Thanks to our LifeNets Supporters ---

You helped us buy this Nissan Vehicle that will help
transport humanitarian aid to Mumbwa

Pictured is LifeNets Zambia director Kamabani Banda with wife Shirley and son Rangana

Nissan Double Cab with only 34,000 kilometers on the odometer

April 27, 2003

Remember in June of last year when we asked our LifeNets family of supporters to help us buy a reliable vehicle to help provide life-sustaining humanitarian aid  to the drought-ridden Mumbwa area of Zambia?   LifeNets director, Kambani Banda, LifeNets living in Lusaka, Zambia had been traveling regularly to Mumbwa in his old Peugeot to deliver medicine, food, seed, veterinary supplies and others items. His car could finally no longer take the torturous roads to the remote interior of Zambia. I have gone out there twice.  On one journey it took us five hours to drive the 100 miles of rutted roads to the Nalubanda and Muchabi settlements. The other time we did it in a little over four hours. And that was during the dry season when the roads were still passable. Kambani Banda was prevented from going during the rainy season from November to April. Often there were a number of people, mostly children who would die during that time from malaria and other diseases.

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You responded quickly to our appeal!

In about a month we were able to collect $13,500 for Nissan Double Cab with only 34,000 kilometers on the odometer that we purchased in South Africa through Steve Serfontein and LifeNets Southern Afrcia president Andre van Belkum. This was last August. We want to express special thanks for Steve Serfontein who went through hours of red-tape and standing in endless lines  to buy the vehicle tax-free.  But, he did.  We also want to thank the many individual donors and matching grantors who stepped up to help us. Lilly Endowment in Indianapolis provided a $2000 grant. Thank you!

Our next hurdle was to bring the vehicle into Zambia duty-free.  LifeNets is a legally registered NGO in Zambia. After endless discussions with tax authorities to prove that LifeNets' standing we were able to bring the vehicle across the border from South Africa on December 6, 2002. It was indeed a blessing since duty is 100%, in other words, we would have had to pay an additional $13,500 to bring the car across the border. The owner of the vehicle is LifeNets Zambia.

I'd like to share with you what Kambani Banda wrote us in December 2002

After a long and sometimes frustrating  encounter with enumerable government agencies we are glad to report that we finally brought the vehicle into Zambia today Friday, December 6, 2002. To put the vehicle into service, a few formalities still remain. The major one being clearance with Interpol in Zambia. This process was done in South Africa and Zimbabwe. However another police inspection is apparently necessary to triple check and ensure that the vehicle is  not one of those stolen and not on their wanted list. After Interpol clear it then we need to register it with the Zambia Central Vehicle Registry. Then we will take out Insurance and finally License it. Only after that will we be able to use it. This process will take a fair part of the coming week.

Although it may look be too much trouble to you our friends not used to this kind of red tape, we are so very thankful because in the end  we shall have an invaluable work horse. For emphasis, the further irritations we expect to encounter are a small price to pay, considering what we have been through and the benefits that will accrue to all.  During the period November to April (6 months) we were not able to visit in Mumbwa because the roads become impassable. 

LifeNets has invested in Mumbwa a sizable sum in terms of cattle, farming inputs and community based skills training. As with any project, supervision and follow up is vital to ensure success. This was not possible during the rain season for the same reason stated above, now this should be history

The reasons to be grateful are endless. On behalf of all of us in Zambia and indeed on my on behalf we can only say A BIG THANK YOU to all who donated towards the purchase of this vehicle. We cannot repay you and we hasten to add that we know that you don't expect us to. But one thing we can do is to assure you of this; our intentions and prayers are that the vehicle will be used to bring glory to the name of God and service LifeNets Projects. Once again thank you so ever much.

Kambani Banda

The first use of van to Mumbwa was draped in sadness.  Jonathan Ndiya's wife Loveness, age 33, died suddenly in Lusaka and Kambani took her out in this vehicle to Mumbwa for burial. Jonathan was my driver to Mumbwa in October 2001 and we got well acquainted as we navigated through hours of terrible roads. Kambani Banda email to me:

Sent: Wednesday, December 11, 2002 8:22 PM

Good Afternoon Sir
I regret to inform you that the wife to Jonathan Ndiya, that man who drove you to Mumbwa and back in 2001, died this morning around 8.50 AM.  She was a member of the United Church of God.
I was chatting to her and her children this morning in front of her house when suddenly she fell down and became unconscious. We rushed her to the Hospital, by the time we arrived about fifteen Minutes later she was pronounced dead. She is survived by her husband Jonathan and seven Children 
Her Husband and herself have no relations in Lusaka and therefore I have to take the body to Mumbwa where she will be buried.  Two days ago In my write to you I stated that the Van will be of great service to the church and the brethren. Little did I know that it will be so soon and for a distressing task such as this. 
We truly thank you for your foresight 
Kambani Banda

Interestingly, my wife Beverly participated in a Power of Positive Womanhood conference in Hammond, Indiana on November 10, 2002 and spoke about women of Africa and one of the women she spoke of was Loveness Ndiya and said the following. 

This is Loveness Ndiya. 

Jonathan and Loveness Ndiya with family in Mumbwa in 2001

She is 33 years old with nine children, seven of her own and two step-children, ages 21 through two months. She also had a two year old child who died. According to my calculation she must have been married at age 16. All eleven live in a small farmhouse.  

I asked her about a typical day in her life. Her answer was: “taking care of nine children.”

She said her greatest joy is to live a Christian way of life and to follow God’s laws. Before coming into the Church she said that her life was disorganized and now she sees great purpose and hope for the future.  

She said that the drought in Zambia is greatly affecting them as food is too expensive and money becomes a problem to find.  

I asked her about one of her more challenging days. She said that it was during the first days of her marriage. She and her husband were told to move away without money, food or any income. 

The large numbers of children in these poor areas is a great burden to the families and especially to the mothers. Elize van Belkum has sat down with the women to try to explain to them that they do not have to have a baby every year. Over the year following the discussion it seemed to help some. But, the husbands were not too happy about it. They replied that God says “to multiply and replenish the earth.” 

Andre van Belkum faces a few cultural challenges in his ministry that we don’t usually worry about. For example, multiple wives is an acceptable practice. Often he must deal with that when men are first learning about the church.         


-- Victor Kubik

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