George Liele Award Supports Mission Trip to Zambia

George Liele Award Supports Mission Trip to Zambia
Larry Anderson, center front, director of church health and evangelism for the Baptist Resource Network of Pennsylvania/South Jersey, at a community outreach event during the Zambia Partnership mission trip to Lusaka, Zambia. (submitted photo)

LUSAKA, Zambia (BP) – When Ricky Wilson began taking African American pastors on mission trips to Zambia in 2008, he had to dispel a myth.

“A number of the Africans have shared with us, what they were told (in the past) by the white missionaries, is that African Americans don’t care about the spiritual state of Africans in Africa. And we shared with them, a number of the African American pastors articulated that that’s not a truism,” Wilson told Baptist Press after his latest trip to Zambia.

“Because of the conflicts and issues that African Americans were dealing with in America, (we) had a lot on our hands during those times. But it’s not because people did not care, If you notice,” the earlier groups told Zambian pastors, “we brought all these pastors. That lets you know somebody must care.”

Wilson took a team of 21 African American pastors and laypersons from five states to Zambia April 22-May 6 for a multifaceted mission outreach through the Zambia Partnership in founded 15 years ago. Wilson is senior pastor of Christian Faith Fellowship in Downingtown, Pa.

A $5,000 George Liele Scholarship, an incentive launched in 2021 by the National African American Fellowship of the Southern Baptist Convention (NAAF) in partnership with the International Mission Board, helped cover expenses. Those taking the trip raised their own fare and other expenses in the two years preceding the trip, which Wilsons said amounted to $165,000.

The team held three days of simultaneous revivals at several churches, conducted pastors’ and women’s conferences and training, conducted community cleanup, held a multi-village cookout, and in advance of the trip, sent clothing and books. The partnership has built nine water wells since its founding, including two completed in 2022.

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Source: Baptist Press

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