THE BOOKS HAVE ARRIVED IN ZAMBIA!
NEW LITERACY PROGRAM UNDERWAY IN LUKASA, ZAMBIA!
Warm greetings from Zambia to my St. Margaret’s family! It’s always wonderful to see pictures of you on social media; you are 1,000 miles away and yet so close in my heart.
I am happy to announce that the books that were shipped from America to Zambia in November 2017 have finally arrived! It took a long time for them to get here but when they did, there was great celebration. There is so much need for these books!
I am now working part-time for Action for Children Zambia. This organization finds and provides a home for children who live on the streets. I was hired to do administrative, financial and grant-writing work, but I have since introduced reading as a fun activity for our children. They truly love to read! The kids are fascinated by the great pictures and have so many questions. I love seeing their faces light up with excitement at receiving these precious gifts.We are so happy and thankful for the role St. Margaret’s Church has played in making these books available. It’s amazing that a book can bring so much happiness to a child’s life.
Generosity takes many forms – you don’t need to be physically present to make someone’s day. Love and kindness can be expressed by sharing simple things like books. Can you imagine how your life would have been without a single book? As Frederick Douglass said, “Once you learn to read, you will be forever free.”
Thank you, dear friends, for your prayers, love and support. We want to be able to touch more kids’ lives through the sharing of books.
On a personal note, a lot has happened since my last update. As you already know, I accepted Gomez’s (surprise!) marriage proposal in December. Our families have now met, and the wedding is set for Dec. 8, 2018. After marriage negotiations, the man is charged a bride price, known as “lobola” in our local language. The lobola can be paid before or after the wedding, depending on when the man’s family has the money. In my culture, the bride price is five cows, or money equivalent to five cows (our wealth is measured in cattle). Once the man’s family is told how much to pay for lobola, wedding preparations begin.
Before the wedding, I’ll have another ceremony. On Oct. 27 (my 28thbirthday!) friends and family will give me kitchen utensils or money toward building a kitchen. This is a festive time as the community comes together and shows support. It has some aspects of an American bridal shower. One difference is that my fiancé will arrive at a certain time during the ceremony to give me a present and unveil me in the presence of my family and friends. Then we have feasting, drumming and dancing. The drumming and dancing are our favorite parts! This ceremony is mainly attended by women who share their marriage wisdom with the bride – it’s a time for great rejoicing.
~ Sending my love to all, Nanyemba Hamahuwa
INTERNATIONAL OUTREACH UPDATES - ZAMBIA
DECEMBER 2017 - Our companions in Haiti are doing well!
Dorothy Nanyemba Hamahuwa is happy to announce that 1,000 books collected by St. Margaret’s and friends are on their way to Zambia. Dorothy is grateful to our Outreach Committee and everyone who helped take steps toward creating the first library-ever in her hometown of Macha! Dorothy will be returning to Zambia on Dec. 15, but she expects to return to the U.S. late next summer. We have been blessed by her presence and look forward to hearing about her literacy project
OCTOBER 2017 - GREETINGS FROM A NEW MEMBER
Dorothy Nanyemba Hamahuwa
In my country of Zambia, it’s normal to have two first names: one in English and one in our local language. My name is Dorothy Nanyemba Hamahuwa. I’ll be 27 on Oct. 27th. Zambia is a landlocked country in the southern part of Africa. Its neighbors are: Democratic Republic of Congo, Namibia, Botswana, Tanzania, Mozambique, Angola, Zimbabwe and Malawi. Our capital is called Lusaka, and that’s where the major businesses are located.
I am the youngest of three children. My sister is 31 and my brother is 28. We were all educated via church sponsorships and other nonprofit organizations working to uplift the lives of Zambia’s orphans and vulnerable children. I did not have the privilege of enjoying life with my birth parents, because God called them home when I was about 5 years old. The responsibility of raising my siblings and me was given to extended family members. Various relatives shepherded us, so I lived in many places. Each move involved going to a new church. Because I was a dependent, the choice of what church to attend was not up to me. I believe that constantly having to adapt to new surroundings was influential in shaping my life. It gave me the strength to always be willing to step outside my comfort zone and find friends in unfamiliar places.
Coming to America and leaving everything that was familiar to me was the biggest transition I ever experienced. Everything here is so different, and I had a lot of culture shock at first. In time, I internalized American culture, but I have not forgotten my own culture.
After I graduated Macha Girls Secondary School (high school), I was among the few students to be offered a government scholarship at the University of Zambia. I earned a B.A. in Public Administration and minored in Development Studies. I then had an opportunity to serve in my community at “Push the Rock Zambia,” as an after-school program assistant director. Push the Rock is a nonprofit that uses sports and athletic instruction to bring children to the knowledge of Christ. My desire has always been to find a platform to be able to give back to my community.
After less than a year, I came to the United States to pursue my Masters in Organizational Leadership at Eastern University in Philadelphia. This program is designed to deepen Christian faith and its thinking, and boost leadership skills needed in the complex non-profit sector.
While at Push the Rock Zambia, I observed how most of the children were struggling to read and to communicate effectively. I saw the need to begin a reading program to help children who were struggling to read, or who had the desire to read but lacked the resources and materials.
Here in the U.S., I have spoken with individuals, churches and private organizations about the challenge of illiteracy in my community, and how the reading program would be of benefit to children. In July, with the help of friends who supported my project by donating books and contributing funds for shipping, I sent 650 children’s books to Zambia. Currently, I now have 1,089 books that need to be shipped. My goal is to have the first-ever community library in Macha, Zambia.
The Brethren in Christ Church, where my uncle was a member, served the community I grew up in. As he was my guardian, I had to belong to that church, too. The church is about 107 years old. Many missionaries from Europe come to serve in its hospital, nursing school and high schools surrounding the local community. Sunday service usually lasts from 10:30 a.m. to about 1-2 p.m., depending how long the preacher takes to finish sharing the message. The hymns are sung in the local language (Tonga). Each week, usually 4 or 5 choir groups perform songs, with drumming and dancing for the Lord. Newcomers are readily welcomed. They are invited to go up front to introduce themselves, share where they are from, and say how long they are visiting. Before the service at 8 a.m., there are baptisms (if any), plus Holy Communion and foot washing In Zambia, church service can be a whole-day event! The message is preached in English but there is an interpreter who translates it into the local language. Sunday is always a special day because people leave their busy lives in order to be intentional in building community, and building relationships among people with Christ at the center.
I am truly enjoying my time at St. Margaret’s, and I look forward to singing a traditional Zambian worship song for you at an upcoming service.