Wallingford Christian Assembly

Zambia News - Many Visitors (August 2017)

‘The Lord is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear?’ Psalm 27 v 1

‘The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in Him and I am helped; therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song I will praise Him’ Psalm 28 v 7

‘The Lord is my strength and my song, and is become my salvation’ Psalm 118 v 14

It is time to post another instalment in order to keep in touch and also to seek your prayerful support for the Lord’s work here.  As I seek to live out Christ here each day before the many who do not know Him, I recognise my absolute dependence upon my Saviour Who alone is sufficient for the task.

Sarah Didcott’s  four weeks have flown by so very quickly and we can hardly believe that she leaves Chit later this week. She has plans to meet up with friends in Lusaka and then go down to Livingstone and the Victoria Falls.  After all, one cannot come to Zambia without seeing the sights – though surely the most unique of those must be Chitokoloki….!?  She has had the opportunity to learn a lot during her time here – scrubbing and assisting in theatre, helping with ward rounds, dressings etc. I have enjoyed her company in the home as well.


Sarah and I enjoyed a couple of days at Loloma at the end of July, where we were able to meet up with Stephen,  Carole and Abey Baker and Graham, Paula and Helen Barton, all out for a visit from Liverpool/Warrington.  Graham and I were at secondary school together – another reminder of the passage of time!.  They spent two weeks plus at Loloma where Stephen was kept busy with Bible teaching and Graham, a retired consultant physician, was a great help in the hospital.  I had a couple of clinics to run – this time there were fewer complex neurodisability children attending, although I was particularly pleased to see the two Mukwato boys from Kabompo once again.  I first met them in 2007, the occasion of my very first visit to Zambia, when they were at Chitokoloki for assessment.  I caught up with them again through Elva Brooks, a missionary sister from Kabompo who is now with the Lord, and have seen them periodically ever since.  Their father is currently a patient at Chit, awaiting surgery, which, hopefully, will take place soon as he is needed back at home. We had warm fellowship with the Loloma missionaries as well as with their visitors and returned with lots of lovely fresh produce.  It was my first longer trip in the vehicle. It is great to have the convenience – and we were able to take several patients back home, as well as bring a couple of patients back to Chit for further management. We enjoyed attending the Wednesday evening young people’s Bible class – it was a pack-out and all listened well.

 Left-to-right below: Dinner table at Loloma (note Julie Frank, Marian Ronald and Rebekah Flynn sitting at far end of table; Bakers and Bartons with Marian Ronald and Sarah; Stephen Baker with Loloma Bible class.


The Markles had visitors from their home assembly, Langstaff, Toronto, in late July.  Gary and Angie Williamson were on their way to join the Gospel outreach in Malawi and fulfilled their previous promise to visit Chitokoloki at the same time.  We enjoyed Gary’s ministry in the assembly and on the Lord’s day evening in the missionary gathering, as well as the warm fellowship with them in the home.


In between our visiting surgeons while David McAdam was still away, there was a short period when I was the only doctor on site – rather daunting when I am not a surgeon by any stretch of the imagination. In the goodness of God, there was only one emergency which we sent to Zambezi, an ectopic pregnancy who had surgery and did well.  Gayle Bailey was expecting a visit from family including her 83 year old mother.  Sadly Mrs Brownson had a fall in Lusaka and sustained a nasty femoral fracture which necessitated surgical fixation in town.  I was glad to be here to offer support around the time of her surgery which went well, in answer to much prayer,  and she was able to make it up to Chit just one week later. She made good progress while here, though still has some way to go in terms of mobility. She flies home to Canada next weekend (13 August), on an upgraded flight and with medical assistance which will be invaluable.  Dr Rodney Strahan (see later) and I also had to assess a missionary colleague who flew down with possible cardiac problems – we were thankful to be able to send him on to Lusaka for a more complete assessment than was possible here.  We thanked the Lord that no major problems were detected.

It has been a joy these past  two weeks to resume my Bible studies  for the girls from the hostel who were baptised in February. We have looked at what it means to be saved and how to have the assurance of salvation.  I have given them notebooks  so that they can write down and remember the topics we discuss.  School finishes this week for the August break and the girls will go home, so we will not resume the studies till September.   The village Gospel meetings and the English Gospel meeting  have also stopped for a few weeks, not least because August is the camp season and Shawn and Rhonda Markle will be busy with this outreach.

We have had a visit from Dr Andre Truter, a South African  colo-rectal surgeon from Canada, along with his family.  Andre’s visits have coincided with mine several times in the past, but this is the first time I have met his wife and family.  It has been good to have their help at the hospital with a number of folk away (and more to leave in the next week or so as they are attending the wedding of Chris Brundage, the current Chit pilot, to Alison Bell in Newcastle , Co Down on 24 August).  David Mc Adam returned from NI last week (so we really are back to business as usual), though Lorraine is not following him until early September.

Truters farewell. Left-to-right: Rodney Strahan, Daniel(friend of Truters), Christina Gagnon, Julie-Rachel Elwood, Felitia, Anitia and Andre Truter, RJ, David McAdam, Kait & Owen Speichinger, Yannick Truter, Sarah Didcott

At the moment we also have Rodney and Margaret Strahan here from the South Oakley assembly in Melbourne, Australia. They have been regular visitors since 2002.   Rodney is a radiologist who gives us great support at the hospital even when he is not in Zambia by reporting all our X-rays (the benefits of internet technology).  Margaret encourages some of the English-speaking locals  and patients with Bible studies and Scripture memorisation.  They are also a great help in the assembly – we enjoyed Rodney’s ministry after the Breaking of Bread last Lord’s day.  Rodney and Margaret are my next door neighbours in the other half of the Duplex. I met them once before in 2009, and it has been good to have the opportunity to get to know them better.

After we returned from Loloma we had a visit from the Dipalata folk (Jeff and June Speichinger and Betty Magennis) as well as their visitors, Tommy and Margaret Craig from NI.  Tommy was coming over to  advise on JR’s new house which is under construction, so they all came to lunch at ‘Gardenside Duplex (my house). We squashed 10 round the table and all enjoyed the warm refreshing fellowship.  It was good that they all managed to come – frequently there are patients at the clinic so that someone has to stay behind.  We met the Speichingers again last Saturday in Zambezi (another trip in the vehicle!) when we went for lunch to a very typical Zambian restaurant owned by a sister in the assembly.  Nshima was the order of the day, plus village chicken and fried cabbage as relish.  Sarah bought a chitengi length to make a skirt.

I would greatly value your prayers for the following:

The girls from the hostel as they return home for the August holidays. I have been encouraging them to read their Bibles regularly each day and to pray, that they will grow in their Christian lives.

The summer camps, as young people hear the Gospel, that the Holy Spirit will work in their lives convicting them of sin and revealing the Saviour and His finished work on the Cross to them. Also that those who have made professions previously will be encouraged to go on for the Lord.

The daily testimony and preaching of the Gospel at the hospital where there are many opportunities

The renewal of my work permit – that it will be completed quickly and efficiently before I return to UK at the end of September DV.  Last time it was renewed it was lost for several months; I was so grateful to the Lord when it reappeared and I no longer had to renew a report order every month.