Thursday, December 30, 2010

Fighting Malnutrition in Zambia

The article below is from the Imagine Zambia web site. I was especially interested because we had planted some of these moringa trees in our yard at Namwianga. One of our Zambian friends told us that an aid organization (NOT Imagine Zambia) brought moringa trees to his community several years ago and gave them away to the villagers to plant. However, no one bothered to tell the people how to use the trees for water purification or nutrition! Yet another example of aid improperly implemented and therefore ineffective.

Special Project: Moringa Trees for Zambia

Helping Zambia Fight Malnutrition!Moringa Dried Powder

Planting Moringa trees across Zambia

Imagine Zambia hopes to plant 20,000 trees for Ngabwe and 20,000 for Ministry of Education of Zambia (with 5 trees for every school at about 4,000 schools across Zambia.) We will plant a variety of trees including Moringa and fruit trees at locations across Zambia so that communities and students will learn about nutrition.
Moringa nutritional valueMoringa, which can be made into a powder, tea, or oil, provides significant quantities of potassium, calcium, protein, iron, vitamin A, and vitamin C.
Moringa water purificationMoringa truly is the miracle plant: by using the dried seeds you can even purify drinking water overnight and kill 90-95% of bacteria in the water.
Across Zambia, we can also use these trees to provide nutrition for orphans, vulnerable children, expectant and breastfeeding mothers, and other people in the community who need immune boosters and access to clean drinking water.
Moringa plant nurseryThese nurseries will also provide local farmers with seedlings for their own needs and propagation of diverse species of trees, herbs, and vegetables. They will be able to process the seeds and leaves and seedlings and sell them all over Zambia.
The nurseries will also restore vegetation in areas that have previously been cleared. This will increase overall production of food in the area, increasing food security. This will also exemplify good agricultural practices like composting and companion planting.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Graduation Ceremonies

This is another excerpt from the 2010 Term 3 Sponsorship Update. This report was written by Rajiv Siamweela, the assistant sponsorship coordinator.

Graduation ceremonies for George Benson Christian College and for Namwianga Christian Secondary School were held on two different days of the year, but each of them was a unique and great day. The ceremonies were a source of motivation to the sponsored students who are still in school/college and the graduates themselves.

NCSS Sponsored Graduates

GBCC Graduates

At each graduation ceremony, awards were given to outstanding students. During this time the auditorium was saturated with applause as the names of the sponsored students were everywhere in the air. As in years past, sponsored students received many of the top honors for scholarship and leadership.

College Award Winners

The following sponsored students won awards: Royd Kalonga – The spirit of the school; Abishine Mainza – Best student in academics; Japhet Ndaliiba – Best student in Bible studies; Rodwell Moono – Sportsman of the year

Secondary School Award Winners

These sponsored pupils scooped the secondary awards (shown below left to right): Cheelo Sikumbali – Leader of the year; Clifford Kabanda– Most responsible leader of the year; Viola Siangandu – Sportswoman of the year; Hassam Siamunomba – Third place in academics; Kenny Kasipa – The spirit of the school award.

All this success is made possible by the sponsors. In an interview with Kenny Kasipa about how he felt when his name was called, he said, “I cannot say anything without recognizing the good hand behind this success. It is a dream come true made possible not by me, but by my sponsor who really cares.”

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Graduates Minister in Mporokoso District

This is an excerpt from the 2010 Term 3 Sponsorship Update. This report was written by Rajiv Siamweela, the assistant sponsorship coordinator.

Each year men of high integrity are sent out from the sponsorship program into the field as soon as they finish their courses. Two of these former students are Japhet Ndaliiba and Royd Kalonga who completed their studies at George Benson Christian College of Education in 2009. They were placed in the Mporokoso district in Northern Province—at different schools, but close to each other.

As is always the case, Japhet and Royd were sent out specifically to preach the word of God, and this they began to do as soon as they arrived in their new communities. Unfortunately, in the area where they were to serve, the local people had never heard of the Church of Christ. This status gave them a hard starting point.

At the earliest stages of their ministry the local people regarded them as Satanists who were there to cause confusion in the existing denominations. Sometimes they were threatened with beatings if they did not stop their preaching ministry. In one of his statements, Japhet said, “We have been termed as Satanists, and threatened to be beaten, but we will not cease.” With the power of the Almighty, they were able to stand firm and speak the truth even when they were initially rejected.

Now the church exists and is growing in the communities where Japhet and Royd teach. This achievement would have never been possible without the sponsorship program.

Japhet and Royd are only two of many former students who are spreading the gospel in remote areas of Zambia. At least 200 churches have been planted by GBCC graduates in the last 20 years, and many more congregations have been strengthened by the good influence of self-supporting leaders trained at Namwianga.

Japhet Ndaliiba
Royd Kalonga

Friday, December 17, 2010

Students Helping Others

Jean Kadonga is a GBCC student who is leading other youths as they reach out to help others. Jean writes about her efforts:

The Tumango Church of Christ youths felt they had a task in God’s work and had to do it as God wants them. The youths agreed to form a club which was given a name Tumango Church of Christ Youths Alliance.

The goal of the Alliance is to motivate people to establish an eternal relationship with God and to help youths to possess an intense desire to get outside their comfort zone and go to uncomfortable places to help the vulnerable, aged, widows and orphans. The Alliance is also there to strengthen, encourage, and build the youths spiritually and develop their talents and gifts so that they can find God’s plan in their lives.

Every Saturday from 14:00 to 16:00 hours all the youths gather and divide themselves into groups of five to eight. They go to help the people by washing dishes, fetching water, collecting firewood, sweeping, and helping with gardening. They also encourage people spiritually by talking to them about God, His works, and His mighty power.

At the end of every month, the youths buy things like cooking oil, washing and bathing soap, mealie meal, and foodstuffs to give to the needy ones. The orphans who are at school are given pencils, pens, and paper.

The youths in the Alliance do all these things because they have allowed God to work in them. Since the Alliance started in January of 2010, many people who had stopped worshipping have come back to the church. This is because of what they have seen us doing.

The vision of the Alliance is to reach outside our zone to other places like hospitals and prisons and to have an influence that will go on even to the next generation.

Jean is sponsored at GBCC and is training to become a math teacher. Many other students like Jean are making a difference in communities all over Zambia.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Lauren's Baby

If you're a long-term blog reader, you may remember Lauren, the young woman who lived and worked with us at Namwianga in 2006-2007. We grew to love her like our own daughter and had many great times with her.

Lauren moved to Dallas a couple of years ago and married Travis DeSisso in November of 2009. Last month Lauren had a very premature baby boy who was born at just 25 weeks. Kynian is in the neonatal ICU and will be for many more weeks to come as he struggles with a myriad of complications. Lauren and Travis would love your prayer support. You can read Lauren's blog by clicking here.

Saturday, December 04, 2010

Ophan Co-op

This story from Roy Merritt brought tears to my eyes. I hope it touches your heart as well.
Roy Merritt and his wife Kathi oversee four orphanages at Namwianga Mission. Roy writes:

Have you ever heard of an “Orphan Co-op”?
Neither have we. Till now, anyway.
Orphans in Zambia are often an unwanted burden, so relatives and peers mock them and tease them.
Kanyameza Church of Christ took an interest in local kids whose parents are dead. To give them a pleasant, accepting time, they decided to gather them a couple times a week for group activities.
They would sing together, have Bible study. Sometimes they could even share gifts of food or clothes. They selected Cecelia Siafwiyo, in the red dress, as their chairman. (Cecelia is the housemother for Haven 1, the infant orphanage at Namwianga.)

The group declared December 4 as “Orphan Day”, so Cecelia invited them to Namwianga for a party.

Forty two kids came—and soon put our playground to the test.

This sixteen year old girl, Chrisensia, is raising her twin brothers Charles and Andrew. One of the dozens of child-led households in our community.

We ate lunch together.
After lunch the kids sang, recited poems and quoted memory verses.
This is one little girl’s poem
It killed my mother,
It killed my father,
I am an orphan.
No-one is left to love me.”

Then we shared out gifts – toys and clothes YOU have sent over here!

This little fellow got a grip on his “stuff” and wouldn’t let go!

May we never forget "the least of these" and the compassionate people like Cecelia and the Merritts who minister to them.