Dear Supporters of GAP Missions Zambia 2009,
Thank you for your financial contribution in support of our work in Zambia! Your generosity made a profound impact on the lives of both the youth who participated in the trainings as well as our own team. May you reap many blessings for your generosity!
Our first full-day we visited two orphanges of the Christian Alliance for Children in Zambia (CACZ). We first visited the House of Moses which offers round the clock nursing care for premature and high risk infants. We spent a couple of hours holding and playing with the infants. Needless to say the team’s foreign look offered much to the curiosity of many little pairs of striking brown eyes. We then went to visit the House of Martha that cares for children ages 4-12 who are orphaned, abandoned, lost, or whose families are not able to properly take care for them. One of the staff there told us that they had one young girl that was found being raised by monkeys for quite some time.
During our time in Zambia we were able to schedule two consecutive trainings. We commenced these the day after our time at the CACZ orphanages. The first was a 2-day Purity First workshop for junior high aged youth. We ended up with 27 total kids, 15 boys and 12 girls. We had some challenge with communication and translation. Despite the language barrier, the team’s expression of compassion and hope were communicated quite powerfully with the universal language of love. The Zambian teens declarations at the end of the training confirmed this, here are a couple; “I am committed to be love for other orphans and show them that you can make it” and “I am hope for children who have lost their parents, that they can go on.”
The day after the junior high training we commenced our second training which was a 3-day hybrid of our leadership & purity workshop for high school age teens. Many of the teens came from the North and Eastern parts of Zambia where tribal influence is quite strong. The culture that they are coming out of is steeped in polygamy, child marriage and has little regard for education. The local customs around rites of passage for both boys and girls are shocking to our American ears. Young girls, when they go through puberty, are taken from their home to a ‘mentor’ house run by older women. The girl is then taught how to please sexually in any context, she is kept there under lock and key, sometimes cut with razor if she resists. Boys are taken by elders in large white masks (scary!) and circumcised then kept away for a period of weeks. When they are released they are encouraged to go and hunt down one of the girls who had just been released from the mentor house and rape her, since that is their ‘right’ now as a man. We had 14 boys and 14 girls. About 1/3 of the teens spoke English fairly well, we used a translator 100% of the time. There was a lot of vision as well as a lot of defeat and despair in the culture there. Envy is all-consuming and plays itself out in large and small ways. One of the girls shared that her parents are dead and she lives with aunts, who don’t want her to go to school since they never went and tell her that they are going to stop paying for it. One of the girls shared that she was taken to one of the ‘houses’ mentioned earlier, when she started puberty. Another girl shared that it is almost impossible for women to work here since they have to have sex with the boss to get a job. Most of the teens were really bright and willing to look at their own assumptions, views and choices. I was astounded at their level of willingness and honesty.
At the latter stages of the training Charlie Johnson, a long time friend of GYTS and large part of opening up our being ins Zambia, shared his testimony and several of the teens opened up about their abuse and sexual history in small groups. Because of that, we were able to identify several teens who needed medical care, HIV/AIDs or STD testing and treatment and other aid. It was a blessing to have Charlie involved!
On a side note, we had the training at a convent and one of the nuns, Sister Veronica, came up to me after the 1st day and asked if she could sit in on the ‘class’ because she really wanted to learn what we were bringing to the kids. She came and participated in the outdoor low ropes course and sat in on all the discussions. After she said that it never occurred to her before that trust is a choice, even trusting God. She had always felt like you ‘had to’ trust Him and now she sees that she chooses and it’s much more powerful.
We also were able to meet with representatives from several local NGO’s that are interested in our work here and will be following up. After the last training today, we met with the Minister of Education to discuss a proposal to bring transformational training into the schools. Suffice it to say that God is moving created much possibility with our time there.
At the beginning of our trip, Jean gave the team US$250 each out of the money we fundraised to sow into the country while we were there, whatever touches their hearts and represents God’s love to the Zambian people. Mine went to a woman who worked for the convent cleaning and caring for the guest house we stayed in. She has a small child and no other means of support. Cheri and Allen donated their funds to buy furniture to the House of Martha. The left over money from the furniture went towards ‘milk money’ for the baby orphanage, House of Moses. Campbell and Shane’s purchased soccer jerseys for the boys and sunglasses for the girls that participated in the first training and their extra went to milk money for the babies as well, as did Cristiana and Adelina’s money. The team got to go back and hold babies one last time before we left. I think that everyone wanted to take at least one back home!
We have written testimonies from the team , thank you notes given to us by many on the teens in the second training, and we videoed some of the declarations and will have them on the website later this month: www.gapyouth.com. Please take a moment to look at these they offer more personal insight to our time in Zambia.
On behalf of the GYST leadership and missions team we acknowledge that your commitment and love for the next generation is an encouragement and a blessing! Because of your willingness and generosity you are forever a part of the many legacies that will have an eternal impact on the Zambian people.
Director of Operations
Trip To Zambia
Thank you cards to team
from some high school age participants:
We appreciate you for giving
us this opportunity to learn new things which wil make us better
citizens of our country and the rest of the world. – Brian Musonda
I thank you very much for you making a difference and good impact
on my life. Again, I thank you because you are teaching good things
so God Bless and do come back, in the name of Jesus. Thank You!
– Francis Ndhlow
I thank you very much for
what you have taught me. You have made a difference and good impact
on my life. May you please just come back another time in our country
which is Zambia. Please God bless you and also be with you. Have
a safe journey. – Justine Daka
You people have done a lot for us. Your work has highly expanded
my belief, being that ” I am the man destined to positively
change the world” keep this safely because ten years from now
you will be editing the autobiography: ‘Earnest, the man of God
that changed the world!” – Mwila Ernest Malulu
To the entire team: I’m
very humbled and happy that you came to Zambia. My life is not As
it was before. You have given me a gift and that is to develop my
life through what you have taught. You have given me hope when I
was hopeless. I now feel special and free from every burden I was
carrying. For this I will forever be grateful to you all. Please
come back again. God bless you in all that you do. Yours faithfully,
I thank you very much for
what you have taught me. You have made a difference and good impact
in my life. May you please come back again to Zambia. God Bless
you – Violet Phiri
I want to say thank you to the Gap team. I really appreciate you
guys and am praying that our Father God will bless you and be with
you always. Robb I love you and the team very much. You had good
questions that challenged my life and I have become a better thinker.
Campbell you are an inspiring leader. – Joseph Mwanza
I would like to thank you
the Gap team for having fun with us and teaching us more things.
I would like to thank you for sharing that was very kind of you.
God bless you and remember I love you and will remember you. I hope
we meet again. Love, Elizabeth.
Friends I really, really thank you for all the things that you have
done for us. I really appreciate you all from the bottom of my heart.
May God, the source of hope, fill you with joy and peace for all
the things you have done for us. May he be with you as you go, Thank
you! Yours with love, Kane.
Cheri, though it looks
small on paper it is big because of the difference and positive
impact you have in my life. Who new God would bless my new year
with a kind of person and gift you are. God had a purpose for me
and you. I would love to keep in touch. A thanks is not enough but
it is the greatest word I can use so far. Never lose this card and
our friendship ell the team thanks for sharing the ideas and time
with us we are greatly humbled. Please come back again so we can
benefit greatly, thanks. -Sharon