It is difficult for me to put in writing just what this trip meant to me. There are times when mere words are just inadequate to express what my heart felt. On August 16, 2015, ten women from various cities and states arrived at Dulles International Airport in Washington DC to begin our journey to Zambia. We arrived in Zambia in the evening on Monday, August 17, thanked God for our safe arrival and retired for the night.
At 4:30 am on Tuesday August 18, we began a long, adventurous ride to a village (seven hours with one bathroom stop). Along the way we saw various homes (huts of different sizes), people walking from place to place, merchants selling their goods, banana crops, and markets. Our guide, Sister Masamba, expertly answered our questions about people, the government, and the land.
Upon arriving at the village, we met a group of adults and children. We were their guests and we were warmly welcomed. At the gathering, we were seated on a platform and treated to a worship service. The children and young teens were very energetic in worshiping and praising God. After service we enjoyed a healthy lunch of chicken and vegetables (I had seconds). It brought joy to my heart just to be in the presence of the families of the village. In the village there was an older woman who appeared to be sick. Our translator asked her if she would like prayer. We gathered around her and prayed. Her spirit appeared to have been lifted.
Following our visit to the village, we attended the Women of the Church of God International Conference at the Avondale National Church Headquarters in Zambia. The theme was “Redigging the Wells of Destiny.” The conference was attended by over five hundred women. The praise and worship services were inspirational and uplifting. The young people led and they sang many songs. The National President of the Women in Zambia, Sister Annette Mwanza translated the songs into English for us and we realized the songs were similar to our own hymns.
There were several teaching sessions led by women in our group. Dr. Safiya McNeese shared about women’s issues. The women in the audience were attentive and participated by asking questions. Throughout the entire conference, the translator was awesome, making sure women from Malawi, Zambia, and Zimbabwe understood what was being presented.
I was blessed by the opportunity to participate in the clothing project sponsored by Christian Women Connection. Each woman at the conference received a set of clothing (skirt and blouse). The women were appreciative.
It was a pleasure for me to receive a beautiful wrap from one of the young mothers at the convention. Our missionary, Josie Vickey, was kind enough to photograph me and the young woman to show my deep gratitude. I was not expecting such a gift.
Memories from Bettie Drummond
What a mighty God we serve! He promised, “If we delight ourselves in him, he would give us the desires of our heart” (Psalm 37:4 paraphrase). I thank God for our sister, Rev. Arnetta McNeese Bailey, Executive Director of Christian Women Connection, who has a passion for our sisters in Africa, for inviting us to share in the 2015 International Church of God Women’s Conference in Zambia.
On Sunday, August 16, 2015, the mission began when ten women left their families and homes for Washington DC for an everlasting, memorable experience. After prayer, we were ready to board Africa Air to begin the seventeen hours to Lusaka, Zambia. We arrived in Zambia on a beautiful chilly night. Waiting anxiously for us, was the Zambian Church of God leader, Rev. Mailesi Ndao and her husband, Brother Oscar.
The next day they took us on a long journey to Chenzombo Village. While riding, we had many questions. We learned that it was charcoal season. We saw the smoke of trees being burned to make charcoal, which was put in sacks to sell by the road. We saw many villagers with goats and cows. We learned that in Zambia, if you have a special guest, you serve them goat. We had goat!
The visit to Chenzombo Village was a humbling, eye-opening experience. Mailesi told us, “You will get a chance to meet ten children who were chosen out of seventy applications for Children of Promise sponsorship.” Mailesi had shared with Dr. Paul Maxfield, Director of Children of Promise, the condition and needs of children in this village. We expressed our appreciation to Mailesi concerning how she allowed God to use her to make a difference in the lives of others.
On Thursday, August 20, 2015, the women’s conference began. The morning worship opened with the Zambian choir giving praise. The team marched in with Sister Mailesi. I could feel the presence of the Lord. There were three preaching and teaching sessions each day. The speakers were Rev. Arnetta McNeese Bailey, Rev. Saundra McNeese, Minister Angie Coffman, Rev. Keisha Patrick, and me (Bettie Drummond). Dr. Safiya McNeese, held an open clinic daily. In each afternoon session, she shared information on women’s issues and answered questions. The women were eager and blessed to have her share.
Rev. Arnetta opened and laid the foundation for the conference with the theme, “Redigging the Wells of Destiny.” She stressed how important it is for women of God to go back and dig the well of values and truth that was given to us by our parents. The destiny of our future generations depends on us, God fearing women, who believe and trust in Jesus Christ. She said, “God has called us for such a time as this.”
Speaking in the last session, I asked, “What was the purpose of a well?” The natural well is a clean fresh water supply that is needed for survival. I concluded with the woman who met Jesus at the well in John 4. During their conversation, he offered her living water. She accepted it, ran back, and shared her joy with others. We all know someone who is thirsty and needs a drink. We as women must share Christ with others.
On the last night of the conference, the worship service was moving. We felt a ray of hope. We sang and danced joyfully with our sisters. We had shared much with them, but they have given us a lifetime of memories. It was a memory that will last me forever. What a mighty God we serve!
Interested in joining Christian Women Connection on an Immersion Trip? Email us to learn about more opportunities.
Bettie Drummond is a local CWC partner and attends Zion Community Church of God in Oakvale, Mississippi.