By Jean Marie Jobs
Let me tell you a little something about MY Jesus! The Friday before I left for Zambia, I had an early coffee meeting with my sweet friend Erica. A few hours later, I received a text from a friend of hers, who I had met briefly at church at few times. The text said “Erica mentioned to me you were going to Zambia on Monday. My husband and I were curious if we could give you a little cash to take with you. I know it’s last minute.” So naturally I replied “Yes, that would be wonderful!” So after church, she came up to me and handed me an envelope. I thanked her and her husband and then got in the car to go to lunch with John. When I opened the envelope, there was a note that said “As soon as we heard about your trip, my husband and I prayed and the Lord gave us a specific amount to give you” and $1,000 cash. Wow. The generosity of God!! (this is a young couple with kids) I hadn’t done hardly any fundraising for this trip since I would mostly be training, so I thought “ok Lord, let’s go!”
So began praying, Lord, how do you want me to sow this money of yours? I had made a date to take Shani and Ngava, the two ‘moms’ from Daughters of Zion children’s home out for lunch and massage on Monday as a treat, since they serve selflessly 24/7 caring for 17 children. When we stopped to have lunch, Shani said “do you mind if we order beef? We never have it.” Naturally I said “of course! Have whatever you like.” While we were eating, I was asking about the home and what are some of the typical meals for the children. Mostly cereal, porridge, nshima, rice and pasta, sometimes beans, vegetables in season from their garden – basically the least expensive foods that go a long way. I felt like God said, feed this family. So I offered to take them grocery shopping. When we got to the store, they were hesitant to pick out too much but I kept asking ‘how about toilet paper? How about soap? How about flour?” Shani said “is it okay with we get a small amount of beef for the children?” “Yes, of course!” So we got beef, and fish and other staples.
Afterwards I asked if they needed any pots for cooking. Yes, they did. So we went and picked up pots, an ironing board (they’d been ironing on the floor or the bed) and a few small things. When we walked out of the store, Ngava said, I just want to check something in another store. She went in and came out. When I asked what it was, she said it’s a tablet called iSchool. All of the curriculum used in the schools for grades 1-7 are downloaded on the tablet, along with educational games and a huge reference library. You don’t need to be online to access any of it, it’s all self-contained. I asked, ‘how much are they?’ she said ‘they are K1600 (which is about $170). I said “let’s get one!” Shani and Ngava were shocked, they and the girls had been praying for one of these for 2 years!
As we were in the store making the purchase, I learned that they haven’t been able to afford school books for the children so they make due with lessons as best they can. The older girls come home needing to do research, but without books or internet, they have to tell them “I’m sorry, but you may have to fail that class, we don’t have any way to do research and we can’t afford books.” (Heart wrenching!) As I stood there listening to the stories and realizing that all 15 school age children would need to share 1 iSchool, I said, ‘Wait, let’s get 2 more’. Shani and Ngava could hardly stand up, tears of joy and reliefs of their mom’s hearts for the education of their children. I asked them “How come I’ve never heard about this need before?” they said “Jean, we have had so many other pressing needs, it just hasn’t come up.”
Shani said as we were walking out to the car, “You know, I was praying on Friday and I kept hearing the word ‘beef’ over and over. I thought I was losing it!” It was then I told them the story of the gift. When I totaled up everything I spent, and converted it back to US$, it was $1,000, almost to the penny!
I am overwhelmed with the goodness of God, the faithfulness of these amazing women and their children to pray for 2 years and the joy of being to play a part in this miracle. I know you’ve been praying for this trip so here’s an response. Please continue to pray, I’m training 50 pastors on Friday and the teachers from Hesed School on Saturday!
Love you all