© 2012 . All rights reserved. Amethyst & Hyacinth

Memories in Shades of Purple


There is an area in southern Zambia where pretty amethyst stones can be found glittering along the roadside, thrown from the mining trucks that rumble along the rutted dirt road that travels by Kabanga Mission. I have gathered theses stones on my visits there, and today I remember that place as I place some of the stones in a pot with the hyacinth I purchased over the weekend.


Amethyst and Hyacinth in a Green Flowerpot

I love the fact that the stones match the color of the hyacinth that is just on the verge of blooming and sending its intoxicating fragrance my way. 

Amethyst in Flower Pot

The scent of hyacinth in bloom is a favorite of mine, and it brings to mind other spring days, but the amethyst stirs the most memories.  The first time I arrived at Kabanga Mission I didn’t notice any amethyst on the roadside, because we arrived in the dark.  I think back to the house we stayed in, lit only by candle light.  I slept in a sleeping bag on a concrete floor.  The night was cold, but the room was warm.  Most of the rest of that visit is blurred in my memory, but the warmth of that room is clearly in focus.

Hyacinth and Amethyst from overhead

As I arrange the stones around the base of my flower, sights and sound from later visits to Kabanga come to mind.  I remember watching my husband lift frail, sick woman from a wheelbarrow and carrying her thin body to a classroom temporarily being used as a treatment room by the medical doctors.  Over the years of participating with Zambia Medical Mission I would see similar scenes played again and again, but this was the first, and the picture of suffering helplessness is stuck in my mind. 

Hyacinth ready to open

I think back to a later visit and see Simeon, the headmaster of the school, gathering a group of student to sing for the visiting medical team.  Their song still sings in my mind-

What kind of man was Jesus?  Hallelujah!

What kind of man was Jesus? Hallelujah!

He made the lame to walk!  Hallelujah!

He made the lame to walk! Hallelujah!

He made the blind to see!  Hallelujah!

He made the blind to see! Hallelujah!

Hal le, hal le, hallelujah!

Hal le, hal le, hallelujah!

I didn’t dream of all the ways I would see healing care given in the name of Jesus through the efforts and generosity of so many over the years since then.  I had no idea as I stood and listened to the headmaster lead the song that he would later come to the United States and live in our garage apartment for two years while he completed a master’s degree.  I didn’t know we would share with him in the sorrow losing his wife, just a few weeks before his graduation and anticipated return to his family in Zambia.   I have lost other Zambian friends to death in the years since, but the sting of this bitter loss still causes pangs of sorrow to this day.  The lack of adequate health care in much of Zambia was made very personal to me by the death of Eneless Siachobe.

  Ferns & Hyacinth

As I look at the memory of a night in a candlelit house, a woman in a wheelbarrow and the loss Simeon’s wife, I see through the lens of time how these  events have touched the hearts of our family and influence many aspects of our lives.  They have changed us and caused us to grow, and helped us focus on our purpose.


There is a dirt road in southern Zambia where pretty purple stones can be gathered by the pocketful.

Some people who live along that road have changed my live forever.





  1. Posted 27 Feb ’12 at 6:52 am | Permalink

    Beautiful words for me to read this morning. Thanks for this post.


  2. Posted 31 Mar ’12 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

    Love the idea of amethyst in the pot. Purple on purple! The photos a brilliant too!

  3. Jimmy Siachobe
    Posted 17 Sep ’13 at 9:31 am | Permalink

    So touching a story that i couldn’t resist tears rolling from my eyes when i think of the passing away of my mum Eneless in mention. Thanks for sharing memories of her with us. She ll always live in our hearts. God Bless

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