Zambia #10 - Bill and Bette Bryant Crisis Nursery
by Ted Wright, for the team
Saturday dawned a little bit earlier; the sun keeps moving toward the south. Sue met a worker near the Booth Center kitchen who had remembered her from 2005: “Weren’t you here before?”
Turns out, Purity belonged to a posse of teenage girls who used to come and play Uno. Now 23, she has a child of her own. Another from the group connects with Sue via Facebook.
Shortly after breakfast, Naomi Daka appeared to complete an interview that Ebralie had requested. Rev. Daka serves as coordinator for her fellow Presbyterian students at Justo Mwale University. Energetic, devout, unmistakably authoritative… she has a bright future in my opinion.
We arrived on time for our 9:00 appointment at the toddler crisis nursery: Bill and Bette Bryant Crisis Nursery. Executive director Daisey Muzikutwa received us and answered many questions. Frank and Ebralie were particularly interested in exploring ways to link Namumu with best practices from this program. Both ministries should focus on “family empowerment:” supporting the network of caregiving relatives who soon will surround each vulnerable child.
Long-term residential programs have no future. Still, in order to absorb increased responsibilities, the extended families need counsel and provision. Counsel comes via social workers who visit each out-placement home. Provision consists of food supplements along with training in various vocational skills.
We found 23 children at the Bill and Bette Bryant Nursery today, down from 35 recently. Good. The older kids sang loudly for us: “Jesus loves the little children…”
On to Chunga compound – 75 minutes in traffic – for a formal meeting with our main church partner, the CCAP Synod of Zambia (Church of Central Africa Presbyterian). We got a tour of the grounds and office building, now 2/3 complete. The General Secretary’s house is also there, along with a vehicle once donated by Frank. Two chicken runs were chock full of broilers, many of whom seemed destined for an imminent reckoning. Still, access to water is difficult on this plot. I wonder how that may affect future development.
The Outreach Foundation has selected three main avenues for assistance to the Zambia Synod:
1. Scholarships for training pastors and evangelists
2. Completion of the office complex
3. Church-based community schools (see blog #9)
We closed with heartfelt prayer and shared a typical Zambian meal – typical, that is, for guests on holidays. Then back to Eastwick mall to buy vegetables for tonight’s dinner with the Ellington family here on campus.
According to Jennifer, sugar is a vegetable. Who am I to argue? She’s an M.D.
PS – another song by the children:
Prayer is the key. Prayer is the key.
Prayer is the master key.
Jesus started with prayer, and he ended with prayer.
Prayer is the master key.