LUSAKA, Zambia

When Naomi Daka was a child, there were no female pastors in her denomination. But the church was where she found joy, experienced God and sang songs of praise to her Creator. 

She wanted to serve the Lord with all her heart, so when the Church of Central Africa Presbyterian–Synod of Zambia began to ordain women, Naomi followed her call into ministry.

After completing her secondary education — an important accomplishment in Zambia, where 65 percent of girls are not enrolled in secondary school — Naomi registered at a new seminary, Chasefu Theological College, very far from her home in Lusaka. 

At Chasefu, the first group of theological students slept on the cement floor of an old building and shared one classroom with a local mission school. They grew their own food, and when the harvest was poor, they simply went hungry. Through it all, they continued to learn about God, sing songs of praise, and study for ministry. 

I was blessed to preach at the ordination ceremony for Naomi and her graduating class. They had studied in an environment far removed from my seminary experience: I slept in a very comfortable bed, ate plentifully, and had access to abundant books, computers, and resources. 

Watching Naomi graduate, I was filled with admiration. What amazing commitment to God’s ministry! This young woman, the only woman in her class, followed God’s call from Lusaka to Chasefu. And she will continue to follow, wherever God leads.

For more stories like this, order your 2014 “Mission Yearbook for Prayer & Study” today. Order through the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) Church Store or call 800-524-2612 to order.