|I am constantly inspired by this amazing man, Gift! He is continuously thinking of others!|
Yes that question mark is bold and big! Am I coming to a close of an
amazing chapter of my life?
Before I explore the life pondering questions, I want to tell you about the last month. Hardly any journaling has taken place, but my breath has been taken away many times!
When I changed my plane ticket at the beginning of December to January 21st I was afraid of being alone for the holidays. It didn’t happen!!
When trying to figure out whether to stay in Zambia for another month or go home, I had a vision. What if I could get people back home to work side by side with the two self-sustaining groups in Zambia with whom I am involved? Both groups use income-generating projects to raise money to help orphaned, vulnerable, and disabled children go to school. What if we all worked together to give the groups some breathing room in their very tight budgets? As well, it would encourage and empower them to know that many people far away believe in the work they do.
I decided to stay in Zambia to see if I could make this vision a reality. I got pictures and stories of the children and disabled people the groups support. I made no promises to the groups. I told them to pray for this to be blessed... their prayers were answered and then some!
Donations started pouring in from every direction! Most came from people I did not know very well! I was overwhelmed with gratitude. Nothing can be done alone. All over the world we are interconnected. We shouldn’t pity or look at someone’s situation as taking away their power. We should encourage and help each other because we are all the same in this world. Each of you who sent a donation understand.
At the party for the orphaned and vulnerable children I told each one of them they were individually hand picked, believed in, and prayed for by someone far away in America. Their eyes lit up and smiles were glued to their faces. The teachers who attended the party said the 60 children present had never felt so loved and special as they did that day. My heart melted as I watched the joy on their faces as they enjoyed a bottle of soda and biscuits to themselves.
I could feel the spirit of each person who invested their money into lives here. Each gift was bouncing in the hearts of every child and disabled person at the two Christmas parties! Love was felt and tears of joy were falling!
... I think I have worked myself out of a job here. The village is turning a new page and trying to be self-sustainable - a goal that will actually take years to achieve. The village is still extremely primitive. The only way for change to occur is for one native person at a time to pick up the new ideas. They now have the resources to sew, garden, keep bees, farm rabbits, and many other ways to make a living if they wish to continue. A community developer from the government is supposed to come into my village to help continue the work started. A very devoted Peace Corps Volunteer just started working 3 miles away as well! Only time will tell what will grow! I was definitely led to Luamala and now I feel a peace about leaving. It’s time.
I do feel like I am not finished working with the disabled in Solwezi, Zambia. I do not need to be there all the time, but I want to help spread their inspiration all over the world. Hmmm....
As for what’s next in my life... I have ABSOLUTELY NO IDEA! Thankfully over the past 3 years I have learned there is no need to freak out. Everything always works out more perfectly than I could imagine. I have found that my relationship with God has grown extremely strong as I put more and more trust in Him. My prayers are answered on a daily basis. I wake up every morning and pray, “Give me love to love everyone. Give me light to light up people’s hearts. Guide me in my words and thoughts. Open my heart and use me however you want. Give me passions to make my heart happy and to guide me. Give me wisdom and guidance in my life today.”
Life for me right now is moment-by-moment, hour-by-hour and day-by- day. I have never been happier. I have never been more excited to see what will happen next. I realize that my goal in life is to inspire people to follow their dreams. What next? I have no idea, but my heart is at peace knowing it will be shown to me. Yeah... there might be challenges, but that is just a part of it to make me stronger. I’m sure it will be something even better than I could ever imagine! I press onward to another day of finding peace, happiness, and love!
|The Christmas Party given to orphaned and vulnerable children in Solwezi, Zambia. The party was made possible by donors who supported each child for the next school term!|
|The boys who continuously had a coat hanger in their mouths when they received their very own drink and cookies!|
|With the money donated Mapesho Women's Club (the group who raise chickens to send the children to go to school) were able to buy a uniform and shoes for each child! It was the perfect amount of money with $2 to spare!|
|The traditional food prepared for the Christmas Party! The members of the Mapesho Woman's Club even donated some their own money to make the party extra special!|
|This is the Christmas party for the Disabled Association in Solwezi, Zambia. After the party many of the members burst out in tears realizing people so far away believed in them and thought they should also have the chance to be educated!|
|The power went out in the middle of the party, but no one even blinked an eye! Back up solar lights were brought in and we all continued to celebrate!|
|As a thank you the group made me a beautiful purse and presented a very nice Bible to me. I am sharing this gift with all of you who helped this amazing group!|
|My beautiful neighbor, Lavenda, who comes over every day to help me! I found marshmellows and thought she needed to learn how to roast them! We both enjoyed sticky fingers and satisfied bellies!|
|I got to visit a crocodile farm where 90,000 crocs surrounded the car I was in! Ahhh!|
|A funeral held near my hut in Luamala. Burial took place after three days and nights of mourning at the dead's home.|
|The Disabled Association found out it was my birthday and surprised me with an amazing party! They all put in a bit of their own money to buy me a cake, card, and make a beautiful dress complete with a sash!|
|The men getting ready for the last meeting before I left! I am really going to miss this group! They have a lot of work in front of them to hold the community group together, but I believe in them!|
|I told the kids to bring me any snakes they killed. This day they brought a black mamba taller than me! I decided to skin it so I could make a belt! Life in the village is always an adventure!|