Zambian official visits Huntington to thank its people for city’s assistance
HUNTINGTON — A government official from the country of Zambia was in Huntington on Monday afternoon to thank the city, the mayor and its people for the assistance that has been given to the African nation.
“Huntington is a city of uncommon compassion,” said Protacial Mulenga, the District Commissioner for the Sinazonge District of Zambia. “The people of Zambia want to recognize the generous people of Huntington for making such an enormous impact in the Gwembe Valley in Zambia.”
Mulenga said the assistance his country has received includes a medical clinic, clean water, solar power, tractors, drip irrigation and education, which has shown his people a better way of life and helped to relieve human suffering.
“Our country is in a better place economically, physically and spiritually thanks to your wonderful city,” Mulenga said. “Without Huntington and its compassionate people we would be far less than we are now.”
Mulenga presented Huntington Mayor Steve Williams with a plaque during the ceremony at City Hall. Williams then proclaimed Monday, May 20, 2019 as “Zambia Appreciation Day” in the city.
“When I listened to the District Commissioner talk about the challenges of water, jobs, education and looking for investment - sounds awfully familiar, doesn’t it?” Williams said. “If the lessons we are learning here in Huntington can pay dividends to help the citizens of Zambia, then it will help us here as well. It’s an absolute blessing to know that we can reach out to the other side of the world and the love and compassion of the citizens of Huntington is being felt there.”
Mulenga said he was also in town promoting Zambia interests and needs for industry.
“We are looking for people that want to do investments in mining coal, copper, uranium and various other minerals in our country, as well as investment opportunities in rubber protection and paper investments, ” Mulenga said. “So we are looking for serious potential investors from the United States to come to the Republic of Zambia for these available opportunities.”
With Mulenga was Bishop Albert Muleya of the Gwembe Valley in Zambia. Muleya has been very instrumental in assisting the local area with medical mission trips to the medical clinic in Zambia, built with the help of Light the World missions through Christ Temple Church in Huntington.
“We are grateful to have the opportunity to help the people of Zambia,” said Christ Temple Church Pastor Chuck Lawrence.
In 2010, a group of 18 individuals from Huntington and the surrounding area traveled to the Gwembe Valley in Zambia with the intentions of building a medical clinic to serve the underprivileged population, according to Lawrence.
“During that fall, the group assisted in laying the foundation for a 5,000 square feet building in the bush area of Africa to house medical teams,” he said.
The Light the World missions’ teams from Christ Temple Church continued for several years to construct the building in Zambia. They worked with the pastors of the Gwembe Valley to get supplies delivered and construction teams traveling from Huntington to build it.
“We now have a completed building with ongoing maintenance each year,” said Harold Landers, president of Light the World. “We recently completed a cataract surgery clinic.”
This year, medical staffs were able to treat over 100 dental patients and complete many cataract surgeries, Landers said.
“Each time a missions team goes to Africa from Huntington, which is at least three times a year, they take tons of supplies and medicines purchased by the people of Huntington to keep the clinic supplied for the nurses and doctors traveling from the Huntington area and from South Africa,” Landers added.
In addition to medical treatments, the missions’ teams have supplied the children of Zambia with clothing, shoes, used computers and library books.
“Zambia is an English-speaking country, but we discovered there were little to no supplies or books for the children,” said Jamie Lawrence with Christ Temple Church. “We have taken over a ton of library books and donated to several schools in the immediate area.”
Jamie Lawrence says children in Zambia cannot go to school unless they pay tuition.
“Tuition, books and uniforms are an average of $15 per month, but this amount of funding is almost non-existent for most of the students,” she said. “So, for the cost of a fast food dinner in America, sponsors can educate a child in Zambia.”
Light the World missions has help sponsor over 600 students for an education.
“Through Christ Temple Church’s work with the local pastors in the region we have seen a tremendous growth in this Christian nation,” Jamie Lawrence said. “We have officially formed the Christ Temple Church Zambia and planted over 350 churches in Zambia and surrounding countries, such as Zimbabwe.”
Jamie Lawrence says help is still needed with medical personnel, supplies and financial assistance.
“We need electricity installed to the Matambo clinic,” she said. “The government of Zambia has agreed to run electricity if we can help with the cost. That cost is approximately $35,000, which will put electricity all the way out the road to the medical clinic, not only meeting our great need, but the people along the way.”
Anyone wanting to help is urged to call Jamie Lawrence or Amber Wilson with the West Virginia Small Business Development Center in Huntington at 304-751-0392 or 304-654-3960. You can also email them at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.