Monday, March 31, 2014

Weekend in Lusaka

Saturday March 29 was the sixth straight day on the worksite. We divided into three crews as usual. One crew continued painting walls and doorframes. One crew finished the last bit of the ceiling grid in the entire 23 room building. The third crew continued installing ceiling panels in the building. By the end of the day there were about 7 rooms left to have ceiling panels installed. Next Monday our crew will try to finish the remaining ceilings in the building.

The trip home from work was a little more exciting than usual because the radiator in the bus had a leak. We stopped at a station along the route two times for water. We still made good time home from work since there is almost no Saturday traffic on the downtown streets and roundabouts that have been nearly gridlocked during the weekday rush hours.Dinner time was jovial since we finally was able to look forward to a day off of work and an opportunity to visit a local Nazarene church the next day.

Sunday March 30 we got to sleep in. Instead of the normal 6AM breakfast, we did not eat until 8. After breakfast and posing for some team pictures we boarded a bus and headed across Lusaka to the Baulina Church of the Nazarene. This church is in what they self-describe as the ghetto district. Narrow dirt streets wind through this economically depressed community and dead ends at the fence row that marks the edge of the Baulina Church property. The church is a simple and small building, but the crowd was large and packed in tight.

As as the praise team sang us into the building, we were ushered straight down to the front rows of the sanctuary. There were at least three choirs plus the praise team and all of them did an amazing job with multiple songs from each group. The pastor’s son performed a long and profound poem/rap he wrote and memorized. Special music and congregational songs in the local language and some in English rounded out the praise portion of the service. Gary Sidle introduced us and Tim Sharrock gave the greeting from our team. The pastor gave an excellent and succinct sermon speaking in both the local language and English for our benefit.

After the 2 hour service we were ushered outside with the pastor so everyone in the church, and I mean everyone could file out of the building and shake hands with all of us as they left. This process took about a half hour. Then we stood around socializing with the people from the church and taking pictures. George had the privilege of meeting a young man he and his wife have been sponsoring for the past 5 years or so. Thanks to their support for his education, at the age of 19 now, he is finishing his education and planning for the future. What are the odds that a child in Africa they selected to sponsor in about 2008 would live in the same community where George would go on a W&W trip in 2014? This is certainly a God thing.
About an hour and a half after the service we finally pulled away from the church and headed to lunch and Mike’s Kitchen. No it was not Mike Norris’ kitchen. It was a nice restaurant by a South African company serving American food. After lunch we shopped through the afternoon in the artist market set up in the parking lot of the Arcades shopping center. A brief rain shower moved through while shopped. This was the first time we have had rain of any significance since we arrived.

We went back home to our compound about 6PM. As we waited for homemade pizzas to bake for dinner, we were honored to have Ephraim (Africa’s Chris Tomlin) perform a private mini concert in the dining commons. He has performed all over Africa and in the US, including Sonfest at MVNU. It was amazing that he took time out of his busy schedule to make a special visit to play and sing for us. Gary Sidle played acoustic guitar and Alyssa Sidle sang for us as well. Gary and Alyssa have credits on Ephraim’s latest album: Gary as a song writer and musician on the album, and Alyssa as a song writer and vocalist. Ephraim, his wife, their two small boys and a couple other friends joined us for supper. We bought up all the CD’s Ephraim had available and ordered more. If you are interested in finding out more about Ephraim and want to buy his recordings, you can go on Amazon and purchase his CDs.

After our concert and dinner, people started settling in for the evening with Rook in one corner, ladies making up Monday lunch for the job site. A few of us viewed the pictures and videos we captured today. Then by 11 everyone was off to bed since we have another 6AM breakfast before the 7th and final work day on the job site. Climent our boss is amazed by the amount of work we have accomplished, especially considering he is comparing our small group’s output to the work production of much larger teams he has worked with on this project. We have worked hard and long hours and hope to see the ceiling panel installation completed before we wrap up Monday evening.

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