Over the past few blogs, I have been recounting what we need here in Lusaka, Zambia. We need Resource Centers. We need Pastor Training. We need Children’s Ministry. While we serve as missionaries in Lusaka, other areas are saying, “We need missionaries, too!”
Yes, we have plenty of needs here in Lusaka. But please do not take these blogs the wrong way. I am not saying that if we fulfill all expectations that we will somehow “save” Zambia; Jesus already died and rose again to save Zambia, and He doesn’t need us to be Saviors.
The reality is, it can be easy to write deceptively about Africa. We honestly want you to partner with us and thee easiest way could be to tug at your emotion and your ego… if we paint a sad enough story and lead you to believe that you can somehow “save” Africa, then perhaps you will join us…
The reality is, Zambia is a wonderful place.
Lusaka has fabulous weather. I have a weather app on my phone, and I never, ever use it. Why not? Because I know it will be mild overnight, the sun will shine, the breeze will blow, it will get warm, even hot in the afternoon, and the shade will feel good.
Lusaka has malls and shopping centers just like the West. Some Americans like to joke that Zambia is “Africa Lite” or Africa 101, but that’s misleading. The reality is Africa is not monolithic; it is huge and multicultural. Africa has its rural villages and its thriving cities. We often hear about African poverty, but at the same time, many African nations supply the world with raw materials, such as the copper provided by Zambia’s “Copperbelt” region.
The real wealth of Zambia is its people.
This isn’t just about how friendly people are to us – the fact that wherever we go, people smile and greet us. It’s not about the hard workers we see everywhere. It’s about heart.
One of our church members, Monica, has been active, not just in the local church, but also in health and wellness ministries in Lusaka. But recently in her travels (to care for and minister to) family members, she was asked for help. The village has no water. Monica has UMCOR training, and she determined that this is what her training is all about.
So with the blessing of our local church, Monica will be traveling to that remote village to assess the situation. We will also see what resources are available to help the village not only get by, but to thrive.
Sometimes people think of missionaries as white, Westerners who go “over there” to minister. Some of us (obviously) fit into that category. But Monica is an example of the truth: that God calls all of his people to be missionaries, to carry his Word to all places. She is just one example of the character we see in the Zambian members of the United Methodist Church!