The Drama Ministries Ensemble is preparing to perform the original play “Zambia Home,” the final play in a trilogy written by NW theater professor, Jeff Barker.
Barker’s trilogy is about a missionary nurse named Arlene Schuiteman and her work in the Sudan, Ethiopia and Zambia.
The first play is called “Sioux Center Sudan” and describes Schuiteman’s work in the South Sudan during the 1960s. The second play, “Iowa Ethiopia,” takes place during the Sudanese civil war and tells about Schuiteman’s move to Ethiopia. “Zambia Home” concludes by telling about Schuiteman’s work in Zambia during the AIDS crisis of the 1980s.
“Zambia Home” details Schuiteman’s work with leading doctors in Zambia to combat malaria and AIDS. Phil Thuma and John Spurrier, two prominent doctors in the fight against malaria and AIDS, partnered with Schuiteman for most of her work. By the time of Schuiteman’s retirement to Sioux Center in 1988, she had become one of the leading nurse educators in Zambia.
“These plays are part of our mission as a college, broadening our horizons to participate in God’s creative work around the globe,” Barker said. “And they are part of my own personal calling, which is to reclaim the stories of God’s work in history and today.”
The Drama Ministries Ensemble performed “Zambia Home” during spring break in towns in Iowa, Michigan, Illinois, Pennsylvania and New York.
“I would encourage people to come watch the play to be encouraged in their personal faith journeys,” said freshman Brianne Hassman. “This play deals with the struggle and pain that result from following God completely but reminds us that God will give us strength and continue to work through us.”
Barker said he hopes the community will come see the play and connect with God’s work in a different part of the world.
“I hope our audience will have an experience of joy, compassion and a greater sense of relationship with Africa,” Barker said.
“Zambia Home” will be performed at 4 p.m. on Friday, April 12, in the Theater Arts Center and at 6:30 p.m. on Sunday, April 14, at First Reformed Church in Sioux Center. The final performance will be at 9:30 a.m. on Sunday, April 21, at First Reformed Church.