The creation of Agape Village Orphanage in the middle of the Zambian bush is the culmination of many miracles, as founders Mickey and Jackie Bailey will tell you. Every step, from getting the land, to making the bricks, to getting 84 beds built and delivered, was directed by God. “We learned, when things would come up, things we were not sure how we were going to address, that if we were patient, God was going to bring us an answer,” Mickey says.
One of the most important miracles God brought to Agape Village Orphanage is the director of the orphanage, Nyawa Lungu.
As the construction of the orphanage moved closer to completion in 2011, Mickey and Jackie knew they had to find someone to run the orphanage and take care of the children. Though the couple felt welcomed and at home in Zambia, they had no idea where to start looking for a qualified person to run Agape Orphanage.
Concern began to mount. In March, 2011, a team of volunteers who had travelled to Zambia from North Carolina were with Mickey and Jackie and no one was really sure where to turn to find a suitable director. As Mickey and Jackie and their friends sat at dinner one night, discussing options, they received word that someone was waiting outside to talk to them about the orphanage director job.
In walked Nyawa Lungu.
Nyawa says she ran into Mickey at a gas station a few months earlier and saw the logo for Agape Village Foundation on the van he was driving. She says she asked him about it and he told her they had a website. She looked up the website and started following the progress of the orphanage from the nearby village where she was working. She noticed when the website posted information about the search for an orphanage director. Nyawa prayed and thought about it for a while, and decided she’d like to learn more about the position. (Mickey says he doesn’t remember seeing Nyawa at the gas station and can’t believe he actually remembered the website address – a miracle in itself.)
Nyawa grew up in Zambia and went to college in Lusaka and England, getting a degree in child psychology and a certificate in nutritional hygiene. She has also completed some studies in nursing and computer science. “I have a passion for working with children,” Nyawa says. Before considering the job at Agape Village Orphanage, Nyawa worked in retail and at Hope Children Center, a ministry dedicated to helping local children in Serenje. “My conviction to help children grew after I had my own daughter in 2004,” Nyawa says.
Mickey and Jackie can recount many instances where God answered their prayers in Zambia. But sending Nyawa when He did, was especially heartening for them and all the volunteers working to get the orphanage up and running.
After a formal interview and getting to know Nyawa, Mickey and Jackie knew they had found the right director for the orphanage.
“She was a blessing from God – one in a long line of miracles we’ve seen in Zambia,” says Jackie.
Today Nyawa oversees the care of 65 children at the orphanage, making sure they feel loved and safe and ensuring their spiritual, educational and physical needs are being met.
Nyawa says the best part about her job is the children. She says she loves the children at the orphanage very much and it is her passion to help them get the best education they can, and be successful.
Agape Village Foundation is humbled and so thankful for all the people God has sent who help make the Agape Village Orphanage a safe refuge for Zambian children. Nyawa is a true treasure. (Below, see some photos of Nyawa with her treasure, her daughter Faith.)