Zambia by Kate Ruther
I have spent my whole life residing on America’s west coast in Southern California. After attaining my degree in Communications last May I immediately left the states to begin a yearlong mission trip around the world with the World Race to nurture my love and passion for people, travel, and photography.
As a firm believer in Jesus and his purpose, I am aware that my freedom is solely dependent on his death and resurrection. This freedom is also evident in the purpose of my travels. I travelled with a squad of 43 and we were broken into teams of six or seven. While in Zambia I was with 14 people (two of our teams) and we all lived in a house, did ministry, and ate together. Unlike travelling alone, living in a loving community while abroad allows us to share memories with those we travel and spend time with while away.
In Zambia my team and I partnered with organizations that needed volunteers to work along side them. We share Gods love and his gospel with whomever we come in contact with and do whatever jobs needed at that time (work with street children, orphanages, and do evangelism in villages). I would start my day around 7 in the morning, eat breakfast, and have my alone devotional time with the Lord for about an hour. We would then either go evangelize in villages, have bible study with widows, work in a school, clean up parks, and spend time with our team and people in the community. We all cooked our meals together and slept outside in hammocks or tents.
One day while we were out in the village, I met a woman named Jackie and her family. She shared with us that her son was ill and needed prayer, so we prayed over him. He was suffering from nightmares and physical ailments. After we prayed for him I got a word from The Lord that he wanted me to pray for Jackie as well and that she really needed prayer but did not want to appear vulnerable. I asked her if she needed prayer personally and she hesitated for a few minutes, just like The Lord told me. To provide comfort, I shared some of my current struggles with her. I told her how I have always lived as someone who doesn't show much emotion or allow people too deep into my life, but that I was learning to grow in those areas and process tears of my own. Immediately after that she started crying and told me that her husband had passed away a few days prior and she had buried him two days before I came to visit. I was overcome with emotion and felt heavily for her. My heart broke for her but I am thankful that God encouraged me to comfort and pray for her and it was an incredible moment that I will never forget.
This was not the only encounter that moved me while in Zambia. I met a man named Benjamin who was incredibly sick and immobile. Benjamin had not moved in months, so my team and I laid hands on and prayed to the Lord for Benjamin’s healing. This act alone lifted his spirits and a few minutes later we were able to get him to stand on his two feet. Benjamin then began to walk right in front of our eyes! God’s faith was visible to all of us.
I believe that everyone should visit Zambia and revel in its culture and get to know its people. Victoria Falls is beautiful as are many of the other attractions that are all set within Zambia’s breathtaking scenery. I also really enjoyed hanging out in the little town that was close by and getting to know the culture and shop at the local markets. The meals are also delicious. While there I fell in love with chicken shawamas, which were wraps filled with chicken, french fries and lettuce!
The world is an unknown place until we remove ourselves from our comfort zones and explore it to its fullest. Though some experiences may be scary and uncomfortable, this is what promotes our growth and intelligence. Deciding to embark on a yearlong trip around the world was the best decision of my life and I encourage everyone to travel to a new and exciting place and invest in its people and culture to get a glimpse of the many lives around the globe.
FOLLOW KATE'S JOURNEY HERE