Miguel Chinn first stepped on Zambian soil in 2015 when he traveled there with his parents and older brother and sister as part of a team of 10 from Sunset Church in San Francisco. He returned to the region this year with his mother and was blessed to be reunited with a friend he had made two years earlier.
This past July, I was able to return to Zambia for the second time in two years with my mom and the Sunset Church team. We mainly spent time in the poor and remote village of Zimba, visiting the Care Workers, the widows and the orphaned children. Zimba is special to me because our church supports 150 children.
Here’s my story about kindness in action. To be kind is different from seeing kindness in action. During my last visit in 2015, I met an 11-year-old boy named Connor* at a different village called Mulenga. Connor was the one who offered his friendship to me first by holding my hand. Fast forward and it’s 2017 and I’m back in Mulenga one afternoon with some teammates. I was really hoping to see Connor again but unsure if I could find him since we had no way to keep in touch during the past 2 years. Lisa (long-term Hands at Work volunteer from Canada, based in Zambia), Reuben (Kitwe local office member), Taylor (my teammate), and I were visiting at another child’s home. We were sitting inside when I saw a head peek in from behind the wooden door. To my surprise, it was Connor! He had grown so much since the last time we saw each other. He was wearing a red soccer jersey and tan shorts while last time, he wore long pants and a red long sleeved shirt. He waved at me and I waved back.
After we finished visiting the other child, I walked outside. Connor instantly held my hand and we walked back to the Care Point. When we got there, Connor took his ball out. The ball looked exactly the same from two years ago, used plastic bags stuffed into one another tightly wrapped by a single string. We had a fun time being together. We played many different soccer games and it was funny to see the ball fall into a ditch about four feet long and successful attempts to get it out each time. One of Connor’s friends also joined us, so I made another new friend. Finally, it was time to go. We were both sad that I had to leave but I was happy we got reunited from two years ago. I held his hand a little tighter than before as we walked back to the red bus where our driver, Jere, was waiting. I waved at Connor through the window until I couldn’t see him anymore.
The next day was Sunday and I saw Connor at the bus stop outside Mulenga, and I thought he was just there to say hi, but I was wrong in a good way. Connor surprised me by coming to church with me. I was so happy to see him for the second day! I was surprised to see Connor sit through the long church service, too. He did so well! God is so kind to give me the opportunity to see my Mulenga friend twice during this trip. I will always remember Connor. Thank you God for showing me kindness in action 10,000 miles away... special memories!
*Child’s name has been changed.