Thursday, April 4, 2013

Tuesday: The Committee Reports in Kamanzi

On Tuesday morning the four of us meet with leaders from World Renew and Nkhoma Relief and Development at the World Renew office for introductions and a devotional. Heather gets to lead the impromptu devotional - Heather is always prepared to lead a devotional, so if you ever need her to do so, just ask a few minutes ahead of time.

We then drive out to Kamanzi - about 50 minutes west on the highway to Zambia and then about 20 minutes south on a dirt road into the villages. Our drivers are Peter Timmerman, the regional director of WR and Weston, the treasurer of NRD. We are accompanied by Jane Chikakuda whom New Hope met in September 2011.

Along the way, we pass through a couple police check stops, scattered vendors, drying tobacco, fields of maize, and people carrying tall loads of firewood on their bicycles.

Even as our vehicles were driving into the church yard, we hear before seeing the Committee who is administering the community programs. The 10 of them are singing and dancing a welcome to our group from New Hope. Among the great smiles, we immediately recognize our good friends Bornface and Christina who came to Calgary and we are greeted excitedly as we exit the vehicles. We are now together to survey and plan for the future of our partnership.

We spend the next hour or so inside the church along with the local pastor of the Presbyterian church, making formal introductions, hearing reports and asking clarifying questions about what our partnership has done over the past 3-4 years.

The records the Committee has kept are thorough and detailed. Rows mark who, when, and where benefits were distributed and a column shows results. Committee members take turns answering our questions about what they perceive their greatest successes to be, how the programs have grown beyond what our seed money for seed loans, goats, and pigs have provided for, and then about plans for the future.

As a whole we are impressed with the answers we receive and soon realize that they have been waiting for our visit to make plans for the future. The rest of the day, we spend touring the villages to see what transformations have taken place in the community due to our shared vision. We follow Pastor James to his home where we enjoy a tasty lunch of tsima, chicken, goat, greens, rice and pop.

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