Hi friends and family!
My plan to return to Zambia at the end of January did not work out as planned. Yip, I am still in South Africa. It has been a bit of an emotional rollercoaster of struggling to remain positive / not complain and trying to see the good/ what plan God could possibly have with this delay. In all honesty I feel like the man below is a VERY accurate description of my most prevalent emotional state. I waited from mid-December until mid-March to be registered with the Zambian Health Council, and then I applied for a work permit at the end of March. With regards to progress on the work permit application well, all I can say is ....
STILL waiting! :)
Fortunately, the work I do with the children in Zambia is not highly dependent on me. To some degree Connie (the Zambian lady I work with) can continue monitoring their development and advising the mothers on how to best stimulate their children.
As for me, I am frustrated by the waiting but also very hesitant to complain about it. I fully realise that it is NOT that bad and it is a HUGE privilege to have so much time available. I am trying to steward the time wisely. I have started doing an online course called Perspectives on The World Christian Movement. It is a brilliant course and I would highly recommend it for anyone who want to learn more about God's heart for people and His purpose for their life. It is intensive (about 10 hours of reading per week, and it's not light reading) but immensely informative and inspiring.
A few words on Hope
Here is a quote on Hope from a lesson in Perspectives on God's Kingdom:
"God has called us to live our lives as bold acts of hope. To hope is not merely to wish for small improvements of personal circumstances. Hope expects all things, large or little, to be overwhelmed and filled with immense glory of Christ. Thus, true hope pursues global glory and total triumph over evil. Lives of hope can face great evil with relentless courage since there is no telling how soon God will break through with ultimate victory." ...
Read that again.
We were asked to reflect on how we remain hopeful. I came across this verse from Romans 5:
We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because He has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with His love.
Yes, problems and trails (in my case it is waiting) are good for us. They cultivate hope and hopeful people can be relentlessly courageous.
Some things I have been doing :)
In the process of waiting it out I have been busy with the following:
I have been learning Lozi (the language most spoken in Western Zambia) and I am boasting with a vocabulary of about 350 words. I can't make sentences yet but I am leaving that for when I am in Zambia because then grammar comes into play which is a bit more complicated.
I have also signed up to do a course on treating children with cerebral palsy that will be running from 10-14 May. I have wanted to this course for more three years. I thought I might do it in December of 2021, but seeing as I am still in the country I thought I'll be best to do it now.
I have been investigating Champion's Club, which is a way of doing kid's church for children with disabilities. I visited a church in Pretoria that runs one. It is really cool :). And it looks beautiful. Here are some pictures of the environment you would want to create for children who cannot cope in regular kids church - of course integration is always the best route to take (these are pictures from the internet and not of the church that I visited).
I have been spending time with family, friends and making new friends. I love people so this makes my heart happy. Of course, now saying goodbye is going to be difficult all over again. It has been also really good to connect with a whole bunch of people from my Benoni church.
I have been helpful as much as possible. Of special note is that a friend of mine invited me to join an outreach programme that she runs with children. Children make me happy so it has been a treat to occasionally join her for that.
And of course a whole lot of other big and small things fill my days and not everything is relevant to mention here :).
A last word
I miss Zambia, I miss Mongu. I miss it's floodplein and I miss the sunsets. I am excited to return. I am excited to be part of the lives of the children I have contact with and their families. Someone sent me this video of what church sounded like last week Sunday.
Thank you for everyone who been telling me that it's okay to wait, and to the people who have been supporting me... and especially the people who have been continuously been supporting financially. I am grateful for all the people in my life!
I'll let you know when I am in Zambia. Currently I am hoping to fly on the 17th of May. We will see how that goes :).
For more news on the Zambia Project (their newsletters are shorter than mine, I promise) you can sign up for their newsletter here: https://thezambiaproject.org/newsletter-signup/
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