Monday, June 17, 2024
Monday, June 17, 2024
HomeAll The NewsSPOTLIGHT ON MISSIONS: Mickeal & Sharon Quillman • Zambia

SPOTLIGHT ON MISSIONS: Mickeal & Sharon Quillman • Zambia

Sharon and I recently moved into our rental home here in Livingstone, Zambia. Rent is collected a bit differently here, as we were required to pay three months in advance as well as an additional month’s security deposit, four months’ rent in total. Even though some things are more inexpensive here in Zambia than in the US (like food), other items, like furniture and appliances, come at a premium as they are considered luxury items. For Sharon and me, this meant that many things we might have “needed” in the US are put off for us to purchase sometime in the future. I don’t mention this for sympathy at all, because we now have a stove, a refrigerator and a bed, which is more than many Zambians have. I just wanted to give some form of reference.

Andy Neal, the pastor from our sending church, Temple Baptist Church in Jonesboro, recently led a Wednesday night study on the television/movie series “The Chosen.” If you have not watched this amazing new series, it is a depiction of stories from the life of Jesus. We decided to start watching an episode on my laptop from this series every Sunday evening. As we were enjoying one episode, we noticed that there was a water bowl by the door; and before the people entered the home they would stop and remove their shoes, dip a cloth in the water and wash their feet. Now, if I had viewed this while living in the US, it might not have caught my attention because it was not highlighted in the show, but only seen from a distance.

Living here in Zambia, my mind was blown away. I had to pause the show and rewind it as Sharon and I discussed the brilliance of this small detail. You see, Zambia is a very hot, dry and sandy place, and the wind seems to always be blowing dirt everywhere. We are always amazed at how dirty our feet get, even wearing socks and boots. We are vigilant to take our shoes and socks off outside, but we still leave dirty footprints as we walk across the floor. Since this is our home, it’s not that big of a deal. We just grab a mop and wash them away, but it has made us more conscientious of our feet as we enter other people’s homes.

A few weeks ago, we had a water line break in our bathroom, and it flooded our house (four inches of standing water). When the men came to help us repair it, they took off their shoes outside, but as they walked across the wet floor, their dirty footprints followed them. They were so apologetic, and we could tell they were embarrassed for leaving dirty footprints. No matter how much we told them it wasn’t a problem and we completely understood, they still felt awful. Now I am sure these same men have the same issue in their own homes, and it isn’t embarrassing. It’s just a part of their life, as it is for us.

Another side effect of a hot, dry, sandy environment is that your feet become very dry and can crack open, which is painful. Part of our morning routine, after taking our morning shower, is to apply lotion to our feet. Sometimes we must wash our feet again after walking across the floor from the shower to the bed because the sand that blew in through the windows has made our feet dirty again.

This brings me to the story in Luke 7:36 when Jesus is brought into the Pharisee’s home. A woman, or as the Pharisee is quick to point out, a sinful woman, came in and not only washed Jesus’ feet with her tears and dried them with her hair but also applied an ointment to them. The host of the home should have been the one to offer Jesus a bowl of water to wash His own feet at the very least, but they were either too preoccupied with feeding themselves at the table or felt it was beneath their position. Matthew 20:28 gives us the charge of our calling — to serve others.

We even saw Jesus living out His words among His disciples as He washed their feet. God has called us all to “wash” the feet of those around us and apply “the ointment” to the dry and cracked feet — or put plainly, to serve. Our prayer here in Zambia is for God to allow us to see the “sinful” through the same eyes Jesus did, with compassion and love, and serve. Luke 22:27 gives us a glimpse into the love of Jesus: “For who is the greater, one who reclines at table or one who serves? Is it not the one who reclines at the table? But I am among you as the one who serves.” Please continue to pray for us as we love the people of Zambia, walk alongside them and as we lead them to Christ, no matter where we find them.

Please join us in praying for the following requests: the Bible study groups in Livingstone and Chibinga village, our language acquisition classes and finances to replace the gearbox on our 4×4 vehicle. (pastorquill@gmail.com)

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