International travel has been part of my life since, as a student I bought a world map and spent hours looking, thinking and imagining the places depicted there.  For any who haven’t seen them, the Michael Palin BBC travel shows are a must watch.  They ignited an absolute passion in me to visit, experience and ultimately make home in the big wide wonderful world.

For Erica, being born and brought up in Ghana in West Africa, has given her an identity that is not defined by any national or cultural boundaries.  We have built friendships and relationships in so many places.  People have come into our home and we have been welcomed into theirs, and our lives and experiences on this earth have been thoroughly enriched.

To have all of that suddenly closed down by the menace of COVID-19 has been a deeply unsettling experience and if we are honest, we have wondered if things would ever return to normal.

But as we have learned over 50 years, nothing stays the same.  Change when it comes can come suddenly, and everything that dominates our lives eventually becomes something we look back on.. “Do you remember when…?’

And so here we are, almost two years since we last travelled to Zambia, armed with test certificates, facemasks and an amount of trepidation, about to embark on a journey that we once looked on as routine.

As a 25-year-old heading out to a country I knew nothing about, I didn’t carry the same strange nervousness as I do now.  What I do know is that we really don’t value what we’ve got until its gone, and mixed in with the nerves, there is an excitement, a joy and a determination to prize every opportunity that comes our way.

We will be travelling on behalf of both CiCA UK and Lordsway Foundation.  We are so grateful that the work of CiCA UK has continued to grow through the pandemic.  More children than ever before have been sponsored in education, both basic and higher.  The residential house we are building for elderly people is nearing completion, and there is so much to catch up on.

Under Lordsway Foundation, local churches have continued to develop, and part of our programme will be a visit to Northern Zambia to spend time with leaders of congregations some of which have opened since we were last there.

There will be the joy of reunion and the sadness of loss; the human landscape changes continuously regardless of the political circumstances.

Our aim is to keep reporting our progress via this blog, and we would love you to come along with us, as we visit such familiar territory but also step into the unknown…

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