Guest post by Suzanne Provagna.
Suzanne leads one of three sponsorship teams, and she collected a few testimonies from the recent sponsorship season that just ended last week! If you want to know more about Sponsorships, then check out a couple of the stories below.
During the last six months, I have had the privilege of watching a team of eight worship leaders sponsor eight worship leaders in Africa. The US team met via web-ex meetings to discuss how our mentoring journey was progressing. We talked about the challenges, the victories, and the unsuspected blessings that God graciously gave us. We prayed for each other and formed friendships. Our job as sponsors was to pay a relatively small fee to put Biblical resources about worship leading into the hands of worship leaders in Zambia. We then agreed to mentor our sponsored leader through some of those resources for six months!
I’d like to share some of our experiences.
Michelle Jenkins says:
My experience serving as a Sponsor has been incredible. The name of my SL (sponsored leader) is Thelma Chishala Chama. She is from Kitwe, Zambia and our time together has been rich each time we have spoken. The God-story for me started even before I was assigned an SL. In brief, I had declined the invitation to serve as a Sponsor in Oct 2016, then I was contacted again in early January 2017 because there were still openings, but I let that email sit — until the morning of Jan 27, two days before the kickoff. I woke up that morning feeling a “gentle nudge” to ask if there was still a need. Divinely, a person had dropped out that morning — thus I was assigned a SL. A true God-appointment, and I am so grateful.
I look forward to our conversations and genuinely feel God is using HER to bless ME!
Thelma & I speak every 2 weeks thru WhatsApp or Facebook messenger and fortunately this works well for us and our audio connection is very good. Our conversations are on Thursdays at 7am CST (3:00p Zambia time) and last approximately 1 hour. We are walking together through the book Pure Praise. We also share prayer requests and talk about other life issues that may arise during our conversation. One of the tools NLW provides that serves me very well in getting to know Thelma is a list of 20 questions to use for the first conversation with the SLs. I enjoyed going through many of those questions with her in our first chat and hearing what life is like in her world. It helped to establish a relationship with her more quickly. Another suggestion from NLW that has proven helpful is to be patient and wait for their response after speaking, since they may need a few seconds to formulate their words before replying.
Thelma expresses her gratitude often for the time that we spend together, and I am equally blessed by her knowledge of the Word and her genuine desire to live a life “worthy of the gospel.” I look forward to our conversations and genuinely feel God is using HER to bless ME!
Cari Hibbard says:
I have felt so blessed by my interactions with Doreen. I have felt a Holy Spirit connection, a sisterhood, a true sister in Christ, ever since our 1st email. I began this journey with much prayer and a blessing from my husband. ZAMBIA was just a place in Africa – a place on the map. I printed a map, read articles on their culture and prayed! We have supported missionaries in Kenya, Ghana, and almost lived in Egypt! My relationship with God and my Bible is made more exciting and stronger with this real life connection to my Christian sister in ZAMBIA! Zambia is more than a place on the map to me now!
Doreen Lengamali Mukatasha from Zambia wrote to Cari:
I have gained knowledge about worship from this book which I will also pass on to others.
I am so thankful that I have grown in knowledge about worship through your support. I have completed the Pure Praise book. My sister and I have gained knowledge about worship from this book which I will also pass on to others as it is written to do in the book of 2 Timothy 2:2 —and this area shall not be the same in worship. Which book would you like me study next? I am blessed to have you as my encourager!
Interested in Sponsorships?
Each of the eight US sponsors on my team had different experiences with their sponsored leaders. Each of us has seen a broader vision of the church as we have shared our time and experience with worship leader in Zambia. NLW is looking for more mentors to sponsor worship leaders in Africa. Maybe this is for you!