We have all been affected by the Covid 19 pandemic including Faith and the FOF children in Zambia. As the virus caused Faith’s trip to Canada to be cancelled, we have recorded an video interview with her so that she can give us a first hand account of the conditions in Zambia and how the children and Centres have been affected. The video will be posted here in about one weeks time, so stay tuned.
As mentioned in an earlier update, it was expected that on June 1st students, including our college students and those attending the Skills Training Centre, would return to classes. As in Canada, frequent hand washing and the wearing of face masks are required measures in Zambia to prevent the spread of the Covid virus.
While the Covid 19 virus is causing major disruptions throughout the world, we are grateful that it has not had a major impact on the FOF children, students and adults at the FOF Centres.
With the cancellation of Faith’s visit to Canada this year, she and her team in Zambia especially want to convey their thanks for your support through this challenging period. Your prayers and contributions are making a difference in the lives of these children and giving them a chance for a much brighter future. Thank you!
During this pandemic, we have had regular reports from Faith related to the spread of Covid-19 in Zambia. The country’s latest figures show there have been a total 1051 cases, with 743 recoveries and 7 deaths.
Faith and her team reacted very quickly to the threat by providing the necessary guidance to the Centres for protecting the children and adults from contracting the virus. As a result, we can be very grateful to God that at this time, the FOF Centres have been spared from this infectious disease.
We will keep a close eye on further developments as many students in Zambia are scheduled to restart classes on June 1.
2019/2020 TEEN MISSIONS REPORT
Teen Mission is an important part of the FOF program for our youth as it imparts valuable life skills, develops their sense of responsibility and presents ways to examine the Word of God so they can grow in the Lord and communicate their faith to their community.
This year’s program started on 24th November, 2019 and went through to 9th of January 2020. FOF sent 125 youths and of these, 87 gave their life to the Lord and 6 re-dedicated themselves to the Lord.
Before proceeding to Teen Missions, all the youths gathered at the STC to receive groceries, blankets, clothes and other supplies before going to Ndola. Upon arrival at the camp, Teens were arranged in groups of thirty and given specific tasks to perform such as;
- Planting maize and other crops,
- Building churches/Construction;
- Planting bananas.
- Bible reading and memorising (a pack of 40)
After the camp, the youths came back to S.T.C to receive new pairs of shoes to use for school and other school supplies, as well as provide reports on their time at the camp. Here are some of the reports from four of our youth that attended this recent event.
Blessings wrote, “I gave my life to the Lord when I was at Teen Missions Camp. I would like to be a Pastor when I finish school in order to serve in God’s kingdom and to help people in the community. I would like to help sick people with the encouragement of the word of God that through him, many could be healed and be saved. Teen Missions has done the following for me:
- Shaped me to teach the Word of God and how to interact with others (social interaction).
- Enabled me understand how to study the Word of God every day, and I have learnt various skills such as reading, bricklaying and farming.
- Taught me how to use time responsibly and meaningfully.
- Encouraged me to grow in my Christian life.” And the things of the Lord, always.
Pauline says she accepted the Lord as her personal Saviour during Teen Missions Camp after the Word of God was explained to her. She learned a lot of things at Teen Missions that have helped her in her Christian life. Teen Mission program helped Pauline to know the importance of time keeping, concentrating, working hard and understanding missionary work. She promised to continue preaching and sharing the Word of God to her family and friends when she goes back to her village.
Bright is a twenty-two year old young man from the Inakamwale FOF Center on the Solwezi Road. He gave his life to the Lord last year at Teen Missions and went back again this year. He likes the Camp because it brings youths together to work and learn things like how to manage finances, how to sing, how to do farm work, learn to know God and how to behave towards one another. He appreciated the care he received at Teen Missions. He also said he enjoyed sleeping in tents and hearing birds in the trees singing all night during camp.
The debrief time also was another exciting time for him, when teams were competing in forty memory verses and singing. Lastly, he would advise youths to attend Teen Missions because it’s really a good place to know the Lord.
“I went to Teen Missions already a Christian and I was able to grow in the things of the Lord. I truly appreciate having attended Teen Missions camp.” Teen missions taught me how to live with others, i.e. eating together, playing together and having fun together. Teen Missions promotes unity and more importantly, to be prayerful all the time. Prayers are very important at Teen Missions. In the morning there is personal devotion time and I have personally dedicated to God to continue personal devotion which is a good way of communicating to the Almighty God. Teen Missions taught me agriculture, poultry and crop management. Teen Missions help youths to be punctual at all activities and to be dedicated to duty all the time. It helps one to be disciplined all the time in life.”
Five of our youths have since decided to remain at Teen Mission to train as Pastors.
What began in October of 2015 with three Canadians arriving in Zambia has been completed and is now in full use. The generous support of Canadian donors has enabled Faith’s Orphans Fund to build a school at the Lungwa Centre where the children there can now receive the education to change their futures and impact their community.
The nearest school for the children of Lungwa had been more than 16 km away, too far for children to walk at anytime let alone during the rainy season when paths and the road would be awash. Education previously consisted of brief lessons by non-teachers in a tiny hut.
The construction plans for Lungwa consisted of a school building with three large classrooms and supply storage room, a small four-room building to house the teachers, two separate latrines for the students plus all the required desks and chairs. Before construction of the school could begin however, a well had to be drilled to provide the water to mix with cement to make concrete.
The well that provided the water required for construction also gave the entire community a sustained source for safe clean water and it has become the central meeting place for the community. The well was made possible by a generous group of people in memory of a special teenager from Frankford Ontario and a plaque embedded in a concrete memorial now stands by the well as a permanent tribute.
The work on the school was carried out in three phases with the assistance of four students from our Skills Training Centre and the entire Lungwa community, including the children who contributed by carrying materials like heavy concrete blocks to the building site. Before the school was finished and before the desks and chairs arrived, the children were being taught in the classrooms…and today, 176 children attend the classes held in this new school.
Thank you for your continued support of Faith’s Orphans Fund. Together we are making a difference in the lives of these children and giving them a brighter tomorrow.
One of the significant elements in the development of our high school students is the opportunity to attend Teen Missions, a 4-week long leadership-training program that is often referred to as ‘Boot Camp’.
The most recent ‘Boot Camp’ ran from December 4, 2017 to January 6, 2018 and FOF had 70 students attending. Additionally, we had 10, mostly Grade 12 students who had attended a previous Boot Camp, start one week earlier than the others. These 10 were chosen to be leaders during the following weeks of the ‘Boot Camp’. This additional training is especially valued as these teens are often selected to be head boys and girls by the headmasters of the schools they attend .
After the first two weeks of learning in a classroom about bricklaying, cement work, farming practises, tree planting, and managing their time, they were divided into groups of 30 to apply their new knowledge in a ‘hands on’ setting. Acquiring these basic skills is incredibly useful for securing the future success of our students.
Important as these skills will be however, the ultimate goal of Teen Missions is to re-establish or ensure our students are firmly grounded in their faith as a Christian. For some teens, Teen Missions has been a life changing experience as they make a decision to follow Jesus and to live their life honouring Him.
Faith Liyena has provided the following testimonies from some of our students that attended this recent ‘boot camp’.
Edina Kasunga says that her journey was filled with what many people would consider an amazing coincidence, but for her, she says, it was by God’s grace.
Raised by non-Christian parents, she did not know the love of God. She lived in “wretchedness and lawlessness of life,” without any real standard of behavior in her because she was living without God’s word. She gave her life to the Lord after hearing the Gospel at Teen Mission and has since applied to train as a missionary at Teen Missions this year.
Martin Muthali says, “it was at FOF Kabulankashi center where, I learnt about Teen Missions in Ndola.” I was told about the “Christian activities that help someone to grow in the things of the Lord.” Encouraged by friends that had been there and by their good behavior in the community and in school, he asked to attend and was among those who were picked to go to the boot camp.
“I was not yet saved but I used to go to church.” At the Teen Missions camp, I received Jesus Christ as my Lord and personal savour and I am now living for the Lord.
While at Teen Mission camp, I also learned other life skills such as bricklaying and also time management as important to life. I want to be a good example at school and in the community. “I appreciate FOF for introducing me to this Life changing programme.”
Some of Our Students That Attended the Recent Teen Missions
Faith Liyena, the Director at FOF in Zambia, has also reported that it is a joy to see so many children give their lives to the Lord. “These children are the little lights in the families, communities and schools.
It is exciting to see them back home, more mature in the things of God…” and helping to build their community with their newly learned skills. These students have also had training in leadership and one of the activities they engage in back in their community is sharing what they learned with the younger students. The community benefits by one of their own attending Teen Mission.
Thank you to all our Supporters for generously providing the means for this years group of teens to have the Teens Missions experience!
In October, for the past several years, the Zambian Government has made available these ‘Seed and Fertilizer Packs’ for purchase at approximately one-third of the normal price. A ‘Pack’ consists of four bags of fertilizer and one bag of seed. Maize (corn), okra, rapeseed, onion and cabbage have been the customary seed made available but that does vary from year to year.
Transporting Seed and Fertilizer Packs to the fields
In the months leading up to October, the people in our twenty-four Centres will have been busy preparing their fields for planting. This has to be completed by November when the rainy season sets in for the next several months. What is grown during that time will be their food supply until the next growing season and therefore will have a direct bearing on the nutritional intake of our children. This is why our ability to purchase ‘Packs’ for all our Centres is a project we focus on each year.
Each bag can weigh up to 50 kg or 110 lbs!
The photos included here are the evidence why the Board of Directors of FOF Canada once again express our grateful thanks for supporting our 4113 vulnerable children and the Centres where they live.
The ground is fertile and the maize grows quickly
Late Breaking News
FOF Canada recently received funds from the Community Christian Reformed Church in Frankford Ontario with which to purchase two hammer mills. The hammer mills are being placed at a special location on the Solwezi Road and the Lufwanyama Road. This will allow maize and cassava to be ground into a flour-like consistency. It is hoped that some of the flour can be sold and thereby expand their dietary intake or purchase other needed items.
Thank you Frankford!
One of the vital components for the successful support of FOF’s vulnerable children are the Implementers. These men and women act as FOF program coordinators and leaders in the care, provision, and oversight of each child at their Centre. Once or twice each year, a week-long training course is provided by FOF so that these Implementers and the Centres they represent can benefit from learning of new agricultural techniques, government programs, nutrition and health opportunities as well as providing us with updates of the status of the children at their Centre.
For the week-long training, about 100 Implementers will arrive at the Skills Training Centre (STC) in Kitwe, where they will sleep, eat and learn before returning to their Centres with their newly gained knowledge. As the implementers are spread out over many miles and rarely have a chance to meet, the week together at the STC is also an opportunity to get acquainted, share ideas, and discuss the issues they face as well as encourage one another as part of the greater FOF Team.
Photo of one group of Implementers in a classroom
The theme for this week’s seminar was “Developing our Communities through Agriculture.” In addition to presenting gardening techniques, crop varieties, chicken and goat care, the maintenance of the trees that were planted one year ago and the new trees that were just recently planted in December was highlighted. New policies which the Government has introduced along with explanations of Government expectations were discussed.
The continued care of the children is a focal point during the week as Faith discusses the health, nutrition and educational needs and responds to the issues Implementers may have. She spends time with each implementer to encourage them in their work on behalf of the children of FOF.
Photo of Implementers in a small group training session just for women
It is also at this time when the implementer’s present reports to Faith on behalf of their centre. These reports update the database for each child in their centre and, together with Faith, the prospective students who will study at the STC in the coming year are chosen.
In your prayer time for the FOF children and staff, please remember our Implementers who engage the children on a daily basis. These men and women are volunteers, receiving no pay for looking after the orphans in their centres as they have a genuine love and concern for their welfare.
Photo of Implementers in a small group training study
A core component of each day for all Implementers at the Training Seminar is the Bible teaching and training. FOF is a practical demonstration of Our Lord’s love, faithfulness, and provision to His children and a witness to those here in Zambia that hears of the work and impact of FOF on the lives of the vulnerable children. Please continue to pray for the children, the Centres and also for the leadership of FOF, we need His hand to guide us for another 25 years and more!
We hope this report gives you an idea of the content and importance of the week-long Implementer Training Seminar.
(article based on a report from Faith Liyena)