The first slivers of morning sunlight are piercing the dark African night as we sit to eat our breakfast in a beautiful open air restaurant. I can hear the roar of the falls in the background and the air still carries the chill of a winter night. The team is just beginning to straggle in after our long day of travel and activity.
Yesterday we arrived at the Zambezi Sun to the welcome of a group of dancers dressed in traditional tribal dress including spears, shields and headdress. Valets quickly gathered up our bags and took them to our rooms as we marveled at the mysterious beauty around us - Giraffes, Impalas, Kudu, Zebra and monkeys oblivious to our presence.Some members of the team headed out immediately for a 30 minute helicopter ride over the falls and surrounding geography. Judy and I did this trip on a previous trip to Zambia - it is spectacular. Ask us and we would be happy to show you our DVD. Most of the team went to a special park where they could "walk with lions and cheetahs. Judy being a cat lover anyway actually laid on the ground next to a purring cheetah cub and happily petted her, then took her on a leashed walk. Hating to overuse the word - It was SPECTACULAR. Ask her and I am sure she will willingly show you her pictures. Me? Well. I took a nap, a shower and watched a little Olympics coverage. Can someone please tell me what the point of Cricket is? It certainly seems to be popular here.
Later that evening we feasted on a buffet of exotic food including Impala, Crocodile, and curried Lamb. After a fitful night of sleep for most, we are eagerly looking forward to our game drive and lunch at Chobe Game Reserve. This is all such a far cry from the poverty, need and suffering we were so integrally aware of in Kabanana. It is hard to process the radical difference between the two. Even though we are still in the same country it seems like a totally different world.
I forgot to mention in last night's blog a request for prayer. Among the many ill and injured persons Cindy Ehlke - our resident team nurse - treated was a little baby named Joseph. He was brought to the school yesterday with an intense siezure that would not subside in spite of efforts to treat it as best as possible with limited resources. Both Pastor John and I prayed over him while the rest of the team prayed as well. Thankfully the mother was able to get the child to a hospital. However last night Pastor John received a call and heard the baby had not improved.
Pray also for our team. I am not sure if it is the emotional and spiritual letdown after our intense week of work and ministry or if it is the pervasive dust and smoke in the air but a few of our team are wresting with respiratory illnesses of different kinds.
Tomorrow we head back into the real world of mnistry among the neediest of God's people in Africa. We leave for Johannesburg and Finetown with a sense of uncertainty and anticipation - not really knowing what we will expect as we meet with families from United Reforming Church in Ennersdale, then HIV/AIDS caregivers and patients as well as the preschools our missionaries support.
So our trip is ramping up again. We are anxious to be home but feel incredibly blessed to have been a part of this mission effort. It is a small drop in a huge sea of need but it is a drop and each drop has a ripple that expands out and multiplies.
Thanks for prayers and interest. Tomorrow I hope to share some pics of our Safari in Chobe Game park today. If not here, look for my page in Facebook.
Blessed in His Grace