Drought Strikes ZambiaGreetings from Zambia to all our supporting churches and friends! We have had a busy fall. Even though it is springtime here in the southern hemisphere, it feels like summer, with October being the hottest month of the year. There has been no rain since April, so everything is dry. Drought has hit Zambia hard this year, with failure of the corn crop in some regions. Corn, or maize as it’s called here, makes up the staple diet of most Zambians, who eat nshima (similar to corn meal mush) at least once or twice a day. The government has distributed relief supplies, but life is hard for people who depend on farming for their daily bread, and the price of corn meal has doubled for those who must buy it in the store. Because there is less water in the reservoirs, the production of hydroelectric power has decreased. The consequent load shedding by the power company means that we have no electricity for twelve to fifteen hours a day. While we have a battery backup system for our refrigerator and computers, others are much less fortunate. So please keep Zambia and other countries experiencing drought this year in your prayers. The rainy season is still be another month away, and everyone is looking forward to it!
Graduations and an Ordination
Rev. Godfrey Nguvulu and Floyd Kambita at their graduation from Justo Mwale University College
On the brighter side, we recently celebrated two important events in the life of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Zambia (ELCZa): the graduation of two ELCA scholarship students, Rev. Godfrey Nguvulu and Floyd Kambita in September, followed by Floyd’s ordination in October. Godfrey and Floyd both completed their Bachelor’s in Theology at the Justo Mwale University College thanks to ELCA’s International Leaders Scholarship Program, funded by generous people like you. Each year ELCA Global Mission gives out over 100 full scholarships to leaders and potential leaders in our companion churches. ELCZa is grateful that two of their pastors are now better prepared to serve here in Zambia because of this training made possible by ELCA. A new pastoral candidate, Vincent Matunka, and his wife Gloria will arrive in Lusaka to begin studies at Justo Mwale in January. Please pray for them as they make this big adjustment in their lives.
Rev. Floyd Kambita being ordained by Retired Bishop Samson Kipaila
On October 20 all three Lusaka congregations of the ELCZa joined at Kamwala Church to celebrate the ordination of Floyd Kambita. Retired Bishop Samson Kipaila of the Lutheran Evangelical Church in Africa (LECA) presided over the ceremony. Eight other pastors took part, including Deborah, and several visitors from other denominations participated as well. Lots of joyous music was sung and the newly ordained Rev. Kambita preached the sermon on “Feed My Sheep.” A meal of rice, beans, chicken and beef was served to the entire assembly, courtesy of the Kamwala Congregation, where Floyd has been serving as vicar. Never mind that the service lasted five hours–everyone rejoiced on this wonderful day. Join with us as we pray for a long and successful ministry for Rev. Kambita, his wife Olivia and their children.
Despite the hot, dry weather, our schedules continue to be packed with many other activities. In the past two months since returning to Zambia from our home assignment there have been two general church council meetings, the national women’s conference, visits to micro-savings programs and a pastors’ retreat. In the next month we are looking forward to a youth camp, a regional women’s conference, two workshops for HIV-AIDS support groups, and a planning workshop for setting up additional micro-savings groups. Look for news of these activities in our future newsletters.
Again, we want to say thank you to all of those who hosted us during our two-month tour of the United States visiting our sponsoring congregations this past summer. We traveled over 6000 miles in the U.S. by car, train, and plane. We truly enjoyed seeing old friends and meeting new ones in Illinois, New York, Ohio, and Pennsylvania.
Thank you for your prayers and continued support.
Joe and Deborah Troester
ELCA Global Mission Support and Contact Information
In all of this, we thank God for you—for your prayers and for your financial support. We couldn’t do it without you! If you wish to support us, you can give through your local congregation or through our ELCA Missionary Sponsorship Page. You can contact us at Joe.Troester@elca.org and Deborah.Troester@elca.org
Joe and Deborah are ELCA missionaries living in Lusaka, Zambia, where they are serving with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Zambia (ELCZa). Their daughter, Christa, is a senior at the University of Southern California, where she is studying French and Film & Television Production.