It doesn't take long to realize you're not in Indiana anymore when arriving at the airport in Ndola, located roughly an hour from Kitwe and missionary Phil Hunt. It's truly another world over here. Kyle Morrow shot some pictures once we arrived, and as you can see by the included image, this airport is quite different than what we have become accustomed to in Indianapolis.
To recap our trip to date, the six of us (Pastor Hack, Scott Shepherd, Kyle, Donovan Zachary, Josh Hanji and myself) assembled at Noblesville Baptist church at 2 a.m. Tuesday, February 23. Our flight left Indianapolis at a little after 5 a.m. that morning, and we were on to Charlotte, then JFK, before embarking on a 14-hour flight (it felt like longer) to South Africa. There was very little time between flights, so our focus was on hitting our marks. We were able to get some sleep, but it's not easy, particularly when your destination is a country operating seven hours ahead of home. Our breakfast, for instance, was taken around midnight.
The fourth and final leg of our journey took us from Johannesburg to Ndola, arriving at 12:35 p.m. local time (5:35 a.m. back home). After getting settled in at Central Africa Baptist College, we were invited to dinner at Phil's house, getting a chance to meet his family. It was a great way to finish the day before resting up and rolling up our sleeves for some serious work tomorrow (February 25).
As part of our trip, Pastor Hack gave each man a copy of the book On Mission by Patric Knaak. It is a book covering devotions for short-term missions trips. Before getting to the first chapter there is a section that talks about "Holding The Ropes" and details British missionary William Carey setting out for India in the late 1700s. He famously said of the trip, "I will go down if you will hold the rope."
The first half of our time here in Zambia will be spent with Phil Hunt, and to witness what is going on in the ministry of Central Africa Baptist College, it is inspiring to see how many are holding the ropes for Phil. NBC has contributed to that, and I'm reminded of that when I see the portable classrooms that have been added to the property. And when we transition to see Dave Barnhouse this weekend, we'll get to witness more poignant examples of how others have been holding the ropes for these men, their families, and their ministries.
Speaking of holding the ropes, we need your help. If you read this, please remember to keep us in your prayers during this time. Please pray for each of the six men that made the commitment to come here, as well as Doug Pennington and Lee Shaw. Both of these men were part of an advance team that left more than a week before us and have been working with Barnhouse, and we'll unite with them soon enough. Pray that we will be instruments to be used by the Master, and that our work here will glorify Him. Also, pray for the families that we have left behind during this trip, and that their needs are met in our absence. We need as many as we can to help hold these ropes.
We will try to post updates as much as possible, but blackouts take place here each night from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. (3 p.m. to 11 p.m. in Indy) which may make it difficult to get online after a long day of work.