Outreach in Sinazongwe, Zambia
What a great time we had with Hugo and Salomie in Sinazongwe! The team enjoyed the whole experience of Zambia, especially the children, and their smiles and laughter. The joy to see the children have a fun time and learn about the power they have using their tongues. The way the children listened and were involved in the dancing and games, gave us all great joy.
Hugo and Salomie are wonderful, they have looked after children in Zambia for a number of years and that was evident, when every time we went past different villages the children, from toddlers to teenagers, would shout and run after the vehicle. They would shout “HuuuuuGoo!” every time we went past. That is what I would call having an impact and a lasting one, on children’s lives. A wonderful testimony to the love, commitment and passion that Hugo and Salomie have to the children and community in Sinazongwe, through Missionary Ventures South Africa.
There were 5 of us on this outreach to Zambia, Myself (Darren), Susan, Emelia and Chris and Sian. We all are involved in children’s ministry at our home church New Life Community Church Milnrow and it was amazing to see how we all naturally fell into the same roles in Sinazongwe. Hugo looked after us well and showed us the ropes and was a great encouragement and inspiration in children’s work. Pastor Bernard interpreted for us and he was such fun, one of my favourite pictures we took is of Pastor Bernard sticking his tongue out with a big smile on his face, having way more fun than some of the children!
MVSA and Hugo and Salomie work with Pastor Bernard and his wife Molly, they call themselves ‘brothers’ and ask the children if they believe they are brothers, to which most say ‘No way!’. But as we know they are brothers in Jesus and their love and commitment to each other is evident when you spend any time at all with them. Pastor Bernard overseas a number of churches, a bible school and looks after the community. His wife Molly is the one who looks after the small local enterprises such as a chicken coop, a lovely small garden plot growing all kinds of vegetables, a small shop and a women’s sewing ministry. Together they make a wonderful team, making disciples in their community and bringing hope and love to people in Sinazongwe.
We visited a school a day for five days in the mornings. The whole school would come out and gather around us and we had games, music, dancing, memory verse and lessons about how we are responsible for what we say and that there is great power in the tongue and we need to remember to speak positive, encouraging and kind words into other people’s lives. We took toys for prizes, gave out new stationary as prizes, which the children loved. And we also took out knitted baby clothes, and for the football and netball competitions the week after, we gave out football kits, kindly donated by Springhead AFC in Oldham.
In the afternoon, Pastor Bernard and Hugo arranged for us to go into the community and give provisions to elderly widows or women who were in great need and love. I have to say that to sit with these ladies in their home and see them eye to eye is something I hope I never forget, very humbling and a great joy. Hugo and Salomie call this ministry ‘Bucket Ministry’, where we gave out provisions such as food, blankets and clothes, the gratefulness and the humility with which the items are received are life changing to you as you witness the simple things, the things we so often take for granted, but are so vital for these ladies and their family. One of the stand out moments for the team was handbags! A friend of Salomie had given some used handbags to give out to the elderly ladies, and the joy they had when they knew this handbag was their own was amazing to see. There would be little dances and laughter and pure joy at having such a personal gift. We were amazed at this, I mean to think, the joy most women get over here in the west when they buy a new handbag is one thing, (yes, I have seen Susan and others do a little jig when they have a new handbag!), but to see the same joy and jigs from ladies in Sinazongwe was something that took us all by surprise.
So as you can tell, we loved the trip, it has been perspective changing and therefore life changing, in the UK we can sometimes believe we can change the whole world with one policy or one act or one statement, but when you go to Africa you see how big and diverse it is, the people and the cultures and you soon realise the truth, that your one policy or one answer is not going to cut it! You realise you have to stop for the ‘one’, you have to say, ‘I cannot change the world for everyone, but I CAN make a difference for this one, or this community, this community that I have been with, that I have seen and that I am forever in relationship with’. Quite freeing actually, to know that Jesus isn’t asking you to carry the problems and fix the problems of the whole world, but that He is asking, would you take care of this part, this part that I have had planned for you before the foundations of the earth.
You can make a difference to anyone or anywhere too, and if you hear Jesus asking you to go to this place or that place in your wonderful every day or especially if it is a different country, get in touch and we would love to help you on your journey, relationship and obedience to Him. If you would also like to support in any way, prayer, finance or go and help, any skills you have can be used to make a difference in Sinazongwe so again, please get in touch.
Darren – MVGB
Outreach in Sinazongwe, Zambia