News from Zambia

Missionary Newsletter September 2012

Dear Church friends,

Where does the time go! It just seems a few weeks since I wrote my last newsletter yet so much has happened since then.

Agnes Zungu
Agnes Zungu

Firstly, it is with great sadness that I announce the death of Agnes Zungu, the secretary of the Ipusukilo women’s group. She was a brave and faithful member of DOWIZA and she lost her long battle with stomach cancer on the 3rd September 2012. Agnes was the mainstay of the HIV+ widows group which over the last year or so has had difficulties keeping numbers; and I fear her death and the recent burning down of our grass roofed Nsaka (meeting place) - probably by children; will have further negative effects on the group.

Secondly, we have been granted a small salary for the next 5 years under the Nationals in Mission scheme. This allows Ernest Sakala to work as a full time Project Manager for Play4all. We now have 20 volunteers and will be shortly be training a few more. Our football teams at last are emerging, and Auxillia and Memory are keen to get the girls organised for netball. The feeding programme started a couple of weeks ago but has had a few hiccups! The children are not used to thobwa as a cold drink, and prefer to eat it as powder straight from the packet, so we are re-thinking the way forward. The volunteers are hoping to start an income generating scheme, the profits of which will be split 50 / 50 between them and Play4all. At present they are looking at rearing broiler chickens, but this has yet to be properly costed. We are also in the very long bureaucratic process of registering Play4all with the government.

Playing with Bricks
Playing with Bricks

Thirdly, now the future of Play4all is secured, this frees me up to take up the request received a few months ago to change my job. At the end of this month I will move to Chodort Training Centre, Choma to fill in the gap left by the Rev David Nixon when his term as a mission partner finished in March this year. Chodort Training Centre is a small centre with 3 main programmes, carpentry, tailoring and computing. It also has a very successful carpentry workshop. It is situated in Choma, a small provincial town about 2 hours from Livingstone and 10+ hours from Kitwe. Rev Nixon has worked very hard to develop this centre and procured nearly 40 plots on a nearby site for future building. This has already started, firstly building houses for rent in order to supplement the cost of building the new college and staff houses. A big and worthy project.

Life in Choma will be very different from my experience in Kitwe. It is an up and coming town with relatively few facilities and the economy is mostly agriculturally based. People will no doubt have similar problems, but not on the same scale as in Kitwe, and my daily work will not bring me into contact with the abject poverty I have seen in the compounds, but it will still be vital for increasing the life chances and standards of living of all those connected with the training centre - not least the 20 or so staff as well as the events above, we have seen the wedding of Adrian Hendy (the EEP that just kept coming back) to Violet Zulu (and now we know why :-) ) Congratulations Adrian & Violet a long and happy marriage to you. Farewell to Rev Rebecca Jones who has been a good friend in her year at TEEZ, and a mean player of rummykub! Now she has left to return to the States via Southern Africa and South America. Wende bwino Rebecca (travel well). She Is replaced By Rev Andrew Ruth and his wife Claire, whom I wish an adventurous and fruitful year. We have also seen the return of Steve and Carol Jackson and Max, as Steve rejoins the teaching team at a local theological college, and the resignation after 8 years of service of Rev Dr Bwalya our UCZTC Principal. He will be replaced in January 2013. As well as moving to Choma, I will also be returning to the UK in January 2013 for furlough till 10th April. January is reserved for Carol's wedding, but I would be happy to link up with churches and friends after that

Adrian, Violet and their MEF family
Adrian, Violet and their MEF family

Items for Praise:

  • For such a wonderful group of volunteers in Kamatipa
  • For the award of the NMA grant for a full time project manager. Secured for 5 years
  • For the inspirational work of the Rev Nixon and his family during their years in Choma
  • For the long years of service of Rev Dr Bwalya at UCZTC
  • For all the very good friends I have made in Kitwe and the surrounding area

Items for Prayer:

  • To uplift all those who mourn Agnes Zungu
  • For Ernest as he starts his new and demanding job
  • For Adrian, that all the paperwork goes smoothly so that he can bring his new family to the UK
  • For Rebecca as she spends 2 months traveling before returning to the United States
  • For the Theological College as it adapts to a new management team
  • For me, as I start my new job, that I may show the same commitment and love that the Nixon family did
    for Chodort Training Centre

With every good wish to you all,

Jenny Featherstone

November 2012 News Update

The following news was received from Jenny after the receipt of £361.90 from Bennochy Church designated for the wonderful PLAY4ALL project.

I have spent the weekend with Ernest Sakala and his new wife Annetti and he is doing just fine with Play4all. We have been able to distribute some clothes to the kids who were in very dilapidated clothes and are having a lot more boys coming as there is football coaching on Tuesdays. Some of the volunteers are starting a girls netball team and I hope to bring hoops back form my trip home in January . The adult literacy classes have just about finished, but some of the volunteers still want to continue. I am hoping Charity will be able to teach them without the subsidy from play for all, as there are some others in the community who are interested in adult literacy classes too. We also have a little albino girl who has just started coming.

Thank you and the church members once again for all your support, I look forward to seeing you again in 2013,

With every good wish