We have always commissioned teams of volunteers to places in great need like Port au Prince Haiti, New Orleans Louisiana, and Zambia Africa. Because of this journey we know that life is hard in much of the world. We have also met some incredibly resilient and creative friends. These friends inspire us to see the raw needs before us, and to work toward solutions that even the playing field for communities of individuals with great challenges.
People often ask ~ Why do you travel so far to volunteer when there is so much need here in the U.S.? Our answer is always simple... You are right, there is plenty of work for all of us to do right here, but at this time God has distinctly called me to spend some of my time working in Africa. People also ask us if it wouldn't be better to send all the money we spend on travel to help those in need in Zambia. Our answer is again really simple and honest ... we couldn't imagine having the passion to make sure we meet these needs without knowing our friends in Zambia by seeing and touching their situation, in person. We often say that when you go, and meet people, and then you know them and their stories ~ and you have looked into their eyes; it gets in you and you can't un-know what God has shown you through them.
If you would like more information about International Ministries, please contact Pastor Debbi McCullock.
In 2008, a Work and Witness team of volunteers traveled from OKC First to Livingstone Zambia to finish a church building. What we found in Livingstone was the need and the opportunity to partner with a local church that cares deeply for their community. We came home completely changed by the experience and drawn to the idea of a ten-year partnership with the Church of the Nazarene in Zambia. We returned one year later and organized LUKA International Foundation as another means to partner in the humanitarian work of the church.
Since 2008 our teams of volunteers have remained focused on the work of the local church and the priorities set by local community leaders. We are proud to help in ways that further their mission. 2019 marks the beginning of the second decade of our partnership and we now have many friends in local churches across Zambia whom we visit as often as we can to enjoy the relationships and partner in their work locally. We also remain committed to the work at the Africa Southeast Field Conference and Training Centre campus outside Lusaka. The field has big plans for the campus and we share their vision for training and projects that will improve the lives of Zambians. The 20-acre campus will also provide a venue for large gathering events for the field; which includes the countries of Zambia, Zimbabwe and Malawi.
We had no idea that a little short-term mission team from Oklahoma in 2008 would lead us to this level of friendship and involvement; but we are really humbled and thankful for the opportunity. Please consider joining us on this journey. We would love to introduce you to our friends in Zambia!
Thank you from Alyssa Sidle
Pastor Smoke and Kris