March
29
Author
Mark Taylor
Zambia Trip 2017

Zambia Trip by Mark Taylor.

Intro
I have recently returned from spending time in Zambia along with Rob and Helen Coleman from Grace Church, Bolton and Stuart McCrindle from our church (Hope Church, Westhoughton).  We spent time with Joseph and Lillian Mwila and their team.  Both of our churches, along with others, have been friends with Joseph and Lillian for some time and have shared in the work that they are doing, seeing it grow and become more and more influential in Kitwe, the city that they live.  Joseph leads the Newfrontiers apostolic work in Zambia, now also reaching into other neighbouring countries.  On a personal note, Joseph and Lillian have been a great support to my family and encouraged us in planting Hope Church Westhoughton.  This was my long awaited first trip.

Here are some highlights:

Feeding programme
This is where it started:  From feeding a few homeless children out of her own larder, to now feeding between 250 and 300 children who live in poverty in local compounds, every week.  It was a real privilege to be part of one of the mornings where hungry children were shown love, well fed and heard the gospel that motivates the people that regularly give and serve in this way.
Feeding Program

Orphanage
The work that was started from scratch is now two orphanage’s (“Grace Centre” for the boys and “Faith Centre” for the girls) on two separate sites.  Over fifty children are resident.  There are also around one hundred and fifty other children being sponsored by churches who live in difficult circumstances but not in the orphanages.  It was great to spend time with the children and to see how well they are cared for. 

We had the opportunity to give out gifts that the children’s sponsors had sent out.  This had arrived as part of a shipment on a large container from the Newfrontiers church in Crawley (Crawley Community Church).  It was great to see so much joy as they opened their shoeboxes filled with goodies.

Orphanage

C.A.B.S. (College, Apprenticeship and Business Sponsorship)
As some of the children have got older, the reality of the task in helping them with their next step after school is becoming clearer.  Some will want to continue in Higher Education, some in apprenticeships and others in starting up their own businesses.  We spent an evening with the guys, now in their late teens or early twenties who are already in this next stage or applying for their opportunities.  I found it very emotional as Mum and Dad (Lillian and Joseph) spoke with their extended family advising, challenging, encouraging and most of all celebrating with young men and women that they have loved from early childhood.

Some of the older ones have made new homes, whilst others live alongside the younger children in  half-way houses (Boys – Bolton House and Girls - Hannah House).

Other Churches
As Joseph’s ministry has grown, we have got to know other leaders who serve with him.  Austin Hamankolo has also become a friend of ours.  He is responsible for three churches in Kitwe (where Joseph is also based and oversees another three churches).  He also cares for other churches in the area around Kitwe.  It was great getting to know him better (after an earlier visit to our church).  We were very encouraged by the sense of togetherness and the way they share in the mission in bringing the gospel to Zambia. 

We have realised that if we are to serve our brothers and sisters in Zambia, we will need churches to form relationships, not only with Joseph but, even more importantly with some of the churches that his apostolic team serves.  Our experience is that we can learn from and encourage one another.  It was great to be able to be at the start of this new adventure.

Lasting impressions
As I look back at our time visiting Zambia, one thing stands out more than any other from our trip:  There was a real sense of joy with those we worked with.  It would be easy to see desperation and what isn’t yet able to be done.   However, Joseph, Lillian and those who are with them are seeing great victories; homeless kids are being cared for, hungry children are being fed, lost people are being saved, sick people are being healed, people who have been oppressed are being released.  And the Zambians know how to celebrate!
 
Prayer

If, after reading this, you want to pray for our family in Zambia, here’s a few suggestions:

    • The children – for them to continue to enjoy the care provided and to grow in relationship with Jesus.
    •  The churches – that they would be strong and grow, even in the face of opposition.
    •  Wisdom and resources – there are so many projects that exist or could be started in the situations we visited.
    •  Other difficulties – Because of the poverty that is in many of the places, the churches and orphanages can suffer vandalism, damage and theft.  This affects their effectiveness.  Please pray for protection and for what they do to positively impact those that they are serving.
Market Kitwe
Market Kitwe - 1