Wallingford Christian Assembly

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Zambia News - Greetings from Chitokoloki (25/08/2016)

Greetings from Chitokoloki, my Zambian home.  It is good to be back out here once again with the local people and missionary friends,  and it is high time that I updated my blog. I recall only writing one posting during my last visit in March/April, my excuse being its short duration (just one month). I hope I will do better this time!

My four months in UK passed very  quickly.  There were a few jobs needed at home, mainly outdoors so summer was the ideal time. Then there were work/research matters to be sorted, and, last but not least, there was the opportunity to travel just a little(!), to far flung weddings and a more recent trip to Armenia to help at the camp which Toros and Virginia Pilibosian organise each year.  While at home it was a privilege to hear and enjoy wholesome ministry from the Word of God at various conferences and I pray that this will have its practical outworking in my life, for the glory of the Saviour.

I flew out to Lusaka just one week ago, leaving Heathrow on the Lord’s Day evening and arriving in Lusaka the following afternoon. The Lord granted safe flights – but the Dubai-Lusaka flight was certainly not uneventful. About 1.5h from Lusaka there was a call for any doctor on the plane to make themselves known to the cabin crew, and I found myself dealing with an in-flight emergency, which ‘happened’ to be paediatric and which, thankfully, had a happy ending.  Robert and Margaret Muir who previously served the Lord at Mambilima in the NE of the country were on the same flight, although I didn’t see them until we arrived in Lusaka. They are out on a 3 week visit which will include the big assembly conference up there.

I had a couple of days stay in Lusaka which gave me the opportunity to do the necessary shopping to live up country and also to catch up with friends. Tanis Walker who was formerly at Chit but is presently the school nurse at Sakeji School was in town to sort the paperwork for visas to go to Angola, so we were able to spend time together.  I stayed with Jason and Anna Speichinger  who live on the south of the city – Jason is a pilot with Flying Mission and his parents are missionaries at Dipalata, not too far from Chit. I appreciated their help and the visit was special in many ways, not least because I got to share their daughter’s first day at school.

I flew up to Chit in the little plane last Thursday afternoon.  Between us Anna and I managed to load it up very well! I received a warm welcome to put it mildly – the mothers from children’s ward were at the gate all waving with pleasure.  It was lovely to see all my missionary colleagues again too. The McAdams are away until the end of the month – their middle son was married in Newfoundland on August 5th – so we have a visiting doctor and his wife from the US to help.

On Saturday afternoon I went out to the village to visit with Eddie.  He was overjoyed to see me again.  Just before I left in April one of the brothers from the assembly who works at the hospital told me that Eddie had made a profession, though I was never quite able to ascertain clearly for myself what had happened.  He was obviously emotionally moved about something so that his speech deteriorated considerably and was harder than usual to follow. I trust to be able to talk with him some more during my visits.  His seat is in a sad state of disrepair and I have a feeling that I will need to make something for him….. at least as a temporising measure.  It was good to sit with him in the village once again and to chat. God willing I will see him again next week – my bicycle is getting well used.

Just an additional note to bring this posting up to date.  The week in the hospital has been busy, particularly the early part when we had a number of sick children whose conditions deteriorated and, sadly not all of them made it.  There are a lot of burns on the ward at the moment, and also a number with congenital talipes – the latter group are very well but have to remain in hospital for the duration of their treatment.  I begin to recognise ’old friends’ when they return for re-assessment and it is always nice to see them again.  There is always the opportunity to give Gospel tracts to each family as they are discharged and the Gospel is preached in the hospital each day.

I greatly value your prayers as I seek to live and serve the Lord here.  Needs are great and none of us can meet these needs alone – we need the Lord and His enabling.  Once the new school term starts, then the girls’ hostel will re-open and, in Keith and Gayle Bailey’s absence, I will be supporting the work there which will include the Friday evening Bible study.  It is a great responsibility to teach these girls from God’s Word and to have the opportunity to influence young lives for Him.

‘Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God’   2 Corinthians 3 v 5