Written by Kelvin Chipepo, Mando Ngosa, Kedwin Silole, Sally Malunga, Joseph Lusumpa, Chazya Sinkamba, Madalitso Kalombe and Asifiwe Banda.
The first day of Vacation Bible School was characterised by excitement and enthusiasm as the children played and interacted with visiting friends of Northrise University and students. Exciting, inspiring and motivating is how Fridah, a pupil at McKenzie Community School described her experience.
Vacation Bible School is just one of the many ways Northrise University and its partners use to reach out to communities in Ndola during Impact Events, which take place every two years. 2017 VBS took the form of creative activities such as making miniature cardboard books and games like limbo and “kamushi kalilalila” (A traditional Zambian game). This brought attraction to many children from the community, including those who do not attend school at McKenzie, showing that outreach activities such as VBS have potential to encourage children from deprived neighbourhoods to think positively about attending school.
After the fun activities, the children split into focus groups where they were talked to about the word of God and careers. Becoming doctors, teachers and soldiers were just some of the career aspirations that the children expressed. Chilufya Bwalya, a first year student at Northrise, assured the children in her focus group of how much God loves them and in turn some children shared how much knowing about God has impacted their lives. Menson, Gerald, Aubrey, Ken and Namatama, all Northrise students, shared with the children about the importance of forgiveness and love for enemies, referring to Luke 6:27, which says, “But to you who are listening I say; love your enemies, do good to those who hate you…”
Mrs Doris Chipampe, Director of McKenzie Community School had this to say, “I’m enjoying the experience and I feel the new faces are exactly what the children need.” She also made reference to how VBS has proved to be of great impact to the children, recollecting impact as far back as 2015.
“VBS at McKenzie is helping me realise how little things can make a huge difference in the children’s lives. It’s a fun experience so far and it’s nice to see the smiles on the children’s faces due to little things like spending quality time with them, playing games and teaching them some art. It’s amazing to see how they are not fortunate but still have love and joy in their hearts” Amanda Limpic, VBS lead for impact 2017.
“Thank God for the ladies who labor to feed these children. It is truly a labor of love. Without their feeding many of these kids would never get the nutrition they desperately need!” Northrise Board of Trustees member Dave Cheatham.
As implied by Acts 4:13, “When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realised that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus,” teaching the word of God to children is truly educating and equipping the next generation.
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