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Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Southern Africa Update #4: Zambia!

I had a fantastic time in Zambia - not least because Lydia was there :) and I hadn't seen my parents in over two years.

I met Lydia at the Johannesburg airport on the morning of Saturday, August 19, and we headed to Zambia later that day; a two-hour flight. It was great to see my parents on the other end. Good to see them so happy.

The next day was Sunday and I was the speaker. Yikes. :) My official notice time was just a few minutes (potentially intimidating with an audience of about 300), but I had known of the possibility of my speaking since before coming to Zambia so had had some time to prepare. My passage was Revelation 7:9-12 (which I have copied at the end of this blog post for your interest and edification), and one of my points was that "salvation belongs" not to us primarily, but "to [our] God." Salvation is not about us, but about God.

The following day, Monday, we started our two-day journey to Mansa. On the way up we visited the very spot--out in the bush--where David Livingstone had died on his knees in prayer; and where his heart had been buried by his African comrades. Also good to interact with the local village kids, who remembered how my parents had been there the year before with Ted and our friends the Torens.

We got to Mansa Tuesday evening, and it was great to be back. So many memories flooded back of this bush-town where I had spent all of grade 9 and the holidays of the rest of my high school years - riding my bike through the villages, gardening with passion, :) experiencing all kinds of adventures. Lydia said she learned a lot about me from seeing my Mansa home; yikes. :)

On Wednesday evening I spoke again, this time at what we might in the West call a youth rally. There were perhaps 350 there, and it was a blast to speak of what God is doing all around the world while, Verwer-style, wearing a 'global jacket' and holding a 4-foot globe identical to the one I've been blowing up for George all year. It was also exciting to see 30 stand in willingness to 'go wherever God may send them' (across the street or across the world) at the end of the message.

On the Thursday we visited an old mission and Mumbuluma Falls, a place Chrissie describes as her favourite little place on earth.

It was on the Friday that I began to feel sick, spent the day in bed, and 'was' sick (if you know what I mean) a couple of times as well. Lydia and I were going to head back to the capital by bus the following day to catch our Sunday evening plane, but we decided to risk it and go on Sunday instead; knowing I wouldn't be in the best of shape on the Saturday. Thankfully, I woke up feeling much better on Sunday morning and, after a 7:00am - 4:30pm day of travel, made our 6:00pm plane back to Johannesburg just in time.

All in All, Zambia was great. It was great to be back, see my parents, see my old home, and travel with Lydia. Also encouraging to see the Church alive and well in this peaceful land.

--------------------
Revelation 7:9-12

"After this I looked and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands. And they cried out in a loud voice:
"Salvation belongs to our God,
who sits on the throne,
and to the Lamb." All the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures. They fell down on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, saying:
"Amen!
Praise and glory
and wisdom and thanks and honor
and power and strength
be to our God for ever and ever.
Amen!"
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