The first part of 2015 I was contacted by a group in Alabama through Healing Hands International. This group collects and distributed humanitarian help and then ships the containers to various places in the world. They were wanted to send a container to Zambia.
As part of the shipment I would be able to include my library and a few other personal things to be shipped along with the container to Zambia.
As a result the container was loaded with 1200 boxes of clothing materials and 600+ boxes of books to be donated to schools. It was shipped in October 2015 with an estimated delivery time of toward the end of December.
The plans are to distribute the clothing first to the churches in the villages and then have them distribute according to need within the village. The books will be given to the rural schools. Often they do well to have a chalk board with chalk so books will be a real significant addition to their materials. Charles Phiri and the congregation will have to decide how to distribute them to the various schools.
We have a problem now. In November of 2015 the ZRA (Zambia Revenue Authority) changed the rules for incoming humanitarian materials. It seems that there were a lot of people claiming to be churches to bring aid into Zambia. But they were not really churches, or they were bringing the materials in to sell them and not have to pay and import fees. The result was that our container which would have cost us very little to bring into the country cost $2800 to bring it across the border. This is not something we were expecting or planning. We were able to obtain help with the $800 that we needed to pay the person who was handling brining it in. But, even he did not know about the change until after the container arrived. Once we found out the container was already here and the trucking company started charging to let the truck sit. If we could not pay then the container would be abandoned and the trucking company would try to get its money by selling the contents.
Charles Phiri was able to come up with the funds by using his support for July-December and funds that we had for another effort, all of which must be replaced. Sooo we are appealing for individuals and congregations who can help replace the funds. The materials will really help the church in the district. To let it be abandoned would have been problematic.
If you can help please help this effort. Replacing the funds is critical for the work. If you are able and willing, please send the funds to the Circleville Church of Christ, 1555 N. Court St., Circleville, OH 43113.