Gearing Up!

April 5, 2016

Over my spring break, I worked on assembling all the necessary equipment for my approaching 3 month training (and 3 week expedition-ing) in rural Zambia. With the help of faithful friends familiar with braving the outdoors, and of course through those of you who chose to financial support my mission (THANK YOU!), I now have a full set of awesome, durable, quality gear– to take me on any road with any load at any time.

The Money-Belt of Truth


In normal circumstances, this money-belt would be worn and concealed beneath my shirt, as a safe way of carrying cash when I take shopping trips in Livingstone. Honest transactions will be upheld; the temptation of withdrawals without my notice, prohibited!

Puffy Jacket of Righteousness


It’s lightweight as well as warm, somehow while remaining comfortable for sunny days. I thank my powerfully encouraging friend for picking out this bargain deal I nearly overlooked. It’s from an excellent brand too – Patagonia – so that there’s a high probability that this jacket will last my lifetime (or even pass on a Lewis generation).

Hiking Boots of Peace


These boots are waterproofed. They’re also a perfect fit, even before I broke them in. After a long day of hiking to reach a remote village, it will be a blessing to have peace for my sole(s). I will use that extra energy for loving others and preaching the message of ultimate peace.

Day Pack of Faith


Because it requires faith to venture in an unfamiliar land, bringing a supply of items limited to what fits on your back. (Important note: this is just a day pack, for short trips to the city… my expedition pack for journeying out in the bush is pictured further below). That said, it’s a decent size, and still light enough to be quickly lifted as a shield, for deflecting fiery projectiles.

Headlamp of Salvation


This contraption may not offer eternal security, but the essential illumination and extensive battery-life of this device will produce a comparable joy, as I take sure steps even by night. The Zambia-colored beanie is not included… unless you’re me, in which case I think I’ll combine the two very often!

Simply-Translated Sword of the Spirit


This actually isn’t a recent purchase, but it’s nonetheless a key armament I will bring with me. It’s a Bible, in the New Living Translation, protected in a metal case with a magnetic latch. I used to always bring it with me for youth camping trips… and although I prefer the ESV reading for my personal study, I know that basic and better-flowing English will be helpful for those fellow bond-servants tasked with translating as I preach.

Backpacking Backpack of Backpackery


…I’m not sure what else to call this one. I’m grateful to the mighty man of God who offered this heavy-duty, primary piece of equipment to me. It holds several days-worth of provisions, has the padded hip-strap to make a world of a difference in comfort, and is also fitted with a water bladder so I can stay hydrated as I go!

Techno-Tablet of Tale-Telling


An iPad might not come first on a packing list for Sub-Saharan Africa, but it should not be neglected! I need this compact computer for sharing blog posts and processing homework assignments while I’m hard at work on Overland Mission’s base. I’m thankful to the Christian brother and kindred tech-warrior who is letting me use it.

Slumbering Satchel of Sabbaticals


Okay, I could have just said sleeping bag, but I like alliteration too much. This down sleeping bag is rated for 15 degree Fahrenheit temperatures (remember, I’ll be there in the Southern Hemisphere’s winter), with two cinches for double-isolating heat around my head and below my neck. It compresses real small and very light for traveling, and I will go to bed filled with gratitude for the blessing of a family who provided me this at the perfect time!


I’m thankful. All this gear is of great practical value– it will help me reserve my strength for spiritual objectives, and surely outlast this 3 months to serve me in future expeditions. It’s also a representation of my friends and family around me, who have already cloaked me in encouragement, support, and prayers.

A few weeks prior, one of my pastors gave a sermon on the armor of God. He said that the importance isn’t understanding precise symbolism for each individual piece… but in taking up the power found in the Gospel as a whole, and in that action letting it be worn as a part of who you are.

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak. -Ephesians 6:10-20 (ESV)

As I put on all my gear – and consider the mystery of all that I have been given in Christ – my mindset becomes ever more excited and ready: for enduring all trials of the wilderness and serving on the frontier of God’s worldwide mission.


Special thanks also goes to my dad, for each of these expert photos!

Source: Taylor Lewis Zambia