Fiery trials and powerful priorities
As you may have seen on social media, early September brought an unexpected catastrophe for ZAFES, the IFES national movement in Zambia. Their national office burnt down. However, ZAFES are continuing their ministry despite this setback. And as the English and Portuguese-speaking Africa (EPSA) Regional Secretary Zelalem Abebe confirms, in the last year the movement has made “amazing progress, in many aspects”. In this Prayerline, let’s thank God for how he has blessed ZAFES in 2022, and stand with them in prayer that God would continue to bring beauty, even out of ashes (Isaiah 61:3).
The progress made by ZAFES has been fueled by a clear emphasis on the crucial importance of studying God’s Word. At Kitwe Education College on the Copperbelt Province in the north of Zambia, ZAFES recently pioneered the Bible Exposition Self-Training Program, which prepares students to study the Bible and write study guides. As student Patricia says, “this program has impacted me in so many ways, in helping me find meaning in Scripture.”
For Christians across Zambia, far beyond university campuses, ZAFES may be best known for the Daily Nuggets. They have been producing this Bible reading devotional guide over the last four years, and it has become an essential tool for Christians in Zambia, even beyond ZAFES students, staff, graduates, and associates.
Besides the study of Scripture, establishing fellowship and partnerships with other believers has also been a key ministry priority. Approaching churches to make them aware of ZAFES has prompted 16 churches to pledge various kinds of support for the movement, thus providing new facilities and helping ZAFES become more financially stable. The movement is also mobilizing their graduates, who are responding enthusiastically; as a result, nine new associates’ branches were established across the country in the last year.
Pray for ZAFES and students in Zambia:
- Thank God for this progress, which has allowed ZAFES to flourish despite the challenges they have faced.
- Thank God for the blessing and joy of new and renewed partnerships with churches and associates.
- Please pray for a way forward after the destruction of the office, as well as the offices of five other organizations. “Pray for grace”, asks Barnabas, ZAFES National Director, “that we will continue to look to God and trust him even more. But pray that this setback will not affect campus ministry.” Pray for wisdom and unity, and that through all these things God will continue to call students in Zambia who don’t yet know him.
- Pray for the staff to be strengthened during this period and for a breakthrough in their stipend which has not been regular for some months.
Thank you for the support you show to ZAFES with your prayers. We’re also thankful for the financial support of those who have given to the movement in response to the fire. If you feel led to help in this way also, you can do so here.