Monday, June 4, 2012

Ray of Hope

I want to tell you about one of my experiences that I had last week. It was on a sunny Tuesday afternoon and I was joining the team that was in charge of the sports ministry. This ministry has organized sports teams, such as soccer, for young men. They also go out into communities and play games with children. So last week we climbed into the back of what they call "the long-bus" which is simply a pickup with a cover over the truck bed. In Zambia they are not as concerned about seat belts so we just hopped in the back and sat on the mattress that is provided for comfort. We went across town to the largest village in the area. It has a population of about 90,000. When we arrived we got out and started handing out copies of the gospel of John to people that were near. A friend and I got asked to dance by a drunk man, we declined his offered, and continued passing out Bibles as we walked on our way. A few minutes later we got to the place where we were greeted by a group of children who were eager to play games with people who cared about them. The program was very simple. We played a few games, sang songs with them, and helped them memorize a bible verse. When I was observing one of the activities, one of the leaders of the sports ministry took me aside and explained further about the community, about the lives of the children, as well as how the ministry has had a tremendous impact on the lives of these children and teens. Alcohol addiction is a serious problem for many of the fathers and some of the mothers. This leads to thousands of children living in the villages who are fatherless or who don't receive proper care from their fathers. Many of the children grow up in desperate need of guidance while their fathers are spending their time in one of the many pubs that are sprinkled all throughout the villages.
Lazarous praying with children in Makalulu during Global Day of Prayer
The men at OM who faithfully venture out into these communities seek to guide these children and desire for them to know Christ. They act as fathers to many children and teens who need love and attention that is not always received at home. I was somewhat depressed as I walked through the village and saw the poverty and thought about how many people were in need, physically and spiritually. There is so much need among the thousands of people living in just this one community. But that afternoon, as I observed the activities and learned about the lives of the children, I caught more of the passion that these men had for them. They offer a ray of hope in the midst of what sometimes seems a hopeless place. Please pray for this ministry that God would use even these few men, ministering throughout Kabwe, to introduce these children to Jesus Christ, who is the only one who can give them life.

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