Let us love, because He first loved us
1 John 4:19
From Malawi we hit the road for a two day bus adventure to travel to Zambia with the Malawi Service Centre Team. The two day journey was quite the adventure in itself combining taxi’s, mini buses, missing team members, negotiations at the border crossing, many a hectic bus terminal and a 3am start for a 4am departure on the second day, to arrive in Zambia after 14 hours in two buses on Sunday evening. It was quite the journey! I am appreciative of the experience and I definitely have some fond memories, however it’s not an experience I am in a hurry to repeat 😉
So we arrived for the start of the week for the Hands at Work Annual Celebrations. The Annual Celebrations occur in April each year, and for the last few years have been held in Zambia. It’s a time where Hands at Work team from all across Africa, from the 8 countries we work in (South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Mozambique, Democratic Republic of Congo and Nigeria), come together to celebrate what God has done in the past year and to set the vision and direction for the coming year. Altogether there were around 250 people in attendance at the celebrations and for three days we ate, slept, worshiped danced, ministered, prayed, fellowshipped and had an amazing time together!
Morning worship session – best way to start the day!
Meal times always a little chaotic with so many people!
My favourite Malawi baby – Miracle (cutest 4 month old ever!) and his amazing Dad and Mum! LOVE this family!!
We are together! A really special time of worship and prayer for the nation of Africa
Team Malawi at Celebrations – definitely a highlight to be able to spend the extra week in Zambia with the amazing team we have come to love so much!
With my Malawi Sis Ivy in national Malawi dress
It was such a phenomenal experience to come together with people from all across Africa and the world, who all have the same heart and passion to minister to the orphans and most vulnerable children of Africa. The main themes of the celebrations were; that we are in extra time, there needs to be a sense of urgency to the work we are doing, we cannot afford to waste any time. Christ needs to be the foundation in our lives and in all that we do. We need to share the Jesus we know with everyone we interact with. And our home visits with the children need to be ‘holy home visits’, we need to go with an expectation that God will show up and move in every situation we encounter as we go and visit children in their homes. I am VERY excited for the year ahead!
In addition to the Africa celebrations, I also was privileged to stay on in Zambia the following week for the Hands at Work International Celebrations. This was three days where representatives from all the Hands at Work International offices – US, UK, Canada and Australia came together to meet / share ideas / and set the direction for the year also for the international offices on the back of the messages from the Africa Celebrations. I was able to put on my Hands at Work Australia hat for a few days to represent our country office. Again it was a wonderful time of personal challenge, fellowship, and I definitely learnt a lot!
Not to mention just some of the fun things we were able to get up to in Zambia including:
- Reconnecting with all the Hands family after the month in Malawi
- I was able to get back into running after a month of no running in Malawi! (And thankfully Zambia was nice and flat to ease back in ;-))
- An outing to the Kitwe markets – where I may have received several marriage proposals, and bought some beautiful Zambian shitenge’s
- Singing “Shine Jesus Shine” in church which took me back about 20 yrs 🙂
- Going out for a big celebration dinner with all the Hands Family to a local Indian restaurant Insofu, in Luanshya which was really yummy!
- Getting to eat amazing Italian gelato from Gigibonta – which was as good as Frangipani Gelato Bar in Cronulla! If not possibly better!! 🙂
And the 4 day road trip home to South Africa was certainly a HUGE highlight…however I’ll save that for the next post coming soon! 🙂