Category: testimonial, Housing, Religious beliefs, Faith, Faith & Culture, Belief, Staff Testimonial, Religion, Supported Housing, PA Housing, religious networks, religious, cultural belief, social housing, faith & belief
Fwambo Sikazwe – Repairs Administrator at PA Housing
PA Housing: Religion and Culture Month Series
Here at PA Housing, we pride ourselves on the diversity of our staff team and a key aspect of this is diversity of belief because it allows us to gain insights from a broad range of different cultures and traditions. We also pride ourselves in recognising that Everybody is unique and that everyone can be themselves at PA. In order to find out more, I conducted a couple of interviews to discuss the personal faith of our colleagues and what this means to them. Through these interviews, I hoped to better understand some of the individuals within our wonderful, multicultural working environment.
I caught up with Fwambo Sikazwe – one of our Repairs Administrators – to see what he had to say.
Hi Fwambo, it’s great to see you. Hope you’re doing well! The first questions I have for you are ‘Do you belong to a specific faith or belief system? And if so, what is it?’
“Hi Marco, great to see you too. I am a Christian, specifically a Born Again Christian because of the church I go to, but I don’t really feel the need to differentiate between the different sects and denominations. We Christians all worship the same God so the important thing is how we interpret the knowledge we’re given.”
What does faith mean to you as a concept?
“The way I like to look at faith is that it is a journey, a path that you walk on in life. On that path, I have seen ‘the good, the bad, and the ugly’ of what life has to offer and that has certainly tested my faith. If you asked me 5 to 10 years ago, I would have certainly had my doubts. But now, I feel like God has reminded me of His truth and so I am back on the right path.
“It makes me think of a poem I have often seen accompanied by artwork [‘The Footprints Prayer’ by Mary Fishback Powers]. It is about somebody walking along the beach, always seeing two sets of footprints, one from themselves and one from God. Then, in times of trouble, the second set disappears and the person questions God. But God says, ‘When there was only one set of footprints, that’s when I carried you.’ So, faith is something I always carry with me on my journey. It is no longer just something I seek when I am in trouble. Back then, I was just an infant in my understanding, but the more I seek, the more I know and the more I believe.”
How would you say your faith affects you on a day to day basis? At home and at work.
“That’s a difficult question because I’m just like any other ordinary person. I get upset, I get angry, I’m only human. I look at it like this. Each morning, I make sure I find God and He becomes my ‘bulletproof jacket’. That’s not to say bad things won’t happen, but God is always there as something to rely on and that makes me thankful for what He does for my family and me.
“In my job, I meet a lot of customers and if somebody has had a bad day, they can say and do aggressive things. Sometimes it can be very easy to judge others, but what my faith does in these situations is hold me firm and gives me some understanding of their unique situation. We are all human and we all have good days and bad days, but if your house is built on sand foundations, it’s difficult to weather the storm. I think of God as my strong, stone foundation in life.”
What is your favourite religious festival and why?
“At the moment, as a parent, it has to be Christmas. My children are currently at that age where Santa means the world to them. Where other people indulge in food or alcohol around that time, I’m just happy to see my children smile. I hope that it sparks their curiosity about the true meaning of Christmas, and they start to question what it’s really all about. Of course, to me, it’s a different joy because it’s a time when the word of Christ is spoken about publicly. Another festival that is quite a big deal is Palm Sunday, around Easter time, but there are so many important ones, I could be talking all day [Laughter].”
Are there any parallels between your spiritual values and the values of PA Housing?
“To be honest, I see my faith as my own spiritual, internal journey so it’s not something I tend to think about regularly, but at the same time, my role is about helping people so you can draw a parallel there. I guess it’s up to interpretation.”
Do you feel like your voice is heard and respected here at PA Housing?
“Well, it’s blessing to be given this opportunity to express my voice and my truth – it’s not something I’ve ever been asked to do before on such a public platform, so I think it’s a really good idea. In church, we often give testimonies where we get the chance to discuss our understanding of scripture and, in a way, this is similar because I’m talking about my beliefs and getting my voice out there. So, sure, I feel included here as a Christian – the door has always been open for me. However, if I were ever in an organisation that didn’t accept me, then I would work until I was accepted. I would embrace the challenge and try to break the boundaries, fighting the negative energy that holds us all back. As long as I have my ‘foundations’ with me, my ‘bulletproof vest’, then I will remain true. I will keep walking on that path, seeking knowledge. God judges us on our hearts so I hope that we can all learn to love one another.”
Thank you for that insightful glance into your faith, Fwambo!
Stick around on our VERCIDA page as we will be posting more stories of faith and diversity throughout the month.
By Marco Cardoni