Since I was 19, I’ve been dreaming of working with orphans in Africa. Never did I imagine doing it alongside a husband and four kids in an urban context, but it is pretty amazing, wild, and way beyond my capabilities!  Right now I am at an internet cafe while Daniel took the kids to Game to buy a generator!  Zambia’s daily power outages are growing longer–from 2 hours a day when they began to up to 10 hours/day. This means our internet is down, and lately we have been without water as the city water is off and our electric pump won’t work with the power outages. There is also a gas shortage, and we have a gas stove, so challenges are increasing and as always, giving us a chance to trust God more!! We joke that God is working a widow-with-the-olive-oil miracle because our gas should have run out by now!

On August 10, we dropped all four kids off at Dream Montessori for their first day of school!

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We then drove a quick 5 minutes to Chikumbuso, a widow and orphan ministry, on the outskirts of the compound Ng’ombe.  Here we met our class of 14 students.  These are youth who grew as orphans or vulnerable children and attended Chikumbuso’s primary school, then overcame great odds to graduate grade 12.  As we shared testimonies, many acknowledged gratitude for Chikumbuso who helped them with free primary education and sponsored them through secondary school.

We just completed week 4 of the five-week curriculum on Worldview & Identity in Christ.  I’ll give a quick rundown of the week through photos:

Week 1: Testimonies and Worldview 

Testimonies: Daniel and I shared our testimonies first, then invited our class to take turns.

All but one student lost one or both parents, or comes from a family of divorce. Some shared they are the only believers in their family with great opposition, some are being teased for being a virgin, one young woman broke into tears when she shared she just learned her father, who abandoned her family, was murdered.  That day we were able to surround her, lay hands and pray for her, practicing what we had just learned–we desperately need community to stay strong in our faith.
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Balloon Pop game illustrated that the world puts pressure on our values (balloon). We can only stay strong through God, his word, and community! (Joshua 1) It was a lot harder for opponents to pop someone’s balloon if they were surrounded by a group of friends who could protect them!

Worldview: We then jumped into the topic of Worldview, which is the way in which we view and interpret all of life based on the major influences in our life: culture, family, media, education, religion, and peers.  Everyone has a different worldview and everyone thinks they are right, so how do we find truth?  We must go to the Word of God to find truth, and ask God to remove our lenses so we can see him clearly.
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What color is the Bible? Blue! No, Green! We need God to remove our cultural lenses, especially before reading Scripture!

Week 2: Idols and Glory of God 
This week we addressed idols, which are anything we worship other than God.  We may not worship statues made of wood or gold, but we all need to realize which things are idols in our life so we can surrender them and worship God with an undivided heart. Common idols include relationships, money, image, success, beauty, intelligence, ministry, etc. By themselves some of these things are not bad at all. But when we elevate them to the place of worship devoting our time and allegiance to them, we fall into idol worship.
The Bible speaks often of the Glory of God, which is the sum of all of his attributes. This week we paint a picture of how big the God of the universe is, and gain proper perspective that this life is not about us, but about him. In light of that, how do we live a God-centered life and not a Me-centered life?
We watched a Louie Giglio video about the awe-inspiring universe. Check it out for a reminder of how great our God is!
Stay tuned for more photos and updates for Week 3-5!