Our Self Reliance Services manager has been here with us all week training us and we have not stopped for a minute since he came. He is from Zimbabwe and covers all of Zimbabwe, Zambia,and Malawi. This is a chamber of commerce meeting we went to trying to find out what kinds of jobs are industry in Zambia looking for. We discovered there's not much demand for anything which makes it difficult when people here, especially return missionaries want to access the Perpetual Education Fund. The church won't approve their loans unless they believe that their chosen field of study will lead to a job. Otherwise they won't be able to pay back the loan or become self reliant. There is a lot of misconceptions and misunderstanding about how the PEF program works so part of our job is to inform and teach the wards and branches the correct way to access it. We have been traveling throughout the mission to get a feel for how the self reliance program is working in all the wards and branches. Some are doing well and some need lots of help.
This is one of the branches we visited in Kitwe which is about 5 hours north of Lusaka. The branch president here is 23 years old. When he got released from his mission by the mission president he was called as the branch president at the same time. He is doing a fantastic job.
The primary room where I'm told they cram 20-30 kids every Sunday.
The baptismal font at another one of the districts.
The man in the wheelchair is President Kapato. He is the District President in the Ndola District with his first councilor.
I am overwhelmed at the amount of work there is for us to do here. Next week we head to Malawi which will be about a 12 hour drive. I have never done so much sitting in all my life- in the car or in a meeting, something that neither Craig nor I am used to. Another lesson in patience.