Justice and Mercy
In 2008, while studying the book of Nehemiah during Brookside’s Justice and Mercy initiative, it seemed as though God was inspiring us as a church and as individuals to care even more about the broken people of this world. We wanted to be the hands and feet of God’s love, and we wanted to express this desire by finding a place where we could help those suffering in extreme poverty.
Brookside first learned about plans for the Hope Center from our friends at Cornerstone Church in Ames, Iowa. Through their involvement in Africa, Cornerstone had developed a strong relationship with Pastor Navice Kalunga. Recognizing his leadership and heart for God, Cornerstone had already begun the work of partnering with him and his network of pastors so that the advancement of God's church could continue and the orphans could be cared for by establishing the Hope Center in Serenje, Zambia.
Serenje is located on the "Great North Road" about 250 miles north and east of the capital city of Lusaka. Two factors have led to the desperate state of the people in Zambia. Economically, 78 percent of Zambians live below the poverty line, and coupled with that is the prevalence of AIDS/HIV. Though Serenje is a small town of 12,000, officials believe there are hundreds of orphans in the area – children who are in need of hope, life, and help. At Brookside, we quickly came to realize that this was the place God was leading us to serve.
Brookside set a goal to raise $25,000 in a one-time love offering to construct a multipurpose building for the Hope Center. Brooksiders responded with over-the-top generosity and gave $134,176! This money has opened numerous doors and has been used to spread God’s love to the orphans of Serenje.
Working in Zambia
Since 2008, Brookside has sent numerous teams of workers to Zambia to help with construction, pastor training, church planting, and orphan care. It has been such a thrill and a blessing to watch the Hope Center and the orphans it serves develop and grow.