My CURE U trip: Faithful farmers in Zambia

Left to right, we have my friends Thandizo, Esaki, Levy, and Emmanuel. Joy conquers all

This post was written by Joseph Sabella, who traveled to CURE Zambia during the summer of 2017.  He was a student at Liberty University and a member of the CURE U chapter there.

I remember sitting in the lobby of the Fairfield Inn having our first team meeting before this journey of a lifetime. Now looking back, who would have known the adventures we were about to embark upon? I remember talking about how we wanted to see God work and how no expectations were set because we didn’t want to put God in a box. We wanted no limits. “God, work to your infinite capacity in the Zambian people and in our lives.” This was my second CURE U trip. I had left my first desiring more. We wanted to give our all to God and be His hands and feet to the best of our abilities.

Our week in the hospital was amazing. I feel like you can never get enough of watching God heal His children. The joy in all of the children and staff was so contagious and inspiring. Once we got to the outreach portion of our trip, we saw God working in so many different ways, and He was using us differently than we had originally thought. While doing house-to-house evangelism, we arrived at this one house with about fifteen people waiting for us. Seeing how many people were there, we split the team up: our women talked to the women and children and Harold (CURE Zambia’s Spiritual Director) and I spoke with the men.

Women and children laughed as Sarah and Olivia entered the village with water buckets perched on their heads. Cultural immersion is the best form of flattery. It was not quite as funny when we learned that the women usually take this 1 km hike around 10-15 times a day, usually with a baby tied to their backs. Amazing.

As we sat down, Harold said, “Okay Joe, I want you to talk to these men about how to be a Godly Christian man.”

Swallowing hard, I looked up at the five men sitting in front of me and they appeared to be harshly gazing at me—as if I was intimidating them. While Harold was speaking with them, I said a quick prayer asking God to make my words become His words. Looking back up and seeing the frowns and angry faces, I had an overwhelming feeling that I needed to talk about humility. Therefore, I talked about how being a Godly Christian man means you need to be able to humble yourself and admit when you need God’s help. I spoke about how there was a point in my life where I had to put my pride aside and admit that I was a sinner and that I needed Jesus. A simple concept really, but I felt as if my words had no impact.

Once I concluded and Harold finished translating for me, he said, “Okay, they are ready now.”

“Ready for what?” I responded.

“They are ready to accept Jesus now. Let us pray for them.”

Mind blown and humbled myself, we prayed for them and the five men accepted the Lord that day. Glory to God!

Pastor Lubasi speaking with our five new brothers in Christ.

Soon after, we went to the next home, but I could not get those guys out of my head the rest of the day. Not because I was so excited that we gained five new brothers in Christ, but because I would most likely never see them again or know how their relationship with the Lord is growing. How would they grow? What if they don’t go to church? What if they go back to their old lifestyle? I struggled with these thoughts the rest of the trip. What if I didn’t give enough? What if I didn’t spend enough time with the kids? What if I wasn’t intentional enough?

It wasn’t until I returned home that I stumbled upon these two verses; they really opened my eyes. They state, “I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow. So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow.” (1 Corinthians 3:6-7 NIV) Ouch.

Shirah and Olivia trying their hardest to stir the nshima for dinner! I’m glad the women in the village were laughing with them and not AT them.

I soon realized that this whole trip was a test of my faith in God’s hand—the faith that He will continue to work in ways that we can’t see while we are no longer present or have control. Who am I to believe1 that those five men would fall away from their new-found faith? I should probably take a dose of my own medicine and humble myself to the Almighty God, right? Showing God’s love to others is not quantifiable. We can never really do “enough” for God, and, thankfully, we don’t have to. Jesus died on the cross to give eternal life. He willingly took our place, and the fact that we don’t have to pay Him back is His grace and mercy; something that I am thankful for each and every day. I am content in knowing that God is always working and is always good. Sometimes, we are just called to be His faithful farmers planting seeds and letting God fight our battles for us.

Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these,”- Matthew 19:14. Baby Joshua is royalty: a king in Jesus’ eyes.