I have been so blessed by the support of many friends and family members. You all have made this trip to Zambia possible, and I thank you! I pray God blesses you for blessing my life! Many of you have asked me questions about my trip and what I will be doing, so I wanted to answer some of them here. :)
1. How did you get involved with this trip?
I have wanted to go on an overseas mission trip for several years, but I have just never committed to it. I knew about Family Legacy because I have sponsored a child (Queen) through them for almost 3 years. I began looking at their trip called "Camp Life". I looked at it for a few weeks, and then noticed that they had put up a link to a new trip called Teach ONE. When I read the description and saw that it was for teachers, I knew it was meant to be! I could use my passion for teaching and skills I have learned in a big way there! I signed up immediately, and I know this is the trip God had planned for me.
2. What part of Africa?
From the Family Legacy site...
Zambia is located in sub-Saharan Africa. It is a landlocked country slightly larger than the state of Texas. There are 13 million people in Zambia and half of them are under the age of 16. This huge number is due to the high death rate from extreme poverty and HIV/AIDS.
The average life expectancy in Zambia is 38 years old and it has the 5th highest death rate in the world. Of the 6.5 million children in Zambia, more than 1 million of them are orphaned. Zambia has the highest per capita orphan rate in the world! Conditions for these children are nearly impossible. With extremely high unemployment rates, about 86% of the population of Zambia must live on less than $1 a day.
3. What will you be doing?
Once the orphan children are sponsored through Family Legacy, they get to attend their Lifeway Christian Academies. These schools are private Christian schools that have a much smaller teacher to student ratio than the community schools and much more qualified teachers. Even still, they are many years behind in their teaching strategies and do not have the resources we do. That's where we come in! We are there to mentor and guide the teachers to learn new strategies and ways to engage the students. We will be teaching full days while the Zambian teachers observe. We will also co-teach and then observe and give feedback to the Zambian teachers as they teach. We will be in the schools for 2 weeks.
4. Will you get to see your sponsored child?
Yes!! I get to meet Queen, and I am beyond excited. She is a beautiful 13 year old girl, and I cannot wait to hug her and to give her a few small gifts I have for her. I have a feeling I am going to want to sponsor many more when I leave Zambia, so if anyone is interested in sponsoring a child, please let me know and I will find a sweet child who needs you! It is only $40 a month, and it means SO much to those children. It means they will be able to attend school. That is huge. With an education, they have the chance to break the poverty cycle in their families. Within this environment, they will also hear about the love God has for them and the goodness he wants for their little lives. Go here for more information! :)
5. Are you going with a large team of people?
There are only a few of us on my trip, but there are 3 different teacher trips throughout the summer. There are about 5 teachers there at a time. There will be many other Americans there, though, for Camp LIFE. Camp LIFE is a week long camp for the orphan and vulnerable children in Lusaka. These kids get to come to camp and learn about God's love for them. It is a fun week where they get to be kids and not worry about the huge burdens they carry around with them in their daily lives.
6. How long will you be there?
I leave June 20th and will return July 7th. It is 2 days of travel there and 2 days back.
7. Are you nervous?
Yes, but mostly about the traveling. I am not that scared of flying, but being in the air for that long does make me nervous. We are flying to London, which is an 8.5 hour flight, and then we will fly to Zambia, which is another 10 hour flight. Please pray for calm nerves for me! We are flying through the night, so hopefully I will be able to sleep some. Other than that, I am mostly just excited and feel an overwhelming since of mixed emotions. I am anxious, excited, and filled with joy. So many children have come to know the Lord, and God is doing great things in Zambia! At the same time, though, I know my heart is going to break, and I know that I am not fully prepared for what all I will experience and the emotions that will come with it. I do know it will be life-changing, and I know God will reveal Himself in big ways! For that, I cannot wait.