• Jenny Smyth

Theological Welding

Sometimes people ask us about life as a Mission Partner:

‘What is it like to live in another culture?’

‘How do you manage for food, clothes, shopping?’

‘What about all the creepy crawlies?’

‘What do you do all day?’

Impossible questions to answer really as each situation is unique and each has its own challenges, which impact people differently. But there is one common theme for all Mission Partners: Life is full of the unexpected. The things you get drawn into are most surprising and you will discover skills you never knew you had.

Last year our Mission Partners Keith and Lyn Scott were in Ireland on leave from Zambia where they both teach in a theological seminary.


Keith is an academic with a doctorate in theology and an insatiable appetite for learning – Hebrew, Greek, philosophy… but living in Zambia has confronted Keith and Lyn with a series of practical problems. Dodgy electrical wiring, windows that don’t shut, the need for mosquito nets, leaking pipes, keeping the vehicle roadworthy...

So during their home leave Keith thought it would be useful to gain some basic welding skills. He asked a friend to help and together they spent a couple of mornings getting to grips with the basics. On return to Zambia, Keith set himself up with a basic welding kit and started fixing things…Little did he know just how useful his newly acquired skills would be.

Who could have predicted this new challenge? As C-19 begins its steady march through Zambia, Keith and Lyn are busy preparing the seminary with preventive measures.

Handwashing is high on the agenda. So Keith set about making hand washing stations - welding iron bars into stands to hold buckets, basins, soap and even drying rolls! These are now strategically placed around the seminary and are in constant use!

‘Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might’

Ecclesiastes 9:10

Prior to becoming CMSI's Mission Director Jenny and her husband Billy were CMSI Mission Partners, serving in Uganda and South Sudan.

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