Honiton churchgoers extend hand of friendship to Zambians

Party of 12 visits Livingstone, offering practical advice and support.

MEMBERS of a Honiton church have extended the hand of friendship to fellow churchgoers in Zambia - by visiting them and offering practical help and support.

Twelve people from Honiton Community Church, aged from 16 to 67, travelled to the world’s ninth poorest country, coming away spiritually richer.

The long-term link was forged when Jubilee Church, in Livingstone, expressed an interest in joining New Frontiers, a global network of churches of which Honiton Community Church is a member.

A family from Honiton had already felt a calling to go to Zambia and the seed of a growing friendship was sown.

After an initial trip, when 10 members of Honiton Community Church enjoyed a meet and greet visit, offering some Bible teaching, evangelism and football training, the Zambians requested some practical help.

Led by Norman and Alison Amey, the second visit saw Dr Jeremy Gibson, Jasper Tirard, Dean and Claire Barrow, John and Hilary Edwards, Matthew Amey, 16, Trevor Millman, Marian Parker and Liz Parker, 17, share some of their skills and knowledge to help the Zambians prosper.

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Each team member paid their own travelling expenses.

The group also visited Sikaunzwe, camping for four nights next to the village’s church building.

Mr Millman worked tirelessly to restore three bore hole pumps.

Dr Gibson shared his knowledge of beekeeping. Honey is Zambia’s fourth largest export.

The visitors gave gifts of chickens and goats to five Zambian families - on the condition that the first offspring of the animals be passed to other families.

Business advice, football training and health education was also offered, along with many other activities, and a HIV/Aids seminar was held.

In November, Dr Gibson is to return to Zambia to assist with the planting of seeds provided by Honiton Community Church.

Three Zambians have been offered micro finance loans to help start or expand businesses. The aim is to help them become self-sufficient and more productive.

Eighty per cent of Zambians live in mud huts with no electricity. The visitors encountered first hand the problems of poverty, mosquitos and dirt, and even saw lepers without legs.

But what struck them most was how happy the Zambians were with their lot.