Hi, my name is Makenzie King, and I’m from Peoria, IL, which is approximately 8,500 miles from where I’m sitting right now! I just finished my senior year at Indiana Wesleyan University as a Music Education major. This fall I will be student teaching (half in Zambia and the other half back in Indiana) before graduating this December. I’m also one of the 20 interns this summer in Choma, Zambia! This is my third trip to Zambia.
Things have been absolutely incredible over the last 4 weeks here! This is officially the longest I’ve ever been in the country at one time. It’s been nice to be here and not have to be thinking about going home next week. Instead I get to do life here. We’ve been going into the surrounding communities multiple times a week to get to know the local people, and I have to say it’s pretty awesome to see some familiar faces while walking through these communities. I’ve been forming friendships with several of these people, and it’s always a joy to be greeted with smiling faces!
It wouldn’t be honest if I said we haven’t had any struggles over the past 4 weeks. We’ve all had our fair share of difficulties from adjusting to our new home for this season of our lives to sicknesses. For me, the hardest part hit me on our second night here. Having been here twice already I didn’t really expect to experience much culture shock this time, but it was the worst culture shock I’ve experienced yet. We stayed in host homes with friends of the ministry. The house I stayed at was out in the middle of nowhere, and I was with one of the Zambian interns, but I was the only American there. I had no way of contacting anyone. Throughout the evening I struggled to communicate with the family as they only spoke broken English and Losi (one of the main Zambian languages). I felt very alone and so ill-equipped to be here. Later the next day I was able to talk with a couple of the other interns and some of the staff about my experience, which really helped me process through what I was feeling. I no longer feel alone or ill-equipped
My favorite part about this whole experience thus far is how much time I have available to spend with God. Never before have I been in a place or situation where I have no distractions to take me away from God. Of course God has always been the focus of my life, but when I’m at school, classes take a large portion of my day, followed by 2-3 rehearsals, practice time, dinner if I have time, homework, and hopefully time for sleep. This summer I get to take away all the distractions and purely focuses on my relationship with God. It absolutely amazes me how much more I notice and experience God on an everyday basis when I’m focusing on Him. I’ve heard God speaking every day to me while I’ve been here. He’s absolutely everywhere. He’s in our worship, prayer, class, and meal time, He’s in the communities we visit, He’s in all the poverty we see, He’s in all the smiles we receive, He’s in all the brokenness, He’s everywhere and He wants to pour into all of us.
What I’ve been learning most is to listen, hear, and discern what the Lord is telling me, which has created a much deeper relationship between me and God. He has been revealing things to me that I didn’t even know existed, and He’s been healing me in areas of my life that I didn’t even realize needed healing. For anyone who is reading this, I encourage you to quiet your soul and truly listen to the Father. When we sit in stillness, the Lord responds with a tidal wave of love, direction, and light.
|ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Makenzie King • 2017 International Immersion Intern