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Newsletter to the Friends of Sakeji

November 2000

THIS YEAR'S MAJOR HIGHLIGHT was the 75th Anniversary of the founding of the school, which took place over four days in July. Included in this newsletter are two accounts of these celebrations, one by staff member Joyce Deacon, and the other by former student Rebekah Opie. It was a wonderful event made possible only by the hard work of a dedicated team of people, and the generous and enthusiastic input of literally hundreds of Friends of Sakeji and former students. Overwhelming joy was expressed by so many who attended the Anniversary, and an outpouring of thanksgiving to God was truly evident.

Having rejoiced in God's goodness over the past 75 years, we now ask for your prayers for the future of Sakeji. For over 18 months now we have been under pressure to relocate the school. This pressure has come particularly from the foreign embassies in Lusaka, who consider that we are too close for comfort to the civil wars in Angola and Congo. While we have felt led in the meantime to continue where we are, despite the security risks, we have become increasingly aware of other reasons why relocating could be what God would have us do.

The present site was ideal in earlier years for serving the mission community, but due to urbanisation and the decline of mission activity especially in Angola and Congo, this site is no longer well located geographically for the children we serve. Over half of the children presently enrolled live in the Copperbelt cities and Lusaka. The school roll has been decreasing slowly in recent years, mostly due to isolation and high transport costs, and we foresee that the time will come when it will be no longer economically viable to remain open on this site.

Discussions and negotiations are in progress right now over the purchase of a property near Chingola. No decisions have yet been taken, and we do ask for your earnest prayers for wisdom and clear guidance over what would undoubtedly be an enormous new venture.

We have urgent staffing needs for January - dorm parents, catering, accounts and maintenance. Please pray with us that these needs will be met.


Matthew F. Raymond

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