From the classroom to the field

28 Apr, 2017 | Zambia
Karin Fendick
Ruth Tomlinson discusses leadership development with OMers at Lake Tanganyika.

Stepping out of the classroom

Yakob is an OM Zambia MDT (Missions Discipleship Training) participant who completed his course work and travelled to Namibia with his fellow student, George, to complete their practical training.

The pair was based in Katima Mulilo at The Mission House, a multi-denominational, multi-organisational team. They served under Linda, our OM leader in Namibia with others from Windhoek and from Jesus Reigns ministry in Zimbabwe.

This was the first time they had been outside of Zambia for ministry and the time was packed full of opportunities to serve in different communities, including Macaravan, Mahohoma, Katima Mulilo Village and Chotto. Each area had previously established bible study groups, but interest and attendance had been dropping. The eager mission students breathed new life into the studies, stirring new fire from dying embers.

Ministry to many

There was Saturday morning ministry to children, Sunday afternoon youth fellowship, women’s skill training and ministry and evening meetings in each community that included the showing of the Jesus Film in the local language. 

“The film opened up doors to questions, conversations and the creation of new bible study groups,” Yakob noted.  

Each Wednesday, men from churches in the surrounding areas gathered at the Mission House for Men’s Talk, a time to discuss issues and learn what answers the Bible could provide.

Yakob said that for him, hospital ministry was an unforgettable experience.  “I was encouraged that a boy of thirteen years with HIV/AIDS gave his life to Jesus,” he shared. “The boy did not have a t-shirt to put on. The shirt I was wearing was a special favourite but I felt provoked by God to give it to the boy. I gave it to him on Sunday and the next day received news that boy passed into the arms of Jesus while putting on the t-shirt. The community was watching this outpouring of love from strangers and began to open up to learn about Christ.”

The team made home visits in the village of Mahoma in the early mornings. There was a man who came and said his wife was very sick in childbirth. He could not take her to the clinic so she was at home. She had no strength and could not stand without fear of falling.  The baby was delivered safely, but with no food, the mother remained quite weak.

“We had passed through town on the way there and had purchased some things for later,” Yakob reported, “but we felt the Lord touched us to say ‘can you give what you have right now so that she can come back to health?’ So it was a great experience for me to know that this was the love that Jesus Christ was talking about and we have to be sharing, sacrificially.”

On the final day of their journey, more than ten people gave their lives to Christ at an evening meeting. Yakob said they were encouraged to see what God had done in and through them.

What does the future hold?

On what God doing in his heart, Yakob said, “He is doing a lot and we are not discouraged that we had to leave Namibia. I am in a listening process to hear where the Lord wants me next. In December I graduate from Mission Training.”

When asked about going back to Namibia if doors were open, Yakob replied, “If that were to happen, I feel within my heart there are still hands which we need to extend in Namibia. There is still work and the labourers are few there.  I am open to where the Lord wants me to go.”

The experience has solidified his desire to live a mission-based life.

“I have a passion to serve in [North Africa],” he shared. “Namibia was a training ground. Three metres from where we were staying was a mosque and most of our neighbours were Muslim. By God’s grace, I was even able to befriend one guy who was a Muslim.”

“A man once said: ‘If the life you are living is not worth Christ dying for, then it is not worth anything.’  That is the life I want to live. My main passion is to show Christ’s life to Muslims where ever that might be. They say love is not a feeling, it is a gift from God and you have to express it.”

Yakob learned much in this, his first field experience.

Please pray with OM Zambia that doors of opportunity open for Yakob and all of the other students, and that they will continue pursuing their ministry dreams.

Credit: Karin Fendick · © 2017 OM International This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


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