Whenever you go into a compound (poorer areas) in Lusaka, one of the first things you’ll noticed is that there are usually a ton of kids running around. And if you are a white person, they will most likely be staring and pointing at you, yelling “Muzugu!” (or “White person!”). Sometimes they say, “Muzugu, how r you!?!” while mostly smiling and waving.
This past Friday, as a C.R.O.S.S. Team (myself, John Eta and Kristin), we went to the church we are training in Chaisa. We got there a little early and the church (really just a makeshift tent) was still “locked.” As I sat there on a concrete block leaning up against the collapsing building next to the church trying to get out of the sun, numerous little faces were peeking through some holes in the disintegrating brick wall across from me, saying, “Muzugu,” in low tones. After the church was “unlocked” and we went inside to get ready to teach, we heard the scurrying of little feet and the banging of tin as this posse of kids jumped through one of the holes in the fence, hitting the side of the church as they jumped through. We heard more yelling of “muzugu, muzugu!” as the kids that had seen us through the fence were now calling more friends to come and look at the white visitors. In a scene that kind of reminded me of some sort of apocalyptic movie, there ended up being about 10-12 little 2-5 year olds – barefoot, covered from head to toe in dust, runny noses, with one of the kids holding and swinging the receiver of an old telephone by the cord – all staring through the openings of the tent at the muzugus and all the sweating C.R.O.S.S. Project attendees in the 105-degree tent.
There are so many times that I just have to smile and praise God for the randomness of life and ministry here, which we really love.
To get to this church in Chaisa, we drive by a really big, nice Mosque; down a dirt, pothole-ridden road; past an overflowing dumpster; past a lady trying to unclog the ditch filled with garbage in front of her shop; past numerous smiling and waving kids, yelling “Muzugu!”; make a left hand turn over a super narrow bridge, which is just wide enough for our Prado, and goes over the rather deep drainage ditch…to get into the church “yard,” all without hitting the vegetable stand that is right at the entrance. Then, I get out of the car so Kristin can drive so that I can hold up the clothes line full of clothes hanging too low for our car to drive under.
That’s when I witness the little kids and “muzugu” episode above. Then, we teach the 15 people in class about the sovereignty of God and why He sometimes heals and sometimes does not heal disease – all in the now-110-degree makeshift church tent with a dirt floor, that is surrounded by a posse of 2-5 year olds, all while one of the ladies in our group openly breastfeeds her child.
Just another normal day for us of teaching C.R.O.S.S.