This update is from Kalengule Kaoma, a native of Zambia who serves as a GCI mission developer in Africa.
On July 14, Dr. Inyambo Nyumbu, GCI-Zambia National Director and I met at the Lusaka airport to receive a team of six missionaries from the U.S. The team was on a short-term mission trip to Zambia coordinated by Grace Missions—a GCI-Generations Ministries mission organization. Team members, shown in the picture below, left were (L to R): Joel Clevenger, Dustin and Rachel Lampe,Tyler Long, Melyssa White and Mike Lockard. The team came to Zambia to assist GCI members with several projects that are described in comments from the team members below.
- Before coming to Zambia, we had no idea what to expect. What we knew is that we were going to give out eyeglasses and start the foundation of GCI’s Central Church. But God does amazing things not necessarily part of the original plan.
- One of the moments that stuck out to me was when we were giving out eyeglasses. We are not eye doctors and didn’t know what we were doing. But God shone a light through us and gave us knowledge of figuring out the right prescription for each of the eyeglasses. The thrill came when we helped the first person. Seeing the expression of satisfaction and happiness on her face because she was able to see clearly filled my heart with joy. God had just done an amazing thing.
- Giving out glasses made an impact on people who saw an act of God’s love. After that experience, Zambian pastor Kennedy enlightened us that our presence in the community will help him and his team evangelize: “These people have seen us together with you. They have seen that God has helped you with your journey. They have seen God help them through you. I am positive that they will receive us when we go to evangelize in their villages.”
- Working side-by-side with Zambian members made a huge difference in our outlook. I’m happy I came to Zambia! I can’t thank God enough for giving me the opportunity to see what he is doing across the world.
- We were greeted by the most hospitable loving arms. Our “home” was set up so comfortably that even the water shortages did not give us reason to complain. We worked on the construction of Central Church. It began with a beautiful ceremony of dedicating the building project to be under God’s protection, provision, and blessing. This was symbolized by laying the cornerstone of the church. I still hear the song “Tulemitotela” (“Thank you Lord”) ringing out in reverence to what the Lord provided.
- Our trip back to the U.S. came far too soon. I built many relationships, and became fonder of my African home away from home. God is working strong in the heart of Zambia, and I can’t wait to see what more he has in store for them.
- I learned that we are all breathing the same air, all walking on the same earth. We live with similar problems and issues, the same human nature. The church in Zambia worships joyfully, prays with intention and seeks God. We have the same Holy Spirit, the same Jesus Christ living in us. We are in the same family of God, covered in grace and mercy and love. While at a gathering of folks from several different villages, Kalengule said, “We are from many different cultures… share your culture…but remember, we are all living in God’s culture of love and grace.”
- The world has become smaller for me but God’s Kingdom has grown exponentially.