In Zambia!

Wednesday, October 11, 2006
Lusaka, Zambia
It was interesting stay overnight at the home of Mark Katsonga Phiri. He is quite a national leader. He has also been a long-time member of the Blantyre Chamber of CommerceHe was President of it for four years.

Servants prepared a tasty breakfast for us before we packed up in the same vehicle we traveled in yesterday and Peter drove us to the Blantyre Airport. On to Lusaka! The flight first went to the capital Lilongwe and then the one hour 40 minute leg to Lusaka.

Shirley and Kambani Banda were there to greet us. How good to see them again!! Kambani Banda has been an excellent minister in Zambia, an excellent manager and one who has made our LifeNets projects intending to change people's lives for the better a phenomenal success. I have a great deal of trust in their capacity to make things happen...simply because they HAVE made things happen. Always, the strength of LifeNets has been our competent delivery at the beneficiary's end. Other organizations such service clubs and churches have noted this about LifeNets. I tell them that we use our ministers and old-time acquaintances to deliver our programs. We are strict regarding accountability and if we make mistakes we correct them and determine not to make them again.

We stopped at Manda Hill mall to change money. The Zambia Kwacha is 3850 to one US dollar. We got about two million Zambian Kwachas for $500. Bev was commenting to Kambani Banda who is a certified public accountant that you need an accounting degree in this country just to manage the money and exchange rates.

We headed out to Feast site which is at Paray's game park just outside of Lusaka. The entire church greeted us outside the camp ground with a wonderful welcome sign for Bev and me. They sang a few greeting songs. It was very touching to us.

We settled into our chalet and prepared for the afternoon church service which didn't start until almost 4:30 PM. Compared to keeping the Feast in the Mumbwa area in Zambia's interior, this shelter was superior. There were nice chairs for everyone instead of wooden benches and actually no seating in year's past. As in Malawi, we are becoming more familiar with the people and feel we know them so much better.

I gave the sermon. The special music was exceptional! The choir sang beautifully, in harmony with no accompaniment in perfect rhythm. The voices were skillfully blended.

The people look great! So much better than our first years. The dress, appearance, even the demeanor is a tribute to Kambani Banda's management of livelihood development programs that are working beyond our expectations. Mr. Banda tells me that an indicator of improved conditions is the tripling and quadrupling of church tithes.

Just as we were leaving the hall Mr. James Mphulah stopped by. He is deputy permanent secretary of the Ministry of Home Affairs here in Zambia and a member of the United Church of God. He is a man of great humility and competence. Under his administration is the Zambian police and control of the borders.

Dinner was brought to our chalet. There are lots of bugs and Bev yelped at the five inch spider. Kambani Banda and Apren Momba got a mosquito net put up more for keeping out all the critters than the mosquitoes of which there are few.

Another day of excitement comes to a close......tomorrow I'm sure there will be more!
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