We began our holiday watching the sunrise on our second to last day. We then had a devotional led by Jeremy focused on Psalm 105: 1-4. The task was to take a mere 20 minutes to ponder all that we are most thankful for; mine is undoubtedly the church in which we choose to raise our family because it seeks to include community that is 2 continents away.
Before coming here, we were asked what is it we are most excited about and my answer was to witness first-hand Poetice’s work. I have done that now. Poetice is surrounded by two local communities, Kabanana and Mwapona. I cannot write words that correctly describe what these villages look like or the humbleness of their inhabitants. We are considered to be in an urban area. They are so proud of hosting visitors and recounting their day selling goods at the market, be it brine or roasted nuts. Courtney and Jeremy have weekly outreaches in these communities where they walk and welcome the local children to Poetice’s church and youth times.
I have walked alongside them in these communities now, meeting children to invite to the Poetice compound and quickly realizing they are as innocent and curious as my two at home. I have seen their play: a ball made of plastic bags, climbing porch posts instead of trees, and the absolute joy they get by sharing praise songs. These children make do with what they have and are content, for it is all they know. No comparison of values. Their value is shared community.
This day was tough thought, as we walked them to the gates and told them bye for the last time (until we come back). The last session of today, I sat with the group that was 13 and older and basked in the sunlight with them. We sat close to keep the heat in, as it was really chilly. I was surrounded by youth with no shoes and was spiritually fed more for that hour than the whole week, this was more church for me than mostt days spent in a sanctuary…for my sanctauary is found with these people. This could be one of two things: realizing this was it or the fact I was so hopeful for a 15 year old Zambian who translated the session and has big plans to break the cycle of poverty of that which he was born. He is actively seeking and transforming his own independence, and we will change the world for more than just himself.
The children we spent our week with will more than likely never get to experience the independence our children have as Americans, yet through the work of Poetice, they still get to come to a place of sanctuary. I am entrusting Poetice to continue to shepherd this 15 year old and speak life and love and hope, and purpose into his determined, compassionate heart. This young heart will continue to influence and be a leader for his Mwapona community and hopefully one day, other communities.
The perspective these children have shared with me the past week will continue to give me hope that the world can be in community, with no comparison against one another except how well we love one another. And because of this time I get to be back at my home creating a home where I seek to be a sanctuary for those seeking a table where all are treated like family. Because of this experience i get to teach America why we all need to be a little bit more like Zambia
Twalumba for this experience,