The year 2020 has been filled with ups and downs and uncertainties, but I am grateful to be alive today and to share my story with all of you.
I am Jessica Bwali from Zambia and I am a journalist by profession.
This year will go down in my life as one of the years that pushed me to the wall. At the beginning of the year, I had laid down a number of resolutions that I was hoping I could achieve by the end of the year. But barely three months into the year, the Covid-19 pandemic struck, and we went into quarantine! To make things even more difficult, depressing, and stressful for me, I am living in Germany, away from my family and friends in Zambia.
Yet, in the midst of the pain and grief the whole world was going through due to the pandemic, I saw hope. I saw people coming together, helping one another; people sharing what they had. I saw medical personals working tirelessly to see to it that they saved lives. I saw people praying for one another and doing their part to handle the pandemic. To me, that meant there was still hope for a better tomorrow, despite the losses and the pain.
Mid 2020, I was picked as the African ambassador for the British Methodist COP26 campaign. This means I will represent my country and the Methodist Africa region on issues of climate crisis. The fact that I’ll do this with fellow young people from Italy, Fiji and Britain is the icing on the cake.
Being part of this campaign is not something I saw coming, but being part of it is definitely one of the most amazing things that has happened to me this year. Championing climate justice is close to my heart and I hope that, by the end of this campaign I, together with my fellow youths on this project, will have contributed fully.
Looking at 2020 and everything that has come with it I can safely say that, despite the ups and downs, God is with us. God is there at the heart of our passionate fight for climate justice. God is there as comfort and strength and hope – in the face of Covid-19 and in the face of the climate emergency.
To everyone reading this, I wish you the best and to those who have lost loved ones or who are not in a good space due to the Covid-19 pandemic – I send my love to all of you. Do not lose HOPE.
Jessica is one of the Methodist Church’s COP26 Campaigners, representing Methodists around the world and developing a vision, branding and strategy for a high-impact youth-led campaign that encourages all Methodist people and churches to engage more deeply with climate justice. COP26 is the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference. To find out more about the Methodist Church’s work on climate justice, see below.
The Joint Public Issues Team (JPIT) is made up of the Baptist Union, the Church of Scotland, the Methodist Church and the United Reformed Church, working together for peace and justice. JPIT works to: equip Christians to act and pray on issues of injustice, resource churches to reflect and campaign effectively, and help churches to speak out with a distinctively Christian voice on injustice.