Monday, July 21, 2008

Ray Ferguson

Recorded at Kanchindu

Simeon Siachobe

Recorded at Kanchindu

Jay Starkey

Recorded at Kanchindu

Austin Siabeenzu leads singing

Recorded at Kanchindu - The clinics start with devotionals in among the crowds.

Megan tells the team breakfast is ready

Recorded at Kanchindu

Margorie Kagels

Recorded at Kanchindu

Audio Reports

Dr. Ellen Little

Recorded at Kanchindu

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Dr. John Estes

Recorded at Kanchindu

Sounds of the morning at Kanchindu

Recorded at Kanchindu

Harvey McQueen

Second Half

This post is from KB, and I am actually back at Namwianga Mission, but I spoke with Laura last night by cell phone. She had to climb a rather large ant hill to get reception, but it worked for a few minutes.

The team is at Simpwesi. It is a fairly remote village that we have been too in the past. They were able to arrive before dark again! It is very difficult to arrive in the dark and get settled in for the night, so arriving during daylight is a big plus.

I am at the mission because I picked up James Thompson, a radio engineer from Abilene Texas yesterday. He will be working to configure our studios for the new radio station during the coming few days. Jenny Pippin and Ronica McQueen are also at the mission with their children, so we traveled with a singing group from Namwianga Secondary School to Katundu this morning about 8am and stayed until about 1pm. There were more than 400 people at a Gospel-meeting of sorts, and they were all packed into a small space, but the singing was great!

I will provide you further updates as I have them. There will be several audio posts that were recorded earlier that will posted throughout the next few days.

We had the unusual opportunity to arrive at our camp before dark, which meant that there was time for the villagers to greet our team with singing.

Elizabeth Wiley from Abilene Texas. She is the youngest member of ZMM 2008 and makes friends quickly.

Hannah Orozco - somebody has to hold the babies whilst the dentists work;-)

Josh Massingill talks with Rebekah Ferguson

Joshua Massingill - Audio Report on Second Half

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Dr. Behnke

This post is out of sequence. It was recorded at Kanchindu.

Star Ferguson

This post is out of sequence, it was recorded at Kanchindu

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Kanchindu Day Two

Still struggling with telecommunications. We have done several audio recordings that I think you will enjoy, but they are too large to post, so I will try to post them after the fact.

Our second day of clinics is off to a good start. We had breakfast at 6:30 and had the clinic running prior to 8am. The crowds are already larger than yesterday. We had one elderly woman come in with a broken leg and actually broke through the skin. We have transported her to Mamba where there is a local hospital.

It was cooler last night, but still not cold (according to some anyway). It will likely prove to be much colder later in the week. Last night, our kitchen crew cooked up mashed potatoes and gravy, which our Zambian volunteers weren't too thrilled about it, but our American volunteers dearly loved. We still had traditional nsima for the Zambians. We also had fried chicken which seemed to satisfy both camps:-) Imagine cooking enough fried chicken for 250 people over an open fire. And imagine doing it without a freezer and pre-prepared vacuum-packed chicken already cut up and ready to fry. Needless to say there were lots of feathers around camp, and some tired kitchen workers.

We will try to post some photos, later, but the conditions are just too slow and cumbersome to post them here.

Many thanks


Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Audio Reports

Finally a post

We have had a fit getting any telecommunications at our first clinic site. I finally got the internet satellite connection to work after many hours of effort, and the blog site came up in French. I muddled through enough to figure out how to make a posting.

I will try to do some photos or audio if all goes well tomorrow.

This place is very near the Zimbabwe border, and the crowds have not been as intense as we had anticipated. It has been a good day, but we won't set any number records.

We arrived about an hour before dark yesterday, and the advance team was almost finished setting up all of the tents. It gave the team a rare opportunity to slow down and enjoy the welcome of the village-women and a few moments of just looking around. Very soon however everyone was settling into their tents and getting ready for a night of camping.

The temperature has been very mild (warm) which made last night very nice, and today a bit on the warm side.

We set up the clinic in just over an hour and were seeing patients by 9am today. We saw electric lines coming in though we did not see any electric lights near the village last night. Caribba Dam generates electricity for much of this part of Africa, so we see transmission lines even in places where no electricity is used.

We are all generally healthy and thriving.

I will stop for now, to be sure that this post goes through and if it is successful will try to add more later.

Thanks for your interest.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Sunday at Namwianga

The team had several options for worship this morning. Some of the team walked to Tumongo. Tony Cloud from Alaska agreed to preach. Another group went to a church that meets at Namwianga Basic School where Darrell Conway was preaching and several of us stayed on the Namwianga compound and went to church at Johnson Auditorium which was mostly in English.

This is the most relaxed day on the entire schedule. The team came in for breakfast starting at about 7am and finished up approximately 8:30. After worship, the team will have lunch at the Hamby Guest House and then we will have a lengthy meeting to prepare for the week ahead. When our Zambian volunteers join us we will approach 300 total travelers. It is a daunting task to move, feed, and house such a large group.

Tomorrow we start early and send an advance team out to construct a tent city and move everyone's luggage to their assigned tent. We ask that team members carry one small bag for the outing in addition to a sleeping bag and sleeping pad. Still it requires several large trucks to haul our katundu (stuff) from place to place.

Our first site is Kanchindu, which is very near the Zimbabwe border and south of Namwianga. We anticipate a very large crowd, partly due to Zimbabwean refuges who are fleeing Zimbabwe to find food and safety. We will spend a larger proportion of our travel-time on tarred roads as we move toward the center of the country before turning south on dirt roads. As a result we are using rented buses to help move our crew.

After our meeting this afternoon, we will have the first annual King Canopy Tent Contest. We have to put up a couple of dozen large canopies each year to shield off the sun during the clinics, and they are not particularly easy to erect. We also have trouble getting parts for them. This year we are inviting teams of novices to have a race putting the canopies up as a means to train new volunteers. We have identified a new brand of canopies that we will switch to over time that require substantially less effort to erect, but in the meantime we need to train all hands to put them up and take them down quickly. The ability to erect the canopies quickly contribute to our ability to start a clinic on time, which translates to a hundred or more people being treating during a day. So while it seems trivial to train people to put up canopies, in the end it is actually very important.

More to come

Have a great Sunday


Saturday, July 12, 2008

The Main Team Arrives

The full team came into Livingstone today in two separate flights. Everyone arrived and only five pieces of luggage failed to show up. That may be a record! Water is running at Namwianga, and the electricity has remained on. . .what more do we need.

They drove from Livingstone to Namwianga on three rented Coaster buses. Two of them were actually very nice buses so the ride, was slow, but not particularly uncomfortable.

Everyone seems to be healthy and happy if worn out from travel.

Many of the team will go to village churches tomorrow to worship, and we will begin loading equipment and supplies in the afternoon.

More later, but we wanted to let family and friends know we are all safe with our feet on the ground in Zambia.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Radio Tower

There hasn't been any work on the radio tower for the past four days. We are awaiting an engineer from Lusaka to visit the site and make some decisions. If the tower is fully erected it will be the second tallest tower in Zambia, but that means that there is very little in-country expertise in erecting towers of this height.

Please pray for the success of this effort. The resulting broadcasts will dramatically improve communications in this rural area.

The radio station studio is however coming together nicely.

Many thanks


Update on Nurse Arrival

The nurses for ZMM have to come in one day in advance of the rest of the team in order to sit for an interview with the nursing council of Zambia. We already had several nurses hear, but the remaining nurses were traveling together and got stuck last night in Joberg. For some reason they were not allowed to board their scheduled flight.

In any case, the nurses were able to take a flight out at 10:50 this morning and have apparently arrived in Lusaka (at last word a few of them had emerged from the immigration line.) We have also heard that one piece of luggage did not arrive, but we are not sure.

The group is however safely on Zambian soil and is headed for a late afternoon visit with the nursing council.

The remainder of the team will arrive tomorrow if all goes well.

Thanks for your interest.


Post from David Christianson

As I looked on my iPhone to check out the latest blog, I found that no one had updated it for awhile. As the discoverer of this fact, I apparently also volunteered to record the next update. So here goes.

Preparations are moving rapidly. The nurses are in Lusaka, the capitol, to go through a type of interview before they offer any health care to the people. They will come in tonight, followed by the main team tomorrow evening.

The pharmaceutical supplies are nearly packed. Star Ferguson has been a “star” in getting everything ready to go, as usual. Laura Massingill has been hurriedly preparing housing for the nurses and main team. They will all sleep comfortably while here at Namwianga.

Some of the most exciting work has been occurring at the soon-to-be radio station. A shipping container (about the size of a semi’s trailer) is being transformed into a housing for 90.5, “Namwianga Christian Radio”. The exterior has a coat of paint, and the interior is being walled into 3 separate rooms for different functions. We hope that it soon will be placed below the tower to broadcast hope and good news to the surrounding area.

In the meantime, we await the arrival of the rest of our team. Plans are underway to take hope and healing to some of the poorest people in this poor nation. God is so good to work through us. We thank you for your prayers as we are here, and for saving a place at the table when we return.

David Christianson

Monday, July 7, 2008

Friday, July 4, 2008

Fourth of July

Sorry for the length of time between posts. Telecommunications in Zambia are not at their best at the moment. You may have seen news reports related to the death of Zambia’s president in a French hospital. It is still not clear whether the reports are true. If the president dies, there will be at least a four day mourning period in which there can be no public gatherings, but at the moment the news reports are saying that he is still alive. This is naturally a troubling time for Zambians.

We started our day with several rounds of discouragement. Construction on the radio tower came to a complete stand-still shortly after breakfast due to a broken rope, but we are hopeful the new rope and a new jacking device will be available first thing on Saturday.

Also we heard that a provincial government official had not yet approved our clinic sites for the second half of the medical mission. It is complex and unusual, but in short if we cannot get it resolved in the next three or four days, we will choose to go into another province with our clinics. While this is a minor inconvenience for us, it will be a great disappointment to those in the villages we had planned to visit. Many of those we treat are not able to have any formal health care during the year, and our visit provides them a significant opportunity.

Please pray for the health of Zambia's president, that the tower continues to grow skyward, and that we will be able to follow our original plan and serve a particularly underserved region with our medical mission. We will do our best to post more frequently in the coming days.

Those on our early-team are thriving. We did finish our work day off with a hot-dog roast in the back yard in celebration of the US independence day. It is just one more opportunity to share our culture.

Thanks for your interest.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Radio Tower Construction

"Like cold water to a weary soul is good news from a distant land."
- Proverbs 25:25 (NIV)

These photos just came in via e-mail from Namwianga. They show the radio tower being constructed and lifted into place.

Late-Breaking Container News...

Nothing is easy in Africa.

The container is still sitting at the port in Dar es Salaam. Robby Banda and Patrick Kawinga have been working tirelessly to get it moving and it appears it will leave the port tomorrow. Eleanor Hamby claims that if we hadn't dispatched Robby, the container might have been delayed indefinitely. Robby has been instructed to stay in Dar until he personally sees the container moving.

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, we ask that you continue to pray for this container -- that it will arrive safely and on time for the medical mission. Many will be blessed by its contents.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Audio Moblog

powered by


In 2001, TIME Magazine declared the southern quadrant of Africa "ground zero of humanity's deadliest cataclysm." In Zambia, one in every six people is infected with HIV and approximately 710,000 children are AIDS orphans.

The challenges associated with treating HIV are widely known, but in southern Africa, an equally vexing problem is often overlooked: How to identify those who need treatment.

Each year, the Zambia Medical Mission operates an HIV/AIDS Voluntary Counseling & Testing program that provides life-saving medical information to people in desperate need. Our doctors use technologically-sophisticated rapid tests to determine a patient's HIV status within a matter of minutes. Each test cost about one US Dollar. Patients then receive their test results from trained Christian counselors.

Here is a video explaining what we do:

Saturday, June 21, 2008


Mwanza Martin - the lead engineer for the crew stacking the tower at Namwianga. These men have stacked towers all over southern Africa including countries like the Democratic Republic of Congo, South Africa, and Zambia. They will bring in a crane to stack the first three sections, and the remaining sections will be lifted by a hoist on a "gin" pole It is not work for the faint of heart.

Soon to be the second tallest tower in Zambia!

We have been told by the crew stacking our radio tower for the Southern Cross Radio Project that our tower at 97 metres will be the second tallest tower in Zambia. The sections below were sent on one container but the top three sections will not arrive until the medical mission container arrives. If it happens soon, the tower could be in place by the time the medical mission team leaves Zambia.

We are still attempting to raise the final dollars for Phase One of this project. Approximately $15,000 US Dollars remain to be raised, but in order to meet governmental deadlines, we had to begin work immediately.

According to the United Nation's Joint Programme on HIV/AIDS, radio is one of the most credible sources of information to individuals in developing countries regarding HIV/AIDS. This Christian radio station will broadcast the Gospel, uplifting music, educational programming on health care, agriculture etc, sports programming and eventually news. Below - the sections of the tower have to be painted in alternating bands of white and aviation-orange.

Two men known to be outstanding in their field -) Kel Hamby and Wil Pippin walk around a hole dug to set one of the anchors for the guy wires.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Container Update - Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

Good news!

The overseas shipping container that was loaded in Abilene during January (and has been missing in action for some time now) has been located. Richard Prather's contacts report that the container should clear the port at Dar es Salaam by Friday.

Notable items being held in this container:
- Large stores of medicine and supplies for this year's medical mission
- Building supplies for the new Christian radio station
- Several sections of the radio station'
s tower (which, for regulatory reasons, must be constructed soon)

Please continue to pray for the container's safe and timely arrival. The clock is ticking. :)

Friday, June 13, 2008

The journey is beginning soon.
Welcome to the blog to provide updates for friends and family of members of the 2008 Zambia Medical Mission trip.

Posting will begin shortly


KB Massingill - Co Director, ZMM