Today we woke up in our hostel and went out to breakfast for one last hoorah with the Poetice staff before we hopped on the first plane to take us to South Africa. At breakfast, we recapped some of the trip, did a final debrief about re-entry with the Poetice staff, and solved riddles to pass the time. We said our final goodbyes to our new friends from Poetice at the airport with lots of hugs and a few tears. After a quick first flight, we did a little souvenir shopping in the Johannesburg airport before boarding our second leg of the journey headed for London. The 11-hour flight went by quick for most and slow for some but we made it to London safe and sound. We are currently sitting in the Heathrow airport waiting to board our final flight to Chicago, but before we go, we’re going to have one last meal all together since a few of us are parting ways in Chicago while the rest go back to Holland on the bus.

With this being the last blog, we want to thank all our friends and family who supported us and followed along on our journey! Although we’d love to hit the restart button, we can’t wait to see you all soon.

Be Smart. Be Safe. We’re Almost Home!

Libby and Conner (Bucky)

A Day with God’s Creation

Today we had a bright and early morning that started at 5 AM. We packed all of our bags and loaded up into a bus that took us to Livingstone. We started our morning on a game drive through a safari. We got onto trucks that took us through some beautiful scenery and we got to see white rhinos, elephants, giraffes, zebras, and more! We even got to get out of the trucks to get up close and personal with some of the rhinos. We also learned so much from our tour guide about animals and the land that we were on. After the drive, we went out to lunch and had pizza. Some of us had up to ten pieces, so it’s safe to say we were well fed today. Then, we headed to one of the seven natural wonders of the world: Victoria Falls. We saw some breathtaking sights and had some interesting interactions with baboons. Because of how strong the waterfalls were, a lot of us came out of there pretty damp. It was truly a sight to see. After that, we practiced bargaining at the local market! There were so many stands with jewelry, art, and various knick knacks. We all came back with so many stories of the people we met. We went out to dinner next, where a lot of us tried new foods such as crocodile skewers and fried caterpillars! We stopped for gelato before making our way back to the hotel for the final debrief. Back in spring semester, we wrote letters to our future selves that we opened tonight and we got to reflect on our week as a whole and the take-aways we have from the trip. We’re now going to end our night with some games, swimming, and comradery, and tomorrow we will begin our travels home!


Greta R and Mia

House Church for the WIN!

To start our day, we woke up to watch the sunrise. It was an excellent way to see God’s beautiful creation. Our morning continued with conversations and some of us (Tilly and Jonathan) going for a run, and we all joined together eventually to enjoy breakfast. After breakfast, we joined in on the babies and kids church groups that Poetice offers during their adult house churches (they are like large small groups where they learn and grow together). After these couple of hours we split our boys and girls to join the young men and young women house church gatherings. The girls walked through a community neighboring the Poetice base to Nikkie’s house while the boys gathered in the worship center courtyard. Following the house church gatherings, we had chicken salad sandwiches with coleslaw for lunch with a quick turn around to start our Sawyer water filter distribution. We had the chance to break into small groups and work with people who requested a water filter and show them how they worked and are assembled. After doing this we walked with them to their homes to get them set up and show them how the water filter affects the water they are currently drinking and how it makes it cleaner and safer for consumption. Once we all got back from visiting the community, we went to the coffee house and got Cokes, Fantas, and Sprites which totally hit the spot. Shortly after this, we had a send off celebration to say goodbye to Poetice’s amazing staff and volunteers. We were able write notes of encouragement to each other and worship and receive prayer one final time. We then ate dinner all together and enjoyed final conversations while sharing a meal. After dinner we had another “de-long” where we shared the ways we saw God working today, and also shared with each other the things we saw in each other throughout this week. It was a great time of building each other up and appreciating each other’s gifts. We followed up our “de-long” by packing, games, and so many laughs. Knowing we leave Poetice at 5am makes us all tired so for now…

In a while crocodile,

Tilly and Maggee

All Fun and Games


This morning we got up and ate some breakfast together as a team to prepare for our big day of sports. The boys moved our soccer goals out to a big field just outside of the Poetice base so that we could play a soccer game with the Poetice church community. It was super fun to interact with some of the kids that had been at camp and to meet some more members of the community. The older kids were able to showcase their skills while we tried to keep up, and the younger ones had fun braiding hair and hanging out while watching the game. After lunch Coach V led some of our team and Poetice’s young adults in a softball practice. It was great to utilize the field we built to teach some specialized softball skills that they will be able to teach the youth that are part of Poetice’s ministry. Later in the afternoon kids from the community returned to play volleyball. We all split up into four teams and played a double elimination tournament. Volleyball ended with a showcase game between the best Zambian players. It was quite the show. After the kids left we played our own game as a team until dinner. For dinner we had sloppy joes with some coleslaw salad, and talked all together as a team. We had some time to journal about our day and how God has been working in our lives and then we went out to a bonfire. At our bonfire we talked about our highlights from the day, how we have experienced God, and prayed over the time that we have left here in Zambia. We ended the night with some smores and a game of hot seat around the fire. Join us tomorrow for house churches and more water filters!

See you later alligator,
Greta G and Graham

Take me out to the ballgame!


Today we had an amazing day full of fun games, service, and good conversations. After another amazing breakfast of oatmeal, eggs, and yogurt, we started our morning off with a devotional led by our amazing Poetice staff, Courteney and Seth, who are both Hope College alums. It was great to discuss how to live out our faith within our sports and our teams. During the rest of the morning, we helped finish the softball field by spreading sand and marking out the infield. It was such an amazing experience to be able to help Poetice with their sports complex as we know it will impact the community surrounding their base. We then got the chance to break in the field by playing the first softball game which included Poetice staff, their families, and our Hope SEED team. We even had an audience show up for the game – it was a big deal! The game ended in a tie which was best case scenario but it left some of our competitive spirits feeling unsatisfied. This of course meant we had to follow up with a volleyball tournament. Prior to the tournament we ate a delicious lunch of rice, sausage, and apples and had some fun conversations including conspiracy theories…is the earth flat? The volleyball tournament was filled with lots of laughs and competitive spirits. SO MUCH FUN! 😀 The lovely Poetice staff surprised us with a treat by taking us into town and buying us all ice cream <3. Dessert before dinner is always the best way to go. Dinner was amazing per usual, chili with rice and bread, YUM! Finally our night ended with our daily debrief as a team, including lots of fun conversations. Our team also got a chance to play hot seat with Seth, Violet, Meg, and Courteney. We loved getting to know some of the staff better. We’re now ending the night playing taco, cat, goat, cheese, pizza. We’re excited for tomorrow to continue growing our relationships within our team, the Poetice staff, and the community. Tune in tomorrow for an update about the soccer game and volleyball game!

Beep beep boop boop bye bye,
Sophia and Jonathan

“Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.” – Dr. Seuss

Hello friends and family! Today was our final day of the sports clinic. We started our beautiful day with breakfast that consisted of PB&Js and oatmeal – thanks Mama C! We ate with the boys today since they spent the night, which was a blast! The team then set-up for the final day of activities and then we met in the worship center for another spectacular session after the campers arrived. Today’s activities were more competitive than the previous days. Courtney had created 8 different teams that had a mixture of all ages and genders which also included the Hope athletes! The stations were 100-yard dash, soccer ball accuracy, softball toss, Mato-Mato (a Zambian balance game), and broad jump. After those stations had finished and the points were calculated, we played a “winner takes all” all-sport relay challenge – shout out to Lance! Team Vikali (a.k.a Team Power) took home the crown and then we had rice and eggs for lunch! The teams then showed off their creative cheers and headed back to the worship center for the closing celebration. The magnificent Linda announced the winners for the final day’s events. The 12 of us Hope athletes were given the opportunity to watch throughout the week for campers who had exemplified great leadership, encouragement, sportsmanship, or energy throughout the week; Campers who left a special impact on us throughout the clinic. It was very special to experience the campers feeling “seen” and the room was filled with happy tears and smiles. Once we said goodbye to our campers, we had downtime until dinner so we decided to stay active by playing soccer and volleyball with some of the Poetice staff. We then had dinner which consisted of chili, sweet bread, and salad. The team then attended Poetice’s Worship and Word service that their church family is invited to each Thursday night to worship together! Kids from our sports clinic attended and the fun continued. The night was full of heavy hearts as we had to say some final goodbyes, but also filled with joy as we prayed over one another during the service. Abby’s talk challenged several of us, and the worship inspired us. We then had our nightly debrief which ended up being a lengthy discussion as we unpacked the day and the ways our faith has been impacted so far this week. So it ended up being a “de-long” not a “de-brief” (according to Libby). After great reflection, we played a game called, “Taco Cat Goat Cheese Pizza” – or TCGCP for short! We are ecstatic to help out around the base by completing various service projects and having a family fun day tomorrow with Poetice’s staff.

Yabba Dabba Doo!

Reece and Delaney

So Many Good Things

Friends and Family! Today was day two of the sports camp and it was even better than the first. We started off the day by eating breakfast, which was peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and oatmeal. The girl campers who spent the night joined us and afterwards we went to Poetice’s Wednesday morning prayer set. Prayer set is when their church family and community are invited to the Ministry Center on Wednesday mornings to worship through music, scripture, and sharing together. Violet shared scriptures with us about our identities. That we are Jesus’ friend, we are each a new creation, and we are his masterpiece. As that was finishing, the boy campers started to trickle in and we played a bunch of games before Lance gave our devotion today. Once we rallied the campers by having all the girls sing “When the Dutch” (which they prepared the night before) and everyone did our camp chant “Be Strong, Be True”, we went to our six stations for the morning. For lunch, we had egg salad sandwiches to fuel us up for our afternoon games. The four games that we played today were volleyball and soccer for the boys and relays and ultimate frisbee for the girls. The girls wrapped up early and we had the chance to talk in small groups together and then we finished up camp. Today was the day that the girls on our team got to bring water filters to the camper’s families in the nearby community while sharing God’s word, and the boys stayed on the base for their overnight. When we got back we had nshima again for dinner before the girls on our team went over to Nikkie’s to share our experiences so far on this trip and in our faith. The boys kept the fun going by playing ultimate hide and seek and having a bonfire. We just finished up our debrief of the day with lots of good reflection and laughter before going to bed! We are so excited for the last day of camp full of competitions and celebration!

Ta-ta for now!
Libby and Mia

Sports Camp – Day 1

Hi everyone! Today was such a fun and busy day. We started with breakfast, where we had the same delicious meal as yesterday and shared stories amongst our team. Then, we began to set up for our sports camp that we were leading on base today. After that, the kids from the local communities began to check-in and we had some free time to play a few different games. After check-in, we went into worship. Coach V led a devotional and we sang a few songs with high energy and so much joy. Then, the kids participated in 6 different stations where we worked on skills for certain sports. For lunch we ate rice and beans and got to have great conversations with the campers. Following lunch, we divided into four different groups and played kickball, netball, volleyball, and flag football. When the games ended, the men on our team did water filter demonstrations. They had the chance to walk some of the male campers home and set up water filters for their families while sharing the Gospel. It was an amazing experience for all. The female campers are sleeping over at Poetice tonight! The girls made friendship bracelets, painted nails, and the campers showed us countless dances, songs, and chants. For dinner, we had nshima, which is the national dish of Zambia! After dinner, the boys on our team went to John and Abby’s house and spent time in fellowship together. The girls continued their various games and activities well into the night. Once our team was reunited again, we had a short debrief of our days before heading to bed. We are thrilled to invite the campers back tomorrow for another day of fun!

Until tomorrow,

Greta R. and Conner


Hi everyone! This morning we started with a pretty traditional breakfast (eggs, oatmeal, yogurt, toast, cereal, coffee) then we met with some of the Poetice staff (shoutout Abby & John), we learned about the heart of Poetice and how / why they minister. We also had some cultural training, learning more about the culture of the communities around us, and had some delicious muffins as a snack. We sat down for lunch together and had chicken lo mein, and talked some more as a team and with the Poetice staff. After lunch we had a tour of the base, and saw many works in progress and the vision for the future of Poetice’s ministry. In the afternoon, we had a chance to prepare for our next 3 days of camp, and you can see the plans in the pictures below. We then went on a walk through the community next to us, Mwapona. We were greeted by many excited little kids wanting to say hi and give us hugs. During our walk we visited a market and were treated to “fritters” which is a fried dough ball that was very yummy. When we returned from our walk, Mrs. Katete came to us with handcrafted clothing, bags, journals and more. Many of us were able to buy souvenirs for ourselves and loved ones. We ate a great dinner of spaghetti, salad, and sweet bread, and headed into the worship room for a short night worship session. Meg led us in a word about hearing the Holy Spirit’s voice and we were able to get some practice listening to him with our teammates. The team just finished up our nightly debrief, and now we are going to hangout, play cards, and make friendship bracelets before heading to bed. We are excited for our first day of sports camp tomorrow!

Be Strong. Be True.

Greta G and Tilly!

Hello from Zambia!

The past 48 hours have been a whirlwind. We just received a warm welcome from everyone on the Poetice staff. We arrived at Heathrow smoothly and had an 8 hour layover. We explored the airport, played some Uno, ate lunch as a team, and took much needed naps on the floor. Our flight out of London was delayed by an hour and a half, however we made up the time on the flight. Once we arrived in Johannesburg we got breakfast as a group at a local coffee shop in the airport with some great food. We boarded for Livingstone and began our last leg of the journey. The flight cruised at a much lower altitude than our previous two, so we were able to take in the African countryside from the air. After arriving in Livingstone we boarded a van with some Poetice staff members and drove to Choma. We spent the 2 and a half hour drive telling riddles and laughing. Once we arrived at the Poetice base we spent time getting to know the staff and worshiping with them. Worship was followed by dinner and some great conversation, continuing to bond with each other and the staff at Poetice. We are all exhausted and ready to sleep horizontally, but very happy to have arrived safely and begin our adventure with Poetice.

That’s all folks!
Graham and Maggee