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Monday, January 10, 2011

Camp.

Zambia is a beautiful and heartbreaking place.  But in the deepest valley I witnessed, even there, hope was swelling and rising. 
I've grown to love the people of Zambia deeply- and I am humbled to call some of them brothers, sisters, and friends.

The bright future of Zambia is the youth and young adults that are rising up to be educated, empowered, and transformed by the heart of God.  Poetice exists to disciple, equip and pour into the lives of the next generation.  It provides a refuge, a future, and firm hope for young people who live in conditions socially and physically that we can't begin to grasp unless we've seen it with our own eyes.  For years I've read books and articles, I've seen a thousand pictures- but now I've seen it.  And I've met heroes of the faith who fight with love and compassion in ways that blew me away.

So- the first third of our time in Zambia was at camp.  It's a place youth and young adults can come for the week, where they have a safe place to sleep, three whole meals to eat every day (many of them eat perhaps once every other day at home) and they experience something that brings life- and it's very fun.


A lot happens here.  They're given a chance to meet new people, to have fun, to play sports.  People from the surrounding community are welcomed in as well.




There are incredible breakout sessions where they have opportunity to dig into deeply taboo topics that until now haven't been openly discussed in Zambia- topics like HIV/AIDS, sex, drugs, abuse, and poverty-related issues.

One main reason these things have been allowed to ravage Africa so deeply for so long is that until now, no one was allowed to talk about them- so lies, assumption, and shame kept the people in the dark.  THERE IS SO MUCH HOPE for this generation to be empowered and educated- to know the truth from a lie, and to carry that light out to their homes and families- my heart just bursts for them.





Poetice is working to give light to youth- to empower them to be educated, to encourage prevention and open honest discussions, to help them create opportunities for income and growth- to break the chains of prostitution, slavery, and trafficking by giving them a new vision for their lives, hope for their future.


  
So camp means a lot- a time of concentrated encouragement, time in the Word, time for worship and community.


The US team rocked it out with THREE worship sets a day.  And the Zambian team was incredible- they blew me away.  (I know this post is long- but I promise I'm keeping the pictures to a minimum).


 










Several people from our team are very gifted communicators- it was a huge blessing to my heart- and I know to the student's hearts- to get so much sound, incredible teaching from engaging speakers full of words straight from the heart of God.


As I mentioned before, Derek is uniquely gifted for work with Poetice- his talks on HIV/AIDS and prevention were engaging and informative- his knowledge is a huge asset to Poetice.





Richman (much more on him later) is the International Director of Programs for Poetice.  He loves and invests in the people of Zambia day in and day out- here he's leading a group of students through a Bible Quiz on the ENTIRE book of John- it was really challenging.  These students are incredible!




They got to paint with mud, with their fingers, and brushes made of grass...







This camp was an incredible experience for me, personally- I'm thrilled at the idea of going back as soon as I can.

I, if you can't tell, was not on the worship team.  My job was to observe, shoot, and just be with as many people as the day would allow.  (More on my photography students later.) 

I talked all. day. long.  Over and over again, I'd see God orchestrate one beautiful conversation after another- it was humbling and incredible. 
And I fell in love with the people of Zambia. 


If you don't know me well, I'll just say it- I'm like a cat.  I love people, but they exhaust me.  After maybe 2 hours of interaction, I need to pull away to recharge alone.

Miraculously, God lifted me from that on this trip.  I communicated all day, every day, and didn't grow weary.  I was tired at the end of the day, but felt God provide fuel to keep loving, keep talking, keep sharing through the days at camp especially, but even through the rest of my time in Zambia.

Now that I'm back home, I'm going to be pressing into that a bit more.  Now that I've seen a miracle, I want to tap into it in the future.




Here's a recap video Phil made of our time at camp


2 comments:

American Mum said...

Well, Megan. I cried a bit during that video because I'm a sap. But I also want to say in response to the post about finding your passion, your photography has never been so good.

American Mum said...

Ack. I meant "never before been so good." I hope that didn't come accross as a dig.