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Zambia Leadership Project 2011

Project Date: August 7-21, 2011

Four members from the leadership class (Source: Lena and Lewis VanAusdle)

Youth Corps Zambia Reaches Out to Serve

by Lena VanAusdle

We knew we were a part of something much bigger than ourselves as we stepped onto the jet that would soon be carrying us over the Atlantic Ocean to the African continent. The United Youth Corps has lofty goals that we were blessed to try to accomplish this past August. From the United Youth Corps website: "Our mission is to help our young adults envision and prepare for the coming Kingdom of God. This would be accomplished by helping them to identify with the international nature of the Body of Christ, and with their role in the work of the Church." After the recent events in the United Church of God, we had another goal as well; to reach out to the brethren that we would be serving and let them know that they are loved, cared for and a necessary part of the Church. Marc Eddington, Lewis VanAusdle, myself and Jim Tuck made up the group endeavoring to accomplish these goals.

As the plane jetted over the ocean, over Europe, over the Middle East and finally over northern Africa as we made our way to Zambia, the thought that continually came to me was, "How on earth are we going to do this?" Of course we couldn’t accomplish this without the help of God’s Holy Spirit guiding us, but what physical steps could we take on our own to do this?

When we arrived, the "how" became apparent. We were there to travel—and travel we did. We tried to meet as many of our brethren as we could in the two short weeks we had in the country.The week began with English lessons for 17 adult members and one adolescent and leadership training for 21 members. At the conclusion of the week we kept the Sabbath with 69 members made up of individuals from the classes earlier in the week and some of our members from the Lusaka congregation.

The next day we set out to meet more of our brethren. A dusty nine-hour bus ride led us to three local congregations, two of which we stopped at long enough to have a Bible study, with 37 and 47 members present for those Bible studies, respectively. The next day brought us back to our original location just outside of Lusaka and the start of the youth camp. There were 42 campers who were able to participate in sporting activities, public speaking, first aid classes, career guidance and Christian living for four full days before the Sabbath began.

That Friday we climbed into a van and made the trek from southern Zambia to the north to spend the Sabbath in the Copperbelt. We met with 39 brethren for the Sabbath and immediately headed back to Lusaka, as we would be leaving for the United States the next day.

Our whirlwind tour of this beautiful country led us to unexpected places, but the generosity, love and concern shown to us throughout our trip was a constant, and it is a testament to the wonderful brethren we have in Zambia.

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