Rotarian Tim Adam and Greg Wray from First Baptist Church of Grand Cayman joined six other people from a church in the Nashville, Tennessee area, to spend a week among the Tonga tribe in villages near Chirundu, Zambia, with local pastor Charles Simoonga.
The team met and talked with the villagers and invited them to the medical clinics and evangelistic services. They also conducted other mission work and provided medicines and other supplies.
The clinics were held outdoors in a couple of the locations where the villagers assemble for church gatherings and other events.
“On all these occasions we were touched by how the villagers welcomed us to where they live, and were very grateful for whatever we could do for them,” Mr. Adam said. “It is amazing how these people build their homes and utility structures all out of materials that are mostly taken from the ground or the plant life around them, the same way you can imagine this has been done for thousands of years. In the villages there is no electricity, and no running water.
“The villages we visited are close to the Kafue River, so that is their main source of water for everything from irrigating their crops, to cooking and drinking,” he said.
“One village also has a borehole with a well pump that provides them a safer source of water – safer that is from being attacked by the crocodiles and hippos that live in the river. These are amazing people who manage to survive on very little, mostly farming their own produce and livestock, especially goats and chickens.”
The team had the opportunity to see the progress on the major project of the Mufutuli Ministries – an orphanage close to the pastor’s home and the Mufutuli farm. The first set of dormitories now has roofs and will house 24 orphan boys when completed. Adjacent buildings under construction will house washrooms and central eating and meeting areas.
Some of the foundations have also been laid for the girls’ dormitories.
Another Mufutuli project the team saw is the site for a fish farm, located alongside the thriving Mufutuli crop farm. The Mufutuli model is that the existing crop farm and the planned fish farm will provide food to supply the orphanage, and income from sales will help support operating costs.
These initiatives in Zambia have received support from communities and churches in Nashville and Grand Cayman. The communities donated some US$80,000 worth of items to fill a 40-foot container shipped from Grand Cayman on 11 May. Atlantic Department Stores gave a donation of children’s clothes and other items, and American Airlines and British Airways assisted with excess luggage for some of these items to accompany the team’s visit.
Farm machinery is part of the cargo in the container for which the Rotary Club of Grand Cayman has partly sponsored transport to the Mufutuli Vineyard Ministries site in Zambia. By the generosity of a benefactor in the US, Pastor Simoonga travelled to Tennessee for training on the use of the machinery. A benefactor in Cayman invited Pastor Simoonga for a short visit to the island, where he met with First Baptist Church. He took the opportunity to visit the Rotary Club of Grand Cayman meeting to say thank you for Rotary’s sponsorship.
Team members paid their own way, and brought stuffed animals and other treats for children. The container is scheduled to arrive at the seaport in Mozambique on 22 August. From there it will be transported over land, to reach the Mufutuli Ministries site in Zambia. The Rotary Club of Grand Cayman has fully sponsored the land transportation.