Forgotten Voices' Mission:

"Demonstrating the love of Jesus Christ by equipping local churches in southern Africa to meet the physical & spiritual needs of children orphaned by AIDS in their communities."

Monday, June 2, 2008

Church, Church, and Remmy

Yesterday morning we attended church at Chifubu Brethren in Christ Church in one of the high-density areas of Ndola. The church meets at a school, where several other churches also meet in separate classrooms. As we were worshiping and praying, we could also hear several groups around us also singing and praying. I commented to Kathy Steubing (long-time missionaries in Zambia, and our gracious hosts for the week) that I sometimes had a difficult time focusing on the lesson, as I was distracted by some of the other groups' singing. She laughed and said, "Yeah, but isn't that just a glimpse of what God must hear? And somehow he sorts through it all!"

One of the main reasons for our time in Zambia is for Ryan to spend time with a man named Remmy Hamapande, who just began his role as Program Director, Zambia for Forgotten Voices. Remmy will oversee the development of new Local Orphan Care Plans that churches create to help orphans in their communities. This will allow Forgotten Voices to help more pastors, communities, and children. Yesterday, Remmy took us out to visit a church, New Life Christian Church, where we had the opportunity to learn about some of the work they are already doing to help orphans, and some projects they hope to start. This church was incredibly warm and welcoming. We were met at the car by several women of the church and the pastor. While we thought that we were just going to talk with the pastor, we knew right away when he had a microphone with him, that we were about to meet the congregation as well! For the next hour, different members of the congregation shared about the projects which they were overseeing. One project is tailoring shop, where widows would be trained in sewing, and then use these skills to support their families. The church had acquired some sewing machines, but all but one of the seven need servicing before they can be used.

We were greatly encouraged by this church. It was clear that church members were invested in the community, and truly cared about the children and families of their community. Remmy will continue to dialog with Pastor Christian to see how Forgotten Voices might partner with this church to support them in their goals for future projects.

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