BACK Collins Halwindi stands in front of a group of community members in Chirundu, Zambia.

He Lost Everything But Still Followed God’s Call

I doubt I’ve ever met anyone as dedicated to following God’s plan for their life as Collins Halwindi—Living Water Zambia’s Church Mobilization and Gospel Proclamation Coordinator.

You may remember Collins from our “Able to Shine” video. Seeing Collins serve alongside thirsty people was a powerful experience. He exudes a deep Christ-like commitment to meeting the physical and spiritual needs of his neighbors—as Jesus did and invites us to continue doing today.

Collins Halwindi from Living Water Zambia

Collins knows what it is like to suffer without safe water, but his story is different than most. His family was middle class and lived in a city where they had running water.

When he was 12, Collins’ father died, and he and his siblings were separated and sent to live in a rural community. There they experienced the harsh realities of the water crisis firsthand.

“Now every morning, we had to walk six kilometers to go and get water,” Collins remembered. “We would chase away crabs and insects, remove the leaves, get water, and walk six kilometers back home with a heavy load. Then we would walk to school seven kilometers and seven kilometers back.”

Without his family, Collins felt completely alone. He was desperate to feel like he belonged somewhere.

Years later, Collins became a Christian and eventually served as a pastor and church planter. He lived in a tent and experienced extreme poverty—like as the people he was ministering to. Yet in the face of hardships and illness, he continued to follow God’s call to demonstrate Christ’s love to rural Zambian communities.

“I wanted to quit, but I couldn’t,” Collins said. “Something about this unreached valley—the Gwembe Valley—would not let me. Despite all the obstacles, I felt too strongly that God wanted me to reach the people of the valley.”

But just like his family, he eventually lost his church as well. At his lowest point—with no job and no money—he found an ad for an opening at Living Water Zambia.

With Living Water, Collins mobilizes pastors and churches to lead gospel-driven change in their communities. And as an answer to his prayers, he was able to continue working in the Gwembe Valley!

“Every day now I work with children who suffer like I did as a child—children who spend their days hauling water when they are supposed to be studying, children who go to school tired,” Collins shared.

“They get sick, and they feel their lives slipping away. I now help them. I now preach good news to them in word and deed and teach them how to do the same.”

When Collins shared his testimony at Living Water International’s 2018 Gala, ROOTED, we were all moved by his perseverance and his dedication to God and the people of Zambia.

Collins Halwindi speaks on stage at ROOTED, Living Water International's 2018 Gala in Houston, Texas.

If you weren’t able to join us for ROOTED, you can watch Collins Halwindi’s keynote address here.

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