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Zambia Education Project 2010

Project Dates: August 6-18, 2010

United Youth Corps volunteer Suzanne teaches basic computer skills to students

Report from Zambia - August 2010

by Doug Horchak

Serving the Brethren

I will say that all three of our United Youth Corps volunteers did an outstanding job this year.  Suzanne Lavaty was our basic computers instructor and did a wonderful job all week working with 12-14 adult students on networked laptops every day.  Suzanne showed great concern and patience in her teaching of all of the students.  As you might guess, such patience in teaching style is needed when working with a diverse group of Zambian and Malawian adults with few, if any keyboard skills or knowledge of computers at all.  She really did a great job.   Lena VanAusdle and Liz Cannon also did a great job of teaching English classes each day.  While the skill level of the students varied some, they were able to work with the entire group, and then in smaller groups (word games, word bingo, etc) based on their skill level.  The basis of all classes were 6 hymns from the UCG hymnal with certain bible/vocabulary words taken from each hymn. 

The three young ladies took care of all of the classes that were planned for the UYCorps.  I only assisted when needed—primarily in tying the key vocabulary words into or from certain Scriptures and discussing (in very basic English) the biblical usage and meaning.   I was also asked to teach Christian Leadership classes to the elders, deacons, congregational leaders and their wives each afternoon.  Each day we had a 2-3 hour class on such topics as Humility, Being Teachable, Spiritual Discernment, Christian Conflict Resolution, Judgment and Wisdom, Mentoring in the local Church, and working with New Prospectives.   These classes went very well, and were an added component to the entire program this year. 

Zambian Room and Board!

All of us camped for the 6 nights of the classes in the “bush” at the Church property outside Lusaka.  I convinced Kambani Banda that was best idea for us Americans, which it was!  We were in tents each night, with ample bedding to keep us warm.  The temps got down to about 40 degrees a couple of mornings—a far cry from the 100’s of Texas!  We even had hot showers a couple of the days.  Overall, camping with the brethren while teaching the classes offered some excellent time for fellowship.  Local ladies cooked each meal, which often consisted of rice, shema (corn meal balls), and some veggies and occasional meat.  We had fresh bread and hot tea (or coffee for us Yankees) in the mornings.  With temps being what they were, that was welcomed.  All cooking was outside, in big pots, over charcoal or wood—just as you’d expect in Africa!   We made sure all of us visitors had fresh/bottled water each day.  Each evening, I showed (on big screen/projector which we brought and donated) different video programs from the new BBC “LIFE” series.  These programs are in HD and offer spectacular views of the various life forms on earth.  The brethren, young and old, absolutely loved these programs and would NOT miss them each night either during or after dinner.

Trip to the Copper Belt

After classes were over on Friday (week of Aug 8-12); we struck camp and then Mr. Kambani Banda drove us up to Kitwe in the Copperbelt region.  This is quite a distance from Lusaka, as we were able to visit a smaller group of brethren.  Instead of going to Victoria Falls, I decided to take the volunteers to northern Zambia to visit and get to know the members better.  We stayed at the home of Derrick and Cherry Pringle, which was a real treat.  We spent the Sabbath and Monday with the two congregations in the area.  On Monday, we had an all-day affair consisting of a social, and a bible study I conducted (after having spoken on the Sabbath), all followed by a wonderful group meal.  While the local brethren don’t relate to the term “pot luck”, we did experience some great fellowship and discussions after the meal.  Prophecy and God’s kingdom were two discussion themes of the day.  The days activities took place at the home of Reuben Chanya—who only lives about one kilometer from the Congolese border.

Thank You…to Dallas

Kambani Banda, the local pastor, was very pleased with the involvement of our group, and expressed great appreciation for what this program has done for all the members in Zambia. A special “THANK YOU” was made for the Dallas/Sherman Women that raised the funds to help the project happen.   I may add that we were able to include in the Classes (computer and Christian leadership classes) the elder and deacon from Malawi—Elifazi Salawela, and Gracious.  The Bandas worked extremely hard helping organize this week-long educational camping venue, and did a great job hosting us Americans.

One of the great blessings and additional benefits of this year’s program, was the time we spent with the brethren during and after the classes.  This proved extremely helpful and impactful for the 3 ladies that were volunteers, and as expected—had the great effect of reinforcing for the membership that we were there to help them, to get to know them, and that we are all a part of the greater body of Jesus Christ. 

After the program was over and returning from Kitwe on Tuesday, the volunteers and I had a good talk about their experiences, the outcomes they experienced, and their personal observations on how they view God’s people in these remote, scattered, parts of the world.  Each of the UYCorps volunteers acknowledged just how much these international brethren count on us, in America, to help facilitate their meeting together, their education, and preparation for the return of Jesus Christ and the world tomorrow….

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