Although Angel Falls in Venezuela is the world’s highest waterfall (3,230 feet), and Iguazú Falls in Argentina and Brazil is the widest (8,858 feet), Victoria Falls in Zambia is usually considered the largest waterfall in the world, because—based on its combined width (5,604 feet) and height (354 feet)—it boasts the world’s largest sheet of falling water. Ever since studying the life of David Livingstone as a teenager,
I’d dreamed of seeing this magnificent waterfall, and I was not disappointed! On our tour of southern Africa last fall, we spent one long morning hiking the trail in Zimbabwe National Park facing Victoria Falls, and we had several hours to thrill over the beauty
of this magnificent natural wonder of the world. Although we know it as “Victoria Falls,” so christened in honor of Queen Vic by the Scottish missionary doctor who first viewed the falls back in 1855, the local name (in the Tonga language) is Mosi-oa-Tunya,
“The Smoke That Thunders.” There has been a devastating 20-year drought in this area, so the waterfall has diminished into a series of falls along the Zambezi River,but that didn’t detract from my awe or pleasure one iota. We went on a sparkling, cloudless morning, and our guide had us walk to the end and then meander back so we’d see all the rainbows from the eastern sun reflecting off the steamy spray. As we hiked along, I thought about how easy it was for me to walk this path…
but how hard it must have been for David Livingstone, the original pathfinder, who paved the way 150 years ago with his own blood, sweat, and tears. In the nations of southern Africa, many of the statues of Cecil Rhodes have been torn down, because he was a British imperialist who oppressed the people. Conversely, people still love David Livingstone, because he held “high Christian aims and ideals” and truly sought the welfare of the African peoples.
In fact, when Dr. Livingstone died (of malaria and internal bleeding from dysentery), his body was buried in Westminster Abby, London, but his heart was buried in Africa! He gave his life (blood, sweat and tears) to love and serve God
and man. It was his heart to end slavery and oppression… to set the captives free! Dr. Livingstone was a disciple of Christ,
who came to set us all free from oppression and slavery to sin.Have you been set free? Are you willing to follow in the footsteps of Jesus and other courageous people who have given their lives to share the Gospel? “And he [Jesus] saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men” (Matthew 4:19). “If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed” (John 8:36).
(Photos of Angel Falls, Iguazú Falls, and the painting of Dr. Livingstone from the National Portrait Gallery in London are from Wiki. The rest are mine, taken on our recent trip to southern Africa.)