Tuesday, 29 June 2010

Exciting news

I'm really excited to be able to share that Leah Mutala, who heads up what we're doing in Serenje, is coming to visit us! She arrives tomorrow and will be here until the 14th July. She is coming over especially to see us which is a huge privilege. She truly is an incredible woman of God, who impacts everyone she meets. She will be sharing at REAL, our women's conference and also on Sunday at church. We're hoping that she may also spend some time in the local schools that are partnering with Serenje. She'll also be spending time with friends she has in the UK and taking some well deserved time out. Every time we visit Serenje Leah does an amazing job of looking after us, so it's great to be able to return the favour. Please come and say hi to Leah while she is with us and pray that she is really blessed while she is here.

Howard and Elizabeth Reece-Smith, Ralph Allan and Mo Davies have recently returned from Serenje. Ralph spoke recently at church and shared about the developments with the plans for the girls dormitory. I know Leah and the team in Serenje found Ralph's input really helpful. Howard emailed me this week to share his reflections on the trip:

'I was there a year ago, so was delighted to see a big change in the response of the farmers. "We all have enough to eat now,and we have so much to eat that we can sell our excess", was the universal response as we sat with families and communities. We visited a school that had used the school fee money to build more classrooms,and expand their intake,gave out shoes to many barefoot children (very cold in the morning at present)and went to see the hospital again. The building to house the operating theatre was nearly finished, funded by a grant from the USA, so now Elizabeth and I can start to equip it for action. We will cycle from Nairobi to Serenje next year on a sponsored cycle. No back up to save funds, but had many questions about our trip. One evening ,driving back to our guesthouse,we came across two cyclists on the main road. They had spent 7 months cycling in Africa and could answer all our queries and more. How well God prepares the way!!

Elizabeth said this about her visit 'For me ,the trip to Serenje was like being the little boy with 5 loaves and 2 small fishes-we apparently had so little to give this community with their huge problems of HIV and poverty but God was working mightily there making the impossible possible and I look forward to seeing his hand in the future work there.The visit was truely a great privilege.'

It's so good to keep getting such encouraging news of all God is doing. I can't wait to hear more from Leah this weekend.

Wednesday, 2 June 2010

Encouraging signs

I met with Lindsey today and heard more about her recent visit to Serenje. Our passion is that what we're doing in Serenje is sustainable and empowering. I was really encouraged by what Lindsey shared. People in the villages where we're partnering told her how things have changed since the start of the project. One man shared how he sold his produce (grown from the seeds he was given by the project) for profit and put his children into school. He said ‘I have the means to control my destiny.’ Another woman is thinking about building a fish farm and said ‘before the project we were only eating one meal a day and now we’re eating three’. All her children are now in school.

These stories are just so exciting.

Lindsey also met the new project officer Ian David (based in Serenje) and said that he is very good. He is very keen on not creating dependency, but looking for stories of transformation. He seems to be building good relationships with the local pastors and the local communities.

It's brilliant to hear great news of what's happening in Serenje. Lindsey is heading off to Haiti this Friday and will be there for 6 weeks. Please remember her in your prayers. You can follow her blog at http://www.lindseyhaiti.blogspot.com/