Our flight to our next training conference in Zambia took us by way of a layover in Lusaka the capital where we boarded a double-propeller plane. It was quite an experience as I was seated in row 1 right behind the cockpit. When I say right behind the cockpit, I mean I could reach out and touch the co-pilot. Because the cockpit’s door was open, I could see everything the co-pilot was doing and most of the instrumentation on the dashboard. It was especially fascinating to watch the process of taking off and landing. Perhaps in another life I could have been a pilot.
AN ARRIVAL FIT FOR ROYALTY
When we finally arrived in Ndola and retrieved our baggage, we were met by our distinguished hosts for the conference wearing their Cossacks and eagerly greeting us with warm hugs and handshakes. As we walked outside, the sun having already set and reflecting its fiery orange rays against the towering glass windows of the Simon Mwanza International Airport causing a dazzling display of light that captured my attention, we were informed that a special presentation had been prepared. We were delighted to see a precious little girl promptly walk up to us, hand me flowers, welcome us to Zambia with the brightest smile you have ever seen, and give me a hug. It was truly an arrival fit for royalty. It was then time to get into the van for the two-hour drive to our destination in Chingola. An interesting aside, Chingola is a city of about 300,000 people in the Copper Belt Region of Zambia. So called because of the copper mines that are so prevalent. Having arrived and checked into our very nice hotel rooms (full water pressure, plenty of scalding hot water, air conditioning and a mini fridge). It was like being at the Ritz-Carlton.
CHINGOLA DAY ONE
It is always interesting going to a new place to begin training. Because every group is different you really don’t know what to expect. In my experience, it normally takes a little while for the group to warm up and to feel like you are in the groove of teaching. However, today was different in that there was an immediate connection with the one hundred or so pastors who had come to be trained and the energy and enthusiasm continued to build throughout day. The hunger is evident. We spent most of the day teaching on the centrality of Scripture in the life of the pastor and His church. We were encouraged to already hear testimonies of the work God is doing in the lives of these pastors.
As most of my friends know, I have somewhat of a mild addiction to Coke Zero. But don’t worry, it’s under control! When I travel internationally, however, they are sometimes hard to find, especially in the more rural areas. I couldn’t find one all week in Malawi. So, I had to drink water, which undoubtedly makes my daughter very happy, as she is constantly on me about drinking Coke Zero all the time. Nevertheless, our hotel is located beside a shopping center with a grocery store. Therefore, we decided to walk over before dinner to see if we could fine the holy grail. As we walked into the store my spidey-sense started tingling and soon I found myself staring at a fully loaded shelf of Coke Zero with the Hallelujah chorus pulsating from the store’s speakers. It’s been a great first day in Chingola and what a way to cap off the night.
Stay tuned, more later.