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Zambia News - Ros Jeffersons's Blog 8  : Back to Chitokoloki (03/01/2015)

It is time to activate my blog once again. After four months at home working in the NHS I returned to Zambia last Lord’s Day night.  I had planned to write something before I left UK, but with all the loose ends to be tied up at work (in addition to the regular work programme), as well as the Christmas period and the preparation for a further 3 months over here, time just disappeared.

I had a good journey over here.  Alister and Elizabeth Dunn kindly took me to the airport and Steve and Judi Buckeridge and family met me there at the check-in. It was nice to see them and to chat over a cup of tea before I headed through security.  At the gate I was more than pleasantly surprised to find that I had been upgraded to business class – what luxury!  I thanked the Lord for His over-ruling and settled back to enjoy myself.  Such was the comfort that I slept through breakfast and woke when we were within 40 minutes of Johannesburg!!  Ah well, you can’t have everything!  There was a brief wait in Jo’burg for the onward flight – time for a coffee in my favourite Mugg and Bean coffee shop, and then off to Lusaka where I was met by Phoebe Musonda’s father.

I enjoyed a 3 day stay in Lusaka over New Year’s Eve (celebrated with lots of fireworks in homes  all round )– a little shorter than perhaps I had planned but it fitted better with the flights to Chitokoloki, and I accept the Lord’s hand in it.  There was time to get my Zambian National Registration Card and also to do the necessary shopping for up country.

The flight up to Chit was interesting – we went elephant hunting from the air and our search was rewarded when we found a big herd with several babies too.  I tried to get a photo but the quality isn’t good enough to attach it.

There have been some changes at Chit. Tanis Walker and her two adopted girls have left for Canada – Tanis is exercised to serve the Lord across the border in Angola and has returned home to start to learn Portuguese as well as to begin the visa application process.  Joey and  Caitlin Speichinger from US have joined the team here.  Joey’s parents (Jeff and June) have served the Lord in Zambia for many years, first at Chavuma and now at Dipalata, and Joey was brought up over here. He is a mechanic and Caitlin is a nurse.  His sister, Jennelle, is also at Dipalata and is a close friend of mine.

I have the same house as last time so it almost feels like I have never been away!  Thomas, my house worker, greeted me warmly and various of the nurses, as well as some of the local young folk, have been pleased to see me back.

I was up at the hospital both Friday and Saturday – I spent some time getting to grips with the patients on the ward as well as assessing a number of new admissions.  It is the rainy season (hot and humid with high risk of storms) which means that mosquitoes are active and malaria is prevalent in the children.  A native adult has built up a solid immunity during his/her life, although it is incomplete and depends on ongoing exposure to keep it active – we Europeans never acquire the same natural protection and need to take regular prophylaxis.  We have a few cases of malaria on the ward currently, but, thankfully, none too seriously ill.  Cerebral malaria is a serious complication in children and is a significant cause of brain damage over here.  Yesterday we had a little baby come with a blind-ending oesophagus (food-pipe) so that the she is unable to feed – though very alert and wanting to suck.  Very sad – not too sure how much we can do to help her with our limited resources.  Another child came from some distance away. He has cerebral palsy and developmental delay secondary to depletion of oxygen around the time of his birth.  I will need to plan his management carefully – that’s the job for tomorrow

Today I met with the local believers here to remember the Lord. This meeting was followed by a word of ministry and then, after a short interval, by the preaching of the Gospel.  Local brothers spoke at both meetings.  Now I am enjoying relaxation time and the opportunity to catch up with emails etc.

I need to begin to get to grips with the Lunda language and would value your prayers about this.  There is an older sister in the Lord who speaks very good Lunda and would be an excellent help. I intend to approach her during the week. I need to stick at the learning, although in the past I have always enjoyed the challenge of picking up a new language.  The basis of Lunda is entirely different from European languages – it is Bantu and the whole structure changes, so I will have to acquire new ‘pegs’ on which to hang my learning. At least I will get lots of practice up at the hospital.

Over the Christmas period at home I thought much about  Isaiah 9 v 6 ‘Unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given’. The Spirit of God here speaks of the Lord’s coming into the world – His perfect (and sinless) humanity, while preserving His absolute Deity and the eternity of His being.  He did not become a Son at His birth – this was His unique relationship with the Father before the world began.   This is the Saviour Whom we worship and Who went to the cross of Calvary to die for our sins.

I met these youngsters yesterday when I was having an afternoon walk. They were only too willing to pose for a picture.