Even as the plane takes off from the Livingston Airport, I already miss Zambia. The past ten days have been some of the greatest of my entire life. As I lean the seat back and attempt to get comfortable I can’t believe it is over. The past five months of my life were dedicated to preparing for this trip and now it is over; no more opportunities to make a difference. However, I am ecstatic about what we were able to accomplish on this mission trip to the Bemba people of Zambia, Africa.
Nearly two weeks prior, I departed Arlington, Texas, with a group of sixteen students and youth pastor, and began my journey to Luwingu, Zambia. We had one goal – to bring hope to a dying people. This was my second mission trip to Africa and I was determined to make a bigger impact this time around.
The trip was grueling; exhausting plane rides across two continents and an ocean and eighteen hours of nearly unbearable discomfort in a huge overland vehicle. Finally, after two long days, we arrived in the village of Chitoshi in the province of Luwingu.
After setting up camp, we gathered around the fire and were introduced to the translators who would help us communicate with the Bemba people. These were, for the most part, the same men who had been with us two years ago. They were native born, Bemba speaking, Christian men who are amazing examples to everyone they come in contact with.
Each night we planned to show the Jesus film followed by a presentation of the gospel. The first night, I would be preaching. I sat nervously through the movie. As it ended, I stepped out in front of over 400 Zambians. I had practiced this speech countless times over the past five months. With our translator Edward by my side, I began. I looked out over the crowd. The dark skin of the villagers made them almost disappear in the night; their soft whispering the only thing reminding me just how many of them there were. When I finished the presentation I turned the microphone over to Edward. He invited them to respond to the message I had given. I was so thrilled to see over ten people step forward to accept Jesus Christ. This was a new beginning for them. I had been privileged to play an important role. I had succeeded in making an impact.
Besides the ministry aspect of the trip, we also were able to experience some of the awesome sights and experiences of Zambia. The beauty and grandeur of Victoria Falls absolutely took my breath away. We were also able to go to the market where I traded away over half of the clothes I brought with me for various carved animals, weapons, jewelry, and a drum. It was great to immerse myself in this culture that I am so unfamiliar with; to walk among the Zambian people and to talk and barter with them. We were also able to spend a night at a resort on the Zambezi and enjoy a safari, good food, and a sunset cruise on the river.
This trip was one of the greatest, most inspiring experiences of my life, and I know that I am forever changed by what I saw and was able to do in Zambia, Africa.
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