God Moments

God Moments

Tuesday welcomed us with a reading from Jesus Calling. We were reminded about looking for the “God Moments” in Heaven here, in the present. 

We spent today visiting with the Synod of the CCAP. We learned about their many projects which include among other things the business needs to grow physically, the development of Institutes of Higher Education in the areas of Theology, Education, Agriculture, and Nursing, and continued HIV/Aids education.   Because their new office isn’t completely constructed, we “roosted” in the chicken farming buildings.  One small office that had been set aside for feed storage had been converted into an office meeting space until the new Synod offices are built.  At the opposite end, chickens grown for food were being raised.

We then toured the cinderblock office building under construction.  The walls are in place, but the roof is awaiting funding of several thousand dollars for completion.

Later that afternoon, we attended a meeting of the Village Savings and Loan.  The women welcomed us with glorious music. This organization of women has developed financial management skills by starting their own savings and loan.  With the interest raised, they are saving for a sausage making machine. The women shared how this program has improved their lives financially. They are very proud of their work and they have developed all the financial banking pieces remarkably well. 

Bob began training his small cadre of lay counselors in trauma and traumatic grief counseling. Bob wrote a manual for this training entitled, Caring for Hurt Children. This program builds upon skills taught in the Strengthening Children groups and utilizes two evidence-based models for treating trauma. His group is comprised of a veteran Strengthening Children lay counselor, the Deputy Coordinator for the CCAP community schools, and a head teacher at one of the CCAP schools. Sadly, another Strengthening Children lay counselor was unable to attend the training. The intent is to train these individuals who will be able to begin this type of lay counseling and then assist in training other CCAP lay counselors in the future with Dr. Bob and other CHPC mental health providers. The group welcomed this training in view of the many children in their care who have endured multiple psychological traumas.

In the evening, the team hosted Rev. Gerald Phiri, his wife, and the Women’s Guild President from his church for dinner. Rev. Phiri is a parish pastor, directs the Boothe Centre for Evangelism, directs the CCAP HIV/AIDS program, and is Deputy General Secretary for the upcoming multinational CCAP General Assembly. As if on cue, the power went out as we sat down to dinner. Machelle was pleased the power went out as it prevented close inspection of the dinner table with a cockroach scrambling around the serving dishes. Our lovely candle light dinner included lively discussions regarding gender roles in Zambia, child marriage, property grabbing (where a husband’s family takes all possessions from a widow and her family after her husband dies), encouraging guardians to enroll their children in school, and the challenges of battling HIV/AIDS. Rev. Phiri’s wife, Lizzie also spoke of the many tasks she completes as a pastor’s wife while the Women’s Guild President, Cecelia Zulu, shared the many tasks of comfort, assistance, and support the Women’s Guild provides to those in their community. After our dinner guests left at 8 pm, the team spent another 2 hours preparing for the first day of our Teacher’s Conference.

On Wednesday, we completed the first day of our Teacher’s Conference.  We were able to teach the components of a lesson plan, writing learning objectives, games for learning letters and counting, student engagement, and learning content specific vocabulary.  The women’s guild catered lunch of deep fried Beem (fish) complete with eyes and tails, beans, rice, n’shima, and watermelon.  The teachers had spent the night in the school the night before and again the second night.  They are dedicated, motivated, and eager to learn.

Bob continued his training with the small group of lay counselors. Over the course of the training the group reviewed coping skills, parenting strategies, symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder, the effects of trauma on neurological development, and educating clients in trauma and its effects upon an individual. In addition, the group practiced guiding a client in developing a trauma narrative and processing the narrative.

We are excited to return for a final day of training on Thursday and celebrate with a graduation ceremony. We will have a debrief discussion with CCAP leadership tomorrow evening before leaving Lusaka early on Friday morning.

Thank you for your continued prayers.