Brian Mateer, Youth Pastor, First United Methodist Church of Martinsville, VA
These are the words that we heard in a traditional African song as we departed from the very first project (an irrigation system) our team visited in the Insiza Area Development Project (ADP) in southern Zimbabwe. These words echoed throughout my mind on my trip and since returning home a little over a month ago. “Come and see what we have done.” In a short, but powerful, phrase, this summed up my experience with World Vision’s 30 Hour Famine team and a few other youth leaders from across the US, and one from in Seoul, Korea.
First I was able to “come and see” the broad scope of how World Vision operates in and around the world during our team’s one day training in Federal Way, Washington. I have always felt that World Vision was worthy for our youth to partner with for the 30 Hour Famine but I did not realize the depth and breadth of the organization. After only one day at World Vision, I could have returned home with the confidence knowing the investments our youth ministries, teenagers, parents and churches contribute are making a difference in God’s world.
However, that was just the beginning.
Each day in Zimbabwe was a new adventure for us to “come and see” how funds are distributed for various projects-irrigation, farming cooperatives, beneficiaries of goats or heifers, HIV awareness programs and child sponsorship. In each of the projects we did not see one American. It truly was the people of Zimbabwe leading the people of Zimbabwe. It was an example of empowerment, and those we met along the way were proud to show us their accomplishments. “Come and see what WE have done.”
The story does not end here. Without the hard work of teenagers and youth workers and the generosity of people around the globe, World Vision would not be able to function as they do. While the people in Zimbabwe are helping themselves they need support, encouragement, resources and prayers of many people.
This weekend thousands of teenagers and their adult leaders from across the United States will participate in this year’s first National 30 Hour Famine date– February 22-23. As a youth worker who has participated for 6 years in the Famine I will be praying that God will move in incredible and impactful ways. Moreover, I am excited to “come and see” how God is going to use teenagers and leaders here in the United States for the people of Zimbabwe and all over the world.
“What will you give? Feed your 5000!”
“Come and see what God has done, his awesome deeds for mankind!”-Psalm 66:5