So today is our last day here in Lusaka. I feel like we have been gone for a very long time, marked by a deep disconnection with home; when I met an American here that was working on an adoption in the city, I felt like I should ask him about what was happening back in the states. It was funny because he felt the same way although neither of us had been in country for more than a 9 days. For the past two days we have been running around and getting a feel for what it would be like to live and serve here.
On Thur we went into Kanyama compound to see the community school and orphanage AZ works with. In Lusaka, there has been a major collapse of the public school system, due to "brain drain" (the flight of educated people to better-paying countries) and HIV (last year 1000 new teachers graduated; 2000 died - mostly from HIV/AIDS). So in the compounds, the local churches have opened schools to provide basic education. AZ provides both physical and technical support to a number of these schools. The kids are amazing! They chase you around everywhere wanting to shake your hand (all Zambians excel in complicated handshaking) and and say "How are you doing?" In case you haven't noticed the Zambian children are BEAUTIFUL!
Yesterday we found out about finances and got estimates and budgets for how much support we will need to raise and how all the money is spent. The numbers are astronomical, but God is bigger. Everything in Lusaka costs the same or much more than they do in the states. With no industry, all items are imported from South Africa and China. Rent here is higher than in Bellingham and all consumer goods cost more. Contrast this with the fact that the average Zambian makes $1-$2 a day. It's crazy.
Today we meet with the Zambian board of directors of AZ. They make the decision to invite us here and then we would start the next steps. Please pray for discernment for the board and for us as we finish out our final day here.
In case you're wondering - if Lucas was already here, we'd never come home.
Thanks for praying,