This summer I traveled to Zambia with Heart of the Bride. Heart of the Bride is a missions organization dedicated to serving God and spreading the gospel throughout the world. Through fundraising and prayer, God provided me with all of the money I needed to go on this trip in just a month’s time! On June 2, I left my comfortable home in Florida to travel to the far away land of Zambia. Zambia is central-southern Africa and right below the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Going there, I really had no idea what to expect. I knew Zambia was a third world country, and I knew everyone there was poor, but I had no idea what I was about to encounter.
I finally arrived on Monday, June 4 in a shack that was supposedly an airport. Everyone was staring at the white girls who didn’t know what they were doing. But then, our missionary host that lives in Zambia, showed up. I have never been happier to see an American! Needless to say, we arrived safely to where we were staying and went to bed pretty early that night.
That morning we had our first meeting with the missionaries there and they told us what we would be doing over the next two weeks. Most of it would be work with street boys and girls, but we would also visit a couple schools. Every Tuesday the missionaries do what they call, “Mayompapa Outreach”. The missionaries will rent a bus to go into town and pick up as many street boys as they can. There is only one requirement, they must not be high on Sticka. Sticka is a drug that almost all of the street kids use. It is the remnants of gas poured into an empty coke bottle, on a sleeve, or on a rag and then sniffed. This drug is highly dangerous, damages brain cells, and stunts their growth. When the boys arrive at the lot, they worship, are taught a Bible Lesson, and then issued uniforms. Once in their uniform they can wash their clothes and take showers. After this, they have the opportunity to be tutored, get first aid, have their clothes mended, their hair cut, play football, and then eat! The first week I helped tutor the boys, which was so out of my comfort zone. The boys’ ages range from ten to twenty-five and most of them can’t read because they haven’t been in school for so long. I sat on a blanket and taught about five or six boys at a time their letters and addition. The second week of Mayompapa Outreach, I helped with first-aid. This was incredibly hard because lots of boys get in street fights or get weird infections that I couldn’t fix, but I had to do my best.
We also ministered to the street girls in town. Most of these girls are prostitutes and some have even self-aborted. We took the girls to a church where I got to lead them in worship and they were taught a Bible Story. After this we washed their feet and gave them pedicures. Just to see their faces light up at their clean feet and painted toes, was one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. We ate lunch with them while their toes dried.
We also visited two schools, one regular and one handicapped. We played with the kids and helped teach them.
Going on a mission trip was no easy endeavor, it was hard and emotionally draining. But I have never found more joy in anything else.
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