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Abundant Futures of Northern Zambia

• Ken Auer

Posted in Mission

The Longer Version

In 2012, I made my first trip to Africa with my son, Caleb, in order to visit several indigenous church planters who had been introduced to my mentor, Tim Bunn of New Foundations International. My heart fell in love with the people of Zambia. Since then, I made several trips back to Northern Zambia with various callings to encourage and strengthen the church there.

From 2017 through 2021, I was made painfully aware of the challenges of education in Zambia. Many parents and grandparents were illiterate and/or impoverished. The school system was anemic and opportunities were few. Getting a solid education was difficult at best. The opportunities once receiving an education were scarce. There were very few role models, especially in Northern Zambia, a full day's journey (or longer) from the capital of Lusaka, if you were fortunate enough to have a vehicle that could navigate the terrible roads.

However, the country was sub-tropical, land was plentiful, and the citizens of the country were peaceful. As my friend Nathan Finney recently pointed out, they were not poor, they just didn’t understand what to do with what God had made available to them.

The need for good and practical Christian education - especially among the many fatherless children - was becoming clearer to me. The burden on my heart was growing for these children, as well as the reality that I was so limited in what I could do about it. But the Lord continued to remind me of the need as I stayed in touch with the many friends I made there. I remembered that my dear brother Henry Katontoka - a church planter who had planted churches all over Northern Zambia - had sent some of his grandchildren to a Christian school. So I asked him more about it and in 2021, during Covid travel restrictions, I was digitally introduced to Belinda Chitusa Siame of Latterrains Christian School.

Over the next two years, the Lord connected me with others interested in improving the Christian education of children in Africa, and in September 2023, His plan to get several of them together in Tanzania came to fruition. After that meeting, I followed my Zambian brothers and sisters back to Mpika, Zambia to observe several schools first hand, and discuss what next steps would be.

Since then, each of those who met in Tanzania have been moving down various paths, but the Lord has made it abundantly clear that this was the time he had prepared for me to come alongside Latterrains Christian School and help form Abundant Futures of Northern Zambia.

...they were not poor, they just didn’t understand what to do with what God had made available to them.

During my stay in Mpika, we talked about the 10-year vision of the school and community, and then worked our way backwards to what had to happen first. It was clear that a security wall around the campus and a working water supply was needed to both secure any other resources the school needed to further the children’s education, and to provide fresh water needed to both grow and prepare food for the children. These were supplied and operational in January through February.

The next steps were to provide awareness and an accountable conduit for funds to help meet the growing deficit between what the paying students supplied and what was needed to meet the need of all the students. More than a third of the students do not pay anything due to their current state of poverty. The need for more resources to keep teachers and increase the opportunities for learning cannot be met through the small amount some of the students pay. Lastly, the plan to become more self-sustaining needs a kick-start. As of this week, the due diligence has been completed and a tax-deductible project has been set up through Helping Hands Ministries. (Please consider contributing as every dollar helps move things forward).

Lord recently blessed Abundant Futures with an additional 20 hectares of raw land from the local chief who supports the vision of a self-sustent organization. The goal is to use this land to grow food and begin an agriculture program for the students.

Towards this end, we will be:

  • Visiting with several mission organizations in Zambia who have already developed successful agricultural programs
  • Providing bibles and “God’s Plan for His Disciples” material and training to the students and teachers
  • Holding a men’s conference to encourage the men of the community to recognize God’s calling on their lives and walk faithfully in it
  • Exploring a longer term plan to develop vocational education

This will be a quick trip, with a very packed agenda.

I’m confident there will be return trips in the future as the Lord guides each step along the journey.

And last but not least…

We will be returning to the US with Precious Namonje. Precious was one of the early students at Latterrains. She excelled in both academics and character, literally studying by candlelight in her tiny hut. She returned to help Latterrains while praying for a scholarship so she can continue her education and help others in her community get out of poverty. However, the scholarships never came.

Through a God-ordained series of events, she has been accepted at Wake Tech to study Medical Assisting. She will be living with the Auer family and helping take care of Carol’s elderly mother, while being an ambassador for Abundant Futures of Northern Zambia. A scholarship and assistance fund is being set up through Helping Hands Ministries, but this cannot be consummated until she gets her official F1 Visa which we are praying will happen this week as she finally received her passport at the end of last week.

Please join with Ken and Jeff in prayer as they... 

  • Gather information and make connections with farming, technology & developement organizations (Farming & Foundations, Farming God's Way, Family Legacy) to assit Abundant Futures in their agriculture project and training programs.
  • Spend time with the students and faculty of Latterrains school.
  • Meet at facilities with Jim Evans (Agricultural & Vocational Innovations Director) to explore their work and partnership opportunities
  • Provide teachers training on God's Plan for His Disciples (open to Latterrains Teachers, as well as others).
  • Participate in a men's conference.
  • Travel in country, and back to the US.
  • Pray for Precious Namonje as she leaves family and friends for her education stay in the US.

Read more about Latterrains Christian School and Abundant Futures of Northern Zambia. If you are interested in partnering with this worthy cause you can give financially here.

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