Checking in was simple. No incidents. We always wonder if there will be “something” that isn’t quite right, but sailed through. We fly on Ethiopian Airlines operated by a Malawian plane. It is still turboprop. It stops in Lusaka and then goes on to Harare. The load is light and not that many get off in Lusaka.
We are sad to leave Malawi and all the people we would love to spend more time with. The last day at the LifeNets Business Center there was a power failure and the Beauty Saloon (as they pronounce it), could not dry hair.
We are concerned the people and the harvests as the rains have NOT been in due season. There was drought during the planting and growing time, then too much rain bringing on rot and army worms during harvest time. What a hard life!
We got rid of one more large suitcase and have only one each to go on the journey.
When checking in on the next flight there was a youngish man by the name of Johnny Palmer from the United Kingdom. He works with different NGO’s and travels around the world with an organization called sxsevents whose Website is http://www.sxsevents.co.uk/. He told us about an NGO Tiyeni which has a Website https://tiyeni.org/. Their Website promises: “It takes only three years to eradicate hunger from a community.” It does work similar to what our dear friend Filus Jere does in Chipata, Zambia with food security. His e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org.
We got to talking about my work with the Church. He told me that he was Church of England (C of E as he referred to it). He was very direct with questions about how we stood on the liberal/conservative continuum. I told him that we were neither, but we're looking for the TRUTH, sometimes the NARROW way that is easy once you find it.
He is on his way to Harare to meet his wife who he left there while he was in Malawi.
We saw another big terminal being built alongside the old one. It is being built by the Chinese. It looks twice the size of the old one.
As we landed and walked to the familiar Lusaka terminal. We always dread what we have to go through in immigration and customs. Forms, visas, fees etc. etc.
Since so few got off the plane Bev and I were close to the front of the line.
Outside we waited for Major, Felica, with one son Mukamba—second from the last-born. Another young man. Then Morris and Maureen Phiri, Fred Mwaba, Jonathan Litaba and his wife Agnes were all there. Quite a welcoming committee! It was so good to see Jonathan Litaba up and around. Last year when we saw him, he was very sick with diabetes issues. It was wonderful to see our friends.
We drove to the Palmwood Lodge on the eastern side of town where we were to have our meetings the next few days. Our room is spacious and the place has beautiful gardens and very friendly service people.
We note that Major’s vehicle sounds pretty rough.
We couldn’t let our group go.
After lunch Major and I went out to buy a SIM card, some airtime and change some money. These are always the rituals we go through when entering Malawi and Zambia, in particular. It is harder to get a SIM card in Zambia as you have to prove your identity by registering your passport. Even after that, it takes an hour for the card to be activated. But, having telephone connectivity here is vital because of all the people we need to be in contact with. And, during this time we did have some very important conversations.
Major Talama informs me that I’ll be doing ALL the speaking this weekend. Two sermons on Friday, a sermon on the Sabbath. And, a Bible Study following. Then, the ladies wanted a special meeting with Beverly. There is no other answer than: “Why, of course!” After being in this “business” for almost 50 years, I am used to it. There is no translation of my sermons here as there are too many local languages and people have greater English comprehension than in Malawi.
Also, I spoke with Derrick Pringle in the Copper Belt. We’ll be going up there on Sunday and meet with three different churches.
Beverly and I walked the beautiful gardens containing plants I had never seen before. I always marvel at the beauty of nature and how human life has had prepared for it an environment of beauty and serenity.
One interesting part of the grounds was where they hold receptions of various kinds. One was for engagements....marriage engagements where a LOBOLA is paid. That is where the bride's family is paid a sum for her children. It's somewhat ceremonial, but sometimes seriously taken and thousands of dollars are paid to the bride's family.