Kashiki and Kenneth are two Life Group leaders who operate in rural communities, 400km apart. Both men have travelled to Mkushi for Impact Team training and Jon has been able to chat to them about their experiences with Dignity – but perhaps most encouragingly, listen to them support each other in the work they are doing. Kashiki is based in Kasempa and has so far been able to set up 3 Life Groups; the first established in 2016 and one every year after. He hopes there will be another set up before the end of 2019. Kenneth, based further west than Kasempa in Zambezi (nearer Angola), as well has been able to set up 3 more Life Groups within his community. What unites these men is that they have both only ever had minimal support from Dignity. Both men came to a meeting once and returned to their communities filled with the drive to start something amazing. Using their own resources and motivation, they were inspired to gather people into a Life Group 3 times.
Their discussions together were about how they wanted Dignity to reach further places and how they wanted to get more people involved. This is exactly the kind of encouraging conversation Jon and Jude usually have with new people, asking them how they can go further. It is amazing that now, without any encouragement, people are picking up the tools Dignity offers and running with them independently. Spurring each other along to create better Godly communities.
Jon was able to sit down with Kashiki afterwards to ask about his Life Groups in more detail. He said that he likes Life Groups because they are so educational. Knowledge of faith in his community is very low, he said that people see church as something they only do once a week. But when the Life Groups meet, they are encouraged to share their lives, spirituality and difficulties with each other so that they can support each other through the other 6 days of the week.
Kashiki has also spent time with Foundations for Farming and incorporates some of their teachings into his Life Groups. The core idea being about learning to farm more securely and cultivate smaller portions of food for yourself so you have more to give to your family, friends and those in need. Kashiki says the Life Groups are in a habit of each person bringing 5 litres of maize to the group that they will then distribute to help people during the rainy season.
He told Jon the story of a young man who is the son of one of the Life Group members. The son was an alcoholic and never worked his garden, until he met Jesus and became a Christian in March. Now, he has really adopted the core messages of his Life Group, growing his own vegetables and sharing his food with his neighbours. One of which is Kashiki!
It’s amazing to hear about how God moves in communities and how it can impact so many peoples lives. We pray that Kashiki will be able to start up his 4th Life Group and that many others lead by his example.