Zambia challenged and encouraged me in great ways. By stepping out of my comfort zone, God opened my eyes to the world in need around me. While we visited a Zambian church, I was brought to tears as I watched family after family give to the church, offering with so much joy. These people had close to nothing physically but were willing to give all they had, overflowing with the joy of Christ. I've been challenged by this and hope to live a life of such sacrificial and joyful giving.
The Zambia trip challenged me to think in completely new ways toward poverty and social justice. It taught me that I cannot single-handedly "fix" all of the problems in the world; only Christ has complete redeeming power. The Bible states over and over that my role is to spread God's kingdom on earth by helping to meet as many needs as I can.
"[Jesus] sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal." - Luke 9:2
This idea was made abundantly clear in one of my favorite conversations I had with some Zambian women. During our time together they shared that they already have a Savior who provides for all of their needs, but they are overjoyed to also live in partnership with us -- the tools that God uses to give those provisions.
This Zambia Trip has immensely impacted my faith as well as my life. The biggest thing that I have learned is that we are blessed to be the blessing. When I fought, and continue to fight, the struggle of wondering why God placed me where I am today, with so much that I take for granted, I am taken aback, but 2 Corinthians 5:18 gives great words of encouragement that help me daily.
"All of this is from God who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation."
I will push myself to be uncomfortable because it is in those moments of discomfort that we see the true grace and love of God along with the sacrifice He made for all of us; He repairs the broken hearts. The most amazing thing that I saw on this trip was no matter the difference in color, language, dance skills, vocal skills, or soccer skills, we all serve the same amazing God.