Today was filled with blessings for our team. We began the day by attending the hospital chapel service at 8:00 AM where our spirits were filled by the beauty of the singing, and the sermon offered by the Hospital Administrator, The Rev. Chipela, who shared his thoughts on John 3:16 as the very heart of the Gospel. At the end of the chapel service, we greeted another old friend from Mwandi, Imato.
Imato is a very skilled craftsman in the area of woodworking and has built beautiful furniture for many years. He has often worked alongside our mission teams over the years as we paid him to provide woodworking services to a number of buildings we have worked on in the mission. His work is always beautiful. He shared his family’s recent troubles with us. His daughter Aka, who suffers with seizures, recently had a seizure that caused her to fall into the fire at home where she was very badly burned. She is being treated at Mwandi Hospital and he asked if we would come visit her and his wife Mary who is sitting vigil with her daughter. It was our joy to be able to give Aka an IPC Knitting Ministry prayer shawl as well as a hand cross for her parents to hold while praying for their daughter. The team gathered with her parents in a circle around her bed and prayed for her healing. She is in severe pain and has a long road of healing ahead of her, so please keep this family in your prayers.
We left the hospital to go and conduct a Symposium for the staff and volunteers at the Orphan and Vulnerable Children Center (OVC). We chose as our topic the Fruits of the Spirit in Galatians, chapter 5. We spent a wonderful 45 minutes sharing faith with each other and there was good dialogue between our team and the OVC team as we considered how love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, gentleness and self-control are in evidence in their daily work with the 264 children they serve every day. Our time together ended with wonderful singing and prayer.
After a delicious lunch we began our work on our major maintenance project which is the painting of the four buildings that serve as the communal living for the elderly known as Kandiana. It will be so delightful to have the privilege of sharing more time than we usually can with the residents of Kandiana, whom we have known for many years. As we paint, we talk, laugh, share faith and love with these beloved ones whose lined faces and cloudy eyes radiate love and wisdom and perseverance. We have so much to learn from our time with them. In days to come, I will try to share a few of their stories with you.
Tonight, we ended our day with visits by the still relatively new Pastor of the UCZ church here as well as with the new Project Coordinator at the OVC. These two young men shared their hopes and dreams for their respective ministries, as well as their needs, their frustrations and fears as they navigate the hard work each has been called to do. I was so grateful for their honesty and trust to share so openly this evening. Please pray for both of these young men: Rev. Maputo at the church, and Mubita Nyambe at the OVC. The evening was capped off by a wonderful dinner and raucous laughter as we played the game Lists. Such fun! Our joy is full.