This past weekend was the first family seminar for the Mumena area churches of Christ. The best part of the family seminar was it was planned and decided on by the church leaders. They are beginning to see the value and importance of guiding your family in the ways of the Lord.
We had been planning this seminar for a couple of months now. The church leaders and missionaries felt it was important for every family to pay for the portion of their food they would eat during the weekend, so that this could be a sustainable, annual seminar if they preferred it. Also, the missionaries did not provide transport to get to the seminar, so we were pretty nervous about how everything would play out and if anyone would even show up! It was a leap of faith on our part and theirs.
We ended up having around 140 people come, made up of husbands, wives, grandparents, youth and children. It was very humbling as we witnessed groups of families walk here and pay for their own food. It helps, bit by bit, to overcome the mental poverty that is so prevalent here. Some churches are located within just a 20-30 minute walk of our area, while others are a 6-8 hour walk. A few families and church members left their villages at 6 am just to be here! Quite humbling. They have my upmost respect.
The seminar kicked off Friday night with a meal and devotional thought by Jeremy. It was so nice sitting around the fire that evening with 140 of our brothers and sisters in Christ. I shared a seat with my good friend, Josephine, and held her baby in my arms. I felt the unification that comes with living in Christ, and blessed to be in the presence of people who sacrificed a lot to come to the seminar. What a blessing to be in the family of God!
Saturday we had split classes for children, youth, married couples and single mothers. It was a great day of classes—both Zambians and Americans taught. The first session I helped Ellie Rodriguez (one of the missionaries here from TX) with the childrens class. Ellie is a grandmother who loves children, so I benefited as much as the children did just watching her interact with them and teach. The kids were so cute and excited to be doing something so new. All of the families who attended were either sleeping in the dorms or in the school building. Both lodging options have electricity, so the kids had a lot to be excited about with that!
The second session I spent with the youth. The youth sessions were amazing. During the first session, Erin, Jason and Jeremy taught on what it means to be a son or a daughter of God. Then, during the second session Erin and I worked with the girls. We then had them use their creativity to create something for God-either a song or a skit. We split them in to three groups—two groups came up with skits, and the other group a song. They did such an amazing job. We were completely blown away when they performed for the whole group around the campfire that night.
Overall, the seminar went really well. I hope the church leaders are inspired to do this again next year and many more years to come.