Sincere thanks. Salisbury URC collected and donated £200 to the Zambia Appeal.
The appeal for funding to support our sisters and brothers of the Lusaka Presbytery of the United Church of Zambia in responding to the consequences of drought in parts of Zambia has been met with astounding generosity from the churches of the Wessex Synod.
The gifts from congregations in the Wessex Synod URC have so far reached £5,000 which the Wessex Trust has “Match-funded” to bring the total to £10,000 which is being sent this week to The Lusaka Presbytery.
The Appeal was occasioned by the prospect of hunger spreading in Zambia and the desire of the Presbytery to provide material assistance. The price of bags of Mealie Meal, the staple of the diet of most Zambians, has doubled, causing real hardship in many communities.
The initiative has of course been overtaken by the consequences of the Coronavirus Pandemic which has now reached Zambia. The number of infections is, at the time of writing, still small but the consequences of the restrictions on movement and meeting which the Government has very wisely introduced are substantial. Schools and colleges are closed, together with all church services and other activities.
Bishop Chomba, the Presbytery Bishop, writes:
“Our fear is that the middle class will become transmitters of the virus as the “havenots” come into the low populated areas to work as house servants. And they are ignorant of the virus, therefore risking the lives of their relatives and neighbours in the
high populated areas. If things turn out this way we will fail to manage the virus. Areas l talk about, have more than ten people in a two-bedroom house and in a small compound there are over seven houses and so the risk is higher than elsewhere in the world. If God does not help us this would culminate into the biggest disaster we have ever seen.”
In addition to the impact on the whole community there are particular concerns for the church that relies very directly on the freewill offerings taken at Sunday services:
“The gift comes at the right time as the church here depends on the offerings collected on Sunday. We have not been meeting as a church and so we are in a financial crisis….The impact after this virus on our church will be great as we live on a hand to mouth
situation and our reliance on offerings is proving problematic. So far this coming month end my Ministers will not receive their stipends.”
You can still contribute
Contributions are still coming in and these will also be matched by the Wessex Trust and a further transfer of funds made shortly. IT IS NOT TOO LATE TO CONTRIBUTE. Please consider making a contribution.
You can contribute by cheque or preferably by BACS to:
URC (Wessex) Trust Limited 40-52-40 00006097 with a reference of ‘Zambia’
Please accept my thanks and that of the Church in Zambia.
From Bishop Chomba:
“Thank you so much for the gift which will see us through this black dark moment. God Bless you our brothers and sisters in the URC.”
He concludes with expressions of concern for all of us and assurances of their continuing prayers for us.
Please pray for Bishop Rodwell Chomba and his family, for the Ministers, Lay Workers, Elders and members of the United Church of Zambia, and for the whole people of Zambia.
Wessex Synod URC – Lusaka Presbytery UCZ Link