Although Bishop Ruth and Archdeacon Adrian have been unable to make their planned trip to Zambia to attend the Eastern Diocese’s celebration of opening new diocesan offices this week due to the Covid-19 pandemic, all those in Zambia have been very much in their thoughts – while others in the diocese continue to offer valued support.
Bishop Ruth says, “I sent my best wishes to the Zambian bishops this week as I have been unable to visit. I’m so very sorry that I can’t join them but hope and trust that they and all our Zambian brothers and sisters continue to know God’s rich blessings and resourceful peace at this time. I assured the bishops that we continue to pray for them and look forward to the time we can join together once again either in Zambia or when the Lambeth Conference can take place. I know that many others across the diocese also continue to hold Zambia in their prayers and was delighted to hear from Karen Butt this week, who is one of the team who visited as part of the 40th anniversary celebrations. During the visit she connected with a priest’s wife, Esther Mwanza, and has continued to work with her to support people in Zambia.”
Speaking about her work Karen says, “With the help of the hospital and support from the Legge Group, Esther and I had been able to get literacy and healthcare classes started and a Life and Survival Skills programme run by the Diocesan Gender Project in Eastern Diocese. We have also been discussing the situation and needs of the group of expectant mums who wait at the hospital to give birth, sometimes many months, they are called ‘The Waiters’.
“Due to the threat of Covid-19 all the programmes have currently been stopped but the ‘Waiters’ continue to arrive at the hospital. In discussion with Esther we have been able to provide funds for them to provide five water containers for handwashing, soap and materials to make face masks.
The hospital and area have established good contingency plans and emergency response teams ready for any suspected Covid-19 patients though thankfully they have none so far. They ask for our continued prayers for their protection from Covid-19.”
The number of Covid-19 (Coronavirus) cases of Zambia are modest at present, but it is still in the early days of the epidemic in the country. To find out more about our connection with Zambia visit the World Mission section of the diocesan website.