One of the aspects of Zambian worship, which has most struck me during my term of volunteer service here, has been the very rich musical life of the United Church of Zambia (UCZ).Read more
Lectionary Selection: Luke 15: 1-3, 11b-32
Prayers for Zambia:
O, Heavenly Father, we confess that, like the Prodigal Son, we are wanderers. We are always longing for something else. We seek novelty. We want something different, something exciting. Always we want more... more than we have, more than we need, more than our competitors, more than we deserve. You know our deep failings. Forgive us for taking advantage of your grace without real contrition. We know it is your nature to love and forgive and we are like wayward children. In the end, though, we know it is only your love that will satisfy and can restore us to health and life.
So, here we are to ask yet another favor. We ask for our friends, your servants in Zambia. Our lives here are precarious. There is so much sickness and suffering. Many people experience poverty and injustice and are in danger of losing hope, losing their way, falling from your strong arms. Today we beg for you to act on our cold, self-centered, and idolatrous hearts. Unworthy though we are, show us how we can reach out with greater love to the least of our sisters and brothers, your own family here. Show us the way home to the place where you reign and dispense real riches among us.
We ask these mercies in Jesus’ blessed name. AMEN.Read more
Founded in 1979, Theological Education by Extension in Zambia (TEEZ) is an ecumenical program of nine churches aimed at providing extension-based theological training to church leaders and lay members in order “to prepare all God’s people for the work of Christian service” (Ephesians 4:12).Read more
When I wrote last time, I had just arrived in Zambia as a Global Ministries volunteer with my husband at the United Church of Zambia University. I came to staff their functional but previously shuttered computer lab.Read more
Something is always happening here at the United Church of Zambia University. I have been sent to this Global Ministries mission partner to teach in the theology department. I have been entrusted with a full teaching load this semester, so I am in contact with students all the time.Read more
Lectionary Selection: Mark 9: 38-50
Prayers for Zambia:
Lord of all,
In your great mercy, forgive us our many failures. Some of us enjoy such bounty - comfort, leisure, wealth, education and more - but we neglect to look, see and assist those ‘little ones’ who struggle in want, perched precariously on the precipice of despair.
Bless your servants in Zambia and in the United Church of Zambia.
Bless our farmers waiting through the dry season for the rains so they can plant crops to feed themselves and hungry children.
Bless our poor who scarcely find enough work to support their families, obtain medical care, or pay school fees.
Bless our churches, clinics, and educational institutions, especially the UCZ University, where hardworking students scrape together their tuition fees so they can learn skills needed for healthcare, education, social work, agriculture, and for ministry in your church.
Bless our teachers, administrators, and staff who make do with meager resources yet produce competent and morally excellent professionals.
Bless Zambia’s leaders in government, education and commerce so that they may be inspired to eradicate corruption and serve people honestly, with humility and enthusiasm.
Have mercy on us who are sometimes blind, even with two eyes, who are lame, even with two feet and who are ineffective, even with two hands.
Thank you for showing us the right way. Lead us ahead, we ask, in Jesus’ blessed name.
The health ministries of the United Church of Zambia (UCZ) is a holistic program that seeks to provide healthcare to Zambians. These health priorities include operating two hospitals, five rural health clinics, five health posts, and providing public health education, food relief, and medical support to orphans and vulnerable children. The aim of the UCZ Health Institutions is to provide curative and preventive healthcare to the community and to be a witness of God’s love for all people irrespective of their economic, religious or ethnic background.Read more
First day of a new semester. I have been assigned to teach three courses this term - none of which I really feel quite ready to teach after 25 years away from the academic life - but this is why I have been invited to come to the United Church of Zambia University theology department, and I have promised to give it my best effort. Half the students are not here yet. The class is supposed to include about 35 young-ish men and women. Most of the students are working on their second careers, most of them hoping to enter the UCZ ordained ministry, though a few will become police, army or hospital chaplains, maybe social workers, or something similar. But, half of them are not here yet. Still traveling to Kitwe from far away - most people do not realize how large Zambia is - and some still collecting money to pay their registration fees. The UCZU is not expensive by North American standards, but it costs more to attend here than most young Zambians can comfortably pay. For whatever reason, about forty percent of the class is not present or ready to start the new semester. I am heartbroken because my initial lecture lays the foundation for what theology is all about and what tools most of us employ to think theologically … and half of my class is not here. I will have to re-teach later the lessons about openness to extra-biblical theological sources.Read more
Tomorrow, it will be a week since I arrived in Kitwe, Zambia. There is plenty to adjust to and I think I will be adjusting for…. a while. My husband and I are living in a little cottage on the campus at the university sponsored by the Zambian mission partner of Global Ministries, the United Church of Zambia (UCZ). Since my arrival, I have met so many people that have taken the time to tell me "Welcome to Zambia." I am already feeling welcome and anxious to begin my work with students in the library/computer lab.Read more