Four Years and Counting . . .
Four years ago, called by God, I began my journey to a remote village in Mbayi, Zambia. Together with the inhabitants and with the help of Canadians, a number of initiatives were started which dramatically improved the lives of people living in this impoverished community as well as the nearby city of Chingola:
- started an elementary school with a local Zambian in Chingola,
- donated computers,sewing and embroidery machines,carpentry equipment,chairs and wood to make tables to a skills training centre in Chingola (funded by the Rotary Club of Streetsville),
- started a chicken business in Mbayi village,
- bought a herd of goats and distributed them to Mbayi farmers,
- planted fields of maize (the staple food) and garden vegetables in Mbayi with donations to buy seeds and fertilizer,
- purchased a hummer mill for grinding the maize (funded by the Rotary Club of Streetsville),
- began an Mbayi bee keeping enterprise (funded by the Rotary Club of Streetsville), and
- started a tailoring business in the village (funded by the Rotary Club of Streetsville).
Canadians sent shoes, blankets, clothing, and toys for children, school supplies, funds to buy mosquito nets and bibles, and even sponsored Christmas and Easter celebrations.
Currently, through the generosity of a group of Canadian Rotary Clubs with Rotary International, we (I am a member of the Rotary Club of Chingola, Zambia) are building 20 wells in a village which has never had clean water!
I am grateful that Ontario Christian Gleaners - a non-profit and charitable organization based in Cambridge, Ontario that sends food around the world, has partnered with us to feed Mbayi school children. Began a feeding program for the very elderly.
Special thanks to the small but mighty churches—Caledonia Presbyterian Church and St. Stephens-on-the-Hill for their amazing support.
Recently partnered as a missionary with Missionary Ventures Canada, I have had wonderful opportunities of hosting work teams, one which worked alongside the community making bricks from ant hill soil and another that dug and poured the footing for this health facility, again with the Mbayi team. Currently the sick have to walk about 2 to 3 hours to reach a clinic and many have died before getting there.
For the past few months I have been in Ontario recuperating from four years of working in Zambia without a proper rest break and taking this time to deal with some personal business. In November I fell and broke my ankle which has required surgery. At this time my date of return to Zambia is unknown. Fortunately, I am able to direct and monitor projects from here.
Going forward we hope to complete the health facility in Mbayi, create fish ponds for business purposes, build a market where the villagers can sell their vegetables and other products and establish a recreation centre where people can fellowship.