Project Samuel: You've Just Got To Experience It
- Written by Melissa Vowell
It’s a beautiful picture perfect day as the bus pulls into Project Samuel and the mission team feeling tired and weary from the long hours of travel pile out of the bus. Yet as they take in the view and breathe in the fresh Zambian air they catch a second wind. It’s going to be an amazing two weeks!
Pastor Philips, Luke, Kayla, Terry, Jake and Robert from River of Life Church in Winnsboro, LA along with Landon Galloway of Destiny Ministries’ DLI program were a part of a team coming to do ministry of all kinds at Project Samuel. You could look across the project and see every kind of activity you could imagine going on: building construction, Pastor training under the mango trees, the water well being drilled, children playing football, grass slashing and clearing, house cleaning, clothes washing, meal preparation, and one of Timothy’s favorites, Katie and the children playing card games and jacks (using rocks).
In the village there were activities everywhere as well: at the school, at the football (soccer) field where a clinic was held, a Pastor’s Conference in Lusaka, church services on Sunday, a special service in the Destiny Training Center and a Fellowship night for the employees and their families where a feast of Zambian and American cultural food was served. Project Samuel was a hive of activity! In fact you could say Project Samuel is a happening place!
It was my first trip to Project Samuel and I couldn’t help but be touched by the fact that the people around the project live in grass huts with dirt floors, cement buildings some without roofs, use outside holes in the ground for toilets, have no running water or electricity. Babies and infants go without diapers or have a cloth tied around their bottom with no rubber pants, mothers carry their babies tied to their backs while cleaning, cooking or hauling water.
The children at Project Samuel will steal your heart; they always seem to have a smile on their face and a hop and skip in their step despite what they have been through. Katie said one of the children asked the house mom, Christine, how many children she had (meaning personally) and she responded with “You are all my children”. It takes all of us, not just the house mom, saying “you are all my children”, to make these children secure and loved. In the field it takes people like Peggy and Brenden and the team from River of Life who are willing to go and make a difference.
It was rewarding for me to see Brenden in his element. He has such rapport with everyone at Project Samuel as well as the area Villages. He’s not the young man he was when he went to Project Samuel three years ago. He now has the responsibility of seeing things done and plans carried out. From the States it is our financial support that enables Christine, Brenden, Peggy and the interns to be the much needed hands and feet of Jesus.
Project Samuel is more than just a dream now. It is a means to help change the future of Zambian children by loving and caring for them and the lives of people in the surrounding area by way of jobs, education and the word of God. And as I found out…Project Samuel is not just a place, it is an experience!