Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Youth Conference

We recently returned from the annual Baptist Youth Conference. Churches from around Solwezi and those from the bush (small villages outside the city) joined together for lots of singing, dancing, preaching, drumming, more singing, and then an extra dose of dancing. Everything was in Kikaonde so I did not understand much of anything. However, they were still very hospitable to my being there. I danced a lot with them, trading move after move to the beat of the drum.
I learned how to make nshima, the Zambian staple food. I ate something that looked like chopped cabbage until I saw 100 eyes staring back up at me. I went exploring into the unknown outside the camping grounds. I helped redirect a wild fire that was heading towards the conference.
At 5:30 one morning, I was awoken by the sound of many loud prayers. I rose and traced the sound to its source. I could only see small patches of light where Zambians sat around their fires. But the sound was not coming from the light. It was coming from the darkness...and it was growing louder. I began to realize I was not in a safe place when I clearly made out the words "Demon!! Out!! In the name of Jesus Christ Jehovah!! Demon!! Out!!" I quickly moved from the darkness in which I was standing towards the nearest light. The men sitting around the fire looked calm and gave no attention to the noise. I asked the men what was happening and they responded, "Just a men's devotional." That was a culture shock moment. Just a devotional? It was hard to believe.