After our rewarding and emotional visits with Gift, Kenneth, and James, we headed to our new accommodations at Mulunguishi Village, a complex of homes where many expats live. This would be our home away from home as we served at Camp LIFE.
This is a typical home at Mulungushi, but not the one we stayed in. These homes are over 40 years old and need maintenance work, but they have approximately four to five bedrooms, two and half baths, living, dining, kitchen. Twelve of us stayed in a home comfortably. Although these accommodations are not up to “American standards” and one may or may not have water or electricity at any given time, they are a far cry from the homes of the orphaned and vulnerable children of Zambia. So there’s not too much complaining among the Americans.
After we settled into our home away from home and met our villa mates–a family of four with a 13 year old son who hit it off with Hudson, a family from my neighborhood in Houston (not planned), and their friends from Portland, Oregon, we headed to the Legacy Center for a welcome dinner and orientation.
In preparation for Camp LIFE, we were challenged to read and pray Isaiah 61:1&2 placing our name within the verses, “The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is upon Ellen, because You, Lord, have anointed Ellen to preach good news to the poor. You have sent Ellen to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor…to comfort all who mourn.”
The next morning, Day 3 (Sunday), we headed back to the Legacy Center for a church service with the children from the Tree of Life Children’s Village and a delicious lunch on the back veranda.The sites on the roads to the Legacy Center are always interesting and different from what we commonly see in America, besides the fact that they drive on the left side of the road!
To start the week off at the Legacy Center with the children from Tree of Life Children’s Village leading church worship was truly amazing.
As I worshipped with these children, I wept because the spirit was sweet and so telling of God’s redemption in their lives.
It was at this service that God confirmed in my heart why He allows suffering in this world, why we in America seem so blessed and the Zambians seem so economically cursed… Besides the fact that we live in a sin cursed world, the guest pastor began to preach making these enlightening statements:
“God uses the visible (us) to shed light on the invisible (Jesus).”
“God did not create you to be religious–You are the holy place. When people see you, they must see Christ.”
“You must be the physical address of Jesus.”
Psalms 68:5 says, “A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling.”
“If we are to shed light on the invisible (Jesus), then we must be the father to the fatherless. We must be the hands and feet of Jesus.”
The answer to my deep question is that Jesus did not die for us to live religious, wealthy lives, but for the redemption of this world. He uses us to share that redemption with others. God does not fix all the suffering in this world, because He wants us to show His compassion in the flesh–to use the visible (us) to shed light on the invisible (Jesus).
As Isaiah 61:1&2 says, we are to “preach the good news to the poor, bind up the brokenhearted, proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor…to comfort all who mourn.”
After that deep experience, we had a delightful afternoon with delcious Mexican food made by a Swedish culinary school and softies (soda), on the back veranda of the Legacy Center (still under construction).
Family Legacy also brought in vendors from the local market for us to purchase souvenirs from. Hudson enjoyed learning the fine art of bartering.
We ended day 3 doing what we would do every night of camp in our home away from home–making eight peanut butter and jelly sandwiches each, for our portable lunches with our Zambian partners the next day. Our deep questions were answered and we were ready to preach the good news to the poor–peanut butter and all!