7 Days of Zambia: Day 5
Finding Out Just How Small This World Is, After All
June 8, 2011 - If you want to find out how much you might have in common with a Zambian, just talk sports. Everyone knows Michael Jordan and Tiger Woods.
By Trevor Freeze
Maybe Walt Disney had it right.
Maybe it really is a “Small World” after all.
On Day 5, that reality started to hit home.
Sitting at lunch, after the My Hope Zambia National Committee meeting wrapped up, eating beef tips over rice, I started talking sports with one of the pastors.
Sports can be the great equalizer, a topic that transcends cultures, crosses languages and spans oceans.
“Manchester United,” was this pastor’s favorite team. Futbol was this guy’s sport and yes, I knew that was soccer, even though soccer is far from the football most American's know.
But it wasn’t all about soccer. When you flip through Zambia TV channels, you’ll find cricket and rugby, futbol and even European golf.
American sports, however, still resonate halfway across the globe.
“I watch golf because of Tiger Woods,” he said, pausing to take a bite out of his chicken. “He hasn’t done so well as of late.”
News apparently travels fast. And far.
Tennis is another global sport.
“The Serena sisters, they’re fantastic,” he said, taking about Serena and Venus Williams. “Man, can they play tennis.”
But no athlete has made a mark around the globe, including places like Lusaka, Zambia, like Michael Jordan. All it takes is a quick spin around town to find MJ jerseys still being worn.
“He was very famous. Very famous,” the pastor said. “A lot of people bought Jordan shirts. He impacted the world.”
The My Hope project is looking to impact the entire world, but doing it one living room at a time. Already, My Hope has reached 53 countries since 2002. And the Gospel message has been proclaimed in over 4.4 million “Matthew” homes.
Those were just a few of the highlights offered in the press kit during an outdoor press conference on this afternoon.
A total of 11 different media organizations were represented as the My Hope vision was announced for the first time on the manicured lawn of a nearby lodge. Excitement was starting to swirl.
Radio Christian Voice was there. Station Manager Mwiza Sinyangwe, a strong supporter of My Hope, shared her like vision for reaching the country for Jesus.
Sinyangwe is personal and passionate about evangelism. She’s the type of person you feel like you’ve known for years. And after a short conversation, you realize she’s taken trips to Pittsburgh and Miami, places you’ve taken trips to.
And again, it hits you. Sure, we’re standing in the middle of Africa, but the people are very much the same. And we serve the same Almighty God.
Indeed, it’s a small world after all.
"7 Days of Zambia" is a first-person blog, following the My Hope Zambia project through the lens of a reporter. For more info on the My Hope project, click here.