by Steve Evers
We are in the far north west corner of Zambia, in a "town" called Chavuma, which is where Johan Leach (the contact we've been reporting is getting set up to continue the work ITMI has done in Lukulu) has his base of ministry operations.
Timothy Keller picked us up last night (Fri night) when we landed in the capital of Zambia, Lusaka, after a pretty uneventful 29 hours of being in the air on various flights over the Atlantic Ocean.
On the way over we stopped in Washington DC, Accra, Ghana, Johannesburg, South Africa, and finally arrived in Lusaka after dark. Most of the locals were already tucked in for the night, except for the staggering drivers who were having a whale of a time trying to keep their vehicles on the road due to consuming alcohol to the point of obvious impairment.
As we settled into our thatched-roof room at a the Eureka Lodge, Jon Dekkers felt the need to shake his bedding out to get rid of all mouse deposits. Into the almost pitch black night he went, only to come running back into our mosquito-net strung room calling in a loud, hushed voice, "Hurry! There are two giraffes out on our front grass."
I grabbed my camera and cautiously chased them further out into the very dark night.
We got up at 5am, packed up, checked out in the cool of the morning and headed over to Flying Mission hoping to taste a spot of coffee before we were to climb aboard a pre-scheduled Cessna 210 that was going to cut a normal 16+ hour drive - through the rough and jarring Zambia outback - to about 2.5 hours of flying.
Thankfully, though we had the little plane maxed out with 4 men, fuel, and all our supplies and luggage, we finally lifted off and after a wide, slow, sweeping climb, we were on our way to a distant and even more rough and remote dirt landing strip. The pilot had warned me that if we were not off this remote, rough dirt runway by a predetermined marker, he would have to abort the take off. We would then start dumping our stuff to get light enough to actually take off.
Arriving at our destination, we did a couple of high speed, low-flying passes over the dirt runway because it looked like half the small town's populous was using the runway as a playground. The landing strip squatters finally scattered, and we touched down without any further challenge.
We unloaded from the plane as 50+ poor village kids craned and stretched their necks to watch our every move. We then re-loaded all our stuff into Johan's right-side-driving Toyota four-wheel-drive. After a cup of English tea among some old and new friends at another Lodge overlooking the massive - yet currently lazy - Zambezi River, we set out for the compound of our host about 80 Kilometers away.
This is the very, very unstable dug-out canoe slicing through the croc and hippo infested Zambezi River, with three Americans and their electronic gear intently trying to not tip it over!
So now , bleary-eyed at 1am on Sunday, I can't type any more on my phone.
Widows open, mossy net in place, all electricity shut off due to a regular "brown out" and the sounds of frequent wind blowing through the mango trees outside our screen window are all telling me it is way past this jet-lagged guy's bed time.
The ITMI team returned to Lusaka, Zambia on Monday, then headed to a nearby rural village to train some local pastors using the SALT material before leaving Zambia for South Africa on Oct. 1.
Steve Evers has advocated for and served the ITMI partners as ITMI Director since 2001. Approximately once a year, Steve visits with ITMI partners in their countries and brings stories back to encourage supporters. Steve enjoys photography and mechanics, (both hobbies that have greatly benefited ITMI partners!) Prior to becoming ITMI's Director, Steve served on the Board of Directors for 12 years. Steve lives in Arizona with his wife, Darlene.