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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Mission Crossroads 15 of Central Africa Presbyterian Synod of Zambia (CCAP Zambia), a PC(USA) partner church. CCAP Zambia has a long history of holistic ministry in the areas of agriculture, health care and education. Using appropriate technology in a Zambian context, I serve as development specialist in support of the Chasefu Model Farm and teach courses in sustainable agriculture for students at CTC. ere are 13 students from Zambia, Zimbabwe and Malawi currently enrolled at CTC. Although they come from different countries, they all are from subsistence farming families. A Zambian pastor's congregation may include several prayer houses, requiring significant travel to preach and conduct pastoral visitation. Many pastors serve in remote, rural areas, where the level of poverty is high, and the congregation struggles to pay their pastor's salary. In addition to their church-related duties, pastors must farm to meet the food needs of their families. With the addition of agricultural courses at CTC, it is hoped the pastors will be better equipped to be successful in their farming efforts and to share their knowledge with their congregations and villages. My work at Chasefu isn't limited to teaching, however. I also serve in a support capacity to the Rev. Mapopa Nyirongo, acting coordinator of Chasefu Model Farm. e farm currently provides practical learning opportunities for seminary students. CCAP Zambia intends for the model farm to be developed into a training center where smallholders can learn new methods in sustainable agriculture, crop rotation, intercropping and the use of appropriate technology to facilitate their work and reduce labor. Another goal is to introduce alternative crops with high nutritional value, which can contribute to the smallholder family's food security. I also work to facilitate the farming activities of the Chasefu Agricultural Income Generating Activity (AIGA). e purpose of the AIGA is to generate revenue to supplement the financial needs of the seminary and Chasefu Model Farm. Because of this role, the AIGA's focus is on raising groundnuts (peanuts), soybeans and other cash crops. Because of government price controls in Zambia, maize isn't considered a cash crop. Melissa facilitates health education programs offered by the CCAP Zambia Health Department. In this role, she has many areas of focus, including working with Richard Willima, coordinator of the health department, to increase the capacity of two existing CCAP Zambia Rural Health Centers, working toward the needed construction of a new Rural Health Center in Pharaza and creating educational opportunities that will improve the health of the Zambian people through prevention of diarrheal diseases, malaria and rubella. She's looking forward to completing training in Community Health Evangelism, a Christ-centered program that integrates evangelism and discipleship with community health and development. Improved nutrition is an area where my work and Melissa's overlap. Good nutrition is essential to good overall health and the ability to recover from diseases such as malaria, which is prevalent in the Eastern Province. Nutrition is also vital to maternal and child health, a priority for CCAP Zambia. Egichikeni Rural Health Center provides a variety of services to the more than 7,000 people in their catchment area. ese services include basic health care, maternal and child health care, family planning, HIV/ AIDS testing and counseling. Clinic officers assist in providing cooking demonstrations and establishment of community gardens in 53 villages. e goal of these activities is to improve nutrition at the village level by improving the availability of foods and to encourage the acceptance of protein and nutrient- dense foods that are not commonly grown or eaten. We are making progress in overcoming many challenges as we work with CCAP Zambia to improve the lives of those we serve. Charles and Melissa Johnson are mission co-workers serving at the invitation of the Church of Central Africa Presbyterian, Synod of Zambia (CCAP/Z). Charles is a development specialist and instructor at Chasefu Theological College and Model Farm and Melissa is a health education program facilitator with the CCAP/Z Health Department. MAKE A GIFT Support Charles and Melissa's ministry of improved health in Zambia. pcusa.org/donate/E200534 Charles Johnson Jackson Banda plowing with oxen at Chasefu Model Farm

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