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Zambia News - Ros Jeffersons's Blog 18  : Busy times (05/07/2015)

I don’t know quite where to begin this posting. It seems that a lot has happened and there have been some amusing incidents.

I have received a present from a grateful patient – and not from someone I personally looked after.  When I was last here, a patient from Angola whom Dr David had helped insisted on taking our photos and said he would get us all T-shirts with the respective photos printed on them. I had forgotten about them – though do remember seeing a picture of Dr D is his.  Julie-Rachel Elwood came across mine last week.  I thought I should include a photo of the latest fashion at Chit.

Then on the ward round this week I sent a little boy home, a bright little fellow and full of fun. Before he left he came to give me a hug and announced simultaneously that he would marry me with 3 cows.  Sorry if anyone wanted to clinch the match – he’s gone home and still has his cows!!  See photo of the farewell below.

Kezia, the little girl with cerebral palsy who was at Chitokoloki for most of my last visit returned last week and she and her family are now established in their little temporary home in colony, probably for the remainder of my present visit.  I went out to see them last Saturday, but won’t start therapy sessions till this week. I have managed to procure a pushchair from Lusaka for Kezia – it will make a hige difference to getting her around if her mother doesn’t have to carry her everywhere.   I see so much of this family and really pray that their hearts will open to the Gospel.  I try and leave a  different Luvale tract on each visit

Last Monday five of us went to Chavuma for clinic – Paul Osteen, our visiting surgeon from the US, Joey and Kaitlin Speichinger and Kayombo one of our mainstays in the operating theatre, plus me.  We went up in the plane but Chris the pilot had other flights that day and we decided to drive back in two vehicles as Chavuma hospital vehicle needed some repairs.  We had a busy day – theatre was running into the early evening –and I saw all the outpatients as well as some of the inpatients.  We left about 20.00h and were taking patients for further investigation and treatment as well.  On the far side of Zambezi Dr Paul suddenly asked, ‘Is this vehicle reliable?’. The words were barely out of his mouth when the thing gave up the ghost!!!  It seemed like there was no diesel.  We were glad of the second vehicle – Joey was able to head into Zambezi to seek fuel (the only fuel station was closed but David and Grace Croudace, veteran missionaries – see photo- had some to spare).  We enjoyed gazing at the night sky and admiring the stars – the perfect creation of God.  Well, the fuel itself wasn’t the real reason for our breakdown. The problem was the pump and the only way to get us back on the road was to bypass it.  The repair took some time and we finally rolled into Chit just after midnight, patients and all.  Dr Paul is not allowed to ask such questions again! Not that he has too much time to do so as he is due to return to the US next week.  We will miss his surgical

Over the last few days there has been a lot of coming and going here. Chris Brundage, our pilot, has returned to Canada till early September, and Don Amborski from the US is coming out to cover for him.  Christina Gagnon returned from Canada last Friday. She had had to fly home urgently during my last visit as her brother was very ill: the Lord subsequently took him home.  Philip and Helen Stevenson and their 3 children arrived on Saturday, along with Grace Summers (Mayfield, Scotland) who is out for 5 weeks on her nursing student placement.  She will be at Chit for 3 - 4 weeks and then go on to Dipalata to spend some time with her grandparents who are out overseeing the building work there.  She was with me today and learnt how to do baby checks. Tomorrow she will learn how to be the scrub nurse in the operating theatre.  More folk arrive later in the week, including Sovi, a medical student from Lusaka, in fellowship at the Great East Road assembly, who will be with us for all of July.

This weekend (a holiday weekend here) is the first of the cold season camps at the campsite near the river.  The Senior girls are looking forward to going and we trust that they will be challenged as they hear the Gospel.  They have to learn quite a large number of Scripture verses by heart and Carol, the daughter of one of our hospital watchmen from the Nyamonga village assembly, has been coming to my house for some help with her learning. It has been good to spend some time going through the verses with her and explaining their meaning – which helps with the learning too. It is all very possible to learn the Scriptures by rote, and while this has some value, it is even more important to understand what the verses mean so that the teaching can be applied in one’s life. Three other younger girls came today and we spoke a little about the Bible as the word of God and its message.  They asked for memory verses as well but I’m not sure how much they retained of what they learnt.

Yesterday the Lord’s day, Shawn and Rhonda Markle and their two daughters came for lunch.  Then we all went out to the Gospel meeting in the villages – always a joy.  We sit on grass mats under shady trees alongside the locals.  This week we were at Nyakenenga.  The crowd seemed smaller than usual, though the headman knew we were coming – I had seen him the previous day and we had cycled down the road together.  I heard that some people had had to go to their fields.  However, the children still sang well and listened to the Gospel simply preached.  At 17.00h was the English Gospel meeting.  Numbers are down in this meeting as well compared with when I was last out. There are fewer coming across from the hospital at the moment – this may reflect the present population of patients with fewer English speakers and more Portuguese speakers (the patients who come across from Angola).  Yesterday the girls dorm was out in full force however and they sang lustily. It was good to see several of the hospital staff present too.  Shawn preached the Gospel powerfully from the story of Zaccheus.  The Markles are off to Lusaka at the end of this week as Shawn is to speak at the Gt East Road assembly conference, along with Howard Barnes (UK) who is in Lusaka at the moment.

My final photo of this posting shows a chameleon in the bush just by my door. It was so well camoflauged that I would have missed it but for Carol pointing it out.  He was there on Saturday evening and was still there on Sunday afternoon, so he hadn’t moved very far!!  His camoflauge is so good that I would have missed him if one of my Zambian friends hadn’t pointed him out.   The cat didn’t seen him either, but, in any case, he was too high in the flimsy bush to be caught.

Do please continue to pray for the work here both in the hospital and out in the villages, that the Lord may be glorified and needy souls will find the Saviour.