ZAMBIA – It was such a strange feeling: was I really becoming numb to success? For hours, I sat and listened, as person after person shared how our programs have dramatically impacted their lives. By the afternoon of the second day, as people in village after village told their story, I found myself overwhelmed and numb.

At first, my eyes would fill with tears; I was humbled, grateful, amazed, and encouraged. But by the afternoon of the second day, as people in village after village told their story, drawing pictures of what their lives were like just three years ago and what they are like today, I found myself overwhelmed and, well, numb.

Recently, World Renew Zambia conducted what we call a “discovery process” with our partner in Zambia, the Church of Central Africa Presbyterian. Our partnership commitments include regular, thorough evaluations where we can celebrate achievements, discuss and make plans for improvements and future projects, and assess our ability to achieve those plans.

The stories we saw and heard were so dramatic and so numerous that I truly felt almost numb. The following chart shows with stark contrast the nature of some of the stories we heard.

Each row represents not just a single individual, but that person’s family, church, and community. These are real people experiencing significant change, even transformation!

World Renew’s tiny Zambian team assists three devoted staff members from the Church of Central Africa Presbyterian’s Relief and Development Department. This department alone is working in 42 villages in three districts, and in every village we are met by more people who want join the program. They have seen how much our work has impacted others. It’s difficult to accept that we cannot help everyone.

The travel is arduous. It can take hours to wait for people to gather and complete one meeting. There are many setbacks and much to learn. But there is no doubt that the lives of hundreds of people, if not thousands, are improving. Your constant prayers and generous financial contributions make it all possible. Praise God for that!

In just three days, we only heard 107 stories. There are hundreds more to hear!

Personal Update:

The kids are back at school and Beth is very busy volunteering at the school library.


  • Great things happening in many communities
  • Our family has decided on a church
  • A new car for Mozambique work


  • Chichewa fluency
  • How to manage heavy workloads
  • Opportunities to share Christ


Steve Sywulka

Team Leader
Southern Africa Ministry Team