Church in Zambia is unlike any other worship experience I have ever seen. Our team had anxiously waited to spend some time with the Zambians in church. The Zambians knew how much we wanted to worship with them, so they scheduled a special service at Enocent’s church on Friday night. We all dressed in our Zambian clothes. The songs, speakers, and the dinner menu were all chosen specifically for us. The Zambian’s sang several of my favorite songs . . . my newest favorite is “Double Double.”
The first time I heard it, we were just finishing clinic. I was standing next to Mary (midwife extraordinaire) and one of the church volunteers. We’d had a particularly busy day. She raised two fingers with each hand and sang, “Everything is double, double.” The volunteer responded the same way, two fingers raised, “double, double.”
Mary explained to me, “We had double the people today in clinic.” I heard it again at church. The Zambians, the poorest people I’ve ever met, sing “My God is good, oh. He gives me double. Everything is double, double.” They praise God because they receive double portions of blessings from him. If you are a Zambian and you are in church, you are dancing and singing as loudly as you can. It is absolutely authentic, and it is more active than any church I’ve ever visited in the States. Zambian’s believe that praise and prayer requires work, so when church is over, you’d better be exhausted, or you probably haven’t done it right. After church, the congregation treated us to dinner, a meal specially prepared for us. All the fresh fruits and vegetables had been washed in boiled and treated water so that they were safe for us to eat. It was a fantastic meal, and with it I had Orange Fanta in a glass bottle, which is the best way to drink Fanta. It tastes so much better in a glass bottle. Any other way, it just isn’t the same.
Early the next morning after church, I awoke to Lovely tapping on my door. She was in search of some antiemetics and antibiotics for her roommate, Carla. Carla had become sick overnight. We were anticipating a 6 hour drive to Lusaka that day, and Carla was completely incapacitated, presumably because of something that she’d eaten sometime in the days prior. Our departure was delayed several hours as our team leader, Festus, and Enocent decided what to do. Ultimately, they decided that Carla was too ill to travel. The team was absolutely willing to wait for her, but Bill opted to have Lovely and Carla stay behind with Enocent. If well enough to drive, Enocent would meet us with Lovely and Carla at the school in Ndola. If not, they would use the team’s emergency funds to fly from Kitwe to Lusaka to meet us for our departure flight. This has never happened on another team, and I know it was an agonizing decision for Bill. Fortunately, Carla was well enough to meet up with us in Ndola. She still had a very shaky ride (we pulled over several times for her to rest along the side of the road), but we were delighted to have the team intact.