Newsletter (February 26, 2009)

Dear all, We went with Rev James Ha, director of SIM Chinese Ministry Centre, and Mrs Ha to Kitwe and met a few missionaries who are very keen to start some outreach to the Chinese in that area.  One Irish missionary even bought some English Chinese Bibles, waiting for opportunities to use them.  There are many more Chinese in Kitwe and further north as the Chinese have several big mines in that region.  Unfortunately the relations between Chinese and Zambians are poor and many local people resent the presence of Chinese.  Thankfully it is much better in Ndola.  We also have come to know that many Chinese miners stay in compounds within the mines.  They work very hard every day and seldom go out of the compounds.  It is not easy to reach them as mines normally do not welcome visitors.  The government is setting up an economic zone just north of Kitwe and, again, many Chinese firms are planning to invest there and in turn more Chinese will come.  Rev Ha is very keen to start church planting here.  He is at present in Lagos, Nigeria, visiting a Chinese church he planted last year.  A young Chinese pastor was sent there early this year and if he can cope then Rev Ha will begin a ministry here hopefully by August.  Please pray for this development and, if it is God’s will, pray that a Chinese ministry will begin soon, and that we may find some means to make contacts with the miners in the compounds.  SIM Zambia is very encouraged and they are in full support of this new venture.

We went to Lusaka to attend a multicultural team workshop last week.  Half of the SIM Zambia team went there (the other half was attending the same workshop held in Mukinge Hospital), as well as some workers from the Flying Mission.  This workshop was held because the SIM team is getting more multicultural.  In Zambia, at present we have missionaries from USA, Canada, UK, New Zealand, Australia, South Africa, South Korea and, in terms of ethnicity, we have American, British, Kiwi, Chinese, Korean and Mexican.  The workshop allows us to know more about the different cultures among team members, as well as our Zambian friends, so that we may better understand each other.  As expected, Asians are closer to Africans in many aspects, but still we find it difficult to understand the African way of thinking and doing things.  The beautiful thing to know is that we all are different and yet God call us and saves us and put us into His family and we are one in Christ, regardless of race, gender, background and we are also one in the bond of love.

When we came back from Lusaka, we had to take some missionaries back to Kitwe.  Normally there are seven police checkpoints along the way and normally they will ask to see the driving licence, check the WOF is valid and that we have paid road tax.  Most of the time they will just wave us through.  However this time we needed to use another route to Kitwe and we came across an immigration check point.  The officer demanded that we show our passports and work permits (copies will do).  Only one of us had them.  She said she was going to detain us until we could provide proof of our identities and went to consult with her colleague.  We then prayed and God answered our prayers instantly.  When she came back she said we could go and we were so relieved!  Praise the Lord!

Possibly because of mosquito bites in Lusaka, Zara had malaria early this week.  She developed headaches on Sunday and became very tired.  We went to visit a Chinese clinic nearby and the doctor confirmed that she has malaria.  We thank our Lord that hers is only a mild case and after taking medication for three days she is fine now, though still feels tired.  People told her she is now a real African.  Please continue to pray for our health.  In Christ.

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