Ten Thousand Miles Away...
Written by Cynthia C.
Sunset Church’s Africa Ministry is sending a team to Zambia this summer. They will be visiting me, my fellow care workers, and the children orphaned due to the AIDS pandemic in the village of Zimba. They recently teamed up with Old Skool Cafe and had an Appy Hour event to help raise funds needed to support the team’s trip.
During the fundraiser, there were amazing appetizers provided by Old Skool Cafe… gumbo, baby back ribs, peanut butter stew, fried chicken wings, pulled pork sliders, fried calamari, shrimp and grits, sweet potato fries, and lavender cheesecake. Entertainment by local talented musicians were outstanding. There was a silent auction filled with unique, one-of-a-kind items which included custom artwork, cooking lesson, paint night, homemade cookies, fine wine, makeup session, and exotic leather goods.
I am grateful for Sunset Church’s partnership with Hands at Work, past and current teams, and all the supporters caring about us, the vulnerable children and their caregivers. Despite the burden I experience daily due to poverty, sickness and wounded by life circumstances, I hold on to hope. I am reminded of this comforting truth: “We see you. You matter to us.” Most importantly, I. Matter. To. God.
I long to see you and to be together soon. Natotala sana sana. Lesa amipale. (Thank you very much. God bless you).
“We are dying physically in Africa but the church outside Africa is dying spiritually. When the two worlds come together they bring life to everyone.”– George Synman, founder of Hands at Work in Africa
Written from the perspective of a Zimba care worker.
Know the team: Will & Grace Kwan
During a walk to one of Sunset’s “adopted buildings” (a partnership our church has with City Impact to spend time with residents in Tenderloin Single Room Occupancy apartments), Grace started talking about how she saw God working in this ministry. Spending time with local residents where they live, listening to their stories and when opportunities arise, taking the time to pray with them and share the gospel, has been a special experience for her and Will. She turned to Abe and said, “It’s like those holy home visits you do in Africa, right? I think I want to go and do that, too.”
Abe encouraged Grace in this thought, and she soon pulled in Will as well. Even before they were married, Will & Grace had agreed that missions were something near and dear to their hearts. They both saw the value of the work Sunset is doing through Hands at Work in Africa and wanted to join in.
Every person that expressed interest in going to Africa participated in discipleship meetings that emphasized this opportunity as one of outreach and encouragement and not a “feel-good vacation.” By the second gathering, Will & Grace said, “We’d like to be the first ones to say we are going!”
Know the team: Faustine C.
Faustine traveled to Zambia two years ago with her husband Jason and eight others from Sunset Church. She shared her story about that journey in 2015 (watch via our Vimeo channel). She wanted to return to Zambia last year, but the timing didn’t work out for her. When it was announced that a team would be going in 2017, she knew she had to go.
Faustine made her decision to join this year’s Team Zambia after much careful thought. Physical limitations and discomfort make travel difficult for her. Feelings of guilt at not “doing more” since returning from the compassion trip in 2015 also made her ponder whether this was what God wanted of her. But, after sitting down with other alumni from past Africa compassion teams, she realized that her heart ached for the care workers and the children. She knew that she needed to return to encourage these dedicated people who have given so much of themselves for the most vulnerable children. She knew that she had to return to pray for these families that had nothing but faith. She knew that she had to return.