Since 2012, Harvest Baptist Church has been partnering with the Ambassador International University (formerly the International Bible College of Zambia) run by Gospelink. Harvest began by sending Pastor Keith Myer to teach at the seminary and prepare those students for the sharing of the Gospel. He soon began taking other members of the church to teach students and perform work projects on the campus grounds. One of the comments often made by missionaries in Zambia is that Christianity in Africa is "spread a mile wide but runs only an inch deep." Many people in Zambia will accept Christ (sometimes more than once!), yet they will have minimal understanding in how they should live their lives for Him. This university is currently helping to prepare over a hundred students to disciple their local communities in Zambia, Malawi, and Mozambique.
Over time, our mission at Harvest has evolved to include a partnership with the Chifundo Rural Health Center located on the AIU campus. For the past three years, we have taken teams that include both medical and non-medical personnel to work alongside Dr. Marjie Heier (a physician missionary from Nebraska) who runs Chifundo Rural Health Center. Unlike the United States, this clinic keeps a pastor on-staff and encourages preaching and teaching to the patients waiting to be seen that day. Although providing routine medical care is important, the clinic's ultimate mission is making sure people have opportunities to hear about God's love for them.
Our church members have had a wide variety of experiences serving in the clinic. This year, the HBC team was able to ready the clinic for the eye surgeons who arrived one week later. This allowed for opportunities to share testimony, help with painting and data entry, participate in teaching (with drama exercises!), deliver immunizations to the surrounding communities, and educate adolescent girls. The HBC church family prepared over 200 "hygiene kits" that were provided as a gift to middle school girls as they learned the importance of staying in school during their cycles, general wellness tips during adolescence, and God's plan for purity. Once the eye team arrived, the focus shifted to supporting the surgeons and nurses who were helping provide free cataract surgeries to almost 100 people in the local communities who could no longer see. Several people traveled over 5 hours to receive this life-changing surgery! In addition, during the week of eye surgeries, almost 700 people heard the gospel message and 84 people chose to receive Christ!