Who’s in your family? My immediate family consists of my husband and my two children. I am the youngest of six children born to Miles and Mozelle Fordham in New Brunswick, N.J. My mom was born in Cottonton and grew up in Phenix City. She moved back to Phenix City after my dad died and that’s primarily what brought us here from New Jersey. We wanted to be closer to her. I also have many aunts, uncles and cousins who live in Phenix City and Columbus.
What is ZAMM (Zion Africa Missions Ministry)? It is a ministry borne out of the heart of my husband, Lamine Sall, who is a native of Guinea, West Africa. Lamine came to the U.S. more than 20 years ago to pursue a college education, so he could help his people in Guinea. Unfortunately, he fell victim to the lure of the wrong crowd, alcohol and drugs, and ended up wasting all of his mothers’ savings and becoming homeless in New York City. Although all of the events were meant to destroy him and his dream of being a help to his family in Guinea, we believe that God used all of those circumstances to bring him closer to his destiny. He lived in a homeless shelter in New York and visited a soup kitchen at a church. This was his first time entering a church as he was raised as a Muslim in Guinea. Lamine thought that he was just in church for a meal, but God intended for him to receive much more. He met a minister who shared everything he had with him. This minister gave Lamine a Bible, a job and the love of Jesus Christ. As a result, Lamine gave his life to Christ and became a Christian. Lamine has always believed that God did not save him just for himself, but to bring Christianity to his people in Guinea. ZAMM is the fulfillment of his dream of bringing help and hope through the love of Christ to the people of Guinea, West Africa.
When did you join Greater Mt. Zion? In October 2000. In February 2004, I was licensed as a minister of the gospel at Greater Mt. Zion. I have the honor of being the first woman to be licensed there in the church’s history. It gives me great pleasure to serve there in several different ministries.
What have you learned about Guinea? I had heard about the poverty and despair in Guinea from Lamine for years, but I didn’t really understand it until I traveled there myself in 2006. I saw two very different worlds in one country. I saw the beauty of the land — huge mountains, lush green grass, trees of all different types, even palm trees, and the ocean, fruit and vegetables, fresh bread sold at the marketplace. I saw the most amazing handcrafted furniture being sold on the street, all kinds of jewelry, sandals, pocketbooks and colorful African garments as well. I saw the beauty of the people — friendly, open, helpful, generous even with the little they had, anxious to see an African-American up close and personal. … But I also saw the devastation — the people lining the busiest street in the capital of Conakry begging for food, money, help. I saw mothers with their newborn babies sitting by the road waiting for someone to come and help. I saw the disabled: the blind, the paralytics, those with no feet or no hands, amputated because of the lack of proper medical treatment when infection set in. I expected to see just the elderly in this condition, but I also saw children and young adults also disabled with crippling diseases, bodies bent over, legs twisted and deformed. They were outside every business in the downtown area, doing what they had to do to survive. After a few days, I was so hurt by the look in their eyes that I couldn’t take it anymore. I stayed in my room and cried for them; and I realized that not only did they need help — financial, physical, material — but most importantly they needed spiritual help. They needed the help that only Jesus Christ can give. This is my burden.
How did you meet Lamine? We met in April of 1997 when we both lived in New Brunswick, N.J. We met at the public library, and on the day that we met Lamine told me that I would be his wife. … We have been married for 12 years and God has blessed us with two “miracle” children, Jonathan and Adama Joy.
The ZAMM ministry is seeking donations to send a shipment to Guinea at the end of May. Call 334-448-3335 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.