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  • Final Day and the flight home

    Final Day and the flight home
    Johannesburg, South Africa

    Johannesburg, South Africa


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  • With the van Belkum's in Durban

    With the van Belkum's in Durban
    Durban, South Africa

    Durban, South Africa


    Today is our last full day in Africa on this trip and we just drove around. I tried to get my email downloaded and some sent from where Neville Smith works, but my laptop just couldn’t get connected to the wireless or the ADSL line. We then drove around Durban and just spent time at their home in afternoon. We had lunch at a garden supply store. Open restaurants in Garden shops are typical here. In the evening the van Belkum’s took us out to dinner at an Italian restaurant.


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  • To the van Belkum's

    To the van Belkum's
    Durban, South Africa

    Durban, South Africa


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  • Back to South Africa

    Back to South Africa
    Johannesburg, South Africa

    Johannesburg, South Africa


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  • Last Day in Zambia

    Last Day in Zambia
    Lusaka, Zambia

    Lusaka, Zambia


    Kambani and Shirley Banda arrived at 5:45 am to take us to the Lusaka airport for our flight to Johannesburg and continuing down to Durban where Andre and Elize van Belkum live. We have gotten very close to the Banda’s and admire their service to the Church people as their minister and his exceptional skill as administrator of the LifeNets projects. He is tough and disciplined, but that is the what it takes to get RESULTS in this part of the world. He doesn’t take excuses and demands that people do their part and holds their feet to the fire. Now after doing this for five years in Mumbwa, we can see outcomes that are quantitative leaps economically from where they had been. In the process they are taught to be more disciplined and to work hard and see the correlation between hard work, good management and prosperity. I thought we were getting to the airport a bit too early, but it took all that time to first pay the airport departure tax of $25 a person, then stand in line for the first security check. Then you check in. Then you go through immigration which took more than half an hour. Then another security check before being put on a bus to go out to the waiting South African Airways Airbus to Joburg and then to Durban where the van Belkum’s live.. It was great to see Andre and Elize again. He has been a special friend of ours the past 15 years – to me if there is any human for being ... Read more about this post

  • Fascinating trip to Mumbwa in the heart of Zambia

    Fascinating trip to Mumbwa in the heart of Zambia
    Mumbwa, Zambia

    Mumbwa, Zambia


    About 7:00 am Kambani Banda came by to pick us for our trip to Mumbwa. Apren Moomba did not return until 10 pm from taking the first load of about 60 people to their homes in Mumbwa. The trailer carrying the luggage had a flat tire and ruined rim that had to be replaced. He barely made it back to Paray’s Game Park where the Feast of Tabernacles was held. The remaining second group of 60 people had to pitch tents again. Food had to be purchased for feeding them. The Paray’s Game Park is on the way to Mumwa and we stopped to see what’s going on. When we came out there they were all waiting to get on the road for home. It’s now two days after the Feast, but no one is disappointed or deterred. They take things in stride. Apren Moomba has left with the big “van” to Luska with the disassembled meeting building, the tabernacle, that is being stored at Kambani Banda’s home. He will return pick up the people. We load up our pickup trip with as many of their belonging as we can pack up. The van will then have to take all the people and belongings back without the benefit of the trailer. So Kambani Banda, Beverly, Jerrison Shachoongo and I continue on to Mumbwa. We are told that there is a better road that has been graded. It’s a total of about a 100 miles with only 40 miles on dirt road. But when we come to the dirt road, ... Read more about this post

  • Take down and transport after the Feast

    Take down and transport after the Feast
    Lusaka, Zambia

    Lusaka, Zambia


    At 6:00 am we started working on takedown in dismantling the shelter where we met during the Feast of Tabernacles. The men spent three days putting it up and the takedown was to take a good part of the day. I helped out with taking nails out of the wall supports. Every nail I took out was saved…it will be straightened and used next year as the shelter is set up again. Nails are expensive. We rolled up the home-made bamboo mats there were used for flooring and for the walls. The crew moved quickly and aptly under the direction of Haben Moonga, a hard-working, competent farmer and builder. He has put in charge of building the three UCG church buildings in the Mumbwa area. A ride for the Copper Belt people was arranged by running out to the main highway and getting a bus to drive into the game park and picking up the 18 people heading to Northeast Zambia. The Copper Belt people assumed that we were going to give them a ride to Lusaka, but that was not the case. Kambani Banda is a great planner and had all the logistics thought through with getting equipment back first to Lusaka and then taking two loads of people of over 60 at a time on the truck for the three hour trip to the Mumbwa area from Paray’s Game Park. Kambani Banda is a man of great patience who was able to handle the misunderstanding and arrange adroitly for everyone and everything to be accommodated. We then loaded the ... Read more about this post

  • Last Great Day

    Last Great Day
    Lusaka, Zambia

    Lusaka, Zambia


    Today is the Last Day of the Fall Festivals. I speak three times with two sermons and a blessing of the children sermonette. Evertything that is said is translated consecutively and it is a challenge to keep the tempo going. I find that short quick sentences are best keep the sermon moving along better. Early in the morning I heard a beautiful harmony from a group of young singers about 100 feet from where we stayed. It was the youth choir practicing for their special music in the morning. The harmony and rhythm were perfect. At 9:30 am we had two baptisms. One was Emily who is the mother of three children in the Church. The daughters are Often and Nice. The son’s name is Mostly. We had arranged with the owner of the game park to use the pool for baptism. He was OK with that. But, when all of us got to the pool for the baptism the caretaker and lady manager put up a fuss and told us all to go to the lake some distance away. About 30-40 members showed up for the baptism and it was so demeaning. Kambani Banda was visibly upset and so was I. So many things are so hard to arrange and I felt that these people simply detested our people. I walked over to older lady and simply told her that we were going to go ahead with the baptism in the pool as we were given permission and asked her to respect what we were doing. Just then the owner came along and all ... Read more about this post

  • October 13, 2006

    October 13, 2006
    Lusaka, Zambia

    Lusaka, Zambia


    What I had not realized until today here at the game park where everyone is camping is just how much work was put in by the United Church of God members to prepare this location for the Feast site. The last two years the only economically viable location for the Feast here in Lusaka has been this game park. The cost is $200 a day for everyone. It is somewhat a broken-down place as the owner does not keep it up and makes most of his money from hunting and selling game meat. Our men came here weeks before to cut down the tall grass and build the building where we are holding services. I thought it was permanent structure, but it will be taken taken down after the Feast. There is quite a large sheet metal roof on top. There is no other place to meet that would not be five to six times the cost that would take as many children as we have. The owner here has a pool but will not allow the children to swim in it. This festival site could use an infusion of some serious financial help to bring it up to better standards. There are more than 150 people here and with the new people coming from the Worldwide Church of God, there will be quite a large group. This site is a step up from Mumbwa, however. People live in new tents which they really like instead of the quickly constructed grass huts. The hall has comfortable chairs that Kambani Banda was able to borrow from ... Read more about this post

  • Visiting interesting group in Mumbwa

    Visiting interesting group in Mumbwa
    Mumbwa Town, Zambia

    Mumbwa Town, Zambia


    We live in a little cottage. We are glad that we got the mosquito net not so much for the mosquitoes, but because of all the other creepie crawlies. We chased off the five inch spider, but he as back today! So, we’re just going to live with him. Bev has even befriended him calling him “Goliath.” He is just over the night stand and we have to be aware not to bump our head into him. Kambani Banda told us that he has never seen such a spider and that he “hopes it’s not poisonous.” We had not planned on this, but an interesting development has taken place in that the what remained of the Worldwide Church of God in Zambia. WCG members in Zambia were told that the church was going to Sunday worship and that the Festival Days, that we had been observing for years, were no longer to be kept. These church members were kept in the dark about where the church was really going all these years. Beacause of loyalty to the church, they hung on as long as they felt they could keep the Sabbath and Holy Days, but earlier in the year they were notified by their leaders that observing the God-ordained Sabbath and Holy Days was no longer to be done. The leader, Wilson Nkhoma and many of the brethren could no longer accept this and withdrew from the Worldwide Church of God. Just before the Feast of Tabernacles they notified the United Church of God that they wanted contact. Our Zambian pastor, ... Read more about this post