5 February 2020
The BBC reported this week that, according to the Doomsday Clock, our world is closer to global annihilation this January than since the Doomsday Clock was set up in 1947. According to the clock, which is set according to the perceived global threats we face, we are now only one minute and 40 seconds (100 seconds) away from midnight, midnight being a major global catastrophe. Now, few who have been watching the news and keeping abreast of world affairs over the past few months would be at all surprised, and the Clock confirms the fears many of us have about growing insecurity in our world. Of course, threats wax and wane, so the Clock could go backwards again. After all, it has gone backwards and forwards 24 times since 1947, but what is significant is that this year it is closer to midnight than ever before.
So it is with this backdrop that we face a new year and a new decade of our activities at Limapela. I think about the children we serve here in Zambia, none of whom has enjoyed the privileges I enjoyed at the same age. None of them chose to be born in the new millennium, any more than I chose to be born half way through the last. None of them is empowered sufficiently to make significant changes to his or her own life, community or country. But they could be! I believe that everyone in any kind of leadership has a responsibility to empower those under our care. Selfishness, greed, violence and materialism do not need to prevail, and it is up to us to keep preaching that message.
It seems strange that life continues in Zambia pretty much as before, even though the economy is more depressed, the cost of living has increased and the country is still short of electricity. Thankfully we are getting good rains so far this season. The term started with a settled staff in both schools. It looks as though we will again have a total enrolment of around 750 children In two schools this year, but clearly it is more of a struggle for parents to find the money to pay their children’s meagre school fees. We were delighted that all our grade 9 pupils passed the ECZ Grade 9 exams, and now go on to secondary schools elsewhere. We are also happy to have buildings and facilities to support our teachers in their commitment to the boys and girls.
The Kafakumba Singers have regrouped with 22 singers since our arrival back after nearly three months away on leave, and their calendar is filling up with performance commitments. This is a month of pressure for them as they need money for school fees, uniforms, shoes, school bags and transport. I often wish Limapela were able to set up a third school to support these young people and hundreds more in the Baluba-Fisenge area, where most government schools are overcrowded, underfunded and ineffective. But that is for the next generation of Limapela!
Thank you all for your interest and kind support in what we do. We leave you with an encouragement from the book of Psalms:
1 Happy are those who are concerned for the poor;
the Lord will help them when they are in trouble.
2 The Lord will protect them and preserve their lives;
he will make them happy in the land;
he will not abandon them to the power of their enemies.
3 The Lord will help them when they are sick
and will restore them to health. (Psalm 41: 1-3 —GNT)
— Matthew Raymond, trustee