Friday, September 17, 2010
I Love You Jesus Deep Down In My Heart
We had a day off from teaching today and were reminded of our love for Christ through experiences outside and inside of our team. First, we went to Chifubu, an area in Ndola to see the New Hope Christian Centre. The pastor and volunteers there care for 130 (or more) orphans, many of whom are HIV positive. They sang to us -- I Love You Jesus Deep Down In My Heart. They hugged us and touched our arms and legs. They seemed to want nothing more than to hold our hands and rub our skin. We played catch with a ball made out of plastic bags wrapped together. As a group of children stood around me, I asked them their ages and names. They stared up at me with big brown eyes. I asked them how they liked their new water system, that gave them clean water. We stood and took each other in. At one point, I asked them: "Who is Jesus?" They were silent, until one brave little girl said boldly: "He is God!" Then we sang together: I love you Jesus, deep down in my heart, I love you Jesus deep down in my heart.
After visiting the children, we drove 4 hours to Lusaka, which is South of Ndola. On the way, we passed goats, chickens, markets, speed bumps, restaurants, barber shops, farms, mud huts, people walking, people pushing bicycles loaded down with bags of charcoal, fuel stations, storefronts, police checkpoints. We paid 500 Kawacha to use the bathroom. We ate potato chips in the car. We stopped once because someone on our team wanted to buy peanuts from a woman selling them on the side of the road. He ended up with more peanuts than we could ever consume, even as a team. We stopped at a restaurant called The Fig Tree Cafe and got Coke and jumped on a trampoline. Yes, a trampoline. Got some video of that. Didn't really expect it. The long drive gave us an opportunity to get to know each other better as a team, to delve into deep questions and issues. What fun it was. The way God works in each individual's life is so unique.
The sun set in red again behind us as we pulled into Lusaka, a city of 3 million people. Lusaka is home to the University of Zambia, which has about 4000 students. We went to dinner at The Gondola, an Italian restaurant in Lusaka, where we ate pasta and pizza and ice cream cake for dessert. So far, what we have seen in Lusaka has been extreme diversity. Tomorrow, we go to a bore hole dedication. This will be a great morning of celebration. We will be wearing our new, hand-made African skirts, which the pastors in Ndola gave to us as a gift of gratitude. After that, we will fly to Livingstone, Zambia for a two-day trip to see Victoria Falls and into Botswana for a day-long safari. Please pray we can get back into Zambia from Botswana! Monday, we fly back to Lusaka for teaching Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.
The children in Chifubu summed up my feelings about these experiences today best: I love you Jesus deep down in my heart. I do.