Newsletter (January 1, 2009)
Dear all, Happy New Year and may our Lord bless you all in 2009.
The SIM nurse in Mukinge Hospital who was also from Hong Kong and visited us in August came two weeks ago and stayed for a week. This time she came with another nurse from the UK who is the longest serving SIM missionary in Zambia. She has been here since 1968 and is still going strong. We asked her what has changed most since that time. Among others things she mentioned like better roads, more schools, etc., she commented that in the early days, there were many more missionaries in the country than now. All the professionals in the mission hospitals and mission schools were missionaries, and there were many more of them involved with church work.
She also commented that in the early days most missionaries came here for life, but now there are many more short termers. They made this trip to Ndola to get supplies for the hospital and it is amazing to see how many things they bought—pillows (piled nearly up to the ceiling in our house) and yards and yards of curtains for the wards, microwave, food items, white board and many other items.
People here are very good to us and we got invitations to have meals with different families on the eves of Christmas and New Year. Other families also invited us to visit their homes on Christmas day. The SIM missionaries in the Copperbelt plus one or two families also had a Christmas gathering just before Christmas and we had a good time together with the usual exchange of gifts. We took turns choosing a gift from the Christmas tree but had a crazy system of allowing people to ‘steal’ (i.e. take) a gift from other people instead. So a gift that was very popular would change hands several times in a round and sometimes it ended up in total chaos. Until the last round was played no one was sure who was getting what.
Not all churches here have a Christmas Day service. Some have Christmas Eve service/prayers instead and some think the origin of Christmas is not very Biblical. Our church did not have a service and we did not know the reason, but we assume it would be the latter. We did, however, meet at church and had some social activities, hymn singing and a short devotion.
At the end of the year we spent some time together and counted the blessings from God that we experienced in 2008. We thanked and praised our Lord that there were many blessings that we could count. For 2009, perhaps you could remember these items in your prayers:
In Christ.Back to Tim and Zara’s home page