The last week I have been spending a bit of time with a short term team that is here from Indiana. They have spent the week helping one of our pastors, Patson, to paint his school/church/house (It is indeed all one building.) This group from Traders Point Christian Church (www.tpcc.org) has been working so hard on the building but also loving the young children that are part of Patson's Community School. I spent the evening with this group last night, sharing about our ministry as well as answering their questions about culture and Zambia. I was there for about 2.5 hours enjoying the fellowship and encouragement of this great team as well as some good ‘ole American candy:)
I am so encouraged by their tireless effort and enthusiasm because I know how hard Patson has worked on this school. I asked Patson how long it would have taken him to do what this team has done in a week. I said, "10 years?" He said, "More than 10 years." Seriously. 10 years... You can't put a dollar on 10 years. That is priceless.
It has been fun to know Patson and his sacrifice (like fasting a day so he can buy a few bricks) and know how much he loves these children. AND THEN, to see this team come in and totally BLESS HIM and see the boost this team has given in helping him prepare the building to paint, the financial help and labor they have given him this week in supplies and work, the boost in making the school reputable in the community, the crafts/supplies/materials they have brought and the example to the teachers of how to teach, do chapels, and play games.
It was significant to me because I hope to be able to come back yearly to visit the pastors that we have trained as part of an alumni ministry. These kinds of projects are huge in encouraging pastors and helping them accomplish in a week what would take them 10 years to do. Who knows how it will all work out, but this week was a great encouragement to me of what could happen.
They have been keeping a daily blog if you are interested... This is the link to day 7 of their trip... If you don't want to read the blogs, you can at least read what they wrote about my time with them:
Dinner was wonderful, and we had a really meaningful dialog afterward with Steve Allen from Action Zambia joining us for a few hours. His organization provides a bible school for pastors (of which Patson is a part of the current class of 15 local pastors), an HIV Aids ministry, and a school for teachers. Steve is from the US and he and his family have been in Zambia for the past 4 years. Steve answered dozens of questions that we had about the culture and what we’ve seen so far this week. We appreciate the great work Steve and his team are doing here and for spending the evening with us.