Ever get that feeling you’re lost?
Did I miss a turn somewhere? Take the wrong road?
Ever get that feeling in the “Bush” part of Africa?
Mpundu Mutala is the national coordinator for My Hope Zambia and was our tour guide. And he kept saying we were not lost.
He knew exactly where he was going.
But each time he craned his head, looking down a long dirt road, with only acres of land in the peripheral, doubt crept in.
We might be lost.
If we had a G.P.S. unit, I’m sure the slightly-annoying automated voice would have laughed as it tried to locate our whereabouts.
But after traversing a road so bumpy, you’d swear its name was “Chiropractor’s Dream,” a house appeared in the distance. Like a glass of ice-cold lemonade in the middle of a desert.
And it turned out to be just as welcoming.
The owners, David and Christine Moffat were old friends of Mutala and their story was as captivating as their African home.
David Moffat is related to Africa pioneer and medial missionary Dr. David Livingstone of Scotland. That’s right, the same Livingstone the city near Victoria Falls is named after.
The Moffat family was very influential in bringing Christianity to the southern part of Africa, dating back to 1840.
Even for someone who doesn’t routinely stop on the History Channel, the connections to this country’s rich past gave you chills.
And we were treated to a home cooked meal of butternut squash soup, turkey and ham, sitting around a round dinner table.
But perhaps the highlight of this weeklong trip happened on the night of Day 6.
The My Hope Zambia team had the honor of speaking to 450 students at Chengelo School, a Christian boarding school with such a reputation that it draws students from four nearby African countries.
The facilities are amazing. Soccer fields. Computer labs. Ropes courses.
But it was the people at Chengelo — which means “Beacon of Light — the school the Moffats helped start in 1988 that made this place like no other. Many teachers had transplanted their families from Europe to teach in the “Bush” country in Zambia, creating a family atmosphere that feels like Christmas morning.
And in customary Zambian style, even the journalist is asked to speak. This time, I was given a topic and 5 to 7 minutes to share: How to be a Christian in a secular world like journalism.
Three revelations came to me on that briskly-cold night:
I found out that pretty much everyone is on Facebook, even in the “Bush.”
I found out that if you take the time to share your heart with the African youth they will give you their undivided attention.
And for the first time, I found out what it’s like to not just cover a project as impactful as My Hope.
For one night, anyway, I was a part of it.
“7 Days of Zambia” is a first-person blog, following the My Hope Zambia project through the lens of a reporter. For more info on the My Hope project, click here.