John Mwanamuke leans on his machete and wipes the sweat from his brow. Although it's not quite 9 a.m., it's already hot, since Western Zambia is the driest and lowest part of the country, where the shady forests of central Zambia begin to flirt with the Kalahari Desert in Namibia.
Mwanamuke's energetic slashing of the scraggly weeds belies his 75 years of age, as he works to clear the area for an interdenominational prayer circle. Mwanamuke, the secretary of the local Catholic church, is just one of dozens of local volunteers building a new spiritual center called the Garden of Oneness in rural Zambia, founded by Presentation Sr. Teresita "Terry" Abraham.
"This is a place of prayer," Mwanamuke said as he looked across the peaceful garden slowly taking shape. "If I have a complaint that I want to put before the Lord, it's a place where I can pray silently or with my family."