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Zambia News - Ros Jeffersons's Blog 23  : Returning to the UK (11/09/2015)

The end of last week marked the home going of Kezia, the little girl with cerebral palsy who comes and stays at Chitokoloki whenever I am there so that I can give her therapy.  Dorothy Woodside, (US missionary) was visiting patients in the community near where she lives so she was able to provide the transport.  My other little friend from colony, Sombo, has also gone home to Loloma with her family.  Their departure was quite a palaver as there were eight of them in the family in total and they had accumulated a significant amount of ‘vyuma’ (bags and baggage in common parlance) during their six month stay.  The vyuma included a number of live hens and their chicks who had to be chased before they could be captured and caged for the journey.  It has seemed strange not to have to run down to colony at the end of the day, though I have still has Eddie to visit in the village.

The Lord’s day was my last at Chitokoloki for the present (DV next Lord’s Day I will be at the Great East Road assembly in Lusaka.  My friend, Carol Lumbwa, was keen that I go out to the little village assembly at Nyamonga. One of my workers, Moses, along with his wife is in fellowship there.  Her father is one of the guards at the hospital and he was on duty, so there was just Carol, her mother and myself walking out there. It took us about one hour for one way, and the dirt road was very sandy in the dry weather, so it was like walking in the sand dunes (but preferable to the mud bath it must be in the rainy season!).  I have a new appreciation of Moses and his daily treks to work.  It was just a small company of believers who gathered to remember the Lord in the hall and the Breaking of Bread was followed by the Gospel meeting.  The picture below shows the believers standing outside the hall after the meetings. Moses is the young man in blue, second from the right.

By the time we were walking back the sun was high in the sky and it was hot. We were glad of the intermittent shade afforded by the trees that bordered the path.  Of course, one greets everybody coming in the opposite direction, and the children are all very interested to see a ‘chindeli’ – the word literally means ‘learned one’, but is used for non-Africans .  I was very glad to down two glasses of lemonade very rapidly when I arrived home!  Later in the day I went to visit my friend Eddie in the village – he had been at the meetings at Chit in the morning once again. It is so good to see him coming regularly and listening to the Gospel. Please pray that he will come to know the Lord Jesus Christ as his Saviour.

Monday was a special day as I had visitors for lunch, something I would not normally do during the working week.  My friends from Dipalata came through – Jeff and June Speichinger (commended from the US) and Betty Magennis and Patricia Wiseman (from Ashvale – she is currently visiting with Betty). It was a lovely time of fellowship over the meal and into the afternoon, with much laughter too.  It was really nice to get Patricia over – so we can share reminiscences when we meet back in UK.  The photo below was taken on my patio. Jeff and June are on the left and Betty and Patricia on the right.

Thursday marked the beginning of Dr Goran, the plastic surgeon’s, visit. He comes up twice each year from Lusaka to perform surgery.  The children with cleft lip and palate really benefit from his interventions and probably form the largest group of his patients, though old burns patients are also greatly helped. The babies who have a cleft repair are really transformed by the surgery and are accepted better in their families afterwards.  He brought with him a consultant anaesthetist from the UK who is spending a period over here working in Lusaka and also a journalist from the US who is making a documentary on plastic surgery in the developing world.  Jeff, the journalist,  has been wandering round the wards and operating theatre taking photos and videos.  Everyone has been busy ensuring all the patients are ready and the surgery goes smoothly.

It has become increasingly hotter as the week has gone on.  The haze over the river has hidden the beautiful Chit sunsets. I have been glad of my shady patio with its lovely view. Tonight (Friday) as I type there is a rare occurrence for this time of the year – a thunder storm. This is the first rain I have seen/heard since I left UK at the end of May. The rainy season does not usually start till the end of October – and this is likely to be an isolated storm, but even so it is spectacular.  When I first arrived we were needing sweaters in the mornings and evenings.  Now we are finding the coolest clothes we can!!

I have just one more day left at Chit before I fly to Lusaka – with Dr Goran and his team.  It is not easy to leave everyone, staff and patients, but, God willing, I hope to return in December.  However, by then Emma Wichers (Canada) will have left – she is to be married to Nathan Harris in Canada on 24 October. We will miss her very much here, and we pray that the Lord will clearly guide her and Nathan as to where they should serve Him.

The final picture shows Moses and Abednego, the two workers who have kept the house and garden together during my stay.  Moses is on the left and Abednego on the right.  DV Keith and Gayle Bailey in whose house I have stayed return around 16 September so that it will not be empty for too long.

The final paragraphs of this posting are written after my return to Abbots Mead on Tuesday 8 September.

The flight to Lusaka was uneventful, apart from the early start and the send-off when Joey and Kait Speichinger suddenly found themselves accompanied by one of the local psychiatric patients.  We were amused to see him do his own little leap in the air just as we were taking off.  I enjoyed warm fellowship with the saints at the Gt. East Road assembly in Lusaka on the Lord’s day.  There had been a wedding the day before, an Irish groom from Kilkenny was marrying a Zambian girl.  Jonny McIlroy (Ealing and NI) had come out for it along with his nephew, and we were on the same flightout of Lusaka as far as Dubai  - when they headed for Gatwick while my destination was Heathrow.  

Monday was an epic day – I managed to procure my Zambian driving licence!  It felt like a major feat, and was the culmination of a lengthy process to acquire all the necessary paperwork.  As it was, It took all morning.  I thanked the Lord for my taxi driver who took it upon himself to accompany me and was a great help.  By 11.45h, I was enjoying a welcome coffee in Manda Hills shopping centre, licence in hand.  It was a special treat to meet up with David and Lorraine McAdam for lunch – they were in Lusaka on their way back to Chit after spending the summer at home in NI.  Later in the day they took all of us (Jonny, Thomas and myself)  to the airport for the flight home.  I was rather pleased to discover that I had been upgraded to Business class for the flight to Dubai!!  The photo shows the two boys waiting for the flight at Lusaka.

While it is good to be back in UK, I miss Zambia, particularly my local friends and long-term patients around Chit. God willing, I hope to return in December and would value your prayers in all the arrangements, that the Lord will overrule throughout.