Photo Credit: Michael O’Brien of Miracle Photography
Andrew and Julie Greenhalgh have been members of Jubilee Church Wirral since moving to Wirral in December 2004. They are Life Group and youth leaders at Jubilee and in the next few months are moving with their four children (Benjy, 17, Elizabeth, 13, Eva, 10 and Sammy, 8) to Kitwe in Zambia to work on a new primary school, a street-feeding project and two orphanages.
They will work alongside Joseph and Lilly Mwila and the Cummings family, who moved out from Sheffield in October. The Greenhalghs are in real need of monthly pledges to support them as a family during their time in Zambia.
The story of how we came to be taking our completely settled, completely happy family of six from Upton in Wirral to Kitwe in Zambia is a long one. If you’ve only got time to read a sentence, this is the one to choose: God put moving on our hearts, told us it was missionary work, then showed us where He wanted us. All we did was obey. Yes, that’s two sentences, but you get the picture.
(If you would like to support them or find out further details visit: missionzambia.co.uk)
The longer version begins in January 2018. We both felt that there was going to be a change in our lives, but weren’t quite sure what it would be. 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. One of the highlights of our year is Newday which, if you’ve never been, is an incredible week of worship and teaching in Norfolk aimed at teenagers (we get to go too because we’re youth leaders, praise God!)
At Newday, 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 and our church leader Dave Frodsham put us in touch with Patrick and Michelle Cummings, a couple who were planning to move to Kitwe as missionaries with their two children, Andrew (16) and Jonathan (14).
Dayspring, a Newfrontiers 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 street children and orphans, education can be even more difficult to access.
Dayspring was in need of teachers (Julie is an experienced primary school teacher) but the whole project also needed communications professionals (Andrew is a professional journalist and web designer) 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.
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 it all started.
Since then, we have been on a journey. God has shown us how reliant we need to be on Him and Him alone, and He has been incredibly faithful, changing situations and hearts which we could not change in our own power and providing people to support and inspire us when we have been struggling with the journey.
Back in September, we set ourselves two financial targets. The first was a lump sum to get us to Kitwe which would cover flights, insurance, deposits for schools, shipping costs and possibly buying a car. The second was monthly donations: the money we would live on during our time in Zambia.
Since then we have thrown ourselves into fundraising: sharing our story and our mission with our church, our friends, our family, business contacts – and the general public through articles in the Liverpool Echo, our local daily newspaper. God blessed us through a husband and wife, experienced Greek cooks, who enabled us to organise a hugely successful fundraising night. God has also blessed us with many individuals who have given one-off gifts or made pledges to support us financially during our time in Zambia. We really couldn’t be more grateful to every one of them.
However, we are still in very real need of two things: prayer and monthly financial support. Prayer first and foremost because our God is way more powerful and capable than we are but financial support too because at present, we are not at the monthly figure which we set ourselves in order to pay for school fees, rent, food and day-to-day living costs in Kitwe.
If you do feel that you might be able to help us, please get in touch through our website at missionzambia.co.uk (being a web designer comes in handy sometimes!) or via the ChristCentral team.
Source: ChristCentral Churches