Our God is Greater: Zambia’s First Basic Training

By Tiffany Wessler, SF Zambia

Do you ever feel under attack?  Like something or someone is out to thwart and discourage your every effort? As we prepared for our first ever Sports Friends Basic Training in Zambia, we were fairly convinced the devil was doing everything in his power to mess things up, throw us off, and make us give it all up.

But our God is greater.

This seemed to be a theme over the last several weeks.  Our God is greater.  In fact, several times I have found myself singing Chris Tomlin’s chorus…

Our God is greater, our God is stronger,
God you are higher than any other…”

As Luke drove to the airport to pick up our trainers from Ethiopia and the US, I was at home planning meals for the team and about to bake cookies when our oven almost caught on fire. We stressed.  We worried.  Luke tried to squeeze in a bit of shopping for an oven, and gave up and drove the guys the 10+ hours to Solwezi.  In the meantime, I found the needed replacement part and was able to fix the oven, feeling more empowered and thankful for God’s provision than I would have had the oven never broken. Our God is greater.

The week before that, we had three subsequent plumbing emergencies that flooded half the house.  Though stressful, we were able to fix the breaks, and praised God they happened when they did, and not with four men sharing one bathroom. Our God is greater.

Buying supplies to feed our 46 coaches for the week of training, I quickly learned that there was no mealie meal available in town.  The first shortage in our two-plus years here.  Mealie meal is the base for nshima, the staple food in Zambia.  If you haven’t eaten nshima, you haven’t eaten.  Though we never found a large quantity, we found enough small bags over the course of the week to be just enough to feed the participants.  No more, no less.  Just enough.  Our God is greater.

Throughout the week we had several of the biggest, loudest, most intense storms.  With indoor training taking part under an aluminum roof, and several sessions of on-field training, that normally wouldn’t bode well. Yet every time the coaches took the field, the sun shone brightly.  Every time the rain and hail pounded the roof so loud we couldn’t hear our own voices, it was during meals and break times. Our God is greater.

Even on the last day, as I woke up with a fever, headache, and major congestion, we were grateful I was the one sick and not the trainers.  Even so, the littlest things were tipping me off.  I arrived at the hall with cakes to celebrate the end of the training, and decided to help Mama Yoba (our cook and host for the week) properly shred a cabbage on a mandolin.  Instead, I sliced a huge chunk off the tip of my finger and was bleeding profusely.  Mama Yoba is a certified caregiver and Luke was free at that point and I was able to get to a local village clinic for bandaging and such.  I’m not sure why (maybe because I was busy singing “Our God is Greater”), but after that, I was actually in a better mood than when we started!  We were back in time to watch the coaches perform hilarious skits depicting what they had learned about Church-Centered Sports Ministry, and we are so excited to see Sports Friends take off in Zambia!

Our God is greater.

Typing this blog post with one finger down is interesting, but hey, at least the power is on!

  

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