I'd describe this blog as a place for the purposeful ramblings of Ruth and others. You get to read my thoughts. Will you please share yours, too?

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Church+School


Today during our meeting in the staff room at the school, I was so encouraged by the partnership that the United Church of Zambia Siavonga Main Congregation (UCZ Siavonga) has with the school in their town. They are working together to make sure that orphans and vulnerable children in their community will get an education.

Last year, the school compiled a list of children that were unable to afford schooling. While public education is free in Zambia, there are many costs required to attend school: fees, uniforms, supplies (notebooks, pencils, pens, etc.). Several of the orphans and other children are simply unable to come up with this money. The school sent out a plea to the community, asking people to sponsor these children so they could be educated. There were over 200 children on the list.

UCZ Siavonga responded.

The church had just begun its Outreach Foundation, a ministry inspired by their partnership with our congregation. When two UCZ members came to WCPC in 2003, they noitced how our congregation cared for the needs of vulnerable people in our community. That concept had never really occurred to them before. They were mainly focused on caring for the needs of those within their church community. After their interaction with us, their vision expanded to reach out to people outside their walls.
The focus of their Outreach Foundation has three parts:
1) Education for orphans and other vulnerable children
2) HIV/AIDS Education
3) Empowering widows and widowers who are vulnerable

To respond to the need, and fulfill the first aspect of the Outreach Foundation goals, they raised money to send ten children to school! This was the greatest response in the entire Siavonga community, and they were the first of only a few churches to contribute. The School Manager (the Principal) said, "We support the church, the church supports the school, and the school supports the country. We are all working together for the future of Zambia."

During our meeting, we opened and closed with prayer, and the pastor of the church, Evanglelist Mullilo, did a short message on Matthew 25:35-40. Remember, this was a meeting at the school! The school recognizes that they need to work with the churches so they are presenting a united message.

Written on the blackboard in the staff room was this quote, "African orphans are our collective responsibility." They are living that truth.

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