Wallingford Christian Assembly

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Zambia News - Ros Jeffersons's Blog 20  : Quieter Days (14/08/2015)

They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength: they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run and not be weary; and they shall walk and not faint. Isaiah 40 v31

Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea I will help thee: I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.  Isaiah 41 v 10

These verses have formed part of my regular morning Bible Reading over the past two days. How good to know that the Lord upholds us and strengthens us for the tasks He has committed to us day by day! We need to avail ourselves of the Divine provision as we work for Him wherever He has placed us.

Since my last posting things here have been somewhat quieter.  I have spent fewer evenings at the hospital with sick patients but there has still been plenty to keep me occupied.

Last weekend (18-20 July) I was over in Dipalata for a couple of days.  It was a lovely break and good opportunity to spend time with my friends the Speichingers, as well as Betty Magennis and Tommy and Margaret Craig from Magherafelt, N Ireland who are out overseeing the building project there.  I travelled over to Dipalata with Grace and Naomi Summers (grand-daughters of the Craigs).  Grace  was here at Chit for 3 weeks while Naomi spent time at Sakeji school; she joined Grace here for a couple of days in order to get the flavour of the place.  I enjoyed the Breaking of Bread meeting on the Lord’s day morning which was followed by appropriate ministry about the Lord’s supper.  On the Monday morning Grace and I set to work to make some equipment from cardboard for the disabled children who are on the ward.  It was relatively quick and easy to make a sensory play board for one little chap.  A seat for another boy demanded more thought, but did take shape and I am quite pleased with the result – especially the animal pictures Grace painted round the outside.  I think I will need to make more of these in the future if more children come for treatment.  The picture below show Grace and me hard at it, plus the finished sensory board.  The final picture shows the little chap enjoying his seat.

have had a couple of children with cerebral palsy on the ward over the past couple of weeks –mainly for therapy. On Saturday one went home but was rapidly replaced by another little girl. This means that I spend an hour or so each day in therapy and structured play with them, aiming for about 30mins each. As you can imagine it is quite intensive and I therefore aim to treat each child for 2 weeks only with a planned review in 6 months. It is really encouraging to families – and to me-when we see the child begin to progress.

Children over here have so little and are grateful for anything. One little boy had been on the ward with a fractured arm and came to clinic for a review.  I had seen him around the hospital and thought he could do with some new clothes. His eyes nearly came out on stalks when he saw his new rigout!  He asked me for a ‘sweetie’ and got far more than he expected.  In  some small way it made me think of our giving God Who delights to give His children far more than ever they ask for.

Over the last 2 weeks some of the missionary nurses have been involved in distributing praziquantel in the schools as schistosomaiasis prevention.  The schistosoma is a fluke which lives in the water and as almost everybody here visits the river for washing and bathing (crocodiles or not), it is particularly prevalent. We see its effects commonly in outpatient clinics and also in patients admitted to the ward. If it is not treated it can cause very serious long-term sequalae.  Hence the need for prevention with annual  medication.  Local schools have been visited – some were over the river necessitating crossing in a local dugout canoe.  

During the week I made my usual visit to colony to see Kezia for therapy.  I always take the opportunity to visit other families.  One stays just opposite Kezia and I enjoy sitting on the grass mat while they all try and teach me some Luvale, another local language.  Of course, everybody else in the vicinity comes to join in the fun and all add their contribution to the lesson.  I am getting quote good at naming parts of the body in minute detail.  The other lad who likes to teach me the lingo is still on the ward so I can be bombarded with new phrases.  I think I will end up speaking the unique language, ‘Lundavale’!

This Lord’s Day I went out with Shawn and Rhonda Markle to the little village assembly at Mayengu, just down the road from Chit (picture of hall below) Fred Muyombo, one of our nurses who has been taught to take X-rays, is in fellowship there (his house and garden are immaculate – not a leaf out of place in his hedge!). It was good to meet simply around the emblems with the local believers and remember the Lord Who loved us and gave Himself for us. As usual the singing was excellent.   A local brother gave a word of ministry on wisdom and Shawn preached the Gospel at the end.  The afternoon saw us out again to the village Gospel meeting at a place called Chambula, and shortly after that there was the English Gospel meeting.  There was a good crowd including several patients and carers from the hospital. Sovi, the Zambian medical student who is with us currently faithfully proclaimed God’s good news of free salvation through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Later in the evening at the weekly ‘gathering’ (held at my place this week) we listened to a recording from the Langstaff missionary conference last May where Clive Barber (Australia) challenged us about taking the Gospel to those around us- whether in the developed West or in the villages of rural Zambia the need is the same and folk are dying without Christ. Please pray that we will all be ready and effective witnesses to the Saviour.