Thursday, May 7, 2015

Zambia Trip: FAQs Part II

Picking up where I left off yesterday with Part I:

4) How much does the trip cost?
Since we tack on a few days in Livingstone to explore Victoria Falls and some of God's most unique creations, the trip comes in at just about $3350 a person.  Airfare to Lusaka is almost half that cost.  It's a lot of money, and I know there is a growing trend to say no to such expensive trips, so I'll try to get up a post on why we still choose to go later.  That's a lengthy discussion in its own right.  Thanks to Uncle Sam and our tax return, our trip is nearly completely paid for each time we go.  We save up the rest ourselves.

5) If you can afford the trip, then why did you ask for donations?
We knew this question would be asked this trip, and we were prepared with an answer.  For our previous trips, we never asked anyone to support us financially.  After we got back in 2013, we had a few different friends separately get on to us for that.  They kindly but firmly explained that God needs all of us to do is work, including those who can't go but have $20 sitting around to help someone else do something.  They reminded us that work schedules, health, older age, or care giving keep some people from being asked by God to do the types of things we're doing.  However, He gives them other ways to help, like extra money (even that $20!), extra time to pray while they rock a baby or care for an ailing family member, or a blog to share our stories (HUGE thank you to those who bring attention to ACE/CACZ through their 'pens'!).  We prayed over their counsel and decided that for this trip we'd sent out a support letter primarily seeking prayer but leaving open an option for financial assistance.  We're using the extra money that we have saved to take the kids on a field trip while we're there and for some other projects, like my on-going dream of having a teacher training center attached to our schools.

6) Who else is going with you?
We're taking 4 teens and 3 adults from our church with our family this trip.  I'm excited to be leading a team for the first time.  They've been hard at work studying the book When Helping Hurts and meeting with me once a month to learn more about Zambia, our kids, and how God is at work there.  We've had a requirement of weekly church and Sunday School attendance and at least 3 local mission projects this year. Isaac and I pray this is the beginning of a very long and deep relationship between our church and Zambia.

7) Why are you taking Man Cub?
Yes, our sweet boy could stay 2 weeks with my parents.  And they're the only ones I'd leave him with for that long (ok, you too, Aunt Lala and Uncle David, if you didn't have to work!).  But, he's still nursing and he'll turn one while we're gone, and I am not missing my child's first birthday!  Mostly though, we promised God when we got pregnant never to tell Him no just because something sounded more difficult with a kid in the picture.  Yes, there are a few more details to manage with him present, but every little thing is working out perfectly.  I'm a notoriously HUGE worrier, but I have such peace about this trip.  Isaac and I both want our boy to see that we serve Jesus when it's easy, when it's hard, when it makes sense, when it doesn't make sense, and always, always as a family.  His age doesn't keep him from bringing glory to his Jesus.  This family will be Jesus' hands and feet anywhere we go!

8) What will you do while you're there?
Whatever we're asked to do!  It's Zambia, so our plans stay pretty fluid.  Zambia (and much of the rest of the world) doesn't run on a scheduled clock the way we do.  Some days will be fairly planned and structured with Milk and Medicine.  Other days though, we'll go where we're asked and do what's needed.  We have plans and ideas; there won't be any down time, but we don't have such a set agenda that we'll be upset or bothered if items aren't checked off of it either.  That's one of the reasons we call this more of a vision trip than a mission trip.  We want our team to fall in love with Zambia, see God at work, and then come home to tell their friends and family.  Solo Deo Gloria!  And yes, we'll visit with friends and see my brother too!

What other questions do you have?  Please keep us in your prayers!

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