We woke up this morning to the power out in all of Choma. This apparently happens often in the area. After breakfast, we went to the hall for morning prayer and worship. This included songs in both English and Tonga as well as praying out loud. Throughout our worship, we had Armour’s kids slowly drifting in curious about the music and what was happening. God was present in this moment and was felt by everyone in the room.
Today, all of the Armour’s soccer teams came to the Elijah Missions International Zambia (EMIZ) base where we are staying. They came to learn from our group. Caroline and Coach V gave a group message about the importance of teamwork and connecting sport and faith. After this, the kids split into their teams and went to four different sessions lead by us, Team Z. These included first aid care, static stretching, core training, and the importance of teamwork. At the end of these sessions, some of Team Z gave a little of their stories and how they put God into their sport. Despite how young some of the kids were, they still were able to take a lot from this, which was amazing to see. The locals from the mission were very helpful in translating throughout the day.
After the sessions, we all gathered together for lunch. Once we were done with lunch, everyone brought their plates to be cleaned and were shocked to see four little girls taking initiative and offering to clean everyone’s dishes (close to 100 people). Boys were also drying the dishes for everyone.
Next, we Team Z, got into different groups so that we could teach them sports besides soccer. These were volleyball, kick ball, softball, and fun relay races. They all loved learning the new sports and were very talented at them.
The highlight of the day was when we were able to show the kids how to use the Sawyer water filters. They watched us assemble the filters and see that they worked on dirty, rocky water, creating a clean stream. They listened intently and rushed forward enthusiastically to see how it worked. After, we explained the symbolism of how the filter acts as God does when he transforms us from dirty sinners, to a pure and saved person that can never go back to being dirty,
Once the kids left, we all gathered together to play a competitive game of volleyball, which included getting hit in the face, and some definite winners and losers (for now). The dinner bell (pan) rang us over to our first authentic traditional Zambian dinner. This was AMAZING. We had chema, fried chicken, greens, soup, cabbage, and okra. All of these were eaten with our hands. During the meal, Richie, the chicken, decided it would be fun to bother everyone. He wanted to jump on the bench and Maya’s plate.
We introduced new card games to our Zambian brothers and sisters. They learned both spoons and Euchre. While we were playing, the power went out again and we were able to continue playing under the light coming from phones and a headlamp. Sooner or later, the lights came back on, and we all cheered and it stayed on for the rest of the night. God is working in our team and through us and we are excited to see how he’ll use us in the days to come.
Maya Smith & Brian Simonich