Thursday, November 27, 2008


A lot has happened since I have written last, unfortunately, I find it difficult to put into words, so I will just have to laugh to myself. Today is thanksgiving, as you know. I find it especially easy to find things to be thankful for while living here. Not having to worry about having enough to eat for one, being able to see a doctor when i want, being able to have a job, and provide for myself. All of which is deprived from most of the people who passed by my door today as I prepared a turkey dinner. I am also remembering, as I am away today how thankful I am for my family and friends at home.I wrestled today with my ability to show compassion, something that has always been a weakness of mine. An old man, barley able to speak came to me to ask for some money or food. This is pretty common, but he seemed to be different. He showed evidence of being in need he had recently had a surgery, indicated buy the incisions on his abdomen that he so humbly raised his shirt to show me. He didn't speak English well, so I had difficulty understanding him, but I gathered that he couldn't eat regular foods because of the surgery he wanted to get some bread, which is about 1/5 a days wages. (but this man was in no shape to work). I immediately wrote him off as another beggar, I left him behind. My fear was that if i helped him, he would be back every day, or wondering what I would do with the next needy person, after all they are all around. After wrestling with my conscience, i decided to give him 2,000 kwacha (50 cents) and a mostly eaten loaf of bread. When I approached him, perhaps 15 minutes after our first encounter, I touched his shoulder, and woke him, handed him the bread. What I saw in his eyes is something that i will not soon forget, it was the look, i could see in his eyes, he mumbled something, but I paid no attention,I just fixed my eyes on his saw it, it was an image of true thanksgiving. I think he as already written me off as another wealthy white man who wasn't willing to practice what I was advocating. Thankfully, God can even work through someone as cold hearted as me. Today I saw an image of thanksgiving that brought true meaning to what today is all about.We did get to enjoy a turkey dinner. It was a good reminder of home. It is great having Randy here to share this experience with, but i do miss my friends and family at home. Thanks for all of your diligent prayers.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

The New HOPE Truck!

After waiting for some funds for some time, We finally were able to get some dough. It took a three hour process at the bank, but they were able to issue us some money to buy a truck and some supplies. It was kinda funny leaving the bank with a backpack full of bills.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Back in Serenje

The rains have begun, it's not such a big deal for us as they haven't caused us any trouble yet. It is a big deal for the locals, their lives depend on the food these rains will provide. Some heavy rains have fallen outside of town , where many homes were damaged. (remember - mud walls, grass roofs)

We really do feel welcome here in Serenje, When we arrived from a week in Lusaka, there were 7 men waiting to greet us, I'm not sure how long they waited, but it was welcoming. People are interested in what we are doing, people want to talk and share their ideas, it is a good feeling to be welcomed.

Please pray that Randy and i will make wise decisions concerning how to build things to make the most of the funds, make the orphan center functional, and have it look like something we want to put God's name on. We are having fun, it is no Disney land, but we are glad to be here. Miss you all

A Day in Zack and Randy's Life

Today we were planning to Leave the city and travel back to Serenje. As is common in Africa, plans have changed. We negotiated to purchase a truck early next week. It takes a couple of days to do this. This being Friday, It will have to wait until Monday. Staying here will save us from having to go back and forth, 6 hours each way and a couple hundred dollars in fuel at about $8 per gallon. We found a nice off the beaten path hotel to stay at that has air conditioning.

I am continually trying to figure out this place. It is hard to understand why things are they way they are. I'm constantly shocked at how much things cost, the fluctuation of prices, and how people continue to survive. It is hard to have hope that there is a brighter future.

Today, I was in the city, people everywhere, dusty roads, unfamiliar languages, smoke billowing out of car exhausts, horns honking. As I sat in the car, trying to send an e-mail, which is amazing in itself that I can do that here, I made a couple of calls to the US. It suddenly struck me. I felt like I was in a movie. Who gets to do this this? This is so far from what we know. yeah it's usually not too fun, not real glamorous, but there is something about it. Definitely hazardous to my health, but I feel privileged to be serving here.

Another strange sight today. We went to a hardware store, when we park at the stores, people come up and try to sell cheap stuff to us. Sometimes we get some begging kids. today, I waited outside in the car to guard our goods. As i was there, just a few feet from me was an old blind man with a young kid begging. well, the kid was begging and the blind guy was just sitting there. It is common for cripples to have someone with then to guide them around and collect money. I then noticed that someone had given the boy a pizza, I assume to give to the blind guy. As I watched, I noticed that the kid wasn't giving any pizza to the blind man, as i continued to watch I noticed that the kid had the pizza behind the blind man and was trying to be very quiet when eating the pizza. He would also look around when taking bites to see who was watching. When he was done eating the pizza they both got up and left, but not without trying to get some money out of me. It was today's reminder of how desperate these people are, how sinful humans are, how corruption can begin at such a young age, and how much work there is to do here. Please continue to pray.