Elderly, soccer ministry make heart happy


The Lord is wrecking my world in Livingstone, Zambia, this month.

He is ripping out every tiny piece of my heart and crushing my whole existence — but in the best way possible.

This month, I went from a team of five to a team of 11 girls, and a 12th girl from Switzerland joined us for this month.

While we are in Zambia, we are doing elderly ministry at an old people’s home and soccer ministry in the afternoon. If you know anything about me, you probably know my love for the elderly, and you can probably imagine how happy my heart is this month. I have actually been praying for elderly ministry since India, and the Lord answered my prayers.

I can’t explain how excited I was to start ministry until I got there the first day. We walked in, and immediately, my world was wrecked. The living conditions that were before my eyes were honestly something that I never imagined I would actually see with my own eyes.

As I was walking around, I said, “OK, Lord, this is going to break my heart in every way, but the work you are going to do in my heart this month outweighs all the heartbreak.” The Lord put fellowship and quality time on my heart over this ministry.

It looks a lot like sitting down and talking to them about life, reading them books from the Bible, singing songs, praying over their sickness, eating mangoes with them, planting gardens, reading books or even helping them do their laundry.

A few of them are even quite photogenic and love their pictures being taken. A few of them don’t like their pictures taken at all, which I quickly found out when a sweet little man tried to hit me with a metal pole. We go to be the hands and feet of Jesus, quite literally. We do anything that these people may need and go wherever the Spirit leads us.

I have to tell you about my friend, Crispy. What a man. Crispy is a little old man who hides out in the very back in a place that no person should ever have to be in. Crispy is a feisty, little old man who loves Jesus. Recently, all Crispy wanted was some crackers and some water, so we got to share a pack of crackers, and he got a nice, cold water. Oh, the joy. Crispy screamed with excitement, and he even started to do some African singing.

Crispy begs me for my “trousers” every day, but I remind him that they are girl “trousers” and they are probably too big for him anyway. He is a sweet guy who has truly touched my heart. Each day, I go to visit him, and he gets so excited. We say the Lord’s Prayer, sing “Amazing Grace” over and over again and read about Moses because that’s his favorite person.

Soccer ministry is a little different. We go to a very big field in the middle of a village, and all of the little kids come to the field. A lot of the time, it is organized chaos. The kids play with our hair, sing songs, dance, play soccer and run around like crazy kids.

Each day, we walk around 6 miles to and from ministry. This sounds bad, but actually, it has been one of my favorite things. The whole way there and the whole way back, I pray. It has given me so much time to spend with the Lord and has been one of the sweetest ways to just talk to the Father.

Also, on our walks there, hundreds of kids run up to us, jump on us and hold our hands. These children have close to nothing — clothes that are beyond dirty, ripped, way too small, and honestly, clothes that would be tossed in the trash so quickly in the United States.

These kids run up to you wearing shoes that are five sizes too small, two different shoes, maybe no shoes at all, pants that only have one leg, shirts that only have one sleeve and faces covered in dirt. The Lord breaks my heart through each of these kids every day.

Just walking down the street is a ministry this month. I have never seen children so hungry for attention and love from us. I have never seen children so desperate for the affection that we so happily give them. As we walk down the street, kids run from all directions to jump on us and to hold our hands.

I am so excited to see what the Lord has in store for this month as I’m doing my dream ministry and surrounded by sweet girls who push me in my walk with the Lord every day.

But on a side note, it is Christmastime and actually doesn’t feel like Christmas at all because it is so hot in Zambia. Keep me in your prayers as this is a hard time to be away from family and from home. But my team has a Christmas tree, and we have many Christmas plans, so it is going to be a sweet time with my team and people in Zambia.

I want to wish all of my supporters and encouragers a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. I love you all so much, and 2018 is going to be an incredible year, and the Lord is going to do so much.

Keia Blair is a Seymour native who attends Cincinnati Christian University. During her nine-month mission trip around the world, she is submitting a series of blogs that will appear in The Tribune. Send comments to [email protected].

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