Years and years ago, a delightful, tough woman, Lorraine Enright, had a vision of holding a pastor retreat for Zambian pastors. When she began dreaming of this retreat, there were few Zambian United Methodist pastors. But she kept praying. Nearly two years ago, Kafakumba Training Center held its first Zambian Pastor Retreat. Pastors from all over Zambia came together to worship, pray, and fellowship.
During this year’s pastor retreat, John Enright spoke about some of the difficulties he has
faced. He told us that many of his endeavors failed. They tried growing bananas and aloe vera, but the crops failed. Their sawmill all-but failed. But then one of the pastors spoke up.
We are the bananas.
Many (almost all) of our Zambian pastors have been trained right there at Kafakumba. Because the bananas and aloe vera provided income for Kafakumba Training Center, Zambian pastors benefited. For them, no investment, no matter how small, no matter how sustainable, was a failure.
Though the banana production was a failure in the sense of not being able to sustain itself, it provided for these pastors’ training. However…
Our Zambian pastors cannot support themselves on a pastor’s salary.
If I learned anything from the pastor retreat, it was that Zambian pastors have to make major sacrifices. Most churches are unable to pay their pastors. Many of our pastors are bi-vocational. Although our annual conference (leadership for the church in Zambia) agreed years ago that pastors must be paid approximately $50 per month, no church has been able to do so. One of our goals is to partner with Kafakumba and local theological schools to help with pastor education. Another is to help struggling churches to raise money to pay their pastors.
We will do this two ways. Our Resource Centers will help empower entrepreneurs — thus increasing the tithes and offerings that the churches receive. We will continue to help churches support their pastors through your gifts. We will continue to work to train both laity and clergy for the theological task in front of them.
Thank you for reading this far. Look here for continued updates as we should find out within a month if United Methodist Global Ministries accepts our project requests!