Quiet excitement enveloped the Upper Room as retirees from Fletcher Park Inn, an independent ministry, gathered for Vespers on the evening of Friday, August 18. Several weeks prior to the start of summer, Ed Bagwell, the Vespers leader, announced a special summer offering scheduled for this date. The purpose of this offering was to support educational initiatives managed by Alan and Pauline Knowles at the Riverside Farms Institute in Zambia, Africa.
As word spread about the summer offering, it was revealed that an anonymous donor had generously provided a $5,000 matching challenge grant. This meant that every dollar contributed would be matched, effectively doubling the potential offering for Riverside Farms to a maximum of $10,000.
The Knowleses have devoted 38 years of their lives to serving at the institute in Zambia. Their work encompasses elementary and adult education, agricultural instruction, tailoring, and even overseeing a substantial banana plantation. Pauline Knowles’ particular focus lies in ensuring that the most vulnerable receive an education, including replacing worn-out clothing with clean, repaired school uniforms. Alan Knowles collaborates with student teams on projects such as constructing one-day churches, re-roofing existing ones, and drilling and repairing wells. Their most recent achievement involved overseeing the construction of primary and secondary school buildings, accommodating nearly 500 students.
Alan and Pauline Knowles graced the Upper Room with their presence on August 18, 2024. After delivering heartfelt reports, the offering was collected and meticulously counted. With jubilation and gratitude, it was revealed that the total offering amounted to $10,200. This inaugural summer Vespers offering left the retirees of Fletcher Park Inn profoundly thankful, recognizing the privilege of supporting God’s work in Zambia, Africa, and echoing the scriptural sentiment, “For I was hungry, and you gave me meat; I was thirsty, and you gave me drink; naked, and you clothed me; I was sick, and you visited me.”
Carolina | January 2024