The actual party, to be honest, was a bit chaotic. Dancers four hours late, reshuffling the food program, spontaneously leading songs and drama to fill time with kids who can barely speak English…oh, there were a few challenges.

Then there was getting mobbed for the candy prizes I brought. Wondering if the food would spread to double the amount of kids expected! Hoping the teenagers would join the party. Dreaming of the day when these kids will be more captivated with worship music than the Beyonce blaring on the speakers.

But as I reflect on that day, Daniel reminds me it was a huge success!  Why? Because it was a truly community-led party. Chef Cephas Phiri and his team brought the feast and Mark Chilongu’s group Africa Directions brought the dancing and mentoring.

No, it wasn’t perfect. But it gives me hope for what could be. More Zambians engaging with orphan care in creative, personal ways. And that is pretty sweet.

Here are a few photos to enjoy!


A hug ambush upon arrival! These kids had been waiting hours for…the CHRISTMAS PARTY!!!



Let the dancing begin!



Mentors and dancers from the local group Africa Directions, these guys look the part!



Treetop view



Heartbreaking to see teenagers with babies…



One dancer in the middle, old school




Donvan from The Grace Project came to check out our party. He shares our heart for orphans and discipleship.



Barely had time to take photos as there were FIFTY little cuties to feed! The teens helped us serve, then it was our turn to feast!



The word spread about the party, so although there are only 27 orphans at Pastor Banda’s 50 kids showed up! Zion spilled a lot of water at the end of the party, and basically created an Nshima mosh pit…..EWW!




Faidess + Aliness helped me dramatize the nativity



Aliness has stolen my heart. Although she is not an orphan, she has a very vulnerable home life. Today as I washed infected wounds on her legs, I prayed that Jesus will meet her deepest need.