Imagine being woken up at 4:45AM by singing and dancing and the blowing of whistles!
That will be one of the enduring memories of our trip to Zambia this Summer. One of the youth leaders looking after the young people had a dodgy watch that had stopped, so he started ‘rise and shine’ (the morning wake-up and exercise routine) nearly an hour earlier than was scheduled!
In late June 3 men from Cornerstone Church were sent out for a short term mission trip to a Christian mission station in Zambia. Nyangombe Christian Training Centre (from now just Nyangombe) is situated on 2500 acres of land in the Northwest of Zambia, in the district of Mwinilunga and serves a people group known as the Lunda.
The purpose of our trip was to visit the African home and mission base of Les and Jean White, who have served at Nyangombe for many years and although they are ‘officially’ retired, continue to be a blessing to the all they come into contact with. While we were there we wanted to try get a flavour for the work that Nyangombe does and discover ways Cornerstone could partner with then. We also had a more specific task, which was to take part in a youth bible conference. Not unlike our Contagious Camp in the UK.
It took us 2 days, 3 planes and 4 hours of sporadically potholed roads to get to Nyangombe. After a day to recover and orientate ourselves to the place, around 100 young people and leaders arrived.
So there we were, on the first morning of the camp at 5:30 AM (should have been 6:30) in the main hall and Ste Kinnaird is leading 100 kids and leaders in a morning devotion from Psalm 18. He did an amazing job and set the tone for the rest of the camp.
Another enduring memory from our trip (there are so many!) was each night we would walk into the meeting room, and a wall of sound would hit us. It was obvious from the first night, Zambians love to sing.
As has been mentioned there are so many highlights and stories to share that it’s hard to chose what to say - it was just so exciting to be able to open the Bible up to these young people and teach them about Jesus and his Church.
The theme of the camp was TRANSFORMED and we took the young people through the first chapters of the book of Acts. There was a great mix during the camp of teaching, discussion groups and fun activities and we quickly made friends and with both leaders and kids alike.
It was very encouraging to be used in the lives of many of the young people who asked for prayer to keep going with Jesus.
Our overall impression of Nyangombe is that God has done and continues to do a remarkable work there. The people who have committed the lives to the work are deeply impressive and embody the attitude the apostle Paul had for the Thessalonians when he said
‘Because we loved you so much, we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well.’ (1 Thess 2:8)
At the end of the week all the leaders shared a meal together of traditional Lunda food, Shema and during the meal Cornerstone were thanked and were invited back for the next 10 years! We loved our time in Zambia and were massively impacted by our short time there and are busy making plans for next year when we would like to return with some of our own young people to experience how life changing missions can inspire them to put the faith in to action whether they are in Africa, the UK or wherever the Lord takes them.