Being a brick in a new house

After completing the teachers training course, a young Zambian goes to Malawi where he serves as a father figure for 15 children.

Lovejoy*, a young Zambian believer, has been called to serve the Lord by working with children and those who don’t know Jesus yet. He started his teaching career at a school in Nakoli, Zambia, but without qualifications as a teacher.

While teaching in Nakoli, Lovejoy felt the responsibility to find solutions for the children’s problems, all while he faced his own feelings of inadequacy. He had planned to teach for just one year, but realised that one year would not be enough to bring change to their lives and help them walk with Jesus. Despite challenges, his heart grew softer for the children as he visited their homes, saw their living environments and realised that they were misunderstood, neglected and fatherless. 

He taught for an additional six months before participating in mission’s training with OM Zambia. After learning more about missions, as well as orphans and children from different backgrounds, Lovejoy developed a deeper compassion for the children he would teach: He could be God’s vessel to change the children’s lives and give them hope for the future. “My life is not just to be a teacher, but to touch the lives of people in the communities,” he said.

After the training, the opportunity to do OM Zambia’s Teachers Training Course (TTC) opened, where he acquired a deeper understanding of children’s needs and realised that there is more to teaching than just education: He needed to journey with the children and guide them to walk with Jesus. 

While doing the training, a new heart for the local people also grew in Lovejoy. He wanted to serve amongst them and show love to the children. For him, though, it was an impossible thought, as none of the available options for teaching were in a community. 

God was faithful to His call on Lovejoy’s life, however, and through much prayer he received the opportunity to teach at the orphan school with OM in Malawi, and later among the local people.

Although God had proven faithful, Lovejoy had another seemingly impossible thought: “Would it be possible for God to start a school in a [rural] environment, to bring children to Jesus, and through that to bring a community to Himself?”

The resounding answer was yes. Lovejoy is currently a father to 15 five-year-old children. In Malawi he realised that, “speaking to the children is not the most important thing to do, but showing them Jesus! I want to reproduce Jesus, not myself!

“It’s like a brick that can be lying on the road and causing someone to stumble, or it can be used to build a house—a new house—for people to encounter Jesus,” he continued. “The effect will depend on where it is used.”

Lovejoy realised that before, while in Nakoli, he sometimes said or did things without caring about how it affected the children. He admittedly missed opportunities to build into the children’s lives because he was tired and focused on himself.

Now though, as a father figure, he thinks about everything he says and does, especially in front of the children. His focus is on Jesus, and Lovejoy misses no opportunity to be a brick in God’s house where people, especially children, can find Jesus.

*Name changed

 

By OM International