I have found myself just this week waking up to realise we are already in September, and I am not sure how August passed by so quickly. Winter has certainly passed here in Zambia…and was ever so fleeting. Our days are back to being 30-31 degrees consistently, its super dry and dusty and we are all sweating up a storm, wondering how it could possibly get any hotter, and yet knowing that come October and November it will!
As I sit here this morning and write this quick update I am completely overwhelmed at the goodness and faithfulness of God, and this work that I get to be a part of everyday. Right now, this morning I can hear the youth from Mulenga, one of our communities, who are here at Kachele farm for the week singing, praying and running around and playing and just being kids. They have been given the opportunity this week to come for a 5 day Youth Maranatha Workshop where they have heard the gospel message, many have started a personal relationship with Jesus for the first time, and have a safe space to open up and share about their hurts, wounds and challenges in their life and experience the freedom and healing that is found in Christ.
In the past few weeks we also had one team head to two of our communities in the Kabwe area of Zambia to mobilise the local church in the community to rise up and take up their biblical mandate to care for the orphan and the widow. We heard testimony after testimony as these pastors and church leaders were taken into the community to visit the homes of the children we serve, that they had no idea that this type of poverty and vulnerability was in their own communities! Many Pastors immediately committed to practically providing for the urgent needs of some of the families that they met and have made commitments to partner with our local Community Based Organisations on an ongoing basis.
At the same time as this, we also had some of our team in Malawi who ran a Maranatha Workshop for 60 of our youth and 40 of their care givers in Mngwere community. Followed by a church mobilisation workshop with church leaders in that same community. Pastors were taken on a home visit to one of our child headed households and seeing the children did not have a safe place to live and were trying to build a house to stay in, the pastors have committed to buying all the materials needed to complete a house, and will see that a house is built. Not to mention approximately 40 of the youth and 25 of the care givers giving their lives to Jesus.
Additionally at the same time, we have had 2 teams in from the UK here in Zambia, one team built a playground for the children in the community they partner which on the first day it was installed, as soon as the sun rose, saw children lining up to play on the swings! They also ran a camp for 20 of the children from the community the following week. Not to mention both of these teams visiting a number of our communities and being an incredible encouragement to the children and care workers they walked with and met, and being deeply challenged and changed personally from their time here.
Did I mention we also had a wedding in there? Last weekend we had the privilege of celebrating the marriage of two of our Hands at Work community members, Mateyo and Belita. It was a beautiful day with much celebration!
I could also mention our team that has been in the Democratic Republic of Congo this week encouraging our local office and walking in the communities, or one of our communities that has increased to care for 100 children this past week (from 50 children) and we are really seeing care workers step up in this community, I could go on….and I am sure you get the idea. God is busy and on the move and there is so much to be thankful for!!
Today I am flying to South Africa with the leadership of the Zambia region, to attend a week of meetings with our leaders from all across Africa. I feel totally humbled to be a part of these meetings. We will be looking back over 2015 to reflect on what has occurred this year, and be seeking as a team to discern the way forward into 2016. For those of you who pray for me, please pray for these meetings. It will be a significant time for us and I am expectant that God will reveal what he has for us and this work in the next 12 months.
It’s an incredible team and work that I am so privileged to be a part of in this season!