It was a tremendous privilege for us (Paul Gamston and Peter Maclure) to be involved in the 3rd year of PTI in Zambia. We are always encouraged by the vitality and joy of African brothers and sisters in Christ.
While we were in Zambia it was the 146th anniversary of the death of David Livingstone whose heart was buried in a village not far from Mpika. He wrote:
“If a commission by an earthly king is an honour how can a commission by a heavenly king be a sacrifice?”
We are greatly privileged to have such excellent organisers in Lemmy Chilekwa and Peter Kaluba and their hospitality and encouragement were of great benefit.
The local committees had done their work well with 77 and 66 in attendance and comments indicating that new folks had been turned away to keep the numbers down.
We were also impressed by the fact that the majority had attended the first two conferences and were ready and eager to learn. We felt the curriculum was relevant and well appreciated as we built on foundations in previous years.
Inevitably we met some obstacles but by God’s grace these were overcome:
- Obtaining necessary visas and the requirement of a new letter from the ministry of guidance for religious affairs for any teaching in Zambia took time.
- Safety in travel on seriously deteriorating roads. We understand 80% of imports for Zambia and Congo are brought in by 100s of lorries per day which have churned up the road.
- The 7 hour journey by bus from Mpika to Nakonde was rather hairy and though the return journey by car took longer after a puncture we were aware of the Lord’s care, and enjoyed the views of the night sky without light pollution!
- We were very saddened by a tragic coach accident in Mpika involving 64 girls from a girls brigade camp. Sadly three adults were killed but remarkably the girls were kept safe.
- At various points flexibility was needed to accommodate local issues but again wisdom was given.
- We also saw a tremendous answer to prayer in the arrival of the books for the second conference on the last day at the last minute!