A day in the life of...a Flying Mission Zambia pilot!

A typical day for the pilots here at Flying Mission Zambia...

It's ...Wednesday... and the schedule in the Flying Mission Office reads: FLCG-ABFA-FLCH-ABFA-FLCH-ABFA. Rick Rempel is assigned to do the flight from Chilongolo (FLCG), Flying Mission’s base near Lusaka, to Macha (ABFA) which is home to the 'Brethren in Christ' Mission Hospital. Macha is located in the bush a 5 hour drive from Lusaka and is a regular destination for Flying Mission planes.

Black Stars score again!

One of the Flying Mission Zambia (FMZ) ministries which is popular in the community is soccer. For some while now, a group of young guys has been practising here on our ‘rough and ready’ pitch at Chilongolo, the FMZ Mission base near to Lusaka. When Roger and Sally Green went home to UK one time, they were able to collect football boots, team jerseys and a number of balls for the lads and so it was that FM United Black Stars soccer team was born! Now they regularly play games against other local teams and are generally quite successful!

Planting Little Seeds

Located on the banks of a river, The Woodpecker is a popular venue for church and mission events in Gaborone. With green leafy trees lining the river, and buildings scattered through a garden-like setting, it offers an escape from the dust and concrete of the city. At least it used to. As I drove onto The Woodpecker property today, I was astonished and distressed by the lack of vegetation. Drought has taken a terrible toll, and the riverbanks are now barren.

Two More Milestones Reached!

Kgakgamatso (“KG”) was ejected from a vehicle when she was ten days old. All of the adults in the vehicle, including her birth mom, were killed in the accident, and KG spent the entire night lying on the ground until the accident was discovered some time the next morning. We brought her home from the hospital when she was two months old, and almost immediately we took her to South Africa for medical evaluations. The pediatric neurologist who examined KG gave a bleak prognosis. “You are looking at school for the blind and every kind of therapy known to man,” she said, “and even then, there is a good chance that she will never walk, talk, or see.”

The Botswana government kindly expedited KG's adoption so that we could take her back to the United States and pursue “every kind of therapy known to man.”

Helping the Homeless

For being homeless, Chips has a pretty nice place. He camps on a vacant residential plot on the southeast side of Gaborone. This area was developed back when the plots were very large, and the brush hides him from view of the nice homes on either side. There is a water tap on the plot, but Chips doesn't have any way of bathing. When you're homeless, you pretty much have to wear everything you own, and you can't very well wear a tub and a towel.

When James and Dingane got there, Chips was sitting on a log. He seemed very happy to see them. "Should I get a log for you?" asked Chips. "No, we're okay," they said. They exchanged greetings and then James said, "We came to give you a bath." "I don't have a tub," said Chips. "We brought everything you need," said James. "Dingane brought you his tub, and we brought a towel, warm water, soap . . ." That really made Chips happy. The three of them walked across the plot to where our car was parked outside the gate. James reached inside the car and

Happiness is learning to knit

Dust and noise; children shouting to each other as they leave their classrooms. School is out for the day!! Remember the freedom you felt in those days back when?!

But some of the girls-and one boy!-remain and gather around Victoria. She is ready to hand each of the kids their colorful bags containing needles, wool and works in progress. Some are making scarves, some slippers.

Are your eyebrows now "knitting" together, as you try to bring your mind around the idea of scarves and slippers in Africa?

Dave's on the Team

For some, Dave's no stranger. For me, he was. I met him at the Central Hall, Westminster, London, last year on a period of home leave. We'd shared identifying features over the phone........I think he said he'd be wearing brown. I was equally helpful 'I'll be carrying a shoulder bag...blue!' The meeting was destined to happen as it was a quiet day for the Central Hall. We talked: Botswana, retirement, grandchildren...and then to the grown up stuff! How could we make his job of collecting funds, for FM, in UK more meaningful, and how could he help us to communicate well with UK supporters? So, Dave Young's part of the FM Team: secretary of FM UK. He's not afraid to call a spade a spade. It's good to know he's there, that he's prepared to read document drafts, that he banks the money, that he informs me of donations, that he prays for the work.... and that he paid for my lunch that day!

 

 

Mighty is She

Mighty is a young lady from the village of Otse. I first met Mighty when I started working with Roberta at the Home Based Care unit out in Otse. I went to work with Roberta on developing skills among the HIV/AIDS positive volunteers at the Home Based Care. The skills I brought were in knitting and card making. Mighty always seemed to want to be there and took up whatever craft was going on, but never seemed to commit to anything or follow through on a given project. This became increasingly frustrating even if she was sweet. One week Mighty started knitting a purse. She had never knit before so I go her started and then all of sudden she left.

Coming home to Botswana

Lillian Thorsen with Bela RammolaiMany have expressed admiration at my coming to Botswana to work as a short-term volunteer with Flying Mission this year. They tell me I’m brave for having come alone. But then I remind them that for me, coming to Botswana has in many ways been like coming home again. I grew up as a “missionary kid” in Botswana. This country was my home, and the people of Flying Mission were, in so many ways, my extended family. Even now, after 5 years away, I return to find that although Flying Mission has changed in so many ways, it is still an ever-growing family. It is a good place to come as a “short-termer”. I have been accepted here with open arms and have been given meaningful tasks according to my interests and abilities, tasks which have challenged me and tasks from which I have learned a great deal. As a short-termer you have a chance to use your skills for God, and at the same time you have plenty of opportunity to try something new, in a safe environment where there are always others to support you. It is a time of growth, and there will be challenges. But through these challenges, I am learning. I have been given the opportunity to give of myself, and I have received much in return.

Up, Up and Away to N W Province!

Flying Mission Zambia (FMZ) has been helping partner organizations in NW Province to upgrade their airstrips. Roger Green (projects) and his wife Sally drove the 11 hour journey to Chitokoloki to assist the Manager, Gordon Hanna, to prepare the field for inspection by the Department of Civil Aviation (DCA). Roger chose to drive the short route through the bush! The better roads need 13 hours since the route is longer.

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