Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Multiply Zambia/Kenya 2014 Day Twenty - Monday

The 777's cabin lights come on at 4.00am UK time.  After watching 'All is Lost' during the meal service, I'd got a couple of hours' sleep.  Farayai had shrouded himself in his blanket hours ago, and stayed that way until the 'Landing' annoucement was made at 5.40am! 

We approached Heathrow along the Thames as London was waking up.  I cleared the arrivals formalities and had reached Euston by Tube by 7.45am.  The London Midland train to Northampton was full.  I chatted to the Jamaican Christian guy next to me until he fall asleep (after doing a night shift).  I watched the early Spring scene pass by: forsythia, redcurrant, cherry, blackthorn, willow, magnolia, etc, have all burst in the past three weeks.

Both Kelly and Viv had independently arrived to collect me.  I felt bad about this, as I hadn't made a definite arrangement.  At Central Office brotherhood, Jimmie and Hannah gave a brief revue of their 'project' experience in Zambia.

I caught up with Mick and Huw, did a bit of admin, then fell asleep as Viv drove us home to Sheffield.  The Sutcliffe children has done a welcome home poster, and I was glad of some tea.  I managed to catch grandson Dean on the phone and wish him a happy 7th birthday.  By 9.00pm I was 'at the end of my lollipop' and went to bed.  I knew I'd be awake before 5.00am come what may, and the early dawn chorus sealed my prediction.

Lasting impressions include both Steven and Gregory emphasising that for average pastors - who really are the target audience - the MILC UK invitations are a huge effort: the real deal is the monthly local get-togethers.  This is pretty much the inverse of how we here apply our priority.  An associated issue is the value of local transport for facilitating on-the-ground events, and the additional difficulty that younger people would face in getting visas to travel to UK.  However, both Steven and Gregory agreed that, "We've come a long way in three years."

 Second: was the value of the three AMEN guys interacting on their home turf and seeing how they work.  We could have comfortably and usefully spent two months as a team touring Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Congo, Burundi and revisiting Malawi and Tanzania to get local groups on a firm footing and commissioning properly envisioned leaderships.

Third: Multiply is a vision whose time has come.  We can add value and distinguish ourselves from other (more glitzy) networks by helping to set up income-generating schemes.  We could do worse than aiming for pastors to attend both the IT and English literacy type-projects that we delivered in Kitwe.

We shall have to see how all this may run.

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