Charlotte reporting in here...
Well, we're trickling in to Zambia little by little! I got in late last night, so now between me and Alissa, we have a whopping American team of 2 and are frantically preparing for and anxiously awaiting the arrival of the rest of our American Teachers Team tomorrow night.
My top 2 highlights of the day:
- Sweet Reunions – We have the best staff on the Zambia side, and it was such a joy to see them again. They are the most enthusiastic welcome crew! Alissa & I also stopped by Destiny Community School this morning. (Destiny is one of the locations of a chunk of our sponsored kids, and it's also where we did Children's Bible Camp when I was last here with a team in January 2011.) The 2 kids I sponsor are students at Destiny, and Brenda, our sweet Zambian staff member, snuck Frank & Karen out of class so I could see them. Running to see them & hugging their necks was such a highlight – I was so much looking forward to it, and those 2 never disappoint!
- Child Sponsorship Officers Meeting – Alissa asked if I wanted to sit in on their meeting this afternoon, and I was so happy to do so. I sat in with the 5 ladies who help out with Child Sponsorship and Megan Bloemker, our American staff member who lives in Zambia and oversees the officers. The neatest part of the meeting was hearing how much these ladies care for and love “their kids” and how hard they work to know these kids and their stories and situations. And, on the other side, how cool it was to get to tell them how much we, stateside, value what they do over here, and how much we treasure the opportunity to know our sponsored kids through all of their efforts & work. It’s pretty humbling to see how the Lord is using all of these pieces – the Arise Africa staff on the ground in Zambia and behind the scenes in America, the individuals and families stateside who give so generously and pray so faithfully for their sponsored kids, and the precious kids themselves. It was very cool to see it all coming together and for these sweet kids in desperate need be called “our kids” by so many people!
Alright, American Teachers Team, we’re ready for you! We have keys to Lion, Zebra, & Giraffe, the 3 dorm-style rooms where we'll all be sleeping, our industrial-sized Purell, and plenty of bottled water for the week ahead... The only thing missing are Chokits, the best cookies in Zambia, but we'll be sure to locate those to have all the provisions ready when the rest of our crew arrives!