The story of how we (that’s Andrew, Julie, Benjy, Elizabeth, Eva and Sam Greenhalgh) came to be moving to Kitwe in Zambia as missionaries is both long and short.
Since the start of 2018, God has been preparing us for a change. During the summer Julie and I both felt He was calling us to work away from Britain as missionaries, and then He presented us with the opportunity to do just that in Zambia. That’s the short version.
The longer version
From January, Julie and I both felt that there was going to be a change in our lives. We weren’t quite sure what it would be and, as with any big decision we make, we prayed about it. At first we wondered whether a move to New Zealand might be it and we prayed extensively into that.
Over the summer, though, something changed. As youth leaders at (New Frontiers church) Jubilee Church Wirral, Julie and I both attend New Day, an incredible week of worship and teaching in Norfolk aimed at teenagers. At New Day, Julie and I both felt prompted by God to go overseas as missionaries. We had discussed working in the mission field for many years, but thought it would be something that happened when our children were older.
On our return, we prayed for God to show us where He wanted us. We also spoke to our church leader Dave Frodsham and his wife Nicki about the call to missionary work that we knew God had put on our hearts. Dave and Nicki suggested we talk to Patrick and Michelle Cummings, a couple who were planning to move to Kitwe in Zambia as missionaries with their two children, Andrew (16) and Jonathan (14).
Dayspring, the New Frontiers church in Kitwe, is currently in the throes of building Dayspring Academy, a brand new primary school, and already runs two orphanages for Kitwe’s many orphaned children. It also runs a street feeding programme for children in extreme poverty.
Dayspring aims to give all pupils, whatever their backgrounds and parents’ financial situation, the same opportunities and resources they would expect in the UK.
In Zambia, as in many African countries, there is a huge number of children who just aren’t able to access basic education. The best schools are fee-paying and families may not be able to afford the fees, the uniform or the basic resources such as books and pencils. For the street children and orphans, education can be even more difficult to access.
Patrick, a “super-head” in the UK until his retirement at Easter, was going to be the headmaster at Dayspring Academy and was in need of teachers. The whole project also needed communications professionals to help bring in funding and raise awareness. Both the Cummings family and Joseph Mwila, who heads up Dayspring, made it very clear that they wanted us to join them in Kitwe.
A God-given opportunity
I struggle to express in words the passion and excitement we both felt. Despite the obvious issues we knew we would have to face – uprooting our family, selling our house, finding money to live on and more – we felt immediately that it was a God-given opportunity.
As ever, though, we went away and prayed about it. We hadn’t expected God to be so fast in showing us where He wanted us but He is a God of surprises sometimes. We felt it was an opportunity we absolutely could not turn down.
So that’s how we got here.
It’s a challenge!
We are aware we will face many challenges and our children will have to get used to a very different way of life. That said, we are so excited to be given this opportunity to help some of the world’s poorest children in a really practical way using the skills we have developed in this country.
As with all missionary roles, our jobs will not be paid positions. Therefore we will need to raise enough funds to cover our living expenses, flights and travel costs, school fees for our own children, and medical insurance. Flights alone will cost us more than £3500 and we also hope to hire a shipping container if possible.
Our three-bedroom family home is up for sale and once it has sold, we plan to put part of our equity towards moving expenses and then buy a one-bedroom flat in Wirral which we can then rent out during our time in Africa.
We are also planning to sell furniture and electrical equipment, and anything else we need to, in order to raise money for the move.
We’d love your support
We’re really excited to have been given the opportunity to move to Kitwe as missionaries. But as we won’t be paid for our work, we would really appreciate it if you might consider helping us.
We are very aware of the financial pressures people are under. But if you feel you could help us financially, there are two ways to get involved. We really need individuals and businesses who would be able to sponsor us with a regular monthly payment of any amount.
One-off donations would also be amazing and can be made via our home church, Jubilee Church Wirral. Donating via Jubilee is safe and secure and means you can Gift Aid your donation. To donate, please visit bit.ly/missionzambia
If you do feel you would be able to sponsor us on a monthly basis, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 07714 102661.
We really appreciate your prayers and any help you can give us.