About a year and a half ago, Erin and I moved to Zambia for 8 months and within days of arriving in Choma I was told that I must meet Richman. This insistence especially happened any time someone discovered that I played guitar. So finally after a few weeks I met this legendary Richman I had heard so much about.

What I found when I met Richman was one of the most incredible people I have ever met. These are some of the words that come to mind when I think about Richman: humility, grace, wisdom, passion, dreamer, holiness, humor, worshiper, leader, and friend. I loved just sitting and listening to Richman speak. I could listen to him talk for hours.

Over those 8 months I spent a great deal of time with Richman and he became such a close friend. Since returning home from living in Zambia I’ve got to lead two teams back to Zambia and each time I got to work closely with Richman which was such an amazing experience.

This week I woke up unusually early one morning and heard the horrible news that my dear friend Richman had been killed in a car accident. That morning I cried until my stomach hurt. Since then there have been many more tears. He was a beautiful soul and this loss cuts deep for people all over the world.

Here is a video that beautifully displays Richman’s heart and life:

<p><a href=”http://vimeo.com/43476030″>Radical Lives: Richman Syabbamba</a> from <a href=”http://vimeo.com/ryanhumm”>Ryan Humm</a> on <a href=”http://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

In addition to loving to listen to Richman speak, I equally loved hearing him lead worship. The song I loved hearing him lead the most was “Blessed Assurance“. When he sang this song his vocals sounded like a perfect blend of Johnny Cash and Bob Marley. I’ll never sing that song again without thinking about Richman.

Here is a video of Richman leading worship, singing “Friend of God“:

In the midst of countless questions and an incredibly deep sadness, I feel so blessed to have known Richman. I remember his laugh, his smile, his voice, his humility, his wisdom, and his love for God and people, and I’m so thankful for the impact he has made on my life.

Richman Syabbamba you will be greatly missed. Thank you for the investment you made in my life. Thank you for showing me what it looks like to be a disciple of Jesus.

* Above photo & Radical Lives video by Ryan Humm. Worship leading video by Shelagh Murphy. 


3 thoughts on “Richman Syabbamba

  1. Loved your words, Jon. Richman impacted so many lives. Thanks for posting. The Zambians all love “Friend of God,” don’t they? 🙂

  2. You’ve honored him so well here, Jon. As your life will continue to do as well walking in the light of his and Christ’s love. My prayers go out to you and Erin and all his family and friends. Praying you find God’s comfort and “blessed assurance” in an even deeper way today. Peace, Lori

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