Thursday, 27 October 2011

Gift Days

Over the last fews weeks it's been so encouraging to hear all that has been happening in Serenje. It was amazing having our dear friends Bishop Samson Kasele and Pastor Bernard Ngosa with us and then to hear further news of what is happening with the prayer requests from Leah.

How are you getting on with the rice and beans challenge? It's been great reading people's Facebook updates and knowing we're sharing in this!

This Sunday is the last of the 3 Serenje Gift Days. We are aiming to raise a total of £170,000. This includes £80,000 for year 4 of the project which will enable the following to happen:

3000 orphans & vulnerable children receiving support (school fees, uniforms)
1000 families receiving agricultural support (training and seeds)
117 church and community volunteers visiting and supporting people living with HIV and AIDs.
110 (50 church leaders and 60 community leaders) receiving leadership training.

And then £90,000 for Project 125, the building of the girl's dormitory.

There will an opportunity to give at all 3 services this Sunday or you can give online at

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Prayer requests

Part of why we're doing the rice and beans week is to focus our minds on the people in Serenje. And it's great to use that to stir us to pray. I received an email from Leah at EFZ today with some prayer requests - so it's great timing! She asked if we could:

- Thank God for the church to church links programme co-ordinated by Tearfund which brought about EFZ/ Serenje – Kerith Church Link, resulting in the fulfilment of the biblical mandate on mission (Mathew 28: 19- 20: Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.).

- Pray for commitment by the guardians of orphans and vulnerable children, to ensure continued attendance despite long distances from their villages.

- Year 4 started October 1st 2011 and is also the beginning of the farming season. Pray for good rains.

- Pray for volunteers as they serve the communities in view of the huge scale up in the number of orphans and vulnerable children (1700 last year to 3000 this year) and new farmers.

- EFZ Staff - Ian Kapongo, Chewe Nalomba and Leah Mutala will need your prayers for wisdom and strength as they co-ordinate the various stakeholders in the project.

- Pray for project beneficiaries to commit themselves to the sustainability strategies already being implemented.

Sunday, 23 October 2011

Rice and beans

It was great to spend last Sunday celebrating all that has happened in Serenje over the last 3 years of the project. If you were there last weekend you'll remember us talking about the rice and beans challenge. We're encouraging everyone to eat rice and beans for lunch and dinner this week.

It's one thing to hear about people going hungry and having to eat very basic meals, but another to experience it personally. Often it's not until we experience what others go through that we can truly understand something of what it must be like. As we take part this week, my hope is that the people of Serenje are in our thoughts and prayers, and that we have a fresh appreciation of how blessed we are to be able to eat what we want, when we want.

I've had lots of questions about what is ok to eat this week and what is not! If you want to go all out it's rice and beans (any kind of bean will do). Some people I've spoken to are choosing to give up eating meat this week, others are cutting out snacks and treats. Whatever way you choose to take part, can I encourage you to blog and share via Facebook/Twitter how you're finding it.

'I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.' Philippians 4:12


Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Project Tehila

Hannah and Sam Fairs-Billam have exciting plans to go to Zambia in Spring 2012. An opportunity has arisen for them to volunteer for EFZ for 12 months. During this time they will aim to implement a new Child Protection Policy across the organization. The vision is to take forward a process of change in perceptions, which will see children and young people’s lives changed forever. They will aim to develop and facilitate a training programme, equipping people with the skills to recognise and respond appropriately to a child that may be at risk from harm. This will be good for the children, their families and for Zambia. Hannah and Sam are inviting people to journey with them and in particular they are asking if anyone would be interested in offering
financial support. To read more about Project Tehila please visit or contact Sam/Hannah Fairs-Billam 07737675064.

Don't forget that this Sunday all 3 services are a celebration of what's happened in Serenje over the last 3 years of the project. As so many people in Serenje walk long distances to get to church, we're encouraging as many people who are able, to walk to church this Sunday. Wouldn't it be amazing if the church car park was empty this weekend!

Monday, 3 October 2011

Walking in someone else's shoes

As I mentioned in the previous blog, on Sunday 16th October all three of our Sundays services will be a celebration of all that has happened in Serenje over the past three years of the project. The two following Sundays will be the Serenje Gift Days where we are aiming to raise £80,000 for the coming year in Serenje, plus £95,000 for the Project 125 girl's dormitory.

We're really excited that at the celebration services on the 16th we will have two of the amazing pastors from Serenje with us - Bishop Kasele and Pastor Bernard Ngosa. They will be sharing at each of the services and they are not to be missed!

It's been said that compassion is the willingness to walk in someone's else's shoes, in order to truly understand something of their reality. We have two opportunities to show compassion coming up.

Firstly, on Sunday 16th October we want to encourage everyone who is able, to walk to church. In Serenje district people often walk long distances to get to church, some up to 2 hours.

Secondly, for the week between the 16th and the first Gift Day on Sunday 23rd Oct we want as many people as possible to try living on rice and beans for the week. This is an opportunity for us to really experience what many people living in Serenje eat every day of the year. Meat is a luxury and some families eat just one meal a day. Maybe you want to give the money you would have normally spent on food that week to the Gift Days.

Please be thinking and praying about you can get involved in all that's happening. See you on the 16th for is going to be a fantastic day!