Zambia #1 "Hudsons go to Africa"


Hudsons go to Africa

ISAIAH 6:8

And I began to hear the voice of Jehovah saying: “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” And I proceeded to say: “Here I am! Send me.”

I guess I should start at the beginning.

In 1999 (if I remember right) I received an email from the Father of a friend. This Brother had rearranged his life so that he could do volunteer construction work in Venezuela and felt he needed to share his experiences with those back here in the states. I would look forward to those emails like mini weekends. To read of the joy and effort this Brother and his wife were experiencing, sparked something in my mind and heart from the very first email. His attitude was truly that of Isaiah. Soon International Volunteer service (also known as IV work) was a goal for both Tamara and I. If only it was that easy!

Prov. 19:20

“Listen to counsel and accept discipline, in order that you may become wise in your future.”

Flash forward a year and a half. We have moved closer to our goal. By steering away from large debt and trying to keep our lives simple we had prepared physically. Tamara and I would talk about our goal and read the emails of those we knew who were invited to share in this form of service, this preparing us mentally. I had finally moved away from construction and into the computer field and so was able to save money, preparing us financially. Yet, when I expressed our goal to an Elder in our congregation, he had some sobering advice. What had I done to prepare Tamara and I spiritually? Sure, we had continued our worship of Jehovah by attending our Meetings, put effort into Bible study and continuing with our Field Service, but had we done this fully to the extent possible? After all, what was the commission that Jehovah gave Isaiah? It was to Preach. What was Jesus’ focus while here on Earth? It was to let everyone know the Truth about his Father, Jehovah. I embarrassed and kind of upset by this frank and honest counsel he gave me. Within a few weeks, I saw the wisdom in what he had said. We needed to change not only our focus but our goals, if we truly wished to put Jehovah first in our lives.

Flash forward a few years. We still have the goal of IV work but our focus has finally become more spiritual in nature. Both Tamara and I were able to share in continuous Auxiliary Pioneering (door to door preaching for 50 hours a month) and help in our Congregation in a number of activities. I have quit working in the Computer field and moved back to Construction so that I could develop some more practical skills. I remember on my exit interview the Human Resources lady asking me why I was not continuing my career in computers. “Because my goals in life don’t involve a career in computers.” I said. Even with Tamara’s unhesitating support it was one of the most difficult decisions in my life. At times I would wake up wondering what I was thinking leaving computers to work in construction. I am not sure I could have stuck to my decision of employment without the wonderful support of our Family and Friends.

We turned in our application for IV work in June of 2003. In the section of the application for Skills, we were able to put Plastering, Janitorial and Computers. We waited. I called the personnel department ( a few times) and assured them of our flexibility. Then on Oct 31st we were invited to travel to Zambia and work on the Branch Office of Jehovah’s Witnesses for three months. One thing about saying you’re flexible is that you may be called on to be just that, flexible. We are asked to leave right away as their need is immediate.

Time to freak-out. Within days we had called our landlord and put in our notice. Tamara explained to him that we were Jehovah Witnesses and were traveling to Africa to do volunteer work. We didn’t have enough money to keep our apartment and so prepared to move all our stuff into storage. The thought of not having a home to return to was troubling but finances dictated we needed cut it loose. The next day our landlord called us and offered to give us two months rent for free to help support us in our Volunteer work! Then Tamara’s parents and my parents called saying they would pay for two months! Amazing how Jehovah takes care of us!

I would like to share a few sentences from the Invitation letter Tamara and I received, as it has set the tone for us. “Primarily, you have been invited to assist because of your spiritual qualifications. Spiritual people who are willing to take direction and offer their services uncomplainingly are of great benefit. Since the objectives of the International Program are to render specific construction assistance and share your skills with local brothers, your vocational qualifications will also be of great help to the Zambia branch construction project.”

We will be sad to leave our Congregation and Family. But we will only be gone four months. So, if you’re willing, please travel with Tamara and me as we head off to Africa on our first International Volunteer assignment. I have no idea what we will experience but wish to share it with our friends as it happens.

Our bags are packed and we leave (uncomplainingly)in the morning. Next stop Zambia.

Christopher and Tamara

Thanks for being a part of our adventure.

Zambia

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  1. #1 by Jeannie on March 6, 2011 - 2:49 am

    Great job in decision making.

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