By far the best thing about living here at the Zambia base is the people. With staff, volunteers, interns, AMT students, expedition members, guest speakers, and random visitors, there are so many interesting people to get to know. They come from all over the world, from all kinds of backgrounds, and stay for varying lengths of time and each person brings a unique contribution to our community here.
I almost find that I see myself in some of the young people that pass through the base. My journey to this point in my life has brought me through different seasons of ministry, community, work, education, and transition. I can look back and see how my understanding, vision, and direction has changed through my experiences in each of these seasons and now I can see that same journey being carried out in the lives of those around me here.
No matter who stays here for how long, they arrive with a set of assumptions, perspectives, hopes, plans, worries, and anticipations unique to themselves. Perhaps by the end of their time with us, some of these mindsets will have changed as a result of God's work in them as they work with us. Some people are only here for a week or two, a seemingly short amount of time but still more than enough for God to work lasting change in their hearts and minds if they willing. Like in my own journey, these short term trips can implant in someone a thought or desire that remains with them long after their flights have carried them back to their home and old life. They might find that the old way of living doesn't seem to fit anymore and they must make an outward change based on the heart change that was undergone while overseas. This longing, this desire deep inside that was awakened by God through extraordinary circumstances abroad continues to grow within a person until they are compelled to act on it as an answer to the whisper in their ear that there is more out there. There is more that can be learned. There is more to discover. There are more people to meet. There is more work to be done. There is brokenness to be mended. There is justice to bring. There is hope to be made known. There is love to show.
Some people leave here with a new direction. They find what God wanted them to seek after and they will never be the same. Some people come back to Overland Missions as an intern or staff while others continue on to other ministries. Some work and live abroad as a result of this newly found calling while others take what they've found and carry it back home to their ministry there. Sometimes I am blessed with being an instrument of change in someone's live. Sometimes I stand by and get to watch the change happen. Sometimes I see nothing at all.
In my time here so far this year, there have been several expedition teams come and go and the AMT students have now graduated and completed their course. It's been fascinating to see the difference in some of their lives that God has brought about in this relatively short amount of time. I can never know the full extent of their individual metamorphoses, but I know that a willing heart that is open to the leading and continued workings of the Holy Spirit can carry someone to new and glorious depths and heights of intimacy with God and through unexpected and exciting adventures, responsibilities, and duties. Whether the new path of a person's life carries them back home or forward into uncharted territory, it doesn't really matter as long as it's always on a course set straight at the heart of God.