Pastor Willie Achem, age 73
January 1939 to December 2012

Pastor Willie, a dear friend and key partner of Visionledd, passed away last week at the ripe old age of 73. He will be dearly missed by not only his wife, seven children and twenty-five grandchildren, but by the dozens of home-based care volunteers he mentored out of the Makululu Life Centre in Zambia. If ever there was a soul so loving and committed to serving vulnerable children and widows, Willie was it.

CALLED TO SERVE THE LORD

Born and raised in the Copperbelt, Willie grew up with committed and loving Christian parents. It was at a very young age, Willie told us, that he felt called to work for the Lord. In August of 1987 Willie was ordained a pastor and soon became a Bishop.

After getting married and raising a family in the Copperbelt region, Willie came to Kabwe in 1995 where he pastored a small congregation. In 2003, after volunteering with the home-based care program, he was approached by Visionledd’s field partners to mobilize his church, using it as a place to train other home-based care volunteers. After seeing how suffering children and widows could be helped by this program, it was with a happy spirit that Willie opened up his church and life to this calling.

A HEART FOR HOME-BASED CARE

As a committed and ever-present volunteer, Willie was soon asked to become the official volunteer coordinator. It was in this role that Willie mitigated the initial challenges of scepticism and harsh attitudes within the community and eventually proved that the home-based care volunteers were there to help and bring comfort and hope. His genuine concern and Christ-like motivation for helping others eventually earned the trust of the community. Since then, the home-based care volunteers in Makululu have made an increasing impact, serving the Lord and the vulnerable of their communities through home visits, after school feeding programs, a piggery project and gardens.

Visionledd staff felt incredibly blessed to have been able to talk with Pastor Wille earlier this year. He told us, “In my heart I feel so much compassion for the orphans and the vulnerable children.  When I see young ones or widows terribly wounded, I feel committed to help in whatever way I can, this is a ministry for the hearts of those in need.”

Pastor Wille Achem was a dear friend, wise counsellor, and committed Christ-follower. We know that his legacy of compassion will live on through the lives he impacted in Makululu.