Just a bit of summary of this years trip...
We were ecstatic to be able to have 8 (5 Zim newbies) on our team this year! Although we had a plan in mind of what we wanted to accomplish, we knew that God would have His own plans and we were just going to be along for the ride.
It was agreed that this year we had our first theme, and it was DIVINE APPOINTMENTS! We were honestly going on this trip with not much on the docket. We planned some talks and a skit just in case and God used EVERY bit of it!
After a long 30+ hours of travel through Paris this time (where we of course painted Jack's toenails for sleeping instead of bonding with us, hahaha!) we got to Zim tired, but ready to get to work. Some of the group ended up with the instructors learning skills like shelter making and fire building with the camp that was there when we arrived while Darren took the helm of the some of the guys taking on a great building project...a new roof on the scullery at the Croudaces house!
The next few days were full of touring the camp property (and hearing all of Al's amazing stories of God's creation), working on the roof, taking over sing-song for the camp and doing talks, skits and hands on activities showing the love of God. Everyone participated and it was wonderful! At the end of the first week we also had the chance to tour Pennial & Memory's farm, have an afternoon playing with the Tariro Orphanage kids and talk to the Reformatory kids about turning a "worthless" life by our standards into a "worthy" life for God. We also had a chance to give out the MANY toiletries we ended up taking...we hadn't even planned where they were going when we went, but God planned that DIVINE APPOINTMENT and the girls at the Reformatory received shampoo, soap, toothbrushes, toothpaste and a few other things! What a day.
We ended out time at LI by speaking at a Sunday chapel service at Jamison High (a local boarding school), where we also had a chance to perform our skit also. We also had the awesome opportunity to baptize Jack on our team in the river with his Mom, Gwen there!
After leaving LI we planned to visit Shadrach & Millie and all 6 of their kids in Harare. We had trouble figuring out where to stay but God had that DIVINE APPOINTMENT set up before we got there also. Some of Millie & Shad's board offered to put us up for the night. Gwen ended up bonding with our hostess over their divorces and life afterwards. They also exchange phone numbers, emails and books and have kept in touch since! The guys stayed at a house that they were able to bless financially with some of the funds we ended up having leftover. God knew where we needed to be and who we needed to meet.
Our last adventure of the trip was 2 days of fun on safari at Mwanga Lodge and Thetford Reserve. Thetford was a last minute change where we got the chance to meet the Mostert family, who I can't wait to get to know better. They run an animal moving service and wildlife vet and are an amazing family of faith and love.
This was just a glimpse of our time in Zim, but I would encourage people to ask our team members about THEIR experiences and what God taught them, because in all my years of coming to Zim, one thing I learn is that God teaches us all something different and amazing if you just listen and let Him speak.
Thank you to Calvary Chapel Chattanooga Missions Department and all our our financial and prayer supporters. We quite literally couldn't have made this trip happen without you and I know the kids, teachers and LI staff thank you as well for the encouragement you sent with our team. We've been told many time over the years how much it means to them to know that a group of people 8,000 miles away cares about them and is praying for them...and that's why we go back year after year.
If you'd like to know more about Lasting Impressions Wilderness Camp, visit their website at
www.lasting-impressions.org. And to get a glimpse of the heart of the camp, watch the Leadership Camp and Environmental camp videos on the Programs page!
Enjoy the pictures and videos! They're not really in order...sorry...