This past year has been quite a journey for our family, and for me especially. So many things have happened, so much has changed. For starters, I have grown and changed in so many different ways. My walk with Jesus has strengthened and grown beyond my imagination. God has grown me so much. This year has been so amazing. Let me share a little about it with you. After the first three months of this year, we enjoyed lunch with all of the staff to celebrate. When the interns arrived soon after, we were all excited as usual. They were excited too. We had interns from Uganda, Mexico, Zambia, America, and a few other countries. As time went on, we got to know them better. I connected with two American girls named Mackenzie and Mallory, who were sweet to me- almost like we had been friends for years instead of months. As the internship drew to a close, we were sad to see them go, although we had fun celebrating them with a fun ceremony right before they left. This year was such a good group of interns.
Along with the interns came team season/busy season. We had teams representing The Ransom Church, from South Dakota, Watermark, in Hamburg, New York, and Emerywood, from North Carolina, among other teams. While the Watermark and Emerywood churches were here, we got to connect with my grandmother and cousin from North Carolina, who were part of the Emerywood team. There were also several teenage girls on the team, two of which I already knew, and the rest I got to know throughout those couple of weeks. These two teams hosted a youth camp, which I participated in. We have had several youth camps this year, which has been a new and fun experience for me especially. These branch off of the Poetice Youth program which happens on Wednesday afternoons, alongside the Poetice Kids program. We usually have a lesson, play games, and have encounter time, which is when we participate in prayer. The kids’ program is similar. I have made several friends there, including Vera, who is a sweet 17-year-old girl, and Eucaria, a girl my age. It has been such a stretching yet beautiful experience to get involved with the culture here. It has revealed a lot of things to me which I could not have been exposed to had it not been for personal experience. Like the greetings I have learned in the local language have really helped me to connect easier. And going on outreach with the staff occasionally. That has been powerful. I have gotten to connect with the youth at the Wednesday program I mentioned earlier.
I was so excited to have my friend Sydney from Watermark Wesleyan come with the team. This is us at the bottom of the Falls.
Recently, we have also been busy, even though it is the “slow” season. I think we underestimated the amount of programs and events we were going to have during this season. But it has worked out anyway. I have been writing a book, which I hope to eventually publish. I have been getting to know another missionary girl about my age, Stephanie. We are becoming fast friends. God provides when you aren’t expecting. I have also learned that this past year. God has also answered my prayers when it comes to people my own age. For instance, just next weekend, a youth group for missionary kids is starting up. I have been so excited ever since my mom told me about it. It is such an answer to prayer. I am fully convinced that God answers prayers. He has proven that for me. He has also provided a mentor for me, whose name is Lillian, and who also works on our Poetice staff. We meet each week, and she has challenged me in ways that have stretched me to think outside of myself and focus more on others. It has been good for me to have someone else who is a little bit farther along than me, and is not my mom or dad. They are amazing, though Lillian is another blessing that I am grateful and blessed to have.
- Baby Chris is my friend Anita’s baby. He is one of my favorites!
Yeah, so overall this year has been quite a journey, and I bet God’s already ready to take me on another! So, I think I’ll end here. We, my family and I, appreciate you, our support team, for loving us and for reading our updates. Your support has been so helpful and encouraging in the almost-five years that we have lived here in Zambia.
Olivia Emert, MK