Our religious beliefs are often difficult to separate from our cultural values and practices. We may believe in the person of Jesus but our beliefs about Him and how he works in the world are influenced by our experiences and context.
In Africa, it is not uncommon to find that people believe in the power of both Jesus and witchcraft. A child born with a deformity, a debilitating illness, or the sudden death of a loved one are often viewed by members of the community as the results of witchcraft. This causes great heartache and isolation in communities - dividing families and leading to mistrust and mistreatment. The most vulnerable become even more vulnerable.
The volunteers and staff at Hands at Work have a question they like to ask when discussing Christian faith with others in Africa. “Do you know the Jesus I know?” This question becomes the starting point for discussion about the character of God and how he works in the world. It challenges cultural beliefs and practices both in Africa and, I think, here in North America as well. Our world is broken and hurting, but God is good and faithful — always working to heal and reconcile. He doesn’t judge based on colour or gender and His heart is ever with the hurting, the lonely and the vulnerable.
Please continue to pray that those in Kalende - and other communities where Hands at Work is present - will clearly see Jesus for who He is, and that this understanding would transform communities and bring new life and freedom!
The first monthly advocate prayer gathering was held at the beginning of February. We spent time praying for specific families and children in Kalende and for Marc and Michelle Damour, who serve with Hands at Work in Zambia full-time. The next gathering is scheduled for March 7th @ 7:30pm at Kensington Commons. Everyone is welcome! Please take a minute to read the attached most recent report from Kalende for more ways you can be praying for and partnering with this community!