Team Member, Siavonga
Chris is from Namuteze, Siavonga which sits on the shore of Lake Kariba in the Southern Province of Zambia. The story of our involvement with Siavonga is a little different to many of the areas we work in. We have been working with a small, faithful group of people there since 2013. 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 taken route and has a good number of members.
A key building block of our work is that we encourage people from different churches to work together. For a number of reasons, this is not “the done thing” in most of the villages in which we work where many churches actually oppose each other.
Sadly, division between churches can be extreme with neighbours or family members not talking to one another. Life Groups across Zambia are setting a new trend and showing those around them that it can be different. They are helping to build unity between churches.
We have been working with Chris from, for some time now. Chris tells us how unity is beginning to grow in his area.
We didn’t know anything of this kind, of churches coming together. We only knew brother Bernard and his group. They came to tell us this word. God does not want segregation where we say this is our church and this is not. What God wants is for people to come together. We did ask them, “We are Apostles Church, how are we going to be together with the SDAs?” And brother Bernard explained clearly to us. He said you can come together, you call them, you sit together, so you try to explain to them that if we can come together as different churches there is something good that will come out of that. We started gathering together as the churches, Roman Catholic and Apostles church. People saw that this thing is good. From there we didn’t just sit, or maybe end there when Bernard and the group had gone. We thought of going to another place called Mathea. The plan that we came up with was to go there on a Sunday so we can go and fellowship with the UCZ church there. When we arrived there we introduced ourselves and luckily we were not chased away. They welcomed us peacefully. Now we have 6 men who are willing to work together with us. From there I came to learn that this thing is good.
We look forward to hearing what this growing unity leads to!
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