Chainama Mental Ward
This week we visited Chainama Mental Ward with our teammate, Luke Whitfield, to participate in the program he leads there with the female patients. I use the word program loosely because it is really not very formal. Basically he conducts visits to clinics and other institutions around town on a weekly basis and leads some worship, shares about Jesus, and prays with people. He does this and invites pastors from the compounds (who are part of the ACTION Pastors' College) to help lead these visits. It gives the pastors opportunities to reach out into the community and also practice evangelism. So Chainama is one of his regular stops.
Kelly and I were a little intimidated because we had heard that Chainama was a difficult place to visit because the patients can be overwhelming, the conditions are not what we are used to in the States, you can expect people to be touching you, etc. The men's ward is supposed to be much worse than the women's ward.
Anyway, it was awesome! We gathered with women in a larger room and made a big circle of chairs and when the singing started many of the women just came alive. One thing I have noticed again and again is that you get a bunch of African women singing together and it's going to be good... no ifs ands or buts about it. And this was no different even though one girl was trying to pick Luke's pocket while another girl kept laying in the middle of the floor and all kinds of other distractions abounded. After the worship time Luke shared about how valuable each one of them was in God's eyes (which is not something these women hear very much). And then we went around and prayed individually with women who wanted prayer. Even though there was a real language barrier at times, praying with/for those women was one of the most wonderful moments for me in my time in Zambia. I had no doubt that God was going to answer our prayers for those women and I was so excited that I am able to worship this powerful, loving God who cares about people that others just toss aside.
I (Tricia) have been praying to God to show us if there was any regular service in the community that he would have us do during our orientation. When we were at Chainama I felt God answered that prayer with, "Pano!" This means "Right here on this spot!" Please pray that we would be able to visit Chainama regularly and bring the hope of the gospel to these women, and pray for our teammate, Luke, as he reaches out throughout Lusaka as he assists in building up these pastors.