Thursday, March 31, 2011
This was the first time a Go Team has had the opportunity to spend a couple days doing ministry in the capital city with Fairview Baptist Church with Pastor Jonathon. Jonathon is on the board of the Hope Center and pastors a young, growing and strategic church in Lusaka.
This is my fourth trip to Zambia, and my time here continues to be a joy. During our time in Serenje, I spent most of the week training thirteen Zambian pastors. We have been in partnership with the Hope Center for enough time that this is our second group of pastors to train; our first class of pastors graduated last Fall. I am encouraged by the leaders God is raising up to guide, shepherd, and teach His church in Zambia. The men I spent time with in the pastor training had a clear thirst for God’s Word, a heart for ministry, and were men of great character. We had seven hours each day together to work through the following classes: Genesis, The Gospel of John, and a Theology of Salvation. The pastors ask great questions that further show their desire to better understand the Bible and minister in a faithful and relevant way within Zambia.
We were also able to spend a few of our evenings in Serenje mingling with the pastors socially, and I was so thankful for the opportunity to see them interact, and chat with them more myself, in that more informal setting as well. The pastors are so grateful for the training and some resources we provide to further equip them to adequately handle God’s Word, and I know they would appreciate your continued prayers for their daily task of serving God’s church in Zambia.
Sunday, March 27, 2011
Sunday, March 20, 2011
We met the Hope Children’s Center orphans on Friday. A few of the orphans were unable to come, as there is currently an outbreak of measles in the region. (This would be prayer request number one.) We had the opportunity to introduce ourselves, play with the children, figure their shirt sizes, and take their pictures so that you all can see their beautiful faces. After that, the team made its traditional trip to Kundalilla Falls, a nearby and very beautiful waterfall. (Zambia has a number of falls, and they are all at the peak of their force, as the rainy season is just winding down.)
Today (Sunday) was truly a red letter day. We had the opportunity to worship with two churches. First we visited Teta, the church on which Brooksiders put a new roof last summer. We also gave each of the 23 orphans 50 kilograms of corn, a bag of dried fish, and a warm blanket for the coming winter. As Navice Kalunga said in each of the services, the children need not fear the cold this winter because they have a warm blanket. Next we journeyed to Kamena where we made the same distribution to 107 orphans. Along with the 68 orphans in Serenje, the Hope Children’s Center is serving nearly 200 orphans in this region of Zambia. Please be in prayer for these precious children. We also worshipped in song and prayed for the orphans at both churches. There is no way to describe worship in these churches. Believe me when I tell you it is majestically ineffable.
The gratitude expressed by these churches was both humbling and gratifying. God is working in a mighty way in Zambia, and Brookside is privileged to be a part of it. This work is very close to the heart of God. (Check out James 1:27 as one of many examples.) What a joy to know that our church is part of something so near and dear to the heart of God!
Finally, please pray for us as a team. We have bonded well and are looking forward to our week of ministry to the pastors, their wives, as well as to the orphans. Pray that we will be the hands and feet of Jesus this week, and that we will convey Jesus’ love for everyone to whom we minister.
Highlights from today:
- Hearing “Bringing in the Sheaves” sung in Bemba by the congregation at Kamena. That is a hymn I remember singing in my childhood church. (Amy)
- Learning to juggle. (Chelsea)
- Playing Frisbee with the children. (Luke)
- Talking to Savior (the pastor at Kamena) and hearing how he gave his life to Christ and how God called him into ministry. (Jack)
- Experiencing my first African meal (nshima!) and holding a ten day old baby. (Carrie)
- NSHIMA! And spending time with Navice in the truck to and from the churches. (Tim)
- Touring the house of Pastor Henry at Teta, and riding in the back of the truck with new Zambian friends to and from the churches. (Nathan)
- Giving the children blankets. (Marjorie)
- Watching the orphans at Kamena receive their food and blanket, and knowing Brookside is able to provide that for the kids. (John)
The church at Teta with its new roof!
Hope Center children playing a rousing game of Duck Duck Chicken!
The team and friends in front of Kamena church!
Navice preaching at Kamena. All the children you see are orphans.
The Hope Children's Center orphans.
A little girl at Kamena sitting on her corn while holding her blanket and fish.
We've discovered that Nathan is something of a "kid magnet!"