STORIES from a missionary: Hannah Knight

2.20.2015 |

matthew 28:19 says "go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit."  Hannah Knight, a newly-wed and religion major, relives her 6 trips to Zambia and reminds us that it is God who changes hearts and it is God whose timing is perfect.  Read her story below:





Jesus commands us in Matthew 28 to “GO” and make disciples.  The word “Go” in its Greek form actually means, “as you are going”.  Mission does not happen on just one trip, one summer, for one week.  It happens in the daily goings-on of life.  It happens when I speak to my coworker in a way that builds them up.  It happens when the Lord presents opportunity for me to become a conduit of His grace to another person.  Mission overflows from True Life being breathed into us.  
In 2007, we were blessed by the presence of the Zambian Orphan Choir at my home church in Memphis, TN.  After the service, I had the opportunity to speak with the children and their choir director.  After church that day, I found myself telling my dad that I wanted to go to Africa—particularly Zambia—to work with orphans.  My dad-being the amazing parent that he is-made that happen.  

We took our first trip in the summer of 2007.  We had no clue what to expect, only that we had a contact from our church in Zimba (a city in Zambia), and she was going to show us around.  We visited a handful of different orphanages—most run by one or two people having no need for teams to be brought in—which is what we were hoping for.  We had one more orphanage to visit on our list, and we were supposed to go there the next day.  While we were in the Shop Rite in Livingstone, we ran into a couple wearing Georgia t-shirts.  As we talked to them, we found out that they were working at the exact orphanage we were to visit the next day.  It is so cool how God orchestrated that whole encounter.  We visited Global Samaritans Children’s Home that following day and from that moment forward, embarked in a continuing relationship with the people there.  

Since then, I have had the privilege of returning to Zambia on five other occasions—even interning at Global Samaritans for 6 weeks one summer.  During these trips, we have the joyous opportunity to do men’s, women’s, and children’s ministry in the surrounding villages.  Every time I see the children in Zambia, I always think of Jesus’ words, “Let the little children come”.  They have so much joy and so much desire to learn about Jesus.  I remember on my trip to Lusaka (another city in Zambia) I had around five little children holding each of my hands.  It has been such a joy to be able to leave Zambia and come back to the relationships that I’ve made with the people there.  It gives me great joy to see my brothers and sisters again.

One of the biggest things that I have learned from my experiences in Zambia has been to take time to build relationships.  Time is what these people really want—because sometimes that is all that they have.  They crave relationships.  Mission is not about how many souls we can save, but about building relationships that God can use to bring that person to communion with Him.  In America, we get so comfortable with the “Hi, How are you? Good? Good.” interactions.  You will never find yourself having one of those short, somewhat-present conversations with a Zambian.  How different would our world look if we invested with the same intensity that these people do?  What if we set aside our to-do lists and decided to love people by investing our lives into them? 
My trip to Zambia in 2012 taught me this in a real and tangible way.  I went to Lusaka with a team that my dad was leading.  A group of school leaders had come together to plan a sports outreach soccer tournament, and we were there as an extra set of hands.  I remember thinking that I wasn’t doing enough because all we were doing was sitting and watching these soccer games and playing with the children.  By the end of the week I realized that it wasn’t my words that made an impact on these people, but my time.  You have to invest your time and yourself into another person’s life in order to really grow them up in discipleship. 

In 2013, I returned to Global Samaritans where I was supposed to be the Lead Intern for 8 weeks.  This trip turned out to be a learning experience of a different kind.  Earlier that year, I had been diagnosed with chronic migraines and had just started to take new medication to prevent these.  That summer I learned that just because I had been called before and God had placed Zambia on my heart, didn’t mean that every opportunity that I can go is His timing.   My health prevented me from being the best tool that I could be for the glory of God and the exultation of His name.  I ended up coming home five weeks early that summer simply because the Lord had bigger plans for me in Memphis. 

Mission is a very important part of walking in Christ-like faith.  It is important to pray for the ability to discern the Lord’s timing and purpose for it.  Your mission may be discipling a group of girls.  It may be investing into the life of a broken coworker.  In any case, God be glorified in us and through us



To learn more about Global Samaritans, click HERE

To learn more about Global Samaritans Children's Home in Zambia, click HERE

If you are in the Memphis area and need a church home, visit Christ United Methodist Church.

If you are in the Memphis area and looking for Local & International Mission projects to be a part of, click HERE for an incredible list




next up: Luke Smith details his summer in of trudging up and down the mountains of Nepal.

6 comments

  1. Yes yes YES to all of this! We (as Americans) have forgotten the importance of relationship building with just random every day people. I love how you said that missions don't just happen on trips... It's an every day action that God has commanded us to do. Great post!

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    1. I love the reminder that Hannah gave us here. :) I take a lot of relationships for granted and a lot of times I forget to truly invest in the people around me and use my time wisely.

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  2. Wow!!! You know, for all that good that missions accomplish for the people being ministered to, I think there are even more things happening in our hearts as we do the ministering! I loved the part about how Zambians value relationships. I never quite thought of it like that before, but that's a real treasure to have!

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    1. I thought that was a neat point when I read through it too. I find myself being like this at times, but then other times I am buried in my phone/books/whatever. I need to practice more spending time with people.

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  3. I love the reminder that Hannah gave us here. :) I take a lot of relationships for granted and a lot of times I forget to truly invest in the people around me and use my time wisely.

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  4. I thought that was a neat point when I read through it too. I find myself being like this at times, but then other times I am buried in my phone/books/whatever. I need to practice more spending time with people.

    ReplyDelete

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