Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Back to Chipata!

Going to Chipata, Zambia never fails to inspire me. The Kubiks arrived on Monday then on Wednesday we drove to Chipata so the Kubiks could meet the brethren and see the new church building.
            Before the Kubiks arrived we went to the Zambian high consulate to find out how we could get multiple entry tourist visas. The woman in the embassy told us that they don’t do the visas at the embassy but rather only at the border. Last time we went, the border patrol told us they couldn’t give us the visas, only the embassy could. Eventually we found out that American citizens are eligible for a 3 year multiple entry visa that costs $80. However, you must apply online. We went home and intended to do that but came across problems when we needed to upload our return flight information to complete the application—we were planning on driving, not flying. Then we found that you can get single day visas for only $20. Since we were planning on only going for one day we decided to do that. We couldn’t get those visas online, only at the border. On Thursday when we got to the border we learned that they only issue $20 single day visas between the Zimbabwean and Zambian border—not the Malawian and Zambian border. We could, however, get a single day visa for $50 each. Grr. We had to keep reminding ourselves “it is what it is” because at the end of the day, regardless of what the embassy or immigration website say, the border patrol is always right and the guard with the machine gun will always win.
            Chipata, as usual, was fantastic. I love going there. Filius enjoyed sharing with Mrs. Kubik, the president of Lifenets, how much Lifenets has helped the members there. There’s one woman in the congregation who is a widow and takes care of orphans whose parents had died from AIDS. The past few years there was a bad drought and food shortage so Lifenets sent money for food to the Zambian people. Filius didn’t use the money to buy food but to instead buy seed and soil, and then he distributed the seed and soil to members who were in need. Because of this, the woman who is caring after homeless children has enough food to feed herself and children for the rest of the year. Mr. Filius is such a huge inspiration to me. He loves his people so much and is so humble.
            The Chipata church hall has been updated since we were last there—new curtains, the stage was painted, and the signs were put up. The hall is far out of town and surrounded by members’ maize fields giving it a beautiful and peaceful atmosphere. After the talks, we had a tour through some of the fields, to the hand dug well (these hand dug wells terrify me), and then lunch! It really was such a great time.

            We got back home with our hearts filled to the brim. Our God is so great. I was continually reminded of the parable with the servants who were given talents. When their master returned and saw the ones who multiplied their talents he gave them even more to rule over. Mr. Filius started a radio program with an amazing heart, and through that he preached the gospel and God called many people. Then there was a food shortage and the congregation was blessed with money for food but Filius saw that the food was a temporary solution that would last for only a few months so he decided to create a sustainable solution and helped members grow maize. When we were in Chipata he asked Lifenets for support. Not financial support, but for spiritual and moral support. Visiting that congregation always leaves my heart full and inspired.
 Mr. Kubik talking about God's blessings in the Chipata hall.

 Viewing the fields and well!
 Listening to stories
 Talented family wrote a song for the Kubiks
Mrs. Kubik talking about Lifenets

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