Sunday in sunny Chipata meant a trip to the local church for our team; we attended The Central Chipata Evangelical Church, which is part of the Evangelical Church of Zambia, and met a very lively and spirited couple in Martha and Geoffrey who Pastor the church. Martha lead the worship team, and wow were we treated to some awesome worship! Booming voices which didn’t even need microphones and some pretty special dance moves. It was really wonderful to witness such freedom and happiness in one room.
The Zoe Team were asked to stand and welcomed by the whole church, Chris then took the mic at the front and gave greetings to the church members from everyone at the Wokingham Vineyard.
After a great church service, we ambled out to the villages in search of our beloved children on the Zoe program. We headed to our first village and met two boys, one of which is coming in at the top of his class. After a well deserved spot of praise for his school work, he seemed shy but happy to be recognised for his academia. His brother is very sadly suffering with malaria and looked pretty lethargic which was very sad to see, we hope he recovers well soon.
This drive was the point where Caroline wished she had not said “These roads haven’t been too bad, I don’t know what the fuss is about”. Well, we were treated to some truly special off roading experiences today. Long grass whipped us through the windows, branches seemed to want to join our voyage and a little grasshopper tried to make friends with Claire. Stephen was an absolute hero, driving us through areas that we couldn’t quite believe were roads and narrowly missing tree stumps! We have named a section of the path “Monsters Back” as Stephen had to adopt 4×4 style driving and bounced us very skilfully across it. Amy managed to video this episode, although she was almost left behind by Stephen as he drove away leaving her to wonder if a night in the bush was coming up!
It has been suggested that the best solution would be a helicopter….. after today and the appalling roads, the team is very much in agreement! Next step – flying lessons for Stephen!!
Onto several more families, with special mention to a wonderful lady who ululated us into her grounds and greeted us with energy and dancing. We all commented on how wonderful it was to meet such a lady. Unfortunately, at this house we were unable to see the children as they had been playing all day and had gone to wash their school uniform, what dedication to their schooling! We were also very happy to discover more possible children to recommend for prospective sponsorship, great news!
One of our missions has been to give as many children hats as possible during our trip, we are all particularly fond of a Daffy Duck number….. of which we are yet to find someone willing to wear. Stay tuned!!
After visiting many families, we took a quick stop with Mr and Mrs Kunga in the Makhaza area which was a great pleasure, and we were quickly surrounded by happy smiling children. As we left the village all the children chased the car squealing and shouting which was just lovely.
Yesterday a kind family gave us a bag of their groundnuts, which Stephen and Chris meticulously shelled last night. Tonight, Chris is enjoying some yummy fresh groundnuts with a sundowner which he is super happy about!
Tomorrow will see us hopefully visiting a school and making plans for the new school in Makhaza.