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We love the opportunity to reflect on the last year and look at the year ahead when we write our annual report for you. Highlights this time include reaching an amazing landmark in 2015; 300 Life Groups! Our Impact Teams have increased by 50% at the start of 2016 thanks to the work done last year. We continue to see God’s amazing provision for the work we are doing and we to be encouraged and amazed by some of the things we see happening. Looking ahead to 2016 we need your help. Take 5 minutes to have a read and see what an important part you can play in God’s Kingdom.

We hope you enjoy reading “Together” as much as we enjoyed writing it and find yourself inspired by the people we work alongside.

If you would like a hard copy, or a few to pass on, email Gill on admin@dignityonline.org.uk. You can also download a printable version here.

Talking with a witch

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Chafwilai is on one of our trainee Impact Team members. He’s already got stuck into the role and tells this story of when he travelled to a village 70km away to help with a week of prayer.

There was one lady who was very strong in the things of God, but she was coming from very far in the bush. The reason why she was living so far into the bush was because her husband was a witch and they had been chased out of the village. Even her fellow church members were afraid of him. They explained these things to me. I thought that if there is a man that we are going to visit first while we are here; it is this man we are talking about.

The people around Chafwilai tried to change his mind. They were scared. Chafwilai remained sure that God wanted him to reach out to this man and the next morning, he set out to visit him, taking with him two young men from the local church.

We went to the place where this man lived. It was called Longhead. We found this man together with his wife. When we arrived there, the boys were afraid. They were pulling back behind. They didn’t want to sit close to this man. I went straight to where this man was sitting and I sat down next to him, close enough that we were even rubbing shoulders. I said to him, “I am very happy that I have found you. When your wife comes to church, you don’t come to church. Upon hearing that the church people were coming, you have decided to sit and wait for us. You stayed at home waiting for us and have not gone to do your work. From this, I have come to learn that inside your heart there is something that belongs to God. One thing you should know is that people of your age have died, many of them. One thing you shouldn’t forget is that one day you will also die. If there is a thing that has made God keep you up until this age, it is that God wants you not to accuse him on that day that you never received the Gospel. Your age is more than the age of the father who gave birth to me. For me to come here, I have got words that the Holy Spirit is whispering to me that I should say to you. If you won’t listen to the words I am sharing, you will regret the words I am telling you. What I am telling you is repent and turn to God.”

I spoke to him many words of the same kind. He started crying. After crying, he said to me, “One thing that has saddened me, people here are afraid of me. There are older people who come here to preach, older than you, but there is nobody who has been here and spoken to me up to the point of me crying. The words you have spoken to me have moved me”. This man turned to God.

They prepared food for us with nice dish of relish and they watched us as we ate. After we prayed with them, they escorted us, we greeted each other and I said to him “Daddy, God loves you” and then I went back home.

After a week, the people in that place wrote a letter to me to say the old man had died. I thank God for this matter because he gave me courage to go and preach to this old man.

We are saddened to hear of this man’s death, but we rejoice that God sent Chafwilai to share the Gospel with him. We are encouraged and spurred on by Chafwilai’s obedience to God’s leading and his bravery. Sometimes we all need to be brave and speak out the words we believed God is giving us.

Do you want to support Chafwilai and others like him?

First and foremost, please pray for Chafwilai and all the other Impact Team members. They are at the cutting edge of what we do. They face difficult situations regularly and need to hear God speaking and guiding them. Please pray for them to have ears that hear and hearts that are brave. Visit the Who We Are page to find out more about our team members.

If you would like to practically help with supporting Chafwilai and others like him, you can donate money towards the support of Impact Teams. As a guide, it costs us £127 per month for each Impact Team member we support. We currently have 11 team members and 14 trainee team members like Chafwilai. Amazingly, each team member gives their time. Dignity supports them in a number of ways. Financially, we cover all the costs associated with travelling to different areas (food, transport etc.). We provide regular training and encouragement, again, covering the cost for team members so they are able to partake. We ensure teams meet regularly so they can share their experiences and learn from each other. And last but by no means least, we provide pastoral care and we all pray for one another.

It’s all about connections

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A massive thank you to everyone who came to our Celebration Evening on Friday 15th May. It was amazing to hear you all sharing how you understand Dignity. We were blown away as all the comments you were sharing wove together into one big picture, quite literally, and also figuratively.

Throughout the evening a strong theme of connectivity emerged. Take a moment to explore the drawing above that was created as we talked. As we move forward we want to keep on exploring what it means to be connected. We are part of God’s kingdom. Physical distance does not matter. The prayers we offered on Friday evening, the actions we committed to take and the gifts that we made are directly connected to the work that people like Bernard and Cornelius are helping happen in their communities.

Special thanks go to Stu and Ian of ICE Creates who gave their time and skills to help make the evening happen.

And finally…a big yummy thank you to Big Top Parties for providing such a delicious meal for us all.

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It’s that time of year!

We are busy getting on with our plans for 2015 already but let’s pause and take a moment to look back at 2014. 2014 was not without it’s challenges of course, but overall, it was a year of growth. We are hugely encouraged and spurred on to do more!

Here is our Annual Report summing up some of the highlights and headlines. The stories included are just a couple of examples of the types of things happening on a much wider basis across rural Zambia and now spreading in Namibia and Tanzania. We hope they are an encouragement to you.

You can download a printable version of the Annual Report here.

In our own language

Collecting local language Bibles

Collecting local language Bibles

As we plant our work in more and more areas of rural Zambia and neighbouring countries, we find ourselves working amongst people who speak many different languages.

In our recent planning and prayer meetings a strong theme has been emerging. We are being reminded that God will use the “voiceless” or the “faceless” to fulfil his purposes. These are the people we can so easily overlook if we are not careful.

What does this mean for Dignity? It’s easy for us to seek out the more educated without even meaning to. Those who have had the opportunity to complete their schooling are often those who speak English the best and are the easiest for us to communicate with. But what if the people God is calling in a village are the least educated? What if they don’t speak English? We cannot disregard them because it is a little harder for us to work with them.

In response to this, providing both the Bible and training materials in local languages is becoming a growing part of our work. After six months hard work, we’ve recently delivered the first Lunda copies of Rooted in Jesus to our Mwinlunga Impact Team. This week we’ve also been able to purchase a large number of local language Bibles for distribution. An amazing couple of weeks!

The delight on people’s faces when they receive materials written in their own language shows that something much deeper than the giving of a book is taking place. They understand that we are putting our trust in them. We are saying, “You are the ones we believe God is going to use.”

Is this something you are passionate about? Don’t miss the opportunity to be involved.

You could volunteer to proof read the English copy of training materials we write.
You could volunteer to help with the translation of materials into Zambian & Namibian languages.
Contact Jo Kimball: +44 (0) 161 434 8841 / jo@dignityonline.org.uk

You can help cover the cost of translating materials into local languages.
On average it costs us £250 to translate each of the training materials we use into a different language.
You can donate towards our work here: www.give.net


Take a good look, friends, at who you were when you got called into this life. I don’t see many of “the brightest and the best” among you, not many influential, not many from high-society families. Isn’t it obvious that God deliberately chose men and women that the culture overlooks and exploits and abuses, chose these “nobodies” to expose the hollow pretensions of the “somebodies”? That makes it quite clear that none of you can get by with blowing your own horn before God. Everything that we have—right thinking and right living, a clean slate and a fresh start—comes from God by way of Jesus Christ. That’s why we have the saying, “If you’re going to blow a horn, blow a trumpet for God.”

1 Corinthians 1 v 26 – 31

The Mwinilunga Impact Team receive Rooted in Jesus in Lunda

The Mwinilunga Impact Team receive Rooted in Jesus in Lunda

The story of Siavonga

The story of Siavonga

The story of our involvement with Siavonga in the Southern Province of Zambia is a little different to many of the areas we work in. We have been working with a small, faithful group of people there for over 2 years. It has proved hard for them to plant Life! Groups in the area, perhaps due to the fact that drought often affects the land meaning people move vast distances to find good land leading to a transient population and lower than average levels of education.

Since we first began working in Siavonga a handful of Life! Groups have begun but have struggled to become well established, eventually coming to an end. However, one group has really taken route and has been running for 2 years with a good number of members. On recent visits, the Impact Team have come across, and challenged, 2 aspects of life for those living in and around Siavonga.

Firstly, the place of women in the community. The Impact Team noticed that women were treated very lowly in the community and that the work of the Life! Group was being held only by the men. The Impact Team spent time explaining that God desired women to be involved in His work as well as men. Through discussions and exploration, the villagers seemed to accept this. We are encouraged to see that some women have now committed themselves to making sure the work of the Life! Group is strong in their area. We hope that this will begin to change the way women are viewed in the wider community.

Secondly, the power of witchcraft. Many people in this area live in great fear of witchcraft. For example, a man recently had a car crash while driving drunk, killing himself and his passenger. The event itself was tragic but the knock on effects have been devastating. Many people believed the man died there because the area was cursed and therefore they simply left the area as quickly as possible. They took with them what they could but left their homes and many possessions behind in fear of staying longer. The ripple effect of this will be huge as families try to rebuild their lives from scratch in new areas.

Fear of witchcraft is a very real phenomenon in this area and our Impact Team worked with the Life! Group to try and help them stand in opposition to this fear. There is not a Life! Group in the village where the tragic accident happened, but we pray that in time, God will raise up His people in the villages across Siavonga to break the stronghold of witchcraft and bring lasting hope and freedom in Him in it’s place.


Do you want to play a part in this story and others like it? It costs us about £150 a month to support each Impact Team member including expenses, training and pastoral care. There are now 14 Impact Team members working across Zambia helping villagers like those in Siavonga bring the hope of Jesus to their communities. If you want to be a part of this story and others like it you can make a one-off or regular donation through our stewardship page by clicking here.

Big Thank You’s All Round

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For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

Ephesians 2 v 8-10 (NIV)

Wow! What a year!
As we approach the end of 2014 it’s natural to look back and see where we have come this year. We are delighted that this year has seen 63 new Life! Groups have start, with the number continuing to rise. From January 2 new Impact Team members will officially join us, bringing the total to 14. Some of of the guys and girls who make up the Impact Teams are pictured above.

These numbers are the headlines that show the growth of a movement emerging across rural Zambia and reaching into neighbouring countries.

Panono Panono – A Return to Mpika
Earlier this week Jon & Jude Witt returned to Mpika where we ran our introductory “Get Your Hands Dirty” course in July this year. Jon writes:

“The rain hammered the tin roof of the church in Mpika. The noise was deafening. The first rains of the season had come with a vengeance. Unable to speak over the noise of the rain, we sat there for 45 minutes, looking at the 15 people that had travelled to meet with us. Some of them had cycled for 3 hours, others grabbed a lift with us. They came from some 150km away.

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“We’d come to follow up a visit in July when we had travelled with a couple of visitors to introduce the work of Dignity and Life! Groups to the area. We’d explained how the best hope for the village was the villagers themselves working with God. We’d used some of our usual stories, role plays and dramas to hammer home the point. Then we had left it. A crucial part of our work is to leave room for villagers to take the work up for themselves. If they don’t it is never truly theirs.

“After 4 months, 8 Life! Groups have started in widespread and varied locations around Mpika. It’s very early days, but it is so encouraging that so many have taken up the challenge of God’s work for their village. We know that as Life! Groups grow in faith, many people will be helped and assisted by their fellow villagers. Children will be cared for, the elderly given dignity and life will be just that little bit better.

“There’s a saying in Bemba and many other African languages, “panono panono” or “slowly slowly”. It means that even though we progress step by step we will get there in the end. That’s the way Africa works and we “get it!” We don’t swoop in trying to fix all ills that frankly cannot be fixed overnight. We work “panono panono” with the culture and those that live here over months and even years. Like the ocean tide slowly rising, so God will transform the villages here. Dignity currently has nearly 200 groups meeting all over Zambia and surrounding countries. We have teams supporting those groups. The cumulative effect of this work is a slowly rising tide of goodness, love and change.

“Set in that church in Mpika it would be easy to become impatient but Africa has its ways and times that we need to flex with. We spent an afternoon helping those groups understand some of the materials we use. We taught them how to gather people and how to run village groups effectively. We asked them to consider the vulnerable and the needy. The next time we visit, we hope they will be a few steps further forward.

“Whether it be Mpika, Southern Province, into northern Namibia or any of the 5 other regions where our teams work, we will continue to patiently work, teach and encourage. “Slowly slowly” Africa will be changed in the power and love of Jesus name.”

It’s a team effort
We are very aware that the growth we are seeing in Mpika and other areas like it is down to the inspiration and provision of our amazing God and a huge team effort from many people. We would like to take this opportunity to say some really big thank you’s!

First and foremost, a huge thank you to God who has continued to call us alongside people, lay work before us to do and equip us to do it.

Secondly, we would like to thank each and every one of you who has contributed to this movement in some way. Whatever your contribution, it is a valued part of the overall picture.

Thank you a

We invite you to get more involved….
Dignity is a movement of people. Wherever we are from and whatever role we play, we are all committed to sharing the good news of Jesus and to helping alleviate poverty in all its forms.

We would like to invite you to get more involved, or join us for the first time, as we look forward to 2015. Here are some ways you can join the movement no matter where you are in the world!


Warrior button

Prayer is the backbone of all we do. If you would like to start praying for our work you can sign up for our monthly prayer points here.






Seed Sower Button

Our growing work means growing costs. God has been faithful and we have seen his provision throughout 2014. If you would like to make a one off or regular financial gift towards our work for 2015 you can do so at our Give.net page*.

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(*We use Give.net from Stewardship to enable secure on-line giving. A small fee is charged by Stewardship for the service they provide through Give.net. Please note that their fees are less than those charged by comparable services, maximising what we receive of your gift. You can find out more here.)


Superstar button

So many “Superstars” have done something to support us this year. Most recently 38 people, including our Impact Team leaders, have taken up the 50:50 Challenge. We have been blown away by the response to this and have seen God bless everyone’s efforts leading to an incredible £17,000 being raised and balancing the books.

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By the end of this year we would love to find 12 more volunteers to take up the challenge, rounding the challenge off to 50 volunteers taking on their 50! Will you be one of them? It’s so easy… think of a 50 challenge you could do and sign up on our 50:50 page. Check out the list of 50’s that others have been done if you need some inspiration!


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If you want a truly hands-on experience of our work, we are looking for volunteers to join our short term mission trip from 11th – 25th March (including travel). Trips will also take place late July/early August and November.

You will be working alongside our Impact Team members and helping reach out to new areas like Mpika. Check out the details here and do get in touch with us if you would like to explore the possibility.

Our hope is that everyone who takes part in our short term mission trips comes home equipped to be more effective in mission both overseas and at home.

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EQUIP is happening now…

EQUIP is happening now…

Three times a year we run an EQUIP training session for all our Impact Team members. One is happening right now at Ndubaluba Outdoor Centre. But why are we doing it and what is an EQUIP training session?

Learning through games

Learning through games

Why EQUIP?

At the heart of our work are Impact Teams. These are teams of men and women working hard behind the scenes, supporting and planting Life! Groups. They are made up of 3 or more people working among their own people in a region of rural Africa.

On average, each Impact Team supports 45 Life! Groups made up of about 20 members per group. That means that when we invest our time and effort into an Impact Team of 3 members they are better able to support the leaders of 45 groups. These men and women in turn support an estimated 900 people who attend their Life! Groups.

This year there have been 3 Impact Teams up and running. One of the teams has grown throughout the year and has effectively been working as 2 teams for the last few months. Between the current teams, 179 Life! Groups with an estimated membership of 3,500 people are being supported. In the first few months of 2015 we hope to have 5 teams working across rural Zambia and crossing into Namibia. 5 teams would have the potential to support 225 Life! Groups and 4,500 people!

You can easily imagine the benefits of working closely with the Impact Teams. They will be able to utilise, share and teach what they have learnt with others who will in turn pass on what they learn to many more.

...and having fun while we learn!

…and having fun while we learn!

What is EQUIP?

We really value each of our Impact Team members. We want to do all we can to equip them to carry out God’s calling on their lives to the best of their abilities. We support them with skills, training, friendship, prayer and both emotional and financial support. The 3 annual EQUIP training sessions are a key building block in our support of the Impact Teams.

Many of the people we work with have not been given the opportunity to access secondary or further education. Few have had the chance to receive Christian discipleship or Bible teaching. Many are making the most of what little they have but struggle to overcome some of the challenges they face because they lack the skills that would help them to forge forward.

Our EQUIP training sessions respond to this reality. From 2015 we will we run 3 EQUIP training sessions every year, each with a different focus: teaching skills, theology or planning and pastoral care. These respond to the challenges we see Impact Team members facing regularly and we hope that we will see the Impact Teams becoming well equipped to overcome the challenges they face and being able to stand firm, rooted deeply in Jesus.

Each EQUIP session last for 3 or 4 days and comprises a mix of teaching through talks, games, Bible study, teamwork exercises, shared experiences and prayer. It is always fantastic to see Impact Team members greeting each other as everyone arrives at EQUIP. Teams are spread across Zambia and the EQUIP sessions provide a forum for them to encourage one another, learn from different experiences and share what is on their hearts for their countrymen and women.

Like what you read?

If you are excited by the work we are doing we invite you to get involved!

You could be a part of helping to deliver an EQUIP training session next year. In March, July/August or November 2015 you could be spending a week with the Impact Team leaders and sharing skills with them as well as learning loads yourself! Details of our short term mission can be found here. We would love to have you with us!

If getting on a plane isn’t your thing, you can help make the EQUIP sessions a reality by supporting them financially. It costs us about £4,650 to run each EQUIP course. You can help cover these costs by making a one-off or regular donation through Give.net or by using our downloadable Support Form.

Thank you!

We made it!

We made it!

On Sunday 19th October 2014, officially kick-starting our 50:50 Challenge, an amazing team of 9 cyclists took on a 50 mile bike ride and stopped for selfies outside 50 churches on route. They did an amazing job and actually cycled 53.89 miles and stopped at 59 churches. They made it to the end still smiling! Check at the photos at the bottom of this post…

If you’re wondering why they did it, then take 2 minutes to watch this short video.

Big thanks…

Thank you to all the churches that agreed to us stopping by for a selfie! Extra special thanks to all the churches that made us welcome in their services – it was great to pause and spend some time worshipping with you all on route. We had a great day and met some really lovely people.

Thanks also go out to those who supported us on route; Ann & Mandy for making an amazing breakfast, Kate & Frank for driving the support cars, Tim for meeting us at Lymm and leading the way to Didsbury and Gill & Marilyn for meeting us with tea and coffee at the end.

The biggest of big thank yous to the cyclists themselves; Prad, Stu, Noel, Keith, Paul, Fran, Sylvia, Luke and Jo.

And of course, massive thanks to all the friends and families who have sponsored the team members. We are delighted that between them the team has raised an absolutely outstanding £8,698.10 with money still coming in. We can’t thank you enough for helping this to happen.

Feeling inspired?

We’re looking for 50 volunteers to take on their own version of the 50:50 challenge. There were 9 cyclists and 12 others have signed up for their own version of the 50:50 Challenge… That means we’re looking for 29 more volunteers to do something amazing by the end of the year. Are you one of them?

If our team of cyclists have inspired you, then head over to the 50:50 Challenge page and sign up!

We hope you enjoy some of the photos from the day…
Lymm United Reformed Church
St Wilfrid, Northenden
St Catherine C of E, Tranmere
Christ Church, West Didsbury
Christ Church Higher Bebington
St Martin's, Heaton Norris
St Wilfrid's, Grappenhall
Manchester Korean Church
St Stephen & St Alban, Prenton
Didsbury Community Church
St John the Baptist, Heaton Mersey
United Reformed Church, Prenton
Heaton Moor United Church
Withington Methodist Church
Bethesda Evangelical Church, Stockton Heath
CCM Withington
Tranmere Methodist Church
Didsbury Baptist Church
Jireh Church, Bebington
St Bernard's RC Church, Burnage
St Margaret's, Burnage
St Mary's, Widnes
United Reformed Church, Higher Bebington
Christ Church South Manchester
The Link Christian Fellowship
St Margaret's, Dunham Massey
Bethesda, Bebington
St Nicholas Church, Burnage
St Winifred's, Heaton Mersey
St Werburgh & St Laurence, Birkenhead
St Paul's, Heaton Moor
Grange United Reformed Church
Maitland Evangelical Church
St Thomas', Stockton Heath
Heaton Moor Evangelical
South Manchester Quaker Meeting House
St Paul's, Withington
Heaton Mersey Methodist
St Mary's, Hale
St Mary's, Grassendale
St Aidan's, Northern Moor
Trinity with Palm Grove United
Timperley Methodist Church
Didsbury United Reformed Church
St Peter's, Oughtrington
Wirral Christian Centre
St Mark's Dunham Massey
St James, Didsbury
Holy Name of Jesus, Oxton
Life Church, Bebington
Emmanuel, Didsbury
Gartson Park Church
Christ Church, Birkenhead
About to set off...
Ivy Church Didsbury
The last stop...we were so tired we forgot a team shot and only just remembered while there were still a couple of us left!
St Saviour's, Bidston
Wow!

Wow!

At the start of 2014 there were 116 Life! Groups with an estimated membership of about 2000 people. Our target for the end of 2014 was to see 180 Life! Groups in action, bringing hope to their communities.

At the end of September we sat down with the Impact Team leaders to reflect on where we have come. A few cups of tea and a number of hours later, we had an update on the number of groups currently meeting. We were nothing short of delighted to find that the total number of Life! Groups now meeting is 179… This is just 1 group short of our target for the year, and it’s only October! Wow!

That means 179 Life! Groups working to unite their communities, to serve those around them and bring real and lasting hope. These groups have an estimated membership of about 3,500 people. That’s 3,500 people being given an opportunity to receive Christian teaching and skills training. We are seeing people and communities achieve more than they ever thought possible. We are seeing grass-roots development projects springing up, inspired by and responding to the needs within communities.

We are grateful to God for making this possible, for opening doors for us and for raising up His people in communities across Zambia, and now into Namibia. We remain aware of Psalm 127 v 1 that says that, “Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labour in vain.” Please pray with us as we plan our work for the rest of this year and for 2015. Pray for wisdom and discernment as we continue to push forward.

As well as continuing to reach more communities, our role now is to support and equip the leaders of Life! Groups, both old and new. We want to make sure that they are equipped with the faith and skills they need to overcome the challenges they face. We want to help them support those in their groups without wearing themselves out. We want to see the 63 new Life! Groups planted so far this year put down deep roots and become life-changing groups for their members and their whole communities.

If you would like to help support these groups and become part of this movement, watch this video to find out about 1 simple thing you could do…