12 March 2015

News from Zambia - 11 March 2015

Greetings from Luanshya!

This has been an incredible week!

Sherry and I have made an effort to become a part of our community here in Luanshya rather than being the "perennial guest" that some expatriate residents tend to remain even after living here for several years. Sometimes our being here initiates special events.

A few weeks ago I received an invitation to the US Embassy in Lusaka. It is just over 200 miles away from Luanshya so I considered sending an apology, but a second invitation was sent so I made the trip to meet the new ambassador, Eric Schultz. For the past 20+ years I have served as a volunteer (and unpaid) member of the warden team for the US Embassy. Wardens assist consular sections in disaster preparedness by alerting U.S. citizens to emergency situations and passing on information from the embassy or Department. I did this in Za├»re before relocating to Zambia in 1993. When I arrived at the Embassy, I was surprised to receive an award from the Ambassador for 20 years of service. It reads:    "For outstanding service to US Embassy Lusaka and to US citizens in your warden area. For fostering the spirit of volunteerism and working to assist in disaster preparedness, welfare & whereabouts and alerting Americans to emergency situations for more than 20 years."

Sherry was invited by the Luanshya Municipal Council to speak to a large group of student leaders from the eleven Luanshya-based high schools.  This was the Junior Mayor Leadership Conference. Her subject was on "Character: Moral Values of Leadership".  She began her presentation with a number of cultural proverbs to draw the youth's attention and get them thinking. Then she shifted to the scriptures as her foundation and built an outline on the five positive character traits of a successful leader. The presentation was well received and she closed by inviting the young people to her office at the Christian Resource Centre should they want more information about leadership from God's viewpoint. The young man who was elected as Junior Mayor met with Sherry on Tuesday to discuss some points and to ask for advice on how he can focus his attention on truly serving his community today and in the future.

Finally, while standing in the check-out line purchasing insecticide treated mosquito nets for church members at the Kangonga Blind Centre a businessman from Luanshya came into the same line. He noticed the 20 nets and asked why I was purchasing so many. When I told him he said, "I want to pay for these." He told me that Sherry and I do so much for our community and he wanted to have a part in that effort. Not only do we have nets for the church, but we can now purchase MORE nets for other vulnerable people!

We are humbled that the Lord has allowed us to have an impact in our adopted home. We could not do this without your faithful prayers and support!

Together in His Service,

Patrick & Sherry