Newsletter (November 6, 2008)

Dear all,  Thank you for faithfully sending us the ROC every week and through it we can be kept informed of the happenings in the church.  Thank you also for the letters and email you sent us and we love reading them.

We had the presidential election last Thursday.  TCCA was one of the polling stations and people told us about the long queues, etc during the past several elections.  So with anticipation we got up early and expected to see many people queuing and waiting patiently to vote.  To our disappointment, except for a while at around 6:30 am, there was no queue at all.  Throughout the country the voter turnout was extremely low.  One of the opposition party leaders more or less led all the way, and he got lots of support in the urban areas.  However, he got virtually no support in the rural areas and when those votes came in, the acting President just managed to get enough votes to pip him at the post.  So the opposition cried foul and have applied to the Court to have the votes recounted.  Foreign observers seem to think the election was held in a fair and transparent manner, and business investors seem to think the result is good and so the Kwacha suddenly appreciated nearly 25 percent against the dollar.  Many people cautioned us not to go out at night during this period, but all in all this has been a very peaceful and uneventful election and things are getting back to normal now, except the opposition still believes that they were cheated of victory.

At the end of October, the Indians here celebrated Divali, a Hindu festival meaning the Festival of Lights.  Fittingly there was a huge fireworks display and a missionary family brought us there to watch.  We never saw fireworks so close and the noise was deafening and it looked as if the fireworks would be dropping onto our heads!  We don’t seem to have mentioned the Indians here before.  There are many Indians in Africa.  Some of them have been here for generations.  In Zambia, most of the shops are owned by Indians, and to a certain extent, the economy of Zambia is in their hands.  In Ndola, the Indians are very rich and most of them stay in quite an exclusive area (where the fireworks were held).  It was reputed that years back this area had the highest density of Mercedes Benzes in the world!  Most of the Indians here are Hindu and we don’ t know if there are Christians among them.

SIM Zambia has recognised the needs of the Chinese people here and our Director has contacted the SIM Chinese Ministry Centre (part of SIM East Asia) and enquired if they could send some missionaries here to work among the Chinese in Zambia.  The reply was quite positive and the SCMC director may be able to visit Zambia next year.  It looks as if some ministries to the Chinese will be developed and it is certainly exciting news to us.

Zara is still feeling tired and we suspect that, apart from the heat, there are some other problems.  Since we came here we have been seeing different doctors and most of them are disappointing.  It didn’t help much this time either.  Our friends here offered lots of advice and now Zara’s condition has improved, although sometimes still feel tired.  Timothy’s knee has some mysterious pain and he also seems to have lost weight and one possibility is that he has worms in his body, a very common thing here.  So we both took some deworming tablets and hopefully they will work.  It was recommended to us that we take these tablets every six months or so.  So please continue praying for our health.  We may not have realised before, but after spending six months here, we can now say that to be able to live in New Zealand or Hong Kong is such a blessing.  In Christ.

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