Life is certainly a race, and believe me, it doesn’t appear to be slowing down as we approach the finishing line. To God be the glory, for this is our joy, hope and strength.
It is unimaginable to think the roads are that good I can go to town and not hit a pothole, and over half the road to the farm is good tar. The powers that be are looking at Chingola becoming a city, and it certainly is blessed by having well-made roads, with four-lane solar street lights beside many of them. In saying that, the employment side is low and businesses are slow.
On a personal level, I will tackle educational sponsorship first, as this has to be our biggest challenge. Many of our supporters are growing old and face their own challenges, but for us this year many of the sponsored students have finished year 12 and are now looking for acceptance into college or university. Their choice of studies is limited because of the cost or potential employment after completion. Mary was pushing many students into teaching, but as a career that is overflowing with graduates. The best opportunity now is medicine — so guess where Mary is pushing!
A new little twist in our ministry is helping the needy and providing safe shelters. For example, sisters Sandra and Elizabeth live in a mud hut on their uncle’s plot in Muchinchi, 35 km outside of Chingola. He has said that when he finishes his house the mud hut will then be knocked down. Living Hope has jumped in to help during the last month, purchased land, bought 2,000 burnt blocks, and dug a well for water. You can see more by following Living Hope’s Facebook page for the latest achievements.
We have also somehow slipped into the ministry of caring for disabled children, especially those that can’t walk. A woman came to us with her one-week-old son, Purpose, who had club feet. She was told that nothing could be done. Erica arranged to see a surgeon at the North Hospital in Chingola. Purpose now has straight feet and is attempting to walk at five months.
Now if you want to admire the finished project of the Living Hope Baby Unit, then supervision is a must. Australian standards are essential as the government department expects that level of construction — and to think I found a team that knew how to fix gyprock ceiling board! All the electrical work, the wiring and fittings, is Australian. Now the challenge is to finish the plumbing, kitchen and wet area tiling for an official opening date in the week before Easter 2019.
You’re probably wondering how we find time to present the gospel of our Lord Jesus to the people of Chingola and its surrounding villages. Pray for us as we labour with love to reach tens of thousands with the gospel and feeding them the Bread of life. Every opportunity is taken in any situation to touch the hearts of many with the love of God.
Last month over 2,000 vulnerable children and old people were touched and blessed with clothes and items out of the container ministry that comes from Wynnum Christian Community Church in Brisbane. The efforts of all involved are very rewarding — what a team! May God give you more grace and strength for the work you are doing — especially those involved that haven't been to Zambia and seen the smiles on the recipient’s faces.
However, it is not all smiles when we have had to bury many children that didn't make it to the age of 10. Lack of resources and medication plays a big part in the loss of life. We have had many opportunities to share both joy and sorrow, good and bad times, with the people.
On the farm it has been a tremendous year, especially as the team of workers, some local and many from abroad, come to observe and learn techniques of Farming God’s Way. Some have come as far as 500 km seeking to gain knowledge and buy rabbits or fish fingerlings. The Mayor came to see the farm — and it’s heartening to think that the Agriculture Department had a small field day at their office grounds and told the visitors that if they required any more information to go and visit Mr Chapman’s farm! To God be the glory with every effort and labour of our hands.
I strongly feel the grace of God over the farm ministry as we work happily in unity with extraordinary crops and yields. Morning tea time is a great opportunity to spiritually grow the youth at the farm, as they get to pray, give a devotion or share a testimony to as many as 20 workers.
We approached the year of 2018 with the concept of Farming is Business. Many families in the villages suffer because of a lack of understanding what it means to run a business. Again, common sense is overlooked and I think it is something trained into us as children, with record-keeping and capital-saving, with some Westerners saving a percentage of their wages. The Zambian never works on an hourly rate — they say “How much Boss?” — as most Zambians have been raised as followers.
Mary is a dedicated teacher and is gifted in empowering and encouraging women. She has also contributed greatly to the Ipalo School with its 200 kids, into which she pours all her heart and energy. A headteacher has been employed for the start of 2019, and we are praying that he will work well with Mary and lighten her load a little.
Please continue to pray for our ministries in Zambia.
By David Chapman