Lisa (Executive Director) and Rebecca (Missionary) spent two weeks in Zimbabwe in August.
While we were in Zimbabwe we spent about a week with many of the same youth that we will be working with regularly at a youth camp hosted by Celebration Church. The same camp where this God dream all began in 2018!
The camp was amazing, of course, just like last year. But a similar understanding was had among the youth that many of them were going back home to very difficult circumstances. The feeling can almost (almost) be compared to when family comes into town for a holiday. It's exciting and fun but when everyone leaves you're left with a quiet and empty house. Multiply that sense of loneliness with added emotions of hopelessness and even ones that comes from tough family situations that they had to return to back home.
We were able to spend an additional week pouring into some of the youth leaders we asked to join the LDJ Ministries team once we launch. They were so encouraged to know that not only did someone see potential in them but that they were considered important. One girl was in tears upon hearing we really believed in her and she had an important role to play not only in this ministry but in the world.
Once we met with our leaders we hosted a big event with 250+ students. They had a blast! As you can see in the video above.
We saw the need for these kids to have some place to go and to have people surrounding them that love and care for them.
A big cultural difference in Zimbabwe for the youth is that they often throw these big parties called vuzu parties where they hide out somewhere and try copious amounts of drugs and alcohol and try to sleep with as many people as possible in one night. We want to be counter-cultural and give them an outlet to have fun without feeling pressured into things that will ultimately lead to their destruction.
We can't wait to go back and continue our work in Zimbabwe. We will see change in Zimbabwe!