Life Expectancy: 44.5 years
GDP: US$1248 per capita
81.5% earn less than US$2 per day
ZAM18a&d - Samfya Bible School - Agriculture programme
Training / Education, Evangelism / Church Planting
$0 - $2,999
Samfya Bible School has been preparing Christian leaders since 1940 and is a key provider of training in the Luapula Province of Zambia. Every year they train about 20 people who become pastors, evangelists, church planters and change agents in their communities. They produce high quality graduates, many of whom are making a huge impact on their communities and who will become Bright Hope partners in the future.
However much has changed in Northern Zambia in the last few decades. 11% of the population is now infected with HIV/AIDS, 10% of the population is an orphan under the age of 18 and 70% of the population lives on less than $1 a day. As a result of their isolation, rural communities have suffered the most in recent years. In response to this crisis Samfya Bible School is re-designing its curriculum and is now integrating Christian Ministry and Community Outreach components into their education programme. Students will now graduate with the skills, experience and confidence to meet both the spiritual and physical needs of communities in distress.
History Of Partnership
The Christian Brethren Mission Station in Samfya was founded in the mid 1930's by Horace Coleman, a missionary from Scotland. The Bible School itself grew out of Bible study classes that Mr Coleman organised from his house. The current buildings on campus, which are still being utilised, were constructed in 1960. From 1986 until 1991 the school went through a period of decline and was finally shut down. In 1991 under the guidance of Mark Davies it was reopened and in 1997 Rodgers Chama, a gifted Zambian graduate from the Theological College of Central Africa took over as principal. Rodgers worked hard to build up the school and unite local churches. Chama passed away in 2004 and his ministry has been carried on by the current principal of Samfya Bible School, Levy Chibu.
Bright Hope World first became involved around 2002 and since then has been subsidising the students who come for training and supplementing the salaries of the faculty.
Initially Bright Hope World supported a percentage of the costs of the college and subsidised the salaries of the staff and the fees of the students. We now provide financial support for the person overseeing the agricultural programme.
What We Like About The Partnership
Samfya Bible School has always maintained a unique role in Christian ministry in the Northern Provinces of Zambia. Its uniqueness lies in the fact that the school is focused on training and equipping church leaders from and for rural service. Most of the students that come to the Bible School are from poor rural areas and, much to their credit, the school sees the majority of these students returning to serve in their home villages and communities. Samfya Bible School has been one of the driving forces behind the evangelism and Christian ministry in Northern Zambia.
Relationship To Other Partnerships
The Bible School also has a medical clinic associated with it - see ZAM18b
Levy Chibu: Principal
Levy has a passion for improving the education caliber of the school. He has been instrumental in bringing the churches of Samfya together and organising Christian leadership seminars. He is married to Agnes who is also very involved in Christian ministry in Samfya. In 2007 she initiated a child evangelism programme which has seen close to 2000 children give their lives to the Lord in the past year.
Other People Involved
Francis and Cecilia Chola from Mansa Mission Church in Mansa. Besides teaching Francis also helps in the running of the boarding and accounts sections.
Peter and Jenipher Chomba from Kansuswa East Christian Brethren in Mufulira. Peter teaches at the School and also helps in the academic department.
There are also other support staff including Mr. Mwape Fredrick - driver, Mr. Noah Kabaso - cook, Mr. Donald Bumi and Bruno Kunda - security guards, Miriam Nkandu - book shop attendant, Mr. Mwelwa Lupiya - cashier/receptionist and Mr. Gabriel Chipili - caretaker.
Vision And Annual Strategy
Since the establishment of Samfya Bible School there have been a number of new challenges and needs both in the body of Christ and the community at large. In response to these factors the Bible School is seeking to improve upon its current curriculum in three areas:
The Church: Much of the early church work in the region was focused on evangelism and while there are many churches, these churches struggle in part because of poor leadership capacity. In response to this the Bible School is wanting to increase the depth of training that it provides to students, particularly for those who would be interested in taking on a pastoral ministry. In addition to strengthening church leadership, the school would like to invest more heavily in preparing students for a variety of church ministries that would build the church and reach out to the community.
The Community: Looking beyond the church and considering the needs of the community. The Bible School has been challenged by the combined crisis of widespread poverty and HIV/AIDS and would like to present a curriculum that equips students to tackle the social crisis that most communities are struggling with in Northern Zambia.
Full Time Church Workers: A number of previous Samfya Bible School students that are full time church workers are struggling to make ends meet for their families and for their ministries. The school has therefore decided to incorporate a life-skills component to their curriculum that will provide graduating students with the skills they need to provide for their families and support their ministries.
With the changes being made in their curriculum and the introduction of life-skills training in the form of vegetable production/kitchen gardens, poultry and small animal production units, BHW has now shifted its financial support to cover the expenses involved with employing someone to oversee the agriculture programme. We see this life-skills training as vitally important in helping full time church workers become able to be self-sustainable when they return home.
Update December 2012
Aaron, the person overseeing the agricultural programme, has now built up a very sustainable business with the chickens and so external funding is no longer required from BHW.
Real "Life Change" Stories
Martha has been a widow since 2003. She comes from the city of Luanshya on the Copperbelt of Zambia. She comes from the Apostolic Church in Zambia. Her passion is to help orphans and to serve God. Martha has 7 children alive, the youngest is 18 years old.
She really enjoys being at the Bible School and loves all the subjects which are all very helpful in her life. When she finishes the course she expects to return to Luanshya and start a ministry to children. In the past she was running some children’s ministry in the church but there were disagreements about the best way to run the programmes. There are many helpless children in the town and she is very concerned about them. When she last helped she started helping 15 and it grew to more than 70. There are two other women who helped her. She is looking forward to getting back to help the children and recommencing ministry to them.
Jovan is from Serenje south of Samfya. He is married with seven children and two of them are in Samfya with him. He is a farmer and grew maize and cassava. He was an elder in the church and came to Samfya Bible School to learn the Bible better. He preaches and wants to tell people about Jesus Christ. He loves doing outreach to non believers. He is really enjoying the lessons. The church he came from has between 150 – 200 people and it varies from season to season. It is difficult to be a church leader as most people are very busy.
He wants to continue outreach. He has a group of 12 people helping him with this in Serenje. Each year some people come to the Bible School from Serenje, they see training as very important. He is able to pay the fees to come here from selling the things he has grown. He expects to be a better elder after returning to his church after finishing SBS. He should be able to teach much better.