In 1995, Rev. Patrick Chanda was attending a funeral for a member of his church and heard a boy who had lost his father crying out, “Who will be my father?” The boy had lost both of his parents to AIDS. The Lord impressed Rev. Chanda that he should go to the boy and tell him that God is a “father to the fatherless” and that he would be his father. However, Rev. Chanda realized that he already had nine children of his own and he knew that he could not take care of another child in his home.
Pastor, you must do something…
A few days later, a young lady in one of his churches came to ask the pastor to help a girl in her class that was living on the street. Again, Rev. Chanda thought, “What can I do, I already have nine children.” The young lady replied “Pastor, you must do something.” At her insistence, the pastor called the deacons together and asked them for their input. They went looking around the streets in Ndeke to find the girl. They finally found her and told her the church was going to take care of her. One of the deacons took her into his home with his children and the church began to provide food and school fees. Soon, they found that she had a brother who also was living on the streets. The church got a small house and a lady volunteered to be the housemother and they began to take care of the brother and sister. It was not long until a third girl came into the home. All three of these were supported by the Chande Project through individual gifts until both completed Teacher’s College.
So many children…
During that time, Rev. Chanda became aware that 25% of the population of Zambia was infected with HIV/AIDS and many were dying. The first reported case of AIDS in Zambia was in the township where Rev. Chande ministered. There are now over 1,000,000 orphans in Zambia. The churches began helping 50 orphans with school fees, food and some clothing. They first tried to bring in children off the street and feed them, wash their clothes, and share Christ with them. But at the end of the day, they had no place for the children to stay, so the children received the temporary help, and then were sent back to live on the street. They decided this approach was not adequate to meet the real needs of the children. As the number of orphans began to grow and the need became so apparent, the two churches, Chamboli Baptist Church and Ndeke Baptist Church, where Rev. Chanda served as pastor at that time, decided to commit to an Orphanage Project. The name of the Orphanage project took the first three letters of the name of two townships to make the name of the orphanage ministry. Chamboli and Ndeke churches formed the Chande Baptist Orphanage Project.
Later that year, the churches began to find members that could take in an orphan to live with a church family, and the churches assisted from time to time with food and clothing supplements. This plan however, soon failed as most families became overwhelmed with meeting the needs of the orphans in their own extended family.
Property from the city council…
Near the end of 1995, the churches made an appeal to the Kitwe City Council for an approximately 5 acre piece of land in the Ndeke township that they could develop a site to provide for a place for the ministry to the orphans. Finally in 1997, the City Council agreed to allow the property to be developed for the project. The churches appointed a management committee under the guidance of Rev. Chanda to lead in this ministry. Also around that time, the church began to develop a pre-school program meeting in the two church buildings that would minister to their community.
Long range planning…
In 1997, the Orphanage management committee contacted an architect to design a long range plan for meeting some of the needs. These included:
- a school grade 1-9
- housing for approximately 120 children
- a clinic to minister to the orphans
- an administration block
- a multipurpose building for large group meetings and activities
- housing for staff and short term volunteers
In looking at their total plan, the total cost was about $500,000. This vision of the pastor became the vision of the two churches. However, these two churches total income in a year at that time was only about $5,000. Realizing that the Lord supplies the needs where he leads, the two churches continued on with their enormous task.
Volunteers made a difference…
In late 1997, a volunteer who served in Zambia gave $1,000 to use toward aiding the three children that were in the home the church was renting. He designated that none of these funds could be used for building, but only for food and support of the children. Some small gifts came in and a stove was purchased from a retiring missionary. They used the stove to make bread and the profits went into the account to build the wall fence around the orphanage plot.
By 1998-99, the churches linked up with a charitable organization that offered to help with books and materials for the school. Then classes were offered up through grade 2 for orphans and neighborhood children. They saw that one lasting thing they could do was to provide for the education of the orphan children. They purchased a storage container to store building supplies, built a small security building on the plot, and began to use the security building as a classroom and began to build a wall fence around the property.
Need of a permanent place for schooling…
By July 2000, it became evident that the Orphanage project urgently needed a permanent place to help with the education of the orphans. A few days later the copper mines in Kitwe began to advertise they were selling some buildings. The mines advertised that they had a “community library building” to sell. It was in bad repair, and they wanted $12,500 for it. Rev. Chanda felt led to make an offer of $3,000. He asked Ed Miller to write a letter to the mining company making an offer. Ed asked, “How much money do you have, and Rev. Chanda replied, “none, but I believe the Lord will provide it for us to get that building.” Ed typed the letter for him and the bid was turned in to the Copper Mining Company. At that time, he did not have any money, but felt it was God’s will to proceed. Rev. Chanda shared his heart with fellow pastors at a Pastor’s Fellowship and asked them to pray specifically that a building could be found for orphan ministry.
Two days after the prayer meeting of the pastors, the mines informed Rev. Chanda that they had accepted his bid and he could purchase the building. About two days after being approved for the purchase of the building, Ed received a message from the Baptist Mission office that $9,000 had been given to the orphanage. We saw this as the Lord’s answer.
The building was completely repaired and members of the church contributed most of the labor. The church members painted, repaired broken windows, installed new wiring and light fixtures, replaced broken pipes and toilets, put up new doors and completely renovated the building. They built a wooden fence to secure the property and make the playground safe and a water tower to provide a water supply when there was lack of adequate water in the township. This building has about 6000 square feet of space has been named the Chande Baptist Orphanage Training Center.
On November 5, 2000, the first day the building was used for a new church and 50 people from the neighborhood attended. Since that time, over 70 people in the area have come to know Christ as their Savior.
Over 400 children in the school, and 176 in the orphanage…
In January of 2001 the orphanage ministry began to open more classes in this building and there were 230 children in grades 1 – 5. The school has now expanded to grades 1 – 9 and there are over 400 children, including 176 orphans being supported in the Chande Baptist Orphanage School. In addition, fifteen children are being supported through the Orphanage ministry who go to public schools for grades 10 – 12. Attendance to the public school for the higher grades is only available to those children who can pay.
There are ten teachers who are teaching in the Orphanage program. They receive a small salary for their work, but do it as a ministry.
At the Chande Training Center, for a small fee, they provide sewing classes to the neighborhood women, a secretarial service to the community, and a certified training course for primary school teachers. Ladies work at tie dying and selling cloth, knitting sweaters and scarves to help support the work as well as some funds are raised by selling buns and bread baked in the Orphanage kitchen. Future plans are to provide training in carpentry and welding for the youth in the neighborhood.
God provides a small bus…
In February, 2005, a 29 passenger bus was purchased. This is used when the school has events that mean transporting the children. It is also used when volunteer teams come and the money received for the use of the bus goes back into the Orphanage ministry account.
Another school is started…
In February 2006, another school was begun in a rural area approximately twelve miles from Kitwe. There are 150 children attending, many who had never had a school. The Orphanage ministry is seeking to get the villagers in that area to help build a school out of homemade brick made in the local community. Two teachers that have been trained and worked in the Orphanage school have transferred to the rural community to get the school started. At present, it is a large one room school and the teachers are assessing the children’s’ abilities to determine what grade that they should be in. Recently the villagers came to Rev. Chanda and asked him to start a church. He met with twelve men for a Bible Study in the village and they are praying for the beginnings of a new church.
The churches making the difference…
Through the years, there have been several churches as well as individuals who have made contributions toward the ministry and capital building. The Chamboli Baptist Church and the Wusakile Baptist Church members support Rev. Chanda. He does not get a salary from the Orphanage Project.
Partners in the States…
There is a small garden plot on the property that will be used to raise vegetables that will contribute toward the care of the children. The building that will house children needs approximately $76,000 to complete it.
In 2006, Inglewood Baptist Church, Grand Prairie, Texas had a team of ten members who led Holiday Bible School for grades 5 – 9. Seventy-seven of the children accepted Christ as Savior. In March, 2007, fourteen team members from Inglewood led their second Holiday Bible School and 103 children made professions of faith. There are other churches and teams that come to assist with building, but Inglewood is the only church that provides Holiday Bible School for the children. More stories will be posted as teams share what God has done.
From a small beginning and with trust in God’s leadership, the Lord has used Rev. Chanda to attempt to do something that seemed impossible. God is doing great things through the efforts of the Chande Baptist Project.
Prayer requests for The Chande Project:
- Pray for Rev. Patrick Chanda and the Board of Directors that plan and direct the orphanage.
- Pray for the teachers at the Chande School as they teach the children.
- Pray for the new school that has been started in the rural area.
- Pray for the new churches that have come from the work of the Orphanage Project.
- Pray that God will lead others to give and support this project: sponsoring children and even teachers.