15 July 2019
Routines engender a sense of stability and make planning easier. But dispensing with routines can bring vitality and focus! This month I have been struck by the “same-old-same-old” syndrome, which I suppose is inevitable after nearly 10 years of routine administrative tasks.
But our international visitors come with fresh eyes, sharing interesting new insights about life here in Zambia and encouraging us in our work. In April Paul and Sue Street from the Rotary Club of Canberra came to open our new ablutions facilities at Luyando. In May we welcomed Elisha Isa, a school administrator from Nigeria. In June it was Bruce Goldingay and a group representing the Australian charity Blessed to Bless, and Marika Koch and her group of trainee teachers from Florida, USA. This month we welcome Daisy Chien a secondary teacher from Taiwan, Sefton and Claire Marshall who are representing GC3, our mission agency in Palmerston North, New Zealand, and veteran missionaries David and Lorene Persons and Sandy Meikle, all from DR Congo. Some of these have just visited the schools, while others stay in our guest accommodation at Baluba where they enjoy the quietness and beauty of African bush around our houses. We are thankful that although we live in a populous area of Zambia, we ourselves can get away from it all when at home.
Daisy and the Marshalls will travel with us this weekend as we take the Kafakumba Singers to Chengelo School, three hours away by bus. The singers have been practising hard, and I am proud to see that we now have a repertoire of some 20 songs that they will be able to perform confidently for the Chengelo community, all by memory, as is always my demand!
You might remember us writing about four orphaned girls, Gift, Leya, Constance and Patience Phiri, whose mother Anita Siame died in Kitwe after being assaulted by City Council Police in June 2017. Thanks to a private donation from NZ we have been able to contribute significantly to their domestic and school costs this year, and now we are grateful again to the Rotary Club of Canberra, who have donated A$1,500 to cover the girls’ needs for 2020. Their grandparents are enormously grateful.
If you have not already done so, do think seriously about joining our fee sponsorship and salary sponsorship programmes. “Many hands make light work”, and regular donations are much appreciated as we come to the end of each month. At the moment we have at least 18 children in need of urgent sponsorship. Maybe you already sponsor one child, but would you consider sponsoring a second one? NZ$25 per month might be easily within your means (you might easily spend that much in a café in one week) and what a difference it will make to a struggling family here in Zambia!
Alison and I expect to be in New Zealand in November and December. I will be travelling via Canberra to visit the Rotary Club of Canberra. Do contact us if you are in that part of the world and would like to get together during this time. We look forward to sharing Christmas with our family in Auckland for the first time in many years.
Thank you all for your continuing interest and support. It is much appreciated.
— Matthew F. Raymond, trustee