I wrote this note exactly five years ago today, and it's just as true today as it was then. Seems rather appropriate to share it on here...thoughts would be appreciated.
September 23. Nothing really special about this day for most. For me, it
is a day that ought to be set aside for praise, worship and adoration.
Barely three years ago on this date, I woke up with great anticipation
and excitement. On this bright and beautiful Saturday, the Women of the
Church of God from the U.S would be arriving in Zambia for the National
Women's Conference in Lusaka. I was one of the select few that would be
going to the airport and pick them up! What an honor it was...
were two vehicles going to the airport that morning, a Toyota Land
Cruiser that belonged to the Missionaries and a 4x4 Toyota pick-up truck
that had been recently purchased for a new missionary family coming to
Zambia. My mum and a friend of the family rode in the Land Cruiser while
my Uncle and I rode in the pick-up truck. Our vehicle was second in
line and we had fallen way behind from the first vehicle. My uncle, who
was driving the truck decided he wanted to catch up with the other
vehicle and so he sped up and before I knew it, he was really speeding.
It just so happened that we came up on a curve in the road, and it was
otherwise not that difficult to navigate, but because of the speed at
which our vehicle was going, a series of events followed that literally
changed my life.
As we came up on the curve, my uncle tried to
slow down, but it was a bit too late. Our vehicle swerved and was headed
straight for a brick wall on the side of the road, but my uncle tried
to regain control while applying the brakes. Bad idea. I have no
recollection of what happened next, but according to witnesses, my mum
included, the truck was up in the air, wheels up first, hit the tarmac
roof first, with both me and my uncle still inside, and skid on the
tarmac for a distance of about 30 feet before stopping. Like I said, I
do not have a recollection of exactly what happened, but as the vehicle
was sliding on the tarmac, I had a sensation of being squeezed and air
rushing out of my lungs. Then nothing. "Oscar, are you okay?" Those were
the first words I heard after what seemed like an eternity. Not sure
what to say, I simply replied, "Yes," then asked the same question. Then
there was chaos. There were hands everywhere trying to pull me out of
the truck, but there was one problem; I was trapped by my seatbelt which
was still fastened. Instinctively, I pulled out my pocket knife (which I
normally did not carry with me) and cut through the seatbelt and was
pulled free. My uncle followed suit and got out of the car as well.
the midst of the chaos, I heard one loud voice crying, "mwana wanga,
mwana wanga!" (my son, my son in Nyanja). My mum who, from the other car
had seen what had happened, was wailing at the top of her lungs,
fearing the worst. When I got out of the car and saw how badly it was
damaged, I couldn't help but breakdown. I began to sob uncontrollably.
My mum, after seeing that I had got out of the car safe, but seeing me
cry, thought it was due to some internal injuries. It took a while for
me, while trying to come to terms with what had just happened, to assure
her that I was fine, miraculously. Both my uncle and I had come out of
the vehicle unharmed, without a single scratch! Praise the Lord!!
might be wondering why I share this story with you on this day. For me,
this day is a day when I set time apart to just praise and give thanks
to God for His love for me. It was on this day, three years ago, that my
mum said some very important words that have stayed with me since, and
in the following days after my accident, I truly gave my life to Christ,
and my life has never been the same. My mum quoted the passage from
Jeremiah 29:11 and she said, "Oscar, God has saved you from this
accident for a purpose, a special purpose. It is now up to you to
discover what that purpose is." Every day of my life since, I believe
that I'm getting closer to discovering that purpose for my life.
after giving my life to Christ has not been all smooth...quite the
opposite. I've had times when I felt like giving up because help was not
forthcoming, times when I felt really distant from God, and times when I
felt as if my prayers fell on deaf ears. But Praise the Lord, because
even in those moments, He provided, He answered prayer and He has laid a
vision on my heart. He has placed me in a place of honor, for His
name's sake, and that is why today, I ask that you may celebrate with
me. Celebrate the numerous and wonderful things that God has done in
your life. Count your blessings today and see if you can name them one
by one! Take a moment, after reading this, and give praise to God,
because His love endures forever and ever!
Celebrate His love and goodness!
Friday, July 18, 2014
A few days ago, on my Facebook page, I posted something based on an observation I had made concerning Zambian politics and the local media. These days, whenever I listen to the news, or watch it on TV, or read the newspaper, one theme sticks out like a weed: the way politicians seem to be keenly and impatiently waiting on any news that the President is unwell, or that his health is failing. I have observed that several of these so-called politicians are so desperate to be in power that they go to the extent of wishing someone dead. What a shame!
What kind of times are we living in when you wish for the demise of your fellow human being as a stepping stone to power? Instead of wishing for death, why not take time to pray for the good health of our President? He is OUR President---YOURS and MINE, whether you like it or not! That is a fact. Now, I realize some people might coin me a “PF Cadre” after this, actually I am not; merely a concerned citizen. Why not take time to pray for the leadership of this country? Whatever happened to the spirit of “Ubuntu”? (Ubuntu is a Bantu term roughly translating to “human kindness.” It is an idea from the Southern African region which means literally “human-ness,” and is often translated as “humanity towards others,” and in a more philosophical sense, it means “the belief in a universal bond of sharing that connects all humanity.” Ubuntu essentially means…I am because you are). Whatever happened in this so-called “Christian Nation”? Whatever happened to “One Zambia One Nation”?
I don’t know about you, but my heart bleeds when I see what’s happening to my beloved country. I don’t know if I can go around telling people I am a proud Zambian. I feel shame calling Zambia my home because of what is currently happening. Where are the youths of this country? Ever hear that phrase “Youths are the leaders of tomorrow.” I wonder how the youths of this country are going to lead when they’re getting high day in day out, seems alcohol is the new air to breathe for some youths today. We gotta make a change…
Time to get back to basics…
After somewhat of a long hiatus, I have decided it’s about time I got back to blogging again. And the whole world erupts into joyous applause! Just kidding, would be nice though…
In my life so far, I have on numerous occasions encountered the question “Who are you?” Now you may be thinking to yourself, “well, that’s easy, I know who I am.” And indeed that’s true for some people, and yet unfortunately, for a large majority, that’s a really tough question. You see, it stems out of the fact that, honestly speaking, some people have no clue who they are. That, if you ask me, is a very sad situation in this day and era. And because people do not know who they are, they don’t know what their purpose is. Ever encountered certain people in your life and you go “I don’t know what he/she is doing with her life” or “balya, balya ni chimbwi no plan” (a hyena with no plan—Bemba saying). You’re probably smiling to yourself just now because you know exactly who I’m talking about. Yeah, sad to say, they probably do not know who they are, and it can be inferred, they don’t know what their purpose is.
I had a good laugh when I watched the Jackie Chan movie “Who Am I” about a Secret Service agent who loses his memory after a helicopter crash. For the good part of the movie, the main character, played by Chan seeks clues that will aid him in figuring out who he is. I think it sets a good precedence for how most, if not all of us, must earnestly search for and try and find out who we really are, because I can assure you that life is better lived when you know yourself. Otherwise, (excuse my poor Bemba) bambi mwakulaba ba “Ukwalola umwela”, (where the wind blows, that’s the way you turn. Because you don’t know who you are, if someone comes and says, “Let’s go drink” (and I don’t mean drinking water), you’re there. “Let’s do drugs”, you’re there. Someone tells you “You’re an idiot, you’re stupid, you’re useless” and you’ll be there smiling like someone has given you the greatest compliment when in actuality; they’ve given you the greatest insult. Know who YOU are! Because I can guarantee you that that question will always be there. When you go for a job interview and the interviewer asks, “please tell us a bit about yourself,” guess what they’re asking? Tell us who you are! Some people have missed out on job opportunities because they don’t have a clue how to answer that question, because they do not know WHO THEY ARE! Know WHO YOU ARE!
Sometimes in life too, I think we could all use a friend like “Rafiki” from “The Lion King”. Sometimes we forget who we are due to various happenings and circumstances in our lives. We take on a different identity and are not true to ourselves, true to who we are. Sometimes we need the kind of people that aren’t scared to bump us on the head and remind us who we are. I can hear Rafiki going “Oh yes, the truth can hurt…” Surround yourself with people who know who you are, and aren’t afraid to remind you every once in a while who you are.
And from knowing who you are, you can go on to discover what your purpose is in life, but that’s a topic for another time.
All the best of luck finding out who you are…
Tuesday, August 20, 2013
For most people, Sunday started off as a normal day, got up early in the morning, getting ready to go to church and all. Not so for me, sadly. I woke up Sunday morning with a slight headache. It was the kind of headache you sorta brush aside thinking it'll go away pretty soon...
I got myself ready for church. About midway through the service, I started feeling dizzy and a bit lightheaded. At first I brushed it aside just like I did the headache, but the feeling just wouldn't go away. Owing to my college days when I didn't have breakfast on Sunday mornings, I thought perhaps this trend was catching up to me. I got outta church and had a quick snap, thinking perhaps it was due to the fact I had not had breakfast in the morning. I took some pain killers as well for the headache that was fast becoming a nuisance. I went back into church.
The headache, dizziness, and lightheadedness started getting worse. Just simple noises were wrecking havoc inside my brain, everything was starting to feel really weird. I told my parents I was going back home to rest and sleep it off.
Whatever it was that stirred my Dad to follow me (I have no doubt it was God). He immediately checked my blood pressure. He had to redo it because, according to him, he could not believe what he was reading. My blood pressure reading was 100/30. It doesn't take one to have any medical background to realize this was extremely low and needed immediate and urgent attention. I had an acute case of Hypotension . My Dad prayed with and for me. He quickly called a friend of his who is better equipped to handle certain matters and he was advised to quickly start an IV to get fluids into my system. FAST! My dad rushed to a nearby medical center and got what was needed. The person at the medical center, when informed of the situation and told the blood pressure readings asked, "Is the patient still alive?"
My dad got back as soon as he could, started me on the IV, and before even the started, checked my BP, and thankfully, it had started to go back up. I continued to take fluids and all Sunday afternoon, and my BP continued to fluctuate, rising steadily and at times stabilizing, then it would drop again.
It's Tuesday afternoon as I'm writing this. I woke up this morning and my headache, dizziness, and lightheadedness are all gone. My blood pressure is slowly by surely getting back to it's optimal reading, and I am getting my strength back. God is good my friends.
Medically speaking, at the level my blood pressure reading was at on Sunday morning when my dad first checked, if he had not done so at the exact time and initiated an intervention, my heart would have stopped. Had my dad not followed me out of church and done what he did, I would have died. I believe, more than ever, that it was God all along. He saved me, yet again, because He is not quite done with me just yet. He loves me so much...
I am still trying to come to terms with the events of the last few days, but one thing I know beyond a single ounce of doubt, is that I am loved.
"For I know the plans I have towards you, says the LORD, plans for peace and not evil, plans to give you hope and a future," Jeremiah 29:11.
Be blessed my friends...
Saturday, May 4, 2013
5...4...3...2...1 It's finally here. I have been looking forward to this day for a while now, and in less than a few hours, it will be here, finally. May 5. The day I was born, 25 years ago tomorrow. I am excited to celebrate this awesome day!
Every second, every minute, every hour, day, week, month, year that we get to live is a gift from above, a second chance if you will, to get it right. For the past twenty-four (24) years of my life, God in His infinite love and grace has given me second chances to “get it right” countless times, but one in particular stands out.
Seven years ago. Car accident. Left vehicle without a single scratch. Turning point in my life. Given a second shot, a second chance to get it right. How my life has turned out since that day I can never begin to fully describe…God has truly been faithful and has blessed my life abundantly. Sometimes I don’t quite see all that and I get frustrated with life, angry, disappointed, discouraged…I thank God though that through all that, He still remains faithful. Reminds me of the parable that Jesus taught about The Good Shepherd, and also the words in Psalm 23 come to mind, “The Lord is my shepherd….” Even when I go astray and wander from the path He sets out for me, He still remains the good shepherd in my life. How amazing is that?
As I look forward to celebrating my 25th birthday tomorrow (May 5), I take a moment to look back and thank God for keeping me safe and watching over me all the time, for the many second chances He has granted me, and I am eternally thankful to be alive!
God of a second chance…
Friday, May 3, 2013
There are a few things in this life that we live that we cannot choose, one of them being the kind of family one is born into. It’s not like one can stand in an isle lined with all kinds of families and we get to make a selection…God in His divine wisdom places up in the places we are for a specific purpose.
Today, I want to take time to thank the Almighty for the family He has blessed me with, a wonderful father and mother, amazing sisters and then some. There are times when I have wondered what life would be like if we all got to have a say in the kinds of families we have. One thing I know for sure though, is that I would not be the kind of person I am today had it not been for my family. And if I should say so myself, I think I turned out alright…most of the time!
But family is not just limited to one’s biological parents or siblings, family transcends all that. There are people I have met in my life that are part of my family; not biological, but because we share the same values, principles, goals, beliefs, and because of the blood of the lamb, we are all part of God’s family. I am thankful for the people in my life I regard as family and who do the same regarding me. I am grateful I have family virtually all over the world, I am indeed blessed.
Through my work as Project Director with Horizon International (Zambia), I have witnessed firsthand the importance of family, and the negative effects of the lack of it. I have, and I am learning never to take family for granted; you never know when it might be taken away from you. The kids I work with have taught me this invaluable lesson, and continue to teach me daily, and I have come to appreciate my family all the more. I have come to cherish the times we have shared moments together and made memories, those times I will hold dear for the rest of my life.
I am thankful…
Thursday, May 2, 2013
On September 23, 2006, I was involved in a horrific car accident that forever changed my life. Most of my friends and family know the details of this accident as I have shared with them countless times the events of that day. I will not go into details here about the crash, but one thing I do want to focus on, was the events that took place after the crash.
In the aftermath of the accident, my mum said something to me that has shaped my life to this very day. Her words were, “Oscar, God has saved you for a purpose…it’s now up to you to discover what that purpose is,” she said as she quoted Jeremiah 29:11 (my favorite verse). At the time, I don’t think I fully comprehended the full ramifications of these words. To date, these words resonate in my mind as if they are being spoken right now. It’s words that I took to heart and fully embraced; I have strived each and every day, sometimes maybe not as hard as I probably should, to live out these words in my life. I have made mistakes, I have erred at times. I have fallen short of my expectations at times but I am eternally thankful for grace…
Through His mercy and grace, I was able to fulfill my childhood dream of studying abroad as I was accepted and successfully earned a degree in Business Management from Anderson University in Indiana, USA. Except for grace. By grace, I have met and made lifelong friends both during my time at AU and after. Except for His grace, I would not be alive today, but because He still has plans and a purpose for my life, I am alive! By His grace, God has blessed me with a job that has helped me realize the calling upon my life to help make a difference in people’s lives through service. I am eternally thankful for this…
So today, I am taking time to thank God for His plans upon my life, for His awesome purpose that He is unfolding and revealing each and every day. I thank God for you, because you are a part of the plans and purpose that God is revealing in my life.