Preparing for Zambia

I find that the way that God speaks to me is through music.  I often find myself tearing up when I spend time listening and meditating on lyrics that I am singing.  This past Sunday we were singing Alive Again by Matt Maher and while I've sung the song before, the lyrics this week spoke to me in a much different way.

There is a line that says "you shattered my darkness, washed away my blindness, now I'm breathing in and breathing out, I'm alive again!"  I couldn't help but think about my upcoming trip to Zambia and the way that God has opened my eyes to poverty, sickness and the overwhelming needs of the children and families in Africa.  

It's easy for me to get comfortable in my home and forget the way that families struggle to have even the most basic necessities like clean water. I have clean water that springs out of a sprinkler in my yard for pete's sake! I can easily forget that nearly 1600 children under the age of five die every day because they have diarrhea from drinking dirty water.





I had the opportunity to travel to Uganda with World Vision this past August as part of a Vision trip with my church who has a partnership in one of the villages there.  The little peanut in the picture above was one of the sweet children that I met while we were in country.

The trip to Africa was a lifelong dream of mine.  My heart has been drawn to Africa for as long as I can remember.  Before I left, I described my travel as a once in a lifetime trip, but before I even stepped foot off of that red soil in Africa, I realized that I was leaving a part of my heart in a country that God had called me to in a mighty way.  I knew I would return.  

I just had no idea that God had plans for my return far sooner than I could have ever imagined! 

Once my feet hit the ground back in America, changed by the work that I saw being done by World Vision I was on fire.  I signed up to become a Child Ambassador through World Vision so that I could match families like my own that have been blessed through child sponsorship with children in the nearly 100 countries that World Vision has a presence. Sponsorship is one of the most powerful ways to fight poverty.  It changes communities. I saw this firsthand in the community where we sponsor our two children Moses and Sheila.

Our sponsored child Moses, his father Richard and the thank you chicken {named Opie}

That trip shattered my darkness about a poverty far greater than I ever realized existed. I am no longer blind to the needs that those families face every day.  It's fairly easy for us to get caught up in the day to day issues and not even think about the mother who is walking four miles three times a day to fetch dirty water that will likely make her children sick. But she has no other option.
The only thing that separates me from the mother in rural Zambia is that I just happened to be born in an area that has an infrastructure that includes a water supply and sewers. After seeing mothers just like myself spend hours fetching water, a chore that could take hours out of their day, I can't be blind to how fortunate I am that I can turn on one of the fourteen {fourteen!!} taps that I have in my home and get clean water. 
Alive Again will be the anthem of my trip to Zambia.  It will be the song that will run through my head as I share life with children and families that don't have access to clean water but who dream of a life where clean water is easily accessible.  It will be the celebration song that I sing with new friends who are experiencing access to clean water for the first time. They are the ones who will be truly alive again when their lives are transformed by clean water.  And it will be the song that I sing to remind me that I am no longer living in darkness.  I have seen the light through an African sunrise and will take those hearts that are burdened and those smiles that radiate with me through all of my days even when I am on the other side of the world.  I am no longer blind to the suffering and to the needs and I will speak up and be empowered by their stories so that other people are no longer blind to the needs that these families have.
I am anxious to meet these families. I am excited about how God will use me and I am beyond grateful for the opportunity that I have to travel with World Vision to be able to be the voice behind these stories.  To read a little bit more about the water effect and what World Vision is doing around the world to provide clean water go here.
You can follow me on my trip by using #watereffect on instagram, twitter and facebook.  I am also hoping to blog from the field.  I'm told we have an internet connection, though it's rural Africa...it could be dicey!  
Shattering our darkness is the first step that we can take in making life altering changes. Please read along with me and allow yourself to have your eyes opened to the very basic needs of the people in Africa. If you are empowered, share so that others can have their darkness shattered. 
To find a child that is available for sponsorship, visit here. 

UPDATE: A collection of stories from my week in Zambia
Rainbows and Water
A Child's Life
Looking Forward to the Future
The Needs are so Great
Welcome Home
Spirit Lead Me Where My Trust is Without Borders
Preparing for Zambia

1 comment

Amy Anderson said...

I am excited to follow along and read more about your adventures. This is an amazing trip. I am so happy for you and congrats!

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