Lectionary Selection: Luke 8:26-39
Prayers for Zambia:
O, Heavenly Father, thank you for this wonderful story about Jesus healing a tortured soul. Even though most of us do not experience illness and psychological distress as “demons” anymore, the reality of such trials as these is ever present in our beloved Zambia. Children and adults here and everywhere continue to suffer the desolation and pain of mental illness. We, your creatures, Father, suffer so miserably from these afflictions. We pray for deliverance and restoration to health. We pray for all those to try to relieve this suffering. We pray for the caretakers. We pray for those who work to comfort and heal these brothers and sisters of ours. It is a hard vocation and we ask for your guidance and empowerment. Send us new hope. Restore and cleanse our own spirits. Put us all back in our “right” minds. Send us all out into our cities to, like the man whom Jesus cleansed, proclaim what Jesus has done and is doing for all of us. We ask all these mercies in Jesus’ 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).TEEZ courses are taught by extension, which means the school goes to the students in their local setting instead of asking students to leave their ministry for training. This offers education at a lower financial cost and is a more effective use of time. Another asset of the TEEZ model is that the training is contextual because the students learn within their own ministry environment and context. Each year, TEEZ offers courses in all ten provinces of Zambia, including the most remote areas. More than 10,000 students study with TEEZ each year.Read more
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