After the usual enjoyable lunch with its share of both serious and light hearted conversation, our attention was drawn to the country of Zambia.
The Cracknell family (Phil, Hilda, Wami and Olivia) gave us an insight into their life in Chingola Copperbelt province, their home for the last two years. The Amano Christian School (founded 10 years ago) is the centre of much family involvement. Wami and Olivia are pupils, Philip is the bursar (financial administrator), Hilda helps with the school library, is the school clinic nurse and when not at school she runs literacy and craft classes for the local women, who are intelligent but uneducated as a general rule. (Many of them have children at the school.)
The school is a developing one so there is a great emphasis on building, often using existing constructions like shipping containers which are cleverly and carefully converted into classrooms for the new technical and science classes. A new library has recently been opened and the large school hall (auditorium) which also has catering facilities is being upgraded. The sporting facilities (new games pitches) and cross country course are under construction on this large former farm site. The target is to more than double its present pupil population to 350.
It was interesting to hear of the emphasis on teaching Christianity to the children. Being a Christian is encouraged in Zambia with its unique Christian Nation Status. This is illustrated by the program at the recent United Nations World Tourism General Assembly held at Livingstone and the Victoria Falls where prayers, hymns and regular references to God were featured.
This may well be due to the long history of Missionary input from Dr David Livingstone’s time to the present day where Missionaries like Phil and Hilda, supported by Mission and charity organisations, bring skills, expertise and leadership along with their Christian Faith to help the developing but very economically poor country of Zambia, where the life expectancy is still only 46 years.
We look forward to our next share lunch on January 16th when our refurbished projector will be in action showing a DVD completing our series on the Seven Laws of Spiritual Success – “How to cultivate your soul” - Why not join us for another interesting, convivial and instructive afternoon?