SERVING THE COMMUNITY
What began as addressing the urgent needs of hunger and education has expanded to include all aspects of our sponsored students' lives. We seek to give these children, and others living in their communities, the tools to improve their lives. Over the past few years, travel teams have worked with the students to build desks that are now used in the Luanshya school. The children have made jewelry that is being sold in the United States; the proceeds are used to purchase necessities for their schools. More recently, they built bookcases to house their ever-growing school libraries. As these children pursue their academic education, we are continually looking for ways to teach them skills that will contribute to their eventual financial independence.
We also meet with pastors within the communities of Ndola and Luanshya to discuss the needs that they encounter every day. Through ongoing discussions, we seek to join in the work they are already doing, as well as better tailor our ministry to help local families. We focus first on urgent physical needs--for instance, mending roofs on the homes of students like Stephen Nyrienda, who told us that during the rainy season he had to stand up in the middle of the night to avoid being soaked by the rain leaking into the house. But our long-term vision includes adult education and the financing of small businesses. We also desire to help combat the HIV and AIDS pandemic--which continues to devastate these communities--through community-wide education and testing. We intend to coordinate treatment efforts with programs already at work in these areas.