“If you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday.”
Why Zambia? A Chance Encounter…
The opportunity to help make a difference in Zambia grew out of a chance encounter with a group of young men from the Lusaka, Zambia area several years ago. These young men came to the United States touring and singing Christian acapella to raise money so that children in their home town would be able to go to school. As a way to save money while travelling, they would stay with families in the area in which they were singing. Several of the current board members happened to be in those families and this is how we met those who would turn out to be “our friends in Zambia”.
After they returned home we continued a long distance relationship with them. Even though a few have been able to return to the US to live and work, their hearts are full of love for their native country and the friends and family they have there. They continuously work to help support them and most go back to spend time. with their people, even though it is often a great expense in many ways.
All the young men are Christians. One of them, Chrispine Katonga, returned to Zambia and dedicated his life to teaching and sharing the Love of Jesus Christ to the people in the villages and communities around Lusaka. Even though he lives in poverty, it’s obvious to everyone he comes in contact with that he’s filled with hope and the Love of God by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Friends with a Heart
All of the guys from the group have remained close friends. As God would have it, one of the men who relocated to the US is Aswell Banda. Aswell truly has a heart for God and for the work God is doing through Chrispine in his homeland. He has continually prayed for them, sent money to help support them, and has often returned home to Zambia to help with the work there.
Seeing the Need
It was on one of those trips that he went to a remote village with Chrispine to share the gospel and where the two first talked about the need for a well in the village. The people there had to travel quite some distance to get water, even though the water was not clean to drink or supply their basic needs. Not all the people in the village were receptive to the Word of God Chrispine was sharing, but he knew if there was a way through the Power of God to help them get a clean water well in the village, it would make a difference spiritually as well as physically.
The Connection and Provision
When Aswell came back, he contacted us to see if there was a way to make this happen. We shared with our friends and Bible study groups the story. Without any solicitation whatsoever, people began giving money to put a well in that village. It was amazing how quickly God provided for the need.
Since it was obviously a word from God that we were supposed to do this, Aswell and Jack Stover (our board chairman) began working long-distance with Chrispine and Aswell’s brother Andrew, who still lives in Lusaka. They put together a plan to work with businesses in the area and in 2012 God put a well in that remote village in the Muchinga Mountains.
The people were overflowing with joy, extremely grateful and yes, Chrispine was right. They all praised the one true God for the clean water.
Sharing the Love of God
Chrispine continues to travel to that village to teach God’s word and minister to the people there. He built a “church building” for them with his own hands, where they worship and praise God and hear His word (you can see it here). We continue to support the work God is doing there and elsewhere in the area as Chrispine shares the Word and Love of God to other villages in the Muchinga Mountains and communities in the Lusaka area.