This is the receipt for our work permit application. I doubt the actual permit will arrive before we leave Zambia, but apparently it’s not a significant issue. The application will be sufficient for the time we are there.
I was impressed by the cost, “One Million” . I am always startled by large currency numbers like that. My eyes bugged out until I remembered that it’s one million KWACHA (the Zambia Currency). That works out to about $189.57 at today’s exchange rate. Much better!
The Zambian currency comes in the usual denominations 10 Kwacha, 20, 50, 100, etc. But the list extends to bills the likes of which most Americans have never seen including 10,000, 20,000 and 50,000 Kwacha notes. In case you were wondering 100 Kwacha equals approx $.02.
The buying power of currencies in this part of the world is quite depressed and this is difficult for citizens of Zambia. We experience currency fluctuations in the US, but most of the time we hardly notice them. Over time, of course, inflation rises and that hurts for sure, but most of the time we go about our business without paying attention these details. In many parts of the world, however, people suffer because their money just doesn’t have real buying power.
I am thankful that the gospel, and the relationship with the Trinity it promises, are free to us. Isaiah pointed to it when he wrote,
“Come, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and he who has no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread, and your labor for that which does not satisfy? Listen diligently to me, and eat what is good, and delight yourselves in rich food. Incline your ear, and come to me; hear, that your soul may live; and I will make with you an everlasting covenant, my steadfast, sure love for David. (Isa 55:1-3 ESV)
Speaking metaphorically, Isaiah understands that Israel was making a poor choice. They were spending their “spiritual” currency on something that had little real value. In addition, they didn’t realize that the things they really needed they could not ever hope to pay for. That’s why God offered it to them for free. The old chorus says, “He paid a debt he did not owe. I owed a debt I could not pay. I needed someone to wash my sins away.” Thankfully I am not paying for that washing with Zambian Kwacha, or US Dollars. No exchange rate would be favorable enough to discharge a debt this enormous except one. Free. “…not of yourselves it is a gift of God. (Eph 2:9b).”
Thanks for remembering us.
The Sanchez Family