The alarm breaks the silence at 4:45 am. Mary rolls over and pulls up the sheet as she has been up till 10:30 – 11 pm the night before preparing the lessons for the next day. I bound out of bed, wash my face, thank the Lord for another new day and praise him for His protection in the night hours. When I talk about such blessings they are genuine. Our two dogs hold back the thieves at our house in Katutwa St — but at Mkushi Rd house there are no dogs, and just last week we lost a bike, a roll of black plastic, and some work suits from the clothesline. We have electric fencing around the block wallfence and I just installed two motion sensor lights to deter the thieves. Dogs work the best, but there are too many little children at Mkushi to have dogs.
It’s 5:15 am and I am off to the Konkola Mine gym with my friend and mechanic Mac, to keep this physical body that God has given me in good shape and hold back the crippling aches and pains that want to creep into the joints. For one hour we push our bodies to the max while uttering the words “No Pain, No Gain”. Mac is a very generous Christian guy who offers his services to many missionaries across Zambia.
At 6:30 am I’m busy in the kitchen preparing eggs on toast for the ten in the house, just to make sure they all start the day with something in their stomachs. Over breakfast Mary and I have the opportunity to pray together and commit the day’s activities into God’s hands and seek His wisdom. I drop Mary off at 7 am at Ipalo Christian School. When Mary started working there, she was saddened to see the behaviour of her Grade 2 class — the students are breaking pencils and chewing rubbers every day, and parents are marching into the class shouting at students to protect their own child. Some of the kids are grubby and smelly. Wow, what a challenge.
Now, after four months have passed, it is a joy and pleasure to see the smiles on the 33 children as Mary impacts their lives with the love of Jesus. Praying with the power of the Holy Spirit, and singing songs of worship and praise are cleaning out the destructive work of the enemy. The children are able to learn with a free mind, and the parents are full of praise for the development of their children. All Mary says is “It’s Jesus.”
After dropping Mary off I drive around the corner to the Living Hope Transit Home plot to supervise and prepare the workers for the pouring of the slab today. I have called in extra guys from Fipuya village to do the mixing of the concrete by hand. It has been proven in the past they are as fast as two small mixers — all they require is a good feed of chicken at the end of the day. The shed, for storing the container items sent from Wynnum Community Christian Church, is almost finished with only a few minor items to do. Some shelving and painting will be necessary, along with the toilet to be connected.
From there I head to the farm, which is approximately 6 km (30 mins) away. I’ve picked up Anthony on the way to work on the farm for practical experience in agriculture. He is a sponsored student from FEC, studying agriculture. They sent their students out on farms and only go into the College for their theory and exams. We are presently building the first of five two-room huts with the intention of accommodating the likes of Anthony and anyone that has the passion for farming as business. We represent a wide range of sustainable farming projects. Some are fish farming, growing citrus and bananas, ginger and strawberries plus other vegetables.
I have to be at the farm by 8 am as this is breakfast, which is a cup of tea and sweet potato or a bread roll. A daily prayer and devotion time is the most important time now. We have seen great blessing come out of it, and now we are discipling five young men and evangelising others who might be working on the farm training program. The four men employed are pastors and elders of local churches, so the impact in the village of Fipuya is huge. Today I will be fitting a door for an old widow, and last week gave plastic to a young woman with five children, to cover her two-room house before the rainy season starts in a couple of weeks. On mentioning these young
men, it is vital for them to be strengthened as the pressure of old traditions and witchcraft are on every side. Having affairs, having more than one wife, beating the wife, and going to the witchdoctor for help and healing are just some of the tricks of the devil.
Monthly there are overnight prayers and intercession for God’s blessing on the farm. Families from the village come and are convicted by the Holy Spirit of their sin. We celebrate with tears of joy as souls are rescued from the power of darkness into His marvellous light of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Praise God for the resurrection power of our Lord Jesus that can break every stronghold and set our hearts and minds and bodies free. It’s sad when one is given a whole lifetime of grace, but fails to receive Jesus into one’s heart. This week I transported an aged body to the graveyard. My worker asked him before he died if he had Jesus and his reply was “I haven’t found the right church yet.” At that burial, it was an experience for me. The young men dug the hole out of respect, but there were no words spoken. His coffin was placed in the hole, dirt thrown on top of it, and all walked away. No one had anything to say.
On reaching the farm there is always a number of needy people waiting for me. Some want jobs to buy soap or food, others just want some farming advice. One brought a two-and-a-half-year-old girl, Patience, who is paralysed from the waist down since birth. She was premature, born at 1.4 kg. The mother was tired of carrying her around so dumped her on the grandmother. We supplied her with a stroller provided through the Container Ministry. I arranged for her to see Dr Mulenge at South Hospital, and after examining her he concluded that her brain is working, so the possibility of her walking is there. He said there are drugs available that will stimulate the muscles. Having sorted the farm out, I rush to pick Mary at 1 pm and we both go into town. Town is a time-consuming place. If you have to go to more than one bank it will be five hours later before you are through. We applied for a second account in April 2016. Now it is November and still nothing. Mary then goes one way, and I go the other to pick up supplies, post mail, and do the banking until we arrive home after 5 pm.
At our home there is another number of people looking for support and help. One is a blind lady two doors up, who is desperate. She lost her husband and last year went blind from blood pressure. We manage to cook dinner around 8 pm and have our own home cell of prayer and a devotion to encourage each other. If possible, we connect to the internet and we read and reply to emails. The power may be gone and the water may be gone, so a Chinese bath will suffice before bed.