Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Second First Impressions of Lusaka

I think that after living here for three years I was used to the sights, sounds and smells of urban Africa. And I gotta say, my descriptions of Lusaka in our presentations was conservative and generous. Upon our return it’s clear that Lusaka is dirtier, more crowded, and more unpleasant then I remembered. Ciyanjano on the other hand is even better than I thought - not just in a juxtaposition to the city but WOW, they have been working hard around here. I thought the pace of physical development was blindingly fast over the last three years but between Tyler,Tim and Dave, and the back-breaking work done by our crew, I think they’ve gone over and above my highest expectations. I have so many things to talk to our director about that I need a meeting to set up multiple meetings to cover everything! 

Returning during the hottest weeks of the year might have been a bit foolish in retrospect. But hopefully I’m sweating off some of my “furlough fifteen.” So far the best parts about being home are returning to our house and getting things in order, and visits with friends. We’ve mentioned before that returning to Zambia for a second term means something more to the nationals that just a first term. When they see that you’ve been back to America (the land of cheap electronics, jobs, and ice cream) and still decided to return to Zambia - they feel like you must really love them and their country. In our visits we’ve been seeing some new additions. This little girl was born to the Mwale family while we were on home mission assignment and we returned to find this precious little Mercy Tricia Mwale! Cute! We are so happy to be "home" and a special thanks to all of you who've helped us get back here.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Gluttons for Punishment

With all the speaking to groups we’ve been doing it’s got me really thinking about the reasons we are returning to Zambia. Are we just gluttons for more punishment? Folks keep asking us if we are nervous, excited, or both, to be heading back to our strange life. In conversation the other day a friend said, “At least you are doing what you love.”

She meant it innocently enough and I would say that statement is at least a little bit true. But after thinking about it I realized that a statement like that actually completely misses the point of why we went to Zambia in the first place and why we are going back. And in fact, believing a statement like that is even dangerous for us as believers.

Let me explain... Doing what we love... Honestly folks, if we were doing what we love, we’d be living on a beach somewhere. Our kids would be in public school and plenty of programs to keep them busy so that we’d have as much free time as possible to pursue “our hearts’ desires.” We’d spend ridiculous amounts of money on gourmet ingredients for the dinners we’d spend hours preparing every night. We’d stay in bed and watch movies all day long. Sorry to spoil your picture of the Huckabys but that is what “doing what we love” would look like. We’re really not on some fancy path of self-fulfillment.

It’s NOT about doing what we love. It is WHO we love that matters. We are completely in love with Jesus Christ. We are going back to Zambia because Christ saved us from our sin-filled, crappy, self-centered lives and gave us new hearts with room enough for more and more people. 

Jesus said to go and make disciples of all nations and to love each other, so we are trying to be obedient to what he asked of us. Here is the hard truth:  on a LOT of days, we DON’T love the work we are doing. But we still love God. We love the almighty father God who made us, his Spirit that encourages us and leads us each day, and his Son who died for us and rose again so that we can also be with God forever. Because of our love for God, we love serving him, and he helps us to love the work we do each day because he is so merciful.

If I believe that we are going back to Zambia because we want to do something we love and because we want to feel fulfilled, well, I’m going to be in big trouble. Pretty soon I would start telling myself that this work is just too hard. This life is just too difficult. It would be so much easier to just pack up and head back to America where there’s no burning garbage in my backyard and no mosquitos and ants chomping my flesh.

But when I go because I love Jesus and he loves me and I want other people to know that amazing grace also... well, that never fails. That’s true every single day. It’s true on the day our neighbor drowns in his well. It’s true on the day we hear about a baby found in a pit latrine in the slum down the road. It’s true on the day three different teens come by asking us for school fees. It’s true on the day when our friend loses her newborn because of poor medical care. The good news about Jesus is true every day and THAT is what we love!  That is why we are going back.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Heading Home

We have exciting news for all Americans who have had their fill of the Huckaby family during these last months... We are heading back to Zambia on October 24th!  For some it may feel too soon but we are feeling very pumped to get back to work. Thanks be to God! And thanks to all of you who have given and prayed toward this end.

We are still a bit shy of our fundraising goal but we are trusting God to move the hearts and minds of a few more new supporters.

Our last term was close to three years and we are anticipating this next term being three to four years. It is hard to say goodbye for such a weighty chunk of time... Especially because we know from experience that not every face we say goodbye to will be here to welcome us back. Please pray that our family would spend these last weeks very well and to the glory of God. And let me urge you, as always, to put your love and trust in Christ, the author and protector of our faith and life. His love endures forever.