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.
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!
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.
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!
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.