October 13, 2006

Friday, October 13, 2006
Lusaka, Zambia
What I had not realized until today here at the game park where everyone is camping is just how much work was put in by the United Church of God members to prepare this location for the Feast site. The last two years the only economically viable location for the Feast here in Lusaka has been this game park.
The cost is $200 a day for everyone. It is somewhat a broken-down place as the owner does not keep it up and makes most of his money from hunting and selling game meat. Our men came here weeks before to cut down the tall grass and build the building where we are holding services. I thought it was permanent structure, but it will be taken taken down after the Feast. There is quite a large sheet metal roof on top. There is no other place to meet that would not be five to six times the cost that would take as many children as we have. The owner here has a pool but will not allow the children to swim in it. This festival site could use an infusion of some serious financial help to bring it up to better standards. There are more than 150 people here and with the new people coming from the Worldwide Church of God, there will be quite a large group.

This site is a step up from Mumbwa, however. People live in new tents which they really like instead of the quickly constructed grass huts. The hall has comfortable chairs that Kambani Banda was able to borrow from other churches that were all hauled here. All the church people from Mumbwa were brought on our LifeNets truck in two shifts with each load carrying over 60 people. They will be returning to Nalubanda and Kasumpa in Mumbwa on Sunday...I must get some photographs. For us it's been easier not having to travel into the bush to keep the Feast.

I gave a sermon today about learning to live with joy--rejoice at the Feast and carry the joy beyond the Feast. I was notified 10 seconds before the start of services that I also had the sermonette. I took the time to talk about our meeting the day before in Makopa with the people keeping the Feast there. I mentioned the name of the leader Wilson Nkhoma and the people here were well aware of and took all the new developments very positively.

After services we passed out candy or as they say "sweets" for the children. It's a simple thing, but is a special touch that makes the children happy.

Then we passed out the mosquito nets. Christina Davis in Portland, Oregon raised over $5000 for mosquito nets in Malawi and Zambia. It will buy almost 3000 nets. We passed out 100 of them to our church members who received them with great appreciation.

Then lunch. Chairs were rearranged in the meeting hall. We sat with Mr. and Mrs. Mufosa and Maxwell and Joyce Kasakabantu. Mr. Mufosa has somewhere between 30 and 50 children. We don't fully understand the entire story. He is 80 years old and had their last baby four years ago. Lunch consisted of rice, nsima, steamed carrots and chicken. It was tasty and we enjoyed great fellowship with talk and laughter. It gives us great joy to be with these people in such a poor society and see them enjoy themselves so much.

It's FAMILY DAY!!! We are told it is to be great fun and indeed it is! Races of all kinds for all ages. Take a look at some of the photos. The grand finale was the Tug of Peace. I'll let the photos tell the story of the race. Awards consisting of more sweets were presented at the end of the program

After the races we walked through the game park and saw zebra, bush buck, guinea fowl, buffalo.

Several of us stopped by at the bar to have a drink. We spoke with the crusty owner who is a second generation Zambian with roots from South Africa. He told us about a new copper mine that he opening in the Mumbwa area. Zambia is rich in copper and prices are up making mining viable.

The Banda's and us came back to our chalet to work on his computer which has a serious problem with the primary hard disk. As we come closer a few families greet us. One family tells us how much they have appreciated the gift of LifeNets cattle, the medicines and the farm loans. They have applied themselves and greatly improved their life. That's all they came to talk about--just to express gratitude.

The other family had come to have the wife and ten year old daughter be anointed. Medical care is so difficult to come by. Our prayers were extra strong and we will continue to pray for these large families that live so remotely under such harsh conditions. Bev and I have special admiration for them and want to continue helping them by not just giving them more, but helping them with the means to help them have a better life.

It's Friday night at the campground and an outside party comes to celebrate a birthday deluging us with loud music until way past 1:00 am.

Our minds are filled with many impressions and thoughts. We ask God for guidance as to how to proceed further. Tomorrow I have give two sermons, the blessing of the children (of which there will be many) and a baptism at the pool at 9:30 am reluctantly agreed to by the owner.
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