Swaziland is a small, landlocked enclave between Mozambique and South Africa. It has 12 people groups with 8 languages. 25% are Evangelical Christian. 1 in 4 adults are living with HIV and many others have Tuberculosis. AIDS has spread at an alarming rate and now Swaziland has the highest HIV prevalence in the world. HIV and AIDS have had a devastating impact on the country; particularly among families and households. Life expectancy is just 49.9 years – one of the lowest in the world. AIDS-related deaths in Swaziland exacerbated existing poverty for families, and have resulted in a very youthful population. More than 1/3 of the population is under 14 years old. Pray for healing of their sick. (here is a video link from children in Swaziland saying “thank you and singing” after receiving shoeboxes at a distribution a few years ago, if you want to watch it: https://youtu.be/IZDMYz9XDyk )
Swaziland’s Specific Requests are:
1. Pray God will give the volunteer National and Regional Leadership Teams wisdom as they continue with more MP trainings.
2. Pray God will guide the teams to select the faithful and committed MPs.
Zambia is a landlocked central/southern African country; largely Savannah grasslands with forested areas with 15 million people. 46% of the population is 14 years old or younger. It has 82 people groups with only 5% unreached. They speak 72 languages in all. 25% of the population is Evangelical Christian. Leadership training is an urgent need, the natural outworking of sustained church growth. There are many more colleges and Bible schools, representing every major denominational expression. Pray for spiritually and educationally qualified leaders to be prepared through these institutions. The Zambia National Leadership Team (NLT) is an experienced team with several members who have volunteered with Operation Christmas Child for over ten years. Nelly Chikwanda serves as the National Coordinator. Ernest Mangamu leads Church Mobilization. Chanda Banda heads up Discipleship through TGJ. Chali Kasonde leads prayer. Mellbin Simangolwa helps navigate logistics and also serves as an International Field Representative in the South and East Africa Region. Shoebox gifts collected in the United States in 2015 will be delivered to 250,728 children in Zambia. Praise God that over 1,978,745 children have received a shoebox since 1999, when Operation Christmas Child began distributing gifts here.
Zambia’s Specific Requests are:
1. Pray the 200 Local Contacts will gain wisdom and will have a good strategy as they start collecting TGJ reports.
2. Pray for The Greatest Journey discipleship program Train the Trainers event.
3. Praise God for the 1,894 TGJ teachers trained this season.
4. Praise God for the selection of full new sRLT in Central Region.
Zimbabwe is a landlocked state in south of Zambia in Africa with 14 million people. 38% are 14 years or younger. It has 44 people groups with 7% unreached. They speak 22 languages. 31% of the population is Evangelical Christian. Pray for The AIDS pandemic in Zimbabwe; it is one of the world’s worst cases. A combination of inadequate government action, lack of healthcare, traditional (and modern) practices that exacerbate spread and the failure to address the stigma result in great suffering. Thankfully, prevalence rates have apparently declined to around 14%, but over 2,000 are still dying per week and there are around one million AIDS orphans. Pray for a radical change in hearts and attitudes to sex and to AIDS itself. Also pray for effective and specific programs to address the issue. Pray that all churches might face up to the moral, spiritual and economic implications of the pandemic for their ministry, and that pastors would lead the way in endorsing helpful initiatives, holy and transparent lifestyles and loving compassion for those afflicted. The Zimbabwe National Leadership Team began with its first season in 1999. Tawona Mtshiya became the NLT Coordinator in 2007. Besides Tawona Mtshiya, the Zimbabwe NLT consists of Zunga Gladman as Discipleship Coordinator, Bishop Jonathon Masamba as Prayer Coordinator, Dumisani Mtatiwa as Logistics Coordinator and Pastor Musandiri as Church Coordinator. The Zimbabwe NLT has nine Regional Leadership Teams that are instrumental in leading efforts in the different regions of the country. Shoebox gifts collected in the United States in 2015 will be delivered to 186,024 children in Zimbabwe. Praise God that over 1,522,944 children have received a shoebox since 1999, when Operation Christmas Child began distributing gifts here.
Zimbabwe’s Specific Requests are:
- Pray for wisdom as the team reaches out to various stakeholders in government and the community.
- Pray for all the orphans, vulnerable children, child-headed families, and HIV positive children within the provinces.
- Praise God for the success of the Northern sRLT. Praise Him for enabling them to distribute the gift boxes in four of the most neglected areas in that region.
- Praise God there were not as many delays in the government clearing the shoeboxes this season.
- Praise God the distributions went well.
- Pray for the RLTs as several team members have experienced deaths in their families.
- Pray for the NLT as they develop the expansion program to reach to the most neglected areas through the training of the SRLTs.
- Pray they will have the resources to reach to the provinces which, due to the economic situation in Zimbabwe, OCC has been unable to reach.