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The faith-fuelled work of Tearfund's partners

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When Ben Allsop visited partners in Zambia, he was struck by the strength of relationships the Christian staff members have with the communities in which they work. Returning home with his own faith encouraged and uplifted, he reflects here on how faith permeates through the daily interactions between staff and community.

For me, the most outstanding part of visiting our partners was to see first-hand the warm and trusting relationships that their staff build with local people. What these remote communities in Zambia have been able to achieve in less than 3 years is remarkable. The progress so far has quickly created momentum and appetite for further change.

This is happening because of the faith-filled work of our partners and their staff. Watching workers like Asten, Elyna and Kentmore in action is very encouraging. They respect the community; they care for the community and often travel hours to get there. They sacrifice other careers, ambitions and time with family to participate in what God is doing. Clearly, they see their work as ministry – a calling that reflects a heart for God, using God’s gifts to them.

It’s also clear that their work is shaping their faith, and their faith is shaping their work. Some of the staff reflected back to me how their relationships with community are helping shape their practice of loving God.

It’s a huge encouragement to me too. Although thousands of kilometres separate me from these communities, it’s reassuring to know that the calling to use our skills to work towards justice is just as relevant here in Australia, as it is in Zambia. The same faith and trust in God unites us, motivates us and inspires us.

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“This is a ministry. The community sees the value, and see God in what we do.”

– Asten Nyau, Community Development Worker (ROCS).

Asten’s work takes him into villages several hours from his home and young family, but fatigue never seems to be a problem. He enthusiastically engages with each person, no matter where they are, or how much time it took to get there.

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“The work we do is in relation with the work of God – it’s what God would have us do for His people.”

– Elyna Zulu, Community Development Officer (ROCS).

Softly spoken, Elyna’s calm and gentle demeanour is evidence that you don’t need to be an extrovert to motivate and encourage others to pursue change.

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Before, I was seeing people as they were. Now, I appreciate much more who they are and what they are capable of.”

– Kentmore Phiri, Community Development Worker (RCZ).

An agriculture specialist, Kentmore is passionate about improving crop yields. Over his 14 years with RCZ, he has seen many remote communities improve their harvests.

Join the work of restoration and hope

We invite you to prayerfully consider joining this work of restoration and hope by supporting Tearfund’s partners to overcome poverty and injustice.

Give now

Please join us to pray for our wonderful partners in Zambia:

  • Thank God for the dedicated and caring staff of our two partners in Zambia - Reformed Open Community Schools (ROCS) and RCZ Diaconia Department (RCZ) who work faithfully to serve their local communities. Give thanks also for the many wonderful volunteers who give of their time and energy to support this work.
  • Both ROCS and RCZ Diaconia also work closely with a several government departments that have responsibilities in the community. Please give thanks for these relationships and please pray for ongoing good partnerships that work together for the benefit of the communities in Zambia.

Ben Allsop is Tearfund Australia’s Manager for Transformational Giving. Tearfund’s partners RCZ Diaconia Department (RCZ) and the Reformed Open Community Schools (ROCS) are both branches of the Reformed Church of Zambia. Image credit: David Gee

Related projects have received support from the Australian Government through the Australian NGO Cooperation Program (ANCP).