Let me return to my Zambian memories. Time is already flying past the two weeks we spent there. That Wednesday after preaching in Magoye I woke up and went to prayer at the church at 7:00. I noticed Pastor Tembo and some ladies from the church finishing up as I started. I then saw why. The school which starts at 7:30 was now using the main church building for their 10th grade class. I prayed and watched the kids assemble and then went out and sat down with the guys. Before leaving Zambia we had transplanted many plants and cuttings from our garden to the church. We did this in August which would be followed by two brutal heat months before the rains. I wasn’t sure they would keep the plants alive with the sporadic water availability, but they did and the church looked beautiful. No broken glass and all of the equipment working; I couldn’t ask for anything more. I sat there with the guys as different guys from the church joined us. It was just like I had never left. I sat around with them until 9:30 when I rejoined Joan and we went to exercise in Zuby’s gym.
Zuby, the wife of one of the Baghoo’s (the wealthiest Muslim family in town) had started the gym after being certified as an instructor by the same woman who had certified Laura Michelle. She held different classes for different groups of people at different times. This was the slot that we use to attend along with some of her family and some local white farmers. We took it easy but it was the most I have exercised since we had left Zambia. After exercise she invited us over to her house for lunch on Friday. Lunch was very, very delicious. I miss the home cooked Indian dishes. We met Mohammad’s new bride and Mohammad and I were able to talk some politics. The whole world watches American politics. We were also scheduled to have a dinner with the Dougie’s Sunday night before we left. When I first stopped by Mazabuka Block, their hardware business, Abraham was in Lusaka so I was talking to his wife and mother. They let me know that the old man had passed away in August. Then they let me know that their eldest son had also passed away after the old man in the same month of August. Now I have two Muslim women crying as I attempt to comfort them by offering up a prayer which they accepted. Our Sunday meal would not transpire because the old woman broke her leg that day and they had to take her to the hospital in Lusaka.
After exercise I was off to golf with Johno Taylor and Colin Street while Joan spent some time at the internet café communicating and doing school work. Most of us have a love/hate relationship with the golf course because the maintenance is so hit and miss. It was established in 1922 and is a beautiful course with the established trees giving it a unique look. I had communicated with Johno who is an excellent golfer and quite competitive. He has turned his farm over to a manager and is concentrating on a small plane flying company specializing in bush safaris and the like. He teams up with Rory a local bird specialist and artist to do painting safaris. Colin has a coffee farm out Chickenkata way. It was his coffee that we saw in Starbucks as a Black Apron selection. We were with a recuperating Audra Lea so it was a special moment in our lives. We would end up stopping at the Street’s farm for breakfast on the way back to Lusaka the Monday morning we left.
That night I had my first church service back in Mazabuka. It was just perfect. Many old faces, some new faces and some faces doing well that pleasantly surprised me. One surprise was a woman named Charity who I always appreciated her coming. She was not real regular but she supported the church with tithes even though she was living alone with a young son. She was now part of the praise team which would require a higher commitment. Another surprise was Saul Zulu. Saul, a good basketball player, was always on that edge of flirting with carnality or living for God. That night he looked sharp in his tie and actually was the song leader to start off the revival. Like clockwork the power went out and the generator was turned on to continue service. I preached a message “Three for Sure Things”. I had actually preached it there the last Wednesday before I left Zambia after having lunch with the Diogees. The power never returned that night so we had our first night without fans or air conditioning. Yes, that is why it is called the real Africa.
The next day after prayer we took time to work with the school. Joan spent a lot of time talking with the 12th graders who were the 10th graders we taught the year we left. Afterwards, the 3 grades gathered together and I talked about the essay we had read from the book “An Army of David’s”. We then showed the school the film "James Tembo, Detective" followed by some question and answer time. Aucriddes Moonga is the only teacher from the church that has been able to stick with the program. The others have migrated to better paying jobs to be replaced by unemployed government teachers. This is not exactly what we had planned. Part of the problem is the collecting of tuition. Because the school was started by a church pastored by a white man there was a tendency to hope for free education. Mr. Nyoni explained this to me in a meeting we would have about the school. The other issue was that our students were not usually the children of the bread winner but were nieces and nephews who were being sponsored by the breadwinner who would do all he could to not pay the tuition until he had to. When I had left I was able to build a foundation for another classroom, but that was as far as my money could go. Life in America doesn’t give me as much free cash as I had in Zambia. After talking with the teachers and Mr. Nyoni it was agreed that a financial proposal would be developed and then look for a donor to help the school get up to proper standards. Once again I am very pleased with their ability to keep things going. Mr. Nyoni said that all of the grade 12 students have passed their grade 9 exams and all are ready for the grade 12 exams that take place in April. He was quietly confident that our students would do well.
My photo allotment for the month has been exhausted so I will have to post those later.