Joe and I fly back to Zambia in 10 days (oh my gosh all I can think about is the amount of packing we have to do. I’m scared) & our minds our full of all of the logistics that need to happen to get back, and all that needs to happen when we arrive. It’s easy to get caught up in to-do lists and planners and forget about the real reason behind what we’re doing. It’s people. It’s always about people, but so often I forget to put names and faces to the actual work we do. & so I want to share my favorite testimony from Zambia with you, and in doing so remind myself of the why that I live by. (It’s a flashback, but I love it!)
In 2010 I was halfway through my 3 month AMT training course with Overland Missions and we were on our 2nd expedition. During one of our days of hut to hut ministry my team and I met a couple who couldn’t conceive a child, and had been paying the witch doctor to help them. During our time of ministry and prayer with them they voluntarily burnt every medicine that the witch doctor had given them and asked us again to pray and share with them. During our goodbyes they told us that when they had a child if it was a girl they would name her Lilly. We had so many of these moments, that it faded into one of many moments during the next few years.
Fast forward 3 years Joe and I are married and living full time in Zambia and leading expeditions at this point. One specific team just needed someone to drive the truck out to a village and meet the team leaders and drivers there, so we jumped at the chance for a few days of adventure. We drove 10 hours into the bush, and obviously there are no road signs, no names to be seen anyway so I’m completely lost and have no idea where we are. (Fun fact: I’m a terrible co-driver). We have a great few days looking after the expedition team and then Joe and I start preparing to drive our personal vehicle home, but decide to stay for one last lunch with the team.
As the individual ministry teams start coming back they tell us about the people they’ve met and prayed for, and one team come back excited to tell me that they met a child named Lilly. It’s not a common name so it’s fairly interesting, but then they tell me “no, the child is named after you”. As we talk with their translator we realize that they had walked to that same hut I had been to 3 years earlier. Turns out they have a 2 year old girl named Lilly (cue all the tears and jumping in our vehicle to find this family). We found the family and sat with them for a while, sharing about life and praying with them again, encouraged that they still thanked The Lord for their family.
This is my favorite story, because there I was an unqualified young English girl, just wanting people to know about a God who loves them. Unsure if I could make any impact or difference, and I love that God covered every flaw I brought and made a way for His divine healing and redemption to this couple. It’s my favorite reminder of not only why we go, but that He has us covered and is ready to use us and our efforts to reach His people.
I’m gonna use this opportunity to invite you to come with us! Check out Overland Missions’ website and find a team that you can be a part of. We have staff ready to take care of long term discipleship but we need you to come and help us create a hunger for The Lord & His work. Come with a heart to share His love, to learn from a different culture, to be changed and to see your own Baby Lilly testimonies. See you soon!