Monday, May 23, 2016

No More Dependency: Local Church Bakery Supports Given Lungu's Education in Zambia

Samfya, Zambia – Given Lungu grew up in a small fishing village just south of Samfya, Zambia. At the age of 18 she married and had a son. Life seemed to be off to a good start. However, within a few years of their marriage, things took a dark turn.

Given’s husband, in his desire for success in business, began going to a witchdoctor. The witchdoctor would ask him to make larger and larger sacrifices.

Then the unthinkable happened.

Given began to get sick, and she became suspicious of her husband’s intent. She sought help from her family, and when they took up her case, her husband admitted that he had been trying to kill her.

Devastated, Given divorced her husband and decided to move to Samfya with the hope that she could restart her life.

With only a primary level education, Given remarried hoping that her second husband could provide for her and her child. She gave birth to a daughter, and soon after the birth, her second husband left her for another woman. Once again, Given was alone, without any income and two children to provide for.

Starting Over, With Help from the Local Church

With nowhere else to turn, Given went to Pastor Simbeye, one of Bright Hope’s local church partners in Samfya, and asked for help. After listening to her story, Pastor Simbeye knew handouts would not resolve Given’s problems. Instead, he encouraged her to go back to school and get her high school education.

Pastor Simbeye's church runs a bakery, using the profits to sponsor students like Given.

Pastor Simbeye’s church runs a bakery in order to support the church’s ministries. Through Bright Hope, the church has been able to grow this business and profits are growing. It is through this business that Pastor Simbeye’s church was able to commit to sponsor Given for all four years as she finishes her high school education.

Given was so thankful for her church’s support and has become more involved, even joining the church choir. She is committed to being empowered to care for herself and her family, “What I need now is to finish school, get a job, and look after my two children.”

Thanks to her local church, Given will complete her education and hopes to become a nurse.

 

Thanks to her local church, Given will complete her education and hopes to become a nurse.

 

Now, Given has moved from seeking help from others and only worrying about her family’s immediate needs to wanting to help those who need it most. She now dreams of becoming a nurse, sharing, “I have so much compassion and nursing would allow me to share that compassion with others.”

Read more stories from Bright Hope's Ally Connection newsletter.