See me please
The sign says it all with the drums below.
Last week in Zambia- I do not believe it!!!!
Greetings again, since my last post I can’t believe that over two weeks have flown past. Dave has returned home after we had a very hectic weekend to Kitwe and the graduation for the 2013 Chodort students has passed. Has been nonstop, especially for Jenny and she seems to sail through it all. She drove us to Kitwe and back, met with loads of people while there and still managed to write speeches for the graduation. Phew!
We left on the 4th at 5am to go to Kitwe with a stop off in Lusaka for Jenny to get her work permit renewed which turned out to be a bit of a saga, finally getting to Kitwe at 7pm. Fed by the wonderful Lund family before heading to bed in the United Church of Zambia guest house.
Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday till 2pm was spent in a whirlwind of visiting people and shopping for things for Chodort that is difficult to get in Choma as it is a small town. Two things among other bits were 40 litres of paint and ring binders! For the trip I had prepared the new clerical shirts made at Chodort for display to the Reverends over the weekend so poor Dave had to endure my anxiety about not crushing them during a 10 hour drive in total!
I will post pictures from Play 4 All. With thanks to new Project Manager Jane for her hard work in developing Play 4 All. It is now available 5 mornings per week and apart from Jane is totally run by volunteers. Jane’s wage is paid by the Methodist church and is vital to the success of play 4 all. I made little tartan purses for the volunteers to reflect the Scottish connection and we put a small monetary gift in them to reward their commitment, but also motivate them for the future. With the money raised through the Bring and Buy Jane has purchased drums which have been brilliant for the kids. Some new footballs are on the list as well as they do love their football. She has made repairs to the dry toilet, but sadly bricks are being removed from the toilet, so she is to speak to the council for help in preventing this. From the pictures I hope you can see how much the kids enjoy Play 4 All and though simple in its concept it is providing much needed structure and personal attention and FUN to the children. There is a big push to get schooling for everyone in Zambia; however these kids need it now and we have only scratched the surface of the huge amount of children in Kamatipa. Jenny’s prayer is to open more Play 4 all schemes in the very poor compounds.
We also held a meeting of the Board of Play 4 All (which I am a member of) over the weekend to plan the next steps. Clearly I won’t be attending the meetings regularly though Skype is possible!
I also met with Caroline who looks after a group of orphans and supports the Albino people in Kitwe along with Wendy Lund. The sun glasses, ladies blouses and sun hats I was given have been duly passed on and very much appreciated. The council have also advised Caroline on what she needs to provide for the orphans so we did give her a donation from the Bring and Buy donation’s to support her in this.
I visited Kandabwe again with Kabutu and took Dave along to meet the group. Heart of Care is now called Grace of God services. Kabutu has now been gifted a plot of land in which to sow maize. I have therefor given him some money towards the cost of seed to do this. The aim is for them to become more self-sustainable through the selling of the maize and in having their own supply of food. Please pray for this venture along with Play 4 All.
I briefly met the Ipusukilo ladies who are a group of widows of different ages, all with HIV and left to fend for themselves. After the death of one of the group, Agnes last year, they had 100 Kwatcha left from her funeral. (About £12). From this they bought charcoal to sell and have now been able to increase their income through their hard work and are very pleased that they did not go and just buy some food which would have fed them for the week. Instead they can eat more regularly now for more than a week. As with my last visit the ladies were an inspiration and a very joyful group to be around, if only briefly.
The church service on the Sunday was for the licensing of the Theological students graduating as reverends and deaconesses from the UCZ College in Kitwe. It started at 9am and finished at 2pm. The United Church of Zambia church beside the college is building a new Church, a bit at a time. So the service was held in the church with three completed walls and a roof over part of it! Many different choirs providing the worship songs. The sermon was 1hour long and given by the Rev. Esther Mundemba who was the first Zambian women to be ordained into UCZ and is just about to retire from her church, St Stephen’s, here in Choma where Chodort training centre is situated in the grounds. Her sermon was on being able to discern the truth of the bible and not worshipping false idols. While Dave was here we were invited to her home with Jenny for a meal which was delightful as she and her husband Billings have a whole host of stories to tell. Jenny and I provided the homemade apple crumble and ice cream for pudding which they had never eaten before.
Chodort exists because of a partnership set up between UCZ and the Methodist church in Dortmund, Germany. UCZ also have an agricultural training centre and the theological college. Dortmund have been a major funder for the building of houses for rental by Chodort and from the rentals the training centre aims to become self-sufficient in time. In the meantime Jenny applied to the BEIT trust ( http://www.beittrust.org.uk/) a charity in the UK who has now agreed to fund the building of two new classrooms on a new site beside the houses for rental. This is a major boost for Chodort in its desire to provide more vocational training to vulnerable youths.
The graduation ceremony for students on the 13th was a lot of hard work in its preparation for students and staff alike. All the students were successful in their exams and despite heavy rain had a great day. In Zambia graduation ceremonies tend to be lively affairs. By the time the student has got to the front to pick up their certificate family and friends are there with gifts and hugs; therefore it can get a bit chaotic, but this is Zambia! There is lots of singing and some dancing and many thanks and praise given to God for the gifts and talents He has bestowed upon us.
With the schools closing for the summer break DAYS 4 GIRLS has been quieter, but making contacts with other groups and plans for education with the girls on their use is ongoing.
The rainy season has finally come to the Southern region. We have had heavy rain every day since the 12th and the grass is suddenly growing tall. Has finally lowered the temperatures a bit. A cool 25 today with cloud and sunny periods.
Will now stop as I need to get to bed! Hope you have enjoyed my posts of my time here in Zambia. Jenny is to drive me to Livingstone on Friday afternoon where we will stay overnight before I head to the airport for my flight home.
Please continue to hold the People of Zambia and all countries where people struggle with poverty and hunger on a daily basis in your prayers, but also to give thanks for the humbleness and dignity that they display daily.
Who is this funny man here?
football in progress
Playing Simon says
Time to stop for more photos to be taken
Eager to hold the card figures made by the kids of NewMachar to greet the kids of P4A. Jane the project manager is in the jaunty hat!
How athletic they are