fbpx
New podcast each Tuesday!

Mama Ester: Planting Seeds of Love

Share This Post

 

In a small, African village, an elderly woman eagerly tells a Bible story to a group of young onlookers. It is a new morning in Zambia and preschool is beginning.

But this elderly school teacher has not always had smiling faces to look upon.

Her nation, Zambia, in southeast Africa, is set on a plateau with 70 percent of the population living in extreme poverty.

Zambia
Zambia
In Zambia, HIV/AIDS is rampant and the life expectancy is only about 40 years. Additionally, 30 percent of the population is illiterate, and many children grow up never having the opportunity to go to school.

As a resident of a rural Zambian village, life is difficult for this elderly lady known as Mama Ester. A disability causes her to use a crutch and she often has to sit in a wheelchair.

However, three years ago, hope came to Ester in the form of a missionary who befriended her. When she realized that Ester was one of the few people in the village who could read, the missionary encouraged Ester to begin a preschool for the young children of the village.

With nothing but a box of preschool material, Ester did not have much to work with, but she accepted the challenge and began teaching a group of young children.

Using an old truck tire as a school house, Mama Ester gathers the children every morning and begins by telling them a Bible story. Then, she divides the children into four groups where they can receive some teaching, read books, make crafts, or play with toys. At the end, each child gets to sit with Mama Ester on the tire and talk with her. Throughout the morning, each group rotates stations, and every child has the opportunity to learn, laugh, and be loved.

Picture 2
Preschool on a truck tire!
Picture 1
Bible story time in Mama Ester’s preschool.

Mama Ester’s work is thriving in her community, and the leaders are taking notice. The matriarch of the village, upon visiting Ester’s makeshift school, was shocked to find that these young scholars could read better than her grandchild who had been educated in a government school.

Today, Mama Ester’s ministry has grown, and she now is teaching many of the village cattle herders to read.  Before they head out to work each morning, many of  these farmers visit Ester to receive the education they never had before. Ester is also training new teachers who are reaching out to the surrounding villages with the love of Christ and the gift of education.

Ester’s ministry is not complicated, expensive, or extraordinary. But by using the resources she had — which happened to be her mind, an old truck tire, and a box of preschool material — Ester seized the opportunity and plated seeds of love in her community.

Picture 3
Ester enjoying the company of some of her bright young students.

The Disciple Nations Alliance seeks to raise up leaders just like Mama Ester. By teaching people how to reach out to their communities with the resources they have, the DNA seeks to bring God’s kingdom to the nations. Although Ester has never heard of the DNA, she is a living testimony of how the work of one faithful believer can bring transformation.

This story was shared by Johannes Aucamp, a DNA trainer who serves and trains African pastors, helping them develop into Christ-like servant leaders who bring transformation and glory to God in their communities. He works as part of Training of Pastors in Africa (TOPIA). E-mail him at johannes@topia.org.za, and follow TOPIA on Facebook and Twitter (@TopiaMinistries)!

Learned something new? Have a question? Enjoying this post? Let us know!

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
2 Comments
Newest
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Wilbert Daniels
9 years ago

This is an amazingly great story of excellent stewardshiip of limited resources to impact many lives. I am reminded of the comment of Andrew when confronted with the challenge to feed the multitude. Here is a boy with five barley loaves and two small fishes.But what are they among so many? As I recall Jesus took of the little and blessed it.Little becomes much when placed in the hands of Jesus? It’s a message of hope for persons living with some form of disability.Mama Ester has propen that such persons are still capable of making a tangible contribution towards transforming our communities and nations.
I have been challenged not to complain, to steward my resources well and to look for opportunities to make a difference.

disciplenations
9 years ago

Wilbert, thank you so much for your thoughtful response. Yes! You said it well: “Little becomes much when placed in the hands of Jesus.”

Like what you're reading?

Subscribe to the DNA blog and get updates directly in your inbox.

Recent

Podcast Episode

The Imago Dei

What is your purpose as a Christian? To glorify God? To become Christlike and shine His light? Yes, but how… where does God most clearly lay out His purpose for humanity? In Genesis. This is when God created the world overflowing with beauty and potential, placed humans in it, and presented His first commision for us. Together we will unpack what it means to be made imago Dei, in the image of God. Understanding this concept is critical, and there are consequences if we do not. Learn how an understanding of imago Dei can change individuals, businesses, communities, and nations so that they flourish in the mission God’s given them.

Podcast Episode

Beauty is in the Eye of the Beholder with Brian Chan

Truth, goodness, and beauty are the hallmarks of the Kingdom of God, but sadly we often overlook the “beauty.” We all see a crystal clear river and say it is beautiful. We see another stagnate with debris and trash and say it is polluted and ugly. Why do we share this universal understanding of beauty? Where does this shared understanding come from? There is an intrinsic answer here that points straight back to our Creator. Today we are joined by artist, entrepreneur, professor, author, speaker, and pastor Brian S. Chan. Brian wrote his thesis on the beauty of God and art in worship and has never looked back as he continues to share and deepen his understanding of beauty and the Kingdom. During our discussion, we asked is beauty objective, where does it come from, why do humans pursue ugliness, when did the church have a vision for beauty, and what does a theology of beauty look like? Last, we get practical and ask how can each of us apply this concept into our daily lives.

2
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
small_c_popup.png

Let's have a chat

Learn how we helped 100 top brands gain success.