Stories of Hope
Leaders from an Unlikely Place
ICM || Sep 14, 2020
At first glance, you might not think anyone would call Sioma in Western Zambia their home. Nestled near the banks of the Zambezi River, the tiny town of Sioma has little more than dusty, unpaved roads cutting across a floodplain of low scrub. Largely neglected by the outside world, Sioma’s residents experience staggering levels of poverty. And in a country where most people identify as Christian, few here have heard the Good News.
Because of your prayers and support, however, this unlikely place has become a training ground for new evangelists.
Five years ago, our Zambian partner began ministering in Sioma. They started by digging wells in the rural villages. Everywhere a well was dug, workers planted a children’s church. Those workers then introduced farming lessons in the local schools and started a traveling shop where kids could buy hygiene items using coins they earned from learning Bible verses. Soon, more than 7,000 children were coming to church each week. With the work growing so quickly, our partner needed a way to train new leaders. So two years ago, we helped them build a training center in their region. Today, our partner reports:
“The training centre and its dormitories have become the landmark, resource, and place of hope where leaders are raised, trained, and sent to all of Western Zambia.”
Since its dedication in April 2018, the Stafford Training Center in Western Zambia has trained 1,000 pastors and lay leaders, as well as helped over 300 impoverished children. Although the COVID-19 pandemic has slowed these efforts, our partner envisions many more leaders being equipped to evangelize this region over the next few years.
Please pray for the people of Western Zambia, that they will come to know the fullness of God’s love for them.