Newsletter 59: Dec 2014

Newsletter 59: Dec 2014

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Dear Friends,

We are currently in Mwandi and how I do miss being here, sitting on the banks of the Zambezi overlooking the river and the cows grazing on the green lush island. All sounds so romantic!

For the past 3 days we have received lovely rains and the local farmers are happy as they can start preparing their fields for planting. A bit late, but better late than never.

Malawi on the other hand is suffering, no rain at all in areas since last March. We received 20 minutes of rain back in October and nothing since in Lilongwe. It’s very sad for large agricultural industries in the country. The forecast for drought is looking more and more realistic and in a poor country like Malawi, which is totally reliant upon agriculture, this can only be devastating.

We are only in Mwandi for a short time, so I’ve had many meetings with staff and committees, encouraging and reminding them of rules, policies and procedures that are in place and need to be followed at all times. We caught up with Keith, Ida and Mubi in Lusaka for a few days before they flew to Scotland and we headed down here.

We are having Christmas Day in Chobe so the girls can go to the National Park to see animals and then we head back to Lilongwe via Lusaka on the 26th. It takes 9hrs to get from Mwandi to Lusaka and 10hrs from Lusaka to Lilongwe. So we stay in Lusaka overnight.

Lucy is still really enjoying school and loves her teacher – Mr Cook. She has been having swimming lessons and doing well and started getting home work these past few weeks. She has been to birthday parties and has had a friend around to play. These may sound mundane but these are the things that just didn’t happen in Mwandi. As we drove into Mwandi the other day she said “I am home in my village” – but says the house here is no longer our home as the dogs and cats aren’t here.

Cora is a ratbag – those red curls and funny facial expressions she has makes us laugh and laugh each day. Even Lucy just loves Cora’s humour and funny antics. She is happy in Mwandi and Lilongwe as long as there is love, laughter oh and plenty of food!  She will start going to a kindy for a few hours each week when we get back to be mixing with others. It’s just down the road and a lovely place. Very flexible with times and days she can go.

Rury is so busy with work which is great – he plays rugby, well goes to practice with Lilongwe Rugby club twice a week, Lilongwe played Blantyre a day before we drove to Zambia, he was so sore after the game – his first in 10 years but loved it, the season is just starting so it shall continue into 2015.

I am continuing to do a lot of work for Mwandi from Lilongwe whilst trying to get the house and garden nice for us to live in. It is getting there. I want to start playing my trumpet again and attend bible study when I get back. It’s not Mwandi, but it’s our home now.

The OVC Project and the farm are looking good, the staff are working well and I am happy with constant running of programs.

Stores construction is coming along slowly, we are close to putting the ceiling in and awaiting the fire doors and roller door to come from South Africa. While I am here I will buy all the wood, ceiling board, corner strips, nails etc for the ceiling and all electrical items too. It’s an amazing space and will work well.

Construction of the new Piggery is completed at the farm.  Bevan has been busy working at the farm and supervising the staff.  We are so thankful for the hard work that Bevan has put into the farm and overseeing construction of the stores department at the OVC and other work around the mission. He has returned to Australia and all the locals are praying he will return to Mwandi in the near future.

Education support – I can only encourage you all to come on board with our Education support program in 2015. We support children from grade 1 through to University.  Please, to those who are re-sponsoring students in Australia please get your information and support money into Sandra ASAP, it really helps us plan and purchase the needed items for your sponsored student.

We have two girls with special needs who have been accepted into St Mulumba special school and Senanga School for the deaf and we are needing support for these girls. If you are interested in supporting these students please contract Sandra.

Great news is that Kebby Mubita and Senda Nyundu have just graduated from The University of Zambia with a BA in Education. Both have been sponsored by the OVC Project since grade 10 and now with their degrees. Both were very vulnerable children when their support began at the project and now we have seen them grow and develop into the most amazing people. Senda was a fish monger and used to sell dried fish under the big tree on the Mwandi main road and she has 3 children and lived on less than $1 a day. My prayer is that women especially young girls can see that you don’t have to have money or be “someone” to obtain a degree. To see the change in confidence in the women to do better at school would be just wonderful.

Feeding Program – The children are looking so well and it’s wonderful to see them all at the OVC playing soccer and just “being kids”. Some of the big boys and girls that have been coming to the program now for 10 years are now men and women and soon will be taken off the program. Once the children turn 18 years they are taken off the programme and replaced with other children in need in their family or other needy children in the community. The children are counselled even when they are not on the feeding program and the project still will support them in school and with social support.

Katie’s stipend – The Mwandi Support team based in Australia are currently fundraising for Katie’s monthly stipend. If you or your bible study or mission fellowship are able to help support Katie’s ministry in Mwandi, please contact the Mwandi Support team or me

All of us here at the Mwandi UCZ OVC Project wish you all a Merry Christmas and please take time out to remember the reason for the season. Here in Mwandi sadly the children don’t have Christmas carols blaring out down the main road of Mwandi and no decorations anywhere, but those kids certainly know what Christmas is about. JESUS and his birth.

Thank you for all your love and support and I pray it continues for our children of Mwandi.

Grace and Peace




Prayer Points

  • Katie as she prepares to come to Mwandi on 22nd Jan 2015.
  • Edward and family as they head to Bangladesh for furlough
  • For rain in the Eastern Province of Zambia ( where Rury is working)  and Malawi – they have received no rain.
  • Ongoing Financial Support – Feeding assistants TOKEN, counsellors, Feeding program all programs running here in Mwandi.

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