On Tuesday we started our first official Bible study.
I’m learning more and more to ‘just go with the flow’ since being here in Zambia. I can be a little too much at times. Like if Bible study starts at 12, we’re starting at 12…and if you were put in the Tuesday group, you’re not switching to Wednesday. BUT, I drove into the village on Tuesday just praying that God would help me to chill, and just go with the flow of what would happen.
We didn’t have enough chairs, and I had girls running up to me all morning saying “Auntie, can I come today instead of tomorrow? Auntie, I now want to join”, and guys, I was feeling so chilled and relaxed and just kept saying “Ok, no problem”…I’m telling you, when my year is over I’m going to be so relaxed you won’t even recognize me ;). Anyways, we figured out the chair situation and the girls were even early! We’re going to be studying the book of Esther for the next couple of weeks. We learned about Esther chapter 1 and 2, and my focus for the girls was that we may not always know what God is up to, but He has a great purpose for our lives (just like Esther). We talked about how the King’s first Queen was sent away because she refused to come out and let the men admire her beauty. Some of the girls agreed with her and said they wouldn’t go out because they’d be embarrassed, the other girls said they would gladly go out to show their beauty. They giggled when we read that young Esther was chosen to be married to an older man. Some expressed how there is no way they would ever want to be a Queen, and some said they would want to be Queen so they can wear fancy clothes and makeup. I love how diverse the thinking is in this group already.
What I found fascinating was how the girls pointed out that Esther was an orphan. I read the story of Esther many times before and never really thought of that as a point to remember. Then, as I was preparing for the study It stuck out to me a bit more, and I wondered if I should even mention that she was an orphan – would that be offensive? I didn’t know, so I just left it. When we started I asked the girls “tell me what you know about Esther – it can be anything” and the very first thing one of the girls said was “Esther was an orphan”.
I thought that it was so cool that she pointed that out. I was sitting in a room filled with girls that were either double or single orphans, raised by family members such as their uncles or grandmothers…just like Esther. I could see that they were able to connect with Esther. We focused on how Esther was young like them, she was an orphan, she didn’t have any money or costly material possessions – yet, God chose her to be the Queen in a great kingdom. I asked them questions like “Why do you think you were born in Zambia and I was born in Canada? Why do you think that she is good at math and you are good at playing soccer? Are God’s plans more exciting for one person then the other?”
“No auntie, everything that happens to us is God’s will”.
She said it with such confidence. I love that they know that whatever their life may bring is all part of God’s will for them. Something that I think we all know to a certain extent, but can struggle with really believing at different points in our lives.
On Wednesday, four of the girls from the Tuesday group asked to come again. I tried explaining to them that the lesson would be the exact same, but one of the girls tried to assure me by saying “I didn’t understand what you said yesterday, so I think we should come again today” Ha, ya right! I should add that during the Wednesday lesson I had to ask her a couple times to let the other girls answer the questions, not just her 😉
When you remember, please pray for these girls – and please pray for me, that I would lead them well. I’m excited to learn, laugh, and build relationships with them throughout this year.
Here are some pictures of the Tuesday group – we forgot to take pictures on Wednesday, oops!