Covenant College Column – May 2015

Dear friends,
The seasons are changing here at Abwino Farm. The rains are long gone and the ground is beginning to dry. Some trees are losing their leaves. As everything dries out, the Farm begins to prepare for harvest. The schools are almost finished with their holiday, so CEM is about to pick up its work in earnest. As the children’s schools come back into session, the College is about to close for term break. The first semester will end on 15 May and the students will return home for harvest season. So what has been happening here over these last months?

COVENANT COLLEGE

As we draw to the end of the first term of 2015, we are mindful that ‘except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the Lord keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain.’ (Psalm 127:1) We trust in the Lord to preserve the work of our hands as we labour for his glory and the growth of the Kingdom of Heaven.

This academic year started on 10 February. The College has six new students, and a total student body of 17. The biggest blessing at the start of our year was the welcoming of our new Principal, Rev. George Kalengo who arrived from Malawi on 8 February. He has been given a lot of responsibilities and needs much prayer during this time of hand-over. We are also thankful that Rev. Kalengo finished his DMin and will be graduating from the Reformed Theological Seminary in Pittsburgh, PA, USA, in a few weeks. Rev. Kalengo will be travelling extensively in the coming months, visiting South African in June and, God willing, Europe and the USA at the end of the year. Please keep these trips in your prayers.

Vice Principal Rev. David Lachman continues assisting with administrative responsibilities in the absence of a full-time Administrator. We are advertising throughout Zambia and praying earnestly for the Lord to provide us with a suitable applicant to fill this vital role. Please feel free to spread the word concerning our need.

We are continually thankful for the ministry of visiting lecturers from within and outside of Zambia. A highlight of this term was the course on African Church History which was taught by Pastor Saidi Francis Chishimba, visiting us from Copperbelt Province. Each man who is willing to visit us and dedicate their time and energy by imparting Biblical teaching to our students is a true builder of the Kingdom of God.

From 29 April to 2 May the College held a Women’s Conference for the wives of College students and alumni. It was well attended with 30 women present from throughout Eastern Province. They were taught Farming God’s Way principles by Farm Ministry Leader Jackson Kasolo, and led in Bible studies by CEM leader Marjanne Hendriksen and Mrs. Bridget Kalengo, the wife of the new Principal. In the afternoons we provided baking classes led by Mrs. Katie Lachman, craft activities led by Marjanne, and a health class led by Mrs. Kalengo.

We have recently begun hiring out the College facilities, when they are available, to outside groups who wish to meet for conferences. One group which has hired the facilities twice now are the Reformed Baptists of Eastern Province. We are thankful for this opportunity for mutual benefit, which provides the College with some income to put towards maintenance of guesthouses and other buildings, and provides an excellent retreat centre for groups.

COVENANT COLLEGE FARM MINISTRY

Jackson Kasolo

It’s been about 3 months since the last Covenant College Column was sent out. In the last 3 months, we saw most of our crops fully mature and drying. During this rainy planting season we planted quite a variety of crops ranging from Maize/corn (which is the staple food in Zambia), Soya Beans, Sunflower, Cowpeas, Groundnuts, Cotton, and Sorghum. The Farm also concentrated on the new area we call the fish pond area. In this area we maintained the three fish ponds, which are now filled with water and fingerlings. Next to the fish ponds we plant about a quarter of a hectare of Cassava (which is the second staple food in Zambia) and about 20m X 30m of Impwa (local Eggplant). Maize being the staple food we planted a larger percentage of it about 4 hectares of the 5 hectares.

This year’s rainfall pattern has just been good enough for a farmer to grow a good crop of maize. Many of the farmers who did not practice Farming God’s Way/Conservation Farming are experiencing crop failure. And in this situation, our role as a farm is not just to help them with food through the ‘work for food programme’ but also teach them how to grow better crops!!

As we endeavor to do this, we planted demo plots of FGW in most of the districts in the province. The farm is intentionally set as a training farm and on the 8th of April we held our farm open day. This is one of the main events in the farm calendar. We saw over 650 farmers from all walks of life attend the open day, and we were also graced by the visit of Brother Phil Bailey. Our farm open day held the largest number of attendees for a field in the entire province for this year. From all the field open days we taught FGW to over 1500 farmers in the Eastern Province of Zambia.

At our farm open day, other ministries took the opportunity to promote their ministries. The Farm has also been collaborating with CEM and the College. FGW was taught to CEM teachers and to the College’s current students, wives and graduates wives. In this first semester of the college we had an opportunity to teach FGW to the Certificate class.

The Farm continued to provide food to the students at the College, to CEM Teacher’s conference and to the women’s conference. In March we saw Brother Samuel Mwale officially appointed as Farm manager.

We thank God for your prayers and support. Please continue to pray that more people will pick up the teaching of Farming God’s Way and that the Gospel of Our Lord Jesus Christ will continue being preached through FGW.

CHRISTIAN EDUCATION MINISTRY

Marjanne Hendriksen

Over these last months we have continued helping teachers in many local schools, but in this newsletter I want to tell you about our recent conference. From 21-24 April we gathered 40 people together for a teacher’s conference on the Covenant College campus. Musonda was responsible for organising the program and Chisenga was helping out where needed.

We kept the teachers busy with all kind of educational topics. Every day they had to prepare a Bible story and one of the teachers had to present it to the others. All the stories were about the life of King David. Many applications were made for our own lives.

Musonda taught about ‘Jesus as a Leader’, Kasolo about ‘Farming God’s way’ and Marjanne taught the teachers new Bible songs and gave plenty of new ideas about how they could teach mathematics, science, creativity,social studies, etc. in a way that it is connected with Christianity. We also had workshops in the afternoon, where we made teaching materials and learned new games. We had a lot of fun!

It was so nice to see how the teachers were fellowshipping with each other. We had new teachers who came for the first time, but also teachers who had been with us for at least 15 previous conferences! We hope everyone has learned new things to implement in their schools, but most of all that God’s Word has touched their hearts! For sure that would mean a blessing for all the children we reach out to.

HOW CAN YOU BE INVOLVED?

Each year the three ministries state their goals for fund raising and development. We are thankful for each and every way that the Lord provides what is needed to keep Covenant College Zambia Trust functioning. Here is an outline of a few specific needs for the 2015 fiscal year.

Women’s Ministry funding – to date, we have raised 50% of our goal of ZMW 14,000 (approx. £1,200 or $1,900) in order to continue to fund conferences for the wives of Covenant College students and alumni twice each year.

Children’s Ministry – this has been funded for several years on a generous donation from one individual, but by the end of 2015 these existing funds will be depleted. Please consider contributing for this weekly work of community evangelism as we reach out with a Bible club every Saturday afternoon for nearby village children.

General ministry needs – as we seek to improve and maintain the infrastructure here, it has become clear that we have needs for more adequate tools such as a manual lawnmower (to remove the necessity of slashing grass by hand) and a ladder. The College is in great need of a good quality laptop computer for the use of a full-time Administrator, as well as a copier, printer, and office equipment such as whiteboards, podiums, etc.

Building – Our ‘old classroom’, the original open-air structure used for classes when the College first moved to Abwino Farm, needs to be refurbished and entirely enclosed so that we can utilize the space more effectively and repair dangerously aging components. This building project has been quoted to us at a cost of ZMW 35,000 (approx. £3,100 or $4,800).

We thank the Lord for everyone who keeps us in prayer and helps the work in so many ways. May the Lord be with you all.

Greetings in Christ our Saviour,

The whole team at Covenant College Zambia Trust

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