Thanks to the coffee I shockingly enjoyed, I slept not at all the night before our flight to Lusaka, Zambia. Have tried but not enjoyed coffee since. I’m a tea person through and through.
Here are more airplane shots – I could probably use the same ones over and over again, but I did take photos on each flight – partly to help me document. Here we’re leaving Addis Ababa.
It’s a direct flight to Lusaka, Zambia. These guys are big fans of the personal screens.
Just 3 1/2 hours later we touched down in Lusaka.
Things are a bit greener here…
Customs/immigration was relatively simple – as immigration goes. Visas can be purchased at he airport and we were prepared with cash to pay for them. We were pleasantly surprised when they returned some cash and informed us that Tobi was free. The boy was saving us money!
Our plan in Zambia was to be a part of Africa Outreach – a ministry started by our friends Walker and Haley Schurz. They are fellow ORU grads and they are the ones who helped us settle in South Africa 13 years ago when we went there for Tobi’s birth. We were only in South Africa for 5 months and the Schurz’ moved from there to Zambia a few years later. They are now pastors of Miracle Life Family Church and they started and operate Rhema Zambia – a bible school. Brandt and Pam Prince joined Africa Outreach recently, and they are the family we stayed with. Amazingly, they are Agape Missionary Alliance Missionaries just like us. But as is the MO for missionaries, we’re not home very often – so we had only met these folks briefly one time – back in 2001. So what a blessing it was for us to get to know them and to stay in their home. They and their 4 kiddos were fun hosts. And we had some of the best food! But I’m getting ahead of myself…
Brandt picked us up at the airport and took us to meet Pam for lunch. In a Tai restaurant! We then made our way to their home, met the rest of the family and got settled in our room. We were quite amazed at how developed Lusaka was. The Prince’s appreciated our amazement because having lived in the Congo for many years, they felt the same way we did. Incidentally, Niger and Congo are at the bottom of the pile of developed countries. So we shared our shock and awe of the ‘niceness’.
Tobi was pretty pleased with our accommodations because they came complete with 3 boys and 1 sweet 2 year old girl. Here’s Tobi with Austin, Tyler and Ben.
Juliana gets a photo of her own – she’s adorable. The Prince’s are in the midst of adopting her from the Congo.
The following pictures are some of the first we took – the things we were amazed by and made us feel like we weren’t actually in Africa.
Pam goes to the grocery store a lot! But we’re glad she did because she made some amazing meals.
It really is a mall!
Not only were there real toilets -they came equipped with toilet paper!
Are we really in Africa?
Sunday lunch at KFC. Yep. The real Colonel and everything.
Our first Sunday we went to Miracle Life Family Church. We were so encouraged to hear that 90% of the money used to build this church came from the Zambians.
Pastor Walker invited us to greet the congregation.
This isn’t a great picture but it’s the front of the church. It’s a big one!
We arrived in Lusaka on March 7th. Tobi’s 13th birthday was the next day. Pam graciously volunteered to make the teen-to-be a cake and told us about a paintball place right down the street from their house. Paintball would be a perfect birthday gift. Austin, the Prince’s oldest son had a knee issue so couldn’t ‘paintball’. Ben was too young. But Tyler was all for it. So off we went. The paintballers and the spectators.
Tobi and Austin. Nothing like making a brand new friend and then trying to shoot him!
This was new to Tobi so lots of instruction was given.
Even Brandt gave Tobi some pointers.
Is the helmet really necessary?
The guy running the show was having fun just watching and instructing our 2.
They had several different competitions. And they had the battleground to themselves.
This is the spectator window from where Neal provided much instruction…And at the end, high 5’s for a job well done.
I don’t think there was a clear winner, but when it was all said and done, the boys were still friends.
Pam made one of Tobi’s favorites for dinner, and even a few more boys joined for the festivities.
Then there was a really yummy cake.
Our youngest is officially a teenager!
Then the electricity went out. We’re pretty sure that was for our benefit – to remind us that yes, we were still in Africa.
It’s always so much fun to watch people open presents. Please excuse the wrapping job…
He’s wearing his Nigeria soccer journey and loved getting a Zambia jersey.
We’re proud of our 13 year old.
Did I mention how well we ate at the Prince’s home?
This is just one of many wonderful meals. Grilled chicken and twice baked potatoes.
The broccoli was special for Tobi. He loves the stuff – he’s kind of strange that way – and it’s rare that we get to eat it.
One of our reason’s for going to Zambia was to teach in the Rhema Bible School there. Neal taught Bible Doctrines to the first year students, and I taught Children’s Ministry to the 2nd year students. What fun we had!
Here’s Neal teaching his class.
Makes you wanna know what he’s saying doesn’t it?
I, too, had fun teaching a great group of students.
They were so responsive and I know they received revelation on how important ministry to children is. That was my goal.
I like to teach with lots of object lessons…
This one used popped popcorn and popcorn seeds. Any idea what lesson that taught? Hint: what happens when you add heat and oil…
At the end of the class I had a group of students do a ‘practice children’s service’. It was so fun and I was impressed.
In addition to teaching in the school, Walker and Haley invited us to speak at their first annual Rhema alumni meeting. Here we are together.
Walker giving the vision of the Alumni program.
First Neal spoke.
Then we spoke together. I don’t remember what was being said here – but it looks interesting…
Of course a meeting is never complete until we introduce the rest of our family.
Speaking into these lives was an honor we will always remember.
The Bible School has chapel services and Neal preached there as well.
We were also asked to meet with the children’s workers of Miracle Life Family Church. We had a ‘pre-meeting’ to discuss what they wanted us to cover. We were amazed at what they already have established. Everything we brought up they were already doing. We did meet with them on a Saturday morning and just encouraged them and brought a few new ideas. But it was truly a mutually encouraging time.
The lady on the left is the Children’s ministry director.
Many of the students are already pastors and we were invited to minister at Mount Moriah – with Pastor Julius Mwanza. We were SO blessed! We walked into the church and felt right at home and the music was wonderful!
The room to the right is the overflow room. They could hear but not see.
It was the Sunday that the children were receiving their Samaritan’s Purse shoeboxes and they had a special presentation. Every one of these children quoted a scripture verse of their choice. From long ones, to “Jesus wept”.
This little guy dressed for the occasion!
Tobi and I got to help hand out the boxes.
They opened their gifts as soon as they got them outside. I talked to this sweet girl and when I asked her what she got. She replied, “There was a letter inside and they said they were praying for me.” So if you’re involved in Operation Blessing / Samaritan’s Purse and have told someone you’re praying for them — I hope you are.
Pastor Julius and his family.
They took us to a great place for lunch – burgers!
Everywhere we’ve been, Tobi has been diligent to do his school. He’s had lots of different work areas. This is his classroom at the Prince’s house. The boys went to school, we went to the bible school and Tobi stayed at the house and did his school. Well, except for the day he came to visit our classes and greet the students and hear his Dad preach in chapel.
Then the boys would get home and rescue Tobi.
Movie time our last night there.
We enjoyed spending time with friends – but our time went so quickly.
Had fun at the Schurz home – volleyball!
Serious ping pong!
I’ll let you guess who won.
But lots of games were played.
The only competing I did was to try and get as tall as Haley. That’s never going to happen….
Neal cooked his famous Nigerian rice and stew – minus the pepper. As always, it was a hit.
Dishing up dinner.
Walker and Neal enjoying dinner.
The boys table. And apparently no one else was welcome to join them.
As I already mentioned, Walker and Haley are the friends and supporters who hooked us up in Johannesburg when we went there for Tobi’s birth in 2000. We were so blessed to be a small part of their ministry in Zambia and are impressed by their ministry there – Africa Outreach. Thanks guys. We had a blast! And we’re expecting your visit to Niger.
And a special thanks to Brandt and Pam Prince who we had so much fun with. They were the best hosts!
Our journey thus far has been more than we could have expected (that’s just like God, eh?). Eve though our time in Lusaka was coming to a rapid close, we were excited about the next leg of our trip – a bus ride to Livingstone – and Victoria Falls! Hopefully I’ll get to that soon…because it was truly amazing!