Monday, January 28, 2008

Afrikan Adventure: The 12 Days of Zambia

And so it has come to pass that time has held to its steady rhythm and I find myself with but twelve days left in this country. There were certainly times when it felt like I would never see this day (that made it sound like I live some kind of glorified Indiana Jones type lifestyle, don’t be fooled…although I do ride the minibuses on a consistent basis). This time feels somewhat surreal as I get ready to depart and reflect on the year gone by. There are a lot of things (people mostly) that I don’t want to have to leave behind here but at the same time am jubilant about seeing those I left behind a year ago. I leave Zambia on February 5th and will spend five days in London visiting a friend and then return to Vancouver on the evening of February 10th!

It is pouring here. I guess they don’t call it “Rainy Season” for nothing. Although this year there seems to be an excess of rain which is causing much problem. There has been a lot of flooding, houses are being destroyed, and roads are taking quite a licking. The orphan home that we work with is on the brink of flooding as right now the water is clear up to the doorstep. With all the water comes the increased risk of disease quickly spreading within the compounds (the poorest areas).

I had a good trip down south to Sinazongwe to spend time with friends who run a medical ministry down there, the highlight being Susan pulling a bug out of a child’s ear. I did not witness it but I trust her testimony of the event to be factual.

I am currently honoured to have my friend Anna Maria Enfield visiting me. She was part of the team I first came to Zambia with four years ago and has been in Uganda for the past two weeks and now here! There is also a team from California here so it’s a busy time but good. Today I took them to Chisomo Drop-In Centre, whom I’ve been working with, to show them around there. We had a fun time with the kids as usual. Each time I am with them I get sadder about having to say goodbye to them. It’s awful!

So I am attempting to wrap things up here and begin saying goodbyes. What strange things our hearts do to us. This year has been nothing that I expected it to be and many a time I have wondered what I was doing here and why God brought me here. It has held confusion, frustration and discouragement like I have never really known before but at the same time God has revealed Himself and worked in my life in ways that couldn’t have happened without this time. I’m at a loss with what to do with all that this past year was and has meant but I suppose it’s time to start processing it!

And so much like that beloved festive song “The 12 Days of Christmas” I have revised it for “The 12 Days of Zambia”…and yet I still have no true love to give me a partridge in a pear tree…or even a monkey in a mango tree. But then again, who gives away wild animals in fruit trees. That’s weird. I’ll leave you with that thought.

Love shannon

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers, when you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.” ~James 1:2-3

“… we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us. You see at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly” ~Romans 5:3-6

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