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Jennifer's Family Legacy Zambia Mission Trip

Jennifer's Family Legacy Zambia Mission Trip

In June, my family and I traveled to Lusaka, Zambia to serve orphaned and vulnerable children through a ministry called Family Legacy’s Camp Life! Highly highly recommend this mission trip to anyone looking to serve WITH your family members AND who want to be the hands and feet of Jesus globally — to see our God in action as “Father to the fatherless” (Psalm 68:5). There is NOTHING like it — and the work we did with the kids in our groups — the joy, fulfillment and life-altering HOPE that fell on us was BEYOND anything we’ve ever experienced! We cannot WAIT to go back! Noah, McKenzie and Graham DID NOT want to leave! Fruitfulness to the fullest — generating Purpose with a capital P, restructuring of your heart, new vision and immense trust-building in our Good Good Father as you see His mighty hand at work within this ministry!
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As Ellis and I entered our 40’s this past year — our generational legacy, priorities as a family and ministry with our children took centerstage — we paused and really brought before the Lord our desire to GO to Zambia! Our heart has always been for serving locally, but it has blossomed into being called to serve globally! A ripple effect, if you will. We ALL are leaving something behind. Our prayer is that we begin a generational blessing that starts a wake or swell behind us! A legacy much bigger than ourselves! To plant something superior to us, that will last long past us. To partner with Him in this deep yearning to sow into more Kingdom work. To build upon something that will bring heaven to earth. To invest in the eternal — the unwavering market of Jesus at work in the lives of His beloved. To be the hands and feet of Jesus, to rise to the call we have as Believers to “love our neighbors” – to serve those lost, hurting and broken…in this city and beyond! To “be DEVOTED to one another in love!” (Romans 12:10)
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God’s heart is one of compassion and what a GIFT that He collaborates with us to be His ambassadors of grace, mercy, and love to the world.
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Family Legacy's mission is to connect American families with the abandoned and vulnerable children of Zambia to proclaim the gospel, transform lives, and rescue orphans through spiritual, intellectual, physical, and emotional care. They accomplish their mission through three main ministries: Camp Life, Legacy Academies, and the Tree of Life Orphanage. We believe that when you educate a child, you change the world. Whether that education lasts for years or days, it stays. No one can take it away. Empowering these children is God's work; and since Family Legacy’s creation in 2001, we’ve seen the massive verifiable impact and tremendous fruitfulness it’s had on the country of Zambia.
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We have been involved with Family Legacy for over 13 years — financially and prayerfully. But being on the ground, face-to-face with these incredible children we’ve prayed for all these years — to be immersed into their world, to see the living conditions, to see the suffering, the catastrophic need…it changes you — reshapes the very way you look at the world. No — this isn’t poverty tourism — something manufactured to manipulate your emotions or to invoke guilt — but rather, in the midst of these gut-wrenching conditions, devastating circumstances and suffering so great… you see the true heartbeat behind the mission. How deeply Family Legacy is sowing seeds into this community— how they are in it for the long-haul, knowing full well that “fruit” isn’t grown in a day — but being patient seed-planters and hope-filled people-lovers! We get the blessing of coming alongside this already proven and solid infrastructure Family Legacy has built!
“Seek justice. Help the oppressed. Defend the cause of orphans.” Isaiah 1:17
“Give thanks to the Lord, call on His name; make known among the NATIONS what He has done.” Psalm 105:1
“But as for you, GO and proclaim EVERYWHERE the Kingdom of God.” Luke 9:60
“Declare His glory among the NATIONS, His marvelous deeds among ALL peoples!” Psalm 96:3
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What a relief it was to get our eyes off ourselves and on to the greater need!! As we know, consumption will always come up empty — lasting joy and non-circumstantial contentment is only ever satisfied or found by anchoring our life to Jesus AND fully-knowing what He offers us comparatively. We want to orient our lives around the mission of Jesus — for He gave His life away! He “came not to be served, but to serve!” (Matthew 20:28)
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Spending a week with our Zambian kiddos was completely and utterly life-altering. When we all worshiped together, it looked a lot like heaven — we don’t look alike, couldn’t come from more different backgrounds or cultures, we don’t speak the same language and YET we serve the same God. The Lord desires to rescue every soul He died to save — His immense, all-encompassing, self-sacrificing, merciful, prodigal, affectionate devotion, faithful service, and agape love for His creation is beyond all comprehension — to bring “every tribe, tongue, people and nation” (Revelation 5:9-10) back into His family and community is a mission we get to partner in! Jesus unites all things and all people groups. Who wouldn’t love a front row seat to God’s heart in action?
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When we arrived, we expected to be ministering to these precious kiddos — but in reality, they ministered to us. And thus, forever changed our lives!
I’ve not seen anything quite like it. These kids are SO full of JOY!!! By all American standards, these children should be miserable, with victim-mentalities and certainly recognizing the hopelessness that reigns over their lives. They have NOTHING to their name — no food, no toys, many of them with no parents and no homes — not one thing besides the clothes on their backs … and yet, SO joyous, SO full of life, SO happy — smiles ear to ear! It truly makes no sense. It felt like that scene from “The Grinch” where the Grinch gazed upon the Who’s in Who-ville who woke up Christmas morning to NO toys or gifts, and yet STILL had their JOY on full display— which couldn’t be stolen and wasn’t for the taking!!
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Many children wore the same outfit day after day. Holes in their shoes and yet played and ran around without complaint. But, it was their selflessness that shined brighter than it all! They came to Camp Life so hungry and yet when we served them lunch at camp, they wouldn’t eat … they would instead save it to take it home so their little brother or sister could eat that day. Their tendencies were geared towards how they could help someone else, instead helping themselves. A type of agape love that felt so foreign — displayed in the most unlikely of places.
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So very many of the kids had a lack of affection or any type of physical touch in their homes — so when with you they are literally clinging to you as if for dear life. No sense of personal space. In your face, touching your hair, mouth, ears, nose! 5 of them holding my hand at once, while 3 were in my lap, and 2 crawling on my back to get on my shoulders. Oh how they craved physical touch and connection!! Sometimes humans need no words to bond. Hugs, hand-holding, embracing, and contact are universal and needed by us all.
 
Despite all the monumental challenges and colossal obstacles in their lives, these children displayed characteristics so extraordinary — magnanimous, smart, resilient, hard-working, perseverant, resourceful, courageous, savvy, observant, generous, quick learners, good listeners, selfless, eager, who love to sing and have the best dance moves/rhythm I’ve ever seen!
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Sponsorship is how we have been involved with this ministry for over a decade — we have seen our Zambian children into 1st grade through graduation from high school and even beyond into trade school! Sponsorship leads to personal relationships with your student — exchanging emails and letters! The student you would be sponsoring would be one of the 34 kids in a “Welker” group! We’ve held these children in our arms! Spent hours and hours with each one of them! A very personal connection!
Sponsorship provides hope to these children by investing in their education, spiritual growth and physical well-being. By giving monthly, you support the work and ministry of Hope For Zambia and sustainably provide for these children, so they have the opportunity to live out their FULL, God-given purposes and callings!
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As we spent a lot of time in the Family Legacy schools and facilities, I became increasingly impressed with the counseling care and intensive social-emotional learning provided at Legacy Academies and the Tree of Life Orphanage. Since so many of these kids come from trauma-filled backgrounds, you see the tremendous need and impact the holistic care of each individual has in their lives. These services are available at all 20 of the schools around Lusaka. Child life specialists, licensed counselors, play-based therapy, psycho-social care, trauma and addiction specialists, grounding techniques and empowerment tools — to name just a few things sponsorship provides in addition to gospel-centered education, necessary supplies such as food, clothing, textbooks and beyond!
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Starting at JUST $55/month — it is ABSOLUTELY life-altering for each child! I’ve seen it! Private Christian education, clothes, meals, structure, counseling, support and hope! Helping to put them on the path towards fulfilling their God-given purpose and unique kingdom-role!
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Be praying about if sponsoring one of our children is what God is calling you to do!
Between Ellis’ group, Noah & Graham’s group, McKenzie’s group and my group — we have a combined 34 children (each one of our children is from the community of Chainda), who are in need of sponsorship!
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Sponsor a child from Jennifer’s group
Meet Rabecca, Leah, Martha, Purity, Mufuka, Mariam, Prisca, Michelle, & Taonga!! These are my darling girls!!!
 
Sponsor a child from Ellis’ group
Meet Clement, Elijah, Misheck, Oswald, Abraham, Joshua, Moses, Prosper, and Innocent!
 
Sponsor a child from Noah & Graham’s Group
Meet Yonah, Blessing, Joel, Joseph, Christopher, Dalius, Nicholas, and Patrick!
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Sponsor a child from Mckenzie’s Group
Meet Miriam, Mary, Alice, Annie, Dorcas, Christine, Hope, Martha, and Tasheni!
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“May God bless us still, so that ALL the ENDS OF THE EARTH will fear Him!” Psalm 67:7
If you decide to sponsor one of our kids — first of all THANK YOU! You have no idea how tremendously God just used you to literally CHANGE THEIR LIFE — the life of their family and the future generations to come!! Praise God!! Secondly, you’ll receive a free COURAGE Bracelet — on us! Wear it as a badge of honor, as you have chosen to partner with us as a financial blessing to this adored child, have it on your wrist as a reminder to BE COURAGEOUS (for God is ALWAYS faithful!!!), as well as a call of action to be praying for these Zambian children — that God would bring heaven to earth though others just like YOU who answered the call!!
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Blessings upon you,
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