Today, our staff had the incredible privilege of spending some time with Her Excellency, Dr. Inonge Mbikusita-Lewanika, Zambian Ambassador to the United States. She was in Phoenix from Washington DC, speaking at a fund-raising dinner, and took time to talk with our staff and tell us her story. What an amazing opportunity this was, and I figured I would give you an abridged version here.
Inonge is a Princess in the Royal Family of Zambia, and God has called her to represent Jesus in a secular world. She accepted Christ to be Lord of her life at 16 years of age, and has dedicated her life’s work to sharing the love of Jesus to the world. She talked about how many times she tried to do this with a bible in hand in “Christian Ministry”, but God always took her back to public service in politics and government work. She tried to attend a Christian university, but couldn’t get accepted there. She talked about how she felt for years that God had rejected her because she couldn’t get a “Christian” education. Then several years later, while working for UNICEF and the United Nations, God told her she was evangelizing for Him in her work. I love her message to everyone that we are called to evangelizing our world, wether we work in ministry or in the marketplace.
She talked about how HIV/AIDS has impacted her country, and the other countries in Africa. There has been progress, but in Zambia, there are currently over 700,000 orphans. The population of Zambia is 11.5 Million…so almost 10% of their country are HIV/AIDS orphans. An encouraging thing she explained is that many churches are finally getting involved and really making a difference in caring for and bringing up this generation of kids living without parents.
Finally, Inonge talked about our responsibility as adults to build into children. She said that “if we only invest in our biological children, and not the community, then when they go out into the community, they will adopt that life.” The Bible says that we should raise up children in the way they should go, and that applies to all the kids we have in our community. She also talked about the dynamic of community and village living, and how in the village you are everybody’s keeper. And then, how many of the things that occur in our western society just don’t in their communities because everyone keeps each other in “check”.
Having worked with World Vision for 11 years, this kind of work and ministry is close to my heart. I’m praying that God will continue to raise up people like Dr. Lewanika to serve the needs of the poor, and reach into the world with the love of Jesus. I’m praying that God will be a Father to the millions of orphans in Africa and around the world. I’m praying that I will make the most of every moment in this life, and use the opportunities I have to reach out to the poor, the widow and the orphan.