Saturday. January 14
We had good trip over — a long one, but a good one. We arrived Wednesday morning in Lusaka, travelled halfway to Samfya, and then completed the journey the next day. We stayed Thursday night on the island. Half of us are sleeping in tents, half are in a rented simple house. Few critters around, but it will do. Friday we had a tour of the island, and talked about plans for next week and had a gander at the materials available to us on the island, so that we could pick up extra supplies over the weekend in Samfya. After visiting the clinic and meeting some teachers at the local school and hearing from them (see picture), we had the opportunity to pay a short visit to the chief of Mbabala Island.
Last night we returned to Samfya and had dinner at Mark and Carmen’s place, along with a sharing/prayer time. Today was a shopping day — finalizing plans for the water system and construction project, picking up plumbing parts and lumber, and preparing food for the rest of the week. We are spending the evening at Mark and Carmen’s place again tonight and sleeping at a nearby lodge. We are all pretty excited to head back to the island tomorrow after church and to get full-on into things Monday morning.
I think I speak for the team in saying that the trip has been a real positive experience so far. There have been many good conversations about what Woodside’s long-term engagement can look like with Mbabala Island, what specific areas we can contribute to, and about the challenges Mark and Carmen face on a daily basis here in their work.
We appreciate your continued prayers as we get building and start the early childhood education program this week. There is always a limit to what can be accomplished in two weeks, but pray that our presence is a blessing to Mbabala Island and to Mark and Carmen. There are a few things Mark and Carmen mentioned as specific prayer requests for the Island:
– Leadership. Pray for the church leaders, that Mark and Carmen would be able to find those who have the potential to be disciple makers and invest in them. Also, pray for the chief. He is a young man, with few resources who is responsible for ~8,000 people. Pray the Lord would grab hold of him and he would lead well, as a man of faith.
– Spiritual darkness. Mark noted to me that there seems to be a real darkness on the island, both due to the lack of much authentic Christian belief, and due to the presence of traditional anamistic belief.
We look forward to giving a more full report when we return.
Dustin Martin (Team Leader)