Sorry if some of this information is old news to you but I have been asked by several to share our not-so-nutshell version of Zambia.
In 2009 our church participated in an instrument recycling drive designed to collect old, unused instruments and donate them to an Academy of Music in Zambia, Africa. Being a band teacher Brad thought it was a great idea and helped them with what he could. A friend of ours who went on the trip to deliver these collected instruments suggested to Brad that he look into going to the Academy to teach there.
That month was our churches missions weekend. They listed all of the upcoming mission trips and oh look! There was one scheduled to go to Zambia.
In the same service the children were lead through the sanctuary each carrying a nations flag. Quick, grab the camera because anytime my child is doing something I’m SURE it’s got to be picture worthy! 😉 Jaedon was carrying the Zambian flag.
Hmm. (and click)
Brad was feeling a tug about investigating this more deeply. We came up with two “issues” in our conversation. First being, the trip would have to be over Spring Break or Summer. He cannot justify taking time off during the school year when there is already a time planned for breaks. And two, what would we do with our kids if we were to both go?! They were ages 18 months, 3 and 5 at the time. I called my mom that afternoon just to chat. The idea of Zambia came up and she automatically said “oh we would come take care of the kids!”
We also found out that the trip to Zambia was scheduled for early April. During Spring break.
So after enough “hmm”s we opted to pursue the trip going in April of 2010. The trip ended up being just Brad and I instead of a team of people and it certainly was a learning experience for us both. Brad earned the title “Mister Energy” during our few days at the Academy. There were about 30-50 students that he was able to meet and teach over our days there. We left saying “we need to bring our kids here sometime.”
July 2011 Brad was able to go back to the music Academy with a team of musicians this time. Further heart tugging.
Brad decided to let Poetice, the ministry partnering with the Academy, know that we might potentially and possibly be willing to think about exploring the eventual option of maybe pursuing a shorter long-termish visit to teach at the Academy.
How committal of us.
However, Poetice was not in a place where that was a possibility and the idea got moved to the back burner.
For two years.
In that time we became licensed foster parents to a beautiful little baby girl named Alenia.
Her adoption was finalized in December 2013.
A few months later (this past Spring) Brad decided to check in with Poetice again and just let them know that our maybe sort of willingness-ish was becoming more and more resolute if there was ever a need and desire for him to come on board.
He was met with a resounding “YES!”
Part 2 coming soon…
|ABOUT THE AUTHORS
Brad & Amber Howells are soon-to-be Full-Time Missionaries in Zambia.