Term 1 of 2013 is finally underway. Getting the CROSS Project up and running every term usually takes quite a bit of time, mostly because of communication logistics. We work with mostly poor churches from the compounds of Lusaka, so they don’t have things like email (or, if they do, don’t have the money to go to an internet cafe) to quickly spread the word when we’re meeting for CROSS. So, when one of these pastors wants to communicate to his church, he has to wait until the Sunday meeting to give everyone the latest information. To make a long story short, there are a lot of days that go by until finally everyone is set on the day and time that we will meet for CROSS! That’s when I get to breathe a big sigh of relief.
This term we are teaching at these three locations:
1) Ciyanjano Staff – Wednesday mornings
Kristin teaching at Ciyanjano
As many of you know, ACTION Zambia owns and operates a Christian campground on the outskirts of Lusaka called Ciyanjano. Kelly and Tricia Huckaby, ACTION’s coordinators for Ciyanjano really felt it would be beneficial for the CROSS Project to go through our curriculum with the staff out there. Here’s what Kelly said on their blog:
“This January we were rewriting the contracts for our workers here at Ciyanjano and thinking about the future of the ministry here and about serving the people that work for us – the people that help us serve churches. Every year we like to go through ACTION Zambia’s child protection policy with our workers. It’s a document that lays out appropriate behavior with children and is extremely important in a country where child abuse, including physical, sexual, and mental abuse is very common. Since Ciyanjano is hosting many children’s camps and youth retreats and holding our own events we want to make sure that our employees are clear about expectations and appropriate interactions with children. In talking about how we could do better than just the child protection policy we decided to ask our own Derek and Kristin Dearth to come out to Ciyanjano and run a shortened, 10-week version of the CROSS curriculum. This course covers issues of HIV/AIDS, domestic abuse, gender issues, and especially how the gospel bears on these issues. I’m so excited that the Ciyanjano staff gets to go through this information with the CROSS team. Pray that they will hear the truth in love and turn every part of their lives over to Christ and pray that they will grow in their faith and joy and continue serving churches and children in a way that glorifies God.”
2) Chipata Church of the Nazarene – Monday afternoons
We actually just finished teaching a group from this church this past December, but they enjoyed CROSS so much and found it helpful enough that 15-20 more of their members want to go through the CROSS Project. Usually, our goal as CROSS is to train trainers. So in normal circumstances, we would want the people that already went through CROSS to train these new people from their own church. But after praying and thinking through the situation in Chipata, we feel that the size of the group and some other issues in the church lead us to think that maybe God wants us to pitch our tent in Chipata a bit longer to help equip and strengthen this church in the areas of BIble, HIV/AIDS and domestic abuse.
3) Misisi Church of the Nazarene – Thursday afternoons
Misisi will be our new church this term. They have be interested in going through CROSS for about a year now but finally have been able to get everyone together and feel the time is right to go through CROSS. (Again, things take time in Zambia to come together.) We just completed CROSS orientation there yesterday and will start Lesson 1 next Thursday.
John Chitambo (right) and I met with the pastor of the church, Pastor Alfred Mtonga (left), the other day and had a very positive meeting about our and his expectations for CROSS at their church. Pastor Mtonga has been pastoring at this church in Misisi since 1995. He has a wife and 10 children.
We would really appreciate your prayers as we start this new CROSS Term. We’re excited to see how God will work in people’s lives as they think about issues of HIV/AIDS and domestic abuse from a Biblical perspective.