Tino lives in Epworth, Zimbabwe and is the pastor of a large church with an emphasis on orphan care. He “randomly” heard about RiverCross and reached out to me through the contact page on our website. We began to correspond and I connected him with Jessica Hughey, our Training Coordinator. Over the course of many weeks, Jessica and Tino met on WhatsApp to discuss Holding Esther and begin his training to be a facilitator.
When Tino heard that we were coming to Zambia, he started praying about joining us. He shared with family and friends. While they liked what they heard about RiverCross, they were concerned that he would consider going to Zambia to spend a week with Americans he had never met. After several weeks, he knew that God was inviting him to go. He personally sacrificed and asked his family and friends to support him in this endeavor. When he raised the money, he bought his bus ticket.
I need to pause right here so that you understand how incredible this is. People from around the world often reach out to me wanting resources and training. We had many people from other African nations express interest in joining us in Zambia for training, but every single one of them expected that RiverCross would pay their travel expenses. Except for Tino. Tino wanted training, and he raised the money to join us. This touches my heart every time I think about it.
Back to the story … On July 28th, Tino hopped on a bus in Harare, rode to the border of Zambia, walked across the border, and met a man he had never met who then drove him to join our group. Amazing!
Throughout the week, Tino was incredible. But on August 2nd when we held our Jabota Bridge Camp, God used him powerfully. Tino was the lead facilitator for a group of 100 teens. Let that sink in a minute. 100 teens!
The entire group of 275 children listened to the first episode of Jabota Bridge, and then their facilitators led them in discussion. But Tino didn’t just lead them in discussion, he captivated them with the way he asked questions, encouraged dialogue, and drew out real life application.
Tino is back in Zimbabwe now and working with me to design a strategy to launch RiverCross in Zimbabwe!