You will be tired.
This was about the only promise I was given before embarking on a 25-hour trip to Zambia.
Something about jet lag. How your body takes about a day to adjust to each hour of time-zone change. But I wasn’t too worried. I can sleep anywhere. Or so I thought.
Yet there I was, at 4 a.m. Dead tired.
And wide awake.
Welcome to “7 Days of Zambia,” a week-long journal of observations, quirks and inspirations as I followed the My Hope Zambia project for a week.
Day 1: Running on adrenaline
Forget the four hours of sleep. Or the broken-up airplane ZZZZZ’s from the overnight flight the night before.
This was Africa. Rise and shine.
Breakfast was being served: Zambian coffee; granola over strawberry yogurt; toast with “Yum-Yum.” How can you pass on anything called “Yum-Yum,” right? It’s basically African Skippy.
Within an hour of spraying down my clothes with bug spray (prime malaria season just ended), we were at a nearby church, preparing for 47 coordinators to arrive for some intense My Hope Zambia training.
But how many would show?And on time?
I’ve heard Africa time can be a little squishy. Starting at 9 a.m. can easily mean 9:30. Or 10.
And many of these coordinators were driving 7-8 hours as Zambia is deceptively huge.
How big? Ever heard of Germany, Switzerland and Italy? Yeah, they could all fit inside Zambia with room to spare.
Texas also could fit neatly inside. (Potential new slogan: “Everything’s bigger in Zambia.”)
But the slogan for this day was “Casting the Vision.” And by 8:30 a.m., all 47 coordinators had arrived, suit coats wrinkle-free, ready to worship. Ready to pray. Ready to soak up this My Hope vision.
“This is the year of My Hope Zambia,” said Hans Mannegren, International Director at BGEA, right before explains the evangelistic outreach. “Are you excited?”
Rhetorical in nature, but the answer was yes. You could hear the passion in the opening worship music. The tear-filled eyes.
This is African worship, an experience you can’t duplicate in America or find on YouTube.
There were so many other eye-opening sounds on this morning:
8:20 a.m.: A rooster continually crows outside
8:42: Swirling wind sounds like it’s going to blow off the tin roof
9:40: The friendly honk of a goose. At least it sounded friendly
10:07: A generator kicking on after the power goes out
I’m starting to learn quickly, this is Zambia.
Expect the unexpected.
And that jet lag thing? I’m running on adrenaline for now, but I’m about to hit a wall.