To Africa, With Love
During March 2010, ASI Update editor Conna Bond and videographer Vienna Cornish will visit ASI and OCI member missions in Zamia and Tanzania, Africa. Together they'll gather stories to share in upcoming ASI publications, as well as video footage to create additional episodes of ASI Video Magazine. Please pray for the success of their work and for their safety as they travel. Regular blog updates will be posted to this page regarding their work and travel adventures.
Vienna Cornish hails from a small town in central Idaho. She grew up with three sisters, helping out on a small farm with a garden and many animals. Vienna actively participated in Pathfinders for many years and made a lot of music with her family. She frequently sang with her sisters, and learned to play piano, violin and trumpet. Her mother home schooled her throughout high school, after which Vienna moved to Angwin, Calif., to attend Pacific Union College. There she studied film and television production. She later added French as a second major and spent a year studying the language in France. She moved to Los Angeles a few months after graduating, where she is now starting her second year working as a freelance filmmaker. Vienna is a participating member of Cinema Divina, a recently founded production company at the Hollywood Seventh-day Adventist Church. Her desire is to create films and other media that promote positive morals and ethics and that uplift, educate and inspire.
Friday, March 19, 2010: We arrived safely in Lusaka, Zambia, on the evening of March 16, and drove the hour-and-a-half to Riverside Farm Institute. We were so happy to see welcome beds with mosquito net canopies waiting for us after 24 hours of travel. Our plane ride was comfortable but very long—15 hours from Atlanta to Johannesburg, in addition to our connecting flights to and from Los Angeles, Dallas, and Lusaka.
The next morning, we hit the ground running. It's hard to describe just how beautiful Riverside Farm is, especially in the morning when the birds start singing and the people begin bustling around, singing and chattering as they go. We began by interviewing the first president of independent Zambia, His Excellency Dr. Kenneth Kaunda, who has attended the Riverside's Riverview Wellness Center with his wife. His son was recently baptized and joined the Adventist Church. He accompanied his father to the Wellness Center for the interview. They stayed after for a delicious, healthy, leisurely lunch overlooking the Kafue River , and Dr. Kaunda sang and serenaded us on his guitar. In the evening, we attended a vespers service in the Riverside Church. Oh how the people here do sing!
We rose at 4:30 a.m. the next morning to leave in a downpour for Livingstone, accompanied by Frank and Janet Fournier. We appreciate their willingness to take us to Livingstone to gather video footage and interviews about the One-Day Churches and One-Day Schools being built there. We had to hunt down connections once we arrived, but things all came together, and we gathered some wonderful footage and visited with people who live near the churches and schools. We spent the night at a youth hostel-type hotel, the Fawlty Towers. We're so thankful to have a few hours of decent Internet access!
This morning, we're taping one more interview with Ron Kedas, a local Maranatha representative. Then we'll head up to see Victoria Falls and try to catch a few minutes in downtown Livingstone to pick up some curios for our family members back home.
Once we leave Livingston, our access to Internet will be spotty and often nonexistent. We'll head back to Riverside Farm this afternoon to spend Sabbath and Sunday. Then we leave for a grueling two-day drive up to the southwestern part of Tanzania to visit Eden Valley Foster Care Mission and Kibidula Farm. Please continue to pray for our success, safety and good weather! Blessings from Africa!
Sunday, March 21, 2010: We're back at Riverside Farm. We awoke on Sabbath morning to the sound of singing coming from the church. During the service, we enjoyed more singing and a powerful sermon on fear and faith, delivered by Frank Fournier of Eden Valley Institute and translated into the Tonga language. Frank was director here at Riverside Farm for ten years.
Later we joined other workers and visitors for a delicious Sabbath lunch at the director's house—haystacks, of course! Afternoon brought rest, and the evening brought more work.
We've spent today filming more interviews and gathering more video footage and photos. That about wraps things up for Riverside Farm Institute and Livingstone. Two down, two to go.
Tonight we pack. We'll leave for Tanzania tomorrow after breakfast. We have no idea what to expect up there, except that things promise to be more primitive. Eden Valley Foster Care Mission has no power or running water. Kibidula Farm has a generator and intermittent Internet access. Thank you for your continued prayers!