Category Archives: Update about Zambia

New ACTION Zambia Deputy Directors

AZ logo BEST transA week ago, our ACTION Zambia Board of Trustees, approved my recommendation for Kelly Huckaby and Pastor John Chitambo to both become our new AZ Deputy Directors. I have known and worked with both Kelly and John for almost six years and am very blessed to have them both now helping out in a greater leadership capacity within AZ. They will also both continue on in their roles at Camp Ciyanjano for Kelly and the CROSS Project for John.

We would all greatly appreciate your prayers as we lead this team forward and seek to glorify God by strengthening the local church, especially among the urban poor, here in Zambia through the various ministries of AZ. Also, special thanks and appreciation to Tracy Singleton for serving as AZ Deputy Director for many years up until the end of 2015.

Both Pastor John and Kelly, besides many other qualities, are two of the funniest people I have had the privilege of knowing. In that spirit, below is our newest (and only) album cover. We don’t plan on releasing any music, just the album cover.

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Summer 2016 Newsletter

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Hi everyone, here is our latest newsletter for Summer 2016! In this newsletter, we cover:

  • Thank you for praying and giving!
  • CROSS Project general update
  • CROSS Project Marriage Seminar update
  • CROSS Project Hospice Seminar with Bethlehem Baptist Church coming up in August
  • Thankful for Community Schools
  • Family Update
  • Latest Prayer Requests
  • Some Charlie Quotes

You can access it here or here, if you need to view it in a lower resolution.

Here’s our Christmas Newsletter!

DSC_3980 (1)Merry Christmas!

Greetings from hot, humid Zambia! We hope you all enjoyed your Fall (although, it sounds like it still is Fall for some of you with the mild weather it has been)!

Here is our end-of-the-year newsletter (click here) with the bird’s eye view of what happened in our lives this year.

In this newsletter, we cover:

  • How many miles we traveled in the month of July
  • Self-inflicted vs. Providential issues that made this a one-of-a-kind year
  • Quotes from Charlie, our thoughtful, sensitive, quick-witted firstborn
  • One surprising thing Derek learned about himself
  • And more!

Thank you so much for your prayers and support of us here in Lusaka, Zambia!!

“Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of a great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.” Luke 2:10-11 (ESV)

PFR (Pray For Rain!)

zambiarainThe Reuters article below pretty much sums up the situation here in Zambia. The article is dated October 15th, and, in that time (at least, in our part of Zambia), it’s only rained briefly a couple of times. The article also doesn’t mention the social consequences of low rainfall. With so many people losing jobs, things like domestic violence, prostitution, crime, drunkenness, etc. all increase. The situation is quite dire for many Zambians, and the consequences to their families are extremely hard. So please PFR with us! PRAY FOR RAIN to come and in an abundance to Zambia and Southern Africa.

Low rainfall and crippling power shortages hit Zambia’s economy

“LUSAKA, Zambia Oct 15 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Brenda Nglazi Zulu has tried to adapt to the power cuts that sometimes leave her home in the capital Lusaka without electricity for half the day. She bought a gas stove and installed solar panels to help keep her lights on.

But the cost to her career as a freelance journalist and researcher is becoming intolerable. Her monthly income has dropped by more than half, because most of the day she can’t work at all.

“I now only work when electricity is available to power my mobile phone and my laptop,” said Zulu, 45. “Initially it used to be two to four hours of no electricity, but now we go eight hours to 12 hours a day without power.”

With increasingly erratic seasonal rainfall causing severe water shortages at Zambia’s hydropower plants, Zesco, the country’s sole power utility, says it has been forced to cut back on electricity supply to households and industries.

The lack of reliable power is hitting Zambia’s economy, as people struggle to make a living without electricity half the day, experts say. Unless heavy rains come to Zambia soon, they add, the country will face a heavy economic bill from climate change.

CRIPPLED COPPER MINES

In June, Zesco released a statement saying that erratic rainfall over the last two years has resulted in low water supplies at both its Kariba North Power Station in the southern part of the country and nearby Kafue Gorge Station.

Kariba is running at only 40 percent capacity, the company said, while Kafue Gorge is running at one-third of its 1,500 megawatt (MW) generation capacity.

According to the Zambia Meteorological Development agency, annual rainfall has dropped from an average 1,200 mm to below 600 mm in most areas over the last two years.

The Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET) predicts that the current El Nino weather event will only make things worse: “With El Nino forecast to continue into the first quarter of 2016, suppressed rainfall is likely over many regions during the coming rainy season, including in southern Africa, America, and the Caribbean.”

Continued low rainfall could have a huge impact on the country’s economy, experts warn.

The country’s copper mining industry, which accounts for 70 percent of Zambia’s foreign exchange earnings, has already been hobbled by the country’s power problem.

In September, Anglo-Swiss mining and commodity trading giant Glencore, which owns a large share of Zambia’s Mopani Copper Mines, told the Zambian government it plans to lay off workers and cited power supply shortages as one of the factors behind the decision to downsize, alongside dropping copper prices.

“They intend to lay off close to 38,000 workers,” Zambia labour minister Fackson Shamenda told local media.

Also in September, copper mining firm Luanshya Copper Mines said in a statement it had cut production and sent some 1,200 workers on forced leave after reducing the mine’s operational hours to compensate for the electricity shortage.

The National Union of Miners Workers has since requested an emergency dialogue with the parties involved to try to save the mining jobs.

MORE DAMAGE TO FORESTS

Climate experts say that the damage low rainfall does to the country’s economy could also have a destructive impact on its environment.

“(The power shortage) may lead to soaring deforestation and further compounding on global warming as more households resort to wood and charcoal for cooking and heating,” said Chileshe Musonda, coordinator at the Zambia Climate Change Network in Lusaka.

According to figures from the Zambia Forestry Department, the country already loses between 250,000 and 300,000 hectares of forest every year, mainly due to the production of charcoal.

Recently, the government announced plans to build a 750 MW hydropower plant to ease the pressure on existing power stations. But that may take up to 10 to 15 years to be fully operational, the ministry of energy said, and changing rainfall patterns could also affects its operations.

In the meantime, power company Zesco says all that Zambians can do is hope for rain – lots of it.

In a statement released in July, senior manager Readley Makaliki said the company needs two or three normal to above-normal rainfall seasons to get back to its usual energy production patterns.

“The key thing to note is that even when the rains come either in November or December, (the power supply) won’t normalise,” he said.

(Reporting by Danstan Kaunda; editing by Jumana Farouky and Laurie Goering :; Please credit the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, that covers humanitarian news, climate change, women’s rights, trafficking and corruption. Visit http://www.trust.org/climate)”

Please Pray for Zambia – “Zambia president Michael Sata dies in London”

 

Michael-Sata_2117184bArticle from The Telegraph – found here.

“Michael Sata, the 77-year-old Zambian president nicknamed King Cobra for his tough-talking, has died in a London clinic after a long spell of ill health that has caused uncertainty in the copper-rich southern African country.

Under the constitution, Mr Sata’s white Vice President Guy Scott should now take over until elections in 90 days, but he is barred from taking office because his parents were not born in Zambia.

Diplomatic sources said the president’s death in office, and jostling for power within his Patriotic Front party as well as among those in opposition, could spell a period of instability in the former British protectorate and possible outbreaks of violence.

Mr Sata, a staunch Catholic and father-of-eight, passed away at 9pm on Tuesday night after being admitted to King Edward VII Hospital near Regent’s Park in London., the Zambian government said.

Dr Roland Msiska, Secretary to the Zambian Cabinet, said Mr Sata’s wife Christine Kaseba, a doctor, and his son Mulenga, the mayor of Lusaka, were at his side.

“It is with a very heavy heart that I address you today, to inform the nation that our beloved President and Leader, His Excellency, Mr. Michael Chilufya Sata has passed on,” he said in a statement issued at 8am this morning, around three hours after reports began to circulate.

“President Sata’s demise is deeply regretted. During this difficult period, I urge all of you to remain calm, united and peaceful during this very difficult period.”

At present, the acting president is the defence minister Edga Lungu but several ministers including the former Justice and current finance ministers have been tipped to take over.

Mr Sata was a chain-smoking former Victoria Station railway porter and trade unionist who famously challenged growing Chinese dominance in his country before ousting incumbent Rupiah Banda from power in elections in September 2011.

His victory saw the former British protectorate take its place among a select few in Africa who changed their ruling parties change twice, democratically and peacefully, since independence 50 years ago.

Diplomatic sources said his death, after two unsuccessful attempts at the presidency and just two and a half years at the helm, was a “Shakespearean tragedy” which could prompt some instability.

Under Zambia’s constitution, the Vice President should step in as Acting President until an election for a new leader within 90 days of the death of the president.

Mr Sata had been largely absent from the public eye for two months and had stopped chairing cabinet meetings or seeing journalists outside of the state media.

In June, there were reports he had died after he disappeared without explanation, and then was reported to be receiving medical treatment in Israel. Mr Sata missed a scheduled UN General Assembly speech because he had fallen ill in his New York hotel.

At the state opening of parliament in September, he joked about the false reports of his demise, but journalists were prevented from going too close to him or speaking to him.

One minister was overheard complaining that the country’s leader was an “absentee landlord”, while opposition parties sought court orders to try to force the government to explain his state of health.

Among those who paid tribute to Mr Sata yesterday was South Africa’s African National Congress, which described him as “popular for his modesty and focus on the poor and disadvantaged”.

James Thornton, the British High Commissioner to Zambia, said Mr Sata had “cared deeply” about his countrymen and his country’s development. “During his Presidency Zambia continued its rapid economic growth,” he was quoted as saying in the local media. “His government invested heavily in developing Zambia’s infrastructure, and has made some good recent progress in areas such as civil service reform. His Government was particularly active in promoting the rights of women and girls.”

Mr Sata moved to Britain in the early 1960s and worked first in a laundry in Bromley, then at the Vauxhall car plant in Luton, then at Victoria Station and London Bridge first as a porter, then a shunter, then conductor and eventually British Rail driver.

“I swept London Bridge, I swept Victoria and I enjoyed it. If I went to England and I was treated like a gentleman, I would not have had any resolution to look after this country,” he told The Telegraph in an interview shortly after coming to power.

A dominant force in Zambian politics for more than 20 years, the former trade unionist defected from Kenneth Kaunda, the independence leader’s party, to join the opposition then served as Minister for Local Government, Minister of Labour and Minister of Health under President Frederick Chiluba.

A diplomatic source said Mr Sata’s death in office was “tragic”. “It’s a real Shakespearean tragedy because this is someone who spent his whole life looking to be president and he finally got the reins of power then was too sick to govern and died in office,” he said.

The source said it remained “unclear” what will happen next. “The cabinet will need to vote on who will be acting president,” he said. “There’s no doubt there will be some infighting and there is also a tribal element but it’s never come to the fore before.

“The Patriotic Front winning the next election is not a certainty although opposition groups are also divided.

“So far it’s business as usual but it will be a few tense days as we watch for the smoke from the chimney to announce an interim leader. I would expect some isolated cases of violence but they will most likely peter out. Zambians have a peaceful history, have already lost one president in office and the country’s police and security forces have always behaved professionally.”

April – June Newsletter

(Garden Compound CROSS Project Graduation)

Photo Jun 24, 3 22 42 PM

Happy Summer Everyone!

Here is our April-June Newsletter (click here to view in your web browser – 8MB or a smaller version here – 1.5MB). In this newsletter, we cover the last three months in Zambia with:

-Home Assignment Looming (Sept. 3 – Jan 14) – Looking Back and Looking Ahead

-When You’re In Ground Zero – An article about Vera, a 14 year old girl who passed away from AIDS who attended the Feeding Program that the CROSS Project helps out at.

-Prayer Requests

Thank you so much for your prayers and support! We are so thankful to the Lord for all of you and how you encourage and strengthen us in so many ways. As always, feel free to email or even give us a call on our Skype number – 612-284-5554 or find us on Facebook or Instagram @ derekkristin2006. We would love to hear from you!

DSC_3341(Charlie’s 2nd Birthday!) 

Would you be the 1%? – Summer Video Update