Mission Crossroads

FAL 2017

Mission Crossroads is a three-time-a-year magazine focused on worldwide work of the PC(USA). It offers news and feature stories about mission personnel, international partners and grassroots Presbyterians involved in God's mission in the world.

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14 Fall 2017 some to sell to pay school fees, provide access to medical care and meet other family needs. In many cases when there is too little or too much rain, the crop's yield isn't sufficient to last an entire year. In Eastern Province, where my wife, Melissa, and I live, hunger season typically occurs in January and February, when maize stored from the previous crop is gone and the next harvest is still about four months away. ere are also hungry families in the heart of the rainy season, when the incidence of malaria is more prevalent. e lack of proper nutrition during this time of the year makes malaria a more serious or life- threatening disease. We arrived in Lundazi, Zambia, in April 2016 to work alongside the Church I n Zambia, most people are farmers, regardless of whether they have another profession — and this includes pastors. For the majority, the thought of zinja, or hunger season, is never far away. Many people in Zambia are smallholder, or subsistence, farmers who grow the staple crop, maize (corn), with which the mainstay of the Zambian diet, nshima, is prepared. Zambia has one of the highest rates of undernourished people in the world — 48 percent, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Sixty percent of the population lives below the poverty line and 42 to 70 percent lives in extreme poverty. Zambia has two seasons, nyengo ya vula, rainy season, and chihanya, dry season. Since there is very little access to irrigation for Zambian farmers, planting coincides with the onset of rainy season, which typically begins in early December. Some old-timers say it once began in late October or early November, before the impact of climate change began to affect the region. A good maize crop requires a lot of rain, and has a lengthy growing season. e maize variety planted at Chasefu eological College (CTC) and Model Farm, where I work, is Pannar 53, a medium maturity variety that requires 120 to 140 days from planting to reach maturity. When harvest time arrives, farmers are hopeful they will have enough maize to get their family through the entire year until the next season's harvest, as well as The road to Chasefu Improving food security and holistic health in rural Zambia Charles Johnson Melissa Johnson A Lundazi flamboyant tree in full bloom

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