Zambia Update: Friday Morning
I only have a limited amount of time here on the web. I have to buy it by the half hour and I’m trying to get as much done in this time as possible. But, not surprisingly, the web is so slow.
So, I am going to brain dump as much as a I can here:
- I jumped off a bridge at Victoria Falls with a rubber band attached to my ankles. Pictures are on my flickr account. It was nuts. Video will be coming home with me. Google: Victoria Falls Bungee Jump and you’ll see what I did.
- We started this trip with two days of downtime with a trip to Victoria Falls (google this, it makes Niagara falls look like a kitchen sink faucet) . This was kind of backwards as most missions trips I have been on put the “rest” at the end of the trip. I’ve got to be honest, I love it this way. We were toast after that long plane ride that trying to imagine speaking the next day was way beyond what i could comprehend. This has also allowed us to have some good conversations with George about his church and African culture. I feel much more prepared to speak contextually (not much, but more than i was!).
- One of the greatest needs in the Zambian church is creativity and imagination in leadership. George said that since the country was under the rule of the English for so long, they are used to being told what to do and how to do it. Leadership is not their biggest strength, following is. And, the church was almost always led by white men from the west who taught them the “correct” ways to do church. Now, that the church is becoming more Zambian, and the leadership native to this country, there is a struggle to break out of the mold in terms of church structure and ministries in ways that are more specific to the culture, the culture’s needs and the church’s strengths. So, tonight (Friday) we’ll be visiting with the leadership at George’s church (about 30 men and women) and we’ll be talking about the mission of the church and trying to give them a framework to help them think creatively and use their imagination in terms of their mission. Tom will be talking about the creative God that we serve and I’ll do my best to give them some ways to think this way. I love this conversation and am excited to engage in it with George’s leadership team.
- Tonight (again, Friday) we’ll be joining an all night prayer meeting of pastors and leaders from the area about an hour. They start at 11pm and go till 6am and they do this once a month. George said its a pretty wild experience and I guess we’re supposed to share a few words or something. That should be interesting.
- Saturday morning we’ll be at a men’s prayer breakfast. There are supposed to be a couple hundred men there. The other two pastors on my trip will be speaking so I’ll be watching for this one, at least speaking wise. I am sure I’ll find some great conversations during the morning.
- Saturday afternoon and evening are up in the air. I am not sure what we’ll be doing. I am sure it will be great though. Last I heard there would be some sleeping in tents or something.
- Sunday morning is a big moment. The local christian television station has been bugging George to let them come and videotape his services so they can air it on the local TBN (yes, that TBN). He worked it out so they would come this week, when Tom and I are preaching. Yikes! Apparently, this will be broadcast 8 times in Zambia and then it will be broadcast all over sub-saharan Africa a number of times too. George is really excited because he’s hoping that we can bring a little redemption to western white preachers (he said this slightly as a joke and was also very serious as well). I’ll be preaching my “go to” sermon on Moses and the image of God.
- TBN also called yesterday and asked if George would bring us to the studio to do a live(!) interview / conversation with us around the ideas of church planting and leadership. Of course he said yes, so on Tuesday night we’ll be sitting in the studio with George talking about those topics on live television. Of course, this will be broadcast in Zambia and also then again all over the continent later. No, that’s not intimidating at all. Talk slow Todd, Talk slow…
- Sunday night we’ll be meeting with another group of local pastors. Not sure what the topic is yet but that’s fairly normal.
- Monday will be a leadership conference (I think). We’ll be speaking on topics related to leadership. Specifically, I’m not too sure what about. That’s the fun of this trip, you’ve gotta be ready to speak at a moments notice. So, I’ve been thinking through about 5 talks that I can hopefully give on a moments notice. I’ll probably be talking around the issues of the image of God and mission, Acts 7 and sharing leadership, a look at the whole gospel (from Scot McKnight), and a few others topics i have brianstormed a bit. Good thing i believe in the working of the Holy Spirit!
- Tuesday, again. No clue but I know it involves speaking to pastors and lay leaders.
- Wednesday. Speaking twice to pastors and lay leaders. Again, not a clue what I’ll be asked to speak about.
- Thursday – Friday. Flying back home with an overnight in London.
Okay, that’s all the time I got. I have to hit save before my time runs out. Hopefully I’ll get another chance to update in the next few days but that’s not guaranteed.