I could tell you about my first experience in the African bush. Chickens sqwaking, skinny dogs, thatched roofs, mud walls, and families trying to farm the land. They grow maize with high hopes in the rainy season. Children are born and take care of each other, as little mamas.
I could tell you about how I wept and hid my face as a great grandmother who is blind but can see, raised her hands in praise to Jehovah Jhira as she received a pound of sugar, laid down in the packed dirt to worship, and then made us laugh with her stories. She was full of the Life.
I could tell you about a soccer game using a homemade ball with children who no longer are fatherless. Kites constructed from plastic bags, sticks, and small hands flying high in the azul blue African sky.
I could tell you about the ‘mamas’ that remind me of you, my real-life friends who are trying to raise children that love the Lord. The mamas that create community with their families and are supportive of each other. The mamas that inspire me to do the same.
I could tell you about a ‘head man’ of a small village, how he greeted us with excitement and loves that you know His name and are praying for Him because of us. A village leader. A man of God.
I could tell you about Dorene. A small 4 year old girl that fell asleep in my arms with deep baby sighs and who remembered me with hand holding and hugs. I could tell you the life she has come from and how this place, Every Orphan’s Hope, has rescued her.
I could tell you about children that pray and sing to Jesus like He is truly their best friend. Whose faces glow with glory and whose mere presence speak to my Spirit.
But what I really want you to know is that there is hope. . . and He knows your name, their name.
Hope when I don’t see it or feel it in the remotest parts of Zambia.
Hope when I feel helpless and beg to know what I can do to help.
Hope when I feel like I can’t change, much less help the situation.
Hope when I’m overwhelmed by need.
Hope when I know my life should and will be different because God has chosen to use me, showing me His passion for the least of these.
Hope is knowing that these orphans are doubly rescued, once from earthly situations none of us would wish upon a child, and then again by a Father that knows their name and chose to save them.
Jesus is the Hope-Giver.
To have hope I must cling to Him. Only He can rescue. Only He can redeem. Only He can restore the wrongs that have been done in mud huts and tall grass, city alleys and the nicest Lusaka neighborhoods. Only He can feed the starving, multiply for the needy, save the lost, and adopt all of us into His kingdom.
I will continue to look for Hope. . . for He is here, mighty and active.
by Stephanie Bryant, the co-founder of (in)courage and Creative Mastermind at S. Bryant Social Marketing. All photos were taken by the gifted Phillip Thomas of Novo Studios. Read more about my journey with my client Every Orphan’s Hope.Leave a Comment
hope does not disappoint….beautiful post.
Robin ~ PENSIEVE says
“Only He can rescue…redeem…restore…”
Yes, yes, yes!
Hope is one of the most beautiful words in our language, transcending language…time…space. I guess because eternity is set within the framework of hope, living forever past and future in Christ. Which BLOWS MY MIND.
I wish I could HEAR you speak about this trip…your words are a beautiful start!
I feel your heart for Zambia in your retelling – it’s beautiful. And though the country in Africa that has captured my heart is further South – I love how God uses our experiences in these worlds far away to draw us closer to Him. To see more of His heart. To see even ourselves more clearly.
Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but desire fulfilled is a tree of life. Isn’t it the truth?
I love that you speak “Africa” …how beautiful!
What a beautiful post…thanks for sharing it and for the reminder of hope.
Living the Balanced Life says
Awesome, awesome words! I have hope!
In pursuit of happiness, or joy?
Dena E says
Indescribable Is our God,,Creator of Heaven and Earth.. Our HOPE in all situtations. Now and forever and evr more…Amen
Praising Him…Sharing in Christ’s Spirit with you~~~Hugs Dena
Ida Mundell says
brought me to tears. Hope…what a matchless gift.
Praying for Zambia tonight
Hope for the moment and Hope for tomorrow. A blessing you are for shining your LIGHT for Jesus here where you are and there where you have been and even to where you can not go…
I too have a bleeding heart for those ‘least of these’ in Zambia and through my prayers and tear stained pillow case, I have HOPE that God is make a way- where there seems to be no way.
Blessings my friend.
Our church has also found a love of the orphans in Zambia. We have built a feeding center where they are starting to grow their own food and spend time in fellowship together. Let’s continue to pray for HOPE in Zambia!!
Melissa May says
Loved the post… loved the pictures. Thank you!
Love In Action: Uganda | Heaven In The Home says
[…] Stephanie Bryant has written a wonderful post about hope in Uganda. Look at all the wonderful things that the Lord is doing there…though people just like you! […]
This past weekend I made a presentation to our church body on the plans our orphan/adoption ministry has for the year 2011. My focus (especially since starting this ministry 3 years ago) has been to help people realize they can help in small ways and those small ways can touch the life of a child. Our theme this year is going to be choose one, pick one, feed one, touch the life of one child. Your article sums it up for me….give Hope to one child. From this article, I hopped over to the Every Orphan’s Hope website and found the Chicks4orphans. What a wonderful idea….gives me a great idea for the month of April with Easter on the way. By the way, we have two adopted children from Liberia and we saw many of the same things there….very humbling experience. Thanks for the article.
Ann Voskamp@Holy Experience says
That man of God?
Made my heart burst.
Thank you, Stephanie… for telling Africa’s stories, the hope ones that God’s writing on her.
Love to you,
Terrell Welch says
Reading this and now knowing the heart and persons behind it is beautiful!
We are THAT family says
This is beautiful-a true reflection of who you are. I love you girl and I love that I’ve slept in your beautiful home, seen inside your heart and have Africa in common with you. xoxo
imperfect prose says
this made me cry, for the beauty of it all… thank you.