"It is always the simple that produces the marvelous." Amelia Barr
Sunday , June 27th started out just like any other Sunday for us here in Zambia. We spent the morning worshipping and the afternoon resting. We decided it was high time for a good pizza (because when is it not) so we drove about 45 minutes to the nearest town with a pizza place. On our way back just as we were about to turn into our driveway, we realized there was a huge crowd blocking it. Looking closer we noticed a small car on the walls next to our drive. The car had hit a pole about 30ft away, then a sign post, flipped, and landed right on the driveway. We had no other details other than that there were four people in the car who were rushed to the hospital. We looked closer at the car and saw several broken beer bottles and an obvious smell along with them. All we did was pray for those people and their families.
We were pretty shaken up by the whole thing but went back to our rooms and slept.
The next day was just like any other Monday. We headed out to the plot. When we got there our friend and coworker Norman told us that our other friend Kelvin had lost his brother last night in a car accident. After asking more questions, we found out it was the same wreck right on our driveway.
Here in Zambia mourning is done in a much different way than in the U.S. The whole village comes to the family home to pay their respects. It can often last a whole week because an animal is killed they stay until they finish the whole thing.
We visited the family at night. Immediately we could hear screaming and crying. There were fires lit all over the compound. All we could do was hug the family and pray with them. The next day we did the same.
At the funeral there were at least 500 people. Kelvin stayed with us during the service. And it wasn't like the times where they stay with us to make us feel welcome. I know what that is like and this was much different. It was like it was all too much for him to handle and he needed to just take it all in.
I was watching him as his brother was carried to his grave and thought about all the things he must of been feeling. This was his baby brother. They grew up together, his partner in crime. I wondered what their last conversation was like. I wondered if he knew for sure where his brother was.
During the service after the dirt has covered the coffin different groups of people put a flower in the dirt around the body and pray. Grandparents, aunt and uncles, brothers and sisters, cousins, teachers and coworkers, community leaders and then much to our surprise, Luyando. All of our Mommas came alongside us to pray over this family for comfort and peace. They had not only given us the honor of mourning with them but allowed us to take a physical part in saying goodbye to their loved one. Humbling.
That's it. That's what it is about. Luyando is about going through life together. Good and bad, we want it all. You are happy, so are we. You are struggling, so are we. You've lost hope, we remind you of it.
It is these moments that mean the most.
The past two months we have:
- Invested more of our time, efforts, and attention to our Mommas and their needs. They will affect the community in a bigger way if their needs are met.
- Started English class with our Mommas
- Been loved on and taught by friends Jane, Meagan, and Melanie
- Cut back to kids club two days a week so we can better equip our leaders with the tools they need to lead in an effective way
- Painted the entire house and put the glass in all the windows (steps away from being functional! Which, HELLO last year at this time there was nothing here. We were walking out the foundation and now there are literal bricks that represent literal hundreds of you that have made this house a home. WHAT?!)