Young Irene, daughter of the pastor of the Brethren in Christ Church in the village of Bulebo, Zambia, graciously received visitors from Grantham, including The Bridge’s editorial assistant Susan Getty (right).
Guest editorial letter
One hundred years ago, two Brethren in Christ women made the long, dangerous trek north from the Brethren in Christ mission in Zimbabwe to Zambia, Africa, where they established Macha Mission, the first Brethren in Christ outreach in the country. In June 2006, I, too, journeyed to Macha, along with the youth mission team from Grantham Brethren in Christ Church. For ten days we painted classrooms, built relationships with community children and other residents, and fellowshipped with our hosts, Messiah alumni Dr. John ’69 and Esther (Dourte) ’70 Spurrier, who have served for many years as missionaries in Zambia.
While at Macha, I learned much about servanthood from my own work experience as well as from observing others. One morning I shadowed Dr. Phil Thuma ’70 on rounds in the pediatrics ward of the Macha Mission Hospital. Even as he was providing compassionate care for each patient, Phil, a pediatric specialist at the hospital and director of the Malaria Institute at Macha (MIAM), explained to me how he and his colleagues are working against malnutrition, HIV/Aids, tuberculosis, and malaria—the number-one killer of African children. He has an inspiring passion for the children of Africa, and his passion is matched by his expertise. Together with his colleagues, he’s helping to change the grim statistics malaria has commanded in the past.
I invite you to look at a few of my favorite photographs from my time in Zambia. May you be encouraged to serve wherever you are.
—Susan K. Getty ’84 is the editorial assistant
of Messiah College’s Office of Publications.