I am an Evangelist in the United Methodist Church in the Lusaka district, serving as Assistant Pastor at Emmanuel Parish. I also serve as the National Director of Bible for Christ Ministry in Zambia. Our ministry has partnered with over 700 churches providing evangelism and discipleship training, biblical literacy, and church planting programs since 2014. Through our programs, we reach out to people in the urban and rural parts of Zambia where the poverty rate is very high.
On my journey, I have been praying to God, asking for something to introduce to people in my country to encourage a change in our mindset and start thinking about how we can use the resources that God has given us. One day, I learned about an event in Lusaka from my pastor friend. It was called Stations of Generosity and hosted by Global Trust Partners as part of their Africa regional event. When I heard the word “generosity,” I got excited. I discerned this as God’s answer to my prayer!
I was blessed to be among the 38 participants from all over Africa and beyond: Angola, Botswana, Egypt, Hong Kong, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Rwanda, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. The 4-day program matched my desire to get equipped with trainings and tools to help my community and the churches in my network to shift their mindset from being receivers to givers.
But I learned quickly that the mindset change had to start with me. The program impacted me so much because I did not realise that we all have something that we can give. I used to think that I can only give when I have enough. I did not realize that God has already provided enough for me to share with others. Through Stations of Generosity facilitated by the great team from GTP – Chris Maphosa (GTP Regional Facilitator for EPSA), Ereny Monir (GTP VP for Training & Empowerment), Trevor Lui (GTP COO), Gabrielle Fortunato (GTP Regional Trainer for Africa), and Samuel Mujyanama (GTP Multimedia Specialist) – I learned that giving brings joy to both the giver and the receiver.
Aside from Stations of Generosity, I and my fellow participants also got to experience Journey of Empowerment. During the training, I said to myself, “How about if we replicate this in my country with our existing partner churches and organizations?” I thought that if my fellow Zambians could learn from Stations of Generosity and Journey of Empowerment, no one would live in poverty. Stations of Generosity teaches us that we all have got something to give, and Journey of Empowerment helps us to rediscover our true identity and to bring about change as faithful stewards following standards in community.
Another exciting thing happened during the event. Chris Maphosa invited me to become the GTP Country Coordinator for Zambia. He told me about the duties and responsibilities of this role. After praying about it, I accepted! I believe that it’s God’s calling and that the ministry I am presently active in and GTP complement one another. As we train people in evangelism and discipleship, we must also teach them to be generous and to live out their identity in Christ.
Immediately after the GTP regional event in Lusaka, I prayed and asked God if I can run with the vision of replicating these training programs. I vividly and clearly heard God telling me about Kabwe, the capital city of the central province of Zambia. So, I contacted one of our provincial coordinators who developed an interest in this training and convened a training of trainers for both Stations of Generosity and Journey of Empowerment in that area.
I and my fellow facilitator, Lizzy Nakazwe, replicated Stations of Generosity and Journey of Empowerment in Kabwe in the Central Province of Zambia on 14-15 April 2023. A total of 42 participants attended and our experience in Kabwe was incredible. It was so encouraging seeing how the participants embraced the training and how excited they were. We saw God touching the participants’ lives through their confessions during and after the training.
Participants talked about the change in their hearts, confessing how ignorant they were in matters related to generosity. They also shared how they have decided to do things differently, starting with their families, then with their churches, and their communities at large. One participant said, “I have decided to give without fear because God gave generously. He owns everything and we are just stewards. This means that I don’t own what I have, it belongs to God.’’
We are beginning to see amazing initial impact! I am surprised to see what the Lord is already doing through this program. Indeed, God works in ways we cannot see. Just one week after the training, one of the participants, Pastor Kamalamba from Christian Community Church, testified that he has already introduced concepts he learned from Stations in his house. He said that each time they prepare a meal, his family agreed to save a palmful of corn powder – in our language, we call it “nshima” – and give it to church to help the needy. He has also replicated Stations with his local church members.
Another participant, Eunice Mangwato from Apostolic Faith Mission, replicated Stations with their children’s ministry. She told me, “Pastor Patience, I am so grateful for this training. I introduced it to the children today and they are so excited about it. They have learned to give! Starting next week, each of them has promised to bring something to share. My plan is to take whatever we will collect to the kids in the streets.”
As the GTP Country Coordinator for Zambia, I am so encouraged by the impact I am seeing from our training in Kabwe. It is my vision to replicate Stations of Generosity, Journey of Empowerment, and other GTP programs across the ten provinces in our country. I pray that there will be a great mindset change in many and that the dependency syndrome will stop. I am hopeful that my fellow Zambians will work hard as faithful disciples, help their neighbours, and by doing so, change their communities and our nation at large.