Today, we drove down that same dirt road to that same village…and all the things Fordson and I dreamed about 8 years ago God has now seen fit to bring to life through the passion and investment of a group of students from Wheaton Academy where I previously worked. We drove into Kakolo Village to see the nicest school buildings we have seen in Zambia so far where over 1300 students in grades 1-9 now attend classes every day. It might be the only school in Zambia where the US flag and the Zambian flag fly right next to each other outside the school.
We were welcomed with a beautiful song sung by the children saying thank you for building Kakolo School and they danced with an African flair while students banged on the water jugs to provide the background music. The headmaster of the school insisted we join in on the dancing. We toured the classrooms, saw a new medical clinic where babies are delivered healthy and free from the HIV virus, and checked out the well provided by some students and teachers raising funds through climbing Mt Ranier in Washington. And we were able to give them school supplies, books to start a library, and soccer equipment through donations from the CU community and a first grade class in Chicago.
And of course, we had to play a soccer match on this new field that was given as a thnk you gift from the community to me as a surprise a few years ago. We even pulled off a comeback win 2-1 behind a winning goal from Josh Feenstra, our resident African in the group! We are pretty proud that we went 3-0 on our Zambia soccer tour! Taking pictures surround by hundreds of kids around the Chip Huber marker on the side of the field was a trip highlight for me.
In many ways, this was a day filled with joy and laughter after some seeing some very tough things in Zambia over the past week. Going to Kakolo Village gave us all a visual picture of the Kingdom change that can happen in a community when God’s people see a need, enter into a relationship, and invite others to join them in caring for the needs of the poor in big ways. It’s pretty emotional and overwhelming for me to return to this place and be greeted so warmly by so many good friends and a community that is now moving forward in new ways. There’s a tangible sense of hope in this hidden spot in Zambia…and it’s a hope that believes that God is still at work in Kakolo Village and still invites us to get involved in so many other places in our world today.
I was excited and blessed to take our team to this place that means so much to me and in many ways is my legacy of faith in this world. I have some great new pictures to put up in my office when I get home. And my new dream and our prayer together is that we would be open to God’s Spirit that is still on the move as we begin to wrap up our time in Africa…there are so many more Kakolo Villages out there praying that God would answer their prayers through His people…
Tomorrow we head off to Lusaka to spend some time with World Vision and get a first-hand look at the issue of malaria in Zambia as we look at growing our current Night of Nets program that raises funds to provide treated bed nets for families in sub-Saharan Africa…
For all the Zambia team,