Christian Education Ministry (CEM)
Try to imagine being unable to read. Think of all the signs around you as you walk down the street that would be meaningless squiggles to you. Think of how few jobs would be available to you. How would you cope if you were very sick and cannot read the information on how you may receive help? How would you cope in church if you cannot read the Bible and do not know whether or not you are being taught the truth?
In Zambia there are so many children (and adults as well) who can´t read, even when they have gone to school for some years. Christian Education Ministry wants to make a difference in the lives of children in the communities. We want the children to hear the stories from the Bible. How else would they know about being a sinner and in need of Jesus as Saviour? We want children to be able to read, so they can read God´s Word themselves as well!
Since 2003 the Christian Community Schools Association (CCSA) has been attempting to support community schools in the area surrounding Petauke. It has succeeded in providing a reasonable amount of material support to schools. It provided training and encouragement by several visiting lecturers who conducted conferences. The teaching in the schools was monitored through the work of a travelling secretary.
Problems were experienced with registering the CCSA with the Zambian Government. The executive committee of the CCSA faced problems and ceased to function. Therefore it became untenable to continue as a society and the CCSA has been dissolved. The trust decided to continue informally without any society involved. This means that donations were still be collected for a fund, which was called the Christian Education Fund (CEF), and were distributed in the area.
Because we wanted to emphasis our training part of the work the AGM 2009 changed the name CEF in CEM; Christian Education Ministry.
In between CEM received a fulltime worker in May 2007. Marjanne Hendriksen, a qualified teacher from the Netherlands, was sent by her home church to serve as a missionary for CCZT. From that moment on 24 schools got regularly visits whereby teachers were trained in their own schools on their own level. During holidays conferences were still conducted.
With the vision for the future that CEM should be run by Zambians for Zambians, Marjanne started in 2008 to look for people to be equipped as trainers. How more trainers, how more teachers can be helped, how more children will be receiving Christian education!
At the moment we reach out to more than 50 schools. Most of them are pre-schools. They all receive one box with basic material, enough to run a proper pre-school program. Thankfully we regularly receive black dollies, cars, blocks, wooden puzzles, picture books etc. We believe so much in laying a good foundation by pre-school education before children go to a government school or another community school!
After the AGM from 2017, CCZT has given Marjanne a new task: spreading the CEM concept in a wider area by teaching during conferences and helping others to start Christian education projects in their own environment.
Training teachers... This means, when teachers are faithful, hundreds and hundreds of children hear the gospel on a daily base. They also have access to fruitful literacy lessons. In 2010 we developed a literacy course in the mother tongue. In 2016 we started testing children from higher grades in the few primary schools under our umbrella. Every child that could read and understand what has been read, received a children's bible in his/her own language. Within a year 225 children's bibles were shared!
Imagine a child with a children's bible comes home. Mom can't read. Dad a bit, but has no Bible... Such a situation is quite common. But now their child can read!! Siblings and friends want to see the pictures and want to hear the stories as well. The gospel is brought into the huts and it will not be the first time in history that the Lord uses a child to spread the gospel!
We pray for a multitude of fruits in the lives of teachers, children and parents. Thankful that God gave us the task of planting the seeds of the gospel in hearts. Trusting that God will care for the development and growth!
In view of the current situation of the Covid-19 pandemic, CEM has decided to communicate using video's through Whatsapp and Facebook to teachers and those trained by Marjanne. For examples of this, please click on the Facebook link below.
Will you join us in this prayer? That will be very much appreciated!!