Having taking care of these issues of life Bright and I returned to the guest house and set up under the tree to entertain guests. First to arrive was George, his new wife Nora and their baby, Mercy. I was able to see a few of our guys and gals get married during my time as pastor, but most were not ready in maturity or finances. After I left the marriages just started happening. Pastor Tembo was gazetted by the state with Pastor Steve Bowman’s help. George was one of those young men who got married after we left. George is a big guy, a farm boy, with a personality of gold. He is a likeable guy. He had some problems fitting into our church scene at first, but he managed. The big step was moving the vehicle about 10 feet at an outreach. He was always letting me know that he was a driver, well the moment came when in the business of setting up I asked him to move the vehicle. All work stopped as everyone watched George get into the vehicle, start it and ever so slowly move it about 10 feet. You would have thought he just swam the channel. He was esteemed forever more from that point on.
When his father died, I came out to the funeral house and sat with him, getting a feel of the dynamics surrounding the farm. Their farm sat on the edge of the sugar plantation. I was asked by one of the uncles to preach at the upcoming funeral. The funeral was attended by the one and only successful black commercial farmer in Zambia as well as their friend and neighbor Doug Cantley. They buried him right on the property. George was a younger son of a younger wife. The family had decided to put the farm under the control of the 3 eldest sons with an aunt to be in charge of making sure that money would be made available for school fees for all of the children associated with the farm. George, the natural farmer, would have a plot on the farm. Preaching about the need for honesty and integrity to make something work and the need to allow God to provide the needed ingredients, without God, it is to easy to waste what we have. Sadly, unless there is a mini-revival in the brother’s lives, the booze and the waste will drag the enterprise down. Doug Cantley hired George as a driver of his cane haulers. The next year George would be hired onto the sugar estates.
This placed George into that wonderful category of a young man with a decent job. So one day this girl walked by his house. She was carrying some things and had a child by the hand. George offered to help. Yes, this girl had caught his eye. She refused his help, he insisted that he accompany her home. She carried on as if the child was hers although it wasn’t. At the corner to her house she let him know he could go no further with her or her father would be upset. So he turned back as she headed for home. George snuck back to the corner to catch a glimpse of which house she lived in. The same persistence that had George driving my vehicle, had him hanging around her house until one day her father asked her to invite him in so he could meet him. So some gift giving, some negotiations and some walks later they talked of marriage plans. He approached Grace Matingaluka for advice. She got his finances settled and told him to not worry. She organized his wedding for exactly the budget he could afford. Nora came from the church where our man Henry, a special man who I use as an integrity illustration, and agreed to follow George to the Potter’s House.
So now he sits here with us with his beautiful wife Nora and their wonderful child Mercy. We hear their entire dating story from both points of view, which is always an eye opener. While talking with them Petronela shows up. She is the eldest daughter of Grace Matingaluka who has passed away this last year. She has always been a special person to Joan and I. Her and her mother were very important to the development of our church, yet both had to make adjustments to the male leadership insisted upon. Watching Petronela and her mother surrender to this and find it to be a blessing for their lives was wonderful. Petronela shared with me the circumstances of Grace’s passing away. She shared with me her business ventures, her new responsibilities for her younger sisters. She gave more detail to what I had already heard was one of the biggest funerals in Mazabuka. She asks for prayer as she goes to deal with the renting of the house.
Alfred and Theresa soon show up to sit with us. Alfred is the only man in Mazabuka who refuses to work for Sugar. He is a stubborn man and though he is an excellent carpenter/builder who has been asked to work for them many times he refuses because of some mistreatment from years ago. He built the shelves and desks I can see from here. He also built all of the buildings on the church property as well as eventually the church itself. He and Theresa 4 children with his oldest daughter getting ready to be married when their Tonga named “She has arrived” arrived. Theresa shared the international feelings of an unplanned pregnancy when you thought you were done. Yet, she shared the melting away of all of those misgivings the minute she saw the baby.
That was our morning, as they left, we packed up, the manager was gone and shifted over to the Doujie’s.