Saturday, 28 December 2013

Multiply Zambia - 2014

It's three years since Iain and I went to Stephen's church in Zambia's Kitwe for the last International conference.  In the time between, we've raised our game and introduced practical projects and added a younger group to such team visits.  The coming February/March trip boasts Len's wife Ali joining us to launch a literacy project, Hannah - who works in Multiply central office - to help with the orphanage and school, and James - church video guru - to document the whole experience and convey some of the rationale for those who 'still don't get it'. 

The itinerary for those of us conference-hopping (me, Len, Stephen) is pretty punishing: Kitwe, Lusaka, then Lilongwe in Malawi, and a return to Dar es Salaam in Tanzania.  I shall add a couple of days with Gregory in Nairobi. 

The vital need at this stage is to get a broadband connection installed at Stephen's ministry premises.  It's got to be satellite, thus leapfrogging copper wire, fibre optic and mobile cell technology in one go!  Huw's promised that Multiply Fund will underwrite whatever we can't secure by donations of the £5,000 price tag.  James, who works in Group IT, was worried how long it would take to set up the local network.  Then Farayi, a Zambian from Kings Church, Medway, agreed to join us.  His daytime job is also in IT support, so he'll be welcome the sixth member of the team.  While in Malawi, he'll check out Kings Church's own project there.

When Mick arranged his recent Multiply trip to Sierra Leone and Liberia, his team bonding times became legendary.  Whatever involves bacon rolls rapidly gains popularity, so we follow suit - anything less would be mean.  The next one is in a week's time, and by then we need to have the flights booked (awaiting just one confirmation), all jabs up to date, and an estimate on what funds we'll have raised, so we can get consignments sent off in time.

Ali co-ordinates 400 people in Brighton on English language courses and conversation groups.  Since August she's been working on suitable materials and schemes - at three levels - for both teachers and pupils in Zambia.  One of her office team comes from the Copperbelt, and has been encouraging her with advice about eating, dress and culture. 

Hannah held a cake sale after Sunday morning church a couple of weeks ago and raised £240 for the orphanage and school.  Four sisters in Northampton are tackling a sponsored bike ride, and Trevor's selling dvds.  The Brighton saints have done a car-boot sale.

We hope we'll get it right this time in Dar es Salaam.  Two year ago was beset with apostolic irritations as Stephen went down with malaria and we ran out of money.  This time we're assembling Rukundu and Gregory as reinforcements.  It will be great to catch up again with Stephen's brother, Jakob, and Pastor Luvanda from the local fellowship.

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