Leaders Serve

 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  

This week JC is hosting a team of ten people from the USA. One of the team leaders had a conversation with her pastor about her church’s relationship with churches outside the USA. Through the grace of God she and her pastor ended up visiting Zambia three and half years ago. Today, her church has relationships with 27 churches in George Complex community, Lusaka.  Through this partnership, churches in George Complex have been capacitated in leadership, youth and children’s ministry. As a result of this partnership, a number of churches have effective ministries that are transforming the lives of church members in this extremely under resourced community. One pastor put it this way, “We are growing numerically, maturing in how to live as the body of Christ, and we are addressing issues of education for orphans and vulnerable children and wealth creation for youth and people living with AIDS. Our community has hope in the midst of moral and economic challenges because of the church.”

 

The church in the USA is also being transformed. Speaking at a local church yesterday a woman who is visiting with her 15 years old daughter stated, “Witnessing the work your churches are doing, your amazing sense of community and feeling the way you love God, has transformed me. You have touched my heart and soul. For that I thank you and I thank our loving God who never gives up on us. He is always working on us so that we can become better people and do the work he wants us to do.” She then shared this testimony:

I will always have a picture on my mind of the handsome face of a young 16 year old Zambian boy that I met here in George. He is the same age as my daughter. His beautiful smile and the sadness in his eyes are etched in my mind forever. Both his parents died and he is now the mother and the father of his 4 siblings. He quit school and started trading so that he could provide for his siblings. The church saw the situation and helped him add a room to his house so he could get rental income. They have given him tuition so that he could go back to school. The church has also provided a mentor to talk with and get help about how to raise his sisters. What an amazing gift the church has given this young man! You are a great community and I have seen your love for others. I know that this is not a unique situation. I know this community cares for each other, finds grace and courage from God and is full of hope and of God’s love. This is what transformed me. Seeing was believing!


Contrast this testimony with what you read in our newspapers about leadership. It is unlikely you will read about leaders providing services that are giving hope to unemployed youth. You will not read about best practices in the fight against HIV and AIDS. What you will read about are leaders using their creative energy scheming how to get into positions of power. Mr. Kalungu-Banda put it this way in the Post yesterday, “The major challenge facing Africa is not poverty, or lack of housing and social services, but those entrusted with leading have no room to engage in thinking about the challenges we face.” One gift of the church to the community is to serve. Jesus said “I am among you as one who serves.” Is this the role your church is providing in your community?  May the Lord deliver Africa from leaders who are pre-occupied with wanting to be a god over our nations. Hear all Zambia, there is only one God.

Lawrence Temwe