This article was originally published in the January 2018 edition of ITMI Monthly.
It’s a new year! We all enjoy the beauty of a fresh start. Who doesn’t look forward to the new freshness of a warm spring day?
ITMI is excited for what God will do this next year as we all seek to serve our Lord, hand in hand touching those that have so little and yet who are so willing to do their part, get their hands dirty and empower and strengthen our on the ground partners in India, Africa and Eastern Europe.
Before we close the book on 2017, allow me to share with you a special bit of news about our partner in Kabwe, Zambia.
Eugene and Audrey Kalunga have for 20 years encouraged and provided young rural Zambian families a chance to launch their children outside of the basic impoverished existence of a dusty, grass roofed, mud hut village.
Education, both spiritual and academic are the only real means of stopping the vacuum of the black hole existence in destitute rural Africa. Almost 18 years ago ITMI helped Eugene move the 50 some children he was teaching from his small African home’s front room into an old Zambian railroad office building that was being auctioned.
We - many of you - helped Eugene acquire the building and turn it into a place for quality Christian education.
The students assemble in the courtyard at Excellence Christian Academy's facility.
Inside a classroom at Excellence Christian Academy in Kabwe, Zambia.
Now, 20 years later, Eugene and Audrey and their staff at Excellence Christian Academy have trained many, many children.
Those children have been changed and renewed in both head and heart. Many of those children have now proven the strength of their character and the depth of their quality education by assuming positions of authority and importance – all the way to the Zambian school department in the country’s government.
Eugene has been pleaded with to start more and more elementary schools in Zambia. Now, with ITMI’s help, Eugene has done it!
For years now, Eugene and his evangelism outreach team have gone on missions trips into the Zambian bush. They go where many big church leaders don’t want to go.
Eugene blesses widows in a rural village.
You see, there isn’t money to be made there. It is an actual sacrifice for those that go.
They have now planted a church in a remote, rural village called Lubemba Village, Kabowa. There are now 62 children that have committed to come and be spiritually educated at this small church.
These children, their parents and the department of Education are asking for …more. They want their children to have an academic education.
Yet there are no schools for many miles, and the parents have no vehicles - except maybe a bicycle, and those are even scarce.
As you read this, Eugene is directing the builder to build a small, simple, basic 3-room school.
He is enlarging his original goal since there are 40 or 50 more children in this village that don’t yet come to the church, but need to know Jesus and their 1-2-3s and A-B-Cs.
An education changes everything for a child in a rural village.
ITMI and our partners have helped Eugene realize his fervent prayers for a school. The government committed to provide funds for a teacher if Eugene could get the building built.
If you want to purchase a few desks and tables and chairs, we still need some help. It will take about $2167 to outfit this under-construction school building with seats for the children, desk or tables for teacher(s) and a desk and chair for a small office.
Thank you for making Christian education in Zambia possible. We are now, after all these years, seeing the ripple effects that will continue into eternity!
In His Service,
About the Author
Steve Evers has advocated for and served the ITMI partners as ITMI Director since 2001. Approximately once a year, Steve visits with ITMI partners in their countries and brings stories back to encourage supporters. Steve enjoys photography and mechanics, (both hobbies that have greatly benefited ITMI partners!) Prior to becoming ITMI's Director, Steve served on the Board of Directors for 4 years. Steve lives in Arizona with his wife, Darlene.