International Ministries

Life is Fragile

May 7, 2015 Journal
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Have you ever had an experience that reminded you that life is extremely fragile?

I recently sent a prayer request for Pastor Ryan and his family because his son, Luke, is battling a relapse of leukemia (see update below). Not long before Pastor Ryan learned of his son's illness, another of his sons fell on a large piece of broken glass and lacerated his knee so badly that medical personnel were concerned about the possibilities of both infection and tendon damage. Thankfully, neither were present, but as Pastor Ryan shared the story, "I got this panicky feeling and I remembered something - life is extremely fragile."he told of how his mind had considered the scary scenarios that could have been had his son landed differently on the glass - "What if it hit his stomach, or his throat, or his head, or his eyes, or his heart, or an artery?" Through his son's injury, he was reminded of the fragility of life. "I got this panicky feeling and I remembered something - life is extremely fragile."

While events like that occasionally jar us into remembering how precious and uncertain life is, that reality is even more consistently present for our neighbors in Zambia. In a country where the life expectancy is only 57, the HIV/AIDS rate is 12.7% (up to 22% depending on the area of the country), and 51,000 children under the age of 5 die annually - 51,000 in an area slightly larger than Texas - death and loss due to factors relating to poverty are all too common.

Agricultural skills can empower women in Zambia
Photo: 2014 Collins Kaumba/World Vision
By addressing root causes of poverty with physical, emotional, and spiritual resources, some of those statistics can begin to be reversed. The Baptist Convention of Zambia has established plans to offer resources that will empower women economically, socially, and spiritually. One of those resources is agricultural training. 

In the past, drought has led to crop failure, increased food prices, and loss of income. Consequently, household food security weakened, further increasing incidences of malnutrition and other health-related problems.
By learning agricultural practices, and the skills to market their produce, women can grow food for consumption and for profit, resulting not only in self-sufficiency, but in sustainable economic growth of the area.

The Food Resource Bank* reports that Neda, a woman who lives in the southern part of Zambia, was hesitant to try conservation farming (CF) techniques, but once she did, she was convinced that they were better than the methods she used previously. Using CF techniques, the soil retains more moisture, and crops sustain periods of dry weather better than with conventional methods. Neda said that her crops produce higher yields using the CF techniques, and that she usually earns a good amount of income to support her family and pay school fees for her children.

Life is fragile in every part of the world, but by learning agricultural skills, women in Zambia can increase food security for themselves and their families while contributing to the economic improvement of their communities. Consistent supplies of food can thwart malnutrition and associated health issues, and an improved economy can lessen poverty-related disease and death. By equipping women with agricultural skills, the BCZ can help reduce some of the consistent reminders of the fragility of life in Zambia.


Learning agricultural techniques can empower women

Would you like to HOST A FUND-RAISER AROUND AN AGRICULTURE THEME? Ask a local nursery to donate plants for sale, organize a dinner featuring local produce, or hire out volunteers for yard clean-up/garden prep. Children can assemble starter packs of fruit, vegetable, or flower seeds to sell or receive donations for watering plants. From now until June 15, new gifts can be doubled!
Your support can help others know the hope of Christ
About 40% of the
ongoing support needed
has been committed

As you know, in order to assist with the ministry in Zambia, I must have a network of support in place. About 40% of the needed ongoing financial support has been committed. The remaining 60% of the goal can be reached with ten commitments of $100/month, forty commitments of $50/month, thirty commitments of $25/month and fifteen commitments of $10/month.
The Matching Gift Opportunity going on now provides donors with the opportunity to have gifts matched dollar for dollar. From now until June 15 (or until the funds are depleted), new or increased gifts of support can be doubled. That means those gifts can have twice the impact in propelling me toward international ministry! Please see below for details on how you can partner financially to bring hope to women and have your gift doubled at the same time.
Thank you for your concern for the women of Zambia and for your support of this ministry.


Update on prayer for Pastor Ryan: Pastor Ryan's son, Luke, is now about half way through the critical first month of treatment for leukemia. There have been some trying days as the treatment is very aggressive, but Luke is fighting through. Please pray for healing, comfort, and encouragement for Luke and his family.
For your gift to be doubled:
* Give a single gift or become a regular supporter. For new, regular supporters, your first gift(s) marked for the matching opportunity can be matched, and subsequent gifts sent after June 15 become part of the ongoing support needed for prolonged ministry in Zambia

* If you are already supporting regularly, give a gift in addition to your current support, or increase your support level (gifts already coming in on a regular basis do not qualify for the match)
* Important: Clearly mark the gift for the Spring Matching Gift Opportunity
You may give
* By mail with a check or money order made out to International Ministries with “Match - Kathy Charland” on the memo line
Online at 
* By phone at 800-222-3872 x2323 (state that the gift is for the 2015 Spring Matching Opportunity when you call)
* Postmark gifts between April 15 and June 15, 2015. The opportunity will end on June 15, 2015 or when the matching pool is depleted – whichever comes first

* Please share the matching gift opportunity with your friends, church, or anyone with a heart for missions to encourage them to participate! You can share via email, Facebook, or Twitter using the "Share/Tweet/Forward" buttons below
Thank you for your support of the ministry in Zambia!
Click here to support this ministry through the Matching Gift Opportunity --- Please be sure to specify the gift as "Match for Kathy Charland"