In August 2018 I had an amazing opportunity to go speak at a youth conference in Zambia, Africa. We had an amazing time in Africa. We had many ups and some downs, but it was an amazing time, it was blessed and ordained by God. We arrived in New York at JFK airport on the 13th of August, by the time we landed we had JUST missed our flight to South Africa. We were stuck in New York… I was reminded of the movie Home Alone 2: Lost in New York. We went into the city and found a hotel for the night. We went into the city and got some amazing pizza. The next day we went to JFK and boarded our plane by 11:15am. We were on board, we were ‘settled’ in for a nice 15 ½ hour flight from New York City to Johannesburg, South Africa. The 15 hours were miserable but amazing. I was seated next to a professor of human studies at the University of Maryland. She wasn’t a believer but was searching, we had some time to talk and discuss things that were going on in her life… she didn’t accept Christ at that time however, the seed was planted and she left feeling like some questions were answered. It was awesome.
We arrived in Johannesburg, South Africa at 8:05am on August 15th. We didn’t arrive in N’dola, Zambia until 9:30pm that evening. We drove into Kitwe, Zambia where we were greeted by the youth and young adults of the United Methodist Zambian Youth Conference. The youth of Zambia vary between the ages of 13 – 35 years old. YAY, I am still a youth! The conference began the next day. Conner (an Orlando Youth Pastor) spoke several times throughout the next 4 days. We had some amazing times with the youth and ministered to mind, body and soul. The youth broke family curses, lost fear of witch doctors and lifted Jesus high.
I am still blown away by the way they worship. From the time the sun rises to the time we shut down the power they never cease to worship… loudly. They praise with their voices, dance, and shouting; they pray and lift Jesus high. It is awe-inspiring. On Saturday night there was a large bonfire and the youth were sharing stories, singing and ministering to each other. A young man named, Stephen approached Conner and I. He was in a wheelchair and had never walked before. He approached us and said, “I want you guys to pray for me… I want to walk tonight.” WHAT?!?! Talk about faith. We started praying for Stephen and explaining things that were being ministered over him in his language with translators.
we began praying for him I felt his legs, they felt like mashed potatoes with bone underneath them. As we prayed the mashed potato legs became stiff and you could feel the strength in the now muscle. The atrophy was gone. We prayed for him further and he stood up. We continued praying and his legs were now underneath him when he stood and he was standing almost on his own. Then we walked with him about 75 feet… from one end of the field to the other. It was amazing. God is good and powerful! It was truly miraculous. It was a Shawarma moment. (Remember from the end of the first Avengers movie… they rested after doing battle at the Shawarma restaurant)
Africa was amazing. Over the course of 4 days we had over 600 youth and young adults attend the conference. It was remarkable. Some of the youth traveled over 30+ miles daily to be there, walking! Some of them walked over 30 miles a day to be at this amazing conference. It was phenomenal. They don’t have regular time with youth groups like we do here in the states… this is really their only time to fellowship and gather as a church of believers of the same age. It’s remarkable! I look forward to many years of visiting and traveling.