Don & Elva Brooks – Zambia

2012 marked 40 years since a young nurse left NZ with the initial idea of spending 1-2 years at Chitokoloki Mission helping in the hospital there. Step by step, the Lord was leading Elva Pirie to a longer term of service in Zambia. The following year a young man from Canada, Don Brooks, also came to Zambia to  ll in for a missionary on furlough (Paul Grieve, N.Ireland now in S.A.) Thus began what in March will be 40yrs of volunteer teaching of Bible Knowledge (now Christian Religious Education) in a Government Secondary School in Kabompo. Married in 1975 Don and Elva raised three children in Zambia.

Our children, who attended Sakeji School, all married  fine Christian spouses and are going on for the Lord in far spread
areas of the USA and Canada. We have just completed a visit with them and Don's dad (who turned 99yrs last October) and while there welcomed our 15th grandchild.

Don went to Kabompo to teach Bible Knowledge in the Government High School as a volunteer. This is a regular subject and pupils undergo both internal and external examinations. It is a wonderful opportunity for teaching the Gospel and many
have come to faith in Christ through the regular teaching and weekly Bible studies. The syllabus is Bible-based and evangelical covering the life of Christ from Luke's Gospel and the early church from Acts 1 – 16. It also includes a section on Christian attitudes towards work, money, sex, marriage, etc. The course aims to give pupils a good understanding of the truth of Scripture with application to daily living, and to make them understand the difference between Christianity and other religions.

Although Elva is a nurse and uses her nursing skills constantly throughout the week, she has in more recent years joined Don in the school teaching mainly Grades 10 & 11. In addition, we have been taking care of a number of children, some of whom are albinos. Sometimes this involves counselling, helping with their school needs, or supplying various speci c items needed by the albinos. Others are provided with accommodation during the school term and around eight are fed each lunch time. There is also a reading program to give help to those who are struggling and results have been encouraging.

In recent years the standard of education has fallen and teaching can involve a lot of frustration, but for the joy of being able to contact so many young people, to see some attending camps and some coming to know the Lord – it is worth it. We appreciate having a very dedicated Zambian Christian on the school sta and he helps with various Christian activities at the school. Every year we help run six camps, two for girls and three for boys plus a college camp for those who  nished school. (We also have a home Bible Study for school leavers and other English speaking folks in the area.) As a result of these contacts many have come to faith in Christ and it is very encouraging to see young folks who have trusted the Lord follow on in obedience. Just this past October there was a baptism which included ten young ladies from the secondary school. We meet our students all over the country and are always thrilled when we see them "walking in truth".

This past year we had a Day of Celebration to mark 30 years since we began holding camps at our present camp site
– ("Samafunda" or "KRBCC"). A highlight was having Paul Grieve back and speaking, as Paul together with Don, Paul Poidevin and others were at that  rst camp 30yrs ago. Over the years the site has been built up and now has 20 cement block cabins, a meeting place, counsellor's house, prayer/ fire pit, kitchen etc. We now work with a group of Zambian trustees and various committees to organise and run these camps and conferences. The Lord alone knows the number that have been saved and encouraged through the various efforts at this place and many gave testimony and thanks to
the Lord for all that He has done.

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