Issac Mbabazi, a Congolese PhD student, joined us in Zambia for two weeks last year, read more about his experiences!
Zambia is one of the African countries I have always wanted to visit. There are many reasons for this, one of which is that, while a student at a Seminary in Nairobi, Kenya, about seven years ago, I met a Zambian couple who spoke so highly of Zambia which made me think I should visit in the future. This dream came true as an opportunity to visit this country came my way via Dignity.
Two years ago, I had a discussion with Jon about the Dignity ministry in Zambia. I then expressed my willingness to go to Zambia to learn something from what they are doing and how they are doing it. All the arrangements were made for my trip: Jon came over to meet me at Lusaka Airport, and which we headed to Mkushi where they live. A very warm welcome by Judith and their three sweets boys was given me. For two weeks, I stayed with the Witts, who provided for all my needs. I enjoyed their company and having lots of good fun. Their kindness, generosity and provision will be remembered for ever.
The main purpose of this trip was to learn some ministry skills in the area of Discipleship. Christianity, it is claimed, is a dominant religion in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC): about 80% of the population are Christians. My own experience, being Congolese, is that people in the Congo know the gospel, but this gospel has only a very little impact in their lives; a Discipleship programme is badly needed.
A three-day conference, run by Jon and Jude Witt, was attended by 30 people in an area called Mkuski. On this visit, it became clear to me that despite cultural diversities among Africans, people’s needs remain basically the same. Through this conference and upon interaction with some of the conference attendees, I realised that just as the people of the Congo do need encouragement in the areas of hope, self-confidence and trusting others, so too do Zambians. The conference helped me discover different approaches one can use in an attempt to build these qualities in people. The conference has also helped me discover other possible ways of making theology accessible to everyone, regardless of whether they are educated or not.
I was given the opportunity to give two devotions, which I willingly accepted. The first devotion was based on Isaiah 43:18-21—to do with God doing new things in the midst of his people, and the second on Matt 28:19-20 and 2 Tim 2:2—to do with making disciples who will teach others. The two talks were well received, and people were encouraged in the Lord.
Going to Zambia was very useful. This was learning experience to remember. I hope to to start something to help my people when I return to Congo for good after my studies here in the UK. Jon and Judith are doing great work in rural Zambia among the Zambians; they have a clear vision and well defined objectives of their ministry, and the Lord is enabling them achieve this. There is a great need for more people to join in their efforts whether through prayers or action.