We have had the most AMAAZING day.
Breakfasted punctually at 8 with fresh pawpaw and guava juice, delicious local fruit which was a delight to eat. Then we had what we normally eat; bacon, sausage etc….
Went for an early morning walk through the city streets. Lusaka is a bit like Brixton market, but on a colossal scale, and every day is market day. There are some street kids begging etc. – but that is why we’re here….
John’s watch seems to have caught up and is now keeping good time….in fact it now seems to be 6 minutes ahead of normal time?!?
It is Friday today and it must be pay-day because there are huge queues at all the ATMs each of which has its own security guard!
It is winter here and while we are enjoying the warm sunshine in our shirt sleeves, there are people here wearing jumpers, gloves and ear warmers! They seem to really feel the cold even when it isn’t. They are all “nesh” as we used to say in Nottingham – which means soft..
Brian texted us with a bible verse from Luke 7:27 which we shared over breakfast, “I will send my messenger ahead of you who will prepare your way before you go”. We spent some time this morning planning our movements over the next few days.
We met with David Thompson who had been recommended to us by the Dean at Lusaka Cathedral. David invited us to join him at the ‘Lusaka Lunch Club’, which. Is a gathering of local notables which meets every month. We ended up being late because David was held up in meetings and traffic was bad as he drove us to the venue at the Ridgeway Hotel. In the car John asked David how he thought we should go about establishing our vision. I kid you not, this is what David said: I think your vision is fantastic, but orphanages have never been a perfect model. The African mechanism for supporting one another is the extended family. Grandparents supporting 4-5 kids and their friends are the best infrastructure to support orphans and vulnerable children. This is less institutional and more family orientated. Grandmothers will provide the discipline and heritage needed to raise the children. We were blown away with this because it is almost exactly the same as John’s vision which he presented to the church last Sunday. We felt the vision had been affirmed. Messenger of God Indeed!
Because we arrived late for the Lunch Club, David treated us to lunch on the terrace at the Hotel. We dined on Borewors (Ian knows what this is) sitting beside a pond with crocodiles in it, watching the bright yellow Weaver birds making nests in the reeds. The female weaver bird assesses the quality of the male weaver bird’s efforts at nest-building, and they reject inferior nests – a bit like what happens in England really. One male bird’s nest was rejected by a female and was cast down into the crocodile-infested pond as we watched. Poor chap…
David said grace with his hands on our shoulders – he is a wonderful Christian man. He feeds the street kids here in Lusaka.
We joined the Remnants of the Lunch Club afterwards and Derek, Brian, Murray and Paul are a great bunch of boys.. Murray is a 3rd generation architect who has designed schools in Zambia and has offered to show us round his latest creation at Ibex Hill. Paul is a contractor who has done major construction and also been a headteacher. We made useful contacts.
We stayed there ‘networking’ (which basically means drinking beer at talking to people) until 6pm. We quite like networking – there’s a lot to be said for it. David also gave us the name of a good lawyer in the church for as and when we come to acquire property, and we have sussed out how to get planning permission. We also have the details of the former Bishop of the Eastern Province who is apparently passionate about this stuff.
They are all very interested in John who has a great deal of Zambian experience behind him. John recounted the story of when he lost his Barn Owl. It seems that when he was at school John had a trained Barn Owl that would hunt and bring back the prey like a falcon. It sounds a bit too much like Harry Potter to be true, but he tells it well… John was apparently travelling to Lusaka and let it out of the box for a fly at Kachaloa and it never came back….. We will be driving through there next week and I have this vision of it being like the set of the Lion King but over-run with Barn Owls….Scary stuff. John is very keen to get his Barn Owl back, but we will see…
David invited us to his Lodge and we spent the rest of the evening with him and his family. His wife Jasmine leads the Alpha Course at the Cathedral and gave us a Bible study: Psalm 8 (Housegroups this could be for you). We also met his son Philip who is a bright young man, and who will no doubt go far.
There is a wonderful chap here called Derek who Jesus would love to save. Please pray for him. Please also pray for the barman at the hotel who is looking for a better job to support his 3 sons.