ZAMBIA. Kalomo (BNc) – Namwianga Mission had its first death from covid-19 recently, Michael Moono, their high-school agricultural science teacher.

Although quite a number at the mission have had their first Astra-Zeneca shot (the second is scheduled for late July), about a dozen are currently ill with the virus. Teachers and staff, including hospital staff, have covid.

Christians in the area are also suffering. One brother wrote to Roy Merritt:

“Morning Mudaala (a title of respect for elderly people), I am sick. My wife and all the family have been in bed for two weeks. From that day we cannot eat food but only drink water. On only water, we cannot manage. We are in quarantine, with my wife losing strength. We cannot eat nshima (porridge made from ground corn). I will appreciate it if you can provide fruits, lemons and grapefruits, energy juice for us. Good morning. Thank you.”

Roy Merritt says that Zambia had not been hit as hard as other countries before, but that now it is like being hit by a covid tsunami!

The government has closed schools and told colleges they must do their lectures and classwork online. Many of the college students at Namwianga are from poor families, however, who cannot afford a laptop or even a phone that can handle email, streaming and online lectures.

Brother Merritt writes, “In Kalomo Town, our favorite pharmacist lost his wife to covid on June 17th. Church services have been cancelled with everyone worshipping at home till our tsunami eases up.”

He also explains: “Unfortunately, Zambian culture demands that people assemble massively for weddings and funerals, and these occasions have been the source of many infections. Massive funerals create even more massive funerals. We have a national election mid-August, and I fear the crush of people then will feed yet another surge in infections. Please keep us in your prayers.”

Namwianga Mission, established in 1932, is a 6000 acre center for education, evangelism and humanitarian aid in the Southern Province of Zambia.

The mission site contains elementary and secondary schools, and George Benson Christian College that trains secondary school teachers in the areas of Math, English and Religious Education. Many graduates find employment and plant new congregations around Zambia.

Other entities at Namwianga Mission include: Namwianga Zonal Health Clinic, Namwianga Farm, and Namwianga Christian Community Radio Station 90.5 FM. Orphan care is provided in Eric’s House, for older children and teenagers; Kelly’s House, for toddlers; Eleanor’s House, for newborns and babies; and the newly constructed Marjorie’s House that will house HIV/AIDS children.

Traditionally in Zambia, when a mother died during child-birth, the baby was buried alive with the mother because there would be no one to feed it. Now in such cases, people know they can bring the baby to Namwianga to be cared for until it is weened. Then the family can come and take the child back home.

Please pray for the brethren at Namwianga Mission!