This article was originally published in the October 2022 edition of ITMI Monthly.
This way of seeing our Father in everything makes life one long thanksgiving and gives a rest of heart, and, more than that, a gayety of spirit that is unspeakable.
-Hannah Whitall Smith
It's tough to believe that the mere sight of a 2-ton flatbed truck with gravel and casings in the back can cause a community to erupt in riotous dancing and jubilation. The shrieks of joy and awe shatter the mundane sounds of the village that experiences the imprisonment of generational fear and sadness.
This celebratory reaction is precisely what happened in seven barren, remote Zambezi plains villages last month. That truck was one of the most beautiful sights any of the villagers had ever seen.
Life in these remote villages is a struggle to survive.
It means two things to these simple yet valuable souls; 1. a promise was kept and 2. cool, fresh, safe water will be easily accessible in their village, bringing with it a measure of hope.
When your address is in a hot, desolate Zambian village and your life has been a struggle to survive day after day, generation after generation, you live with a shortage of hope. When you exist with little food and even less water, and you believe your spirit ancestors are watching and angry most of the time, there is a shortage of any thought of a better or different future.
Combine this existence with being promised over and over again for as long as anyone can remember by self-serving politicians that they will provide your village with a coveted well only to be disappointed.
Now you can begin to imagine the excitement generated when that truck inches its way from the eastern horizon, over the plains, and toward your home village.
ITMI, Johan Leach and his team have provided twenty-two such causes for thankfulness in the before-forgotten Luvale floodplains created by the Zambezi River in western Zambia.
A rough map of the wells that have been drilled already.
This is what the wells look like installed (this one was drilled before this year.)
The reactions and gratitude are always the same. As you read this, eight more water wells are being bored and installed (seven in remote villages and one at the home of a faithful pastor in Chavuma) for the glory of God and His merciful provision.
Please pray with us that as water sustains the body, the truth of God, as shared by Johan's local evangelists and pastors, will be used by God to redeem the hearts and souls of these dear people.
A villager from a village that previously received a water well comes forward to confess her sin and accept the gift of salvation!
Johan is not content to provide just water wells to the Zambezi plains villages. His passion is to evangelize and disciple this corner of Zambia in obedience to God's calling. By partnering with ITMI and Harvesters Ministry, which provides a comprehensive pastor training curriculum in the local language, Johan has trained 30 hub leaders and 40 student pastors.
The success of this program has crossed denominational lines and created a deep desire within other pastors in Zambia. In the town of Solwezi and surrounding areas, 160 pastors and leaders are eagerly awaiting this training.
Another 100 in the Chongwe area and 45 in the Kitwe area are keen to be thoroughly trained in Biblical theology and ministry principles.
Johan training leaders at his base in Chavuma.
These towns are anywhere from 8 hours to 12 hours drive from Chavuma, yet the good news is spreading deep and wide.
The impact in the churches is palpable. Johan said, “...it feels like a revival is coming to Zambia.”
Please pray with us that God will empower Johan and Lesley, Pastor Davy and Pastor Teddy, and all the hub leaders and pastors for the work He’s set before them. Pray that these villages, with their new fresh, clean water for the body and living water for the soul, would be faithful to follow Jesus.
Thank you for helping us create this cause for gratitude in Zambia.
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.
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