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Good News June/July 2023


The US team has now returned from their trip to Africa to see the ELI projects in both Zambia and Malawi, with their hearts and minds bursting with precious memories and stories to share with our ELI family. They traveled many hours and long distances over bone jarring tracks through African bush country, but were always welcomed with warm smiles and gracious hospitality. Lana reports, with humility, they heard so many individuals and community representatives share how Elizabeth's Library had impacted their lives and their communities.


There are so many incredible stories to tell about the people and places that were visited. It was truly a memorable way to celebrate the 10th birthday of Elizabeth's Library International, and we know you will rejoice with us at all the good news.


ZAMBAI


Susu Community Library Dedication Day


Lana Lynn tells the story.....

Senior pastors were the first graduates of the Inductive Bible Study (IBS) program, and they met us at the market town of Kabwe to escort us to Susu. We drove two and one half hours down tracks into the brush, where we parked the car a short distance from the ceremony. The pastors proudly took the lead as we walked down a very dusty bush road.

As we turned the corner, the beautiful library (that we had only seen in pictures) was in front of us. We were welcomed by a chorus with more than 300 people singing songs of joy to greet us. 

Lana and Larry Lynn were presented with a bouquet of roses and escorted with Kathleen A. (ELI Board member) to seats of honor under the sun covering. Joining them was Pastor Lawrence, who had presided over the library ground breaking ceremony four years earlier, dedicating the land to the glory of God. And today, he would pray for the new library.


The guests included headmasters, teachers and students from schools served by the mobile library program. Many gave testimonies of the impact of having library books in their schools, and their poems were delightful. Also in attendance at this momentous event were local dignitaries, a representative from the provincial government, and even Jacob, ELI Director from Malawi.

Pastors came from local villages, with Pastor Crispin (also a graduate of the Inductive Bible Study class) serving as master of ceremonies. Seventy five new graduates of this class gathered to be awarded their certificates as their proud families watched and cheered. This accomplishment was so important that caps and gowns were rented for them to wear. 






Papa Larry was asked to preside with Pastor Lawrence in presenting the IBS certificate of completion to the graduates. It was truly a joy for Papa Larry after months of Zoom teaching with Pastor Larry to see the fruits of their labor.












There were many inspiring speeches from the attendees, but when the program ended and everyone was moving toward the library, we realized that something very important was forgotten. Kenneth, the EL Zambia Director dressed in his very best suit and busy overseeing everything, had forgotten to give his speech!







Larry, Lana, and Kathleen were escorted to the steps of the new library where a stone pillar was draped with a purple cloth and balloons. Pastor Lawrence and Larry with a little assistance from members of the audience knelt on the ground and dedicated the library to the honor and glory of God. Larry and Lana were asked to remove the covering and there was a plaque commemorating the day.


Lana and Kathleen cut the ceremonial ribbon and the library was officially opened. The celebrants pored into the library filled with joy and amazement. The vision had become reality. 










Of course, Kathleen and Lana took the opportunity to read library books to eager children. The younger ones crowded in and were almost in their laps.


The day ended with a delicious feast prepared by the village women. Everyone enjoyed the meal and especially the fellowship with new friends.



It is so difficult to express the emotions we felt as we came around that corner and there was the library that we have only seen in pictures. Over the years, so many ELI friends have been part of this amazing journey, and we wished they could have shared the celebration with us. The joy of the Lord was so evident on everyone's face. They gave thanks for this library, which is such a real symbol of God's love and care for them.


It was a day that all of us will treasure always in our hearts.

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