Friday, 19 October 2012

Stories of transformation

This time last week I was in Zambia and it was around 35 degrees. It was an amazing trip for lots of reasons but one of the highlights was meeting Tapson and hearing his story.
As we walked along a dusty track towards the mud hut where he and his family live, Ian (the Project officer based in Serenje) explained that this family used to have nothing. As we arrived at Tapson's home the first thing I noticed was that there goats and chickens everywhere!
Like many families Tapson had received 2 goats and given 2 away, but now he has many more! He will sell some goats on to make money to support his family. Tapson has 2 children of his own and also looks after 2 orphans from his brother.All the children are being supported through school and Tapson has received seed. He received groundnut and beans, but now grows cabbage, onion, maize, cassava and sweet potato. With a good harvest he was able to sell some of the food he grew and with the money he bought some chickens - he now has 36 of them! He can make $8 from the sale of one chicken. This has meant Tapson can feed his family well and buy the books and pens his children need for school. We heard many stories like this over the week. The next two Sundays are our gift days to raise £80,000 for the final year of the project. Come along and hear Simon share more about the trip to Serenje. Please been thinking and praying about what you give. Zoe

Friday, 5 October 2012

Off to Serenje

This Sunday Simon Benham, Andy Jackson, Howard and Elisabeth Reece-Smith and myself are flying out to Serenje. It is such a privilege to go. I'm looking forward to seeing all that has happened since our visit last year. We recently received an update from the project, which was so encouraging, here are some highlights: - 20% of the farmers who received seed in the 2011-2012 farming season don't need to receive it 2012-2013 because they've had such a good harvest. - From their harvest they've been able to sell the produce and raise income for their children's education and the family's health needs. - 350 families each received 2 goats previously, and their offspring has enabled another 139 families to receive 2 goats. - The mobile library is taking books to 13 schools. - 6 special needs orphans and vulnerable children are receiving school fees and transport to school. It's amazing, but that's not all, as the update also says 'Hunger is now a thing of the past.' Wow. While we're in Serenje we'll have the opportunity to see our friends there, friends that we have made over the last 5 years, some of whom you have met, like Leah, Samson and Bernard. And we'll be catching up with my great friends Sam and Hannah Fairs-Billam and their gorgeous girls Isla and Amba, who moved out to Lusaka this January. We are going to be chatting with Leah and the pastors about the way forward, for the 5th year of the project and beyond. We'll also be talking about the girls dormitory and how we can move this forward to ensure it gets built as soon as possible. We'd value your prayers for our trip and look forward to sharing all we've seen when we return. Zoe