Arise Africa


We arrived in Zambia on Saturday morning, January 1st, and after a slight delay in the airport (the Zambian airport security wanted to find something “bad” in our “suspicious” looking trunks but all they could come up with were loads of school supplies to be donated), we hit the ground running. We went to one home where an Arise Africa sponsored child lives. Numerous small huts with plastic tarp roofs best describe the compound. Overcrowding, dirt floors, no electricity, and no running water are just a few of the many challenges that these people face. Yet in the midst of such hardship, the family we met had an indescribable air of hope.

On Sunday we attended church at Destiny Church & School where we would later host kids camp Wednesday through Friday. The church service was one that none of us had ever experienced. To start off, the national news was present. But most importantly, praise and worship, as we know it, took on a whole new meaning that morning. It was incredibly encouraging to experience the Zambians show selfless devotion to worshiping God. In fact, the Zambians like to tease the Americans saying that we are too meek when we sing and pray.

Monday and Tuesday were filled with hands-on manual labor at Greenhill School. From all the money that our team raised, enough funds were available for 4 classrooms and an office. The structure was completed when we arrived, but all the cosmetic work was up to us. A few of our jobs included framing new doors, painting the exterior of the building and inside the rooms, and sweeping out debris from construction. These tasks may seem quite simple until you remember that we were in Africa and… power tools, brooms, and multiple paintbrushes are hard to come by. A couple of our favorite memories from these first two days included: (1) a greeting from the kids. They put on a “show” for us, which was a 30-minute dance performance with drummers and all. They performed their tribal dance and let’s just say, that they put Beyonce to shame in the hip-shaking department. This led to dance lessons where they tried to teach us “muzungus” (white people) how to dance their way. All-in-all it was an unforgettable experience. (2) and dedicating the classrooms. One of the classrooms was dedicated to First Rate because of their large amount of support for the cause. Mrs. Tembo’s dedication was filled with praise to God for all the many donations and the immense time put into making these classrooms become a reality. It was a heartfelt experience, as she could not express enough- how much impact this will have on the kids, the community, and ultimately the future of Zambia.

Wednesday through Friday we spent at Destiny school hosting 170 kids for camp. We enjoyed time playing, singing, watching skits, and learning. It was amazing to see the kids make games out of nothing. Dirt and rocks, or an empty milk carton, those objects can all turn into a handful of different games. Apparently, red rover as we know it is a universal game, except we laughed and said the Zambian kids play it extreme-style. But most importantly, our focus of the camp was to teach the kids about God’s unconditional love. They learned about the story of the Prodigal Son and saw skits that related to many of the life experiences that they have had. One day the lesson was dedicated to AIDS awareness. There are many stigmas and myths about AIDS in Zambia, and education about the disease is hard to come by. It was amazing to watch these kids have a desire to learn more, be thankful for everything they are given, and never expect anything.

See a short video of the trip.

2 Comments to “Arise Africa”

  • Cool blog!

  • I thgouht I’d have to read a book for a discovery like this!

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