We spent the first few weeks of June on a field trip in the Eastern Province of Zambia. This was our first time to stay in villages and “camp it out” with the whole family. Having Abby along not only made this possible, but even enjoyable.
We started our trip in Lusaka, collecting a trailer load of the books, Bibles, and materials from the container. Many thanks to those who have kept these supplies in prayer, the termite problem seems to be resolved, with no damage to ANY of the materials inside! This is nothing short of miraculous when you consider the size and voracious appetite of African termites. Abby helped Timothy load box after box on the truck, only grimacing a little as she got coated in dust, grime, and termite poo.
Before leaving Lusaka for the 10 hour drive to Chipata, we had to get Interpol police clearance for our truck, as we intended to take it into Malawi. This is just one of the legal wrangles (read: government fund raising opportunities) involved with vehicle movement in Africa. On the way out of Central Province, we stopped at Covenant College in Petauke, where Timothy spent many of his early missionary days. We found that the three cattle he had kept while living there had become the foundation for a small herd, helping to support the ministry there! The kids were very good on the road, although they were exhausted and cantankerous by the time we reached our friends’ lodging place in Chipata. The Breytenbachs blessed us with rooms that night, in lieu of camping plots. After the long day on the road, a hot shower and decent bed were an incredible and unexpected blessing.
Over the weekend Timothy, Abby, and I all had opportunities to speak, teach, and minister to various people. Aside from preaching, Timothy was able to spend time training teachers and pastors and distribute a lot of Bibles and school materials. Abby taught her first lesson to Africans, and she did a great job negotiating the language barrier. Monica had a blast with the kids and showed her growing independence by heading into town all on her own. AHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!! Thank God for His protection over our little ones; Monica was brought back by a helpful (if incredulous) African youngster. African children are NOT independent AT ALL. Monica always astonishes our African friends with her confidence and ingenuity (to word it euphemistically). Frederick was truly the prince of the party, as he was passed from lap to adoring lap all throughout our trip. I don’t think his little body touched the ground for two solid weeks.
Saturday evening Abby had her first taste of village chicken. She asked why I had just gotten chips. She found out. Most of the time we had our meals around a campfire or charcoal cooker (the gas cooker we brought along broke on the very first day). Abby became quite a proficient fire tender (add that to her growing list of African skills).