What an amazing Saturday it was in Zambia! We started off the day by welcoming youth from Armour’s soccer teams, Kabanana, and Mwapona into Poetice to participate in our first ever field day. The youth we invited were ages 10 and above, and we wanted them to experience field day just as we do back home: a fun day of competition, celebration, and recognition of the many different strengths and abilities. They participated in many activities that ranged from kicking a shoe as far as they could to standing long jump to dodgeball throwing accuracy. We had 10 total activities, and it was a joy to see everybody having so much fun.
After the activities in the morning, we split them up into three groups for crafts, lunch, and hearing the Word. The crafts were face paint, bracelet making, and a fingernail painting station. They loved each of them and participants of all ages were able to leave with a face paint creation, a new bracelet, and their nails freshly painted.
The message station was really impactful for many different reasons. Two of our team members, Josh and Victoria, shared parts of their stories from their faith walks based on what they felt the youth could resonate with. It was great to see how engaged the kids were in their stories and how much they appreciated their honesty and vulnerability. After stories, the message that was shared was Matthew 13: 1-23, The Parable of the Sower. The unique thing about this parable is that it connects to the name of our program: SEED. It relates a seed’s situation and type of growth to our journey in our relationship with Jesus.
When it was time for kids to go home, the Poetice leaders paired 2-3 of our team members with 2 Poetice youth leaders to take us back into their community and visit their homes. The Poetice youth were so excited to share their community with us, and it meant a lot that they were so welcoming. All of us got to see more of what Mwapona is like and a small glimpse into what their lives are like when they are at home. While walking through the community, we were able to gain perspective not only on their lifestyle, but also led to some questions about our own culture and how we go about life. The people have so much life and joy and it challenged us to think about how we could channel a similar mindset into our daily lives. Being in the community reminded us that even though our countries’ cultures are different, the culture of God’s kingdom is all the same. It doesn’t matter the amount of material possessions in your house, it matters that you have Jesus.
Following these visits, we all went to cheer on the oldest Armour’s soccer team. One meaningful part of the game was that many of the guys playing still had on face paint and stickers they put on during field day. The game was really fun to watch (Armour’s won 3-1), and this time was filled with really good opportunities to engage in conversations with each other and some of the youth who just opened up their homes to us.
One thing that we have been doing as a team every night after dinner is a debrief session. During this time, we have open and honest conversation about the day and how we saw God. During our debrief this evening, most all of us mentioned something that stuck out during the home visits in Mwapona. Whether it was being impacted to put less emphasis on materiel things back home, or to put more value in being welcoming, hospitable, and generous to anyone God calls to be our neighbor. We could see that God was present there and that Poetice is having incredible impact in this community.
We are excited for the rest of the week and can’t wait to see what’s in store!
CJ and Morgann