My name is Jonathan Davie. I am 19 from Stirling in central Scotland and I have been living and working for Scripture Union in Zambia for the past year. This is a tiny snapshot of my story about the journey that brought me over 11 000 km away from home…
I’ll start way back at the beginning!
Back in the summer of 2009, when I was 15, my church youth group was given the opportunity to be part of a Tearfund team heading to Zambia. It took a lot of fundraising, prayer and a heap of faith but we did it and soon set off on our 3 week adventure. For most of us this was our first experience of Africa and we weren’t sure what to expect. Thankfully Tearfund’s orientation days before the trip set us up for the many challenges and different things we could encounter so the culture shock wasn’t too bad.
Tearfund connected us to Scripture Union Zambia, in the second largest city in the country, Kitwe. The 3 weeks were packed, full of adventures, visits, hard work, lots of new people and plenty of new experiences. It was incredible and impacted me and my faith massively! We saw God work in so many amazing ways not only in but also through the people we partnered with out there. When I got back to school my time in Zambia was all I could talk about!
“Our church was amazed at what we were capable of”
In 2011 I was fortunate enough to have the same opportunity again. And again God used the 3 weeks to do massive things in me. We used Tearfund’s devotional material during our group times which I found really helpful. It was great to take time every day to reflect on everything we had done and to bring it before God. It was amazing to make new friendships and strengthen old ones. We were so passionate about supporting the work in Zambia that we set up a church fundraiser to help Scripture Union at their camp site. This helped the youth connect with the church and we amazed them at what we were capable of.
“God has certainly put me to good use and is keeping me busy!”
God had given me a huge heart for Africa and specifically for Scripture Union through these trips. I finished school in the summer of 2012, and after a lot of discussion and planning with the Scripture Union staff, I moved out to Zambia for a gap year. A year later and I’m still here and am now committing to my second year in Zambia! God has done some incredible things and it’s amazing to think how far I’ve come from the opportunity that Tearfund gave me over 4 years ago.
I am now a member of staff with Scripture Union and I help out in an eclectic mix of jobs. This sees me helping out in the book shop, attending various camps, working with our volunteers in community schools, running different Scripture Union groups…even fundraising through rearing and selling chickens!
I have come a long way from Stirling, hearing about Tearfund’s programme for the first time. And now I can’t recommend the Tearfund programme enough! It’s a great thing for any church youth group. Come expectant and willing to do God’s work and incredible things will happen! The trips changed my life and through them God has transformed me.
Thank you Tearfund!