We would like to let you know about our construction of the Madzimawe Community Center in the Chipata area of Zambia. This tells the story.
From: Filius Jere <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Wed, Jul 8, 2020
Dear LifeNets Supporters
I am sure our Lord sustains you in good health; same with us here. We are in the midst of preparing for the Women's Enrichment Retreat, scheduled for next week 16-17 July. This will be at our Chipata center, not Madzimawe. The women are right now hoeing the surroundings and cutting dry grass for the men to construct temporary bathrooms. Today we are contacting the Police for a permit for the meeting. This is likely to be granted because the group of about 28 women is within the stipulated requirement of 50 persons per gathering.
Away from this, I wanted to share the attached diagram of our vision for the Madzimawe Community Center.
As you can see, it is rather ambitious but achievable. However, we do not expect to reach our dream at one go. Should we have resources in time, our aim is for key personnel to relocate to the site immediately because time is not our ally. Our target is to have the wall fence, the toilets, the upgraded water facility (including two water kiosks outside the fence for the public), and just the platform for the hall before the feast. Already, we have many people (brethren) keen to gather with us, including individuals from other congregations in Zambia.
Yours in the service of our Lord,
Thu, Jun 4, 2020 at 6:49 AM
Subject: Re: Madzimawe Project
The Madzimawe Project is particularly of great significance because it can easily become a “central” site for various activities of the Church in Zambia. Consequently, I fully appreciate the precondition of ensuring full, legal ownership of the site by the Church. I am a non-legal minded person. However, I remember my mentor, Major Talama, indicating that the Church is incorporated in Zambia.
Under Zambian Law, the Chief holds no title to the land because he/she administers it on behalf of the President. Consequently, the letter of offer that we got from Chief Madzimawe should be enough to start the process of applying for title. Unfortunately, this sometimes takes between six months and one or more years to yield results. However, indications from the Verino case are that the Church in Zambia has legal counsel who may be able to hasten the process. Meanwhile, we shall proceed to put up a mud hut and pit latrine on the site to maintain our presence on the site until it becomes possible to move forward.
The government here has cautiously relaxed, some of the restrictions related to COVID-19, and we look forward to our first Sabbath together. I hope your situation may become equally safe for you, too.
On Mon, Jun 3, 2019, 14:41 Filius Jere <email@example.com> wrote:
Recently, we revisited the traditional chief (Madimawe). He gave us "an open check" to look for a site of our own choice and size. We opted for the site in the attached photo (5hectars).
Next Wednesday we go back to the chief for endorsement. This will be enough authority for the Church to process Title Deeds.
We have a reasonable number of brethren in the area and some proposals to develop the site for the Church.
Chief Madzimawe is a well-known national figure who is known for his humanitarian work in Zambia
Here is only one article about his work and it can be found at http://www.daily-mail.co.zm/madzimawe-chief-with-a-difference/
Last November Filius Jere and his wife Chosiwe came to Cincinnati for the Pastor’s Development Program and they spent 2 weeks with us in our home.
He mentioned to us then that He had been invited into the village with the permission of the village chief to speak to a group of people interested in the work of Beyond Today. We were fascinated with that and asked him to keep us updated.
It is a group composed of people from various religions and non-religious backgrounds who have found what the Beyond Today program says is intriguing.
Filius wrote this: on January 9, 2019
In response to a long-standing invitation, on 9 January 2019, we carried out our “First Contact” by going to visit Madzimawe, an influential traditional chief who has been following our radio version of Beyond Today. Our delegation consisted of my wife Chosiwe and myself and two acting deacons, and their wives.
After briefing the chief and his indunas (Traditional Cabinet), we presented several UCG resources to him, which included The Fundamental Beliefs, Sunset to Sunset and the 2019 LifeNets calendar. His response was elated and he proposed that the Church should be established in his Chiefdom, starting with a sensitization activity which would need the involvement of our existing congregation over two days, starting on a Friday for consultation and information, and Sabbath for worship.
The chief also gave us freedom to choose where to site the Church. (So he is inviting them to start a church near him)
With your obvious support, this could turn out to be one of the most aggressive reach-outs in Zambia.
Above is Filius with the Chief. We took this picture from Facebook. He wrote:
His Royal Highness, Chief Madzimawe receives gift of King James Bible and other UCG resources during formal introduction of Church in his area. "I welcome you to establish the Church in any place of your choice in my Chiefdom. Religion is necessary for any leader to manage his or her people according to God's will," said the Chief gladly.
The onus is now on us to select a suitable place for the Church and get his official endorsement.