Nigel's news

A Message from Zambia Number 7            Wednesday 19th February 2014

Just over a week to go before I come back to the UK, time has gone fast and yet it seems like I have been here for ages. I managed this week to set up some first aid training at the high school and had my first class on Thursday with two from each year group. It seemed to go OK, but they are slow at responding to questions and my interactive style of doing things is a bit alien to them. I hope tomorrow some will bring blankets so they can practice on the floor the recovery position and CPR, without falling off the narrow desks.

On Friday I seemed to do a lot of devotions using the John 15 passage on the Vine, stimulated by routs of a tree when I was on the boat last week. The youth group is growing in numbers thanks to the excitement of the table football. I am trying to encourage Elisha and Innocent to run it two young men who have been through the OVC programme. I was ready early on Sat morning to go to Mabumbu village for the youth weekend, but we did not get gong till after 8.30.I did session on ’Remaining faithful and committed to your vows’, which I understood as keeping on for the long haul, running the race with the correct gear. I used the passages Hebrews 12: 1-6 and 1 Corinthians 9: 24- 27.

I had mashima three times over the weekend and had to sit inside and be served food with the Rev and convener (I wanted to be outside with everyone else round the cooking fire). I had an over of a tent to take which I am pleased I excepted as accommodation was limited, I chose to use the toilet the furthest away on the other side of the school as this had been less used and smelt less bad. The evening was sitting round a camp first with the choirs from 5 churches taking it in turns to sing. Only half the Churches were represented and it was an election, rededication for choirs and Sunday school teachers. I had the privilege of again counting votes, I am not sure this is the best time of year to come if I need to sit through so many AGMs that last longer than our Church meetings!

Sunday I preached on the subject of ‘our merciful God’ and used Psalm 41, Isaiah 43: 18-25, 2 Corinthians 1: 18-22 and Mark 2: 1-12, look them up and try and work out what I said. I managed to pack the tent although was not allowed to put it up myself, but did it quickly when no one was looking. I enjoyed staying around after lunch talking, playing Frisbee and with balloons. The choir singing in the service was amazing, they use no music, sing from memory and practice which they sort of do at least twice a week (when they get there).

I have struggled with my internet connection since my return from Botswana, but yesterday was able to send my report to the Rev, OVC manager and Fiona and I await any comments. I have put together a health and safety check list for the farm with some recommendations. I have had some great conversations with locals about developing business and today delivered a ‘Keeping children safe’ session at OVC. I also went to visit the Baptist pastor whose front wall to his Mud house has fallen down. Tomorrow I am going house building with Paula’s set up and will see what I can do about Pastors house.    

Do keep praying for the churches and mission here in Mwandi. It is difficult transition time with Fiona moving on in the next couple of months and leaving project she set up over 10 years ago. Do pray that I will use my last week wisely and make a helpful contribution in these last few days.


God Bless Nigel