Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 - To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven -

The Zambezi River is the fourth-longest river in Africa. Zambezi, meaning “Great River” in the language of the Tonga people. The river flows through six countries to the Indian Ocean. The Zambezi is known for the Victoria Falls, one of the world’s greatest natural wonders. Hippo, Nile crocodiles and monitor lizards, are commonly found along many of the calm stretches of the river. Species of birds, like heron, pelican, egret and African fish eagle are found in large numbers. The riverine woodlands shelter many large animals, buffalo, zebra, giraffe, and elephant.

Four flights totaling more than 30 hours was certainly time consuming, however, with purpose. Life on this earth will never be perfect or as expected. We learn to rejoice daily in the blessed life we have, and we learn time is precious. Arriving in Kasane, Africa, where our flight ended, and then on to our final destination, we drove through the country of Zambia where we were going to reside for the next couple of weeks. Our lodge/camp was located on the Zambezi River. Organized under Reach A Generation (RAG) Mission.

In the cool of each morning, we began our day with the Lord, by gathering around a fire with the Zambezi in the background. You see everything as under the control of the all-good, all-powerful and all-loving Heavenly Father. He gives the strength (yet unknown) you will need. His Word tells us “Great is His faithfulness; His mercies begin afresh each morning”. Each day our travel time varied depending on the location. We would arrive at a dirt lot with 100’s of people waiting. The tents were assembled quickly, workstations set up for each doctor. The lines move forward, and registration begins.

Without access to medicines, Africans are susceptible to three big killer diseases on the continent: malaria, tuberculosis, and HIV/AIDS. Even with the potential of medicine, the walk to medical help could be a minimum of an hour. With this medical mission we were able to set-up a pharmacy and treat patients. Many Africans die of easily curable diseases. Witchdoctors see babies from birth, treating with roots and powders and they are not free.

Ever ask yourself, why me, what can I do? This was my second trip to Africa in 6 months and I constantly ask myself those questions. Sometimes it is contributing and partnering with a mission’s program. Or you might be called to go, it is a life changing experience. We run our water either hot or cold, we choose clothes from closets with “nothing to wear”, we go to the medical clinic, see a doctor of choice, receive treatment and medicine. We must learn to rejoice daily in the blessed life we have, and learn how precious life is and the time we have to do it.  There is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven.

REF: Lamentations 3:22-23; Hebrews 4:12; Proverbs 16:9

This article originally appeared on Lake Sun Leader: The Great River, Zambezi