Tuesday, December 20, 2016


Rainy season has come to the Bush! I received these pics from Mercê Zuluover the weekend. Our beans, peas, greens and onion plants are thriving - albeit the leaves are providing nourishment for some peske insects, too. We may have to re-germinate the tomatoes, peppers, squash and cucumbers. because they haven't emerged, yet. I'm considering sending a new supply of seeds this month via courier. Please continue to pray for all the gardening efforts of our farmers, as well as our building efforts at the school. I'll be so glad to receive some pictures from my project manager, Zachary Tembo so that you can see all the progress. Everyone is working so hard to get this project off the ground. Thank you, friends!

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ZAMBIA CHRONICLES DAY 10: My View from the Porch

I loved sitting on Atness’ porch. Atness is the village matriarch (she’s 67 years young but also the oldest resident on “this side” of the road). Her porch was the gathering place for many of the villagers who wanted to stop by just to offer greeting to the “new mizungu in town” and chat with Atnes about all that was happening in the village. The time I spent on the porch reminded me of growing up in Mississippi at my grandmother’s house. Atness adopted me as her daughter, and Doreen became a wonderful big sister to me. Our time on the porch and around the table provided me with such great memories. We talked, laughed, and prayed together every day.
The week I spent in the village was exhausting, but I can’t remember a time when I was more content and at peace. There is just something about the dynamic of the environment that drew me in completely. It didn’t matter that at the end of every day I was covered from head to toe in a fine film of rust colored dust. It didn’t matter that I spent all my time from sundown until sunrise feeling like a blind woman longing for the powers of infra-red, x-ray vision (which everyone living in the village possesses except me). It didn’t matter that using the bush potty after the sun goes down is a HORRIBLY disturbing experience because you have to take a flashlight with you to see everything, and the things you end up seeing you really wish you didn’t know existed. It didn’t matter that several nights, in the middle of the night, I was awakened by what I thought was an intoxicated man crying out for someone. I kept hearing “Heeeelp! Heeeelp!” In my groggy, foggy slumber, I said to myself, “Would somebody please help that man and put him out of his misery?” As it turns out, the sound I heard was a rogue goat that couldn’t sleep. The goatpen is about 50 feet in front of Atness’ house. Instead of counting sheep, the goat decided to bay at the moon. It sounded like “haaaalp – as in “baaaa.” Before the night as over, I was ready to shoot that thing! 
None of those inconveniences mattered. What mattered was the fellowship and camaraderie that I witnessed between Atness and Doreen and the closeness of the people in the village. This oneness and sisterhood/brotherhood is distinctly different from anything I’ve experienced as an adult in America. I was an outsider, but I was treated with such warmth and acceptance. I listened to women as they talked and laughed while the waited to pump their water at the bore hole. I observed the happiest children who play outside ALL DAY, and only return home for their meals. I laughed some more.
Don’t misunderstand. The village isn’t a utopia. Drunkenness is a problem for a couple of high profile residents. Families are broken from divorce and separation. Children suffer the ill effects of parental neglect. Sickness and lack of access to medicine and proper diagnoses is an ongoing problem that I dealt with first hand. All of those things reminded me of life in America, but something better continued to prevail among this enclave of humanity that lives off the grid. I witnessed the effects of the gospel message working its way into people's lives after being shared every week through the faithful preaching of Missionary Dan Jalowiec and Pastor Jere. I watched the Lord move in the hearts of a community, and I was humbled to be part of what he was doing in their lives.
I’ve attached several photos and written the story of each in the description. I hope you’ll click through to get a better glimpse into my time in the village. What an incredible, blessed experience! 

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Atness – This woman gets up at 4:30 every morning to care for her great granddaughter, Jesse. Then she faithfully walks to the bore hole to draw the first of many 5 gallon buckest of water for the day. By 7am, the sun has been shining for two hours, and Atness has already washed her dishes, swept the yard, wiped her floors, and prepared breakfast. Such an incredible servant of God.

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My view from the porch – Atnes’ brother, Johnson Lungu (our literacy teacher) lives to the left of the center tree. The infamous goatpen is to the right. The sounds and smells I’ll remember most are those of family life and busyness: wood fires burning, the sound of water being pumped from the bore hole, happy children singing, unhappy babies crying, goats and sheep neighing, and greetings from passersby at the start of a new day.
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This happy-go-lucky little girl stole my heart. Her name is Jesse (all week I kept thinking everyone was saying Jaycee). She is 6 years old and is Atness’ great granddaughter. Atness takes care of her even though Jesse’s mom lives only a mile down the road in another village. Jesse wakes up every morning at 4:30. The sun would rise at 5:00am and she was out the door by 5:15. Her first stop was usually Hope’s house that was just next door. By 5:30 every morning, I would hear these little girl giggles right outside the house. Jesse played all day long, and would only come to the house for meals. Sometimes I would walk around the village and call her to come home. We’d race to see who could reach Atness' porch first. By 7pm she would drop into a dead man’s sleep wherever her body happened to fall – outside on the porch, in an obscure corner of the house, or right in front of the table where we’d eat. My favorite shirt that Jesse would wear says, “I make dirt look good.” She wore that thing well! Please pray for her and her mom, Susan.

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These little girls brought so much joy to my heart. Pictured left to right: Naomi, Hope, and Jesse. Hope has a beautiful singing voice. Long after the sun had gone down the girls would still run around the village, without a care in the world, singing songs about how to put on shoes. Precious!

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Train ‘em young – some of the older children talked the “littles” into gathering firewood with them. This picture is precious to me. Left to right – Jesse, Dallon (age 2), Gift (age 3), and Maggie (age 6). I was told Dallon got home and was a little disappointed in himself. He told his mom, “I didn’t get much wood.” I think he got as much as his little body could carry. Good job, kiddo!
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This herd of goats loved to frequent Atness’ porch. In their company was also a herd of long eared sheep, an old hen and her chicks, and an annoying black cat that kept finding its way into the house.
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Black Mamba – The men from the farming co-op who slept in the tent every night had some wild adventures to tell the next morning. There was the incident of a couple of hyena taking down one of the village sheep, and the most frightening of all: the black mamba scare. Zulu Kennedy, my co-op foreman, was walking in the area near the tent when he encountered this poisonous black mamba. He ALWAYS wears flip flops regardless of the work he’s doing. His shoes look like they’ve tread a thousand miles. Thankfully the mamba bit the side of his shoe instead of getting his foot. A few centimeters higher and Zulu Kennedy would be no more! He and Samkhulani saved the snake for my photo op. Doreen saw the snake and almost jumped out of her chitenge (wrap around skirt)! She was a nervous wreck the rest of the afternoon. Every time she saw something grayish black she would jump about 2 feet. I couldn’t stop laughing.

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Bathtime – Atness was so gracious. She would say to me, “You want bath-ing with fire?” which meant did I want her to heat the water first. I always said yes (she didn’t know that I detest cold showers). We borrowed the small washtub from Pastor Jere’s wife, Anastasia. Once the water was heated to boiling then cooled down a bit with water straight from the bore hole, Doreen or I would carry the washtub to the outdoor bathhouse. This was my delightful treat every day.
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Big Tree Bible Baptist Church - There was a full house at church my last Sunday in the village. For the first time in my life every person came that I invited to attend the services: Mable Phiri was able to get off work from the clinic and was attending for the first time. Zulu Kennedy is catholic and most likely heard the gospel for the first time. Zikake Banda is separated from his wife who is a faithful member at Big Tree. He had never attended the church before. God is at work. Please pray especially for these families as the Lord brings them to mind.

ZAMBIA CHRONICLES DAY 9: Building Our School

In late 2012, Kevin Pestke and I started an email dialogue about the issue of illiteracy among the members of Big Tree Baptist Church. He had established this church plant in the village in September of that year. People were coming to Christ and a vibrant community of believers was growing in the Lord. They had bibles printed in their native Chichewa language, but few of the people could actually read the Word. Imagine entering into a relationship with the Creator of the Universe, being able to hold his word in your hands, yet being unable to read a word of his personal love letter. The thought of that broke my heart. At Sisterhood Of Servants we wanted to do something to impact the lives of women who lived in the bush, and starting literacy classes seemed to be the perfect opportunity. God supplied everything that was needed to begin. The first humanitarian grant that S.O.S. ever made was for the members at Big Tree and to help start the literacy school. The first classes started in January 2013 with 18 students age 15-50+. Under Kevin’s leadership, the literacy school flourished. Little by little, adults were learning to read and write. The shackles of illiteracy were being broken, and they were learning to read scripture.
Fast forward to 2016:  I finally had the chance to meet Johnson Lungu, our literacy teacher. He was so excited by the prospect of having an actual classroom in which to hold his classes. There are currently 26 students enrolled in 3 separate classes. Johnson has tailored the courses to meet the specific learning styles of the students. One of the courses is a class in English. Atness attends this class. She’s 67 years old and speaks/understands more English than I know Chichewa. One night after supper, she, Doreen, and I were sitting on her porch enjoying the night air and the fellowship of friends that would stop by just to say hello. Somehow we got on the subject of the literacy school. Atness said in perfect English, “I go to Johnson’s class. I’m learning to speak English and short sentences.” I ROARED with praise for her. She is a living example of someone willing to remain teachable through every phase of life.
On Monday evening I met Matthew Mwanza, the actual builder of the school. He and Zachary Tembo, my fellow board member and project manager, have been working through all the details related to the construction. Once the bore hole was installed, efforts to move forward with getting the building materials on site were ramped up. Our school requires 2100 cement blocks to be completed. However, the driver who planned to deliver the blocks could only haul 700 at a time. The first blocks arrived at 8pm Saturday night. Since it was pitch black dark, the blocks would have to be unloaded early Sunday morning before church. All the men from the farming co-op helped with the unloading. Pastor Jere and the guys wanted me to “experience” what it was like to unload and stack 700 cement blocks by hand. Doreen went with me. Oh. My. Word. I think the blocks must have weighed about 25 lbs. each. They were heavy, but I was a trooper. I didn’t unload all 700, but I did carry enough to get a couple of good pictures! 😉
Sunday afternoon I was part of a round table meeting with Pastor Jere and fellow board members, Dan Jalowiec and Robert Zulu. We discussed more details about the construction of the school and the most cost effective method for getting the building materials to our job site. The village is about 1 – 1½ hours from town in the middle of nowhere. Our transport costs could easily exceed our budget for the project if we weren’t careful. I learned so much from that brief meeting and was humbled in the process. In order to prep a site for pouring the foundation, one has to have sand, stone, water, and cement. I thought the sand was sold in bags and could just be placed on top of the next load of cement blocks and brought to the village by truck. I was shocked when the men explained to me that we would be borrowing shovels for several workers to use as they dug the sand out of a nearby riverbed, one shovel full at a time! In addition, the stone for our school would be provided by men and women who spend their days breaking large boulder type rocks into small, building grade pebbles. All of the stones would be delivered in wheelbarrows to our job site by these dear people. I had a lump in my throat as I thought about the many sacrificial hours that would be invested in our beautiful school building. Lord willing, someday I’ll get a chance to meet every man and woman that held a shovel, hammer, or chisel to help us on this journey.
Update: Robert Zulu sent me a message a couple of days ago that four truckloads of sand have been delivered to our site and the wheelbarrows of stone have started coming in. Praise the Lord for faithful men and women who have a mind to work. 

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700 of the 2100 bricks that we'll use to build our school.

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unloading cement blocks from the truck

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zambian workers crushing stones for building materials. It's humbling to know this is how the foundation of our school will be prepped. I'm so grateful for every person that's going to be involved with our work.

ZAMBIA CHRONICLES DAY 8 – Composting and Celebrating

Saturday was a day of teaching, celebrating, and sharing. The ladies in the sewing class spent the morning putting the finishing touches on their over the shoulder bags. At the end of our last class, I surprised them with a gift of multiple yards of fabric prints and their own personal sewing kit. They cheered and clapped. I shared Jesus’ parable of the talents and challenged each woman to take the sewing materials and yardage and utilize them to create more tote bags or other sewing projects. I told them I would be looking forward to hearing the testimonies about how they invested their resources when I return to the village next year.
The members of the farming co-op woke at the crack of dawn (about 5:15am) and went down to the garden site to start the “watering ritual” to make sure the seeds we planted yesterday remained moist for germination. With the seeds in the ground, the only lesson remaining for me to share with the members was on composting. It would be important for everyone in the village to participate in “growing the soil” if we hoped to reap a successful harvest and free ourselves from the need to utilize synthetic fertilizers. As I mentioned previously, the TSA authorities confiscated the fertilizer I had packed into my checked luggage, so my only recourse was to purchase a 50kg bag of all purpose fertilizer in town. This would be a sufficient alternative until the compost was ready and could be added to the soil. I had performed a couple of soil tests and the results showed that the soil had been leached of the needed nitrogen, phosphorus, and potash ingredients that growing plants require.
Before our composting lesson began, the co-op members built us an oversize, two compartment compost bin that measures 3 meters long x 2 meters wide x 1 meter high. It’s a natural wood structure constructed from the poles the men had cut down earlier in the week. Smaller, more flexible branches were woven through the outer frame in a basket weave pattern. The finished bin was so beautiful; I just gushed over their handiwork. 
Residents in the village have been farming for generations, but no one uses compost. This was an incredible opportunity for me to teach everyone about saving kitchen scraps, wood ashes, corn cobs, leaves, and other things that are found organically in the village that could be recycled to make a nutrient rich planting material. Several local villagers had walked to the bore hole to check out all the excitement and the new community garden. I invited them to stay for the lesson. It would take consistent reminders on the part of our co-op members to begin to change the mindset of an entire village and encourage them to adopt this new farming practice, but I was hopeful. You see, in his sovereignty, the Lord had gone before me once again and provided the necessary field expertise. Our resident expert is named Mercê Zulu. She’s Robert and Doreen Zulu’s daughter, and she has a degree in agricultural/crop science. Mercy has agreed to be the overseer and continuing education teacher for the cop-op. She and I talked in great detail about regular soil testing, setting up a schedule for turning the compost, making sure nothing inappropriate was being added to the bin, and other technical issues, such as Nitrogen and Carbon mixing. Do you see what God did there? Before I even expressed my need, he had made a way for it to be met! Robert and Doreen have also pledged themselves to make monthly visits to the village to consult with Zulu Kennedy and work through any problems the co-op members may be experiencing.
After the compost lesson was complete, I called all the members over to the mango tree for one final surprise. Earlier in the week, I had enlisted the help of Samkulani to pull it off. He agreed to find a bicycle and ride to a local store to make some purchases for me. I wanted to say “thank you” to all the members for their many hours of work, so I put together a small token of my appreciation. My little offering included a box of cookies (biscuits), tea, a bottle of soda, a bar of soap, and a little kwacha – their local currency. Doreen and I had been laughing for two days because I couldn’t believe I was conceding to the idea of giving a bar of soap as a gift. I was certain each person would be offended and would think I was implying they all needed to go home and bathe! Doreen shared my concern with Sam. He just laughed at this notion and assured me the soap would be a welcome gift.
With Doreen by my side to guide me in my pronunciation, I said these words: “Zikomo pozipereka panchito” which being interpreted means ‘thank you from the bottom of my heart for your hard work and complete commitment to this project.’ I gave each member my gift and told them it was my pleasure to work alongside them as we sought to make significant economic, educational, and nutritional improvements in the village with the Lord’s blessing. I gave some instructions about the work schedule for the upcoming weeks and months, and I invited everyone to join me at church on Sunday. They all clapped their hands together in one accord and said, "Zikomo kwambedi" which means thank you very much! It was a great way to celebrate the completion of Phase I of the agricultural initiative.

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Deluxe sewing kit given to each member of the sewing class
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Each student was given the option to choose 2 additional patterns from the yardage shown. Please pray these ladies will be faithful with the resources they've been entrusted. I can't wait to hear their testimonies next year.Image may contain: one or more people, tree, plant, outdoor and nature
Our beautiful compost bin being constructed. I love the creative, cooperative energy of these farmers. They were such a blessing to me. 

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Members of the co-op seated in front of the compost bin we just built: Left to right - Judith, Bernard, Samkhulani, Peter, Zulu, Elias, and Zikake. I was pleased to share these new concepts with some of the local residents.
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Mercy Zulu - our continuing education teacher. She is a Godsend, and I'm thankful for her generous spirit of volunteerism
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My thank you gift to the farmers - biscuits, tea (which they only enjoy at Christmas), soap, soda, and a little spending kwatcha

ZAMBIA CHRONICLES DAY 7 - planting day

Zambia Sisterhood Of Servants Farming Co-op. Look at what God has done on our behalf! Please rejoice with us, and pray for the ongoing work. I'm so excited! To God be the glory! 😃

Zambia Sisterhood Of Servants - planting day (video)


ZAMBIA CHRONICLES DAY 7 - The Community Farming Cooperative

The farming co-op has been the most comprehensive part of the MVEVI project. This required the most research, the most advanced planning, the most volunteers, and it provided the greatest challenge and opportunity as far as village dynamics is concerned. Having said all that, I couldn’t be more pleased with our results for the week. My faith was tested and strengthened as the Lord showed himself strong in EVERY detail. After my introductory meeting with the leadership committee on Monday afternoon, I went to bed that night with my head in the clouds because of the verbal commitment made by ALL of the committee members. Once the bore hole was installed we could set our sites on clearing a portion of land for our community garden. I proposed to our local board of directors that we begin the project with a smaller demonstration plot of land that would be 30 square meters. This size would be more than manageable for the 7 families involved in the co-op. Miraculously, God made available a large tract of land right in front of the bore hole. This particular tract was part of the 17 acres that had been donated by its owner, Blackwell Mwanza, 2 years ago when I had my initial meeting with Chief Mnukwa. Blackwell had been farming soybeans so the land was partially clear, with the exception of a few small shrubs and stumps. The bulk of the back breaking labor had already been done, and I just marveled at the Lord for going before us and moving in Blackwell’s heart to be so supportive of our efforts.
The distinguishing feature of this plot of land is a lone, random mango tree located in the southeast corner of the garden plot. I’m so glad we decided to leave the tree in place. It provides a lovely bit of shade and focal point of interest. Even though most of the farmers are men, I couldn’t resist the addition of something pretty and distinctly feminine in the garden. Doreen Zulu has pledged to design this small portion of the garden with lilies, ferns, decorative stones, and a sitting bench.
The bore hole was installed on Tuesday. On Wednesday, we cleared the land. I spent the bulk of Wednesday night laying out the seed plots, and dividing the garden into seven portions. I met with the farmers every morning at 8/8:30am. On Thursday morning I was almost in tears. The men has spent the early morning clearing a walking path from our school building down to the garden (remember the property is completely undeveloped). They also cut fence posts by hand to make a hedge row around the garden to keep the cattle and critters from trampling the crops. They even had all the post holes dug. These are some of the hardest working men with whom I’ve been pleased to work. Their days start at 6am and end when the sun goes down. Zulu Kennedy is a born leader, and all the members respect him as their group foreman. Their dynamic and camaraderie is a beautiful thing to behold.
The cement around the base of the bore hole wouldn’t be set until Friday, and the water wouldn’t be available until then. So, on Thursday, in between my sewing classes, the men and I divided the garden into 7 equal portions. Each person was responsible to maintain a 3 x 30 meter tract of the garden. That was my plan, but God showed up again, and had a better plan in the works. Somehow, despite my careful calculations, there was a ½ portion of land remaining. I decided it would be appropriate to give this portion to Pastor Jere and the people of Big Tree Baptist Church. They could sell the crops grown on this portion and bring some income into the church, or they could use the crops as benevolence for those in need. I discussed the details with Pastor Jere, and he was agreeable to this plan. God is so good.
The wind had been relentless all week. There was a consistent cloud of rust colored dust that kept blowing through the village. However, on Thursday evening the sky filled with ominous rain clouds, thunder clapped in the distance, and the temperature dropped. I convinced Pastor Jere to help me spread the fertilizer before the rains came. I experienced my first wet sprinkles and was running from row to row trying to get the fertilizer spread before the downpour. Guess what? The rain clouds faked me out. As soon as we finished spreading the fertilizer, the skies cleared. I could only laugh!
I didn’t have a sewing class on Friday morning, so the members and I got an early start with planting. We worked in the hot Zambian sun all day (my arms are about 3 shades darker than the rest of my body ). We are growing 12 varieties of vegetables in the garden from seeds that I shipped from the states. I hand counted every seed the night before and divided each quantity by 7. I gave everyone a little seed pouch to hold the seeds because some of them were so small and easily lost. We kept fighting the wind all day, and the planting was tedious. At one point in the early morning a “whirlwind” formed out of nowhere and blew through the garden. A whirlwind is a small tornado like phenomena that one can see form from the ground and watch it’s erratic path of movement. I’d never witnessed anything like it. A creepy feeling came over me, and I asked Pastor Jere to pray that the Lord would bless our efforts. By the late afternoon we were all exhausted, but we didn’t stop working until all the seeds were planted. While the men filled their watering cans at the bore hole and walked back and forth to water their portion of the garden, I sat under the mango tree and just praised God. The whole process felt surreal, and I couldn’t believe the Lord was allowing me to be part of this project. Five days earlier we were just making plans. By Friday, they had all been executed. God’s hand was all over every detail. I couldn’t praise him enough.

Me and Zulu Kennedy, the foreman of the co-op. I LOVE this bore hole. Thank you to each of you that gave of your treasure to make this a reality for these wonderful people.

My lovely, lone mango tree. There isn't another one anywhere near this one. I'm convinced the Lord set it here just for our refreshment.

Primitive tools, homemade garden spacers, and seeds. My little "girl" hammer was bought just a few days earlier.

Land tilled, rows set, garden markers in place, and we're ready to plant

Hand setting each seed. The garlic chive and tomato seeds were microscopic. The process was tedious, but I pray the harvest will be bountiful.

This is what you do when you've been working in the field for 8 hours and you're waiting your turn to fill your water can at the bore hole. We were so tired!


My goal for the week was to identify some women in the community that showed an aptitude for listening, leading, and following instructions. I prayed that from this group of women one of them would distinguish herself as the next sewing teacher who would take over my position once I left the village. I asked Doreen to identify four other women who would be good candidates to attend the 5 day sewing class. I met the ladies for the first time on Tuesday. Each student was given a personal sewing kit and a basic skills test that involved holding a pair of scissors, following a pattern to cut a straight line, and using the scissors to cut around a circle. A couple of the ladies fared better than the others. I planned for the ladies to make a unique and practical over the shoulder tote bag. I hadn’t seen anything like it in Chipata, so I thought the bag would be a great marketing item for future sales. We met for 2 sessions every day (10a-12pm and 2pm-4pm), and it would require a lot of patient teaching to get our sewing project complete.

The village was abuzz with “curious energy” as the word began to spread about the sewing class. A few complaints also began to surface because I only had enough supplies for 5 women to attend. (I hope to rectify that problem on my return visit next year). While the ladies and I conducted our class, their children played happily in the church. At one point during the week, the church was filled 5 women sewing, 6 women from the village watching, and several children playing. The whole scene just made me so happy. We had birthed in the women a hunger and desire to challenge themselves to learn a new skill. As the week wore on and the ladies became more confident in their skills, I actually left the classroom and went to the garden to help our farmers. It was like watching flowers blossom right before my eyes.

Since our school wasn’t yet built, we didn’t have a secure facility to store sewing machines. So I decided to dedicate the first week of class to hand sewing only. One of the five students showed considerable skill. Her name is Matollase Lungu. Interestingly, her father is a tailor, and as a small girl, Matollase would find a long, sharp thorn while playing in the village. She would then take another thorn and poke a hole in the opposite end of the first thorn to make a handcrafted needle. She’s been sewing ever since. Incredible! Matollase brought some of her handmade items to class on Thursday. Her work was beautiful. She was excited about learning this week because even though she could sew by hand, she didn’t know the proper names of sewing procedures. She was gleaning valuable information with the other students. By the end of the week, Matollase was helping the others finish their tote bags. This was such a blessing to me. God had gone above and beyond my expectation, and I believe he has brought us our tailoring teacher. I was so thrilled at this prospect. Matollase has a sweet, generous spirit, and her laugh is contagious. I look forward to the day when I can teach her how to use a treadle sewing machine and transfer leadership of the sewing program to her.

Finally, Doreen shared a sweet comment with me that was made by one of the students. When the time came every day to end our afternoon classes, the ladies weren’t ready to leave. One of the students said, “I wish we could just keep sewing on and on and ‘knock off’ when it’s dark. The sewing is becoming so sweet.” I just cried with joy and thankfulness. God has begun something amazing!

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Our first sewing class. They did a fabulous job on their bags. Pictured from left to right:
Matollase Lungu, Shebitta M'Shonga, Zeripa Nyirenda, Doreen Zulu, and Jane Phiri
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Beautiful over the shoulder bags made by the ladies. They are large and sturdy enough to hold a newborn baby inside. 
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This is Matollase. I'm praying she'll be the future teacher of our tailoring program.
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I made this giraffe doll for Jack. I hope he'll enjoy this little keepsake.

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A professional tailor who works in Chipata. He is very skilled with the machine.

ZAMBIA CHRONICLES DAY 5 - Water Comes to the Village

By the time we walked back to the village, the drilling company had arrived and had already determined the location of water on our 17 acre property. The company manager, Pharesh, used copper divining rods to pinpoint the water source. The method is thousands of years old, and I asked Pharesh why his company still used the rods to locate water instead of a modern method. His response? “It’s our traditional way.” He gave me a demonstration, and I was amazed. He loosely held a thin, L shaped copper rod in each hand. As he walked along the path, the rods would move by themselves and eventually cross each other once the water source had been located. It was fascinating.

Water was found at 40 meters, but the company continued to add pipe to the level of 60 meters. We wanted to make certain that the bore hole was deep enough and wouldn’t collapse. Many of the villagers had gathered to watch the drilling. This was a momentous occasion. 5 villages (approx.. 150-200 people) were pumping their water from one bore hole. Our well would ease the burden for scores of women who currently spend the better part of their day waiting in line at the pump. I was deeply moved by the joy and hopeful relief I saw on their faces. Once the drilling crew started pumping water, everyone cheered and eagerly reached out their hands just to get a taste. As Doreen continued to remind me, “The people are so excited because water has come to them, and water is life!”
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meters and meters of sleeve pipe (lower left of photo) will be placed into the ground to stabilize the bore hole.
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Surya Drilling - the Water Kings of Chipata. I love their slogan. 
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The drilling company using the water to level out the cement base to the bore hole. It was hard to get the villagers to understand that the pump wouldn't be available for regular use until Friday (3 long days of waiting).
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Johnson Lungu, our literacy school teacher, getting the first drink from our newly installed bore hole. Everyone said the water tasted sweet - no trace of salt. Praise the Lord for his goodness to us! 
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Pharesh and me. His company did such a great job with the installation.

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The drilling rig was enormous.