Sunday, January 27, 2008

Luangwa Bridge Baptist Church

Today we traveled two hours (one way) to go to a church at the Luangwa Bridge. It rained all the way there so we were not expecting a big crowd. After hitting a gong outside the church, within just a few minutes people began to come. There were probably about 40 of us all together. This area is known for 3 things: a place to buy fish, beer drinking, and prostitution. Kevin encouraged the church to start reaching out to others and sharing Christ, so the town would change and be a light house for God instead. After the service, they gave us gifts of 3 baskets and two straw hats for Hannah and Justin. We ate lunch with them, and then when we walked back up to the truck we found one of the members washing our truck in the sprinkling rain. It never fails that as we go out to encourage others, we instead are blessed by the people.
We saw something else interesting today that I would like to share with you. During the church service the rain poured down all around us, and even on us a bit. As you can tell from the picture there was just a grass roof, and it had a gap at the top where the rain just came into the church. They had placed a reed mat on the ground for the children to sit on, and the rain was dripping on about 5 of the kids. The kids just sat there and didn't move or complain, but were just happy to be there in the church. It was really kind of sad to me because it seemed no one cared that the children were getting wet. After about 10 min. of this going on, someone finally said that they should move the mat to a dry spot, so they did. What was amazing to me is that those Zambian children didn't even try to move out of the way. It was almost like they didn't think they had another option. I tried to imagine if my kids had been sitting there, or any other American kid for that matter. What would they have done in that situation? You all know they would have complained, made a scene, or at least gotten up and moved. Zambians grow up thinking that personal comfort is a privilege and not a right, whereas Americans are brought up to believe the opposite. Unfortunately, we teach this to our children when they are very young by giving them everything they want to make sure they are comfortable (plus more). I'm not saying we should not make sure our children are well taken care of and comfortable. I guess I am saying that we as Americans should be thankful for the things that we have, and not complain so much when our comforts are taken away... (like electricity, water, phone, good health care, and internet). Maybe you don't have to deal with those things being taken away from you in the USA, but here in Zambia it is something that we as missionaries have to deal with quite often. Pray for us that we would always be thankful for what God allows us to have, and that we would realize that the things we do have are a privilege and not a right.

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