Newsletter (July 31, 2008)

Dear all,  We have been thinking of you and hope you all are well in deep winter.  We have some visitors staying with us this week and next, so we have been busy shopping getting the essentials and trying to make them feel at home.  We also had the director and deputy director of SIM Zambia visiting us earlier this month and it was good to be able to talk to them again.  They did care for us and asked us many questions and made sure we are well.  They also gave us lots of encouragement.  One thing they mentioned is that they may be able to fund some maintenance work on our house.  This is indeed good news and since then we have organised and sent them quotations on the more essential maintenance and hopefully we will be able to know soon if some work can be carried out.  They also said SIM will reimburse us for the work that we have already done to the house.

In early July the annual trade fair was held in Ndola and this must be one of the big events of the year.  We went there twice and it was very interesting and so much to see.  This year the theme was something like “Infrastructure for Development” and there were many stalls from government ministries and big companies.  We learnt quite a lot about Zambia.  Of course there are many stalls selling all kinds of goods.  Some came from Pakistan, Egypt, Kenya and South Africa.  It was packed with people and we nearly couldn’t get into the ground the first time and the scene was very chaotic.  We managed to squeeze in though.  There were lots of traditional crafts for sale and we did buy one or two items.  We also had some traditional Zambian meals there and bought a Zambian cookbook (claimed to be the only one in Zambia).  Since then we have tried many local vegetables bought from the market, such as sweet potato leaves and pumpkin leaves and spinach (which is silverbeet in New Zealand).

Last Friday we received four parcels from New Zealand and one from Hong Kong.  We were so thankful and pleased to get them.  We packed them in great haste in April and after more than three months we had more or less forgotten what was in the parcels and so it was very exciting to open them and see what is inside!  With hindsight, we would pack some quite different things to be sent here if we have the chance to do it again.  Lots of things that would be useful to us are all securely locked in storage and it is such a waste not to be able to make use of them.  We still have one parcel to come and hope it will turn up very soon.  Today we also received two lots of our mail from Louise.  (Thanks a lot, Louise.)  They were sent by air mail in mid-June and end of June and took four to six weeks to arrive.  Mail between New Zealand and Zambia seems very slow.  People also told us that somehow Ndola is not found in some mail sorting systems (too insignificant?).  Instead there is a Nola in Gambia (a West African country), so sometimes mail is sent there instead and has to be redirected back to Zambia.  The other day Timothy just noticed a magazine addressed to TCCA was sent to Indonesia instead!

Before we left New Zealand, we were advised to take antimalaria tablets for our stay in Zambia.  However, when we asked the doctors here they advised us not to take any medication at all.  Their reasons are: 1) long-term use of these medications may be harmful to the body; 2) they are not 100 percent effective and if we get malaria the medication will suppress the symptoms and make a correct diagnosis difficult.  Our doctor friend in Dunedin and pharmacist friend in Hong Kong also think the same.  Zambian health care standards may not be good, but one thing they are good at is treatment of malaria.  They are very experienced in this area.  We asked other missionaries and most of them stopped taking antimalaria tablets long ago.  We have just finished the doxycycline tablets we brought along and we were told the tablets that we can get here are the cheap versions which will make people have strange dreams.  This is not something we want so we have decided to stop taking them.  So please pray for our health.  On another note, Timothy’s high blood pressure seems to be under control most days.  Perhaps we walk quite a lot nowadays and that helps.

We regret not to be able to listen to Rev Short’s preaching.  (By the way, since they must have been recorded, can they be loaded somewhere so that we can download them and listen?)  We do have two guest speakers in church recently and they are also very good and we find their sermons very helpful to us, and we have asked them for their scripts or outlines.

We asked you to pray for us about contacting the Chinese doctors here.  We managed to visit one of them last Saturday.  He is a very friendly person and we get along very well with him.  There are seven of them, living at the same place and we hope to meet all of them soon.  We will go to see them again after our visitors have left.  Please continue to pray for us as we try to know them better and share with them about the gospel.  In Christ.

Back to Tim and Zara’s home page