[I have thought of using my blog to expose the wider world to some of the ministries that make up the life of Kabwata Baptist Church. In a sense, I have been doing that by the day-by-day narratives of the just-ended Reformed Conferences. However, these series of blog posts that I am commencing are to be written by individuals who are in the ministries. My role is to simply post! The first one is our play park outreach ministry. The report has been written by one of our pastoral interns, Chopo Mwanza. I’ll let him speak for himself…]
The Kabwata Baptist church play park outreach ministry effort began in 2004 with a twofold purpose. The first was to provide recreation to youths in our community. The second and most important was to preach the gospel of Christ to the same youths who come to make use of the play park. We adopted the park from the local council in a dilapidated state and we had to start from scratch and gave it a face-lift.
Impact on the community
Since adopting the park we have done some works on it, which has beautified the area and reduced crime levels, as it was a hiding place for thieves. Furthermore, it has provided a platform for sound gospel preaching in an environment infested by the prosperity gospel and provided youths with a recreation park.
|This was the state of the park when the church adopted it and leveled it|
Our aim and goals
Our aim is to be a light to all nations and people groups, and with the play park we have a glorious opportunity to reach the hundreds, if not thousands, of youths in our community. We do this by having an organised programme every Saturday afternoon. We have games, such as football (i.e. soccer), volleyball, and netball. On average we have 15 youths from the neighbourhood and about 15 youths from Kabwata Baptist Church, who interact with them and seek to share the gospel with them.
|Church billboards put up after the play park was cleared of garbage|
We provide the balls and refreshments, and we preach the gospel to the youths coming from the neighbourhood. We also encourage one-on-one evangelistic interaction. Special events, such as tournaments in ball games, video shows, music concerts, and funfairs, are held in the course of the year. These special events enable us to reach over 100 youths at any one time who live within the neighbourhood and the wider area.
|This is now the state of the park as youths utilise it for games|
Needs and Challenges
Like in every spiritual work, there are many challenges that have been faced in the play park ministry
- The biggest need of the ministry is prayer. Prayer for fruit, faithfulness, and consistency. We therefore crave the prayers of many.
- The other challenge that has been faced is bringing the park to a modern standard in terms of facilities that will enable us to have these games and attract more youths from the community. One such facility is a basketball court. This is an essential aspect of our park since basketball is the second most popular sport after football among the youths. Raising funds for this project has proved to be quite a challenge as it stands at K30 million (which is roughly $6,000). We are, therefore, seeking partners in this endeavour.
|Youths being given snacks during a break from the games|
- Vandalism of the play park by the community has sadly been a problem. Hence, the need for hearts to be transformed. Pray that people in the area may have a sense of ownership.
|Henry Chibutu, a youth in the church, sharing the gospel at the play park|
Despite the challenges, we are still trusting in the Lord for fruit and success in this work of love. The harvest is truly plentiful. We crave your prayers, and material and financial support to the praise and glory of the Lord.