We spent the day touring several ministries in and around Kabwe. First, we visited the Grace Center, home of the Grace Church Zambia National Council and home of an English language church. The building has many smaller offices rented out a shops and businesses as well as serving as office space for the Zambian church. We met Crispen Mundia, the chairman of the national church and Charles T., the treasurer for GCZ. Eric Mango also joined us for our orientation meeting and rode along with us for most of the day.
We drove a short distance to the site of Zambia Grace Bible Institute (ZGBI). The site includes several classrooms and a chapel and ten student houses. There is a school on the lot as well as a Grace Church and parsonage. Unfortunately the school has been closed for some time, but when it was operating there were many pastors trained there who went on to plant churches in Zambia.
After visiting ZGBI we drove back through Kabwe to visit the site of the conference. The Zambian church arranged for rooms at a larger Catholic church. We have four nice meeting rooms, a cafeteria, and dorm facilities for the leaders who are traveling long distances to attend the conference.
After an excellent lunch (chicken wraps with homemade tortillas prepared by our wonderful host Whitney Miller) we traveled several miles from the main road to visit a ministry serving deaf children and orphans. This ministry is led by Roy and Sarah Mwanza for the last several years. Roy drove half the group in his truck and we followed in a less manly SUV down a very rutted dirt road, through several small collections of houses which were certainly “off the grid.” There was one point were we needed to get out of our vehicle so it could make it over a set of railroad tracks.
The Deaf Farm, as they locals call it, includes one house for about sixteen children, with another sixteen are away at school right now. Roy has some cattle, pigs, many chickens and rabbits, and even a few pigeons (for fertilizer and food). They have a wide range of vegetables and fruit trees as well. The main house has solar panels and two wells (one for drinking and another for irrigation).
Even though Roy and Sarah have provided wonderfully for the children, there is a great deal of need. The solar panels do not provide sufficient power, so they could use a few more as well as a new converter to charge the batteries. He has a good pump for his drinking water, but the irrigation pump needs to be replaced. The ministry is supported by some local ministries and some gifts from American churches (Grace Ministries International, for example), but Roy and Sarah have more needs. Roy’s truck is very old and in need of repair, or better, replacement. He needs to navigate the dirt road every day to get the kids to school and he relies on it every day.
Russ Kopp’s daughter Aleah said the visit to the Deaf farm was “the highlight of her trip so far.” Cliff Tulsie was amazed Roy and Sarah seemed to have nothing most Americas would think they need to survive, yet they have everything they need.
The Zambia Grace Bible Conference 2017 on Monday. Please pray for the five of us who are presenting, especially that we are able to communicate clearly. Even though most of the leaders speak English, we need to be slow and clear in order to be fully understood. Most of all, please pray for the pastors and church leaders who will be attending this conference. Many are already traveling to Kabwe from Tanzania, Malawi, Zimbabwe, and other cities in Zambia.