TCF Travels: Trip to Zambia – Mwana Ministries

This year Michael, Chichi, Blake and I brought the New Year in somewhere between Doha, Qatar  and Lusaka, Zambia!  As Michael, Chichi and Blake headed off with Chichi’s family, I went with Janey, Daniel and Kimberly to Mwana Park. 

The purpose of my trip was to spend time with Janey to support and encourage her whilst enjoying fellowship and friendship together. I also wanted to get my hands dirty and help where I could.

So firstly who is Janey? Hopefully you will meet Janey, Daniel and Kimberly in a few weeks time when they come home for a short break. Janey is a missionary in Zambia, having left Scotland over 20 years ago to serve God in Africa. Her hearts desire is to reach the children of Africa with the word of God and transform lives through the Gospel.  Mwana  Ministries was established in 2011 and there are various strands to the ministry including: Mwana Mission reaching thousands of children every week through children services in 18 schools and compounds (very poor areas); Mwana Action supporting  children from disadvantaged backgrounds to further their education;  Mwana Media and the Tommy Time puppet programme broadcast through Zambian TV and other African networks bringing the Christian message into many homes.  

So a few things about my trip.  It was hot but also very wet! In fact they have experienced increased rainfall this year which has contributed towards a nationwide Cholera outbreak. As a result all Government schools remained closed for 5 weeks following the Christmas break. This affected Mwana Mission as we were unable to run services in the schools. For obvious reasons,  the open-air services in the compounds do not run during the rainy season. 

Home of Happiness Zambia
Home of Happiness Zambia

I was however privileged to help run the service in the ‘Home of Happiness’  for children with physical and / or learning disabilities. Janey writes the weekly lesson plan and the team deliver this to the various mission areas. This includes singing, dancing, praying, a Bible story, quizzes, learning a memory verse and puppet show reinforcing the message.  This was a truly humbling experience as 88 children sleep in 2 rooms which are also their classroom, play and living areas. Despite their severe disabilities and limitations they were all very well behaved and listened intently. Praise God that they are hearing the Word of God which has the power to transform and make a significant difference to their lives. 

Janey regularly provides training to Sunday School teachers and I supported one of these sessions to teachers from different churches across Lusaka. 

I also spent some time doing various activities with the 15 children who attend a school which Janey has established in the grounds of Mwana Park. The pupils include Janey’s twins Daniel and Kimberly who are aged 6 years. There is one employed teacher and 2 classroom assistants.

Many of you will be aware that the external building of the Mwana Media Studio is almost complete. I was awestruck at the sheer size of the building and the facilities which will be available. God has incredibly provided the finance for the construction of the building. One of the tasks which Janey and I embarked on was to scour Lusaka looking for window and door suppliers. Due to crime, these need to be extra secure and have additional burglar bars included on all windows. This significantly increases the cost, and Mwana look to God to supply the finance for these and the interior work required to complete the building. Please pray for Janey as she makes big decisions for the completion of the building.                         

Early on in my visit Janey, the children and I experienced a short break to Chaminuka,  a Game Reserve on the outskirts of Lusaka. This was a time for Janey to relax and recharge whilst enjoying the outdoors and safari to see the animals by jeep,  boat and  walking, horse riding, painting  and relaxing. A highlight for me was walking with the cheetah!

We also spent some time with Chichi’s family. There was a special memorial service for her late Granny Barbara who some of you have met and sadly passed away suddenly in December 2022. Janey also arranged a ‘Braai’ – a barbecue cooked over coals for Chichi’s family.  It was a joy to also attend Globalheart Church with Janey. 

I was blessed beyond measure to spend the 3 weeks with Janey, her children and some of the Mwana team.  A special time for me was devotions with the team each day over breakfast and studying the book of Galatians together. I enjoyed getting to know the team personally and miss them now I am back home.  Janey would love for people from TCF to visit her and get involved in short stay mission with Mwana and I would really encourage you to consider this – you would be a blessing to Janey and she to you. 

Please pray regularly for all the Mwana ministries and for Janey as she leads this work. In particular, pray that the necessary funding will be provided to complete the interior of Mwana Studio and that the vision to reach many more people across Africa and beyond will be fully realised.

If you would like to give to Mwana please speak to Michael Wilson who can provide you with details on the best way to do this, or visit the donate online.

– Carolyn Wilson

Header photo by Philip Myrtorp on Unsplash

Article published February 2024