You can call him Emmanuel.
After all, that is his name: Emmanuel Mdoma, to be exact.
But in this ever-changing world of technology and multitasking, Emmanuel could be called by a plethora of titles, most applicable, the jack-of-all-trades for the My Hope Zambia project.
To date, the My Hope, World Evangelism Through Television ministry of Billy Graham Evangelistic Association has reached millions of people for Christ in 53 countries, with No. 54 (Haiti) taking place this weekend (July 21-23). Zambia will be the 55th My Hope country, with programs set for Dec. 1, 2 and 3, and the second country in Africa after Malawi in 2010.
The My Hope Zambia goal is to involve 6,000 churches, and a big part of keeping track of those details falls directly on Emmanuel’s shoulders as his official title of the project—database manager—implies.
But his talents and experience weave a web that reaches far beyond his 23 years.
“He’s a star in the office,” Zambia country director Roy Kruse said.
Emmanuel’s first job was doing voice-overs at age 15 for a local radio station (click here to watch “The Voice” of My Hope Zambia).
That led into radio disc jockey work. Then he started shooting photography at weddings in and around Lusaka.
As Emmanuel was editing his pictures one day, a light bulb went on and yet another side business was born.
“There was one wedding where the pictures came out very wrong,” he said of the light and exposure. “All the women looked weird.”
So Emmanuel started practicing applying makeup on his older sister — “she was my guinea pig,” — and soon, he was offering services as both a wedding photographer and makeup artist. And those skills have come in quite handy, as Emmanuel did the makeup work for the actors in the My Hope training video.
But his ambitions go farther than applying foundation and powder. Emmanuel managed an Internet café for a time. He worked on stage play productions. And along the way, he picked up some network and IT training at Zambia Center for Accountancy Studies.
This qualifies him as the My Hope Zambia office IT guy. If the Internet goes down, Emmanuel is rolling up his sleeves.
“He can relate at all kinds of different levels,” My Hope Zambia’s national coordinator, Rev. Mpundu Mutala, said. “He’s focused and quick to learn with depth of thought. He is a young and upcoming promising leader.”
Emmanuel is just happy to pitch in wherever needed. Managing a database of thousands of churches takes up a bulk of his time, but he’ll use whatever abilities he has, whether it’s tapping into his deep octaves for voice-over work, or just pitching in a hand when an unforeseen need arises.
Like that windy day back in May, during the outdoor press conference launching My Hope Zambia, when a promotional standup poster was struggling to stay upright.
Emmanuel quietly stood behind the poster and kept it propped up with his hand.
“He’s enduring,” Mutala said. “You can count on him. His love for the Lord and His Word is apparent. He adds value to the team. He’s humble, a friend of friends.”
All qualities that make Emmanuel a valuable asset to My Hope Zambia, which recently finished the Vision Phase of the project at 115 percent of its goal.
“Zambia is positioned well for My Hope,” said Emmanuel, who grew up on the Zambia Sugar campus in Lusaka, where his parents worked, and attended a top secondary boarding school in Livingstone. “(The country) needs a message that’s engaging. I can see His hand at work here.”
And Emmanuel recognizes God’s hand at work in simply bringing him to the project, which he heard about when an old classmate was talking to him one day and mentioned My Hope, how the project works and the different areas that needed help.
Emmanuel didn’t hesitate in responding: “I’m in.”
“It’s the ability to reach people for Christ,” he said of what drew him to the project, “and to inspire them.”