Today has been a day marked with the all too familiar cry of the Zambian Kwacha. We have simultaneously been spinning various plates, all of which it seemed needed to be kept going with a ready supply of cash.
We have had essential maintenance and repairs to the electrical and water systems at Lunzuwa. The people doing the work have been very good friends for very many years and its always good to have them around for breakfast and lunch. Events that punctuate the times when I am handed lists of things that need to be bought in order for progress to be made.
At the same time the office is open, and I was receiving calls from Kasama, almost 1000km away about a visit that two of our leaders are making tomorrow, and the financial needs they have in order to cater for the people that are travelling to be together for the weekend. Needs I know that must be met, especially when I am told that one of the participants is a blind man who will walk 20km just to be there.
It is an exhilarating existence, there is always something happening, but I would be lying if I said it didn’t create pressure, and the need to constantly maintain a cash flow to fill all the gaps stretches the mind somewhat. The whole situation is not helped when visiting the ATM to catch up with the current situation, the machine whirrs and rattles and then just gives your card back with no cash.
I do remember some advice given by a Zambian friend over 20 years ago, advice I have not always managed to heed. He said, you can’t afford to get too fixated on the Kwachas in your hand because they run like water. You just have to know that money comes and goes like the resource it is. It is a tool to get the job done, not an end in itself.
In that there is wisdom and I suspect freedom. Oh how I wish it was easy to remember when the pressure is on.
And then in the midst of all this came a moment that threw it all into sharp perspective. Some very good friends of ours asked to see us. The way the meeting was called sounded rather ominous, but we had no idea what was coming.
They explained how when Erica’s sister Judith, had died in March 2020, they were so shocked and saddened. Judith had visited Zambia in April 2019 and had made a very big impact and many friends. They said their response had been to put aside some money through the months of our absence, so that when we came they would have something to give us, to mark the fact that they were mourning with us.
They handed us an envelope containing such a beautiful gift from their hearts that it was difficult to know what to say. In addition, in response to a dream in which she said God spoke to her, another friend had faithfully been setting aside a portion of her income every month for the last 6 months, just to give as a gift to us.
There is nothing like selfless generosity to make all your fears and concerns about money fall away.
It is often said that money makes the world go round, but what makes the world is generosity, love and kindness, and today we encountered an abundance of it. Sacrificial giving is a priceless blessing.
There is a verse in the bible that sums it up perfectly
“Out of the most severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity”. 2 Corinthians 8:2