Reflection by Enelesi Chipandwe from Tearfund's partner, ROCS Zambia.
Art by Chris de Hoog.
We are living in a state of 'now, but not yet'. By putting our trust in Jesus, we are assured of salvation and have hope for eternity, but we still live in the reality of our world. Our world is full of beauty, but it is often tainted by brokenness and pain.
In this painting, I have expressed the feeling of living 'between' by contrasting a harsh, jagged scene with a bright, lush landscape. Disconnected figures contrast with connected, thriving figures.
Between Romans 8:18
By Enelesi Chipandwe
There is much suffering here in Zambia: poverty, disease, social and economic inequalities, corruption. It can’t be ignored. But if we just dwell on the human suffering in this present world, it can sway us away from the future hope that we have. Just as we cannot and should not ignore suffering, we cannot ignore the reality of eternity that Christ has won for us.
Living ‘between’ is about expecting this future glory, without forgetting that we are in a world that suffers. I take it as my duty, as my mandate, to show the most vulnerable people that we work with that the present-day suffering cannot be compared with the future glory that God has prepared for all those who believe in Jesus Christ.
Because we live ‘between’, we don’t need to be made weak by what we are going through. Just like it says elsewhere in Romans, suffering brings about character, and character brings about hope. And those who suffer with – and for – Christ’s sake, shall be glorified with Him. In a suffering world, our call is to show people the way to eternity, and help them believe that God is here, and there, and lasting.
Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for the opportunity to serve you and others who are in the most vulnerable positions.
Despite the realities surrounding us being bitter, help us to continue working towards our eternal benefits.
Continue to lead and guide us for the expansion of your kingdom.
Help us to bring comfort and hope and show your everlasting love to those defeated in spirit.
Thank you because we believe you hear us when we ask you.
Enelesi Chipandwe is Project Manager for Reformed Open Community Schools (ROCS), working in rural areas of Zambia.