Zambia #8 - Justo Mwale University
by Sue Wright, for the team
It was a clear, beautiful day with a comforting breeze. We woke to a symphony of birds… and the kitchen staff preparing breakfast. The Booth Center where we are staying consists of ten rooms: five on each side of a courtyard. The kitchen is at one end and a conference room at the other. Its main purpose is for training lay evangelists who come from for 3-week stints. This is a significant Outreach project in Zambia and Zimbabwe. Evangelists work under pastoral direction to plant and/or sustain “prayer houses:” new worshipping communities.
We spent the whole day on the campus of Justo Mwale University: “a leading Christian University in Sub-Saharan Africa.” Originally founded to train pastors for rapidly-growing denominations, JMU has recently expanded with advanced, specialized, and online degrees. Its basic program – Bachelor of Theology – enrolls 59 men and women, plus 13 wives, all residential. Few are self-supporting. Most receive full scholarships. The Outreach Foundation currently channels funds to support 11 Presbyterians. They hail from Zambia, Zimbabwe, Malawi, and Mozambique. To call them “dedicated” hardly begins to do them justice.
For less than $7,000 per year a congregation can sponsor such a student. This includes tuition, housing, transportation, books – even a living allowance. By American standards, what a bargain! And there is always a need for more scholarships.
We attended several classes, including Greek 3. We met with administration and listened to their descriptions of achievements and challenges.
Over dinner we met with Presbyterian students receiving scholarships. A joyful time, as they gave thanks for their sponsors. They also shared various personal struggles. Then we helped Dustin Ellington – PC(USA) teacher of Greek and New Testament – celebrate his 50th birthday. Finally, sleep – beneath mosquito nets. Another full day ahead tomorrow.