They are the World
The statistics are overwhelming. They can make you throw your hands in the air and do nothing. From a population of 13 Million people, Zambia has 1.3 million children orphaned. Can anything be done for these children? Pastor Peter Chikoseleshi from Bread of Life church and chairman of the 25 network churches who partner with Jubilee Centre in Mapalo says, “Children are the world and they must be helped to understand that if Zambia is to prosper.” He said this at recent meeting at which the network churches hosted a fellowship for 72 children who are receiving educational support. The program activities included a discussion on how to better relate to them, challenges they face, and how the church can help them grow spiritually.
Photo: Pastor Chikoseleshe speaking to the children
Ten guardians attended the meeting and learnt a lot from children as they shared their spiritual, physical and emotional needs. Pastor Peter read from Isaiah 54:13, “All your children shall be taught by the Lord, and great shall be the peace of your children”. He told them that this was his wish for all of them. The sessions started with praise and worship, and then moved into intense intercession in which every young person had opportunity to cry to God to help them be children after his heart and to make a difference in the nation. The meeting was very insightful as the children openly shared their challenges at their homes that affect their studies. They also shared how school and the church were changing their perspective and their lives. Chanda who is 15 years old said “I am able to read my little brother bed time stories as a result of learning how to read at school and this has really helped our relationship”.
AWANA Brings Numerical Growth
Pastor Cosmas Bwalya of In Christ Church of God in Chibuluma is full of praise for AWANA because of the way it has helped his church grow in the last one year. Before the AWANA program was introduced in his church, attendance was 87 of which 17 were children. In October 2010, three of his members attended AWANA. “In the last one year we have reached out to 317 people with the message of salvation through AWANA. 167 are children” said Pastor Cosmas. He further stated, “Parents are being evangelized to by their children and are being converted through AWANA.” Church attendance today is 167 and 80 are children. Pastor Cosmas’ church is a model of what happens when you have an effective children’s ministry. “Children have a unique grace for the development of the Kingdom of God. We do not wait for their future leadership, but this is the right time to engage them in the ministry” concluded Cosmas.
Photo:Pst. Cosmas Bwalya about AWANA at church network mentors meeting in Chibuluma sharing
Hope Surrounds World AIDS Day
World AIDS Day on 1st December does a great job of reminding everyone about this terrible disease.” In Zambia we still have 14:3% of people with HIV and AIDS” stated Mr. Chanda the District Commissioner of Ndola, who was the guest of honor at commemoration that was held at Musa Kasonka Stadium. About 1200 people attended the event at which 10 pastors and 150 members from the 5o network churches where represented. Asked why Jubilee Centre encourages churches to participate, Pastor Chris Chanda, the Care and Compassion Coordinator at JC responded, “With drugs proving very effective for prolonging life of patients with the infection, we want to see the church taking the lead in fighting stigma and helping PLWHA live life to the full. We feel World AIDS gives an opportunity to church to share with the government and others about the work we are doing to keep our adults and children who are infected alive.” On the eve of World AIDS day the network churches participated in candle light church services held in their communities where they shared testimonies in how PLWHA are being integrated into the lives of local churches.
Pastor Chris Chanda stated, “I am very glad that because of awareness programs people are now being diagnosed early enough and are being put on antiretroviral treatment which is reducing the levels of virus in the body of each patient and thereby the chances of it being passed on to others. Our message of abstinence is taking root and we are playing our role of being hope to the community” A week prior to the World AIDS Day the Care and Compassion volunteers from various churches distributed 2000 leaflets in English and local vernacular languages that addressed issues on 1. Eliminate new HIV infections among children and keeping their mothers alive. 2. Reduce AIDS-related mortality and to enhance HIV prevention. 3. Increase the number of males who are circumcised for HIV prevention. 4. Access to, and uptake of, HIV testing and counselling. In Ndola, the day was memorable as different people/organizations came together to commemorate world Aids Day and show solidarity and support to the infected and affected with HIV and AIDS. Different sketches, songs, poems were performed by several drama & arts clubs. In his remarks at the end of the event, Pastor Terry Mwenya was full of praise to God of what he is doing through his church, “Four years, we would not be here as church. But because of JC training the government cannot organize World AIDS DAY without our input. This is what God wants his church to be-a light to the world.”
World AIDS Day commemoration which fell on 1st December 2012. The venue for the event was at Musa Kasonka stadium in Ndola. More than 1,200 people from different organizations/institution (Jubilee Centre included), dignitaries and recognized government officials took part in the event. And the event was graced by the U.C.Z brass band and the U. C. Z Majorettes.
In Ndola it was a memorable day different people/organizations came together to commemorate world Aids Day and show solidarity and support to the infected and affected with HIV and AIDS. Different sketches, songs, poems were performed by several drama & arts clubs.
The guest of honor for the event was Mr. R. Chanda, the Ndola District Commissioner (DC). And in his speech, the guest of honor stated that, out of 13,000,000 people in Zambia, 14.3% people are LWHA today. The DC also stressed the fact that we need to be more aware of the risks we take out of ignorance and casualness, this maybe sexual or otherwise. He also encouraged the importance of male circumcision, sticking to one partner in marriage and abstinence for the unmarried. As a nation we should not only keep people informed on the challenges of the pandemic, but we are obligated to emphasize how sustained efforts in particular communities have saved lives.
Impact story on Imiti Ikula Empanga
Oh! This God is great. When I look back from where I come from, am amazed, and I cannot contend all the little pieces that God has been doing in my life since I dedicated my life to Christ to do his will as long as I live as a Youth.
I was born again when I was very young at the age of 12 years old. This age as far as I know and anybody who has been brought in the village setup will agree with me that it is not easy to be a genuine Christian while you are young; everyone mocks you that you are still young and you haven’t grown up and see how good and beautiful the world is. Women are not yet beautiful in your eyes and definitely you will fall when you reach that stage. This and many more rumors scared me a lot and the adrenaline moved into my blood stream and I could run away from those people with no convincing answers to such life questions.
With these life threatening issues and many others gave me strength to want to prove people wrong and please God since I knew in my heart that I had found Jesus the real one and wasn’t feeling shame to stand and defend my true faith in Him.
I was brought up by my single mother who taught and helped me a lot through life situations through the word of God, and she contributed a lot in my faith on how to pray and read memory verses. This helped a lot to go on in spite of teenage challenges.
In 2009 when I was introduced to the curriculum called IMITI IKULA EMPANGA, I was very much astonished and wanted to learn as much as I can. Jubilee Center came at a better time in my life with this life changing curriculum.
By this time I was serving faithfully in youth ministry as a Local Church Youth Director. Through partnership with Jubilee Center I was selected to start this training and I was delighted too. I had to put into practice whatever I learnt by holding youth focus group discussions, class sessions, youth seminars, and youth services. I became popular in the community churches and I was invited to teach my fellow youths on different topics on youth and leadership, youth and HIV/AIDS, Purity and virginity. Through this I was nicknamed “Ba purity” whenever the school going children see me they would shout Virgin Power! Virgin Pride! This was a challenge for me as I was kept fixed to live a faithful youth leader and keep my testimony alive.
The local pastor saw my commitment to duty and ordained me as a deacon and within a year I was ordained as an elder. After I was sent to Bible College for 1 year and came back to serve as an elder for 1 year and this year I was the youngest on the list of the ordained Pastors at the district level of 18 local churches. The youngest Imiti ikula Empanga has worked!
Now am a local church Pastor under someone but amazing thing is that the senior pastor always consults with me on church vision, missions and administration matters. Am very much humbled by what God has done, and is doing in my life I will always be grateful to Jubilee Center with the introduction of this life transformation curriculum.
The curriculum has helped me on how to counsel using bible reference in application to life issues. I have witnessed demonically possessed people be delivered during sessions and find resolutions to marital and friendship conflicts.
This has helped me a lot as a young pastor without much experience but finding ways to help one another in the lord. The lord has helped me acquiring these skills to bring life change among the youths who are HIV positive who cannot talk to elderly people for fear of being discriminated against and being labeled as sinners instead of welcoming them with love as the story taught by Jesus- the prodigal son. During weekly Bible studies I have learnt on how to conduct sessions successfully that drags everyone to participate in discussions and this amazes me that 3 quarters who attends are youths.
The church membership has increased from 60 to 102 within 2 years. I feel this is because of what God is doing in my life as a young humble pastor. The lord has helped me to encourage the discouraged youths who stopped school due to family financial constraints to begin loving school and it’s a joy to see them finish school and others have gone to colleges through counseling and encouragement I render to them.
Through being a disciplined young man I have acquired my own house just to demonstrate and lead by example that yes we can live as disciplined and responsible youths even in the hard and difficult economy of our community when we are taught the right principles as youths who are to take up leadership in churches, community and the national at large. With Imit Ikula Empanga curriculum if taught all over the world can make a big change in the preparation of the church, community and world leadership as effective and sharp ready to deliver to the lost, discouraged and downtrodden youths of our day.
Praise and Glory to our most high God. Am still finding His ways.