Paalman Nongo Farm

Good day all,
Please stop praying "J." Your prayers have been answered. We have seen amazing amount of rain these last weeks. We had an exceptionally wet weekend a couple of weeks ago, and on Monday morning found that four of our closest neighbours’ houses have completely or partially collapsed. Good thing is that it is not in the coldest season yet, since they are sleeping in houses with curtains for walls temporarily. And the rain just keeps coming. Most of the harvest was lost before the rains started, but these rains are good to fill up the dams for the coming season, the winter crop.

Here you have some rain-pictures. The first one is from our beekeeping-course (later in this newsletter), one day it was raining there very much and Carl made this picture with his phone. The other picture shows our road by the house. As you can see, it looks like a swimmingpool at the moment :).

The project
Maybe I can tell you a bit about some of these neighbours. In the last month, Carl has moved around the way the co-op project is organized. He was really struggling with motivating his co-workers, to not just do the necessary, but to really take ownership of what happens here. So, he has assigned people to different parts of the project, so that they can take full responsibility and pride in what they do. It has already made a difference in the work atmosphere, and also align better with the immigration law here. The Zambian government try to preserve all work opportunities for Zambians. So, expatriates need to proof that they are at all times training someone to take over their job, and they are only allowed any job if there is not any Zambian better suited to do the job. 

So, from now on, Carl runs the over-all coordination, James is responsible for anything vegetable, and Happy for everything chicken. This will consequently also ensure that both James and Happy gain valuable experience in their different fields.  We have also asked Hope Builders Minstries Zambia for a pastor volunteer. Pastor Justin, who lives relatively close to us, has started to come once a week, and his responsibility is everything Outreach and church planting and Disciple making. He is Tonga speaking, and naturally culturally sensitive;) Over the next few months I will introduce you to them individually. 

This picture shows you James.​

Our honey bees
All this does give Carl a little more freedom to work on expanding the project. And so on the 21-22 February, he was free to join me for a refresher course in beekeeping. Carl’s ambition was to be promoted from Junior-Junior bee- assistant, to Junior Beekeeper. I think he himself was surprised at how much he enjoyed it. The bee is a beautiful example of God’s Creation, nothing is left to chance. Someone mentioned on the last day, that scientists say that if bees were to become extinct, humans can maybe live another 4years. They are crucial to our healthy management of nature- one of our first God-given responsibilities as humans. We have made a start to working with them over the last two years, but this has mostly consisted of removing them from where they were not welcome. But now, we have great plans. Watch this spot…

On the homefront
Simon has done his first 6 weeks of school, and has surprised me with his ability to sit still, as long as I am more interesting than whatever sounds come in from outside. He talks non-stop, and finds everything interesting. Sad to think he will grow up.

Rashelle had her 9th birthday, which was lots of fun. They invited two girls over for a Safari/camping birthday, who I guess you can call their best friends.         

But this is part of our reality, at the end of March, these girls will move away. It is not always easy to have a constant wave of farewells. Especially for the children.

Another very sad goodbye, was to our dog that suddenly passed away after four years. It was on a day that it was too wet to get out of our area, so we did not have the option of getting her to help.

Life and death, rain and drought. We are not always in control, no matter how much we think we are. It is great to serve a God that never leaves nor forsakes us.  

And at the end: some pictures of our beautiful daughters Rashelle and Isabelle: