The last two days were great! Saturday morning I had a particularly hard time getting going in the morning. I was trying to work on getting my clothes clean. Eventually once I got myself cleaned up I went on a hike with many of the smaller kids. Lorna, Lisa and Jimmy also came along. We hiked over the sand dunes to an area of the Zambezi River where there was this rock shelf that went out into the water several feet. It was under water about a foot so we could wade our feet in the water. Many of the kids were throwing rocks into the water and jumping around off of the sand hills.
When we got back to the village, I took the opportunity to go drive over to the school that Annia and Dorothy attend hoping that I could catch both of them and visit. Jimmy, Olivia and Natalie went with me. We ended up being able to connect with both girls! They are both doing really well at their school. Annia has already gotten a scholarship to go to the local university after she finishes at the school she is at. Both girls had their hair buzzed as that was a requirement for all girls at this school. In fact, many of the girls at the village had buzzed haircuts. It seems to be the style at the moment for many of them.
When we came back to COZV, the paint has finally arrived! So with all of the kids free for the day, a bunch of them walked down to the Epiphany House and either watched, danced or helped to paint the transition home. We managed to spend the afternoon getting just about 95% of the front finished. Had we gotten the paint a few days ago we would have been able to finish the whole building but the job would have to be left for the next group to finish. We had a lot of fun with some of the teens pitching in and helping to paint. We painted all the way up until it was dark.
Later that evening we met as a team at my cabin to get ready for the church service we were doing in the morning. The team was a little nervous about it, not knowing what exactly they wanted to say, so we worked through them processing all that they have learned from this trip and how they can communicate their experience effectively. After talking about each one’s experiences they all went off to spend some time writing down what they wanted to say as we called it a night.
The next morning we went to lead the church service! Josie got us going with songs. After that we had each person on the team share how God has challenged them through their experience here at COZV. Each one of them did such a great job. Once we were done speaking I got on the case of the COZV kids because I wanted them to do some choir singing. The teens came up and started to sing a song but their music director did not like their effort so she came up, made them start again, and got the teens to sing confidently and loudly! They did 3 songs that were amazing. Not to be looked over, all the little kids wanted to do some songs when the teens were done. So we were treated to a great amount of music! There were even a couple of teens that did a bongo drum routine also. After that, Lisa and I lead a communion service. It was just amazing to share in this experience with all of the COZV kids.
At the end of the service we made our way over to the Epiphany House for a dedication service. Lisa led in the service. We did a prayer and blessing of the house. We also announced that Uncle Leonard and his wife were going to be the home parents to start out with. So we prayed over them. Then Travis also announced the teens who would be the first to transition into the new home. Some of them seemed to be both excited and nervous about all that this meant. But they were assured that they will still have a strong connection to the village and that they will have plenty of food at the transition home.
At the end of the Epiphany House dedication service, we all heading back to the main building and had a big picnic outside. We had chicken with a side of collard greens and a giant plop of pap with gravy. The pap was like a corn paste that when it hits your stomach, it feels like it expands to make you feel full. After one plate, I was stuffed. But it was amazing to watch how some of these teenagers would put down 2-3 heaping platefuls of this stuff. Throughout the rest of the afternoon we just goofed around with the kids. I initiated shooting a spoof of “India Love Story” featuring many of the teens. It is currently in post-production with a release date of sometime at the end of August. It will be classic!
As the sun was setting we had a big campfire that we hung out at with all of the kids. It was a nice evening just to be together and enjoy the fire as we talked and goofed around one last time.