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Making a difference in Chipata

 

Geoffrey decided to make a difference

Geoffrey is the pastor of Chipata Family Church. We first met Geoffrey through a mutual friend and we’ve been getting to know him ever since.

Chipata

Chipata is the capital of the Eastern Province of Zambia and it’s a growing town. It lies on the Great East Road, some 360 miles from Lusaka.

A while back we asked Geoffrey to organise a gathering for people who would be interested in getting involved in rural mission. Geoffrey got to work and invited people from lots of different churches and denominations from the town and the surrounding villages. He asked some of his fellow pastors to recommend people they knew from rural areas who had shown a passion for serving their communities. Geoffrey made arrangements for the conference to be held in his church building and for people to be able to stay overnight as it we were going to be meeting for two and a half days.

About ten people who lived in the town of Chipata and twenty people from surrounding villages came. Some travelled almost forty miles to join us. One man had even come over the border from Malawi!

Inviting others to make a difference

Using our “Get Your Hands Dirty” introduction course we challenged everyone who was there to go home and start a Life! Group in their village, providing a place for Christian discipleship and exploration of faith. Having heard how Life! Groups are working in other parts of Zambia, most of the people who were there were keen to try and begin something in their own villages.

People were interested to hear about the things Dignity does and the way we do them. What we were suggesting was quite a different proposition to what other missionaries who have visited the area have done and it caught peoples’ imagination!

And now we wait…

For a Life! Group to be long lasting and effective, it must be established by those living in the area. It needs to be owned and motivated by those who will be a part of it. We have suggested the idea. We have shared some of the skills and resources needed to get things under way. We will be keeping in touch with people who joined us in Chipata and we will see who decides to go for it. Not everyone will and that’s fine. We understand that to commit to running a Life! Group is not right for everybody, but for those who decide to start things in their village, we will follow up. Our Impact Teams will travel out to their areas and provide further training and support. In time, maybe an Impact Team will even be established in the area, formed from people who are just beginning to start Life! Groups now.

How you can make a difference

Please pray for Geoffrey and all those who joined us in Chipata. Starting a Life! Group is not always easy. People can be wary of something new. Please pray for favour for those who have decided to give it a go!

We have an opportunity for 3 volunteers to join us for 2 weeks in November to help plant our work in an area like Chipata. You will also have the opportunity to work with our Impact Teams. People who have joined us before have described it as a life changing experience. Whilst you are helping others to learn you will learn an amazing amount yourself! Full details can be found here or you can contact Jo Kimball on +44 (0) 161 434 8841 / jo@dignityonline.org.uk