Motorbike In The Bush

We are going to have new transport for our very active director in Zambia. Unlikely as it sounds - he is going to do his rounds in the bush on a motorbike!

The money has already been raised, through recordings by the Caleb's Mission group. This has come following a very generous donation of £2,500, which will allow us to buy a new minibus from the specialist charity transport operation in Japan which arranges delivery of vehicles to wherever in the world they are needed.

The arrival of a new vehicle will free up the old White Lady, our 40-year-old Land Rover, for new use. We are constantly reporting the problems that people in the bush have in getting to hospital - the distances that severely-ill patients have walked or been carried to hospital are almost unbelievable from a British viewpoint.

There is an ambulance at the Monze Mission Hospital, but the service is charged for at 3,000 Kwache a kilometre, which is a high price for sick villagers. As an alternative, we will convert the White Lady to an ambulance, which is how she started her working life all those years ago, and our private service will charge a small fee just to go towards fuel. We can't afford a full-time driver, but we do know of an under-employed driver who will be able to put in some hours, and an additional volunteer, and the possibility of a Red Cross 'paramedic' to be stationed with us.

However, the conversion of the White Lady means that the director himself is now without transport, and he has to do an appreciable amount of travelling to the remote areas we serve. He has suggested a motorbike - and, strange as it sounds, this will actually be far more practical than even a land rover for some of the places he visits.

The cost of equipping him with a second-hand bike is expected to be about £400, and the cost of a year's upkeep, with insurance and fuel and servicing, will probably be £150. The Caleb's Mission project in Oxfordshire, one of whom is a motorcyclist himself, asked to take on this appeal, and promised to raise the £400 by the end of August. Some of the money came from the CD of the song Jesus on the Mainline, and although the band were a little late on target, they were able to present the director with around £650 by the middle of September.