Our Zambia link
Zambia is suffering a steep rise in the number of COVID 19 infections and deaths since early June.
This is explained partly because June, July and August are the cold months. The vaccination programme in Zambia began on 14th April, but the spike in cases has not been prevented.
Bishop Lordwell Siame of the United Church of Zambia (UCZ) in Lusaka reports that some congregations have recorded COVID 19 infections at an alarming rate. He has therefore decided that no funeral gatherings are allowed in any UCZ church buildings, and he is earnestly encouraging social distancing, hand sanitising and the wearing of face masks. Bishop Lordwell urges the church people to do everything they can to save lives.
Please pray for the people of Zambia during this pandemic, especially for health workers and for the millions of people living in high density areas where social distancing is almost impossible and sanitary conditions are poor.
On 17th June, Kenneth Kaunda, the founding father of Zambia and the nation’s first President, died of pneumonia; he was 97. Mr Kaunda was a Christian leader, son of a Presbyterian minister, who influenced not only Zambia but also British Methodism. In the 1950 and 1960s he worked closely with Rev Colin Morris; they wrote a book together and worked on the national philosophy “Zambia Humanism”. Mr Kaunda also worked with Rev Merfyn Temple on national policies on agriculture and on the training of young people. Both Colin Morris and Merfyn Temple were influential preachers and writers in British Methodism from the 1960s onwards and both learned much from Kenneth Kaunda.
Kenneth Kaunda was remarkable as one of few national leaders who, having lost power in a democratic election, retired to a life of good work, through his charitable trusts, especially promoting education for young people.
Pray for the people of Zambia, currently going through a time of fierce campaigning for elections in August. That Kenneth Kaunda’s slogan “One Zambia – one nation” will prevail, echoed by the UCZ text for 2021 “All one in Christ”.
Photo credit: https://unsplash.com/@huchenme