Madison Avenue Presbyterian Church

TEEZing Out the RootsImage

The View From 30 is Beautiful

Madison Avenue Presbyterian Church - Outreach - Blogs - TEEZing Out The Roots

Saturday marked my entry into the fourth decade, my transition from my twenties to my thirties.  As I articulated it to my mom, at least now I get to go back to saying I’m in my early-somethings rather than my late-somethings!  Although I did go through some existential angst last week, it was not nearly as explosive as I thought it would be.  I suppose being in a different country and context insulated me a bit against the decade transitional woes.  The last birthday (24) I spent while living abroad I was playing cribbage in a hospital bed in Kerala with my dear sister Cynthia Anderson-Bauer.  I will forever treasure that memory and her kindness, but the gall bladder struggles that put me in the hospital in the first place ensured that this birthday abroad could only be an improvement.


And indeed it was!  I hosted some neighbors as well as 40 kids who are looked after in some way or another by Ba Caroline Shabenzu, parent and friend extraordinaire.  We had a rice-chicken-potato salad lunch, lots of cake, Zambian music at full blast, and of course plenty of dancing!  Besides the joy of being surrounded by energetic friends for my birthday, I was blessed with a beautiful cake given by students at the UCZ college, an amazingly well-done portrait by the one and only Samson Kaleya, a flashlight (torch) homemade by Akash, and some Zambia-themed winter gear from Prince.  Along with all the loved I have received States-side, I would be hard-pressed to feel any more blessed.

Breaking it down!

Party Guests
Lunch Time!
Another Great Lunch Photo
Chondra has a June birthday as well!
The Cake Line
More Dancing
With Mutinta (The Party Planning Rockstar) and Caroline (The Boss)

After the party I hopped onto the bus with all the kids to take them home.  Let me tell you, if you have never taken a ride on a bus filled with kids in Zambia, add it to your bucket list.  The din of singing, shouting, dancing, and using the sides of the bus as percussion was like nothing I had ever experienced before.  I stand in awe of the driver for keeping his cool and skillfully traversing the bad road during the hazy dusk in the midst of this cacophony.  I felt like quite the celebrity, as most of the singing and shouting included my name.  I have no idea what exactly was being said, but I’ll pretend that it was all good!

The whole crew ready for the bus ride

The final stop on the bus trip was to Caroline’s home for the adult component of the day-long party.  This time round there was more dancing and more food, with drinks on top.  For this party we were also celebrating the births of Jacob and Esau, aptly named twins with whom I have grown close.

The Birthday boys (Jacob stage right and Esau behind)

At last, to top it all off I had the opportunity to preach and preside over the Lord’s Supper Sunday morning.  At Mwaiseni UCZ congregation in Zambia Compound, Kitwe, I preached on Galatians 1:11-24 and focused on how central it is to the Christian faith that we believe in our own and others’ ability to change our hearts for the better and to find redemption when we repent and make amends for our actions that harm others.  I closed by proclaiming the primary identity we all share as beloved children of God, saying that by being adopted as heirs (Paul’s words later in Galatians) we have the blood shed on Calvary pumping through our [changed and ever changing] hearts.  Then I had my first solo experience presiding over the Lord’s Supper as an ordained teaching elder.  I definitely prefer presiding jointly, as Communion is communal, but a first experience is still a first experience!


Communion at Mwaiseni UCZ


A Samson Kaleya Original (The One Holding the Sketch Portrait) 

Starting off on this foot portends a good decade to come!  The view from 30 is beautiful!

Posted June 6, 2016


Being planted in the rich soils of Zambia to inspire regrowth at home. “Other seed fell on good soil and bore fruit” -Matthew 13:8