We travel to the African continent today to shine the spotlight on a missionary. In the last four years, the Awana ministry in this country has grown greater than anyone probably imagined. But words cannot really do justice to it, you really need to see the faces of Awana there. I’m always intrigued as I read about missionaries and how God is using them, but this missionary taught me something. The missionary is Joseph Mbange and I encourage you to watch the video below to learn a valuable lesson from Joseph.
And now as I always do, I’ve asked Joseph some questions about him and his ministry:
How long have you been an Awana Missionary?
I have been an Awana missionary for nine (9) years now.
What area do you serve?
I am serving as the National Director for Awana in Zambia – that means in all the provinces of Zambia, but I am based in Lusaka.
# of churches under your care:
The number of clubs in Zambia is now 560.
Fun Facts: Favorite food, favorite sport, something interesting people don’t know about you, etc…(whatever info you want to share):
My favorite food is Nshima, chicken with vegetables. (See how Joseph ate a double hamburger while in the U.S.) My favorite sport is volley ball. I think I am one person who enjoys reading great books. I do also like to make sure I understand the person’s question and try to answer it precisely.
Why are you an Awana Missionary?
I am an Awana Missionary because God has called me to serve Him and at this point in time I believe strongly that He has allowed me to serve Him through Awana. He has also impressed upon my heart the passion to see many children and youths coming to His saving knowledge and to disciple them.
Share something God is doing in your ministry:
In the past four (4) years the Lord has blessed the Ministry in Zambia in that we have grown from 64 clubs we had since the Awana inception in 1982 up to 2006; but now we have 560 clubs in just four (4) years. This means that we are now reaching out to 40,880 children every weekend as compared to the number we were reaching out to for 24 years.
We have seen also the hand of God in the ministry recently since we started reaching out to the Refugees. The impact is not only in Zambia; but also in the countries where these refugees have come from and are going back to.
Tell us something about the materials used and how Awana is designed for your country:
The Materials we do use now is the Truthseekers curriculum for Bible lessons during the Council time (Large group) and the Handbooks for Scripture memorization during the Team Time (Handbook time). The design for our country now is that only Awana leaders/teachers have the books and not the children. For Team time they come with small exercise books where they write two to three verses down to memorize at home. (Some churches have books for each and every child, but very few churches) For Handbooks we follow the school grades and that is from grade 1 to 8 and some go up to grade 9.
What would you say to a local Awana Commander or Leader in the U.S.?
What I would say to a local Awana Commander or leader in the U.S is that you are welcome to visit Zambia and Africa at large. This visit would give them an opportunity to see and learn how we do our programs and it helps them to have a broad understanding of the International side of Awana. The other thing is that it will be great for them and us to establish a sound relationship so that our clubbers and their clubbers too can be exchanging stories and pictures. Let them also be encouraged to continue to support our clubs through adopt-a-club. The leaders and clubbers from this end do appreciate being in touch with brothers and sisters that side.
How can we specifically pray for you over the next month?
- Pray that the Pastors conference will go well and that many Pastors and church leaders will attend the conference and be passionate about reaching out to children.
- That many children will accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Personal Saviour.
- That the good Lord will grant us peace during this year’s presidential elections
- For the continued support for the missionaries and Awana staff
- God will continue to raise up more passionate leaders in the clubs.
Ministry website(s): http://www.awanainternational.org/africa
If you would like to support Joseph and the Awana ministry in Zambia, you can make a donation by clicking here and selecting Zambia in the drop down list.
Any other comments or thoughts you would like to share…
We are so thankful to the Lord for the partners who have stood with us in the past years and especially in the past four (4) years in which we have experienced this amazing growth. I think this is just a beginning of great things in Zambia and Africa at large. We have more than five (5) million people below the age of 15 living in Zambia today. So 40, 880 is still a very small number out of the great number of the children that we can reach with the precious Gospel our Lord Jesus Christ. We trust the Lord that many brothers, sisters and partners will join us in reaching out to this number. In fact, Islam is now making serious entry and presence in Zambia by providing free education to children and health services. We are praying also for U.S. that the good Lord will protect the fellow believers and the country from harm too.
For more information, visit these Awana International Websites: