May 9, 2016:
My team and I boarded the plane at LAX to depart for Livingstone, Zambia. For two weeks, I alongside 17 others had the opportunity to experience a completely diverse culture, to step outside our comfort zones and attempt to gain a broader perspective. Two cultures, seemingly divided by oceans, and borders, languages, and skin colors, yet not possessing any difficulty in manifesting deep connections and relationships with one another. It was such a blessing to be able to walk just a few short weeks along side these people; to share in song and dance, to play fútbol (our mutual language), to break bread and worship the same God together. We spent almost everyday with the community of the Livingstone Church of the Nazarene. Led by Pastor Smoke, the children and community exhibited true generosity and hospitality towards us.They revealed to us a raw joy and love that I found, in its purest form can quickly erode any barrier that may stand between relationships. Extending love and trust without condition, they taught us how to share it selflessly with others. It was a joy evidently rendered from their love and faithfulness in God and I'm thankful I had the chance to encounter it. They were a true testament to living each day fully for the Lord; that regardless of any present or lack of material wealth, with Jesus we are richer than we will every be. Each day I spent with the children and Zambian people, the more and more they stole away pieces of my heart and filled it with their sweet presence.
I am often at a loss for words regarding my time spent here. I hope my photos can help shed light on the beauty of this place and its people.