Wednesday 15 Nov
Celebrating the opening of a new training centre in Zambia.
Access to education, vocational training and income-generating skilling is often very limited in impoverished communities and yet these things are vital for people to experience enhanced dignity and wellbeing, as well as opportunities to earn an income or establish micro-business enterprises.
And so, it has been very encouraging to see a local vision come to fruition in Central Zambia with the opening this month of a new education and training centre in Kapiri-Mposhi.
The project has been driven by local leaders, from the Central Baptist Association of Zambia [CBAZ], with a passion to see youth and adults given the opportunity to acquire education and employment and income-generating opportunities.
I’m thankful that Baptist Mission Australia has been able to partner in this practical, hand-up, life-giving community initiative.
I had the opportunity of meeting with some of the CBAZ leaders in Zambia in August last year. Over a coffee, they shared details of their holistic transformation strategy – centred on church planting, leadership development and practically responding to the needs of people living in impoverished communities.
It’s been wonderful to see how much has been achieved since that meeting, as Baptist Mission Australia has supported the development of the new training institute.
In celebrating legacy, the locals behind the project decided to name the new facility, the Roger Kemp Training Institute in honour of one of our Baptist Mission Australia legends. Roger has poured his life into developing leaders in Zambia and other parts of Africa and across the world and the naming of the centre is a lovely honour.
I am looking forward to being in Zambia with Roger in April next year and meeting with CBAZ leaders as we look to other ways we can strengthen our partnership.
Highlighting our mission community’s historical connections to Zambia, the CBAZ Executive Director Redson Chisenga told me of the huge, personal difference former intercultural team member Keith Gallagher and Roger had made in his life.
“I am so thankful for the commitment of Australian Baptists to support mission and the development of leaders in Zambia. Your partnership has made such a difference and it’s exciting to be in a new stage in this partnership where you are willing to come alongside us as local leaders and followers of Christ and help us pursue our vision for our people and country.
“The evangelical church in Zambia needs a renewed commitment to share in God’s mission. We need to be sharing the love and hope of Jesus with more people,” Redson shared with me.
It was great to have Tim and David from our Malawi team attend the opening of the institute on November 3.
David’s presence at the opening highlighted another historical connection as his parents Les and Ruth served in the country with Baptist Mission Australia for 18 years.
The opening of the Roger Kemp Institute is a great example of the legacy we can leave in communities around the world, as well as highlighting the changing nature of global mission. We can look back and celebrate the opportunities we had to be used by God to enable the Gospel to take root in parts of Zambia and to see local leaders developed. The baton of leadership is being passed on to a new generation of leaders. We can support the training of these leaders as well as come alongside them and cheer on their vision for ministry.
And all this is only possible through the generous partnership of Australian Baptists. Thank you for your support. If you would like to give to what God is doing in central Zambia, you can make a life-changing gift here today.
Please join me in praying for this new initiative in Zambia and for all who will access training there. We thank God and celebrate Kingdom partnership.
Grace and peace,
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