Ginny Perkins

Ginny PerkinsGinny arrived in Kamina, southern Congo, in February 1991. She was an art teacher and gifted musician from Essex. Having been a Christian from the age of eight, Ginny had felt a missionary call while a trainee teacher, when doing a summer beach mission. She attended the International Bible Training Institute in Sussex and found out about CAM through some old Mission magazines given to her and by a visit of Carol Seymour to the College.

At Kamina, Ginny first concentrated on learning Kiluba, expecting to do women’s work. She also taught sewing in a church secondary school. However, seven months after arriving in Congo, while Ginny was on a holiday in Zimbabwe, troubles broke out in Congo, and she was unable to return to Kamina. After a few months waiting in Zambia, she settled at the Living Waters Centre in Lubumbashi, sharing a house with Carol Seymour, who was by now a close friend. Her varied ministries at that time included teaching English, art and music; Sunday school seminars; church and prison visitation; literacy and women’s work. In 1996, Ginny and Carol, working together, launched a TV and Radio ministry which continues to this day. They also still undertake regular ministry together in Congolese churches and prisons.

‘Making lifeboats out of shipwrecks’ is the original slogan for the Lighthouse Project, a discipleship training centre for disadvantaged young people in Lubumbashi. Ginny’s vision for this ministry goes back to her Bible College days in 1988. In 2000, she purchased a ten-acre plot of land in Lubumbashi with mature trees by a river, adjoining the Living Waters Centre. A dilapidated building was repaired to house five young men; an extension provided accommodation for Pastor and Mrs Mwila, the house-parents. A workshop and other buildings were put up; the boys helped with this, grew vegetables, were helped with schooling and given Christian training.

Over the years, the Lighthouse Project has developed. Now it has its own recognised church, an annual youth camp, a primary school and a secondary school specialising in sewing. Prayer and worship are central, with an emphasis on worship songs, many composed by Ginny. These, in her words, ‘lead us up into the heavenly places of God’s presence’.