Struggle 5: We lived in Chipata for one year studying the language Chichewa. Chipata is about 6 hours east of where we are now. Our boss thought it would be better for us to learn there than to try to learn where we were going to be living because he felt like the people would be wanting us to do so much and we wouldn't have time to learn the language. We had a good year in Chipata and came away having gotten a good foundation in the language and culture of Zambia. However, when we got to Chongwe Kevin went one way to the east and started teaching TEE, Chronological Bible Storying, etc. in the language and getting practice everyday. He began to grow and learn more so that he is now very efficient in the language. I started going west to take the kids to school in Lusaka every day and would spend most of my day there. So I didn't use the language as much as he did. I did teach on Thursdays to the women and go to church on Sundays and was able to get out a bit but mostly my life was with the children and in our home. I say all of this to tell you that it is still a struggle with me not feeling like I know the language like I should. Oh, if I could just communicate like my husband does. I know that at this time in my life this is how it just is and maybe in the future that will get better so that is what I'm praying for. I have noticed that on Thursdays now that I'm going out twice to teach in one day I can see that I am improving more and more which is a good thing. If I was out everyday I feel sure I would get it but at this time in my life it just isn't possible. I know for sure that when I go out and speak it is not because of any talent that I have but only because God is helping me. Yeah, people laugh sometimes at some of the things I say but they also help me and teach me along the way too. Zambians just love it when you try to speak their language so I won't give up even though I feel like it at times. I will keep striving to learn.
Struggle 6: Like most people across the world Zambians have many problems and struggles that they face every day. It is hard to live in a Third World Country and not be effected by all that you see. The poverty, malnutrition, drunkeness, orphans, beggars on the street, people with and dying from HIV/AIDS. It is just tough. You know we don't even get the news at our house from the tv we get it from our friends and neighbors. Almost daily we get reports of people in our churches that are struggling with this or that. This past weekend we heard news that one of our pastors 4 year old little girl had fallen into a well without anyone knowing. It was sometime before the mother realized what had happened. When she got to the well and didn't see her daughter she just happened to look inside the well and saw that the bucket was below. She immediately went down into the well and sure enough her daughter was at the bottom of it. She brought her up and took her to the clinic. She was still living but was not awake. They rushed her to the hospital in Lusaka and pumped her stomach. The next day she returned home and even went to church. This story turned out good but a lot of times we hear stories that don't turn out so well. It is tough when you have poured your life into someone for a few years, they become the pastor of a church, and then they die of AIDS. Or you see that in a family the parents have both died and the grandparent has taken in those children to care for. Everyday we see how people try to survive and just get by. This is a struggle that we have to deal with in our own way. Our whole family experiences it and I feel sure that we are not the same people that we were when we first came. When I look at our children and see how they have done with this I am very proud of them. It is hard enough for us to see these things as an adult but to see it through their eyes is another thing. May all of our eyes be opened to the suffering and hardships that surround us if we will only see it.