May 22, 2011

where YOU lead: the happiest place on earth

yesterday afternoon we lost all electricity which is a normal occurrence here in africa. in america, we get upset if our high-speed internet access is running the least bit slowly. in zambia, the electricity can go out for days and sometimes months on a regular basis. yesterday we spent hours in complete darkness, and yet the zambians continually find pleasure in spending time together despite the darkness…making this the happiest place on earth.

this morning we got up and worshiped with the church here in namwianga. the building was tiny and completely packed with 406 people. despite their poverty, the zambians gave approximately $600. in the morning service about 10 people responded for prayers regarding everything from troubles in school to various illnesses, and people were ready and eager to pray for them. they sang their own version of “amazing grace” which completely blew our version out of the water…making this the happiest place on earth.

this afternoon americans and zambians united on the soccer field for an hour-long game of soccer. the americans from our group played in their nice, american tennis shoes. the zambians played in their bare feet, and they laughed and enjoyed every minute of feeling the grass between their toes and watching us attempt to play their sport…making this the happiest place on earth.

this evening 7 zambians were baptized into JESUS CHRIST for the remission of their sins. the entire congregation surrounded the baptistery which was a big cattle trough full of water in our backyard. all of the members sang african hymns on the way to our house and during the baptisms, and when the baptisms were over, they sang an african chant congratulating those entering into GOD’S kingdom. it was the most rewarding celebration i’ve ever attended…making this the happiest place on earth.

despite poverty. despite malnutrition. despite disease. despite darkness. despite need. despite want. despite loss. despite nothing. and despite everything. this is the happiest place on earth.

"clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for 'GOD opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.' humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of GDD so that at the proper time HE may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on HIM, because HE cares for you. be sober-minded; be watchful. your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. resist HIM, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world." 1 peter 5:5-9


  1. We are rejoicing with you over our new brothers and sisters in Christ! So glad you are in the happiest place on Earth this Lord's Day! Love you!

  2. Charissa, what can I say? I continue to love your blog. Your happiness and your faith always shows through . . .

  3. Charissa,

    The happiness is WITHIN YOU.

    --Kevin Dillon

  4. You have a way with words and I can tell that you girls are doing some amazing things there! Keep it up. I am blessed to share my last name with you sister :)

  5. Charissa,
    Love that you are enjoying this part of your journey. I know the people of Zambia are happy to share their world with you. I love reading about your adventure, so keep the messages coming!
    You remain in my thoughts and prayers daily.

    Charlotte Orr

  6. WOW. Thanks for sharing Charissa. Powerful imagery. Encouraging as always. Love you dearly. Prayers for you on mission.