"The One who calls you is faithful, and He will remain faithful." 1 Thessalonians 5:23
Our first morning in church, our preacher spoke about the path God takes us on to prepare us for what He needs us to do. I started to think back on how many times God used the unexpected to prepare me for exactly what He had planned for me. Little did I know, the last few years God was preparing me for something even bigger.
This was my third trip to Africa, but my first to Zambia. During my 2 weeks there, I was truly caught off guard with how the ministry was impacting so many different areas of Zambia in so many different ways. I had the opportunity to see many of the different Family Legacy Ministries in Zambia, but it wasn't until my last day at the Tree of Life that I truly understood how much God was using Family Legacy to impact the country of Zambia and me...
On my last day at the Tree of Life, Teacher Sibote was absent. I told teacher Sandra, the head teacher, it was not a big deal, I could teach the class. The first assignment I gave my students was to write me a story titled, ONE THING. They each wrote me a story telling me one thing they wish I knew about them before I left. I read so many different stories about their friends, families and things they loved to do. Two precious girls in my class told me their stories of how they ended up at the Tree of Life.
Natasha is a double orphan and used to live with her late mother’s friend that had 13 dependents, most of whom are orphans. They lived in an unfinished small two-roomed house which did not have running water or electricity. She used to live with her mom in Kalundu township where her mother was working as a maid. One day, her mother fell suddenly ill and was admitted into the hospice where she later died. Not knowing what to do, Natasha ran away and came to stay with her mom’s friend who was Sara Lungu’s grandmother because she did not have any other relatives in Lusaka. Natasha would sleep on the floor with Sara and they used an old blanket to cover themselves. She only had one pair of shoes and she did not have any warm clothing. Natasha has lacked food, however despite these challenges she was usually at the top of her class in her previous school.
Prior to coming to the Tree of Life, Ruth and her younger cousin Mirriam lived with her elderly mother in a small one-roomed house in Chainda compound. Their house did not have electricity or running water, and the ventilation is poor. She was brutally raped by a neighbor in 2005. Ruth’s mother is HIV positive and she has been on ARV’s since 2003. Her mother is currently not working and this is making their lives difficult considering her condition. Ruth has older brothers, but they all live out of town and they do not support them. Her older sisters have all died, and as a result, Ruth is sometimes scared that she will die too, because she is a girl.
Flying home, God began to make it extremely clear that I need to quit my job and serve in Zambia. The planner in me quickly began to convince myself that God was ok with me taking a year and getting prepared to go. I started back to work quickly after I came back and immediately felt as though it wasn't right. The more I prayed, the more I felt confirmation to quit my job and go now. God was so clear about what He wanted me to do; I had to be obedient to what He was calling me to.Since I turned in my resignation letter, I been overwhelmed by support, prayers, and just comfort from Christ in knowing He is in control.
"In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps." Proverbs 16:9
(Ruth and Natasha's stories copied from the Family Legacy Website)