The very kind gentleman was to come at 8:30 am and then Major Talama would take us out to Verino. Well, the gentleman got lost and was one hour late coming to our lodge. Then, he didn’t want to eat: “business first,” he said. We did that. Then Major Talama arrived and I sensed that there was an urgency with us having to go. I did not know what was going on. We talked in the courtyard and Bev brought some food. We then parted with the gentleman after talking an hour or so and drove out to Verino. I was very unclear as to "what was going to happen” through the day.
When we arrived at Verino, a surprise! About half the Lusaka church was there to greet us. Little children came up with bouquets of flowers for Beverly and me. Something was up. A temporary decorated shelter was set up with tables for coming meal. I had dawdled time-wise back at the Lodge because they did not tell me that there was a planned program awaiting us.
About 150 feet away I saw the ground torn up. What was this?
All of a sudden I’m given a “dust coat” (what looked like a doctor’s white uniform), rubber boots, and a construction helmet. We are told that I am going to lay a cornerstone for a new building! News to us!
We all walk over to the construction site where a footer has been poured for a building and I’m asked to lay two concrete blocks perpendicularly with mortar. We then all walk back to the shelter where tables are waiting for us.
We have a delicious lunch of chicken, beef, nsima, rice and greens. Typical fare for when we are treated specially. A song was sung by Bernadette Mwanza. Her daughter was one of our scholarship students.
Then I gave an impromptu address. I waxed on about the “Temple of God” that we are. The true building that God is looking to is us both as individuals and as a Church.
Then Bev was asked to speak about LifeNets, which has financed numerous projects in Zambia. All this was “on the fly.” In Africa, you must be prepared for anything anytime anywhere!
Then they wanted a question and answer session. I was very impressed by the questions, their knowledge and their desire for fuller understanding about the Church, especially doctrine. The people here are very well connected to the materials the Church produces, particularly the Beyond Today magazine and the United News. Few have good access to the Internet, so online service we offer is very secondary. What is printed is still king.
Bev and I have become quite attached to the people here and know most of them. We appreciated seeing Josephine whose teenage daughter was killed just before our arrival here in 2014.
They had questions about the Trinity and how we explain it. Then, questions about the Nature of God and further clarification about the name JEHOVAH. As in South Africa, I suspected that there is an awareness that there has been the discussion at higher levels about the Nature of God and they wanted to know if there have been any changes. It was very settling to them to be assured that we have not deviated from what we have believed about nature or Jesus Christ and God. The discussion on the matter was engaged in by several of the men. I found this q and a to be quite stimulating.
After this, we did a walkaround the property stopping by the chicken house where they are trying a poultry operation.
Then, on the way back we stopped at the Pa-Zuri nature preserve about three miles if you walk it. They take all the members out here during the Feast. There are recreational activities for the children, a place for soccer. Also, zebras roam as well as ostriches and other exotica. We were enjoying this as the sun was setting.
The sunsets are beautiful!