For a minute there, I thought we were lost... In fact, WE WERE LOST! We had traveled for about 2-1/2 hours when we started to notice that the road was beginning to narrow a bit more than usual. Where before, there were other tire markings and a definite roadway, now there were only little trails. We soon confirmed that these were not roadways or foot trails, but cattle trails. And, they were going on F O R E V E R!!! Riding with Zambians, I felt somewhat comfortable in knowing that they knew where we were. They had, in fact, been here before, albeit 2 years prior. But all that “went out the window” when they all started talking about on how they "had no idea where we were!"
The pathways continued to vanish and the trees began to crowd us - slowing our progress as we dodged limbs, stumps and general debris. Then, suddenly, we exited the forest and entered a huge area of flat land and grass. It turns out we were in a plains area that is completely under water during the rainy season. Thus, the reason we did not see a single person, house, dog, chicken...or anything resembling civilization for over 2 hours. We did see some cows and we were following their trails hoping they would eventually lead us to a road.
Zambia is not that large of a country. But I found some space where there are just no people to be found. Because it is under water during the rainy season, no one can live in that area for more than a few months…so they don’t bother. There were 8 of us - and suddenly the population of that area mushroomed to.....8. It was a bit unsettling, but knowing there were Zambians with me and that God was surely with us, I felt we would eventually find our way…and, so, I did not have that panicky “lost” feeling…I just had not idea where I was…or where I was going. I thought about the Israelites wandering in the desert. How they wandered for 40 years in a rather small area - perhaps, about the same size as the area we were lost in. Exaggeration? Maybe...but truly lost? Definitely!! It is a funny feeling...looking around at the beautiful scenery and realizing that no man sees these scenes on a regular basis. This land was about as beautiful as it gets – a shame no one can live there. Another shame that there were no roads or landmarks that would help us find our way out either.
Another hour passed and we finally came to a road. Instincts compelled us to turn right – which we did – and within 3 kilometers we found the preacher man who had been waiting to guide us to our final destination. He had been waiting for us for 5 hours. Smiling, he climbed into the cab and chuckled a bit as he listened to our pitiful story while he guided us the rest of the way.
It felt strange, but beautiful, peaceful and quiet at the same time. I’m thankful for the experience and for discovering how comforting the peace of God can be – when I really needed Him…. But, most of all, I am thankful for finding our way…. I am also thankful for what God did in that village once we got there – but, that’s another story…..
I woke up one day and discovered God wanted me to quit what I was doing for me...and start doing something for Him.