Monday, March 01, 2010

Title Deed and the Cavalry

pictured: DS Ilunga and Bishop Katembo

Taylor here. So while my father, Biking Bob, has been riding hundreds of miles through the interior of DR Congo the past several weeks, I’ve been busy in Zambia with a much less thrilling—although also important—task.

Friendly Planet Missiology has teamed up with the folks at SIFAT, Engineers Without Borders (EWB), The United Methodist Church’s (UMC) Zambia Provisional Conference and B.L. Harbert construction in order to build an appropriate technology training center in Lusaka that will double as our church’s gathering/retreat center in Zambia’s capital city. We are very excited about all that can be done with this new facility.

There is, however, a catch that has become a heavy burden for the church leaders here in Lusaka. The agreement SIFAT negotiated was that B.L. Harbert and EWB would donate all the construction materials and labor if the Zambia Conference could rapidly purchase a piece of property and obtain a title deed for it. The clock is ticking, and the local church leaders and I have been learning the hard way that obtaining a title deed in Zambia is a long difficult process. I returned from my winter visit in Indiana to find our District Superintendent alarmingly thin; his family finances had collapsed partly due to his relentless sacrificial efforts to beat the approaching deadline.

We have refused to give up hope while knowing that in our many visits to the Ministry of Land we have met people who have spent years in their quest for what we strive to achieve in a matter of weeks. It will take an act of God for this project to be successful. Good thing we are witnesses that God is still acting here in Lusaka.

I have hesitated to even blog about this potential heartbreak, but we just gave one more call for assistance, and we’re now told that the cavalry is on its way. Last week at our conference level executive meeting in Kitwe, church leaders from across Zambia pledge to join the effort in pulling every string they can find. This weekend, B.L. Harbert offered to send in their expediter to get things moving.

Taking it to Calvary,