Wallingford Christian Assembly

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Zambia News - Ros Jeffersons's Blog 11  : Heat Wave (12/02/2015)

It has been very hot here with temperatures in the high 30’s.  Any rain has been fairly short-lived (though dramatic with thunder and lightning) and mainly at night. It is hard to imagine folk at home trying to keep warm when we have the opposite problem. I have not slept under more than a thin sheet since I arrived out here at the beginning of January. The Chit pool was very welcome this afternoon (Monday 9 Feb), but even this began to feel like a warm bath after a while.

A week ago on the Lords Day afternoon a whole troop of us went out with Shawn and Rhonda Markle to Nyakanena village for the Gospel meeting  (one of our operating theatre assistants along with his family lives there).  Quad bike was the mode of transport, each with at least one pillion passenger, and we sped down the sandy paths to the area in the centre of the village where everyone had gathered.   Some children were sitting on a ‘bench’ – a tree trunk on wooden supports. It collapsed at least three times during the meeting - I was glad that we were offered a mat to sit on the ground! One little chap had a makeshift bow and arrow as a toy.  You should have heard them sing though!  They love action choruses such as ‘My God is so big, so strong and so mighty’ and join in excitedly, giving it their best.  They listened well to the Gospel message.  On the way back we saw another group of boys playing football – the ball was made of many plastic bags held together with string.

The week that ensued was rather hectic as I had a lot of visitors.  I had invited different folk for supper on Wednesday and Saturday and was then asked if I could provide overnight accommodation for Jeff, June and Jennelle Speichinger from Dipalata on Thursday night (and, as it happened, they returned to their ‘B&B’ last night and will stay until tomorrow).  They were taking a trip to the Victoria Falls with their visitors from Spokane, US and were flying down to Livingstone in the Chit plane.  It has been nice to have them here and to have the opportunity to reciprocate just a little of their kindness to me.   I am looking forward to a return trip to Dipalata next weekend DV.  I plan to go over on the Friday and stay for clinic on Monday – David McAdam will be there so that I can hitch a lift back on the plane.  I hope to see my friend Mbuya (see blog from summer 2014 – he’s the boy to whom we gave the special wheelchair).   I bought him a hooter while I was home.  I somehow feel that I will not be too popular with his neighbours though he will enjoy it immensely!

With all the visitors I am afraid that my Lunda studies have suffered somewhat, not to mention emails. However, I am enjoying a quieter week now with the chance to catch up.

At the moment I have no cerebral palsy patients on the ward so don’t have to double up as therapist.  It makes my workload rather lighter.  Kezia, the little girl I had for 2 weeks intensive therapy recently is still in the area and her parents are so committed to her care that they want to stay at Chit as long as I am around.  I have agreed to see her once a week till I leave in the latter part of March.  On Saturday I went with my friend, Mary Chiyesu, to visit Eddy, an older lad with choreo-athetoid cerebral palsy.  He is very limited in what he can do because of his movement disorder.  His education was limited by his disability, so that he has never had the opportunity to learn to read.  However, he does speak English well.   I wonder whether I will be able to teach him how to read….  I was able to chat to him a little about why I am in Zambia and to speak a few words of testimony.  Some other boys pushed him in his ‘wheelchair’ to the English Gospel meeting in the Bookroom on the Lord’s Day. He was a bit late but heard most of the message. I am praying that he will come back.  

I have had several other interesting patients on the ward.  Last week brought two unusual rashes as well as TB with a reaction to medication, and a delightful little boy whose playful character masked his high temperature and who would giggle and call me ‘cindeli amuwahi’ – cindeli is the Lunda word used for Caucasians;  actual meaning is ‘learned one’. ‘Amuwahi’ means nice.

On Friday night I went with Keith and Gayle Bailey (Canada) to the girls hostel they have built ( see last blog posting). They visit every Friday night to spend time with the girls.  The evening includes a Bible Study, singing, quiz and a small supper.   Last week Keith used the Two Roads Chart and spoke about the Rapture.  The girls listened well and demonstrated this by their answers in the subsequent quiz.  They all enjoy singing and gave renderings of several songs with characteristic repetitive wording, melodies and rhythmic actions. They are learning the books of the Bible and several girls were able to recite them in order, earning a pair of flip-flops for themselves.  In the will of the Lord, I hope to return on future Fridays and get to know the girls to encourage them spiritually.

The photo shows the hostel girls with Keith and Gayle Bailey. The lady on the extreme left of the front row is Mary Chiyesu, the housemother.

The end of last week marked the departure of the team of student nurses seconded to us from Mukinge Mission Hospital for part of their training (Mukinge is in a different part of North West Province south of Chitokoloki.  It was founded in the 1950s by American missionaries and is now owned by the organisation ‘Serving in Mission’). They were a lovely group of girls who worked very hard and conscientiously and contributed positively to patient care here.  A good number of the group were believers: some were in assembly fellowship and came with letters of commendation to the assembly at Chitokoloki.  They regularly attended the English Bible study led by David McAdam on a Tuesday night where they distinguished themselves by their singing.  They will be replaced by another group in due course, though I understand that they will return to Chit later in their training. The picture below shows them with David McAdam.

Yesterday as I was heading out to the village meeting I was met by a local lad who greeted me with the words, ‘Madam , there is a snake.’  I suggested that he tell the guard at the hospital so that it could be killed and, assuming that said snake was in the grass somewhere ahead of me, made a significant detour to ensure it and I did not meet.  He met me again outside the ‘Old Hospital’ and this time showed me the snake (well, I could just about see it) coiled under the eaves of the outpatient department.  We heard later that it had managed to slither into the office below before it was killed.  I never heard what sort of snake it was – presumably something nasty and better avoided!!

For the past few weeks my morning readings have been in Psalms. I have been thinking about David’s experience of his God through life and his trust in Him.  

Psalm 16 ‘The Lord is the portion of mine inheritance’.

Psalm 18 ‘The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God and my strength in Whom I will trust’.

Psalm 23 ‘The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.’

Psalm 27 ‘The Lord is my light and my salvation….. the Lord is the strength of my life’.

Psalm 28  ‘The Lord is my strength and my shield’.

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

Psalm 145 ‘The Lord is nigh unto all that call upon Him’

This One Who did not fail His servant David is our God too.  He is worthy of our trust and we can prove His faithfulness in all the events of life.  Truly,’This God  is our God for ever and ever: He will be our guide even unto death’ (Psalm 48).