Monday, April 25, 2011

Hands at Work in Africa, Zambia Celebrations

Last week I had the opportunity to attend Hands at Work in Africa’s Regional Celebration in Zambia. Each year Hands at Work gathers leaders from partner Community Based Organizations throughout Africa for a time of learning, sharing and celebrating about what God is doing throughout communities in Africa. This year Hands had its biggest Celebration ever in Zambia from April 13-16.

The theme of the Celebrations this year was, “Going Deeper.” The vision of Hands at Work is the local church in Africa effectively caring for the orphaned, widowed and the dying and unified in this mission with the church outside Africa. All of the different sessions focused on Going Deeper in relationship to make this vision become a reality. The celebration kicked off with a message from Hands at Work founder George Snyman who focused on Going Deeper in our relationship with Christ. He asked the question, “Why do you do what you do?” The motivation for caring for the orphaned, widowed and dying should come out of a deep love for Christ, a thankful spirit for what He has done for us, and a willingness to share that sacrificial love with others through service.

An excerpt of Ephesians 4 was given to everyone at the start of the Celebrations to read. I think it speaks directly to the purpose of these regional celebrations.

On the last day of the celebration before the official program started a large group of individuals gathered in the morning to sing songs together. It was just an amazing time. Here is a video of one of my favorite songs, “Ananipenda,” which translates to, “He loves me.”

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The End

Well, we are way overdue for our final post. We have been back for a couple of months now and have enjoyed reconnecting with so many friends and family, spending time outside (especially ice fishing and snowshoeing), cooking supper for my mom and dad, and working on crafty projects. The job hunt is starting in earnest now and we're excited to see what's next!

Our hearts ache for Africa, but in a way I hope never goes away. We appreciate so much what we've learned in our 39 months away about love, compassion, and friendship. Thanks for your support, your mail, blog comments, and so much else.

With love,
Brooke and Jed

Me and my nephew Gino

The view from Jed's deer stand

At the shack

Jed in Chicago with George and Pam