by the TWR Canada Team
Today, we have the opportunity to hear from Zachary, TWR Canada’s newest missionary intern who is currently serving in Eswatini. Zachary is from Winnipeg, Manitoba and is pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics at the University of Winnipeg. He has a love for patterns and has been fascinated by math since he was young.
Why did Zachary decide to go on mission to Africa? One of the first verses God led Zachary to as a child was Habakkuk 1:5 which says, “Look among the nations, and see; wonder and be astounded. For I am doing a work in your days that you would not believe if told." (ESV) Zachary memorized the verse when he was young and continues to return to it and learn from it.
Before attending university, Zachary went to a discipleship school in Manitoba that focused on teaching its students to deeply know God and reach out into their cities for the Lord. After finishing this training, he began to hear from the Lord the call to go to Africa. He was encouraged by multiple people to go, and it was later affirmed for him in November 2018 during a personal time of prayer and worship, that he should go to Swaziland.
“I didn’t know where it was, and I had to look it up. I started researching ministries, praying some more about where I was called, and waiting. Eventually, I read an email from Ethnos360 that had prayer requests for TWR Eswatini. Catching my eye, the email led me to TWR’s website and prompted conversations with my family, mentors, and church elders, and that led me to apply as an intern. TWR fascinated me because it was the only ministry, at the time, that I could find that was up to date with Swaziland’s name change to Eswatini. I wanted to participate in a ministry that was properly honouring the country it was in. I prayed and in his still small voice, the Holy Spirit nudged me to apply. I did and the rest is history!”
Zachary is staying in the same compound as the Clarke family and has been a blessing to the community. “It has been great to have Zachary here. He has joined us with such great enthusiasm and a willingness to not just work at TWR but to join in our community,” said Greg Clarke.
“One day when Zachary got home from work, the children on the compound were playing games in the area around his cottage. He asked if he could join them and proceeded to keep them busy until 7:00 that night. Ingrid and I sat on the couch wondering if we should call our kids in, but the sounds of kids playing and enjoying their time so much with Zachary had us delay calling them in until after dark. Then it was a quick supper and off to bed. Now, this has become a regular activity where kids and parents eagerly await Zachary coming home from work. It has given the parents such a nice time to relax while knowing that our children are having their last bit of energy burnt off in a safe environment before the end of the day. What a blessing.”
In addition to playing with the kids, Zachary has worked with the engineering team on the repair and maintenance of the antennas.
“I have loved working on the antenna”, said Zachary. “Recently a storm took down one of our antennas and while that is horrible and I’m sad that programs were not aired because of it, I had so much fun helping put it back together. Any situation where time is running out and we’ve got to run to get things finished has brought me so much joy. I also love the community here. It’s been my joy to hang out with the kids of the compound as we have fun playing games, telling stories, talking about and to God and memorizing scripture together. Another highlight is the adults of the community. Each family has such a beautiful story of how God called them here and how he is being glorified by their lives. Hanging out with Greg & Ingrid Clarke of TWR Canada has been such a pleasure!”
“Zach has been able to put his math skills to work in helping the engineers with some of the complex math problems that they face. He has been able to work well across cultures and has formed quite a bond with the Swazis that work at the transmitter site,” Greg reported.
Being away from home has been difficult at times for Zachary. He misses his family, friends and church community deeply. “I’m a people person, and I’m fortunate to share friendship with many, but it hurts so much to be away from them. While I feel these big emotions, the sacrifice is completely worth it.”
Zachary had the opportunity to leave the country early, due to COVID-19 concerns, but believes that God has asked him to stay. Eswatini has extended visas until the lockdown concludes. “COVID-19 is a catalyst for many things. I’m excited to say the cliché, ‘the safest place is in God’s will’ and it’s true. I’m here until the lockdown lifts, or longer when flights begin again. While I may not be able to do many things because of this, nothing can hinder me from the love of God! I'm really enjoying my stay and the fellowship of the Lord, and the body of Christ here.”
Praise the Lord for faithful servants like Zachary who have heard and eagerly accepted God’s call to the mission field. Pray with us for safety and protection over Zachary, the Clarke family and the TWR team in Eswatini during these challenging times.