Back to Zambia

It was 2010 and I boarded a plane to Africa to visit my sister who had dedicated a year to living with, teaching and loving on a group of people I’d only seen on commercials—people who I assumed were sitting around on drought stricken lands, swatting away flies and waiting for the next truck of food from the U.S. to arrive.

Jake (2)

At least that’s who I thought they were.

Instead of the grossly mischaracterized people I’d seen in television commercials for African charities, what I found were funny, smart, thoughtful, God fearing, and especially hard working people who didn’t need or want my charity, but wanted my friendship and partnership.

My life hasn’t been the same since that first trip to Zambia. After leaving the job I was currently working when I returned to the States, I’m humbled to be working today for an organization like Blood:Water that believes in walking alongside the friends I met in Zambia. My Facebook timeline is now dotted with my African friends’ large grins and stories about everyday life that isn’t much different than yours or mine. The struggle is just greater because most don’t have access to things like clean water and basic health care. Things you and I take for granted.

I’m excited to take a team of Blood:Water donors and advocates over to visit these friends next week. We will visit African partners and communities and learn ways in which we can help. We will see firsthand how they are becoming the heroes in their own communities. We will develop deeper relationships with these new friends that will allow for true partnership, not charity.

For most, it’s their first trip to Africa. And, if their first trip to Zambia is anything like my first, their lives will be forever changed.

I’d also love to take you over to meet my friends. Please visit our Vision Trip Page if you are interested in going to Africa with Blood:Water.