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
As Zambia prepares for its general election on 11 August, church leaders and human rights advocates within the country and across the world strengthened their calls for nonviolent campaigning and a stable constitution.Read more
“Frankie, please finish your food!” “I’m trying to, Mom, but I keep getting distracted because I have to pick out all the bugs...And I don’t eat bugs, because I am a vegetarian.” I looked over at my seven-year-old son and realized that he was dead serious. “Oh, okay, honey. Just do your best.” Yes, there were a few bugs in Frankie’s food, and so he continued to pick them out, as he ate. We were staying in Eastern Zambia...Read more
In the circle of pastors, I was the only American in the room. Mostly men, a few women, leaders of the denomination, my colleagues here in Zambia. And I have to admit it, there were a few times that I wanted to leave, a few times that some words about gender made me squirm, a few times that I wasn’t sure how to respond, a few times that I was just so sure that I didn’t belong, so sure that I had gotten in too deep.Read more