Sunday, June 14, 2009


Dear Friends and Family and Parents/Relatives of 2009 Zambia Trip members…writing from the food cafe at OHare...

In a couple hours we will be heading out over the Atlantic Ocean on our way to Zambia...this is my 5th visit to Zambia and I'm always remarkably excited and more than ready to go back to a place that holds a big chunk of my heart...this year's trip comes at a time of quick and profound life change for me and my family...and in the midst of all that the past 2 months have brought and the next 2 months will bring, a constant source of strength and courage and a strange security for my life has been a place on the other side of the one understands more what it is like to deal with pain and questions and fears and new things, and in the midst of everything rises up with hope in the power and presence of the living God than the people of sub-Saharan in many ways this June I don't only want to go to Africa, I need to go to Africa...and so do many of those traveling with me...for we get to travel with amazing fellow students and friends as we take a radical faith journey together and the people of Zambia offer joy and empathy and ministry to all of us in a way that only God could have designed for a group of folks from the suburbs of Chicago...

I always deeply feel like I am going on behalf of so many of you to meet some amazing Zambian folks and to discover what God continues to do and what still needs to be done in the midst of the AIDS pandemic that is ravaging southern Africa…we will help distribute the first set of bikes to students who will use them to be able to attend further schooling which will literally change their lives and the future generations of their family and community...we will have dedication ceremonies at a new ministry center that is telling the children of this area how much Jesus loves them, seeing the new water tank that will supply clean water for the children of Kakolo Village as they grow up, and at the future site of a schoolhouse addition that is truly the completion of answered prayers and dreams…we will see students in a schoolhouse learning and growing as they seek to create an incredible future for themselves and the next generation of Zambians…we will visit a medical facility that gives life to the sick and life without AIDS to those being born...we will play soccer matches and hold clinics for children along with a baseball game as we use sports to help bring change in a community…we will meet many of our sponsored children who we have only known via letters and pictures…we will participate in worship and dance and music and discussions as we celebrate and talk about life and faith in America and Zambia with other students…and we will get to work alongside and get to know and become brothers and sisters with those on the frontlines of God’s Work in Africa…and we are constantly seeking a new vision/project for the next school year where we can continue to help bring God’s Kingdom work to earth…we will be traveling all over Zambia and we will be involved in many, many projects and conversations with the World Vision Zambia staff God is using to meet the needs of so many impacted by poverty and disease in this generation…we will even see a place where there is a desperate need to begin the work of holistic transformational development in a community trying to deal with the consequences of absolute poverty...Our team is absolutely thrilled God has given this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to us…I expect God to change the lives of 18 students and adults and to break my own heart all over again as I am going to see how He wants me to continue to be His advocate for the people and the church in this nation and the continent of Africa…

As we head off to Africa in a few hours, here's a prayer update I want to offer to you...we covet your prayers as we seek to have a transformational life experience together with our dear brothers and sisters in Africa...I'll be blogging from Zambia several times over the next 2 weeks...…here are ten specific prayer needs you can pray for us:

1.Safety and health in our lengthy travels to and back from and around Zambia over the next 14 days
2.A good working out of schedule and administrative details as we attempt to see and be part of many different experiences in a short time period
3.Ability to connect with and love and learn from our Zambian brothers and sisters
4.The continued impact of the Kakolo Village schoolhouse which is being used by hundreds and hundreds of students in this community, and the further expansion of this school to serve the needs of children through grade 9
5.The work being done to save and extend lives and prevent the spread of the HIV virus through the new medical clinic and maternity ward in the Zamtan community
6.A deep sense of community and growth in our team as we seek to discuss and mull over the experiences and resulting questions we will encounter...we are excited to build new friendships with each other and as students from WA and Leyden high schools...
7.A fresh vision for future projects and personal involvement in the work God is doing in Zambia and other nations in Africa and around the world
8.A greater love for Christ and a heart that beats and cares and loves the poor and oppressed and sick people in our world
9.Opportunities to pray for/with and encourage believers and churches and the World Vision staff in Zambia as they share the Gospel in word and deed with the children and adults of their communities
10.Ability to write and video and receive stories and learnings that we can then take and use as powerful resources in being advocates and leaders when we return home

We can’t wait to return and give you the stories of our trip along with some photos and videos we will have taken…once again, thank you for being part of God’s grand vision in Zambia…your overwhelming generosity and partnership is truly a remarkable blessing in my life…I thank God for your friendship, gifts of love, and your prayers…

Together in His Work, CHIP