Zâmbia, Zambia Online, Inglês

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LUSAKA, Zambia —The Zambian Defense Force welcomed the participation in the Southern Africa Development Community event of U.S. military chaplains from U.S. Africa Command, Southern European Task Force, Africa, U.S. Air Forces Africa, North Carolina Army National Guard, and New York Army National Guard, April 6-13.

“As we come together, sharing insights and experiences, we’re not just strengthening the support for our military personnel and their families; we’re forging a powerful bond that transcends borders.” said U.S. Army Col. Karen Meeker, command chaplain, AFRICOM. “Together, we are building a foundation of understanding and cooperation that will benefit our soldiers and their loved ones for generations to come.”







Michelle Law Gordon

 Lt. Col Michelle Law Gordon, chaplain for U.S. Air Forces Africa (AFAF) shares her powerful journey through grief, loss, and separation, drawing from the heartbreaking losses of her husband, mother, and brother to unexpected deaths, guiding others with courage and compassion at the five-day Southern African Development Community Chaplain’s Mental Health Workshop. The Zambian Defence Force invited U.S. military chaplains from the U.S. Africa Command, U.S. Army Southern European Task Force, Africa (SETAF-AF), AFAF, North Carolina and New York Army National Guards to participate in the event in Lusaka, Zambia. The workshop aimed to enhance spiritual readiness for military personnel and their families, sharing best practices, and deepening relations with chaplains from Zambia, Botswana, Malawi, Namibia, and Democratic Republic of the Congo, marking a milestone in international cooperation and understanding.




This collaboration was part of the Southern African Development Community’s efforts to strengthen intercultural relations and learn from each other on how to provide comprehensive spiritual support to military personnel and their families.

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“This gathering in Lusaka is a testament to the spirit of collaboration and mutual respect that exists among our nations and military chaplains.” said Brigadier General Henry Matifeyo, chaplain general, ministry of defense. “It’s an honor to host such a diverse group of chaplains, each bringing their unique perspective yet united in a common purpose.”

Over a span of five days, a diverse group of SADC chaplains from Botswana, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Malawi, Namibia, United States, and Zambia gathered with AFRICOM chaplains in Lusaka, Zambia, for a workshop that offered a unique opportunity for dialogue, learning, and sharing of religious ministry best practices. The primary focus of the event was to explore effective strategies for chaplains to build the spiritual readiness and emotional well-being of military personnel and their families.







Michelle Law Gordon

All of the female chaplains attending Southern African Development Community event pose for a photo during the Southern African Development Community event in Lusaka, Zambia, April 9, 2024. The Zambian Defence Force invited U.S. military chaplains from the U.S. Africa Command, U.S. Army Southern European Task Force, Africa (SETAF-AF), U.S. Air Forces Africa (AFAF), North Carolina and New York Army National Guards to participate in a five-day Southern African Development Community event in Lusaka, Zambia. The workshop aims to enhance spiritual readiness for military personnel and their families, sharing best practices, and deepening relations with Chaplains from Zambia, Botswana, Malawi, Namibia, and Democratic Republic of the Congo, marking a milestone in international cooperation and understanding.




In her role  representing AFRICOM, Meeker met with  Ambrose Lufuma, Zambian chief of defense and discussed the conference, workshop, and ongoing U.S. and Zambian cooperation. In addition, she was a guest speaker at the Zambia Defense Services, Command and Staff College and shared with 90 military students from 13 African countries about her experiences and how it relates to them, the importance of taking care of those under your authority, and the need to prioritize mental health.

This workshop facilitated an invaluable exchange of experiences and insights, aiming to enhance the bonds between chaplains of different nationalities and cultural backgrounds. These dedicated individuals are united by a common mission: to serve those who serve in the armed forces.

In a heartwarming extension of fellowship, the U.S. military chaplains were invited by local churches in Lusaka to preach and teach at worship services, further cementing the bonds between the American and Zambian communities.







Michelle Law Gordon

The U.S. Air Force chaplain, Lt. Col. Michelle Law-Gordon, U.S. Air Force Africa, alongside a Zambian chaplain delivers their findings from the working group session in Lusaka, Zambia, April 8, 2024. The Zambian Defence Force invited U.S. military chaplains from the U.S. Africa Command, U.S. Army Southern European Task Force, Africa (SETAF-AF), U.S. Air Forces Africa (AFAF), North Carolina and New York Army National Guards to participate in a five-day Southern African Development Community event in Lusaka, Zambia. The workshop aimed to enhance spiritual readiness for military personnel and their families, sharing best practices, and deepening relations with chaplains from Zambia, Botswana, Malawi, Namibia, and Democratic Republic of the Congo, marking a milestone in international cooperation and understanding. ()




“This workshop in Lusaka was a remarkable opportunity to connect and learn from our international peers, reminding us that despite diverse backgrounds, our mission remains the same: to compassionately support our service members and their families, 

” said U.S. Army Col. Doug Brock, state chaplain for New York Army National Guard. “The bonds formed here are a testament to our collective dedication and humanity. I am deeply inspired by the connections made and the lessons learned.”

The coming together at SADC in Zambia stands as a significant milestone in the journey toward

mutual understanding and cooperation among nations. It highlights the shared commitment to nurturing the human spirit and underscores the power of collaboration across borders.

The SADC is an organization committed to regional integration and poverty eradication within southern Africa through economic development and ensuring peace and security.







Michelle Law Gordon

Karen Meeker, command Chaplain for U.S. Africa Command, and U.S. Air Force Chaplain Michelle Law-Gordon, chaplain at U.S. Air Forces Africa pose with a Zambian member of the government during a Zambian wedding celebration that U.S. Military members were invited to by the groom.




U.S. Africa Command, headquartered in Stuttgart, Germany, is one of 11 U.S. Department of Defense combatant commands, each with a geographic or functional mission that provides command and control of military forces in peace and war. AFRICOM employs the broad-reaching diplomacy, development, and defense approach to foster interagency efforts and help negate the drivers of conflict and extremism in Africa.

For more information, visit

 website, Facebook and X/Twitter pages, or contact U.S. Africa Command Media Relations at [email protected]

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