God is Everywhere

About two weeks ago, I was in the United States of America for two reasons. Firstly, I went over to re-unite with the family I made here in Liberia as they came for voluntary mission service and secondly; I needed to attend an end term gathering for the Global Mission Fellows program which I am currently in.

Immediately I arrived, the tour started. On the first day I was taken around  to see the neighborhood and just to have a good feel of Belleville, Michigan.

I arrived on a Monday afternoon but what really got my attention was what happened on Wednesday morning. We went over to Central United Methodist Church which is located in Detroit, Michigan.

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During our time there, we made sandwiches for homeless people. We put smiles on their faces and apparently the church does that every Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. This made my perception of God even more evident that “God is everywhere”.

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Sometimes I think we try so hard to go out of our towns, cities, countries, continents to serve God. An example could be an African wanting so badly to go to Europe to go and serve or somebody from the US having a big desire to go to Africa to do mission work. All this is good and God is using so many good people to embark on such journeys. It can also be a calling to go out.

However, sometimes we can use our gifts and talents within the communities we live in. Take for instance the homeless project in Detroit, these people are changing lives in their own backyard. They are using what they have to serve who they have.

What is the point of going out to other countries to serve people who are in need and yet paying a deaf ear to those in need in your community? It’s like when I have food and I go out to give my neighbor a meal yet my family is dying of hunger. What good is that?

Are there people in your community or town that are in need and you think you have the gifts to help? why not do it?

God is everywhere and at times we forget that, we feel we need to give God to other people in other places but at times God has already put people in those places. Other people are already working there. Yes they might need an extra hand and yes they might need more diversity but God is using them as well.

Lastly, I was in South Lyon at First United Methodist Church sharing my story of how God has called me to serve. When I finished telling my story everybody understood that God is using people like me and many others in different countries to change the world!

No one came up to me and said “I think we need to do this together, so lets go to Liberia and serve God in many ways” but they said “We are with you in prayer, go and finish your work” because they knew God is everywhere and he is using different people everywhere.

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Alick Mvula,

Global Mission Fellow,

2015-2017 International track,

U.M.C Department of Health,

Liberia.

Advance #3022125,

#GMFellow.

Alick Mvula Global Mission Fellow #3022125 #GMF

Walking Mirror

Have you ever just sat down and asked yourself some of these questions; who I’m I? What do I like? What do I value? What offends me? Do I want to do that or do this? the questions can go on and on but the main question you should ask yourself is who are you? this question is like an umbrella covering tons of other questions

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I will share with you a short story. One time I was with my friends back home in Zambia, it was after a long lecture in college everybody was exhausted, so we decided to gather around to chat and pass time until the next lecture which was in two hours’ time.

Basically we were talking about our take on the long lecture and college life, as we begun to share one of my friends altered an offensive joke, everybody in the group laughed so hard but to their surprise I did not even smile so most of them told me “What’s wrong with you? We will stop joking with you because you take things too serious” I responded by saying” I found that joke offensive and it was not funny” they all just continued laughing and after some time another lecture begun.

When I went to my room I felt bad because I was the only one who found the joke offensive I asked myself “Why did I do that? What’s wrong with me? I should have followed the crowd” but as time passed I realized one thing “I was not a fan of offensive jokes” I could not change that, that is who I was and still will be, I realized that we are all different and what’s funny to one person may not be to the other.

My point is we should not try to “fit in” to gain acceptance, we should not pretend and try to be who we are not. We should not put on masks on some occasions to suit the environment. We should be “walking mirrors” When you get up in the morning and look in the mirror what do you see? your reflection and that can never ever change no matter what. You can never wake up one morning and reflect another person’s image it’s impossible.

In the same way we should never hide our identity, never hide our faith when things get rough, never forget who we are or what we stand for, never deny what we value or what we cherish or what we fight for or even why we speak the way we speak. Never feel embarrassed because we are different from everybody because God in Jeremiah 1vs 5 said he set as apart and knows us.

Don’t be shy to be different, don’t be shy to speak up, don’t be scared to stand up because you are different and your difference can never be matched. Be real and be you, don’t let the world change you because you are special in your own way. I challenge myself and everybody reading to step out of our boxes and begin to show our true colors , who we truly are.

Picture credit by getty images,

Alick Mvula,

Global Mission Fellow,

International Track 2015-2017

Advance #3022125,

#GMFELLOWS.

Alick Mvula Global Mission Fellow #3022125 #GMF

Let’s Talk About It

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“It just was not meant to be.” “Things did not work out and, well, I don’t want to talk about it.” “I know God is in control of everything, so there is no reason to dwell on it.” These are some common explanations I’ve heard young people give when asked about why their relationship with the opposite sex ended.

A lot of young people don’t want to talk about why their relationship ended or what is happening in their relationships. They do not want to talk about such issues – they sometimes hurt inside and then fail to express their thoughts, emotions, grief to others.

One time I said to my fellow peer, after I was hurt in my previous relationship, “I don’t know what I did wrong, how could she leave me? I thought we could work something out but I cannot understand why she let me go.” His immediate response was “Don’t worry. God is in control. She must not have been meant for you”. Of course I knew that God was in control, but what I needed was a talk, perhaps someone to sit down and discuss what might have gone wrong or sharing what I could do better in the future.

I respect people’s privacy but sometimes keeping feelings deep inside only hurts you. I know people who have carried pain so deep that they want give up on relationships altogether.

“Carry each others burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.” – Galatians 6:2

Galatians tells us that we have a responsibility to carry one others burdens (problems, difficulties, circumstances, pain, sicknesses etc.). In order for that to happen, we need to talk about the things that trouble us.

We should share what we are feeling because doing so might help someone going through the same or similar situation. Whether we like it or not relationships are real, heartbreaks are real, feelings for the other partner are real. We need to ensure that God is involved in all of our relationships because we need help as young people.

As young people we need to cherish all our relationships. We need to invite God into our romantic relationships. And we have to recognize that our romantic relationships will be successful only when we are surrounded by the support of others and the support of God. God has a special love for us – as we enjoy the things that our youth allows, let us also be responsible and fear God.

Discussion Questions:

  1. Have you ever experienced a bad relationship? What made that relationship difficult?
  2. Do you feel shy/uncomfortable/discouraged when trying to talk about relationships? If so why?

 

Alick Mvula,

Global Mission Fellow,
Advance #3022125,
#GMF.

Alick Mvula Global Mission Fellow #3022125 #GMF

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dress Code

Almost everywhere I go I hear this saying “God looks at the inside, he is more concerned about the inside” and I see many young people have misinterpreted what God really means by this. In my country Zambia, my friends tell me “What matters is the inside God never looks at the outside.”

We can go on the whole day exhausting scripture that backs this motive up. This motive has made youths today to dress how they feel like, put on what they think is ‘cool’ and always refer to this biblical perception of how God sees us.

Quite rightly so, God chases the heart, he looks for the heart that is pure, Jeremiah 17vs 10 tells us this “I the Lord search the heart and text the mind, to reward a man according to his conduct, according to what his deeds deserve”.

David wrote a PsalmSearch me, God and know my heart; test me and know my thoughtsPsalm 139:23. God is definitely pleased with the heart; however this does not give us the right to dress how we want.

In as much as God wants our hearts to be right, our dressing should represent Jesus, because we are imitators of Christ. I don’t think God loves it when boys/young men pull their pants down and walk around showing their underwear, girls/young ladies wearing very short skirts exposing their private body.

We as Christians have been given freedom, which we should not abuse it; God loves us and wants us to do the right thing. We must be of witness in everything we do not just in our works or singing, but also in the way we dress.

We should dress modestly, decent and appropriate. Always bearing in mind that we are represent Jesus, we should be role models to others.

1 Corinthians 6:19-20 “Do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You’re not your own, you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body”.

Does our dressing honor God? Is it acceptable? We should bare these kinds of questions even as we go out every morning to be witnesses of the Lord. We must know that we should glorify God with every aspect of our lives.

We should take care of our bodies, our appearance, just because God is pleased with my heart, Should I put on clothes that are indecent? Dirty? No, surely I need to see that my dress code is appropriate and very respectful.

Discussion questions

  1. Do you sometimes overlook how you dress? Are you laughed, mocked on your dress cord?
  2. How do you fight not to fit in people’s expectation of how you should dress?

Alick Mvula,

Global Mission Fellow,
Advance #3022125,
#GMF.

Alick Mvula Global Mission Fellow #3022125 #GMF

You wanna know?

Some folks have been asking me, how are you faring on that side? What are you going through? Do you want to come back? These and many other questions have been ringing in my head for the past three and a half months now.

The question I ask them is do you wanna know? I will be honest with you, this journey has been good, bad and ugly.

Let me take you back a bit before I arrived in Liberia. When it was confirmed that I would be going to Liberia for my mission work, I was very shocked and surprised because Liberia was never on my list of countries I hoped to go to. Immediately I begun to research about the country, started to know more about the foreign land, mathematically I was prepared to go as this was God’s choice not mine.

The very first day I arrived in the country was the very first day I wanted to go back to Zambia. I sensed some sort of fear, fear of differences not of death. Almost everything was different apart from the skin color of my fellow Africans.

Immediately I begun writing my resignation letter to the Director of the program, I told myself I would finish it and send it the next morning. I was scared, lonely, and uncomfortable and felt let down by God.

The next morning I felt a bit better after I prayed over the whole situation, to be be honest the first two months were the worst months of my whole life on this planet. It so happened that I could not send the letter due to the fact that somehow, somewhere something told me to keep trying.

In Liberia I have been stretched in so many ways, but again I have prayed more, read more, believed more, waited more and thought even more. It has been difficult, fighting for a car to go to a place, same language barrier, culture differences, indeed ‘Culture Shock’ has played a big role in my staying here.

It’s not been easy to deny myself and accept different opinions and ways of living. Look God has been present but she has brought me here to learn and to see how to appreciate others even more.

Did I ever think I would use a bike as a mode of transport in my life? No, what about cook on

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a gas stove or eat Garry (Pounded Cassava soup) or go to the beach or see graves being decorated? Big no. I am almost four months in and I can say that my situation has been improving. Made a few friends, talked to many people, some of the missionaries here have helped me settle down.

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Sometimes I feel like giving up, feel like quitting, feel so frustrated that I want to punch a person in the face, feel so annoyed that I want to lock myself indoors for many days, but I always tell myself to try , try and keep trying. There is a purpose for everything; God never forsakes his children so I believe that my being here is not in vain. He loves me so much.

West Africa is a different world, has different values, different culture, way of living and above all it is a foreign land. All I can do now is be patient, be prayerful and let God take the wheel.

Alick Mvula,

Global Mission Fellow,
Advance #3022125,
#GMF.

Alick Mvula Global Mission Fellow #3022125 #GMF

Addictive Caffeine

Isn’t it funny how many people look down on those who are addicted to alcohol, drugs, money to say the least, yet they themselves have addiction for others things like, phones, internet, video games and the likes.

There is this discriminatory mindset that we have many times when we talk about people who have an addiction. We do not want to spend time with such kind of people; we try our best to distant ourselves due to different reasons.

Maybe we think they might harm us? They look dangerous? I am not really sure the answer to this question but you can see the desire not to have relationships with such people.
Many of us are addicted to something in one way or another, we all need help. Young adults today all over the world are glued to their phones, one of the most addictive gadgets by far. Let’s face it you can do almost anything with a phone, music, movies, social media, pictures you name it and this has made us so attached, addicted that we forget to execute our daily set out activities.

We deny that were not addicted but yet we cannot stay an hour without looking up on our phones. Sometimes we waste a lot of time on the internet, chatting with friends, downloading something or even watching something.
Then we have video games, food, anything that we become slaves to is very bad. This is addiction I call it ‘Caffeine’ most of us have our own caffeine which we need to let go of.

Don’t get me wrong there is nothing wrong with playing video games or facebook or any sort of entertainment that we like, the only problem is when we allow such entertainment to govern us, if we become slaves to such then we need help.
We need prayer, counseling, friendly talk, something that can help us come out of this hole. Many times we ourselves cannot see that we are addicted it is difficult because it has become a normal system to us, we go to the extent of doing some of this habits in church, during sermons, when our parent(s)/guardian are speaking with us, when crossing the road, in the bathroom, during lessons in class, meetings etc. This is when you should know you are addicted.

In as much as alcoholics need help, we as well are victims in a different pattern, they need a helping hand, let us not discriminate such people. Let us find time to sit down and talk to them, hear them out, share ideals.
When we do this it would be easier for us to bring out our addictions as well.

1 Corinthians 6:12 “I have the right to do anything,” you say-but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”- but I will not be mastered by anything.

Alick Mvula,

Global Mission Fellow,
Advance #3022125,
#GMF.

Alick Mvula Global Mission Fellow #3022125 #GMF

 

LIBERIANA

HELLO WORLD!!

Its barely Nine weeks now that I have been in Liberia but ye I feel I have been here for a longer time. Its been a challenge, a ride that has not been smooth but by the Grace of God its been adventerous.

Adaptation has been quite a challenge, new culture, new people, new buildings to say the list, I feel that I am in a different world yet I am amongest my Africa sisters and brothers. The English that is spoken here is very different from the one I can speak so  my job has been to listen attentively and try to ask as many questions as I can, it has not been easy.

When you migrate from the Southern part of Africa and go to the West you will know that you are in for a ride. Mathematically I had planned for this, I knew everything would be different, so adjustment has been my number one priority.

On the other side of this journey I feel Liberians are friendly and easy to get along with. It is awesome to see how God is working in this country, I feel like a ‘Liberiana‘ because I am doing things that most Liberians do, learning the greeting, different signs and gestures, cooking up Liberian meals and so much more.

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Alick Mvula,

Global Mission Fellow,
Advance #3022125,
#GMF.

Alick Mvula Global Mission Fellow #3022125 #GMF

Rare Opportunity

Hi Friends,

So today as I sat home I begun to think about this program that Global Ministries is offering. I begun to think how we people complain to God because God does not allow us to go outside and do mission work. Then I thought to myself, I quickly thanked God for bringing up such an inspiring program such as this one, now people all over the world can be missionaries and serve everywhere.

If you see what Global Mission Fellows are doing by the help of Global Ministries its very overwhelming, Imagine using your area of interest can be poverty, immigration, diseases you name it and using that interest and skill to help others that’s very intriguing. If you love God and want to serve him, I challenge you to come on board and display your God given skills and talents to transform this world.

Be part of this wonderful family, go online and apply at http://www.umcmission.org this can be your opportunity to help others who are suffering. Please jump on board!!!!

Alick.

Women Empowerment.

HI FRIENDS,

Today I had the opportunity to meet Mrs. Dorothy Chimpampwe who is the president of  “The Girls’ Brigade Of Zambia” Copperbelt,Zambia. It was a great honor for me to see that women are being given an opportunity to hold high positions in society. We had a very good chat on how she is helping girls to engage in God’s work. I talked to her about the program that Global Ministries is offering and she was  amazed that such a program exists and said she definitely will come on board.

Wow!! It was an awesome day.

Alick Mvula,

Global Mission Fellow,
Advance #3022125,
#GMF.

Alick Mvula Global Mission Fellow #3022125 #GMF

NEW LIFE PETS FOR THE PEOPLE

Hello Family,

This week I visited New Life Center in Garneton, Kitwe. It is a center that is under the ministry of the United Methodist Church.What was eye catching for me was the PET PROJECT(Personal Energy Transportation). This project is strictly for the handicapped, what really drawled my attention was that New Life makes these pets (wheelchairs) in their own backyard at the center.

Workers in the workshop at New Life Center doing their very best to make 'Pets' that would be distributed once completed. By Alick Mvula.Workers in the workshop at New Life Center doing their very best to make ‘Pets’ that
would be distributed once completed.
By Alick Mvula.

Once work is completed, the pets are distributed to various places in Kitwe and are donated to the handicapped in society. These pets not only helps the people to move from place to place  but also enables them to exercise their bodies for healthy living.

By  http://petmntc.org/
By http://petmntc.org/

They are usually painted in green and are easy to use once someone has been given.

God is at work and I believe New Life is doing some tremendous works in changing peoples lives.

Alick Mvula,

Global Mission Fellow,
Advance #3022125,
#GMF.

Alick Mvula Global Mission Fellow #3022125 #GMF