I can’t believe it! A year (today! and arrived in Zambia on the Saturday) has passed since I tearfully bid farewell to family and friends (Malo and Susan stayed with me ’til the last second) and embarked on an adventure with God in Zambia.

Moving alone, into a different culture, a foreign land has been quite an experience! But what choice did I have? My heart was so troubled by the poverty I knew existed here and I was confident that others would join in and help me make a difference. A calling is not something one can ignore, even when it seems to some impractical, illogical, unreasonable and impossible.

The first shock I had here was that my bank card didn’t work at any of the ATMs ( I was assured before leaving Canada that there would be no problem ). Another tip for anyone planning a trip here – the banks don’t accept bills printed before the year 2000. Bring your VISA!

This leap of faith has led me into a very different life. The things I took for granted! I live in a house without tv reception or radio, no hot running water (or sometimes no water at all!), that’s subject to unpredictable power outages, I only hand wash and line dry my clothes, and I still sleep on a mattress on the floor. There are no bookstores or cafes in Chingola and I haven’t been to a restaurant in a year! And the mosquitoes -well- during the rainy season I was covered in bites. One day I stopped counting at 20!I wish I could call my loved ones more often, not just on special occasions. Bless them for being so supportive.

I always try to put things into perspective. Just down the road in the village of Mbayi, where I work, the women bathe, wash their clothes and even drink water from the stream, there is no electricity at all, most don’t have a mattress, and certainly not anti malaria medication.

There’s a price to pay, for sure, but so much gained. It is a privilege to bring food to the hungry, clothes to the needy, medicine and medical attention to the sick, while developing projects to help the community of Mbayi become self-sustaining. What a joy it is to see smiles on faces that only a year ago were consistently grim and troubled. But there’s still so much more to accomplish and I’m believing I’ll be here another year.

A huge thank you to everyone whose hands have reached across the ocean to bring care and empowerment to the suffering in Mbayi. Thanks for sharing your resources and letting me be the bridge. We have proven that when we pull together it is possible to ameliorate living conditions, ease suffering and mitigate despair. Above all I am grateful to God for sustaining, protecting, providing and so much more! With Him all things are possible.

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