As I was leaving East Asia in 2005, preparing to begin my senior year of college, I asked the question, “where next?” After spending a summer working with university students, learning a language, a culture, and sharing about my faith in Jesus, I knew the next place I wanted to invest myself internationally was in Africa.
Within two years, my friends had introduced me to Northrise University. Northrise is located in Ndola, Zambia. Zambia is located in southern Africa, a country of 12 million people. At one point in the late 1990s, Zambia was at the center point of the AIDS pandemic (recently South Africa has taken that position).
In 2006, my friend, Danny Ortega, shot a documentary telling the story of Moffat and Doreen Zimba’s vision to start a university in their home country. They believed that they could transform their country one student at a time. Danny needed some music to play underneath footage of the 20 minute film. As many of you know, I don’t sing and I don’t play instruments. But I am a writer! With my friend Rob Payne working on the music bed, my friend David Ellis and I came together on the theme song. We co-wrote the lyrics and Dave and Rob co-wrote the music. Hope is Freedom premiered in 2007 in multiple venues and that began my partnership with Northrise. (You can watch an abbreviated version here).
Since then, I’ve leveraged my influence at my church to help us send two teams to serve in Zambia (in 2008 and 2011). We’ve supported Northrise financially through many different initiatives. In 2011, my wife, Danalyn, and I traveled to Zambia and spent two weeks working there with a team of 80 other Americans. I taught a class on Pastoral Theology at the university, as well as presented one day at the Pastors’ Conference to 120 local pastors. Danalyn taught for several days with a local organization that serves victims of domestic violence and partnered with a Phoenix police officer to teach the Victim Services Division of the Copper Belt Region Police Department. (You can read more about our trip here).
A few days ago, Northrise University launched their Summer of Significance. This campaign focuses on helping close the gaps for students who cannot afford to attend classes this coming school year. The goal is funding one year’s tuition for 30 students over the next 30 days. $2400 sponsor’s one student’s education for one year. $35 a month partially sponsors a student’s education.
You can watch a video below from Dr. Moffat Zimba sharing about the importance of the Summer of Significance.
Danalyn and I will be contributing to this campaign and I ask you to consider doing the same. I’ve met many of these amazing students and I’ve seen firsthand the incredible work of Northrise graduates. Investing in the education of these students translates into a lifetime of impact in this African nation. Over 95% of Northrise graduates stay in Zambia after graduation, with each of them providing for 10 people via their salary as a university graduate.
If you would like to be a part of the Summer of Significance, click here to make your donation. Please share about this exciting opportunity with your friends and family via your blog and social network. Together, we can transform Zambia one student at a time.