at a village school. My heart ached as I witnessed a little girl yelp as she got her hair caught in one of the barbs and her friend rushed to untangle her. Throughout the days children latch onto your arms and pull you just hoping to get your attention. All these kids yearn for is the love that only our Lord Jesus Christ can provide. IN matthew 19:14, Jesus tells his disciples, “Let the children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such of these!!” I know the Lord smiles on these children and their capacity to learn and love. What they have given me is a love stronger than I have every experienced for the kids and hunger for Jesus just as these kids possess. They are ready to hear but who will go and tell them?

I thank God for opening my eyes to these children and I am excited to see how they continue to grow.

Thank you to those who supported me in this mission, and I can’t wait to share when I return!


Katherine Harvey


Hello from Zambia!  This is Liz with another exciting update for you back at home... so mom, you can stop refreshing the page.  :)

Today was a new experience for many of us as we took a 90 minute drive out to “the bush”.  The long trip was a wonderful extension of the realization that we got on the Sabbath yesterday.  Our trusty bus, fondly named Glenda, got us there safely - although it is hard to explain where “there” is.  

Huts scattered the dusty red earth, and chickens and cattle roamed free throughout the village.  Many people in the area did not speak English, but it posed no problem for us with the amazing Crusade staff there to aid in translating.   The setting was much different than our team was used to, but it is fun to see how comfortable we have gotten when God places us in crazy situations - and boy was today crazy!

I was able to take a lot of time on the bus to spend with the Lord...He knew it was exactly what I needed to prepare for the day.  Jack told us to split into groups so that we could do door to door ministry.  For a moment my heart stopped.  I really have enjoyed doing door to door ministry both on this trip and last year’s trip, but it definitely puts me out of my comfort zone.  Add on the fact that there are not even literal doors on the huts we are visiting, and the saying “we are not in Kansas anymore” takes on a whole new meaning.  God has been teaching me on this trip that scary is good though, and having amazing faith in Him and His plan is what leads to truly living.  As Jack and Kerry put it a few nights ago “when you live by faith you get to experience God, and that makes you beautiful”.   

So with that mindset I began a short walk down a path to the nearest hut with Trevor, Kerry, and Rachel (who is a Campus Crusade staff member that I have really connected with on this trip).  Greetings were exchanged, stools were set up, and God got right to work.  Kerry began to speak with a woman and her sister while the children listened.  They said they knew about God but shook their heads almost embarrassed when they admitted they did not know of Jesus Christ the son of God.  Yet again, my heart skipped a beat, but this time out of excitement.  Without even thinking about it, the Holy Spirit led my mind in prayer as He led Kerry’s powerful yet gentle words in explaining to these women who God’s son is and what he done for them.   It baffled my mind to grasp the concept that these women had never heard of Jesus, and that God had planned this moment for them and he chose us to be the ones to explain to them that their debts have been paid by an all loving, all powerful Savior.  It was by far the best news I have ever delivered, and oh how that news was received...with questions and excitement, giggles from the kids, and tears from us as the prayer of salvation was translated, repeated, and sown into the hearts of these women and children.   Never have I felt a more spirit led moment and I thank God for designing every part of it.

Rachel, Kerry, and I went on to play and sing songs with the girls as Trevor played football with some of the boys.  At one point Rachel captivated all of the children with a fun and interactive Bible story.  My attention was stolen by two boys standing not too far away.  As I observed them playing and talking I felt like I had seen them before.  Finally a voice in my head made the connection and screamed “David and Joe!”   These boys were twins to my two brothers down to the last mannerism.  I’m so happy to know that these boys now have a Christian influence in their lives and can have the same opportunity as my brothers to grow into Godly young men.  We ended our time with a traditional drum beat and all of us taking turns to, embarrassingly, attempt some traditional dance.  

The second half of our day was spent at the football field where the boys played soccer and us girls played with the kids.  The giant multi-colored parachute, bubbles, and soccer gear were all a big hit.  Thank you so much to everyone who supplied our team with everything we were able to pass out.  I only wish that you could experience the joy that these children have when they see our goodies.   My favorite thing is having a huge group of kids jumping to try and catch a bubble... don’t even get me started on their smiles if you blow a bubble directly to them.  It is almost the same look when you snap a picture of a young girl, let her see it, and then get to tell her how beautiful God made her.   The glee from them after hearing they are beautiful is almost as great as the glee I feel when I realize God just used me to wrap his loving arms around one of his daughters to make her feel special.  If there is one thing no one can deny from the work that is being done on this trip - it would be that Jesus truly does love all the little children of the world.  

Please keep our team in our prayers as we travel to Livingstone and for our debrief time as we reflect on the wonderful things God has done on this trip.

Mom, Dad, David, Joe, and Lucy I miss you so so much.  Your letters and blog posts warm my heart and remind me that you are much closer than I think.  Boys, you better let me give you both a big kiss when I get home.  Mom, I can’t wait to talk for hours, and dad, I can’t wait to get a big hug from you.  Give Lucy a big hug from me and please have some watermelon ready for me to gobble up once I get home.  Love you lots XOXO.

In Christ,

Liz Maier


  1. Dear 707 Zambia Team, We have been so excited to follow your journey and to read about all that God has done in and through your lives these past 10 days. We pray that as you complete your ministry there, that God will give you renewed strength and rest in preparation to come back home to Michigan. As much as we have loved hearing what He is doing in your lives half way around the world, it will be equally exciting to hear all that He will do with your lives here back in Michigan. As you start school this fall, it will be a joy to watch you in action as you love those at 707 and in your schools and how you will come alongside your friends and peers and show the love of Christ to them all! It is amazing how it takes going far away to see how you can love those nearest to you...it was a life changing experience for Ali and Catherine to go to Zambia the last 2 years and so we are excited for how God will change you and live out His love in you!! You are amazing and we are so glad that He chose you to go this year to represent Him and OPC and we look forward to hearing the God stories He has given you! God bless you and refresh in the next couple of days as you prepare to come home!! We love you and are praying for you. Love, The Hawksfords :)

    p.s Liz, Sarah, Clare and Katherine: Hope you're having fun and I can't wait to see you and hear all about everything you did. Love, Catherine!!

  2. I have really enjoyed all the updates. There is a real theme of love and joy throughout. I can't wait to read what Spencer has to say!! Don't think you can get out of writing! (Help me out here Jack). Enjoy your debrief time and safe travels home!!

  3. To Clare Riley

    I was wondering when we might hear from you in this blog. Seeing you during the Skype at Oak Pointe during the service on Sunday brought a much needed smile to our faces. We are so happy that you are enjoying this amazing opportunity and are very proud of you and your team! We can't wait to see you Sunday afternoon and look forward to hearing all of the stories about this extraordinary adventure.


    Mom & Dad

  4. Liz, You are correct in your assumption. Mom has been sitting at her computer for hours on end pressing the refresh button waiting for you to post. We now know why you haven't posted until now. It took you a week and a half to write all that you posted (LOL). I loved seeing you in the big screen on Sunday. We really miss you. I can't wait to have you home.

    Love Dad

  5. What wonderful stories. May God bless you in your remaining days in Zambia. God has done so much through you in such a short time. It's all just so amazing. Put on your tourist caps now and have a wonderful time in these last few days. Michael we can't wait to see you soon.
    Love Dad, Mom, and all

  6. "Judging by the conditions of some of the rooms....." Why do I feel I need to extend an apology to Clare, Liz and Sarah who I believe were sharing a room with Katherine :) We love you Katherine and can't wait to see you Sunday!!
    Once again we are left reading the blogs with tears in our eyes but also with an immense sense of happiness. It is truly magnificant to hear how you have all been empowered to accomplish everything that you have. We pray for you all as you move on with your travels.

    Love Mom and Dad XXX

  7. We have so loved reading your blog every day. It has been wonderful to watch your trip unfold and to see God's hands at work, through / in all of you. I can't wait to see more photos and to hear your stories. Enjoy your last few days together to the fullest. Colin you are dearly missed. Looking forward to Sunday. Safe travels. Love Mom and Dad

  8. Well, I finally figured out how to write on this blog, and watch...you probably won't even look at it again!:) You guys have done an amazing job at putting into words what I'm sure is almost impossible to put into words. It has truly been such a gift reading each and every post! I want to encourage you all to take what God is teaching you in Zambia, and bring it home, letting it directly effect your life here. I feel like a proud mamma reading these posts......what a neat journey for you all! We miss you here, and are ready to see you! Shout out to my girls Liz and Clare....can't wait to see you and hear all about everything! Jack, I miss you and love you! Woot woot.....holla holla!:)

  9. Thank you all so much for the daily updates. They have truly been a joy to read daily. You have been the hands and the feet of our amazing God!! Have a wonderful next couple of days as you get to relax and reflect!

    Rena can't wait to see you my precious girl!
    Love you,

  10. I have LOVED reading the blogs each day. You guys do a great job telling your amazing stories. Couldn't have asked for a better group to be the hands and feet of God there. As you reflect on a wonderful experience, hope you enjoy your time at Zambezi Sun. Can't wait to see y'all soon! Much love!

    1. Dear David and the rest of the team, it has been really great to read the blog, it is so clear from your stories that it has been a great experince and we pray that you will continue to do the same when you come back home. I am sure that all parents can testify how much we miss you, but at the same time how greatful we are for this awesome opportunity.
      David, everybody here is asking about you, we miss you terribly, even Jack, poor thing doesn' t quite know what to do with himself without you.
      We will continue to pray for a blessed rest of the trip, love you much, mom, dad, Andy and ��

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  12. Wow! It is so cool to see all of these stories about all of the testimonies and all of the changed lives! I find myself praying a lot throughout the day, as all of you are on my mind so much. Love You all!! I pray that God would give all of you a wonderful time of debriefing and reflection on these last couple of days to process what you have seen and done in the lives of so many zambians.

    Rena, I miss you sooo much. I cannot wait to see you!
    I Love You.


  13. Nathan,

    We have been praying for you and the whole team daily. Hope you are doing well.

    Thanks to all the writers for all the updates. It has been good to hear details of what is going on and what you are learning and experiencing.

    God bless.

    Bruce Harold

  14. All of the updates have been just amazing. You all paint such a clear picture of your experiences! It brings us so much joy to know that the people of Zambia are impacting your lives so deeply and that God is working through you all in incredible ways to impact their lives as well!!!! Kelsey, we all miss you so much! Joe misses you too! Can't wait to see you and give you a big hug! We love you so much! Love, Mom Dad Caleb Sam Charlie Skeeter and Joe. :)

  15. Hi Zambia Team! Please know that parents are praying specifically for these next few days as you debrief; for safety as you travel home (and for all the luggage to return!); and for your transition when you get back home. We are also giving thanks to God for the many, many ways He has answered our prayers for your trip. We see His handiwork in all of the details!

    Liz, we love you and we loved hearing from you in your post yesterday! I want to type paragraphs back but I guess I'll have to wait to see you in person! Love, Mom