Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Faces of Ndola, Faces of Hope: Part 2

I've been putting off writing this post, because, honestly,  I was intimidated by all the feelings, sights and sounds that I witnessed during my visit to Ndola, Zambia. It was sensory/emotional/spiritual overload.  I didn't think I could write the perfect words to help you to understand.  But the story needs to be told. So, while listening to my "African Essentials" Pandora Station and surrounding myself with the brightly colored fabrics that I brought back as is the story of the rest of my time in Ndola....  (If you missed it, here is Part I.)

Taken by Rob Reid

During our 3 days with Bible Way Ministries, the mornings and early afternoons were devoted to conducting a needs assessment from a group of church elders and leaders.  We wanted to know exactly what life was like in their village, so that we could all come up with an efficient and sustainable plan.  Our initial thought was to start a foster care program, but we soon found out that due to the current living conditions, that strategy would not be effective because: 
  • The average life expectancy in Ndola is 37 years.
  •  Early death due to HIV AIDS and malaria has resulted in families consist of mothers or grandmothers caring for the children in their extended families in addition to their own children. 
  • The unemployment rate is rising dramatically. 
  • The typical family of 8-10 lives in a 2-room cinder block house.  
We discovered that building a community home for a small group of orphans would be a better use of space and resources.  There would be a house parent to look after the children.  She would receive food and shelter and a stipend for her work.   Through sponsorship from the US, the children would be provided with food, clothing and education.  (Stay tuned for how you can help sponsor these orphans!)

While the group discussed logistics and long-term outcomes, I ventured outside to shoot the grounds and scenery outside of the church gate.

One afternoon, four children came walking down the road, carrying empty containers.  No one spoke. They walked into the yard, filled their containers with the water pump that a church in Downingtown, PA helped to build last year, and went back home.

These kids and their families were completely reliant on this water pump for drinking, cooking and sanitation.  In those 5 minutes,  I gained more perspective and appreciation for the life God has blessed me with than ever before.  I am so thankful for the opportunity to witness this small but meaningful moment.

I met a wonderful and beautiful woman, Chanda, and we we quickly became close friends. Chanda is trained as a social worker and is currently going to school for "catering", what we would call homemaking, so that she can learn how run her own home when she, her baby boy, Divine, and her husband, McDonald are able to move out of their parent's house.  McDonald is an Associate Pastor at the church, but they are not paid for their work, and there are no accounting jobs available.

I also made a little buddy.  Meet Jonathan: 




 Jonathan and his mom lived in a little apartment attached to the church.  I would catch him poking his little head in to the training sessions, and then squeal and run away when our eyes met.  At first he was apprehensive to come too close, but after a while he would leap into my arms, like we had been friends all along.  One afternoon, he fell asleep on my shoulder, his little snores buzzing in my ears as I tried to concentrate on the logistics of converting a chicken coop into a group home for orphans. That little boy stole my heart and I wanted to bring him home with me.

Vince and I spent a few hours each day interviewing some of the widows and children that attended Bible Way, so that we could give them a voice in the states.  Many of them could not speak English, so one of the of the Associate Pastors, Darlington, interpreted for us.

 I could not believe their stories. After her husband died of malaria, one woman was driven out of her house by her in-laws.  Another was beaten at the market, as she tried to sell enough food so that her children could eat that day.  Orphans lived with their widowed grandmothers and their 4 or more other siblings and cousins.  There was no work, and no money for school or food or clothing. Many of them teared up as they tried to help us understand how poverty and disease had causes so much destruction in their community.

Late afternoons and evenings were devoted to traveling around to the homes of widows and families.  I'll let the photos speak for themselves...

...and then there was this one:

This was my favorite photo I took in Africa. There is so much emotion, wonder, and fight in this little girl's eyes.  She stared at me from the front door of her home.  While all the other children smiled and danced when we arrived, she just watched us, almost guarding the entrance to her tiny, overcrowded home.  "Who are you? Why are you here? How long before you forget about me?"

The last night we were there, we visited the family of Pastor Barney's late wife.  It was around 9:00pm and the house was pitch black, except for 2 candles. A 70-year-old woman named Pauline, who had diabetes, was sitting in the front room in the dark, her feet swollen.  She had not had insulin for days.  You can imagine how difficult this was for me to watch.  I could not fathom the pain and deterioration she felt. In the next room, a pot of leafy vegetables boiled over a charcoal burner on the floor.  They had not eaten yet that day.  A baby was sleeping in the bed next to the steaming pot, and a teenage boy who had just been diagnosed with HIV a few days earlier tried to hold his head up to speak to us.  We gave the woman money for her to buy insulin and left in a daze.  We were completely overwhelmed by the destitution we had just seen.   (We learned that Pauline passed away on March 14th.)

Once you hear these stories that begin with continuous, unrelenting struggle, but go on to conclude with gratitude and faith in a Great and Good God, you start to see life a little bit differently.  My goal isn't to make you feel guilty, but I am asking you to just take a second and think about all the blessings in your life, and say, "Thank you." 

Not a day goes by that I do not think of my friends in Ndola. I hope that I can return to visit them someday to see how the aid that Access Services is providing is building them up.  They need our prayers and our help.  If you'd like to contribute to the Zambia Project, you can visit

You can see the videos that Vince from Cotton Field Communications filmed and produced on the Access Services Youtube Station.

More to come about our visit to Victoria Falls!


  1. katelin- i am not much of a blog reader, but i stumbled across this on facebook. you have a beautiful way with words and these photos are exceptional! this entry is very moving & brought a tear to my eye. it is so humbling to read of these experiences. thanks for sharing!

  2. Mary! Thanks so much for reading, and your encouraging words! You are so sweet! It was definitely a life-changing trip, even after 6 months, I'm still processing...thanks again!


  3. Hello" thankGod for the wonderful healing spell power which Dr eziza render to my life which oracle support, i was been diagnosed with HIV-AIDS over 7years now which has lead me to unployment and loosing my relationship with my fiance after he heard that i am suffering from the VIRUS, i tried begging him to allow me stays with him, but he still insist on letting me out of his home, until a friend of mine on facebook from SOUTH AFRICA told me more about Dr eziza the great healer, that he is going to help restore and healed my diseased with his powerful healing spell, she send me of Dr eziza email address and i quickly contacted him, and he replied to after 30mins of my message that my disease is a little and minor disease, that he will solved the disease immediately only if i can accept all he requested from, i told him yes, because truly i know that " HIV-AIDS IS A WICKED AND DEADLY DISEASE I EVER KNOWS ". so i did all he want from me and suprisingly on friday last week DR eziza called me that my problems is solvesd that i should hurry up to the hospital for a checkup, which i truly really did, i comfirm from my doctor that i am now HIV-NEGATIVE AND NOT LONG +, I jump up and was crying heavily because truly the disease drive alot of things away from my life, my friends, my cousin, my fiance and relatives, but now since i was comfirm NEGATIVE- my lost friends and fiance has been back to me begging for forgiveness, i have forgiven them and now we are now best of friend. again i will say to Dr eziza that he is blessed and may the almighty God which i serve raise him and his family to the higher level in life. Thank and god bless. Please email DR eziza for healing and solution now at =
    FROM U.S.A


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...