Stepping into development

April 2nd 2023, Chongwe

The past few weeks were about knowing how to serve the team here in Zambia best. The weeks brought us emotional rest, following Gods will and with enthusiasm invest in the people who we work with. We experienced a lot of joy and freedom in the work we are doing here.

Teacher explaining to the class

To start with, Laura kept herself busy with the computer lab where children from Grade 7 and 8 were able to learn computer skills. It was cool to see how quickly the children learn and develop the skills to work with a computer. The hard thing was that once or twice a week is unfortunately not enough to master the laptops of course. Last week al the children did a practice test to see where they are at. It was nice to see how much they learned, but also good to know that the official test is only in November. This gives the possibility for the children to learn and prepare more.

Vorige week hebben we dan ook een oefen test afgenomen om te kijken hoever de ontwikkeling van elk individu nu is. Het was ontzettend leuk om te zien hoeveel ze hadden geleerd, maar ook fijn om te beseffen dat het officiële examen pas in November is. Dit biedt nog de mogelijkheid voor deze kinderen om meer te kunnen leren.

Jochem was busy with building the levelled garden, the same as what he learned to build in Burundi (which you perhaps still remember). He did this together with some awesome men who live in and around the community center. The garden is filled with transplanted plants from the (self-build) nursery. We also worked on building the compost pile last week. Jochem was trying to make a 2x2x2 compost pile, but along the way there was not enough material, which led to only being able to do half. Despite that, the compost pile is of a great size and will help with next seasons planting.

It is especially great to work together on this with Jim (not his real name). Jim is a great guy with a lot of potential and eagerness to learn. It is a blessing to invest in him. Besides building the garden together with him, Jochem teaches him to use the computer and how to read in English after he asked Jochem if he could teach him that.

the leveled garden

The sprouting seedlings in the small nursery

Collecting materials for composting with Jim

Within Chongwe, where a lot of Christians live, there is a lot of spiritual warfare. Because of several misunderstandings in the local church (of course not all) or the mixing of local religions with Christianity we experience how often Christians have the wrong image about God and don’t know the actual promises He has for our lives. This became especially real when Peter (not his real name), our guard, asked Jochem if he could have a prepayment of his salary. He told that he got in touch with his father and that he heard that he was on a list to be sacrificed to a God. He needed the money to go to a ‘powerful prophet’ to pay him and get off this list. All the alarm bells went off. Jochem asked if he could pray for him and invited him to talk with him and Bright, our Zambian colleague. In the conversation we studied the bible together to learn that the God has all the authority to break with spiritual power and that he is ruler over all. This brought him freedom and the realization that he had nothing to fear. It is a blessing to see how he learned more about God and His promises.

Every week we also spend a lot of time investing in the youth: every Sunday we play soccer and we have bible studies on Wednesday. It is great to see how the save environment gives room for the youth to ask honest questions. They are willing to learn and understand God better. We also had a lot of fun in organizing a youth day for them where we did many games. And Jochem did his haircut at one of the youth. What a win-win: have a haircut and be able to invest in them even more.

 

After our weekly soccer match

Our time with Yamiko and Susanna

We also had the privilege to meet friends from the Netherlands, who worked in Malawi, Yamiko and Susanna. We met half-was and spend some time together with lots of conversations, hiking, swimming and many games. What a joy!

The lasts weeks we also have been praying for our next step. Coming to Zambia helped us to find rest while continuing to be in a different culture. By praying a lot and spending time with God we experience that we still feel God is calling us to work in Burundi. We are currently looking at the possibilities to go back. For now things are still open and in Gods hands. We soon hope to tell you more. We would love it if you want to pray with and for us!

We hope to tell you more about this on the planned information night in the Netherlands on the 25th of May.

We need your prayer to make God’s glory known through the work we are doing. Do you want to pray for the following points?
  • For a blessing over the community of Chibolya and against the spiritual warfare within the community. Chibolya is one of the poorest communities in the area. There is a lot of material and spiritual poverty, which results in drug and alcohol addictions, prostitution and hunger. 
  • For the ministries of the youth, the women prostituting, women in business and the community center. 
  • Dat we God mogen vertrouwen in zijn plan met betrekking to Burundi.
  • That the team and us will remain healthy, both mentally and spiritually so that we can serve the community.
  • For spiritual enrichment through God's love for the youth, our guards and the people from the community.
  • Veilige reis terug naar Burundi
Prayer is an important part of our existence and work, because this is how we can honor God and tell him our desires and learn His ways. Please share with us if there is anything we can pray for!