Levy Mwenda, African Volunteer (Zambia) reflects on the importance of church mobilisation:
“Mobilising the local churches in our communities is integral to the vision of Hands at Work. It is not simply an event – it is who we are. I feel like at times we haven’t done this well. We can put our focus on finding new volunteer Care Workers and end up forgetting about the pastors. This year, within the Zambia RST we have focused more on engaging the pastors on a relational level and not just looking for volunteers from their churches. We do church mobilisation to build a relationship with the pastor because we want to hear their challenges, encourage them and show that we care. When people feel safe, they open up and engage in what God is doing in their community.
We desire to see the local church take responsibility for the most vulnerable in their community. The biblical mandate in James 1:27 says, ‘Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you.’ This is the church’s mandate. We encourage the church to surround each Community Based Organisation (CBO) to provide the best care possible for our children.
In August, I visited Ruth’s church. Ruth is part of the Kitwe Local Office here in Zambia and her church was very interested in what we are doing. I had a good time sharing the word of God and encouraging them to take responsibility in their community. Afterwards, I had the opportunity to sit and eat a meal with the leaders of the church. While we were eating, the leaders started asking questions about Hands at Work. I shared with them about our vision and I could see in them a hunger and thirst for more of God. They are desperate to understand the word of God and how they can be involved. This is a small church but they helped one of our children from another community pay for school fees. I have built a deeper relationship with the pastor of the church and I plan on inviting him to attend Hands at Work morning meetings to bring him closer to the work.”