I (Jeff) was first introduced to Zambia when our church sent a team of workers there in 2007 to start work on a Bible College that would train future pastors and Bible teachers. What I saw God doing in Zambia was amazing! At first I didn’t know what to make of it. Wherever we went, we preached the gospel and hundreds were being saved.
One night our team was helping a Zambian pastor start a new church in Lusaka. We were going to show the Jesus film in an area that looked like half landfill and half village. A small group of children were playing in the area when we arrived and after awhile, the pastor told them to go and tell everyone that the movie would start soon. We were completely amazed at what happened next. Hundreds showed up the first night and over 2000 the second night. Between the reels of the film, we shared the gospel and all of the people who received Jesus that night were invited back that Sunday for the first service of a new church.
Over the next two years (2008 & 2009) I led the same trip for our church and have dozens of stories just as amazing. It was on those trips that God began a burden in my heart for missions and for the needs of people in Africa. This past year, Heidi and I became aware that God was calling us out of youth ministry to pursue missions full time. As we searched out opportunities, the Lord presented to us a ministry that matched up with the desires of our hearts – making disciples for Jesus and working to meet the basic needs of the poor in Africa.
Zambia is home to nearly 14 million people and has been peaceful and generally trouble-free, especially compared to most of the eight neighbors with which it shares a border. Social conditions are tough in Zambia. Life expectancy is among the lowest in the world and the death rate is one of the highest – largely due to the prevalence of HIV/Aids, and other diseases like malaria. Poor sanitation affects many available water supplies which leads to many unnecessary deaths from bacterial infections. Droughts in recent years have left millions of Zambians without food. The average Zambian earns $1400 per year which is only about $4 a day. Many that we will meet will live on less than that. Imagine the difficult choices you’d have to make in order to live on that kind of a budget. Survival becomes the sole purpose of each day. Since this is the reality for our brothers and sisters in Zambia, we will be faithful first and foremost to the Great Commission but we can not neglect to address their basic physical needs. My construction experience will be put to use in order to help meet some of these needs. We pray that God will use the theological training and ministry experience that He has given to both Heidi and I to bring help, hope, and life to His lost sheep in Zambia.
Thanks for praying with us and supporting our ministry!
Your friends and fellow workers in the Gospel – Jeff, Heidi, Emma, Lily, Abraham, and Judson