Sunday, 31 October 2010

Stories from Serenje

If you were at church this morning you will have heard the amazing news that the total from the Serenje Gift Days was just over £71,000. Thank you for your incredible generosity. If you missed the opportunity to give and you'd still like to then you can visit the Serenje Just Giving page at

Those of you who receive Catrina's blog you'll know she's been brilliant at sharing stories for her recent trip to Serenje. Here is her first one and I'll continue to paste the others here. Thank you Catrina!

There are 65 Volunteers - both men and women. Most of the volunteers are peasant farmers. They do an absolutely incredible job. It's these men and women who daily or weekly visit their clients. They support them - perhaps also collect their ARV medicines. They check up on the school children we're supporting - monitor their grades and attendance for instance. They work in the 4 communities (Kankoso, Kashitu, Chilisha and Mwasakano) plus the Boma (the Serenje town). This year they have been trained in home-based care. The reports back are that through this training they have grown spiritually and have gained much informaton.

Pastor Ngosa (Chairman of the Project) put it like this:
"We owe it all to the volunteers - you are our hands, feet, eyes and ears"

Leah presented all the volunteers with green t-shirts - greeted with spontaneous cheering, celebration and singing! It was so helpful for us to be able to identify this incredible team when we were out and about in the communities and schools; and they seemed to love wearing their shirts and thus being easily identified as volunteers.

Mrs Charity Nyangwe (pictured) is a local teacher and she is the Chairperson of the volunteers. George is her Deputy. together they lead the team of volunteers. They all meet together every 4th Friday of the month for prayer, encouragement, support, training and teaching. this monthly meeting is also an opportunity for volunteers to report back about the progress of their clients.

Please pray for the leadership and team of volunteers.

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

News from Serenje

I want to start by apologising-I was pretty tired when I wrote the blog last night and when I talked about what the team are doing I missed out the amazing Alan Lander. When I realised today I felt so bad-I'm sorry Alan! Alan has been doing leadership training with with Simon, Sola and Colin. I heard from Simon today and it sounds like it's going really well. Colin has also been speaking to the worship teams.

Catrina and Val led the women's conference today, talking about the fruit of the spirit. Catrina said they had a great time of sharing together. They gave out all the letters from Kerith ladies, along with some postcards that Beccy Oliver designed. The women in Serenje are amazing and I wanted to share this story from Catrina's blog:

'We went on 2 home visits today in the Zambia Compound - visiting ladies that have HIV and that the project is supporting. We went with Catherine who is the volunteer assigned to the two families - she is an amazing woman - mother of 6 children - she goes to the villages at 4am every morning to buy vegetables then sells it from 6am at the market. She has 5 clients and visits them all weekly - some of them daily. Such free and selfless serving of others is so humbling - the volunteers also have so little yet give so much.'

Tonight Catrina is meeting with the Schools Committee to discuss the partnerships between schools in Bracknell and Serenje. Let's pray for her, she's had a busy day and when she texted earlier there was a power cut so dinner was on hold!

We're praying for the team and what's happening in Serenje at the Prayer meetings tonight and tomorrow-be great to see you there.

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

News from Serenje

It's so encouraging hearing from Simon and Catrina that the project is going so well. Today Simon, Sola and Colin have been doing leadership training with the pastors and Catrina and Val have been visiting people living with HIV and AIDS, as well as visiting some of the local schools we're connected with.

Please remember the team in your prayers. Simon, Sola and Colin are continuing the leadership training Weds-Thurs. Tomorrow (Weds) Catrina and Val are running a women's conference! A lot of women come and are eager to hear from God. Let's pray it's an amazing time of sharing and encouragement. Please pray for Rob Plant as he does all the filming and editing of footage ready for Gift days this weekend.

The next 2 weekends are the Serenje Gift Days and we'll be raising money for the coming year, which will enable the following to happen:
- 1700 orphans and vulnerable children to go to school (up from 890 this year)
- 1000 farmers provided with seed (up from 701 this yr)
- 100 volunteers trained to support people living with HIV and AIDS (same as this yr)

How exciting to be part of seeing this incredible vision become a reality. Thank you SO much for all your support and prayers for what is happening in Serenje.

Sunday, 10 October 2010


Hopefully you've been receiving updates on how the team are getting on in Serenje through Catrina's blog and also Simon's Facebook updates.

If you would like me to copy their updates on this blog please let me know.

Today they've all been preaching in different churches and apparently Simon had his suit on despite the temperature being in the 80s! They also heard from 3 orphans, all of whom lost both parents and had dropped out of school. They're all now back in education. Let's remember these children and many more like them, in our prayers. Thank you to everyone who has given and made this possible.

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Off to Serenje!

Tonight (Weds) Simon and Catrina, Val Cottee, Sola Osinoiki, Rob Plant, Colin Boyle and Alan Lander fly out to Serenje and they’ll land in Lusuka early tomorrow morning. Then they’ll head up to Serenje during the day (it’s a 4-5 hour drive).

Whilst the team are in Serenje they’ll be doing a number of things:

- Visiting the 4 communities that we’re partnering with in Serenje and seeing how the project has progressed.
- Meeting with families affected by HIV/AIDS who have benefitted from being given goats, seed and educational support for their children.
- Visiting the plot for the girls’ dormitory and the area where the girls currently stay (and are very vulnerable)-Zambia compound.
- Running leadership training for the Pastor’s Fellowship (around 26 pastors)
- Catrina and Val are doing a women’s conference with the local women.

Please pray for the team while they are away, for safety in travel, for good health, for a great time of sharing with the pastors and the people of Serenje, for mutual strengthening and encouragement, for wisdom and God’s guidance as they run the leadership training and women’s conference.

The team return on Saturday 16th October and the Serenje Gift Days are on Sunday 17th October and Sunday 24th October. We’ll be aiming to raise another £100,000. It will be great to hear from the team the impact that last year’s money has made and be inspired about the lives that will be touched and changed in the year to come.