Here are 10 of our favourite stories from the last 10 years. These are a tiny snapshot of the many ways in which Life Groups are impacting their communities with the love of Jesus.
1. Rosemary became a Christian after joining a Life Group. She knew of 2 orphans in her community, left to fend for themselves. As Rosemary came to know Jesus she began to understand that these orphans were God’s children too and that she should help them. She opened her house to them and adopted them into her family.
2. A mysterious disease was claiming the lives of children in a village outside Nchelenge. At a Dignity training event, Life Group leaders in the area prayed for their communities and from that point on no more children died. Many people wanted to know more about Jesus as a result.
3. The Life Group in Lusemfwa meets every week to study the Bible. The 17 adults in the group then work together on a 750m2 farm-garden to aid their community. Their aim is to help the elderly people in their village directly with food, and to work towards paying school fees for disadvantaged children.
4. Two young men in Kabuta joined a Life Group. They used to be found drinking, lounging about and generally not being very productive. Shortly after joining the Life Group they decided that they “needed to get serious about God and about their lives.” They are now useful, active in their community and committed to the message of loving God and those around them. Those who know them are amazed by the change they have seen.
5. Matanga had never been able to walk and had spent most of his life sitting on the floor. Precious & Joffrey and their Life Group realised that they could do something to help him. They applied for a hand pedalled mobility cart and arranged transport to get it to their village. Suddenly Matanga’s quality of life has been vastly improved as everyday tasks like washing, eating and getting around have been made easier.
6. In Kamalamba 3 Life Groups worked together to unite the community and reconstruct a bridge after it was damaged by heavy rainfall. In Chibaia a dangerous river crossing that had claimed a number of lives was made safe when the 8 Life Groups in the area came together to build a bridge. In Mulilima a Life Group created a separate footpath so that people no longer had to walk in the road at a particularly sharp corner where accidents kept happening. Since then there have been no more accidents!
7. Crime rates in Kambwali dropped after the Life Group there began praying for the known trouble causers in their village. They invited them to join their Life Group when the rest of the community shunned them for their behaviour. Their behaviour has been transformed, as has the reputation of the village!
8. Royd discovered someone had stolen his crop of onions one morning. Martin, the thief, was duly arrested, but when Royd met him he felt strongly that God wanted him to forgive Martin. Royd told Martin this and asked him to attend a Life Group in the area. Martin did and over time has been changing his ways! Since this event Royd has been actively seeking an opening to start Life Groups in prisons.
9. Isaac fled from Lusemfwa after beating his wife when drunk. He ended up in Chibombo 150km away and after some time joined a Life Group there. Over a period of 5 months the Life Group helped Isaac break free from his addiction and brought him to Jesus. As Isaac told more of his story, the group decided to contact a Life Group in his old village, Lusemfwa. The group in Lusemfwa visited Isaac’s wife and explained what had happened. A year later, with the support of both Life Groups, the family has been successfully and peacefully reunited.
10. Precious doubted that she could ever be loved by God because she was working as prostitute. After Dignity visited her village she began to pray to God and she said, “God has changed me.” She no longer works as a prostitute, instead she tells others about Jesus and volunteers as an Impact Team member! She has seen that many people are really happy with the concept of Life Groups because they feel that they are being trusted with the work and given responsibility. Precious described them as “an army in waiting.”