Daniel Daniel He is our boy!

I started going to Africa in 2006 and through the years have met many incredible people from all over the world serving in Zambia.  Before Arise Africa built the complex in 2015, I lived with random families I knew when I was there. 

For years I stayed with the Showells.  They are an American Family and the father, Eric worked for World Vision.  They have three children and, well... I could tell MANY stories about the Showells and their shenanigans.  OH there are some good ones but that is for another blog post (or many).

                                                                The Showells looking their best

                                                                The Showells looking their best

One person who helped the Showells and myself so much during this time was their housekeeper, Susan.  Susan isn't just a housekeeper, she is your ever loyal best friend too.  Susan ran the house and kept us all in line in a way that was so loving, you never even realized how much power she had over you! Susan was the matriarch for sure. 

                                                                                                                                   Eric showell with Susan

                                                                                                                                   Eric showell with Susan

Susan has three sons.  Two are older and do not currently live with her.  But Susan had her youngest "son" living with her on the compound with the Showells.  His name is Daniel.  Daniel is not technically Susan's son.  Susan was a friend of Daniel's mother and she died when Daniel was a baby.  At the funeral Susan discovered there was nobody to care for Daniel, and Susan simply opened her arms.  That is how Daniel came to be Susan's. 

Daniel was the same age as the Showells youngest son, Oliver, who has downs syndrome.  And everyday when you would pull into the driveway at the house, there was Daniel and Oliver playing and getting into more trouble than you can imagine.

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If you fast forward a few years, the Showell Family moved to South Africa and Eric took a job with World Bicycle Relief, (you should check them out!).  And Susan and Daniel now live at the Arise Africa complex!  I couldn't do Zambia without them.

If anyone has gone on a mission trip with you you know Susan and Daniel well.  Susan loves on all of our staff and guests and cares for everything Complex related. 

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And Daniel, well, he can't be missed at the Complex.  He has more energy than any child I have ever seen.  He can eat more than any child I have ever seen.  He has the attention span of a gnat just like me.  He is absolutely crazy, wild, sweet, funny as heck, and is  a GREAT kid.

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This is why we have decided to get Daniel supported to help with funds for his education.  Daniel has been going to a private school that a few of us have been paying for.  But we would like to get him in an even better school that will further his education to a level that we desire for him and all our kids.  This school would enable Daniel to get the attention he needs to learn to read well.  This would build him a foundation that he needs.  Unfortunately, this school is more expensive.

I pray that Daniel is a successful man that loves Jesus one day.  We define success by Daniel living a positive and happy life. Education, I know, is a large part of this. I tried to teach him his ABC's at our kitchen table one day and wanted to pull my hair out.  I quickly realized we will all lose our minds trying to help Daniel but we can certainly still make sure he receives the best education possible by bringing in the professionals!

Daniel will never ever know or have memories of his real parents. He was an orphan and in a split second, one AMAZING and selfless woman stepped in and said she would care for him. Will you join us in helping Susan and Daniel?  Will you consider sponsoring Daniel at $50 a month so that we can send him to a school where he too will receive a great education even though he has no parents to provide for him? OR you could do a one time gift. Together we can do this!  All of your funds will go directly to his tuition fees.  You will receive a report on Daniel every three months along with photos.  You also will have the opportunity to write him letters if desired.

Humans of Arise

The first thing that comes to mind when I think about Arise Africa is the word family. Everyone involved in Arise Africa has a special place. No matter where I am, the United States or Zambia, I can say with full truth “I feel home sick!” On each side of the globe, there are specific humans that God has strategically given a responsibility to. This responsibility comes with a job title and an Arise Africa T-shirt. No matter the job title, the goal is to demonstrate and teach the children of Zambia about the love of Jesus Christ. To provide opportunities for them to grow into responsible citizens in their own country who live out the life that God desires for all mankind. To follow Him and honor Him in their future careers, in discipling their future children, in loving their future spouses, in sharing the Gospel with their communities. This is a big responsibility… God, where do we even start? How do we do this? How can this work? He gives us the answer in 1 Corinthians: “For the body does not consist of one member but of many. If the foot should say, ‘Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,’ that would not make it any less a part of the body. And if the ear should say, ‘Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,’ that would not make it any less a part of the body… But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose. If all were a single member, where would the body be as it is, there are many parts, yet one body.” And in Ephesians: “Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, in Christ, from whom the whole body, joined together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.” Through God’s grace, He has equipped each member of the Arise family with gifts and abilities to fulfill His will in these children’s lives. We can’t do it. But teaming up together as His body, as He moves us, as He works for His good pleasure, we can! We need each other. We use each other’s gifts. We love each other, and we love this mission. Check out how God has created, equipped, and used each member of His body through the Humans of Arise campaign!

-Faith Gregg 

Week Two Mission Trip: Painting Taonga and Creating the Library at ACS

Written by interns: Natalie and Christina

The second mission trip week flew by after countless hours of painting, organizing, and creating meaningful relationships. Our last day in Zambia came too quickly, but we could not be more excited to tell you about the last week there!

Our second group of mission trippers arrived and brought in a whole new and fun dynamic to the Complex! They were all excited about their upcoming week of painting classrooms, organizing thousands of donated books, and creating a library for the children at Arise Christian School. The week was full of sponsors joyfully meeting their kids for the first time, paint-stained clothes, and lots of laughs and meaningful conversations. We began the week with worship at Twin Palms Baptist Church and a trip to the market to do some bargaining. The interns had been there three times by that point, and we STILL bought more souvenirs! No regrets.

The Smiths got to meet their sponsored child, Anna

The Smiths got to meet their sponsored child, Anna

On Monday and Tuesday, we painted classrooms and helped with feeding program at Toanga School. After painting, we spent hours sorting through and organizing at least a dozen storage bins worth of books. It gave us a lot of time to get to know each other, so time flew by so quickly! Tuesday morning, we had the opportunity to return to Bauleni Special Needs School and play with the children. Although the first two days were incredibly busy, we were now prepared to complete the library and still have a lot of time to play with the kids at ACS!

Team pink room!

Team pink room!

Luckily Ben was tall enough to reach the roof!

Luckily Ben was tall enough to reach the roof!

Andy and Jennifer paint the green room

Andy and Jennifer paint the green room

Of course there is always time to play!

Of course there is always time to play!

Wednesday and Thursday, we headed out to Arise Christian School to set up the books we had been sorting all week. The library there is made out of a shipping container (which is so typical Arise Africa!) The shipping container was donated by a family in the U.S. and after a few holes were cut out of it and windows and doors were welded in, it was ready for a face lift! The container was then painted by a local resident of Zambia. The kids LOVED seeing the library covered in painting books coming to life. All that was left to add were the books and the shelving! That’s where we came in.

One shipping container, 5 holes for doors and windows, one amazing paint job, 2,000 books

One shipping container, 5 holes for doors and windows, one amazing paint job, 2,000 books

We worked on the library and helped with the feeding program while the kids were in class. But when they came out, it was time to play! The children loved coming to see what we were doing in the library. It was really cool to see them so excited to have a place to come and read. We really felt like we were getting to be a part of something that was going to benefit their education in the long run. We finished the library after those two days and all our projects were officially complete!

Chandler and Meredith sorting books and organizing the shelves

Chandler and Meredith sorting books and organizing the shelves

The library is officially finished!

The library is officially finished!

Friday, we held a cook out at theComplex for all mission tripper and staff to get to spend time together before everyone went back to the U.S. on Saturday. The barbecue was a bittersweet goodbye with the staff. We enjoyed delicious food and great conversation, but the thought of leaving the people we had formed such amazing relationships with was so sad! It was a bummer, but we knew the staff would continue to do amazing things and impact the communities in Lusaka that we had fallen in love with.

What a blessing it is to serve The Lord together!

What a blessing it is to serve The Lord together!

Week 1 Mission Trip: Park Cities Presbyterian Church

Written by interns: Ben, Peyton, and Carter

The first week of the July mission trips was great! With the help of 22 mission trippers from Park Cities Presbyterian Church, Arise Africa put on Vacation Bible School for the children at Taonga School. The students of Taonga were all split up into small groups, each with a Zambian and an American leader. This was super helpful for communication because our Zambian staff all speaks great English along with their native language, Nyanja. When learning about Jesus, it is important for us to have the children hear the lessons in their heart language. It was really cool to watch the Americans speak truth to the children despite their language barrier.

Kenzie, Dai, and their VBS group

Kenzie, Dai, and their VBS group

Each morning, school started for the kids at 7:45 AM and Bible camp began at around 9 AM. All of the children walk to school daily which takes around 30 minutes to an hour for most students, despite their young age. These children are just as joyful as they are independent and don’t let circumstances take away their smile! Once the mission trippers arrived at the school, they were gladly greeted by lots of hugs and smiles. This was a special time for the mission trippers who had been a part of Bible camp last Summer because the kids were overjoyed to see their familiar faces returning.

Showing up to greet the kids each morning is great motivation to get out of bed!

Showing up to greet the kids each morning is great motivation to get out of bed!

Bible camp started off with a time of worship where everyone danced and sang to different songs about Jesus. This was incredible for us all to see worship in another language because it gave us a cool glimpse of what heaven will be like with so many different people singing to the same God! Our amazing staff led worship each morning and brought so much energy to the room. This got everyone pumped up for camp!

Mr. Moxley showing up the kids with his dance moves

Mr. Moxley showing up the kids with his dance moves

After worship, the kids and leaders broke up into their assigned groups and discussed a lesson from the Bible. The mission trippers prepared the lessons for each day along with crafts to help the kids understand what they were learning. For example, one day, the children learned about the story of Zacchaeus, so they made a paper cut-out of him moving up and down a tree. They absolutely loved it! Shortly after the lesson and craft, everyone gathered together to review what they had learned. The children loved this time because they sang a few songs and our staff performed skits of the stories that were taught in the lesson that day. The skits were performed to the children in their native language, Nyanja, which made it easier for the kids to understand. The kids couldn’t stop laughing! We are so thankful for such an amazing staff who goes above and beyond to make sure our children feel loved. Once the skits were performed, a staff member explained the skit to the students in English so that both the mission trippers and the students could understand what was acted out.

Carley and Chris leading Bible study

Carley and Chris leading Bible study

Next, the kids would sing a few more songs before being dismissed for lunch. They were more than excited to receive yummy peanut butter sandwiches made by the interns. Once lunch was finished, the mission trippers and the kids would play all sorts of games including football (soccer), tag and games they would make up. This was a daily routine for the mission trippers throughout the week before they left camp.

Press and his VBS group playing "football" before the end of the day

Press and his VBS group playing "football" before the end of the day

The last day of camp, Friday, was game day where the kids went to ten different stations for a variety of activities. There was a bounce house, face painting, games, hot dogs and more! The kids had a blast as the day was full of laughter and lots of playing. When the mission trippers said goodbye to the kids, there were many tears because they had grown so close. It was so sweet to see the pure love between everyone!

Renea's group at the face painting station

Renea's group at the face painting station

After Bible camp was finished each day, the mission trippers would go into the community to serve at other various locations around the city. We were blessed to be able to visit places such as Mother Theresa’s orphanage, where the mission trippers would play with kids and feed the babies. They were so adorable; the mission trippers didn’t want to put them down. We also visited Bauleni Special Needs School where we were given a tour and got the opportunity to meet some students. It was incredible to see such action in caring for orphans as we are called to do through scripture. It is important to Arise Africa that we are involved with other local organizations as well as our own. Arise believes that if we are all called to care for the needy, then we are all on the same team! Why wouldn’t we encourage one another in love and good deeds?! (Hebrews 10:24)

We, as interns and mission trippers, got to meet so many amazing people who dedicate their lives to meeting the needs of others. The people we came into contact with at Arise, Taonga, and other organizations are so pure in heart and love like nothing we’ve seen before. They taught us a lot while we were in Zambia and have shown us what following Christ and loving people truly looks like. We have been so encouraged to love and live more radically for Jesus!

-love, the Interns

"...serve one another humbly in love." Galatians 5:13

"...serve one another humbly in love." Galatians 5:13

Update from Africa University

This blog post is written by one of Arise Africa's students who is on scholarship to Africa University in Zimbabwe.  Read about Joseph's first year at university to be inspired by God's love and provision. 


First year is officially coming to an end. It has not been easy but I really thank God for His grace and love. As mentioned in my reports, there are a lot of things I learned in my freshman year. Despite the challenges faced at many different times, I look back and see how I have grown spiritually, physically, emotionally and socially as well. What I have learned about college this freshman year is;


1. College courses will challenge you on a new level. Most likely, you won’t get the sorts of marks you earned in high school, even if you’ve taken several AP and honors courses. It’ll take some time to adapt to new expectations and distractions. You may have the sharpest mind in any one class, but college life will test your concentration with constant social opportunities, roommate issues, and assignment overload.


2. The relationships you have with your lecturers is very different from the ones you had with your high school teachers. Lecturers may not always know your name, or remind you that your assignment was due yesterday. They will give you more independence over your education than your teachers did; they expect you to handle that freedom with responsibility and maturity.


3. The social scene will beckon you, no matter how much of a wallflower you were back home. There will be plenty of activities other than schoolwork that will draw you in, from joining a club to attending a student performance or from going to educational and social trips to hanging out with your friends on the quad. Exposing oneself to a new experience even once is a great way to combat the feeling that you are missing out. Our school keeps an up-to-date calendar of social events and lectures on the webpage. You may very well feel that you are missing out on social opportunities by hitting the library, but you just have to be very good friends with the library. It is hard to raise a low GPA so you always have to be on track.


4. Even students eager to live on their own find themselves missing home. You may feel a pang of homesickness when you miss your sister’s birthday, or your roommate is being noisy and you are longing for your old room. It becomes worse when they eat your snack without permission.


5. Not everybody is having more fun than you or doing better in their courses. It’s always advised to resist the temptation of comparing oneself to others. Your friends may be editing their social media accounts and telling all their followers that they’re having a blast and that they’re successful in all their endeavors. In reality, they likely share the same transitional challenges that you’re dealing with.

 

Even though I encountered these challenges in my first year of college, I have come to know also that all those confident upperclassmen we see on campus have gone through this transition before and made it to the other side. With time, and with the knowledge that I could reach out for help whenever I needed it, I made it through my freshman year, too.
I am currently in the middle of exams and they have not been so easy. This semester had a lot of challenging courses and the exams are coming in handy too. But I know for sure I have studied quite enough for all the courses. I will be writing Statistics on 27th April and I am so nervous. This course has really been hard for me but I am still hoping for the best.  Please pray for this test.

School will be closing on 5th May. I am so excited to go home but unfortunately, I will only get to go home after 10th June. This is because I will be working on a project with my other classmates. We intend to do an HIV/AIDS prevention and awareness program with children between the ages of 12 and 18. This project will focus on how well children know about HIV/AIDS before we run them through a series of interactive lessons.

The topics we wish to cover are:

1) Choices

2) Peer pressure

3) HIV attacks

4) Juggling My life

5) HIV limbo and many more.

At the end of this project, we will carry out an assessment to see the difference on how children understand HIV – post learning. I am excited to do this project and I have high hopes it will be a success.


I have a lot of things to be thankful for, I just want to make mention that y’all have made a great impact on my life. Having this scholarship is such a great blessing to me and my family. I also keep believing it will have such a great impact on my community as well. I do not have to worry about funding for school or food or anything else.  That allows me to focus on my school work and I am forever thankful.  Thank you so much for every prayer made for me and showing me God's love in many ways. I love you all.


Joseph Phiri


Arise Africa would like to thank Highland Park United Methodist Church who generously provided four scholarships for our students who currently attend Africa University.  We are humbled to partner with HPUMC to help support the future leaders of Africa who are committed to the Lord's work.