The Power of Combined Effort
Reflections from Zambia and England
March 11-26, 2007
By Lisa Cooke
In Africa, during the children’s crusades as well as in the evening crusades, the power of combined effort based on the contributions of various groups of people was very evident. For example, in the children’s crusades, Janie and Svetla of Christopher Alam’s ministry coordinated a team of workers from Pastor John Nuzzo’s church, children’s ministers from Miracle Life Family Church in Lusaka, members of local churches in the Chawamba community, and me. I led a song and read a story, with an interpreter of course. It was so fun!
It required all of us working together, each doing something to minister to the children. We needed the local church members and ministers who knew the songs and the dialect that the children understood, and it seemed like the novelty of Americans helping with the crusade added to the children’s interest in what was happening.
During the meeting, the variety of puppet skits, music, stories, and dramas communicated the love of God to and for the children. Each of us, though differing in nationality, educational background, giftings, and age, all contributed to the success of the overall crusade. And the children loved it. The joy on their faces is something I will never forget. It was an incredible afternoon watching God move among the children through the varied backgrounds of nation, tribe, and tongue!
In the evening crusades, Christopher used his Dunamis team, an African music group from Zimbabwe, area church members as ushers (with sticks to keep the unruly in line!), and pastors from Chawamba itself to follow up on and disciple the new converts.
Again, it was the combined efforts of many people with differing backgrounds, languages, and giftings that made things work. Many were touched and healed in the evening services because of this teamwork. My favorite moment during the evening crusades was watching the crowd respond in awe and joy as a young man that many knew well from that community spoke for the first time. The expression on their faces as they witnessed a miracle of God shall be imprinted in my mind forever.
Then, in Manchester England, I saw a dedicated team comprised of people from many different countries all work together to accomplish the will of God in and through World Harvest Bible Church. This church in Manchester, as well as Miracle Life Family Church in Lusaka, are the two most multinational churches I’ve ever visited, and nearly half of the members at WHBC are involved in some area of service within the church. That far exceeds the average percentage of church members who are active serving their home churches here in America (estimated at 20%).
My life has been deeply impacted by many things from this trip, much of it because of the power of combined effort, by people seeking first the Kingdom of God together.