We just got back from an expedition to a village called Mulindi in Mukuni chiefdom. We were there for 5 days and left on day 6. It was absolutely fantasic! God did so many cool things and I can’t even begin to name them all. But I will try to give the highlights.
- One awesome thing about this expedition is that it was to a completely new area that Overland is starting to minister in. Jake, the sector manager, was previously the sector manager of Nyawa (where I went the last two times), but now they are handing the position over to Biton, one of our Zambian interpreters/ministers. So now Jake is starting on a new sector: Mukuni. This is really exciting because it is evidence of the type of progress we strive for—seeing national believers take over areas and missionaries stepping back and letting Zambians minister to Zambians. So, what we did in Mulindi was basically help pioneer the work to be done there. We walked all over to the different huts (which are the houses where different families live. Many of them can be up to twenty minutes walk apart!) We recorded the locations on our GPS, and wrote down names of the people we talked to. At each hut, we got to know people and talked to them about the Gospel, getting a feel for where they were at and then praying for healing and against oppression, etc. We held a night meeting, kids program, and two women’s meetings. Everything went really well and Mulindi is definitely going to a place of great growth!
- We saw a ton of people healed—lots of toothaches, chest pain, fevers, headaches, a blind eye/cataract dissolved, an ear infection, and more. People were healed and jumped up and down smiling and went away praising God. It’s always amazing. No matter how many healings I see happen from prayer, I am always so moved. God is so incredibly powerful and so often we forget this in the land of medicine and development. Zambian life strips down human existence to the raw, real, spiritual base that we all came from. And that is where God moves.
- Lots of people had heard the name Jesus but did not know who He was. We got to share the story of Jesus with these people for the first time. Lots of people decided to follow Jesus. Lots more were confused and discouraged about their faith, so we got to encourage these people and pray for them. I can’t even describe how wonderful it is to know that God used me to build someone up and strengthen their faith.
That’s just a brief overview, but I will post a longer testimony soon. We are back on base so I will have internet for a while and hopefully I’ll be updating this more often. Thanks for your prayers! Zambia is fantastic as always and God is moving, as He always does.
I wish I had something philosophically deep or spiritual to say about this past week. If I do it will come out in my writing spontaneously, and if I don’t it’s only because I am completely and utterly exhausted.
Within the last 4 days, I have graduated college with 2 Bachelors degrees, packed up my entire life in Florida (or, rather, laid on the couch unable to move while my best friends packed for me), spent a morning in the emergency room hooked up to machines wondering if I was going to make it out in time for Africa, said goodbye to the people I love most in this world, flew to New Mexico and repacked my life for the next 3 months into one 53 (oops) pound bag, and flew to Dallas. Now I’m waiting at the gate to fly to London, then Johannesburg, and then finally Zambia.
I know my flaws. I know that I overestimate my abilities sometimes and refuse to let other people help me. I can be independent to a fault, as my mother puts it. I was doing so great for such a long time; I was [relatively] on top of everything and everything got done, but then Friday and Saturday God used a suspiciously meningit-ical illness to derail me for just 24 hours (luckily it’s only presumed to be strep!).
It was a reminder I need a lot of the time: I can’t do it all. God places people in our lives for many reasons, and one of them is to help each other out when we’re in a tight place.
I told my friend Carey that I find it hard to be the center of everybody’s helping and affection sometimes because it makes me feel like I owe them something. But that’s not what friendship is about; friendship is not always about giving and giving in return. Sometimes it is about just swallowing your pride and letting people give. Carey, Jon, and Andrew packed my stuff for me when I was too sick to do it and then continued to help the next day with my parents while I was in the hospital. Strangely enough, those hours in the hospital were some of the most relaxing ones I had experienced in over a week. I finally let go of my “I have to do it all, all of the time” complex and just slept while they pumped medicine into my veins. I’m not a superhuman. I’m just Rachel.
I feel like I have hardly had time to prepare mentally, spiritually, and emotionally for Zambia. These past few weeks have just been so heavily focused on nursing my emotional reeling from graduating and having the people I love ripped away from me as I left Florida. But I have faith that God will find me some time to prepare. After all, I have two ~10-hour flights ahead of me.
Africa round 4, here I come.
Reason-To-Love-Africa of the day
“The great powers of the world may have done wonders in giving the world an industrial and military look, but the great gift still has to come from Africa—giving the world a more human face.”
-Steven Bantu Biko
This is a money update! I am posting this partly as a praise report to God, and partly because I believe in being financially transparent. A lot of people reading this have given to my trip[s], so I want you to be assured that I am stewarding your donations wisely and with prayer.
That said, if you’re reading this, you probably know I am raising money to go back to Zambia this summer. I originally needed $7000 to complete the AMT course, and I was praying about raising more in order to stay on the field longer.
So last night, on the day of my deadline, I was at dinner, telling my friend how I needed $1300 for Zambia still. I didn’t really feel worried though…just peaceful. I felt a bit uneasy if I thought about it a lot, but overall I just had an uncanny feeling that everything was okay. I went home and checked my online account and saw that some amazing people had generously donated $1000. Along with other people who had texted me that day about donating, I realized that this was it! I had what I needed. I just needed to send in the extra $850 from my bank account, and my mom needed to send in the extra $475.
But TODAY, I checked my account and all the money was there! I didn’t even need to send in the extra $1325! Different friends had come through and donated at the last minute, and all my needs were met! I feel so speechlessly blessed at how many great people are in my life. I love every single friend God has given me over the years. They have all been so supportive of me in my personal life with encouragement and prayer. Then they all came through for me financially too, when I needed last minute help. I’m simply blown away.
I am praying about what to do with the extra money God has given me. Last year when I had extra money raised, I felt God was telling me not to keep it but rather to donate it to a need I saw in Nepal, even though I knew I would need a lot of money for my next trip. I obeyed and donated it, and now I have raised even MORE extra money. I believe that God blesses us when we are obedient to Him, so I definitely want to be wise and prayerful about how I use the extra money He has provided me.
And so, I am praying about staying on the field longer after Zambia. If I decide this, I will need about $1500 more than I have right now. If I decide to go straight home after AMT, the money will be used for my future ministry, or for a different worthy cause.
If you feel led to give, DON’T HESITATE! I am always in a constant state of fundraising, so there is never a lack of need. And I don’t say this because I’m a lazy bum who doesn’t want to work for her living (I work 3 jobs!)
In summary: God has provided more than enough money for me to do AMT this summer. I am blessed and incredibly thankful to Him and to everyone. I am praying about using the extra money to stay on the mission field longer. If I do that, I will need an additional $1500. If I don’t, I will pray about where that extra money will go, and I will keep all of you updated.
Again, thanks for reading and keeping up with my fundraising process. Now, it’s just to graduate college and pack my bags! And maybe get some malaria meds…
Africa round 4, here I come.
It’s the 5th day of my last spring break EVER, and today I sat on the ride of the main road in my home town with a table full of stuff, half of which I didn’t really want to get rid of, and a big sign that said “FREE.” This is sort of the beginning step in my journey to end materialism in my life in preparation to move overseas…which is happening very soon! I can’t take all that stuff with me so I am starting to get rid of what I can’t keep.
I didn’t want to just dump the stuff in a charity bin because I wanted to meet new people and tell them about what I am doing this summer! It went really well and I met some great people and had some good conversations. I will be back out there on Friday, and hopefully more stuff will go!
I am preparing to leave for Zambia again in May! I am so excited to be able to spend the entire summer learning and ministering and re-connecting with my Zambian friends. God has provided so much so far, but I still need $1700 by MONDAY!
If you want to donate to my trip, visit overlandmissions.com and click donate, and be sure to put my name in the memo line! Or you can click the donate button above and donate using PayPal.
Thanks to everyone who is reading this for your interest in my missions work and for your prayer support! I love all of you so much! And special thanks to my brother and my friend Jessie who sat out there with me today and helped take some of the pressure off :)
“If all the men on earth died tonight, the species could continue on frozen sperm. If the women disappear, it’s extinction”
-article called “Men, Who Needs Them?” By Greg Hampikian that I found via my friend Heather.
Women are so valuable!
But women around the world are still undervalued. I dream of bringing a sense of value and empowerment to women who have been crushed by gender-related violence in oppressive or sexist societies.
God loves women!
I miss Nepal. :( For some reason being in the States today is sucking out my soul.
Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kinshasa