KT’s volunteer journal

I visited Mwandi for the first time in 2007… and have been back every year since! I guess I could leave it at that and simply say that coming here was the best thing I have ever done in my entire life. Maybe just saying that would be enough to encourage one or two people to make the journey to Zambia. But in case it’s not, I’ll carry on for another paragraph or two in the hopes that my story might encourage you to do something that will change your life 🙂

I didn’t like Zambia the first time I came. I didn’t like the smells. I didn’t like the toilet paper. I didn’t like having filthy feet five minutes after I left the house every morning. I didn’t like not being able to drink water from the tap. I didn’t like sleeping with a mosquito net. I didn’t like walking in sand. But mostly I didn’t like seeing orphaned, abandoned and vulnerable children. I didn’t like seeing them because it made it very difficult for me to continue convincing myself that my selfish way of living in Australia was ok. I didn’t like seeing them because when I left Zambia and headed to London and New York for a holiday all I wanted to do was shop and buy more stuff… but all I could see were their little faces.

I’m ashamed to say that it took me many months to let the stories of my little brothers and sisters in Zambia change me… but they did change me. Seeing my life of plenty in light of their undeniable need was something I couldn’t continue to run away from. Over time I made a decision to stand with Fiona and her team and raise money and awareness for the project which taught me more about life and love than I had learnt in my 26 years of church attendance.

I started to write songs about my friends in Zambia and I began to sing and tell their stories to anyone who would listen. Along with some friends I recorded a small ep of songs and sold them to raise some money for the project. The more we talked about these kids in churches and schools, the more their stories kept challenging us to live simple lives. We call ourselves a missionary band and are committed to serving the poorest of the poor… to caring for the needy, the lonely, the abandoned, the neglected. Our commitment to this cause has seen us play to thousands of people in Australia and America… and everywhere we go we talk about a little project in Mwandi village, Zambia.

I used to be an exercise physiologist working in a private hospital in Brisbane, Australia… then I visited the Mwandi OVC project. Now I’m a missionary masquerading as a singer/songwriter. Volunteering in Mwandi will ruin you… it will mess you up in a beautiful and life-changing way. I will spend my life standing in support of people like Fiona who are daily living out the gospel.

God has a history of using the insignificant to do the impossible. He used a bunch of insignificant orphans in Mwandi to turn my life upside down and I’d love it if you gave Him a chance to do the same thing in your life.

KT Wallis

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