This article was originally published in the July 2022 edition of ITMI Monthly.
Conrad Lucheta closed his Bible and rose from the metal chair where he’d been preparing for the morning devotion he’d be leading for his students.
Pushing the chair underneath the table, the young man moved quickly about the small, sparse room where he was a boarder, doing odd, last-minute tasks in preparation to leave.
Tucking his Bible and the other books and papers he’d need for the day into a satchel, Conrad mounted his old, beat-up bicycle to begin the 5-mile ride to work.
ITMI Director, Steve Evers with Spring of Love teachers, Kizito Chishimba and Conrad Lucheta.
Even in the Southern hemisphere winter months, he would break a sweat in the Zambian humidity as he labored on the pedals - if he wasn’t drenched by frequent rain that falls in the area.
About 45 minutes after leaving Kapiri Mposhi, the rural town where he boarded, Conrad pedaled down the dirt road that led from the highway into a cluster of villages.
“Mr. Lucheta!” one of his students called. She was smiling and waving at him. Like most families in these rural villages, she lived in a small cement structure with her family.
Spring of Love teachers' bicycles leaned against the school wall.
Conrad lifted one hand from the handlebars of his bicycle in a friendly wave. Arriving at Spring of Love Christian School, he leaned his bike against the greenish-grey wall outside his classroom.
Entering the classroom, he set his satchel on his desk and surveyed the rows of desks where the students would sit.
Most of his students had never been to school before they crossed his classroom threshold for the first time. Initially, Conrad had had the task of teaching them to hold a crayon or pencil to write with, but now, many of the students’ skills were progressing nicely.
For many, they’d had to practice every day, including Saturday and Sunday, but now, most could write their names and even some of their parents’ names!
Spring of Love students enjoy the recently held Career Day!
Spring of Love students praying in class.
Conrad himself had learned a handful of new Gospel-centered songs that made up part of each day’s curriculum and found them to be encouraging for his own faith.
Turning from the desks, Conrad gazed through the bars of the classroom window at the completed exterior of the first on-site teacher housing building, grateful that the work had started again after being stalled.
The on-site teacher housing building with walls and a roof!
Early in the year, work on the project had been delayed by material and worker shortages, but during the spring months, Conrad had watched the layers of bricks that would eventually form the walls rise slightly each day.
Then, construction hit a snag again when the machine used to make the blocks for the walls broke down. Repairing it would be a significant, unexpected expense in the project’s tight budget.
Then, something remarkable happened!
Spring of Love is the second school under the leadership of ITMI’s Eugene Kalunga. The first school Eugene started, ITMI’s Excellence Christian Academy (ECA) in the city of Kabwe, Zambia has been reaching students and their families with the Good News through education since 1997.
The Lord led a parent of a student from ECA to volunteer to perform the welding that would repair the machine for free. Another parent provided the electrical generator for free also! With the machine fixed, the work resumed.
An ECA parent fixing the brick-making machine.
Conrad silently thanked the Lord that the project was moving forward. It would mean so much to him and the other teachers to be able to live on-site, right there in the rural village with their students’ families!
Like Conrad, the other two teachers had accepted their posts teaching in the small rural school, not for the money but because they felt the Lord had called them to bring the Gospel to the people living in this cluster of villages.
They’ve left homes, friends, and extended family in the city to accept the teaching positions, and now they long to extend their ministry by being more present in the village after school hours.
The Spring of Love teachers are eager to respond to the needs of their students more fully with after-school programs and the additional opportunities such programs would offer to teach and reinforce the Gospel they seek to impart to the children of these rural villages.
ITMI donors have made the continued progression of this project possible. Through your sacrifices, the on-site teacher’s dormitory has walls, a roof, and a floor.
The project is ready for the next phase: plumbing for the bathrooms and kitchens in the small apartments. We do not yet have the $1574 USD needed for this phase, so if you are feeling led to jump in and join those who have already sacrificed to see this project move toward completion and expand the ministry of Conrad and his co-workers, you’ll be in the company of those who are making a noticeable impact in a rural village in Zambia.
About the Authors
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.
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